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Amazon vs eBay: Quick Comparison Guide

Amazon FBA vs Ebay

There was a time when users had to choose between eBay and Amazon to get something online. Today, things have changed for customers since Amazon has been crowned as the go-to option. It has built one of the most robust eCommerce networks, attracting many Amazon sellers by a big difference. At the same time, eBay’s annual sales revenue has not been exceptional, either.

Despite all these, you will be wrong to think that the eBay vs Amazon question is out of the equation. On the contrary, for most sellers and many customers, it still is. For one, Amazon may have a monopoly over fresh products from each category and trusted sellers. But it has not yet replaced eBay in terms of used products, independent buyers, and other aspects.

We wanted to create an eBay vs Amazon guide and address all these pointers with better clarity. This guide will answer some of the commonly asked questions about eBay and Amazon. It will also help you to pick the best choice for your buying or selling needs with ease. There will also be a head-on-head comparison while considering pointers like pricing, shipping, dropshipping, etc.

eBay vs Amazon: History

eBay History

If you did not know, eBay is an international eCommerce platform based in San Jose, California, the United States. Since its inception in 1995, the platform has grown dramatically. As of 2019, the online website has a presence in more than 32 countries. The company started the website as an online auction system, where customers could bid for items and get them delivered.

The history of Ebay.com

However, in recent years, eBay has introduced a more conventional online shopping system. Therefore, customers can go ahead and buy desired products almost instantly. However, the platform has had a diverse set of sellers who have dealt with new/used items for years. Recently, though, eBay has seen the rise of used-products sellers than new-products counterparts.

Despite the slight deterioration in popularity and the change of methods, we cannot challenge eBay’s impact on making eCommerce the way it is today. It has helped thousands of sellers to set their first foot in the eCommerce world. However, today, you need to know a few things before you start selling on eBay. Do not worry; we will answer your queries in a bit.

Amazon History

Amazon is an international conglomerate that is based in Seattle, Washington, United States. It currently has an undeniable presence in e-commerce, digital streaming, cloud computing, etc. However, Amazon had its inception as an online store that sold books. Over time, it expanded the horizon of products, and it now sells almost everything you can find in the world.

The histrory of Amazon.com

Amazon.com has almost become the synonym for online shopping in the United States. At the same time, the company has expanded the program and the network to other countries in almost every continent. We must also add that Amazon has many subsidiaries like Audible, Twitch, IMDb, Whole Foods Market, Graphiq, etc.

Amazon has welcomed all types of sellers from the beginning. However, people rely on the website to get fresh products delivered to them in the shortest duration possible. Amazon has promised the same too, and it often delivers the products on the next day or in two days. The company has been offering different seller programs as well. We will cover them too in a bit.

Amazon Vs eBay: Who Is More Popular Nowadays?

You should understand that popularity is a complex subject. For example, the same eCommerce platform may have many levels of popularity within different user bases.

For instance, we can take the case of regular users who want to buy individual items online. For them, Amazon has become the default go-to option without a doubt. Moreover, as we said earlier, Amazon has been strengthening its fulfillment network and seller database, covering various products from versatile categories and subcategories.

Therefore, Amazon can deliver almost every product within a few hours or days. However, we are talking about products that ordinary people need regularly. The categories include electronics, home appliances, stationery, automotive, computers, sports, fitness, outdoor, and home improvement.

Things are different when we consider the case of less popular products, though. Suppose you are looking for spare parts for your computer or other electronic equipment. For instance, you may want to get a particular component that the manufacturer does not sell. In these instances, eBay still holds its reputation. You will be able to find used/surplus products at reasonable rates on eBay.

More importantly, eBay is still the central space for used products. The best part is that customers can enjoy better discounts from these individual sellers. As a result, even though the risk varies, many people rely on eBay on a day-to-day basis.

However, if we try to standardize things, we have to say that Amazon is more popular than eBay. When most people think about shopping online, Amazon is the name that enters their minds. For sellers, understanding this customer psychology is essential while deciding where they want to sell their products. We believe this part answers your question.

Why Is eBay Better for Used Goods?

