Today, we are comparing the two powerhouses in the e-commerce business -Amazon and eBay. Both platforms excel in their respective areas, but which one provides better opportunities for sellers? Let’s try to find out.
Those days are gone when online shopping used to be a luxury; it’s become a necessity now. Amazon and eBay have cashed on the opportunity and created a massive customer base in the last two decades. Both platforms earn billions of dollars each year from their millions of customers.
Now, the question is whether there is straight competition between Amazon and eBay. While Amazon is a go-to place for every household’s daily needs, eBay is still a preferred choice for specific items such as obsolete spare parts, used goods, and collectibles.
If you are wondering which platform is better for you to sell, this guide will help you determine. I will compare both platforms in terms of their popularity, overhead costs, product availability, fee structure, and much more. Let’s dive in.
- Amazon has a complicated fee structure with a referral fee, FBA cost, closing fee, etc., but it still might be more profitable for you than eBay.
- eBay is a better platform for selling antique products, collectible items, used goods, spare parts, and so on. In contrast, buyers turn toward Amazon for fresh goods, groceries, books, electronics, etc.
- eBay allows you to create more specific listings. You can also take help from eBay employees to prepare the listings.
- Selling on Amazon allows you to outsource the fulfillment to Amazon. You need to ship the inventory to the warehouse, and the company will fulfill your orders in exchange for a monthly FBA fee.
- eBay allows you to sell products on auctions where you can fetch good money for a unique product. There is no such option on Amazon, and there is always a fixed price for a product.
- Amazon has 19 marketplaces, including the US, UK, India, and Australia, while eBay is present in over 32 countries, giving more exposure to your products.
Amazon Vs eBay: A Quick Overview
Significantly few could predict what was to come when Jeff Bezos formed Amazon in a garage in Washington in 1994. A small company that started as a used bookseller is now the most prominent online marketplace in the world.
Over the years, Amazon has added several services, such as advertising, video streaming, payment processing, fulfillment, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. Currently, the company is amongst the top IT companies in the USA and the best e-commerce firms in the world.
Every day, the website sees millions of shoppers hunting for their favorite products online. Initially, the company allowed sellers to list their products on the website. But as the company’s reputation grew, only genuine and verified sellers were allowed to sell on the marketplace.
Founded in 1995 as an auction web, eBay is one of the first successful e-commerce companies. While people were busy figuring out the internet, the company had already started selling products worldwide.
eBay provides business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer sales through its website in more than 32 countries. eBay sellers are located worldwide and can sell and ship products anywhere they want.
The key feature that separates eBay from Amazon is its unique bidding system, where customers bid on a particular product and get it delivered from the seller. However, listing an item for bidding requires some extra fee.
Although the company has noticed a slight downfall in the last decade, mainly because of the rise of Amazon, one can’t deny how eBay changed how we used to shop online. And for specific items such as used products, discontinued items, antiques, automobiles, and electronic spare parts, eBay is still the preferred choice of buyers.
Popularity Comparison between Amazon and eBay
If I have to answer this question in one line, then yes, Amazon is ahead in the popularity race. But popularity is subjective, and both platforms have separate fan bases for particular products.
Check on Amazon is the first thing we hear whenever we talk about buying something. You can find anything on its website – from books to the bookshelf, toys to smartphones, and clothes to food. Amazon has more than 20 product categories where you can find nearly anything you can think of.
Also, Amazon has built a strong reputation for its quality products, fast shipping, and extraordinary customer service. The company successfully dethroned major e-commerce marketplaces in many countries where it started its operations.
But What about eBay? As I mentioned, it operates in 32 countries, which means it has a larger audience, but they rely on eBay for different reasons. For example, if you want to buy a spare part for your smartphone or a discontinued mixer grinder, you may find it on eBay.
eBay allows people to sell on their website without having a seller account. You can sign up and list the item if you have something to sell that can fetch a reasonable price. You can set your prices, discounts, shipping rates, and so on as an individual seller. So it’s a win-win citation for buyer and seller both.
And that’s how the company has built a reputation for selling used items. With eBay, customers can get in touch with sellers directly, but the shopping happens on the website only.
Amazon is more popular, but if you have the products that suit eBay customers more, you have your answer.
Amazon Vs eBay: Structure and Sales Comparison
Selling on Amazon is relatively straightforward. You need to register for a seller account and purchase a monthly plan. Currently, Amazon offers Individual and Professional Plans. With the Individual plan, you are charged $0.99 for each sale, while the Professional plan has a monthly fee of $39.99. The math is simple.
You get access to a bunch of sales and inventory tools with a professional account.
Next, you need to choose a fulfillment method between FBA and FBM. with FBA, you ship the inventory to Amazon, and it takes care of order fulfillment on your behalf. It’s a more popular method where your products have an Amazon Prime badge which resonates with a reliable seller and attracts more customers.
FBM allows you to dictate your return/refund policies, shipping costs, and other terms & conditions. Here you will save the FBA fee, but it might be harder to sell the products.
