Selling on Amazon vs. Ebay – Which is More Profitable? (2023)

Choosing between selling on Amazon vs. eBay can be a difficult and complex decision. 

With so many different options, it can be hard to determine which one will provide the highest potential return – and make the job easier overall. 

Here at ZonPrep, we’re committed to helping you make an informed and educated choice. We’ll go over the advantages and disadvantages of selling on Amazon vs eBay, giving you all of the information you need to make an empowered decision that best benefits your business. 

Now you have a clear understanding of each platform and its capabilities, giving you clarity on how to maximize your profits and scale your business! Let’s dive in.

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What’s the main difference between selling on Amazon vs. eBay?

Amazon offers its FBA program – which allows merchants to send in their products to be stored and shipped by Amazon. This takes a lot of the legwork out of shipping products and dealing with customer service issues, as Amazon takes care of all that for you. eBay doesn’t have anything similar.

Additionally, Amazon shoppers are Prime members, meaning they get free two-day shipping on all orders with no minimum purchase amount. eBay shoppers don’t get these same benefits. This allows Amazon to attract far more customers than eBay, and it’s part of the reason they’ve grown so fast over the previous 10-20 years.

Selling on Amazon: Pros

Much more scalable

When deciding whether or not to sell your products on Amazon vs. eBay, it’s important to consider the relative scale of the two marketplaces. 

Amazon is far more scalable, with significantly more customers than eBay. Many ecommerce sellers believe this makes Amazon a better platform for growing your business.

There are a few key reasons why Amazon is more scalable:

  • Amazon shoppers are more likely to buy items that aren’t immediately available, whereas eBay shoppers are looking for specific items that they already know about. 
  • Amazon has a larger product selection than eBay, making it easier for customers to find what they’re looking for. 
  • Amazon offers more promotional opportunities than eBay, such as PPC sponsored listings and product ads.

All of these factors make Amazon a better platform for selling your products. If you’re looking to grow your business, then Amazon is the place to be.

Better marketing opportunities

Amazon has far more advanced and effective marketing strategies for sellers over eBay:

  • For example, Amazon has a built-in audience of millions of shoppers who visit the site regularly.
  • The platform also allows you to use its powerful search engine to help potential buyers locate your products. 
  • eBay, on the other hand, tends to attract smaller audiences, which can make it more difficult to reach potential buyers. 
  • Additionally, eBay does not have the same search capabilities as Amazon, which can make it difficult for buyers to find your products. 

Ultimately, when deciding whether to sell products on Amazon vs. eBay, it’s important to consider the benefits that each platform offers. 

Amazon’s large audience and powerful search engine can help you reach more potential buyers, while eBay’s smaller audience may be more difficult to reach.

Selling on Amazon vs. Ebay - Which is More Profitable? (2023)

Easier automation

On Amazon, you have the advantage of being able to automate your ecommerce business, including:

  • Automated fulfillment
  • Automated returns
  • Semi-automated customer service

These can save you a lot of time and hassle. However, Amazon is also a lot more competitive than eBay, so you’ll need to make sure your products are well-priced and appealing to buyers. eBay is less competitive and offers more opportunity for sellers to differentiate their products. 

The downside to eBay (more on this below) is you’ll need to be prepared to handle fulfillment and customer service yourself. In the end, the choice between Amazon and eBay depends on your specific business needs and goals.

Selling on Amazon: Cons

Higher selling fees

When it comes to selling fees, Amazon definitely takes the cake. 

eBay charges around 6-10% for each sale (the final value fee), while Amazon charges a variable closing fee that often ranges from 8-15%, depending on the product category. Amazon also charges an additional referral fee of the total sale price, while eBay only charges its final value fee.

So, what does this mean for sellers? 

  • If you’re selling a low-priced item on eBay, it’s likely that you’ll end up paying more in fees than you would if you sold it on Amazon. 
  • However, if you’re selling a high-priced item on eBay, you may end up paying less in fees than if you sold it on Amazon. 
  • Ultimately, it all depends on the product and the prices at which it’s being sold.

Overall, it’s important to consider both Amazon and eBay’s selling fees when deciding where to sell your products. 

Amazon is definitely more expensive when it comes to fees, but its massive customer base can often lead to higher sales volumes. eBay is less expensive when it comes to fees, but its smaller customer base can often lead to lower sales volumes.

Not beginner-friendly

When selling on Amazon, there are a number of rules and regulations that sellers must abide by in order to maintain a good seller rating and protect their account. 

Some of these rules can be confusing and time-consuming to learn, but it is important to be aware of them in order to avoid any penalties.

