Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Unveiling the Ultimate E-commerce Showdown

01 selling on amazon vs ebay

In today’s competitive e-commerce landscape, you may wonder which platform, Amazon or eBay, is best suited for your online selling needs. Both marketplaces are popular and have their respective pros and cons, making it essential to understand their differences and how they can impact your business.

As you venture into the world of online selling, it’s crucial to adapt your strategy to the platform you choose. Amazon, with its vast customer base and fulfillment services, can offer you a more streamlined selling experience. On the other hand, eBay allows you more flexibility in listing formats and pricing, catering to sellers of unique, collectible, or used items.

Throughout this article, we will guide you to determine which is better, and which will be more beneficial for your specific business. By understanding what each platform has to offer, you’ll be better equipped to make the most informed decision for your online selling journey.

Comparing Amazon and eBay: Market Share and Size

Amazon vs eBay: Who’s Bigger?

When it comes to the size, Amazon has a significant edge over its competitor, eBay. Amazon’s active users and sales revenue surpass that of eBay. Your choice between the two platforms can depend on factors like the products you plan to sell and your selling strategies.

However, eBay offers a unique user base, attracting collectors and niche sellers. It’s important for you to familiarize yourself with both platforms and tailor your approach according to the audience you hope to target.

Market Share and Growth Trends for Both Platforms

Amazon dominates the e-commerce market with almost 50% market share in the United States. As a seller, this means massive exposure for your products. eBay, on the other hand, holds a smaller percentage of the market share but offers the advantage of a less competitive selling environment.

While both platforms continue to grow, Amazon’s growth has outpaced that of eBay in recent years. Nevertheless, eBay remains a viable option for sellers looking to connect with a specific customer base.

Consider the following:

Ultimately, your decision to sell on Amazon, eBay, or both platforms will depend on factors like your inventory, desired market reach, and willingness to adapt to each marketplace’s unique challenges and opportunities.

Selling Fees: Amazon vs eBay

Cost of Selling on eBay vs Amazon

When choosing a platform to sell your products, it’s essential to understand the associated eBay and Amazon fees. There’s no specific fixed price because of the many factors to consider. Both Amazon and eBay charge fees, but they differ in their structures. Before diving deeper into each platform’s fees, let’s compare the cost of selling on both marketplaces.

On average, Amazon’s fees are slightly higher compared to eBay fees, with referral fees ranging from 8% to 15%, depending on the product category.

On the other hand, for the majority of categories on eBay, the final value cost is 13.25% of the sale price or less, plus $0.30 each purchase.

Additionally, included in eBay selling fees is the listing fee in certain cases. Keep in mind each platform has additional fees and unique features which can impact the overall cost of selling.

A Breakdown of eBay’s Fees

02 ebay's fees

eBay has three main types of fees that eBay sellers pay: insertion fees, the final value fee, and optional listing upgrade fees. The insertion fee is often waived for the first 250 listings per month, depending on your subscription level.

Final value fees are based on the item’s category and your store subscription, ranging from 2% to 12.35%. Optional listing upgrade fees cover features like subtitles, larger photos, and more.

Insertion FeesFree for the first 250 listings per month, otherwise a charge of $0.35 per listing.
Final Value Fees2% to 12.35% based on item category and store subscription.
Listing Upgrade FeesVaries depending on the upgrade.

How Much Does It Cost to Sell Items on Amazon?

Amazon has two primary fee structures: referral fees and subscription fees. Referral fees vary depending on the item category and range from 6% to 45%.

Subscription fees depend on the type of seller account you choose. For individual accounts, you pay $0.99 per item sold, while professional accounts come with a fixed price of $39.99 per month. Keep in mind that other fees like fulfillment, storage, and removal fees apply to specific circumstances.

Which Marketplace Has Lower Selling Fees?

Comparing the selling fees, it may seem eBay has lower fees than Amazon. However, the overall cost will depend on your products, sales volume, business model, and additional services you require. It’s essential to analyze your specific circumstances and compare the combined fees of both marketplaces to determine the best platform for your business.

Ease of Use and Management

Which Platform is Easier to Sell on? Amazon or eBay?

When starting your online business, you may wonder which platform is easier to sell on. Amazon provides a more streamlined process for listing and managing products. In contrast, eBay offers more flexibility but can be more time-consuming to navigate, which most eBay sellers enjoy.

Comparing Ease of Use: Amazon vs eBay

Amazon’s user interface is designed for efficiency and simplicity, making it easy to list products and manage inventory. You can also take advantage of Amazon’s built-in tools, like the Amazon Seller App, for managing your business on-the-go.

On the other hand, eBay’s platform can be a bit more complicated to navigate due to its customizable nature. However, this also means professional sellers have more control over how their listings appear and can tailor them according to your preferences and online store.

Which Marketplace is Easier to Manage?

