September 27, 2022

Amazon vs eBay: Pros and Cons for Online Sellers

The battle between the two largest online retailers, Amazon and eBay, is a fierce one. But which is better for you? This comparison takes a look at the two in detail.
Amazon vs eBay: Pros and Cons for Online Sellers
Amazon vs eBay: Pros and Cons for Online Sellers

Amazon vs eBay: Pros and Cons for Online Sellers 

Today, we have many ecommerce platforms that make it easy for sellers to market their products to millions of buyers on the online space. From Etsy to Shopify, Walmart, Amazon, eBay, and many more. 

The Amazon marketplace and eBay online marketplace are two of the oldest, biggest, and most popular platforms in the market today. Each platform comes with its unique features, seller guidelines, and policies. 

However, the big question is: what is the difference between eBay and Amazon? Is it better to sell on eBay or Amazon? 

In this article, we will zoom in on both Amazon and eBay to better understand both platforms and help you determine if selling on eBay or selling on Amazon is best for your type of business. 

Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Competition and sales 

Amazon is one of the biggest and most popular marketplaces in the world. Founded in July 1994 under the name Cadabra, this platform has drastically grown over the years and has become the one-stop platform for customers to find anything they want to purchase online. 

On the other hand, eBay emerged the following year in September 1995. The platform hosts live auction items in over 36 countries and have best pioneered the 3rd party business model.  

When we consider competition and sales, the Amazon marketplace is highly competitive with thousands of sellers competing for the Buy Box. Winning the Buy Box results in huge sales and revenue. 

As an Amazon seller, winning the Buy Box involves various important requirements including shipping options, inventory, and a well-optimized product listing. You need to follow strict requirements to compete successfully for the Buy Box. 

On the other hand, eBay, like Amazon, comes with its own unique SEO rules. eBay considers factors like customer feedback, credibility, sales rate, and more. High-performing sellers are awarded a high rank on search results and the tag “Top Rated Plus”. 

While Amazon has strict requirements for winning the Buy Box, sellers on eBay have a better chance of gaining visibility than on Amazon. Sellers can adjust product listings to attract different audiences. 

Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Selling fees

When we consider fees for both Amazon and eBay, eBay incurs lower fees. 

Amazon fees 

When you sell on Amazon, you can choose between two selling plans: the Individual Selling Plan and Professional Selling Plan. On the Individual Selling Plan, you will need to pay $0.99 for every item sold. 

The Professional Selling Plan attracts a monthly fee of $39.99. 

You will also need to pay referral fees depending on your product category. If you sell with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), you will also need to pay fulfillment fees which you can calculate depending on the size and weight of your product. 

eBay fees

eBay charges two major seller fees: Insertion fee and Final Value fee. The insertion fee is charged when sellers create a product listing. 

The first 250 listings created are free. However, for subsequent listings, a fee of $0.35 is charged. 

Final Value fees are charged once you sell a product. In other words, eBay takes a percentage of a product’s final sales price. If you want to create a special product listing, perhaps you want to change to a bold font or add a subtitle, you will need to pay for an optional listing upgrade. 

Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Types of products you can sell

Unlike the Amazon marketplace, eBay does not restrict the type of product you can sell. You can sell brand-new products, second-hand items, or virtually anything. 

Thanks to its auction model, buyers can buy second-hand items at competitive prices. However, using their auction model limits your control over the final sales price and profit margin. 

On the other hand, Amazon gives you total control. You can set your own prices and control your profit margin. 

Overall, Amazon is a better platform for selling high-quality products. The platform also has a ready-to-buy audience which means you can grow and expand your business much faster. 

If you are selling second-hand products, eBay may work as a better platform to grow and scale your business. Also, if you are selling new products, you may want to sell them on the Amazon marketplace. 

Overall, either platform could work for any type of product you want to sell.  

Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Fulfillment methods

When it comes to selling on eBay, you are restricted to one fulfillment option which is to pack and ship orders yourself or use a third party. 

On the other hand, Amazon offers two major fulfillment methods. You can choose to sell with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) where Amazon handles everything from the storing, packing, and shipping of your products. They also handle customer service. Although this comes at a cost, this gives you enough time to handle other important aspects of your business. 

The second fulfillment method is Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) which allows you to ship orders yourself. 

On Amazon, you can leverage both fulfillment options depending on the type of product you're selling. 

Pros and Cons of selling on Amazon vs eBay

So is eBay better than Amazon? Which platform is best for your business? Let’s explore the pros and cons of selling on Amazon vs eBay. 

Pros and Cons of selling on Amazon 


  • Greater buyer reach and trust: There’s no doubt that customers love to shop on Amazon. Over the years, Amazon has gained the trust of customers thanks to its customer satisfaction policies. Many customers are willing to subscribe to the Amazon Prime program to get access to all the benefits that come with it. You can sell your products to millions of customers who are willing to buy your product and increase business sales and revenue. 
  • Increased traffic: With hundreds of millions of visitors logging on to the Amazon website every month, you won’t have to worry about traffic coming to your site. 
  • Easy to use: Thanks to its features, the Amazon platform is very user-friendly. There are simple layouts you can choose from and tools that make the process of creating your store easy. 
  • Efficient fulfillment method: Perhaps one of the major benefits of selling on Amazon is its efficient fulfillment method. With Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), Amazon handles everything from storing, packing, and shipping products, giving you enough time to invest in other areas of your business. 


  • Increased competition: Although the platform provides massive reach, heavy competition can be a major disadvantage. With thousands of sellers on the Amazon marketplace, it can be difficult for a new seller to break through the noise and stand out from the competition. 
  • Rules and guidelines: When selling on Amazon, you will need to keep up with a large number of rules and guidelines. If you do not comply with the rules, Amazon can shut down your account or suppress your listing. 

Pros and Cons of selling on eBay 


  • Multiple categories: eBay has over 20,000 categories, giving sellers a wide range of options to choose from. This is unlike Amazon which has only 36 product categories. 
  • Flexible instant payments: Unlike Amazon which delivers payments every two weeks, eBay releases payments directly into your bank account instantly. You also have the option of choosing any payment method. You can choose to receive a check or money order. 
  • Direct access to customers: Unlike Amazon, with eBay, you can have direct access to your customers. You can get their email addresses and contact information which helps you communicate more effectively with them. This is also effective for customer retention and brand building. 


  • Smaller reach: Compared to Amazon, eBay has a smaller reach with over 109 million monthly visits compared to billions of monthly visitors on Amazon. Ultimately, this means your product won't be getting as much exposure compared to Amazon. 
  • Shipping: eBay sellers need to handle their own shipping. Sellers are responsible for everything from packing, shipping, and delivering orders to customers. This is unlike Amazon which offers sellers a seamless fulfillment process thanks to the Amazon FBA program. 
  • Skeptical customers: Customers are more reluctant to trust eBay sellers due to fraudulent activities that have occurred on the platform over the years. Also, since sellers handle their shipping, customers aren't guaranteed of getting their orders quickly. 

Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Final verdict 

Both platforms present different benefits to sellers. Your preferred platform will depend on the type of product you want to sell.

To choose the best platform, research is an important factor. You want to carry out proper market research to find out how well your product will do on any of the platforms. 

We recommend that you try selling your product on both platforms to research and find out which platform generates more sales for your business. 

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