Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Which is Best?
When you are choosing an online marketplace to establish and grow your business, the names of Amazon and eBay often make their presence known from the get-go.
Where eBay holds the distinction of being a popular online marketplace from the early days of the internet, Amazon leaves its competitor in the dust as the primary choice for modern sellers and buyers alike.
But even when you are clear on these distinctions, determining the finer points can be a tricky task. With that being said, making a detailed comparison of selling on Amazon vs eBay can help you make an informed decision.
To help you through this learning curve, here is a lowdown on choosing between Amazon and eBay as a seller.
Market Size: Amazon vs eBay
According to stats from 2021, Amazon maintains the largest U.S. market share in online marketplaces with a whopping 2 billion monthly visits. On the other hand, eBay trails behind with approximately 689 million monthly visits. This makes both of these platforms the top two online marketplaces in the U.S.
This means that despite the general idea regarding eBay’s popularity being a thing of the past, the platform still maintains a formidable market presence. However, it still remains second-best to Amazon in terms of overall market share. Amazon also has the distinction of holding 40 percent of the total U.S. market share in online marketplace platforms.
This means that if you start selling on Amazon without a product or with sufficient stock, you will have the chance to reach your target audience through a top-performing platform. With eBay, you may fare well with older audiences in the 35-64 year age group, who make up for over 60 percent of eBay’s audience. By keeping these statistics in mind, you can determine if it would be better to sell on eBay or Amazon.
Shipping & Fulfillment: Amazon vs eBay
When it comes to shipping and fulfillment, the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program easily takes the cake. Under this offering, you are able to use Amazon’s excellent logistics infrastructure to store your items and fulfill your orders. While Amazon takes a certain fee depending upon the inventory size and duration of storage, it allows you to reap rewards such as offering same-day shipping through FBA, delivering shipping discounts on your items, and enjoying unlimited storage space for your inventory.
But that’s not all: You can also use FBA across other sales channels. For instance, if you are selling your products through your own website or even through eBay, you can still use Amazon’s logistics network to deliver your items in a fast and hassle-free manner.
On the other hand, eBay had planned to offer its own Managed Delivery service with a public announcement that went live in July 2019. The fulfillment solution was supposed to have almost the same characteristics as FBA, where the fulfillment was to be handled by eBay’s fulfillment partners across the U.S. instead of eBay itself. However, the idea did not come to fruition. This means that as of early 2022, eBay does not offer an easy fulfillment program through its official channels. When you sign up as a seller, you need to handle shipments all by yourself.
In turn, if your decision to sell through eBay or Amazon heavily depends upon sharing responsibilities and storage space, you may do well with Amazon FBA instead of signing up on eBay. Since FBA turns the task of building an Amazon storefront into a walk in the park, it remains heavily favored by a variety of sellers.
Seller Fees & Subscriptions: Amazon vs eBay
The seller fees and subscriptions across Amazon and eBay seem complicated at first glance. But they are one of the easier comparisons to make once you know where to look for these details.
Amazon Seller Fees
Amazon offers multiple plans for its sellers. As of early 2022, the Individual Plan charges you $0.99 per item sold, while the Professional Plan costs you $39.99 per month regardless of the number of items sold.
You also need to pay referral fees that range between 8 percent to 15 percent for each sale. This comes from the total cost of your sale that also includes shipping charges and special gift wrapping charges (if applicable).
If you go the FBA route, you also need to pay for your subscription to the program. This consolidates your shipping and storage costs. In case you choose additional solutions such as premium account services, you end up paying for those features as well.
eBay Seller Fees
For general sellers, the eBay seller fees are distributed into two different categories:
- An insertion fee for when you post your listing.
- A final value fee for when you sell your item.
The insertion fee starts at $0.35 per listing. Whereas, the final value fee can range from 5 percent to 15 percent of your total order value. This range depends upon the type of item that you are selling and the final price for which you close the transaction.
For high-value items in most categories, you pay a lower percentage of the final value fee on the amount above a predefined threshold. For instance, if you sell automotive tools priced over $7,500, you may pay 12.55 percent of your total sales amount on the value up to $7,500, and only 2.35 percent of your total sales amount on the portion that is above $7,500. This makes it easier for you to sell high-value items without paying sky-high fees for them.