As we said earlier, eBay is the more popular choice when it comes to used products. There are a couple of reasons people find more and versatile used goods on eBay compared to Amazon. Some of them are:

  1. For years, eBay.com has established itself as the central space for used products. Therefore, eBay will be the first choice when a user wants to buy or sell used products. This idea works both ways, thus making eBay a place where potential buyers can meet people who sell an essential item. It creates a cycle that keeps eBay popular among like-minded people.
  2. Compared to Amazon.com, eBay does not have strict guidelines over how to ship and deliver products. It does charge a fee from the seller, but that is it. Once you have placed an order, it is up to the seller to make sure that your product is delivered to your doorstep. The lack of instructions means anyone can get started with an eBay seller account. It is also why there are more eBay sellers than Amazon.
  3. The business model on eBay is more suitable for used products in a way. The company has added conventional shopping methods, but the bidding system is still active. It must also be noted that eBay does not want customers to master any complicated fees. Instead, eBay sellers can pay a standard fee that covers almost every aspect.
  4.  Another important thing about eBay is its support for customizable designs. You cannot follow the standard listing procedure while dealing with used goods. On eBay, you can change the procedure to suit the product you are selling. It is a significant reason for sellers to stick to eBay instead of religiously following Amazon’s rules.
  5. Despite being a site that focuses on non-standard listings, eBay offers seller protection services. The chances of getting paid are also ensured since the seller does not have to undergo any complicated payment clearance procedure. You cannot expect this level of simplicity on Amazon, in case you are wondering. eBay sellers can get paid through PayPal as well.
  6. The final value fee you pay eBay is also meager compared to the seller fees on Amazon. So, if you are worried about exorbitant seller fees while selling used goods, eBay will be the best option for sure. eBay charges are also transparent in that you can find fixed-price structures and monthly fee structures on the website. On the other hand, Amazon may ask for different types of fees like referral fee, insertion fee, selling fee, etc.

We believe these reasons explain why eBay is popular among used goods sellers and buyers.

Amazon vs eBay: Who Gets More Sales Annually?

You can easily guess the answer to this question.

Amazon vs eBay Sales

According to analytics, Amazon has overtaken eBay in terms of annual sales. But, of course, the situation was not like this all the time. Instead, the overtaking process took place in the past decade. As of June 2020, the TTM (Trailing 12 months) revenue of Amazon has been recorded at $321.78 billion. On the other hand, the TTM of eBay is only a fraction of the amount mentioned above: $10.71 billion.

If you look at things deeply, the significant difference in the annual revenue should not surprise you. Amazon is probably the world’s most popular marketplace and is home to products from a wide variety of categories and subcategories.

In addition to getting paid by the sellers, Amazon sells dedicated products as well. For instance, Amazon Basics products and Amazon Echo products are trendy and have become household names in the United States. As a result, Amazon also generates a cycle of profit from these devices.

On the other hand, eBay deals with a minimal set of products from non-professional sellers. Even though there are a few professional sellers, they are not as big as the ones on Amazon. Therefore, even in a situation of maximum sales, the revenue potential for eBay is meager.

Furthermore, because eBay does not fulfill orders or keep track of the inventory, the company receives a commission from the sellers, the primary revenue source. It is difficult to even compete with Amazon with such a minimal revenue source.

Fundamental Analysis of Amazon and eBay also shows that Amazon has more room for improvement. It is not to say that eBay is stuck where it is, though.

Amazon Vs eBay Main Differences

We will now look at eBay and Amazon from a seller’s perspective. In that case, you have to know a thing or two about pointers like pricing, shipping, wholesale, dropshipping, and the situation with used goods and new products. We believe the differences will help you decide which platform you should pick to sell the product you have.

Pricing

  • eBay

The seller has complete control over the price you can put for a product on eBay. The reason is simple. You are selling a used product, and it is ultimately your discretion.

However, if you are following the auctioning system on eBay, you can receive better prices for the products in the long run. We must also notice that the seller competition on eBay is lower than that of Amazon.

Therefore, even if you put a comparatively high price for a product in demand, you can attract sales. You do not have to be strict about the prices you put. eBay allows the seller to change the price and offer discounts to buyers.

Therefore, if you look at the product prices on eBay as a buyer, you will be happier. Also, you can get additional discounts when you buy products in bulk.

  • Amazon

Compared to eBay, the prices on Amazon are slightly higher. There are a couple of reasons why it happens. First, the competition on Amazon is very high. Therefore, as a seller, you will have to choose a lower price tag to move forward.

