The rapid growth of online shopping has resulted in a new marketplace for business: the e-commerce site. According to research, over $450 billion is expected to be spent during 2017 on such sites and this number will only grow exponentially year after year.
The huge ease of buying and selling online has attracted millions of entrepreneurs from around the world looking for an opportunity to carve out their piece of the pie. This guide aims to help you decide which marketplaces are best suited for your products and whether or not it is worth selling on Amazon or Ebay instead. You can also have a look at how to get free stuff on amazon
Today we’re going to compare Amazon vs Ebay based on 4 dimensions: fees, traffic, strategy, and customer demand. We’ll start with the fees, as it will affect your bottom line the most.
Amazon’s fee structure is much more transparent than Ebay’s. If you are a pro seller on Amazon, you have to pay $39.99 per month or $0.99 for every item sold in addition to variable closing fees based on category. Ebay has also increased their monthly subscription rates significantly over the past few years so now it costs around $40/month just to list one product and they charge an additional 10% of the final value price (the minimum cut they take was raised from 5% recently). This can make a big difference since many products today sell for over $50 – which means if you pay the minimum, you’re already losing over $5 per sale.
Ebay’s listings are also a lot more cluttered compared to Amazon’s thanks to their focus on selling other e-commerce products instead of just a few select types like Amazon does. Ebay requires a seller account to buy or sell any items at all, unlike Amazon where anyone can sell as long as they have their own business website and payment processing accounts. This means that for those who want to turn eBay into their main source of revenue, they will either need an existing business or way to accept credit card payments from customers – both of which require additional work and cost money that could’ve been saved if customers were buying directly on your site instead (which is something I’m working on personally).
Amazon’s traffic is a lot easier to tap into compared to Ebay. If you have a product that has high demand and sells quickly, your best choice for exposure will be Amazon since it receives way more pageviews than eBay. On the other hand, if your goal is brand awareness instead of direct sales then Ebay can get you there faster due to their superior global exposure . In addition, Amazon has been losing market share of ecommerce over the past few years which means selling on Ebay may actually increase your chances of being seen since they still have the majority of the market even though it is slowly shifting over to Alibaba & co.
Since both sites attract a very different demographic with different needs, it is important to know who you are targeting . Ebay’s visitors have more buying experience compared to Amazon’s so they are less likely to be looking for your exact product. Selling replacement parts on eBay will expose you to a lot of older customers looking for cheap alternatives over brand new expensive ones. It also attracts international buyers at a much higher rate compared to Amazon since most people already have an account with them which makes the user experience even better due to their excellent localized payment options (for example, I can sell in my country but pay with USD instead of having to worry about an additional currency conversion/processing fee).
A lot of factors play into this one including market saturation and supply availability. Ebay has way more historical data on customer demand so it is able to give you better recommendations on what’s hot in your niche compared to Amazon. This becomes very helpful when making decisions about which products to sell next in order to maximize your chances of being seen by the right people who are actually looking for them. On the other hand, Amazon has more search volume due to their A9 algorithm which means they have a higher chance of popping up in front page searches compared to Ebay .
It depends heavily on the product category but people have sold over $100k on eBay with small investments and made first million with only $5k by selling innovative widgets that were easy to market using their platform.
If you have a physical product that is in higher demand then Amazon would be the best choice since they have the bigger market share and more exposure. However, if your goal is brand awareness instead of direct sales such as with complex services or items like clothing which can’t be easily identified through pictures, Ebay will help get people to notice you faster thanks to their superior global exposure.