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September 1, 2021

Selling on eBay vs. Amazon: What You Need to Know

eBay and Amazon are two of the largest online marketplaces for selling goods. Selling on both platforms has its benefits, but each of them is different in terms of how easy it is to list items, fees and more.

In this post, we will go over some important things you should consider when deciding which platform to sell on.

In the end, you’ll know exactly which to choose, so you can start selling your online items, and build your path to financial freedom.

Amazon vs. eBay: The Overview

Both eBay and Amazon are fantastic platforms to sell your goods.

Selling on Amazon is a little bit more work, and you have to pay a listing fee, but it has a larger buyer base.

There is an incredible number of people who visit Amazon daily, so there are always potential online shoppers looking for deals. eBay makes online shopping a lot better and is easier to set up, offering very inexpensive prices.

The downside of that is you may not get as many buyers, though.

You should know that there is no “best” platform, no clear winner in the Amazon vs eBay battle. It all depends on your needs and goals, but also the type of items you are looking to sell.

With that being said, let’s look at some of the most significant differences between the two so you can choose your best platform.

Amazon vs. eBay: Which Has More Customers?

The number of eBay customers is almost nothing compared to Amazon’s.

That’s right, you can see that eBay’s annual sales revenue is a lot lower, so there are definitely more people who can buy from you on Amazon.

Having a larger customer base is a good thing because it means you’re able to sell your new items easier and faster. But, it also means there is higher competition.

However, eBay isn’t as small as it may seem…

Even though it’s a lot smaller than Amazon, it still beats most eCommerce sites like Walmart, Apple, Etsy, Alibaba and The Home Depot.

This means there are a lot of eBay shoppers who can buy from you.

(Just not as much as on Amazon.)

Bottom Line: Both of these platforms have a decent customer base. But, there is nothing you can compare to Amazon.

If the number of customers is all you care about, go with Amazon.

Amazon vs. eBay: Which Has Less Competition?

Competition is a huge thing that can make or break your revenues.

If you want a platform where there is less competition, eBay may be the best option for you. It has only a fraction of sellers compared to Amazon, which makes standing out on the platform a lot easier.

Amazon is vast, and there are a lot more Amazon sellers than on eBay. But of course, it goes hand in hand with the number of competitors.

Ultimately, you need to choose between the number of customers and competition, which may be tricky. That’s why I suggest researching the type of product you are selling online.

It may be trendy on one platform, while a less popular thing on the other.

Bottom Line: Selling on eBay has less competition, which means it’s easier to stand out and attract customers.

But, it’s highly individual and depends on the type of items you sell.

Amazon vs. eBay: Which Customers Trust More?

The trust of customers is a critical factor when it comes to making sales.

If your customers don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you, let alone consider a purchase. And nothing increases a brand’s trust more than authority and credibility.

Amazon is a clear winner here because it is a trusted name.

It’s been around for decades and also has an A+ ranking with the BBB, which means that buyers can definitely trust Amazon.

It also features a money-back guarantee and a profound refund policy.

eBay on the other hand doesn’t have these ratings.

Customers are less likely to buy from there because they don’t know if they’re being scammed. There have been many instances of scamming on eBay making it less credible.

And even though it has improved in recent years, it’s still not optimal.

Nevertheless, there are scammers on both platforms, there is just a bigger chance you get scammed on eBay.

Bottom Line: Both eBay and Amazon can be trusted. However, Amazon customers will trust you more than eBay’s, which can be better for your own brand.

It may also positively impact your sales and customer base.

Amazon vs. eBay: Which Has Lower Seller Fees?

Fees can be very surprising, especially if you are not expecting them.

Therefore, it’s important to know how much they are before you sell on the platform, so you won’t be surprised.

eBay charges a lot less for sellers — only 10% in commission fees, but it doesn’t include payment processing fees (usually around 2.9%).

It also doesn’t have any listing or insertion fees, making it cheaper than Amazon in that way. Amazon fees are 20% as seller commissions and $0-250 insertion fees, depending on the category.

This can be very expensive, though, and lead to some unexpected costs.

Bottom Line: Selling fees for both platforms are quite high, but eBay has the best rates out of all options available. It’s also worth noting that there is no insertion fee on eBay.

That means it can be a lot cheaper than Amazon in some cases

Amazon vs. eBay: Which Is Easier to Ship?

Shipping is an important part every online seller should consider.

No matter whether you are selling on Amazon or eBay, you will need to care about the shipping at some point. And if you are looking to pick the easier option, go with eBay.

eBay is a lot more straightforward when it comes to shipping.

It doesn’t matter if you are selling or buying on eBay, the buyer pays for the cost of shipping, which can be a huge relief for many sellers. There are also no storage costs and fees involved with storing products.

Amazon, on the other hand, does not have the same policy. 

It features an Amazon FBA fulfillment, which is a service to help you with shipping, refunds and so much more. It starts with sellers sending their products to an Amazon warehouse.

You will then be charged a monthly fee of $39.99 + storage fees — usually starting from $0.85 per cubic foot and increasing by the time your product enters the facility.

If you go with Amazon FBA, you will need to be more careful with storage time and costs, but your life will become incredibly easier. However, this can all add up and lead to a huge final value.

But still, I highly recommend it if your budget allows it.

