When it comes to ecommerce marketplace heavyweights, Amazon and eBay go head to head. However, unlike other rivalries such as Pepsi vs Coke, Apple vs Microsoft, or Nike vs Adidas, there is a clear winner in this contest between these two titans of the beverage industry.
Consider yourself to be an expert on the subject. If you follow your instincts, you’ll most likely be correct.
In order not to give too much away about the plot, let’s give the underdog a fighting chance by comparing Amazon and eBay in a head-to-head match up.
First, we’ll look at how well each platform performs in terms of the important distinguishing variables that have been identified. Following that, you’ll have a clear winner on your hands..
We’re looking at selling on various sites, keep that in mind. Buyer experience has an influence on sellers, but we are mainly interested in determining where ecommerce marketplace vendors should direct their efforts.
A Head-to-Head Comparison of Selling on Amazon versus eBay
Despite the fact that Amazon and eBay are two of the most popular ecommerce platforms, they are not identical. Take, for example, their historical background.
As a website that sold exclusively books, Amazon got its start. Amazon was always intended to be a platform for selling everything and anything, but its beginnings were a little more modest. Amazon’s business has grown to encompass cloud computing, digital streaming, manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and even video game development and publishing. However, although ecommerce is the company’s primary source of revenue, it is by no means its sole source of income.
While eBay was founded as an online open auction platform, it has evolved into much more than that. The ability to sell anything from valued things to Pez candy dispensers was made available for the first time online. Auctions are no longer a common occurrence on the site. It’s true that you may still do things, but the great majority of customers and sellers are opting for a “buy now” approach similar to that of retail stores.
Now, let’s have a look at the primary differences between the two systems.
Which platforms are used by whom, and how large is the addressable market for these platforms?
Is there any kind of membership that might be used to either entice or deter people from purchasing something?
Customers’ faith in these platforms and the vendors who utilize them is a major factor in their purchasing decisions.
Filling your order: Will you be responsible for storing, packaging, and shipping all of your purchases? Alternatively, does the platform provide an alternative?
Fees: What percentage of each sale’s proceeds do you keep? You may be charged a fee to use an extra service.
Product Quality: Which platform provides assurances that items are of excellent quality? Will you be able to sell products that are in poor condition if you have them?
When it comes to pricing, which platform allows you to make the most money from each transaction?
1. Who is the target audience for this project?
If you look at the overall market size, Amazon is the clear victor. On average, 2.5 billion visitors per month came to Amazon.com in June of 2021. eBay received just 885 million visitors over the same month.
885 million visitors is nothing to sneeze at—but it represents less than a third of the total traffic to Amazon.
Aside from that, Amazon is the most popular ecommerce app in the United States, with more than 213 million unique monthly visits in the country’s capital. Users on eBay in the United States account for around 66 million visits every month. It’s likely that Amazon will be the most cost-effective alternative if you’re targeting a US-based audience (or really, any audience).
With its auction-style selling option, eBay, on the other hand, caters to a certain market. Despite this, auctions account for just a tiny fraction of the overall activity on the site. eBay auctions has dropped to fewer than 15 percent of all eBay listings as recently as 2013. This was in 2013. Consider how little it seems to be right now!
Prime membership is one of the platform’s most distinctive benefits, and it’s available to all members. eBay does not offer a Prime membership, which costs roughly $13 per month. Amazon, on the other hand, does.
Initially, it may seem that eBay has gained a point, but this is not the case. Subscribers to Amazon Prime are incentivized to return and “get their money’s worth,” since the site rewards them for doing so.
Put it this way: After a gym charges a monthly price for membership, are you likely to switch to a different club with less amenities when you have already paid for your membership? In all likelihood, this is false.
This is true even if the service is free of charge. Why? As a result, you don’t want the money you’ve invested on your gym subscription to be thrown away.
Fast shipping and free returns are provided by Amazon Prime members. Their interest is maintained, and they return for more. Selling on Amazon is different from selling to one-time purchasers who chance to come across your product while surfing the web. It is likely that committed customers may visit the site many times a week to purchase your merchandise. And there are more than 200 million of these paying loyalists in the United States alone.
eBay does not provide a membership option, and it does not guarantee same-day delivery or free returns on any items purchased. A “No Return” policy is not required by certain merchants, and others even do not require it. The only thing they have to do is check the box when they’re setting up their listing.
Remember that a seller who refuses to accept returns is most likely not someone you want to do business with in the first place. Simply put, I’d want to point out that
3. Belief in one’s own abilities
It’s been over 30 years since Amazon and eBay first launched. In spite of this, none of them is a person who can be trusted.
Were you to be informed that you could purchase the identical thing from either eBay or Amazon for a lower price and get it in the same amount of time, which would you choose?
Isn’t that Amazon? Why?
