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Amazon vs eBay – Which is the Best Marketplace for Sellers?

Discover key differences, pros, and cons of popular online marketplaces, Amazon and eBay. This comprehensive guide covers customer reach, fees, fulfillment, and brand control, helping you make an informed decision for online business success.

Amazon vs eBay

Last updated on August 16, 2023

Are you ready to navigate the e-commerce jungle? Enter the ring with Amazon and eBay, the heavyweight contenders for online sellers.

With Amazon boasting a staggering 300 million active users worldwide and eBay hosting over 138 million active buyers, choosing between these titans can be perplexing.

Fear not! In this ultimate clash of Amazon vs eBay, we’ll dissect the pros, cons, and secrets behind these e-commerce powerhouses.

Get ready for an exhilarating journey through the world of online selling, as we unravel the key differences and help you make the winning move.

Amazon vs eBay: An Overview

Amazon and eBay are two of the biggest names in online marketplaces. They have millions of active buyers and sellers and offer unique advantages for online sellers.

But if you’re trying to choose between the two, it can be overwhelming to decide which platform is the best fit for your business.

Amazon is known as the online retail giant that started as a bookstore and expanded into selling just about everything under the sun.

They have a vast network of warehouses and fulfillment centers that enables them to offer fast and reliable shipping.

Amazon also offers several seller programs, including the Professional Selling Plan, which provides access to advanced tools and analytics.

eBay, on the other hand, operates as an online auction and marketplace platform that allows sellers to list products in an auction-style or fixed-price format.

eBay’s user base tends to be more price-sensitive and interested in finding unique and hard-to-find items.

They also offer several seller tools, including eBay guaranteed delivery, which ensures fast and reliable shipping.

But what’s the real difference between the two? Let’s take a closer look.

What’s the difference between eBay and Amazon?

Let’s delve deeper into the differences between these two platforms and how they stack up against each other when it comes to becoming the best online-selling platform.

  • Retailer vs wholesaler
    Amazon is primarily a retailer, sourcing products from wholesalers or manufacturers, storing them in warehouses, and selling them at a markup. In contrast, eBay acts as a facilitator, enabling sellers to list their products for buyers to purchase directly from them.
  • Selling vs facilitating sales
    Amazon prioritizes high-volume, quick sales, while eBay accommodates sellers who prefer a more flexible pace. Amazon focuses on new product sales in bulk, while eBay supports listings for both new and used items.
  • Simple matter of control
    Amazon has more control over the sales process, from customer purchase to product delivery. In contrast, eBay grants sellers more control, including handling the shipping process.
  • Fixed-price vs auctions
    One of the most significant differences between these platforms is that Amazon uses a fixed-price model, while eBay offers both fixed-price and auction-style listings. Auction-style listings allow sellers to set a minimum price, and buyers bid until the auction ends.
  • Payment options
    Amazon requires buyers to pay through Amazon Pay, credit and debit cards and other methods, while eBay allows sellers to choose from a range of options, including PayPal, credit cards, and more.
  • Ancillary services
    Amazon offers a variety of ancillary services to sellers, including Amazon Prime, Amazon Web Services, and more. eBay, on the other hand, does not offer as many ancillary services to sellers.
  • Automation
    Amazon provides sellers with many automated features, including automated shipping labels and tracking information. eBay has fewer automated features but offers more flexibility when it comes to shipping and handling.
  • Differing fee structures
    Amazon charges sellers a referral fee based on the product category, while eBay charges a final value fee based on the item’s selling price.
  • Payment process
    Amazon pays sellers every two weeks, while eBay allows sellers to choose their payment frequency.
  • Size and type of customer base
    With a market share of 37.8 percent, Amazon has a much larger and more diverse customer base which means more potential buyers for sellers. On the other hand, eBay’s customer base tends to be more interested in unique, hard-to-find items.

Now that we’ve looked at the main differences between selling on Amazon vs eBay, it’s time to decide which platform aligns better with your business goals.

Let’s find out which platform makes running an e-commerce business easier.

Is it better to sell & manage on eBay or Amazon?

By now, we’ve explored the key differences between Amazon and eBay.

Both platforms have their unique advantages and disadvantages, and choosing between them depends on various factors, including the products you sell, your customer base, and your business goals.

Now, let’s try to answer the bigger question – where can you sell and manage your products better?

Well, it depends on a few factors.