Amazon has a confusing fee structure. Apart from the monthly subscription and fulfillment fees, there are other costs. For example, each product has a referral fee (5%-18%), a closing fee of $1.80 on media items (books, DVDs, games, software), a return order fee for every qualified return order, and an inventory removal fee. On each successful sale, you will be paid directly to your bank account.
There are two ways to sell on eBay – As an individual or through the eBay store. Setting up an individual account is pretty simple. You can register using your details and start listing your product straight away. Mind you, you must pay an insertion fee and final value fee to sell/auction a product based on the price of each listing. The transaction fee is a flat $2.99 and $0.49 for each card payment.
For the eBay store, you need to provide your details, business details, and tax information. Sellers get a fixed number of free listings, but with an eBay store, the number of higher.
If you are a power seller on eBay, you can get a monthly subscription where you get a lower insertion fee and final value fee, more free listings, and eBay support to create your listings.
In simple words, selling on Amazon is tricker, but the free structure may need to be clarified, while on eBay, you can make an account and start selling within a few minutes.
Amazon Vs eBay: Advantages and drawbacks
Both platforms provide a handful of opportunities to sellers if they have the right product to sell. Let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages of each:
✔ With millions of customers each month, Amazon provides better exposure for your products.
✔ Amazon is a trusted brand, and by selling on the marketplace, you join the elite force of reliable and genuine online sellers.
✔ Even though the structure can be confusing, the overall selling cost can be lower.
✔ It’s easier to create and scale your business on Amazon than on any other marketplace.
✔ With FBA, you can save time and money as you don’t need to store your inventory or fulfill orders.
✖ You can’t sell products in all categories, as several of them are restricted to professional account holders or verified sellers only.
✖ A complex fee structure is challenging to understand
✖ The FBA fee is very high and might eat up your profit margin
✖ You need clever strategies to list your products and get them to appear in the search results.
✖ The competition on Amazon is very fierce. There are some very professional and big brands already selling on the marketplace.
✖ It’s challenging to grow your brand as you always sell under Amazon’s name, not yours.
eBay can be a profitable option for selling used products, spare parts, etc. Here is what I like and dislike about the platform:
✔ Operating in 32 countries, eBay has a broader reach than Amazon.
✔ It’s easier to start selling on eBay. All you have to do is set up an account and start listing.
✔ You can use eBay as a side hustle as it doesn’t require as much planning and strategies.
✔ The competition is less than what you’d face on Amazon.
✔ It’s easier to list and sell your products on eBay.
✔ There are nearly no category restrictions on eBay, and you can sell anything from the get-go.
✔ Perfect place to sell used items, unique products, discontinued, and classic items.
✖ Even though it operates in more countries, the number of monthly shoppers is smaller than that on Amazon.
✖ There is no fulfillment service on eBay.
✖ Fewer payment options for customers.
✖ Due to some fraud and scammers, the platform doesn’t hold a good reputation among customers.
✖ Higher transaction charges and selling costs.
✖ It’s easier to get scammed by both buyers and sellers. Sometimes, you might end up not getting paid.
Amazon Vs eBay: Head-to-Head
Safety – Amazon provides a safer business environment since you don’t interact with the customers directly. Amazon handles all the transactions on your behalf.
The Number of Sellers – There are approximately 6 million worldwide sellers on Amazon, while the number is slightly higher on eBay with 7 million.
The Number of Buyers – According to 2021 data, eBay had nearly 160 million customers, while Amazon had over 300 million.
User Interface – Amazon has a cleaner interface, but it’s easier to list products on eBay.
Overall Winner – Amazon is a bigger platform with more monthly visitors, more product categories, and a slightly better business structure.
|SAFETY||Amazon provides a safer business environment since you don’t interact with the customers directly. Amazon handles all the transactions.|
|THE NUMBER OF SELLERS||There are approximately 6 million worldwide sellers on Amazon, while the number is slightly higher on eBay with 7 million.|
|THE NUMBER OF BUYERS||According to 2021 data, eBay had nearly 160 million customers, while Amazon had over 300 million.|
|USER INTERFACE||Amazon has a cleaner interface, but it’s easier to list products on eBay.|
|OVERALL WINNER||Amazon is a bigger platform with more monthly visitors, more product categories, and a slightly better business structure.|
Amazon Vs eBay: A Close Contest
Whichever platform you choose to sell on, the key is to have a profitable product to sell. Sometimes a product you can’t sell on Amazon might fetch a reasonable price on eBay. Amazon is a winner for its reputation, huge customer base, and FBA service. eBay is ahead in terms of less competitiveness, worldwide exposure, and ease of selling.
- If you want to establish yourself as a reliable online seller, Amazon is the right choice for you.
- Are you looking to create a brand? Choose eBay.
Faq On Amazon vs eBay:
Sometimes eCommerce should be a risky business but Amazon is a safeguard in place because you don’t need to interact with customers on the other hand eBay has more safeguards to protect their customers and sellers.
Amazon has more possible customers in comparison to eBay and provides more products than eBay.
In the year 2022, there are around 300 million active users on Amazon and 159 million customers on eBay.