For eBay Store sellers, you can skip past the insertion fee for a set number of initial listings. This number depends upon the type of subscription that you choose, which starts from the Starter subscription at $7.95 per month and goes all the way up to the Anchor subscription at $349.95 per month. If you choose to pay this amount annually, you can enjoy a discount on top and also enjoy the Enterprise subscription plan at $2,999.95 per year.
In eBay Store subscriptions, you also pay a lower final value fee. If you have been wondering which is cheaper to sell on Amazon or eBay, you can have a surface-level answer in terms of eBay. With that being said, certain fees such as shipping costs and final value fees can sometimes add up to a larger amount.
Advertising: Amazon vs eBay
When selling on Amazon vs eBay, you need to factor in the marketing and outreach costs for both of these platforms. Since you have tough competition on either of these platforms, these advertising costs stand out as one of the most crucial expenses for running a successful store.
Amazon Advertising Costs
Amazon allows you to run your ads on search listings. Additionally, it also lets you display them as banner ads across the website. In either case, you need to run the outreach campaign on a pay per click (PPC) basis, where the cost per click (CPC) could start from as low as $0.80. But this is just a general idea, since more popular products may have a higher cost of advertising with them.
In order to make the most out of your Amazon advertisements, you should look into best practices such as discovering Amazon search terms, optimizing your listings, and embedding stunning images to garner audience interest. In short, you need to follow a highly careful approach to make your listings stand out from the crowd. If you hire professionals to take care of these aspects, you may add their service fee to the advertising costs as well.
eBay Advertising Costs
eBay advertising costs stem from the Promoted Listings Standard, which only charges you for sales instead of traffic to your product page. Under this program, you are charged for conversion if a customer who lands on your page through an ad makes a purchase within 30 days of their visit.
You can choose an ad rate as low as 1 percent of your promoted item’s sale price. But for many items, you may need to pay over 10 percent of your item’s total value in order for your ad to surpass competitors and be highly visible to your target audience. While determining optimal costs, you can look at promoted listings ad rates from eBay. This provides you with an average ad rate of your category and lets you select a rate that could beat your competitors.
As a result, this makes selling on Amazon vs eBay 2022 practices to be quite competitive. While eBay advertising costs come with the stipulation of a sale, they may end up charging you a pretty penny. On the other hand, Amazon’s PPC model charges for each click and subsequent visit to your page. But it saves you from paying a significant chunk of your product’s sale price in return.
Wrapping Up: Pros and Cons of Amazon vs eBay
There are quite a few pros and cons for selling your items on Amazon and eBay. To help you understand them, here is a quick rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of both of these platforms.
- Wider Audience Outreach
- Higher Conversion Rate
- Excellent Fulfillment Program
- Highly Intuitive Interface
- Straightforward Advertising Plans
- Intense Quality Standards
- High Costs
- Cutthroat Competition
- Lower Selling Fees
- Loyal Customer Base
- Conditional Advertising Costs
- Market Share of Older Audiences
- Classic Interface and Tools
- No Fulfillment Program
- Lack of Modern Technology
- High Advertising Costs
Amazon vs eBay: FAQs
Is it still profitable to sell on Amazon?
It is quite profitable to sell on Amazon. In order to ensure a profitable operation, you need to use specialized tools and strategies to optimize your costs, boost your visibility, and manage your brand identity against competitors.
How much does it cost to sell on eBay?
The selling costs on eBay can start from $0.35 for listing creation and a certain percentage of your total item value upon selling your product. The actual costs depend on a case-to-case basis.
Who makes more money: eBay or Amazon?
With approximately 40 percent market share in the U.S., Amazon makes more money as a company than eBay. This also leads its sellers to operate high-revenue operations under the right management and approaches.
Choosing a specific platform between Amazon and eBay can be a complex task. If you want to leverage modern technology, wider outreach, and optimal fulfillment, you can choose Amazon to be the home of your brand. In case you need older audience appeal, lower selling fees, and comparatively reduced competition, you can opt for eBay as your brand’s virtual headquarter.
Through Helium 10, you can get the most out of your online marketplace activities. Whether you want to boost your marketing or improve your inventory management, our smart solutions can finetune your costs and boost your efficiency across multiple aspects. To see how our services can help, don’t hesitate to check out our offerings today.