Amazon vs eBay – Which Is Better for Online Sellers?

Online sellers are looking to clinch every advantage they can when it comes to the digital marketplace. With literally millions of people battling through the online crowds, they’ve got to try and stand out to customers.

While lots of factors need to be considered when selling online (such as your stock or prices), there’s perhaps nothing more important than the platform on which you’re trying to shift your items.

We take a look at the age-old battle of Amazon vs eBay, and attempt to decide which is better for online sellers.

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Selling on Amazon

Since being founded in 1994, Amazon has quickly evolved to become one of the most influential e-commerce websites on the net. With their brand now a household name across the globe, any would-be online sellers are instantly handed a well-advertised platform on which to promote their goods.

Amazon also utilises a unified system which means you can sell on all five of their European marketplaces for free from day one.That means businesses can instantly begin targeting people in:

  • The UK
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • France

The continued success of the site should also encourage sellers, with Amazon now valued at $50 billion as a company. The advancements being made every day – perhaps most notably with proposed drone delivery – hints at a big and bold future for anyone linking up with the e-commerce company.

Selling on eBay

While Amazon provides you with the chance to forge yourself as a more specialist supplier, eBay allows you to take a personal and unique approach to shifting your goods online.


To this day, eBay remains the most popular online auction website in the world. This means the site is used to successfully sell:

  • Antiques
  • Collectibles
  • Vintage items
  • One-of-a-kind products

There’s a lot more of a direct connection with your consumer base for this reason, with sales taking on a personal one-to-one feel a lot of the time. While there is certainly still a commercial element, the barriers between seller and consumer are broken down somewhat.


Amazon vs eBay – Selling Fees

Consumers don’t often take the time to think about the secondary cost for sellers, but it actually plays a huge factor when weighing up the potential benefits of the two different websites.

Getting as much profit as you can from your products is integral for online businesses who operate on tight margins. When comparing the selling fees of the two different e-commerce providers, there’s an interesting series of financial differences to highlight.

Using the case study of a single £7 DVD, we find that:

  • Value Fee – eBay charges £0.56, whereas Amazon asks for £0.50
  • Closing Fee – eBay charges nothing, whereas Amazon asks for £0.14
  • Listing Fee – eBay charges £0.26, whereas Amazon asks for £1.05
  • PayPal Fee – eBay charges £0.44, whereas Amazon asks for nothing

That means a total fee of £1.26 on eBay when compared to £1.69 when using Amazon. There’s only one area where eBay lose out – the PayPal rate, which sees 2.9% of sales taken, as well as an additional flat rate of 24p.


Amazon vs eBay – Selling Tools

Secondary tools have also been implemented to make it easier for people trying to earn a profit. Much like with additional software for certain smartphones, the ability to use these tools will vary between ‘providers’:

  • Social Media Tools – As of right now, neither eBay nor Amazon have systems in place which allow social media tools to aid online sellers.
  • Shop Analytics Tools – Amazon currently has no devices in place to monitor precise statistics of the items they’re selling. By contrast, eBay currently offer “Listing Analytics”, which allow you to look in detail at a number of different stats. Some of these include: rank, format, impression, click through rates and watchers.
  • Seller Success Tips – Once again, Amazon fail to offer resources on success tips for sellers, whereas eBay do. These can prove incredibly useful for those trying to grab a slight advantage over competitors.
  • Mobile Readiness – In a day and age where mobile usage is practically as common as breathing in and out, it’s perhaps no surprise both can be easily accessed via phones.

As such, eBay once again offer the superior options for sellers looking to take advantage and generate the greater profits. While these tools won’t automatically guarantee success, they do at least hand eBay businesses the upper-hand.


Amazon vs eBay – Benefits for Customers

It’s sometimes easy to forget the key battle for supremacy actually comes as a result of the satisfaction levels of the customers. The more benefits your consumer base are being offered, the more chance you have of drawing in a crowd.

Both Amazon and eBay have their pros and cons:

Amazon (Pros):

  • Amazing reviews which give a detailed idea of whether a product is right for a customer or not
  • Best Seller Lists allow people to see what the most popular item for the category they’re searching in is
  • A personal section tailored to the exact tastes of the customer

Amazon (Cons):

  • Prices are usually a little higher than on rivals eBay
  • While free shipping is offered, it is usually only on orders over a certain amount (without a paid-for Prime account)

eBay (Pros):

  • Lower seller fees and as such lower prices for customers
  • Feedback and reviews are not only given on the products being sold, but also the reputation of the seller themselves
  • More personalised listings are likely to appeal to consumers
  • More niche products will be found on eBay

eBay (Cons):

  • There’s a character limit on seller feedback
  • If you do find something you want, there’s a good chance it’s only a one-off

Just like anything in life, there are good and bad points for both sides of the argument. It really comes down to the customer to decide which factors they think are worth their time or not.


The Conclusion

Generally speaking, it seems as though eBay has grabbed the edge when it comes to the battle with its competitor. While Amazon certainly has its benefits, the additional analytic factors and selling fees make eBay the more attractive option.

If you’re an online seller who’s looking to shift some stock, why not follow our guide detailing the best items to sell on eBay in 2017?

If you’ve already got an idea in mind of what you want to offer, you can make the most of our fantastic ecommerce fulfilment services to ensure everything that’s purchased from your store is packaged up and shipped out on time. We’ll help you keep your customers happy.