Which is better for sellers: Amazon or eBay? It’s a hard question to answer because each market has pros and cons. Amazon is the largest online market, and eBay is in third place. There are a lot of other online marketplaces that sellers can use, but these two are still head and shoulders above the rest. Let’s compare Amazon and eBay in more detail so you can decide which one is best for your business.
Amazon vs. eBay: Size of Markets and Selling Potential
Let’s start with the big question: which of eBay and Amazon gives you the best chance of selling your products? Which market is bigger, giving each product a better chance of being seen by more people? There are, of course, other things to think about.
Depending on your product, some demographics might be more important, so let’s look at who uses each platform. Different audiences will have different standards and expectations, so you’ll need to tailor your approach to meet their needs.
Amazon’s market size
The number of people who use Amazon is mind-boggling. In 2019, it made up 13.7% of the world’s eCommerce retail market by itself. That number is a huge 52.4% of the market in the US. In May 2020, desktop and mobile visits to Amazon added to a total of 2,507 million.
It’s also important to know that 44% of US households pay for Amazon Prime, a premium service. Since Amazon is so popular all over the country, it makes sense that people are willing to pay more for faster shipping and cheaper costs on individual items.
eBay’s market size
It is thought that eBay has about 5% of the US eCommerce market. Walmart recently moved ahead of them and is now in third place. Walmart now has about 7% of the market. About 167 million people use eBay every month. These users are picky and only buy from sellers with the best feedback scores. Scores of 100 or even higher are being talked about.
This means that it’s very important for your business to take care of your eBay reputation. eBay started as an auction site, so the way people buy things there is based on price. It might be safe to say that eBay customers are more interested in cost and peace of mind than in the bells and whistles that arrive with premium subscription offerings.
Amazon vs. eBay: Competition
Because eCommerce is so competitive, the buyer is in charge. Most of the time, sellers have to compete on price or go out of business. It’s hard to do that when two different sites sell the same thing. What about sites like eBay and Amazon? If you want to make money here, where tens of thousands of people are selling the same thing on the same site, you need to keep your head straight.
A catalog of products runs on Amazon. The goal is to have one clear listing for each unique product. So, a person looking for any product should be led to the best result, no matter how many individuals sell it. You won’t see any more possible sellers until you click the product page. But by then, most customers will already trust the winner of the Amazon Buy Box.
Amazon doesn’t tell us exactly what to do to get the Buy Box. Instead, an algorithm decides who gets it. But the most important thing is the price and the Amazon Prime badge on the listing. This simplifies the process for the shopper to find a good deal. On the other hand, sellers could be up against hundreds of other sellers for that one prime spot in the Buy Box.
eBay began as an auction site, so it makes sense that shoppers can look at different listings for the same item. Some will be new, and others will be used. Some will be in better shape than others, and most will have different shipping options. Also, because eBay has auctions, items still being listed will compete with those that can be bought right now for a set price.
This makes shopping on eBay a much more thoughtful and interesting experience. This is great news for sellers. You have more chances to change your listing to appeal to more people. Products are also easier to see, which makes it easier for shoppers to look around for the best deal.
Amazon vs. eBay: Shipping and Delivery Options
A big market and an easy sale are great, but that’s not all. Customers will buy from you again and give you a good review if you deliver items to their front door. So, between eBay and Amazon, which is more firmly on the seller’s side in making this happen? Which eCommerce platform makes shipping and fulfillment the fastest and most convenient?
Amazon’s shipping options
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service that lets you keep your items in the Amazon warehouse closest to you. Amazon will pick, bundle, and ship on your behalf when a sale is made. They take care of customer service, remove negative feedback about shipping, and can also ship revenue earned through other channels. Yes, eBay is one of them.
It’s not the least expensive service, but it gets you the Amazon Prime badge, which moves you closer to the Buy Box. A cheaper option is Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP). Even though you ship from your location, you can still get the Amazon Prime badge.
eBay’s shipping options
Currently, eBay does not offer shipping and fulfillment services for sellers in the United States. It has a Global Shipping Program, which we’ll talk about briefly. For the time being, if you sell on eBay to people in your own country, you must pick, pack, and ship your orders.
Many service providers will do it for you if you are willing to take a hit on your profits. This could make it hard for new sellers to get started. It is expensive to set up shipping and fulfillment from scratch without help from the platform.
Amazon vs. eBay: Seller Fees
We can’t talk about eBay vs. Amazon without the fees sellers have to pay. Jeff Bezos still needs to make a living, but if we look at Amazon and eBay side by side, which gives sellers a better deal?