Bottom Line: eBay sellers have it a lot easier than Amazon’s because buyers will always cover the cost of shipping. 

Selling on Amazon can be expensive because sellers are forced to pay storage fees and sometimes even the cost of the product itself if it doesn’t sell within a short time frame.

Amazon vs. eBay: Which Has Better Advertising Options?

Advertising is important, especially if you are just starting your small business on these eCommerce platforms.

Both platforms are slowly shifting into a pay-to-play business model, meaning you’ll need to pay a certain amount to get on top of the search results.

For now, eBay is the better choice because Amazon charges a lot more for advertising. eBay also makes it easier to showcase your listings with free advertising, even if you’re not a Pro or Plus member.

Plus, it has also been reported that eBay’s conversion rates are better than Amazon, and this can lead to more sales — which is what every business wants!

On the other hand, you shouldn’t throw away Amazon so quickly…

In fact, Amazon has been reported to have better traffic than eBay. This means that if you’re not looking for sales, but rather customers — Amazon might be the best option for you!

Also, more people will see your ads which may lead to more sales.

Bottom Line: Selling on eBay is a cheaper and more effective option than Amazon advertising. But, if you want to increase your customer base, or attract more eyes, go with Amazon as it has more traffic.

Amazon vs. eBay: Which Has More Quality Products?

Every seller wants their products to be top quality.

It’s no secret that Amazon is the company with more listings and choices for buyers. This means that they also have a lot of options when it comes to products, which can be difficult to find something high-quality.

eBay offers fewer listings but does that really mean it has higher quality products? The short answer is — it depends.

Even though eBay has fewer listings, I wouldn’t say there are higher quality products on the platform. In fact, I believe that there are more high-quality products on Amazon.

This is also related to scams — there are a lot more scammers on eBay.

Also, eBay has a lot of used items that may be very low-quality.

And so you have a higher chance to find authentic, high-quality products on Amazon than on eBay.

Bottom Line: It is hard to say which platform has a higher quality product selection because it depends on the seller and what they sell. It may be better to try both before deciding which fits your needs.

I would personally go with Amazon when it comes to the quality of items.

Amazon vs. eBay: Which Is Easier to Manage?

If you are a beginner, it’s ideal to choose a platform that is easy to manage and start on.

In terms of managing listings, eBay is easier.

It is because eBay has a clear-cut process for managing your listings.  PayPal is also integrated with eBay which makes it easier to manage payments and the entire selling process.

Amazon, on the other hand, can be challenging when you are starting because they don’t have an easy process in place.

But there’s always Selling Manager Pro – a selling manager tool that helps sellers to manage their inventory and listings. Also, if you want more options for managing, Amazon might be the better choice.

Bottom Line: eBay business is the easier and more convenient option for beginners to manage their listings. But if you are already familiar with eCommerce platforms and looking for more options, go with Amazon.

The Final Verdict

Both platforms are an excellent place to start your own eCommerce business. But, there are a few key differences that you should know about before making a decision.

We have talked about the advertising options, quality of products and managing listings — so what are your thoughts?

I would personally go with the eBay store if you are just starting.

It’s a lot easier for most eBay sellers to manage, you can set it up more quickly, and eBay fees are way lower — making it your best bet when starting with paying minimal seller fees upfront.

On the other hand, if you have more experience and a bigger budget, you should go with Amazon.

It has higher selling fees, which can make it a lot more expensive to sell new products online. But, it’s more popular, so more people can buy from you — the competition is higher too, though.

It’s also more trustworthy, which can massively help with sales.

There is no clear winner in this battle, though. Both Amazon and eBay are great. Pick the one that suits you the most, become successful on the platform, and pump up your sales.

You can also check this guide on how to make $300 a day without knowing anything about business.

FAQ

Do you make more money selling on eBay or Amazon?

It’s hard to say because it depends on the seller.

Selling fees are lower when selling on eBay but you have fewer options and less traffic in the first place — so if you’re not a well-known retailer, Amazon is your better bet.

Is it better to buy from Amazon or eBay?

That depends on what you are buying.

If it’s a product that is being sold by Amazon, then buy from Amazon because they have lower prices and more traffic to the platform.

But if you’re looking for handmade items and unique products, eBay might be your better bet as sellers will list their products cheaper there than on Amazon.

Is eBay still a good place to sell?

It really depends on what you want.

If you are just starting out and don’t have a lot of money to invest, eBay might be your best bet because they have lower fees than Amazon.

Also, if you’re looking for buyers who like vintage stuff or handmade items – eBay is the place to go because it has more traffic and lower competition than Amazon.

Can I make more money selling on eBay or Amazon?

It depends on what you want – if you are looking to make a lot of money, Amazon might be your best bet. Selling fees on eBay can cost more than the profits that they generate for sellers.

But if you’re just trying to sell products and become an entrepreneur in eCommerce, we would suggest going with eBay because it has lower fees and a lot more traffic.

Can you get scammed on eBay?

Yes, that’s always a possibility.

It can happen to sellers with or without feedback — so you need to be careful when dealing with buyers and make sure they are legit.

Can eBay sellers charge more than the product price?

No, Amazon has an internal system for pricing products but this is not possible on eBay because of their fixed price system.

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Mike Vestil

About the Author

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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