Amazon’s centralized dashboard makes it easier to monitor sales, inventory, and performance metrics. Most sellers can also benefit from the Amazon FBA program, which handles shipping and customer service on your behalf.

eBay’s management tools require more hands-on involvement, but they allow eBay sellers to customize their selling experience. Ebay sellers who prefer to have more control over their shipping, storage, and customer service, might find the platform a better fit.

How to Create Great Listings on Both Amazon and eBay

To create great listings on both platforms, focus on high-quality images, concise product titles, and detailed descriptions. Make sure to include:

  • A clear and accurate product title
  • High-quality, well-lit images that show various angles and product details
  • A detailed description covering product features, benefits, and usage
  • Relevant keywords to improve search visibility

Following these guidelines will help your products stand out, attract more customers, and ultimately increase your chances of success on both Amazon and eBay.

Shipping and International Sales

03 shipping and international sales

Shipping and international sales play a crucial role in your online selling experience. When it comes to Amazon vs eBay, they have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on your specific needs and goals as a seller.

Which is Easier to Ship Items with, eBay or Amazon?

When it comes to shipping, Amazon sellers might find the platform more streamlined, thanks to their Amazon FBA program. With Amazon FBA, Amazon sellers ship products to Amazon’s warehouses, and they handle the storage, packing, and shipping for you.

However, eBay allows you more flexibility in selecting your preferred shipping carriers and setting your shipping costs and options.

Pros and Cons of Amazon Prime Subscription for Sellers

Offering your products through Amazon Prime comes with its perks. Amazon customers tend to spend more and buy more frequently, resulting in increased sales for Amazon sellers. However, using Amazon’s FBA comes with fees that can impact your profit margins.

Additionally, Amazon takes responsibility for customer service and returns, which can save you time dealing with customer issues. But this also means you have limited control over some aspects of your customer interactions.

Selling Internationally: Amazon vs eBay

Expanding to international markets is one way to grow your ecommerce business. With Amazon, you can access a vast global marketplace through their Amazon Global Selling program, but you must navigate various tax and regulatory requirements for each country.

However, eBay provides their Global Shipping Program (GSP), simplifying the international shipping process for you. They handle customs documentation, and you only need to ship your products to their US-based shipping center.

Remember, both platforms present unique challenges in terms of shipping, fees, and seller requirements. Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each to make an informed decision for your ecommerce business.

Product Categories and Restrictions

Which Has More Good Product Categories to Sell in: Amazon vs ebay?

When it comes to product variety, both Amazon and eBay offer a wide range of categories. However, Amazon generally caters more to new products, while eBay is a popular choice for used items.

You’ll find that eBay provides more opportunities for niche markets, unique and vintage items, and collectibles. On the other hand, Amazon offers an extensive selection of popular, everyday products, making it a great choice for Amazon sellers with high-demand items.

Does Amazon Sell Used Items?

Although Amazon is predominantly known for new products, they also offer used items. Their Amazon Warehouse and Used & Refurbished sections cater to the used items market. Additionally, individual sellers can list used items in various categories.

To maximize your sales potential, it’s important to be aware of the condition of your products and accurately represent them to your customers.

Which Marketplace Has More Product Restrictions?

Both Amazon and eBay have product restrictions in place to ensure the safety and satisfaction of their users. However, Amazon typically has more stringent restrictions compared to eBay. This is mainly due to their commitment to maintaining a customer-centric platform with a focus on trust and quality.

As a seller, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the restrictions and regulations of each marketplace to ensure success and avoid potential pitfalls.

Establishing Your Brand and Gaining Consumer Trust

Which is Better for Branding: eBay or Amazon?

04 ebay or amazon

When it comes to establishing your brand, both Amazon and eBay offer unique opportunities. Amazon’s platform is designed for businesses looking to scale, while eBay caters more to individual sellers and niche markets. Consider your target audience and business goals to determine the best fit for you, whether you plan on setting up an Amazon or eBay store.

Building a Strong Brand Presence on Both Platforms

Having a strong brand presence on both Amazon and eBay can be achieved by focusing on consistent branding, quality product listings, and excellent customer service. Use professional photos, detailed descriptions, and compelling titles to draw in potential customers. Furthermore, maintain a high seller rating and respond promptly to customer inquiries to build trust.

Do Consumers Trust Amazon or eBay More?

Trust can vary among consumers, but studies have shown Amazon to generally be perceived as more trustworthy compared to eBay. This is mainly due to Amazon’s strict seller requirements for third party sellers who wish to enter the platform, reliable customer service, and robust review system.

However, third party sellers with strong reputation on either platform can still be successful in gaining consumer trust.

Amazon’s Core Advantage: Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is a significant advantage when it comes to gaining consumer trust. With over 200 million Prime subscribers, you can take advantage of features like Prime-eligible products and two-day shipping. These offerings can add value to your brand and increase customer loyalty, leading to long-term success on the platform.

Refunds, Returns, and Customer Support

Selling on eBay vs Amazon – Comparing Refunds and Returns Policies

When selling on eBay, it’s up to eBay sellers to set their return policy. You get to decide the time frame and conditions for accepting returns.