  1. Customer trust – Amazon’s strict policies regarding customer service and seller performance make customers trust the platform and the products sold on it. On the other hand, eBay has had its share of counterfeit products and fraudulent sellers, which can damage customer trust.
  2. Market size – Amazon’s customer base is significantly larger than eBay’s, making it easier for sellers to reach a wider audience. However, eBay has a loyal customer base that is always on the lookout for unique products.
  3. Products – Amazon is best for selling new, branded products, while eBay is better suited for selling vintage, used, or hard-to-find items.
  4. Competitiveness – Amazon has a lot of competition, and it can be challenging to stand out, but if you do, the payoff can be significant. eBay, on the other hand, has fewer sellers, but the competition can still be fierce for popular products.
  5. Amazon fees vs eBay fees – Amazon fees tend to be higher than eBay fees, but Amazon provides a more comprehensive set of tools and services that can help sellers grow their businesses. eBay’s lower fees can be an attractive option for sellers, especially those just starting.
  6. Shipping and fulfillment – Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program offers a hassle-free fulfillment option for sellers, while eBay’s Global Shipping Program can handle international shipments for sellers.
  7. Advertisement fee – Amazon has several advertising options that can be effective, but they come at a higher cost. eBay offers lower-cost advertising options, making it a more budget-friendly option for sellers.

So, before getting started with your preferred platform, take your time to consider the above factors.

With that being said, let’s now take a closer look at the types of products that are best suited for each platform.

What types of products can you sell on Amazon and eBay?

Now that we’ve covered the main differences between Amazon and eBay, let’s talk about what types of products are best suited for each platform.

Amazon is known for being the go-to destination for many customers looking for a wide variety of products.

As such, it’s an ideal platform for selling a vast array of items, including books, electronics, household goods, beauty products, and much more.

If you have a large inventory of products to sell and want to take advantage of Amazon’s expansive customer base, then Amazon may be the best option for you.

On the other hand, eBay’s auction-style format makes it a great choice for selling unique and hard-to-find items that may not be as popular on other platforms.

This can include vintage clothing, collectibles, rare books, and other niche products.

eBay’s user base is also known for being more price-sensitive, so if you’re looking to sell products that are priced competitively, then eBay may be a better fit for your business.

It’s worth noting that both platforms have their own sets of rules and regulations when it comes to selling products. For example, Amazon has specific guidelines on product conditions, shipping requirements, and customer service, while eBay has rules around listing fees, final
value fees, and seller limits.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with these guidelines before deciding which platform to sell on.

Now, let’s take a closer look at which platform is better for branding, as building a strong brand presence is key to standing out in the competitive e-commerce landscape.

Which is better for branding: eBay or Amazon?

When it comes to building a strong brand presence, both of these top e-commerce marketplaces have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Amazon is known for being the go-to platform for shoppers searching for the products they need, while eBay is often associated with unique and hard-to-find items.

While Amazon offers more opportunities to build brand recognition through things like sponsored ads, storefronts, and enhanced brand content, it can also be more challenging to stand out among the competition.

eBay, on the other hand, offers a more level playing field for smaller brands and sellers, with a focus on community building and customer interaction.

So, in terms of branding, the best platform for branding depends on your unique business goals and target audience. Both Amazon and eBay offer opportunities to build a strong brand presence, but the key is understanding the strengths and limitations of each platform and using them to your advantage.

Speaking of the same, let’s find out which platform favors sellers more.

Which is more friendly towards sellers: eBay or Amazon?

Any online seller would want to work with a platform that values their business and makes it easy for them to manage their sales. And, so do you.

When it comes to fees, eBay tends to be more flexible and transparent, offering lower fees for some categories and allowing sellers to customize their store subscriptions.

However, Amazon’s fees are more predictable and structured, which can be beneficial for some sellers.

And, when it comes to listing and managing products, Amazon’s interface can be more complicated than eBay’s, but Amazon offers more tools for inventory management and fulfillment.

This makes it easier for sellers when it comes to running an e-commerce business.

Pros and cons of selling on eBay and Amazon

While both eBay and Amazon offer significant benefits for online sellers, there are also some drawbacks to consider.

So let’s dive in and explore the pros and cons of selling on these two platforms.

The pros of selling on eBay

  • Auction-style listings
  • Lower fees for certain products
  • Flexible policies and procedures
  • Large customer base for unique and hard-to-find items
  • Greater control over branding

The cons of selling on eBay

  • Lower sales potential for certain products
  • Less reliable payment processing
  • Limited fulfillment options
  • Higher fees for some products
  • More complicated fee structure

The pros of selling on Amazon

  • Huge customer base
  • High sales potential
  • Simple fee structure
  • Robust fulfillment network
  • Reliable payment processing

The cons of selling on Amazon

  • High competition
  • Limited control over branding
  • Strict policies and procedures
  • High fees for some products
  • Difficult to stand out

Overall, both eBay and Amazon offer unique advantages and disadvantages for sellers.

