Deciding where to sell your items online can be a daunting task. Two of the most popular options are Amazon and eBay. Both are online marketplaces that allow individuals and businesses to sell their products to a wide audience. So how do you decide which one is right for you?
I’ve been selling on Amazon for 6 years, eBay for almost 11 years and I’ve gained the experience to advise you which platform suits your products. Note, there’s no single platform that is best… it’s on a case by case basis.
Amazon is known for its vast selection of products and its reputation for quick and reliable shipping. If you’re selling a product that is already listed on Amazon, it may be easier to get started selling there. You’ll find that the sales volume is a lot higher on Amazon.
Additionally, Amazon offers a fulfillment service, which means they handle the storage, packing, and shipping of your products for you. This can be a huge time-saver for sellers who don’t want to deal with the logistics of shipping.
On the other hand, eBay is known for its auction-style listings and the ability to sell unique or hard-to-find items. If you have a one-of-a-kind item, eBay may be the better choice. Selling collectibles and in-demand items are definitely better suited for eBay.
Additionally, eBay has a lower fee structure than Amazon, which can be appealing for sellers who want to keep more of their profits. However, eBay does not offer a fulfillment service, so sellers will need to handle the shipping themselves.
Understanding Amazon and eBay
Amazon is a well-known online marketplace that started as an online bookstore in 1994. Today, Amazon has grown into a massive business that sells a wide range of products, including electronics, clothing, home goods, and more. Amazon’s market share in the retail market is significant, with a 38.7% share in the US alone.
One of the benefits of selling on Amazon is its massive customer base, which gives sellers access to a vast audience. Amazon also offers a range of tools and services to help sellers manage their ecommerce business, including fulfillment services, advertising, and analytics.
It caters perfectly to the inpatient. Offering next day delivery, sometimes even same day for a huge number of products.
To sell on Amazon, you will need to create an Amazon seller account, list your products, and manage your inventory. Amazon charges fees for selling on their platform, including referral fees and fulfillment fees. The fees vary depending on the category of the product and the fulfillment option chosen.
It’s not as easy as selling on eBay, but the item is likely to sell much quicker on Amazon.
eBay is another popular online marketplace that was founded in 1995. eBay allows individuals and businesses to buy and sell a wide range of products, including collectibles, electronics, and fashion. eBay has a smaller market share than Amazon in the US, with a 6.6% share of the ecommerce retail market.
One of the advantages of selling on eBay is the ability to reach a global audience. eBay has a presence in over 190 countries, making it a great platform for international sales. eBay also offers a range of tools and services to help sellers manage their ecommerce business, including shipping and fulfillment services.
To sell on eBay, you will need to create an eBay seller account, list your products, and manage your inventory. eBay charges fees for selling on their platform, including listing fees, final value fees, and payment processing fees. The fees vary depending on the category of the product and the selling price.
In summary, both Amazon and eBay are popular online marketplaces that offer a range of tools and services to help sellers manage their ecommerce business. Each platform has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to consider your specific needs and goals when deciding which platform to sell on.
Selling on Amazon
If you’re considering selling online, you’re probably wondering whether you should sell on Amazon or eBay. In this section, we’ll take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of selling on Amazon.
Advantages of Selling on Amazon
- Huge customer base: Amazon has millions of customers worldwide, which means that you have access to a large audience.
- Fulfillment services: With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you can have Amazon handle all aspects of order fulfillment, including storage, packing, and shipping. This can save you time and effort.
- Amazon Prime: If you use FBA, your products will be eligible for Amazon Prime, which can attract more customers.
- Buy Box: The Buy Box is the box on a product detail page where customers can begin the purchasing process by adding items to their shopping carts. If you win the Buy Box, you’ll likely see an increase in sales.
- Amazon Seller Tools: Amazon provides a variety of tools to help you manage your inventory, analyze your sales data, and track your performance.
Disadvantages of Selling on Amazon
- Amazon Fees: Amazon charges several fees, including referral fees, closing fees, and a monthly subscription fee for Professional sellers. These fees can eat into your profit margin.
- Competitiveness: Amazon is a highly competitive marketplace, which means that you’ll need to work hard to stand out from the crowd.
- Feedback Scores: Amazon uses feedback scores to determine your seller rating. If your rating is low, your products may not appear in search results.
- Product Catalog: Amazon has strict guidelines for product listings, and it can be difficult to get your products approved.
- Algorithm: Amazon’s search algorithm is complex and constantly changing, which means that it can be difficult to optimize your listings for search.
Overall, selling on Amazon can be a great way to reach a large audience and take advantage of Fulfillment by Amazon. However, you’ll need to be prepared to navigate the fees and competition, and work hard to optimize your listings for search.
Selling on eBay
If you’re considering selling your item on eBay, there are several benefits and drawbacks to keep in mind.
Benefits of Selling on eBay
One of the biggest benefits of selling on eBay is the sheer number of potential buyers. With over 185 million active buyers worldwide, eBay offers a huge audience for your item. Additionally, eBay allows you to sell a wide variety of items, including used items, secondhand goods, and collectibles.