On the other hand, Amazon has a standardized return policy that all sellers must adhere to. This includes a 30-day return window and specific reasons for which returns are accepted.

Consider the nature of the products you sell when deciding on a marketplace. If your products have a higher likelihood of returns, eBay’s flexible return policy might suit your needs better. Conversely, if you prefer a more streamlined process, Amazon’s uniform policy could be more appealing.

Which Marketplace Requires More Customer Support?

Both eBay and Amazon require their sellers to provide customer support, but the level of involvement varies. As an eBay seller, you’ll often need to handle customer inquiries directly, such as questions about products or shipping. However, when selling on Amazon, their customer service tends to handle many issues on your behalf, particularly if you use the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service.

Think about your available resources and your ability to manage customer service. If you prefer to outsource customer support, Amazon’s FBA program might be a better fit. If you want more control over communication, eBay could be a preferable choice.

Tips for Providing Excellent Customer Support on Both Platforms

Regardless of the marketplace, exceptional customer support is a key ingredient for success. Here are some tips to provide top-notch service on both eBay and Amazon:

  • Communicate promptly: Respond to customer inquiries quickly and professionally. Quick response times demonstrate your commitment to their satisfaction.
  • Exercise empathy: Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and show understanding for their concerns.
  • Stay organized: Keep track of customer conversations and follow through on outstanding issues.
  • Seek feedback: Encourage customers to leave reviews and use their feedback to improve your products and service.

By prioritizing customer support, you can create loyal customers and enhance your online reputation, contributing to the overall success of your eCommerce business.

05 customer support

Pros and Cons of Selling on Amazon vs eBay

Advantages of Selling on eBay vs Amazon

One advantage of selling on eBay is the lower fees you’ll encounter compared to Amazon. This can lead to better profit margins for your products. Additionally, eBay allows for more personalized and customizable listings, giving you greater creative control over your products’ presentation.

Another benefit is eBay’s diverse and international audience. You’ll have the opportunity to reach a wider range of potential buyers. Lastly, eBay’s auction-style selling method can sometimes result in higher selling prices for unique or in-demand items.

Disadvantages of Selling on Amazon vs eBay

On the other hand, selling on Amazon has its drawbacks. Higher selling fees can eat into your profits, particularly for lower-priced items. Furthermore, Amazon has strict rules and regulations that sellers need to adhere to, leaving less flexibility in how you manage your business.

Additionally, due to the vast number of sellers on Amazon, the level of competition can be intense. This may require additional effort and resources, such as advertising and promotions, to stand out and succeed in the marketplace.

Is It Better to Sell on Amazon or eBay?

Choosing between Amazon and eBay depends on your business goals and preferences. If you prefer a flexible selling platform with lower fees and more customization options, eBay might be a better fit. However, if you’re looking for a broader customer base and don’t mind paying higher fees, Amazon can offer more potential for sales and growth.

Ultimately, consider your products, target audience, and resources when making your decision. It’s also worth noting that many successful sellers utilize both platforms, maximizing their exposure and potential for sales in the process.


In your journey as an online seller, choosing between Amazon and eBay is crucial for your success. Both platforms offer unique advantages, making it essential for you to weigh their pros and cons carefully.

Amazon is known for its large customer base and easy-to-use fulfillment services. However, it can have higher fees and more competition. In contrast, eBay offers more flexibility in terms of product categories and pricing options, but may require more work in managing customer relationships and shipping processes.

Ultimately, your decision should be based on your needs and preferences as a seller. Consider factors such as product type, target audience, and desired control over the selling process. Further success can be achieved by exploring and potentially utilizing both platforms for diversification and market reach. Happy selling!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is the Difference Between Selling on eBay and Amazon?

While both are popular online marketplaces, they have distinct features. Amazon is known for its vast customer base, fulfillment services, and a more structured selling environment. eBay, on the other hand, is famous for its auction-style listings, greater seller autonomy, and lower fees.

How to Choose the Right Platform for Your Business?

Consider factors like your products, target audience, and selling fees. If you’re focused on new items and seeking a larger customer reach, Amazon might be a better fit. If you prefer more control over your listings and deal with collectibles or niche items, eBay could be the platform for you.

Can I Sell on Both Amazon and eBay Simultaneously?

Yes, you can! Many sellers leverage the unique features of both platforms to maximize their revenue. However, managing your inventory, listings, and orders across both marketplaces requires organization and dedication.

What Are Some Tools and Resources to Help Manage Selling on Both Platforms?

To make managing both platforms easier, consider tools like:

  • Inventory management software: Streamlines inventory tracking, preventing overselling and stock discrepancies.
  • Listing tools: Simplify listing creation and optimization for both eBay and Amazon.
  • Order management systems: Consolidate orders from both marketplaces, making the fulfillment process more efficient.

By using these resources, you can effectively manage your online retail business on both Amazon and eBay.

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