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eBay vs. Amazon.com for Sellers (cont'd)

How to choose between the two most popular selling platforms online


eBay vs. Amazon.com for Sellers (cont'd)
Photo: Miszaqq / Dreamstime

eBay vs. Amazon.com on Fees

As the years have passed, the comission and fees tables for both eBay and Amazon.com have become complicated enough to be unexplainable without the use of tables and item categories.

More instructive for a quick look are some concrete examples from each of sales of common types of goods and the fees that would be incurred in each case:

  • Apple iPad, sold for $500:
    eBay+PayPal Fees: $41.80; Amazon.com Fees: $26.05

  • Electric chainsaw, sold for $70:
    eBay+PayPal Fees: $10.83; Amazon.com Fees: $3.40

  • Sopranos DVD box set, sold for $150:
    eBay+PayPal Fees: $17.89; Amazon.com Fees: $21.31

  • Zebra-Print car seat covers, sold for $50:
    eBay+PayPal Fees: $8.78; Amazon.com Fees: $7.44

  • Skechers Shape-Ups, sold for $100:
    eBay+PayPal Fees: $15.27; Amazon.com Fees: $16.79

The items above represent typical types of products in a variety of categories. The eBay fees in question are fixed-price listings using the same shipping amount Amazon.com credits for shipping for the same item and are assumed to have been posted

Though comparisons vary by item type, shipping amount charged, the type of eBay listing, and so on, one general impression holds true: Amazon.com is certainly no more expensive for sellers, on average, than eBay. In fact, it is in some cases a good deal cheaper.

If you’re a seller, you can get some idea of how the two platforms work for you by using a pair of matching shipping calculators to test scenarios, for example this eBay calculator and matching Amazon.com calculator set. As a word of caution, however, these can vary from what eBay or Amazon actually charge and/or offer depending on a variety of factors (promotions on eBay, for example, or category assignments on Amazon.com). The only way to know for certain is to fill out the listing form(s) and see what fees each charges on a given day for your item and desired price.

eBay and Amazon.com also differ with respect to up-front fees, though the difference is far less pronounced for high-volume sellers. Unless selling takes place using the auction format (in which case the first 50 listings per month are free), eBay charges up-front fees to list items while Amazon.com does not—fees are assessed only if an item sells.

Fees win goes to: Amazon.com, just barely. Both platforms can feel as though they’re gouging you, and both can feel like a steal—it all depends on what you’re selling, and for how much.

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