Another advantage of selling on eBay is the seller tools and resources available to you. eBay’s Seller Hub provides a centralized location for managing your listings, tracking your sales, and accessing helpful resources. You can also use eBay’s listing tools to create professional-looking listings that stand out to buyers.
It’s also become very easy to list items in recent years. eBay have made their apps so much easier to use. I remember years ago, having to take pictures and then upload them from USB Stick!
Drawbacks of Selling on eBay
One potential drawback of selling on eBay is the fees. eBay charges insertion fees for each listing, as well as final value fees based on the sale price of your item. Additionally, eBay may charge seller fees for certain services, such as listing upgrades or international sales.
Another consideration is eBay’s auction model. While auctions can be exciting and lead to higher prices, they also come with some uncertainty. Your item may not sell at all, or it may sell for less than you had hoped.
Finally, eBay’s visibility can be a double-edged sword. While the large audience can be a benefit, it also means that your item may be competing with many similar listings. Additionally, eBay’s feedback scores can be a factor in whether or not buyers choose to purchase from you.
Remember, you aren’t the only reseller using eBay. This is why I always advise you to do the ‘little things’ to make your listing stand out, such as optimising your product description.
Overall, selling on eBay can be a great option for reaching a large audience and accessing helpful seller tools. However, it’s important to keep in mind the potential fees and drawbacks, and to carefully consider whether eBay is the right platform for your item.
Amazon Vs eBay: A Comparative Analysis
When it comes to selling your item online, two of the most popular platforms are Amazon and eBay. Both platforms have their own strengths and weaknesses, and choosing between the two can be a difficult decision. In this section, we will provide a comparative analysis of Amazon and eBay to help you make an informed decision.
Price and Fees
When it comes to pricing, Amazon and eBay have different fee structures. Amazon charges a referral fee, which varies depending on the product category, and a fulfillment fee if you use their fulfillment service. eBay charges a final value fee, which is a percentage of the total sale price, and a listing fee for certain categories. Overall, eBay tends to be cheaper for lower-priced items, while Amazon can be more cost-effective for higher-priced items.
Shoppers and Competition
Amazon has a larger customer base than eBay, with over 300 million active users worldwide. However, eBay has a more diverse customer base, with a higher percentage of international shoppers. Additionally, eBay tends to have more competition among sellers, which can drive prices down.
Advantages and Disadvantages
One advantage of selling on Amazon is its Prime program, which offers free two-day shipping to Prime members. This can attract more customers to your products and increase your sales. However, Amazon also has strict seller policies and can suspend your account if you violate them.
On the other hand, eBay allows you to set your own prices and offers more flexibility in terms of listing options. However, eBay also has a reputation for attracting more scammers and fraudulent buyers.
Growth and Traffic
Both Amazon and eBay have seen significant growth in recent years, with Amazon’s revenue reaching over $386 billion in 2020 and eBay’s revenue reaching $10.3 billion in the same year. In terms of traffic, Amazon receives more monthly visits than eBay, with over 2 billion visits compared to eBay’s 1.5 billion visits.
Reputation and Market Share
Amazon has a strong reputation as a reliable and trustworthy platform, with a market share of around 40% of all US online retail sales. eBay also has a good reputation, but its market share is smaller at around 6%. However, eBay has a higher percentage of repeat customers than Amazon.
Visibility and Demographics
Amazon and eBay both offer good visibility for your products, but Amazon tends to be more focused on product search while eBay offers more browsing options. In terms of demographics, Amazon tends to attract a slightly older audience with higher income levels, while eBay attracts a more diverse audience with a wider range of ages and income levels.
Overall, both Amazon and eBay have their own strengths and weaknesses, and the decision of which platform to use ultimately depends on your specific needs and goals as a seller.
Alternative Platforms to Consider
While Amazon and eBay are the most popular online marketplaces for selling items, there are other platforms you should consider. Here are a few options:
If you’re selling handmade or vintage items, Etsy is a great platform to consider. With over 81 million active buyers, Etsy has a large customer base that’s interested in unique and one-of-a-kind items. Plus, Etsy has a lower fee structure than Amazon and eBay, which can be beneficial for sellers.
It’s not useful if you’re selling
Walmart Marketplace is a newer platform that’s gaining popularity. With over 110 million unique visitors per month, Walmart Marketplace offers a large customer base for sellers. Plus, Walmart has a reputation for offering competitive prices, which can attract buyers to your products.
This tip is for the US audience only. In the UK, we can use Gumtree, or Vinted!
If you’re looking to sell locally, Craigslist is a good option. While it’s not an online marketplace, Craigslist allows you to list items for sale in your local area. This can be beneficial for selling large items like furniture, as buyers can come pick up the item in person. However, be cautious of scammers on Craigslist and always meet in a public place when selling items.
Your Own Online Store
If you’re looking for more control over your sales process, consider setting up your own online store. This allows you to have complete control over your branding, pricing, and customer experience. However, setting up and maintaining an online store can be time-consuming and may require more technical knowledge.
This is only for advanced sellers, who partake in things such as dropshipping. I have toyed with the idea of my own store, but not yet started this. Maybe one for the future, perhaps?
Overall, it’s important to consider all of your options when selling items online. Each platform has its own pros and cons, and what works for one seller may not work for another. Do your research and choose the platform that best fits your needs and goals.