Without such moves, a seller may get stuck. So, you could say that Amazon does not offer as much freedom as you want when it comes to price control.

It is not entirely accurate to compare the prices between eBay and Amazon since the latter is selling new products. However, if we look at the used products portfolio on Amazon, we can see that the prices align with a common understanding.

Nevertheless, because sellers have to pay a higher processing and selling fee, the prices on Amazon will tend to stay higher.

Shipping

  • eBay

As an eBay seller, you are entirely responsible for shipping. eBay does not involve in the entire process of shipping or fulfillment. On the other hand, it will take care of payments and offer order protection. It does mean that you will receive the money for the product once you have delivered it.

As an eBay seller, you will have to set up a third-party system for shipping. On the bright side, you would not have trouble using drop-shipping services here.

  • Amazon

You have an option to get the shipping part handled by Amazon. We are talking about Amazon FBA, where the products are packaged, shipped, and delivered by the Amazon network. As the seller, you have to make sure that the stock is delivered to the Amazon warehouse.

There are also options for drop-shipping, third-party shipping, and Seller-Fulfilled Prime. However, FBA is the easiest way to manage shipping and ensure safe and punctual deliveries.

Wholesale

When it comes to wholesale sales, eBay is better than Amazon. As we said earlier, eBay allows the seller to create custom listings for used products and bulk product listings. Therefore, when someone wants to get something wholesale and enjoy the extra savings, they turn to eBay.

If you can fulfill these demands, you can benefit the maximum from the eBay eCommerce marketplace.

On the other hand, Amazon is designed for the single-unit purchase of products. You may be able to find one or two sellers who deal wholesale, but they are not the majority on the platform. Therefore, if you want to sell wholesale or get wholesale prices while buying something, you should go to eBay.

We must also add that Amazon’s selling fees are not suitable for a wholesale market. However, eBay fees are acceptable. It is also why Amazon sellers stick to selling products in a single unit while an eBay Store is more suitable for bulk dealings.

Dropshipping

Dropshipping is more suitable when you are an eBay seller than an Amazon seller. There are several reasons why. Mostly, it has to deal with how you set up the listing on both platforms. In the Amazon FBA system, you have to ensure that your inventory is with Amazon before selling.

We are talking about a heavy initial investment along with a religious following of Amazon’s restrictions. Therefore, it may not be the best option for all sellers. However, things are different when it comes to eBay.

On eBay, you have to process an order only when a user has placed it. Therefore, dropshipping is a suitable option here. You can forward the order details to the dropshipping agency once you have received an order from the customer. As long as you ensure the smooth delivery of the product, you can have a healthy cycle.

You may also find options to integrate the dropshipping service to eBay or vice versa. So, with the help of a bit of automation, you can have a good experience.

Used Goods Vs New Products

The most significant difference between Amazon and eBay is the different focus levels both platforms have regarding the type of products.

As we have mentioned multiple times, eBay is the go-to option when it comes to used goods. Even though you can find new products on the platform, their number is meager. Because you are dealing with a sales platform that deals with used products, you can notice differences in the price.

On the other hand, Amazon has been made for new products. Once again, you can find used products on the platform, but the numbers are on poles. Similarly, there are differences in the pricing and delivery system for used products.

So, long story short, Amazon is for new products while eBay is for used goods.

           We hope these pointers have given you a proper understanding of selling products on eBay and Amazon. We will now consider some technical aspects, including the fee structures.

eBay’s Seller Fees Breakdown: Final Value Fee and More

Let’s now look at the seller fees charged by eBay.

As we said earlier, eBay’s seller fees are pretty transparent. You can find official pages with calculators for the seller fees. You will have to pay the following prices for an order. However, not all these fees are applied to all orders.

·     Insertion fees

·     Final value fees

·     Additional final value fees

·     Dispute fee

·     International fee

·     Seller currency conversion charge

As you can see, you do not have to worry about a dispute fee unless there is a customer dispute. Similarly, if you are selling the product domestically, the international fee is not applicable. However, the insertion fee and the final value fees are applicable for most orders.