It’s not only about the cost of goods and the time it takes to send them. Although they play a significant influence, they are not the only factors to consider.
Quality and authenticity are important to consumers. They want to know that if they are dissatisfied with an item, they can return it for a full refund with no difficulty.
Use a platform that your customers can rely on to do their jobs well for you. The A-Z Guarantee, offered by Amazon, covers customers against almost every kind of purchase they make on the site.
In contrast to Amazon, eBay does not provide an A-Z Guarantee or anything like. Making a refund may be a frustrating experience. The process of getting your money back might be a hassle if you’ve been fooled, deceived or conned.
Obviously, if you’re reading this essay on the internet, you’re familiar with the internet and its functions. But not everyone is comfortable with the idea of doing their shopping on the internet. It is estimated that digital purchasers account for little more than 25% of the global population.
Even while online buying is still a relatively new phenomena, not everyone is taking use of it at this time. It’s no secret that Amazon doesn’t have a great image when it comes to how they treat their employees, and the company has also been blamed for the closure of numerous small businesses in the community.
Despite the fact that the company is currently working to address this issue, you should be informed of it before making a decision.
The ability to put one’s trust in someone is essential. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
4. The act of completing a task.
Sellers on Amazon have two choices for fulfillment: Amazon Fulfillment and third-party fulfillment.
Full-service fulfillment (FBM) entails storing, packing, labeling, and shipping orders on your own time. You’ll also be in charge of customer support, refunds, and exchanges over the course of your employment.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service that allows you to ship items directly from Amazon to a customer’s doorstep. For a monthly charge, Amazon will take over the whole fulfillment process. Every little detail will be handled by them.
There is just one choice when it comes to selling on eBay: you can handle everything yourself. However, although you will not be required to pay Amazon FBA’s fees, you will still be responsible for the costs of warehousing, packing, and shipping on your own—which may be more costly than hiring a one-stop shop to handle everything.
The only real difference between Amazon and eBay is that you have the option to fulfill orders on your own. When scaling up, it’s helpful to have a variety of alternatives to consider.
Even if you don’t have a problem satisfying an order every now and again, what happens if your company starts to grow rapidly? Isn’t that what you’re looking for, anyway? Is it possible for you to fulfill hundreds of orders per week or month, on a consistent basis? It’s best to prepare yourself from the beginning with the proper platform if that’s your eventual aim in mind.
The fifth point is fees. Profit is vital, thus you want to work with a platform that will maximize your revenue. Examine the costs to determine which marketplace is the most inexpensive option for merchants.
Amazon customers will have to pay a $0.99 per-item-sold charge, as well as a monthly membership cost of $39.99, to get started. Selling less than 40 pieces each month is the most cost-effective option when selling online.
On top of that, you have to pay referral fees, variable closing costs, and the cost of fulfillment (whether you ship your own orders or use Amazon FBA). There is no need to ignore them, since they may account for as much as a quarter of your sales earnings.
If you’re looking at fees, eBay is the somewhat more affordable choice. To market your property, you must pay insertion fees. In addition, you must pay a final value charge, which is a percentage of your sales price, to the brokerage. This proportion might be as low as 2 percent for some corporate and industrial categories, or as high as 12 percent for books, DVDs, and music, depending on the product category and market.
A payment processing charge and an optional listing upgrade cost will be added to your total when those fees are paid.
Trust in a product is influenced directly by its quality. It is possible for merchants to offer both new and used things on Amazon; however, the items must at the very least be able to “operate correctly.”
The same cannot be said for auction sites like eBay.com. eBay is a great place to sell items as long as they are legal.
Actually, it was a damaged laser pointer that was the first item ever bought on eBay. After weighing his options, Mark Fraser opted to purchase and repair the damaged laser pointer for $14.83 rather than purchasing a brand-new laser pointer that would cost more than $100.00.
The best choice for you will be Amazon if you are selling brand new or barely used goods. User expectations are that things will arrive in excellent condition; if you fail to meet these expectations, Amazon may penalize you.
You should use eBay if you are trying to sell antiques or collectibles regardless of their shape or condition. Perfectionism is not expected by eBay customers. Although customers do not expect the actual goods to match the ad, they do demand extensive descriptions and a large number of photographs.
While Amazon may have a large and loyal following on the site, there is also a lot of competition for their attention and dollars. Worldwide, Amazon has more than 6 million sellers, and the number is increasing rapidly.
Even if you’re selling everyday things, you may be up against hundreds or thousands of other competitors. When this is the case, the price is usually always the deciding element in the purchase decision. Dropping your pricing is going to be necessary if you want sales to succeed.
For eBay sellers, the rules are the same, only there is substantially less competition. In contrast, those who shop on eBay are not often shopping for products that can be purchased at Wal-Mart or Amazon; rather, they are looking for rare or second-hand items that are difficult to come by anyplace else.