Choosing which platform to sell on ultimately depends on your business goals, product offerings, and target audience.

So, which platform should you choose between Amazon or eBay?

So, after considering the pros and cons of selling on Amazon and eBay, you might still be wondering which platform is the right choice for
your online business.

The answer to this question ultimately depends on your specific needs and goals.

To make an informed decision, take these essential factors into account:

  • Your product: Consider which platform is best suited for the type of products you sell. If you sell unique or vintage items, eBay might be the better choice. If you sell new, popular products with high demand, Amazon might be the better option.
  • Your target audience: Consider which platform caters to your target audience. If your audience is price-sensitive, eBay may be the better choice, but if they value fast and reliable shipping, Amazon may be the better choice.
  • Your budget: Consider which platform aligns better with your budget. Amazon can be more expensive due to its fees and requirements, but it also offers a wider customer base. eBay, on the other hand, has lower fees but may not offer the same exposure as Amazon.
  • Your brand: Consider which platform aligns better with your brand. If you value brand recognition and are looking to establish a long-term, reputable brand, Amazon may be the better choice. If you want more control over your brand and a more personal connection with customers, eBay may be the better option.

Ultimately, both eBay and Amazon offer unique advantages and disadvantages for online sellers.

It’s up to you to weigh the factors and choose the platform that best aligns with your business needs and goals.

However, regardless of which platform you choose to sell on, it’s important to track and analyze your sales data. This can help you make informed decisions about your business and identify areas for improvement.

Putler is an all-in-one analytics and reporting tool that can benefit sellers on both Amazon and eBay. Wondering, how? Check this out.

Growing your Amazon and eBay sales with business analytics?

Your sales and marketing performance relies on accurate and detailed reporting. While Amazon and eBay offer some basic reporting capabilities, Putler takes it to the next level by combining data from both platforms into one convenient location, providing comprehensive insights.


Here’s what Putler brings to the table for Amazon and eBay sellers:

  • Real-time order tracking: Stay on top of your sales activity and order status in real time. With Putler, you can monitor orders as they happen, enabling you to address any issues promptly.
  • Detailed order reports: Generate comprehensive reports that give you a holistic view of your orders. Uncover valuable information about sales trends, order volume, customer behavior, and more.
  • Product insights: Easily track which products are selling, when they’re selling, and the quantity sold. Use this information to make informed decisions about your product offerings.
  • Customer insights: Gain valuable knowledge about your customers, including their purchase history and spending habits. Leverage this data to create targeted marketing campaigns and enhance customer retention.
  • Sales forecasting: Putler utilizes historical data analysis to help you forecast future sales and identify trends. This enables you to plan for peak selling periods, optimize inventory management, and make informed decisions about your marketing strategies.

With Putler’s robust analytics and reporting features, Amazon and eBay sellers can unlock a deeper understanding of their sales performance and make data-driven decisions to drive their online businesses forward.

Overall, if you’re serious about growing your online business, investing in an analytics and reporting tool like Putler can be a game-changer.

eBay vs Amazon – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I connect eBay to Amazon?
While you cannot directly connect eBay to Amazon, you can use third-party tools like Sellbrite or ChannelAdvisor to manage your inventory and sales across both platforms.

How many sellers are on eBay vs. Amazon?
As of 2021, Amazon has over 2.5 million active sellers, while eBay has around 1.7 million active sellers.

How many people shop on eBay vs. Amazon?
According to recent data, Amazon has over 300 million active customers worldwide, while eBay has around 185 million active buyers.

Are buyers loyal to eBay or Amazon, or Do they buy from both?
Many buyers are loyal to both eBay and Amazon and shop on both platforms. However, some buyers may prefer one platform over the other based on factors such as product availability, pricing, and customer service.

Can you make more money selling on eBay or Amazon?
Whether you can make more money selling on eBay or Amazon depends on various factors, such as the products you sell, your sales strategy, and your target audience. Both platforms offer unique opportunities for sellers to make money.

Is Amazon more trustworthy than eBay?
Both Amazon and eBay are generally trustworthy platforms for buyers and sellers. However, as with any online platform, it’s important to be cautious and do your research to avoid scams and fraudulent activity.

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