eBay and Amazon are both highly successful selling platforms, differences in operation, shopping experiences, and payments can leave sellers confused about which one they'd prefer to use.
Need help deciding whether to sell on eBay, Amazon, or both? Here are ten reasons to choose eBay over Amazon for selling.
- You sell very upscale, very unique, or handcrafted items. Amazon's catalog
system is much more central to its buying and selling experience. If what you're selling is in
Amazon's catalog or very similar to something in it, great! If not, you may
have trouble getting eyeballs on Amazon or find yourself buried at the end
of search results. In the broadest sense, Amazon buyers tend to be looking
for standardized name-brand consumer goods, eBay's buyers for unique goods
or unique deals.
- You're looking for branding, not just selling. eBay's
branding potential isn't what it used to be (thanks to the introduction of
things like eBay's links policy), but on Amazon there's virtually no branding ability.
You can't have a "presence" on Amazon; shoppers interact with
Amazon, not with you, and see almost no evidence of the differences between
sellers, much less anything that could be called "personality" or seller
"identity." eBay on the other hand offers easy-to-use-and-customize
storefronts to businesses, seller-created
item descriptions and
About Me pages,
and puts seller member IDs and
front and center in listings. For the time being, sellers still maintain an
identity on eBay that is separate from eBay's identity, something impossible
- You want flexibility and control. In many eBay
categories sellers remain free to
sell outside of the
Sellers are also free to promote
their wares with text and
images that they, not eBay, choose. eBay goods can
be sold with minimal confusion in many different
states of repair or
completeness, something more difficult to do successfully on
Amazon. eBay sellers also set their own shipping policies,
return policies, and
There are limits on eBayif you accept returns you must give buyers at
least a 14-day window, for example—but on Amazon, the policies are narrow
and set for you, meaning that returns must be accepted and buyers have 30
days to make them.
- You want to sell in all categories. Some categories on Amazon
(say, those related to consumer electronics) aren't open to all sellers. Instead, sellers go through an
approval process that denies many. On eBay sellers sell
in most any category once they meet (and maintain) the basic requirements of
being an eBay seller: a credit card or bank account on file and not having
made your feedback profile
- You want immediate access to revenue. Selling on eBay through PayPal revenue is available the moment the buyers pay. It can be used immediately anywhere that PayPal is accepted, or even anywhere that Mastercard, Visa, or debit payments are accepted for sellers that have applied for a free PayPal debit card. Amazon sellers wait 14 days to see the funds released to their Amazon Payments account, then wait another week or so for the funds to be transferred to their bank account before they can be used.
For some this will seem like a persuasive list already, but others may not yet have found a reason to choose eBay as a selling platform. Let's take a look at another round of reasons that add more to the case.