Entering the eCommerce industry as a seller can be a great way to reach a large customer base and grow your business. However, it’s important to research the market thoroughly and plan your business strategy before diving in as competition can be fierce, especially on platforms like eBay and Amazon.
For those who are new to online selling or transitioning from a traditional business model to eCommerce, it’s important to note that Amazon and eBay are both eCommerce companies, but they operate in slightly different ways. Understanding these differences will guide you in making an informed decision on which platform best suits your business needs.
Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Business Model Difference There is a significant difference in the way that eBay and Amazon operate their businesses. eBay is a platform that brings buyers and sellers together, acting as a marketplace and auction house. It allows third parties to list and sell their products to buyers.
Amazon, on the other hand, is more directly involved in the sale of goods, as it often sells its own products in addition to hosting third-party sellers on its platforms, such as Amazon FBA and FBM sellers. Thus, suggesting that Amazon is both a marketplace and an eCommerce retail site.
Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Target Customer Difference Amazon’s customer base is large and global, with the average customer being 37 years old and evenly split between males and females. Amazon’s convenient shipping services attract customers from across the globe, with almost 80% of Amazon users mentioning fast and free shipping as their primary reason for purchasing.
On the other hand, eBay’s target market primarily consists of collectors of rare and specific items and shoppers interested in pre-owned products. Recent data suggests that younger generations of sellers and buyers, particularly Gen Z, are driving the trend towards recommerce.
This trend is not just a result of the pandemic but a growing preference for pre-loved items. The increasing demand for secondhand goods creates economic opportunities and contributes to a more sustainable future.
Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Fulfillment Method Difference On eBay, sellers must handle all aspects of fulfilling orders themselves or hire a third-party order fulfillment service to do it for them. On Amazon, sellers can either fulfill orders themselves (Fulfillment by Merchant) or have Amazon fulfill orders for them (Fulfillment by Amazon).
Amazon FBA allows sellers to delegate the storing, picking, packing, product shipping, and handling of returns and refunds to Amazon. Although FBA saves sellers precious time, there will be additional fees for the service.
Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Payment Method Difference eBay generally prefers payment through PayPal, but it also accepts all major credit and debit cards, as well as wire transfers. Cash payments and cash on delivery are also accepted in certain regions.
Personal checks, cashier’s checks, and money orders can also be used as payment methods on eBay, but many sellers prefer to wait for these types of payments to clear before sending out the purchased items.
Amazon has its own branded payment system called Amazon Pay, which is similar to PayPal. In addition to Amazon Pay, Amazon also accepts all major credit and debit cards and allows customers to use an Amazon store card with some merchants.
Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Global Standing Difference Both eBay and Amazon are internationally recognized brands. eBay is popular globally, particularly for imported goods and vintage items. On the other hand, Amazon has a stronger presence in the US, but it is expanding to other countries through its Amazon Global marketplaces. However, there are still many regions and emerging markets that Amazon has not yet focused on.
Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Customer Feedback System Difference Amazon has a layer of systems that makes buyers feel secure when making a purchase, including Amazon feedback, comments, and ratings.
When it comes to the overall shopping experience, both Amazon and eBay offer a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate. Amazon, however, has a more streamlined checkout process, which makes it quicker and easier for customers to complete their purchases. Additionally, Amazon offers a wide range of services, such as Prime membership, which gives customers access to free and fast shipping, exclusive discounts, and access to streaming services like Prime Video and Prime Music. On the other hand, eBay has a reputation for being a more affordable option, especially for rare or hard-to-find items.
In terms of seller policies, Amazon and eBay have different approaches. Amazon has a strict set of guidelines that sellers must follow, including requirements for product quality, shipping speed, and customer service. While this can be beneficial for buyers, it can be challenging for sellers who are just starting out or who are selling niche products. eBay, on the other hand, offers more flexibility for sellers, allowing them to set their own prices and shipping rates, and giving them more control over their business.
One significant advantage of eBay over Amazon is that eBay allows sellers to sell used or secondhand items, which is not permitted on Amazon. This means that buyers looking for vintage or unique items may have more luck finding them on eBay. Additionally, eBay offers a wider variety of products, from clothing and accessories to electronics and home goods, while Amazon tends to focus more on everyday household items and technology.
Another notable difference between the two platforms is their pricing structures. Amazon charges a referral fee, which is a percentage of the item's sale price, while eBay charges a final value fee, which is a percentage of the item's total cost, including shipping and handling. This can impact sellers' profits, as well as buyers' overall costs.
When it comes to customer service, both Amazon and eBay have robust systems in place for handling issues and complaints. Amazon has a dedicated customer service team that can be contacted by phone or email, while eBay offers a resolution center where buyers and sellers can work out disputes.
Overall, both Amazon and eBay have their strengths and weaknesses, and which one is right for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you're looking for fast and reliable shipping, access to streaming services, and a wide selection of everyday household items, Amazon may be the better choice. If you're on the hunt for unique or hard-to-find items, and you don't mind a potentially more complicated checkout process, eBay may be the way to go. Ultimately, it's up to each individual shopper to decide which platform offers the best shopping experience for them.