Amazon vs. eBay: Is It Better to Sell on Amazon or eBay?

Amazon vs. eBay

Amazon vs. eBay: Is It Better to Sell on Amazon or eBay?

Amazon vs. eBay

Amazon vs. eBay. Is one selling platform better than the other for your business?

In one sense you can’t go wrong. Amazon and eBay are both one of the oldest and most established online marketplaces. 

In considering Amazon vs eBay and which is the better option for your business to sell on this post covers:

  • Key differences: Amazon vs eBay
  • Consumer trust and loyalty: Amazon vs eBay
  • Products you can sell: Amazon vs eBay
  • Selling costs: Amazon vs eBay
  • Fulfillment methods: Amazon vs eBay

Key Differences: Amazon vs eBay 

Perhaps the major difference between Amazon vs eBay is that eBay doesn’t carry its own products, so you are only competing against other sellers, not other sellers plus the global well-recognized brand of Amazon. 

Also, Amazon does not offer auction bidding. On eBay, you have the option of listing products either at a fixed price or through a bid process. 

Is one platform more competitive than the other? Well, that largely depends on the products you are selling and similar competitors on each platform. Even while you might find yourself competing with the Amazon brand, there may be fewer overall competitors on Amazon vs eBay.

Every business faces competition. The way to be competitive is not so much the ecommerce storefront you use as it is the quality of your products, your pricing, and how you market your brand,

That said, one competitive advantage for third-party sellers is Amazon Prime. Because so many loyal customers are paying for the advantages of speedy delivery and other benefits, Amazon is the first, and perhaps only, the choice for Prime subscribers. This means third-party sellers get exposure to a significant audience that regularly shops at Amazon. 

Key Differences Amazon vs eBay

Consumer Trust: Amazon vs eBay

While Amazon and eBay both are established and trusted brands, Amazon does go the extra mile when it comes to customer service, especially its free returns policy for just about any reason. In contrast, eBay sellers can opt for No Returns. That doesn’t exactly instill a sense of trust in the quality of the products. And even if as an eBay seller you do offer free returns, you lose potential business if consumers are generally more likely to gravitate towards Amazon where the norm is free returns.

Products You Can Sell: Amazon vs eBay

Amazon has more restricted product categories (aimed primarily to prevent counterfeits as well as avoid sub-standard products during seasonal surges such as Christmas) that require permission to sell. While eBay doesn’t have restricted categories, there are some restricted products.

In either case, you need to check if the products you sell fall into a restricted category (Amazon) or restricted product (eBay). 

Another difference is that while you can sell used items on both platforms, eBay built its reputation as a sort of online flea market. Also, its auction model is particularly suited to second-hand goods. Consequently, sellers of second-hand merchandise might prefer eBay, both for the auction model and brand perception. The one exception is used books; considering Amazon’s origin as an online bookseller, it is not surprising that consumers still gravitate towards Amazon for that category. 

Amazon has the advantage of selling new products, however. Most consumers prefer Amazon to search for new products over any other search engine or online marketplace.

Selling Costs Amazon vs eBay

Selling Costs: Amazon vs eBay

Amazon Fees

Amazon selling costs vary on the seller category (individual or professional) product and its fulfillment method, i.e. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM). 

Individual sellers pay Amazon $0.99 per unit sold; professional sellers with higher volumes pay $39.99 a month. Amazon charges both types of sellers for returns, either $5.00 or 20% of the refunded charge, whichever is less.

We’ll talk more about fulfillment in the next Amazon vs eBay section, but for now, let’s look at how the fees are different for each option.

FBA and FBM sellers are assessed several charges grouped as “Selling on Amazon” fees. FBA sellers are also charged Fulfillment by Amazon fees calculated based on product weight and dimensions. While FBM sellers aren’t paying these fulfillment fees to Amazon, they are paying something similar to whatever logistics provider that handles their fulfillment; sellers that own warehouse and fulfillment operations still have overhead costs to maintain these facilities. Which fulfillment option is better depends on the individual seller’s situation.

eBay Fees

Overall, eBay fees are less than Amazon. These fees include:

  • Insertion fees for each product listing (though you do get 250 free listings per month)
  • Final value fees, which include a payment processing fee plus a percentage of the final sale price, including shipping and handling, but excluding sales tax; the percentage varies by product category
  • Optional listing upgrade fees, such as adding subtitles or setting a minimum/reserve price

Fulfillment Methods: Amazon vs eBay

As previously mentioned, you have the choice on Amazon of selling either through FBM, meaning you perform order fulfillment, or FBA, meaning Amazon stores, picks, packs, and ships for you, as well as handling returns and refunds. This sets Amazon apart from eBay, where sellers are responsible for their own fulfillment.

The advantage of FBA is that it takes away the time and expense of managing fulfillment yourself. Yes, you have to pay for that, but given the popularity of FBA among sellers, the convenience is more than worth it. Compared to the cost of fulfilling orders on your own, Amazon may in many cases be the less expensive choice. However, individual seller situations dictate which is the best choice. But Amazon does offer the ability to choose, which you can’t on eBay.

Fulfillment Methods Amazon vs eBay

Amazon FBA Reimbursement

Also unique to Amazon vs eBay is that Amazon does reimburse FBA sellers for mistakes made in mishandling inventory, refunds, and returns. The only problem is that FBA reimbursements aren’t automatic. In most cases, it is up to the seller to identify possible errors and submit claims within 18 months. 

If you have a lot of SKUs, you can imagine how time-consuming this can be to track and submit claims. But to not do so is potentially leaving considerable money on the table that is rightfully yours and that could potentially affect overall profitability.

Fortunately, there is a better and easier way.

GETIDA performs a full Amazon audit of the past 18 months to identify eligible Amazon FBA reimbursements. With your approval, a GETIDA team of former Amazon FBA reimbursement employees presents and follows up on your claims to the appropriate Amazon departments.

It’s also free to sign up for GETIDA. Even better, you can get $400 in free FBA Reimbursements to try them out.