In most cases, the price of these things is not set. An auction has been set up in their place. However, although auctions may provide substantial profits, they can also result in substantial losses.
Amazon versus eBay is a struggle between two of the largest ecommerce marketplaces in the world. However, unlike other rivalries such as Pepsi vs Coke, Apple vs Microsoft, or Nike vs Adidas, there is a clear winner in this battle of the titans.
Do you have a good idea who it is? Follow your intuition, and you’ll most likely be correct.
But, rather than giving away the plot, let’s give the underdog a fighting chance by examining a head-to-head comparison between Amazon and eBay.
For starters, we’ll look at how each platform performs in terms of the important differentiator criteria. After that, you will have a clear winner on your hands.
Remember, we’re looking for ways to sell on these channels. Although the buyer experience has an influence on sellers, we are mainly interested in determining which ecommerce marketplaces merchants should devote their time and resources.
A Head-to-Head Comparison of Selling on Amazon vs. eBay
Despite the fact that Amazon and eBay are two of the most popular ecommerce platforms, they are not exactly the same. For begin, let us take a look at their past.
Amazon began as a website that sold just books, and only books. Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, always had the vision of turning it into a platform for selling anything and everything, but the company’s beginnings were a little more modest.
Amazon has extended its offerings to include cloud computing, digital streaming, manufacturing, artificial intelligence, and even gaming. While ecommerce is the company’s bread and butter, it is by no means its sole source of revenue.
eBay, on the other hand, began as an open auction marketplace on the internet. Sellers were able to sell anything from their favorite things to their Pez candy dispensers for the first time online. Auctions aren’t really a thing anymore on the site, which is understandable. Yes, you may still do things, but the great majority of consumers and sellers have shifted to a “buy now” approach similar to that of a retail store.
Let’s have a look at the main differences between the two platforms.
The following are the most important differentiators:
Who is the target audience for these platforms, and how large is the addressable market?
Are there any memberships that may be used to either entice or deter buyers?
Confidence: How much confidence do customers have in these platforms and the vendors that utilize them?
Will you be responsible for storing, packaging, and shipping everything on your own? Or does the platform provide an other option?
Fees: What percentage of each sale’s proceeds do you retain for yourself? Do you have to pay more for extra services?
Product Quality: Which platform ensures that high-quality items are produced? Will you be able to sell your products if they are in a shabby condition?
When it comes to pricing, which platform allows you to make the most money from every sale?
1. The target audience
When it comes to market share, Amazon is the winner. Amazon got 2.5 billion monthly visitors to their website as of June 2021. During the same month, eBay received 885 million visitors.
Now, 885 million visitors is nothing to sneeze at—but it’s still less than a third of the total traffic that Amazon receives.
Amazon is also the most popular ecommerce app in the United States, with more than 213 million unique monthly visits in the United States, according to the company. eBay has roughly 66 million unique visitors every month in the United States. In general, if you’re trying to reach people in the United States (or really, any audience), Amazon is going to be the best choice.
With its auction-style selling option, eBay, on the other hand, caters to a certain demographic. Despite this, auctions account for just a tiny part of the activity on eBay. Even as recently as 2013, auctions accounted for fewer than 15 percent of all eBay listings. Consider how little it seems to be right now.
2. Amazon Prime membership
—one it’s of the platform’s most distinctive benefits, and it’s free. Users pay roughly $13 per month to become members of Amazon Prime, however eBay does not provide such a service.
At first look, it could seem to be a positive development for eBay, but it is not. Amazon Prime subscribers pay a monthly fee to utilize the service, which encourages them to return and “get their money’s worth.”
Take a moment to consider this. If you pay a monthly subscription to be a member of a gym, are you ever likely to switch to a different club that offers less benefits? Most likely, no. Even if it’s free, I’m not interested. Why? Because you don’t want your gym membership money to go to waste.
Amazon Prime subscribers pay a subscription fee in exchange for expedited shipping and free returns. It encourages them to return for more. Selling on Amazon is different from selling to one-time purchasers who chance to come across your product while browsing the site. You sell to loyal customers who are likely to visit the site many times a week. And there are more than 200 million of these paying loyalists in the world today.
eBay does not provide a membership option, and it does not promise same-day delivery or free returns on any of its items. Some merchants will even post things with a “No Return” policy if they so want. It’s a simple check box that they may choose when generating their listing.
Please keep in mind that if a vendor does not allow returns, they are most likely not someone you want to purchase from. I’m only stating the obvious.
3. Have faith in yourself
Amazon and eBay have both been in business for over three decades. Trust, on the other hand, is something they do not share.
If we informed you that you could purchase a thing for the same price and get it in the same amount of time using either eBay or Amazon, which site would you choose?
Isn’t Amazon a great company? Why?
