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eBay or Amazon – Which e-commerce platform are you more interested in & why?


Have you ever tried to sell anything on the world’s two leading e-commerce platforms – Amazon or eBay? Many businesses still wonder which place is a better choice to keep their products for sale. There are pros and cons of both and it depends on an individual organization what points to consider. We have brought here a detailed comparison of a dozen features to help you make a better business decision in the interest of your organization.

eBay vs Amazon

Monetary part
Every item which is listed on eBay has to opt for a paid listing. Here Amazon has the upper hand as products can be listed for free without worrying about unpaid items, re-listing items or unsold items. After the products are sold, Amazon collects the revenue on behalf of the company and transfers it to the bank account of the organization. Herein a business has to only pay the substantial PayPal fees.
Online selling format (auction v/s fixed price model)
EBay prefers to have an auction format for selling products online. Such a model is useful at times when antique items have to be sold. Even unique items could be sold using this format where shoppers want to look for buying absolutely out of the way. But most businesses prefer the fixed price format present on Amazon where physical commodities with a use in our day to day lives are sold with a fixed price tag.

Transaction type
In the case of eBay, online sellers and buyers come into direct contact with each other and interact on things common to both. Here a direct transaction takes place between buyers and sellers. This is not the case with Amazon where both parties rarely come in touch with each other. Because of this, Amazon transactions consume very less time to execute compared to eBay where more time is consumed in every single transaction.

Acknowledgement system
Both sites have an appropriate feedback system to record every transaction impression. Negative comments from the buyers’ side and positive comments from sellers are allowed in both cases. But eBay has given emphasis to the feedback system in a much deeper way compared to Amazon which most often overlooks the feedback score from the buyers’ side. Also, Amazon discourages sellers by moving them down in the search results when a buyer performs a search. EBay does this systematically by analyzing the feedback score and accordingly listing the sellers making it less or more visible.

Branding approach
Amazon restricts the sellers to market themselves whereas eBay gives sellers an opportunity to put a link to their website in the About Me page on eBay. Recently eBay made changes in its site to neutralize this ability by eliminating any outside links in About Me or custom store pages.

Image display
EBay sellers always struggle to provide photos for their products because the images should be unique even if two products are exactly same. Each product has to have its own photo. But in Amazon there is a tremendous time saving ability where multiple items can be listed without requiring a photo for each. Herein Amazon gives sellers an option to go for one single photo and a common description page for multiple products.
For sellers on Amazon this is a real pain as sales tax is added to the cost of each and every item. This enables sellers to price their items a bit costlier. In case of eBay, the tax is differentiated from the sale price so as to let the buyer know that item has been priced based on taxes.

Payment method
Amazon Payments system is used by sellers on Amazon so that Amazon collects the revenue on their behalf and transfers it to their bank accounts.  EBay uses PayPal for doing the same stuff. Amazon has the advantage here as the sellers need not track unpaid items, send payment reminders or send invoices. Amazon will do all these things for you free.

Return policy
EBay sellers are bound by an obligation such as an A-Z guarantee. Herein if the buyer is not satisfied with the received product then eBay sellers are liable for a Moneyback guarantee within 90 days of the product being received. This is much riskier than Amazon where sellers are liable to replace the product rather than give the money back.

EBay sellers charge high shipping costs in order to cover various costs related to labels, supplies, cover, etc. This has enabled eBay to start penalizing them by lowering the visibility of businesses in product search whosoever tends to keep charging more than the average shipping amounts. Even the sellers providing free shipping are given higher preferences than others who can’t afford free shipping. On the other hand, Amazon gives a shipping credit based on the product category and item. This credit remains fixed as per industry standards even if the shipping cost goes higher in some cases. So the price of the item should be set accordingly as the fixed shipping credit is known in advance. In this way sellers won’t be a victim of outrageous shipping charges as in the case of eBay. Also if loss takes place, it's minimal and even the shipping is standard in case of Amazon.

Summing up…
It is quite clear from the above discussion that eBay is best in some cases while Amazon is a clear winner in others. It totally depends on the shops and the shoppers’ option. Both sites have millions of viewers as a target audience so it is absolutely ridiculous to compare them. However, it will be really interesting to see what the future of e-commerce will be with eBay moving closer to Amazon’s model.