Amazon’s seller fees
Amazon charges a fee to become a Professional Seller, and for each item sold, it also takes a referral fee. If you’re paying for FBA, you could consider this an extra, though optional, seller fee. A monthly subscription to Amazon’s Professional Seller service costs $39.99.
This provides you with up to 100,000 relevant ads and more if you keep making sales regularly. Amazon’s referral fees vary a lot from one category to the next. As a rough estimate, think 15% and a minimum of $0.30 per item. You’ll also have to pay a $1.80 closing fee for media items.
eBay’s seller fees
There are two different types of fees for selling on eBay. First, there are insertion fees that you have to pay when you list your product. Then there are fees based on the product’s final value, which you pay when you sell it. You may also have to pay a PayPal processing fee, which is not technically paid to eBay but is still part of the process.
About $0.35 is charged to add a listing or category to eBay. When you set up an eBay Store, you get a certain number of free listings each month. The least expensive package, Basic Store, costs $28 per month and gives you 250 free listings. The most expensive package, Anchor Store, costs $350 per month.
The eBay final fee is a small percentage of the item’s price. The exact amount varies from one type of product to the next, but it’s usually around 10%. PayPal processing fees for eBay sales are usually 2.9% of the item’s price plus a flat fee of $0.30. As eBay Managed Payments is rolled out, sellers won’t have to use PayPal and pay the fees that come with it.
Amazon vs eBay: Advertising Choices
Having an edge over your competitors is always helpful and is often worth paying for. Amazon and eBay offer extra services to help your products stand out from the crowd. But which choice does the seller make?
Amazon’s advertising choices
Sponsored products on Amazon ensure that your products are on the first page for certain keywords. You can tell Amazon which keywords to focus on, or you can do it yourself. This is a pay-per-click (PPC) service, meaning you must pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
Because of this, you should keep track of how much you spend. But it’s an advanced service with many apps and tools to help you manage your campaigns in more detail. Sponsored Products are just one way that Amazon advertises. Other services help brands, and affiliates get more attention.
eBay advertising choices
With eBay’s Promoted Listings, you can get your products to show up higher in search. You bid an amount to be paid on top of your final value fee, usually between 5 and 10%. Your product is boosted along with other sellers’ products, each of which has its bid. With eBay Promoted Listings, everything is easy, and you only pay when an item sells. It’s not a very advanced program, but it does what it’s supposed to: draw attention and increase sales.
Amazon vs. eBay: Going International
When it comes to expanding their consumer base, international eCommerce provides new opportunities without requiring merchants to alter the way they conduct business. But in terms of assisting sellers transition from selling in their home country to selling internationally, is Amazon more effective than eBay? Or does the online auction site offer additional features?
Amazon’s options for expanding overseas
You’ll need a separate account to sell in each of Amazon’s expanding international marketplaces. Europe, which includes the five European markets, and North America, the US, Canada, and Mexico, are the only exceptions.
Since you use a different account for each marketplace, feedback for each one is kept separate. This could make it harder to build a local brand or keep happy markets from being affected by problems in other markets.
On the other hand, the Amazon Global Store service ensures that shoppers see your products at their exchange rate, including shipping and import charges. Speaking of which, FBS has offices in Europe and North America open to international clients.
eBay’s options for expanding overseas
You can trade on 23 sites in more than 100 countries with just one eBay account. It doesn’t take much extra work to start selling on eBay to people in other countries. We’ve already talked about eBay’s Global Shipping Program (GSP). This lets you send packages to other countries through a warehouse in your own country.
eBay takes care of everything, from customs to imports. The buyer can see an exact price on the product listing that includes all extras. Best of all, joining GSP is free. You only have to pay to send products to your local warehouse, just like you would with a customer in your home country.
eBay vs Amazon: The Conclusion
So, let’s look back. As we’ve seen today, Amazon helps sellers in the following ways:
- We are giving them access to a much larger audience.
- Helping with shipping and fulfillment in the best way possible.
- Adding more options for advertising.
eBay, on the other hand, is great because:
- It makes the market less intensely competitive.
- It makes selling internationally much easier.
Amazon appears to be in the driver’s seat here, given that the seller fees are comparable between the two platforms. However, consider the situation carefully, and decide what course of action would be most beneficial for your company. eBay is a platform you should consider using if you sell to a relatively small number of individuals in several countries.