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Ten Reasons to Choose eBay Over Amazon for Selling

Despite what some may say, there are some things you can only have on eBay

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Ten Reasons to Choose eBay Over Amazon for Selling

Trying to decide which platform is right for you? Consider these eBay benefits before making your decision.

Photo: Miszaqq / Dreamstime

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 feedback 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 on Amazon.
     
  • You want flexibility and control. In many eBay categories sellers remain free to sell outside of the catalog using hand-generated listings. 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 shipping charges. There are limits on eBay—if 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 private.
     
  • 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.

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