You should also remember that the fee structure would vary based on the listing type: fixed-price listings or auction-based listing. For instance, if you use the fixed price listing, you will have to pay the insertion fees, final value fee, and bold fees. In this case, also subject to the product category, you can retain up to 90% of the sales price. Third-party sellers could not even imagine this on Amazon.

You can visit this page to understand the fee calculation better.

Amazon’s Seller Fees Breakdown

The fee structure on Amazon is comparatively very complex. It is one reason why beginners go for eBay for their online selling needs. First of all, the fees you pay Amazon will depend on the fulfillment option you have chosen. For the time being, we can consider the numbers applicable for the FBA program.

To be eligible for the FBA program, you should have an Amazon Professional membership, which will cost a monthly subscription of $39.99. However, even after paying this monthly fee, you have to deal with additional selling fees. On the bright side, you can sell more than 40 units a month and enable advertising. You will also have access to analytics tools and APIs.

There is also an Individual plan, which does not have a monthly subscription charge. However, you will have to pay $0.99 for every item sold through the platform. Of course, you have to choose between these options based on the control you need and the budget.

The problem with Amazon is that you will have to pay extra fees at some point or another. It happens since Amazon takes care of product packaging, shipping, and fulfillment under the FBA program.

Therefore, these fees are unpredictable for the most part. Consequently, you should always have extra funds when you are about to sell a product via Amazon.

Amazon vs eBay – Frequently Asked Questions

Here, we have answered some of the common questions about selling on Amazon and eBay.

What can I sell on eBay and Amazon?

You can use common logic to understand what you can sell on eBay and Amazon. For instance, you cannot sell anything illegal in the place of sale. In addition to this, Amazon might have a fair use policy also. According to this policy, you may not be able to sell some things.

eBay also has such rules and regulations, but they are more liberal. It is one reason why you can find a variety of material on eBay when compared to Amazon. Apart from this, though, you can use eBay and Amazon for used and new products, respectively.

You must remember that eBay customers are looking for so many options while online shoppers have their own preferences. Both Amazon and eBay are trying to increase the versatility of their products. However, Amazon fees and eBay fees are on different poles, especially because eBay may use the auction and fixed price models.

Can you make more money selling on eBay or Amazon?

The money you can make from every online platform depends on what you are selling. You also have to consider the fees you will have to pay the online shopping platform. You have to worry about monthly subscription fees and payment processing fees while dealing with these platforms. The selection will have an impact on your eCommerce business for sure.

For instance, Amazon will charge a high fee for shipping and management if you are part of the FBA program. On eBay, it does not happen. So, it is likely that you can make more money on eBay. However, in that case, you will have to take care of shipping and customer care on your own. When used properly, however, both eBay and Amazon are capable of being profitable. You just should know about the sales model, subscription fees, the popularity of your own brand, shipping costs, closing fee, sales tax, etc.

Is it easier to sell on eBay or Amazon?

Yes, it is easier to sell on eBay than on Amazon. Compared to Amazon, eBay does not have complicated rules and regulations. Anyone can start their eBay account after providing the essential details. It creates a situation when the sales process becomes easy to manage. Despite the easiness, you will have to think about whether your item sells on the platform. International sales and new sellers are also things you should keep in mind to keep your site growing.

Do buyers trust eBay sellers or Amazon sellers more?

According to statistics, buyers trust Amazon sellers more. It is because Amazon has built a reputation for choosing only the best seller for each product. However, eBay is trying to say this perception by introducing methods to protect buyers from fraud and other issues.

However, both platforms have third-party sellers. In this case, third-party sellers are not really the most trusted cases on Amazon and eBay.

Amazon Vs eBay: Conclusion

We believe we have cleared all your doubts in the Amazon vs eBay matter at this point. We do not want to say that one platform is better than another, though. Instead, you should have an open mind and choose a platform that suits your product, budget, and other requirements. For instance, we do not suggest using the Amazon marketplace to sell your used products as much as we would not recommend selling new products on eBay. While you can choose not to follow this advice, the impact will be present in how much and how often you can sell products. By the way, if we have missed some tips about selling on Amazon or eBay, feel free to let us know through your comments.


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Tim Carlson

Tim Carlson

I'm Tim or as others call me a bit of an Internet geek, serial entrepreneur, and have gone deep down the rabbit hole of all things Amazon FBA. I have joined the Infinite FBA team to help other Amazon sellers achieve their own goals.