I have this friend who has been selling on Amazon since 2006. Earlier, he used to be a merchant fulfilled seller, and in 2011 he moved to the FBA service. Since then he has grown his sales to almost 700% proving it to be a profitable decision for his business.
Well, that’s the case story of a successful seller on Amazon, but we have been receiving so many queries from our customers who come to us asking about our PrestaShop Amazon integration and PrestaShop eBay integration solutions. The most common question is “Selling on which one is better- Amazon or eBay?
Today I am going to make a simple comparison between selling on these two very popular marketplaces. Hopefully, this comparison will help you to decide that which one would a better choice to sell on.
Spoiler: You will make more money on Amazon than on eBay, but still you should sell on both of the platforms. Why? You will find it after reading this article.
Amazon/eBay? A quick comparison to decide the same
1. The Fees :
Commission on Amazon and fees for Amazon FBA service together would cost you way higher than on eBay. However, in actual world, the overall sales income on Amazon are way to better than on eBay, consequently providing a great make up for the higher fees that you pay on Amazon. It doesn’t mean that eBay does not provide any sales profit at all, you will receive much better sales on eBay than on your own eCommerce store.
Implication: Both the platforms differ a lot in the level of fees they charge from the sellers. eBay asks for an economical investment than Amazon, but product prices are expected to be lower here. While Amazon with even a costlier investment gives better sales and products are sold for higher prices here. So it’s a tie here.
eBay : Less fee; better sales than your own store; good profit margin per sale
Amazon : High fee; better overall sales than eBay; good profit margin on overall sales
2. Sales Format :
There is no better place to sell used, vintage, and collectibles than eBay Auctions. eBay is best if you are planning to sell unique items and get good prices for them. eBay provides live auction of products and is very popular. Customers find no other site better than eBay for such auctions.
Amazon is a winner if you take the fixed price sale into account. New products sell better on Amazon than on eBay. PS: eBay has moved up strongly in the fixed price section too. It is encouraging fixed price listings more than auctions now.
Implication: eBay is better place to sell used, vintage, and auction specific products. While Amazon is the ruler of fixed price section and new products on sale. A buyer on Amazon usually pays more on Amazon than on eBay for the same product.
3. Which one is more stable?
Sellers on a marketplace site strongly depend on the stability of platform to operate without any difficulty. If there is a change, it takes some time to adjust accordingly, and that time comes at the cost of lost sales in the meantime. Sellers with own eCommerce site depend on various integration solutions to list, sell, and deliver the products. When a marketplace changes its rules, the existing integration systems must adjust themselves to the new rules too.
Amazon is more stable in this regard as only a few significant changes have been done over the years. When changes are made they tend to stick there for a while on Amazon.
eBay, on the other hand, makes modifications almost every year. These modifications include the major aspects like feedback system, fees, website search, digital products, and much more. One of the major changes that we are hearing about recently is the decision to ban active contents on eBay.
Implication: Amazon is more stable than eBay in terms of changes made on these sites for sellers. In case if you are using an eBay integration solution from a reputed developer, you can get it updated every time a rule is changed. Otherwise, you might find a hard time adjusting yourself.
4. The Feedback and seller ranking :
Both eBay and Amazon have an excellent feedback system that allows buyer and sellers to provide a feedback of their experience on a sale or transaction. On both of the sites, customers can leave both positive or negative comments for sellers while only positive comments are allowed for buyers to the customers.
The feedback system plays a great role in deciding the seller ranking on both the platforms. Buyers can see the seller’s feedback score which helps them in decision making.
A seller receiving more negative feedback on eBay is pushed down in the search results. While the Amazon counterpart does not keep the sellers in disadvantage on the basis of the negative feedback. It lets users decide if they want to purchase from this seller or not. However, your account may get suspended if your feedback score becomes very poor.
Implication: As a seller, Amazon provides you better visibility by ignoring feedback score while seller ranking. While eBay may hurt your visibility if you are not receiving positive feedback.
5. Off-marketplace lead generation :
Amazon is very strict about barring the seller from reaching out to the buyers and marketing to them. You cannot use Amazon as a branding tool or provide any link to the custom store pages.
eBay used to allow this long ago but no longer does now. Even eBay has chosen the same path as by Amazon and both the platforms are no different in this regard. However, you can use private labeling on Amazon to create a product with your private label on it.
Implication: Marketplaces care all about products and popularity of product on the site. It’s not about the seller’s popularity at all. Both the platforms are no different from each other, except the private labeling on Amazon makes it win the race here.
6. Average sales income :
Buyers on Amazon are more affluent and willing to pay more for similar items. On Amazon, because of it’s fixed price nature, you will find less bargaining mentality here. Other the other hand eBay buyers are more inclined on finding bargains and they can also wait till the product goes on the auction to save some bucks.
You can use Amazon to make good profits with higher price listing. While eBay will help you to sell those same products at low prices. More are the chances that an Amazon buyer will never look on the eBay listing for the same product.
Implication: Average sales income is higher on Amazon as compared to eBay. Because of the fixed price listing and loyal Amazon customers, you have high chances to make more profits for the same product as compared to eBay.
It’s undoubtedly clear that both the platforms are best for different category of items. A large number of products that sell on Amazon is also sold on eBay and vice versa. The thing to consider is that shoppers on these two platforms come with different mentality and some of them are very loyal to a particular platform. While Amazon may be too complicated with its diversity of rules and regulations, eBay is no more different from Amazon. Like it or not, the two platforms have built their own trust circles and they are flourishing efficiently with them. You can prefer one over the other, but in a long run, you will find both the platforms equally important for selling.