It’s not only about the cost of goods and the delivery time. Yes, they are significant, but they aren’t the only factors to consider.
Consumers are concerned about the authenticity and quality of products. They want to know that if they are dissatisfied with an item, they can return it and get a full refund with no difficulty.
Use a platform that your consumers can put their faith in. The A-Z Guarantee, offered by Amazon, covers customers against almost every kind of purchase they make on the website.
Unlike Amazon, eBay does not provide an A-Z Guarantee or anything close. Refunds may be a difficult process. If you’ve been fooled, tricked, or conned, getting your money back may be a hula hoop and a headache.
If you’re reading this article on the internet, it’s probable that you’re familiar with the way the internet works. Online purchasing, on the other hand, is not for everyone. Only a bit more than a quarter of the world’s population is a digital buyer.
Online buying is still a relatively new phenomena, and not everyone is taking use of it just yet. Amazon does not have the finest reputation when it comes to how they treat their employees, and they have also been the cause for the closure of many small businesses in the community. It’s something the company is currently working to address, but it’s something you should be aware of before making a decision.
The ability to put one’s trust in someone is crucial. It is not something to be taken for granted.
4. Completion of the task
If you sell on Amazon, you have two choices for fulfillment:
Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) is a service that allows you to store, pack, label, and ship all of your own orders. You’re also in charge of providing excellent customer service and processing returns and exchanges.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service that allows you to sell your products on Amazon. For a monthly charge, you may outsource your whole fulfillment process to Amazon. They’ll take care of all the grunt labor.
When it comes to selling on eBay, you just have one choice: do it yourself. However, although you will not be required to pay Amazon FBA’s fees, you will still be responsible for the costs of warehousing, packing, and shipping on your own, which may be more costly than hiring a one-stop shop to handle everything.
The only real difference between Amazon and eBay is whether you opt to fulfill orders on your own. However, having a variety of alternatives is beneficial, particularly as your business grows.
Even if you don’t have a problem completing an order every now and then, what happens if your company starts to take off? That’s exactly what you’re looking for, right? Is it possible for you to fulfill hundreds of orders per week or month, though? If that is your ultimate objective, you’d be wise to set yourself up for success from the beginning with the proper platform.
You want to choose a platform that will maximize your revenue, thus you want to avoid paying any fees. Examine the costs to determine which platform is the most inexpensive option for vendors.
For starters, Amazon customers will be required to pay a $0.99 per-item-sold cost or a fixed monthly membership price of $39.99 for the service. If you sell less than 40 units each month, it is preferable to use the per-unit cost.
Then there are referral fees, changeable closing costs, and the cost of fulfillment (whether you do your own shipping or use Amazon FBA). These may account for as much as a fifth or even a third of your total earnings from a transaction, so they are not to be overlooked.
When it comes to costs, eBay is the somewhat less expensive choice. You must pay insertion fees in order to make listings, as well as a final value charge, which is a percentage of the sales price. This proportion might be as low as 2 percent for some corporate and industrial sectors and as high as 12 percent for books, DVDs, and music.
Following those costs, there will be a payment processing charge as well as an optional listing upgrade fee to pay.
Consumer confidence is directly related to the quality of the product. The online retailer Amazon allows merchants to sell both new and old things, but the items must be able to “operate correctly” at the very least.
There are no such limits on eBay. As long as the item in question is legal, you may sell it on eBay. Actually, it was a damaged laser pointer that was the very first item ever acquired on eBay. Mark Fraser, the purchaser of the laser pointer, made the decision to purchase and repair the damaged laser pointer for $14.83 rather than purchase a brand-new laser pointer costing more than $100.
The best choice for you will be Amazon if you are selling new or barely used things. Users expect things to arrive in excellent condition; if they do not, Amazon may penalize you.
If you want to sell antiques or collectibles, regardless of their shape or condition, eBay is the best platform for you. Customers on eBay don’t hold out hope for perfection. Although customers do not expect the final goods to match the listing, they do demand thorough descriptions and many photographs.
The cost of goods and services
While Amazon has a large and loyal following on the site, there is also a lot of competition for their attention. Amazon has more than 6 million merchants in over 100 countries, and that figure is expanding rapidly.
If you’re selling conventional things, you may be up against hundreds or thousands of other merchants in a given marketplace. When this is the case, pricing is nearly always the deciding element in the purchase. If you want to increase sales, you’ll have to lower your pricing.
Sellers on eBay have the same challenges, although there is substantially less competition. Shoppers on eBay, on the other hand, aren’t often seeking for products that they could get at Wal-Mart or Amazon; rather, they’re looking for unique or second-hand items that they can’t find anywhere else.
These goods are not normally sold at a set price. As an alternative, they have been posted as an auction. While auctions may be a lucrative source of income, they can also be a source of loss.