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Selling items on eBay vs. Amazon

Over the years, eBay and Amazon have emerged as the two largest e-commerce platforms. So what are the primary differences between the two from a seller’s standpoint? Here are some thoughts comparing the benefits of both:

Scope of Business: eBay does not stock and sell items under their own company name, rather it is an e-commerce marketplace comprised of millions of individual and professional sellers. Sellers on eBay compete among other sellers.

Amazon is an e-commerce platform with products from many sellers.   But they are also a huge online retail business that sells their own products under their own name from their own warehouses.  It is not uncommon to be competing against Amazon-owned products while posting your own products on their site.

Selling Formats: eBay allows for two selling formats: fixed price (Buy-It-Now) listings and auctions.  Amazon is a fixed price only marketplace.

Fees: Marketplace fees for selling on the auction on eBay are generally lower than Amazon fees. But, this gap has narrowed over the years as eBay has increased it fees.

Return Policy: Amazon return policies are more generous to buyers than eBay return policies. An Amazon a buyer can return a product within 30 days of receipt for virtually any reason. eBay sellers can offer return periods as short as 14 days (or indicate no returns) and also specify conditions for returns.

Product Research: The eBay store provides sales history on its sold items; sellers can see what buyers have been willing to pay for items when they are determining pricing, as well as successful selling strategies.  Amazon does not provide sales history but rather provides sales rankings for items within product categories, allowing sellers to determine the popularity of items.

Types of Items: Both sites are great (at iSOLD It we use eBay, Amazon, and other platforms) and have huge buying communities for many items. However, certain types of items can do better on one site vs. the other:

For unique items, collectibles, heavily used items, items for which you are not sure of the value, and items that would appeal to an international audience, eBay has advantages over Amazon.

For new-in-box items — especially electronics, cameras, and computers — Amazon may often generate higher sales prices than eBay, although a seller may be sitting on the inventory for a while depending on its popularity.

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