  • One such rule is that all items sold through Amazon must be listed in the company’s catalog. 
  • This means that sellers cannot simply list items for sale on Amazon without first submitting them for approval. 
  • Another rule (in order to qualify for the FBA program) is that all items must be shipped directly from the Amazon fulfillment center, and cannot be shipped from a third-party warehouse.
  • If you ship from a third-party warehouse, you will have to use seller-fulfilled prime.

These are just a few examples of the complex rules and regulations that sellers must comply with when selling on Amazon. It’s important to be familiar with all of them in order to avoid any penalties or problems with your account.

Selling on Amazon vs. Ebay - Which is More Profitable? (2023)

Selling on eBay: Pros

Very beginner-friendly

eBay is a much more beginner-friendly platform for selling than Amazon. With eBay, you don’t need to set up any special accounts or merchant profiles in order to start selling. You can simply create a listing and start selling right away.

On Amazon, by contrast, you need to set up an Amazon Seller Central account and complete a number of administrative tasks before you can start selling. This can be confusing and overwhelming for beginners.

eBay also has a much more simple fee structure, whereas Amazon is incredibly complex to add-up your expenses and predict your profit margins beforehand.

And as we covered above… eBay is a much less expensive platform to sell on than Amazon. There are no fulfillment fees or tricky miscellaneous fees on eBay, while Amazon charges a wide range of them.

Less-restrictive rules

eBay is a good platform for sellers because it has less restrictive rules than Amazon. 

  • On eBay, sellers can list an unlimited number of items for sale, and they are not required to have a minimum price for their items. 
  • Plus, eBay does not require sellers to have a Professional Seller account in order to sell items.
  • Amazon, on the other hand, has several restrictions for sellers. 

Sellers are required to have a Professional Seller account in order to access all features, and they are limited to selling only products that are listed in Amazon’s catalog (or you have to complete an approval process to list items – which is not the case on eBay). 

Selling on eBay: Cons

Low volume

eBay is a smaller platform with fewer customers than Amazon. This can be seen as both a positive and a negative for sellers. 

  • On the one hand, it means that sellers often have much lower volume of sales on eBay. 
  • This is because shoppers trust Amazon products more than eBay products, and so they are less likely to buy from eBay sellers. 
  • On the other hand, this also means that sellers have the opportunity to stand out more on eBay than they do on Amazon. 
  • Because there are fewer sellers on eBay, shoppers are more likely to take notice of and trust the sellers who do offer products on the platform. 

Thus, selling on eBay can be a great way for sellers to get their foot in the door, but you won’t have much scalability – due to Amazon having significantly more shoppers on their platform, and the conversion rates are typically higher on Amazon too.

Potentially-bleak future

Since it was founded in 1995, eBay has become one of the most popular shopping platforms in the world. 

However, in recent years, the company has been facing declining sales – and eBay’s shopping traffic has been on the decline for many years

While the company is still profitable, its future is increasingly uncertain. Ecommerce entrepreneurs should be aware that eBay might not be around in the future. You should be aware of this possibility and look for other platforms to sell their products. 

There are many other ecommerce platforms that are growing rapidly and could provide a more stable environment for businesses in the future – and Amazon has not seen a major decline in shopping traffic or market share yet. This resilience has driven high confidence for sellers, and makes the platform more attractive for long-term stability.

Selling on Amazon vs. Ebay - Which is More Profitable? (2023)

No FBA opportunity

In order to sell on eBay, you have to run your own fulfillment.

This can be a downside if you’re not familiar with the process or don’t have the resources to do it yourself. 

  • With Amazon’s FBA program, you can leave the fulfillment up to Amazon and they will take care of it for you. 
  • This can be a big advantage over eBay, especially if you’re not familiar with shipping and handling products. 
  • The vast majority of eBay sellers use a 3PL, which we’ll touch on below.

In order to sell on eBay, you have to run your own fulfillment, which can be a downside if you’re not familiar with the process or don’t have the resources to do it yourself. 

With Amazon’s FBA program, you can leave the fulfillment up to Amazon and they will take care of it for you. This can be a big advantage over eBay, especially if you’re not familiar with shipping and handling products. 

Using a 3PL for your ecommerce business

3PLs can be used for both eBay and Amazon (unless you’re doing FBA, which Amazon is your 3PL in that case). You’ll only need a 3PL for Amazon if you’re doing FBM or SFP.

In order to make sure all of your products are packed and shipped correctly, taking advantage of an ecommerce 3PL provider is a great way to reduce costs and improve efficiency. 

  • They’re able to provide a variety of services such as kitting, bundling and full product customizations.
  • These services can help reduce overhead and increase profits. 
  • They can also help with product building, bundling and multi-sets along with packaging requirements to meet your needs. 

Using a 3PL provider can be especially beneficial when it comes to manufacturing, receiving, inspections, storage and packaging/labeling for distribution and logistics. 

They’re able to handle anything from printing custom shipping labels to managing inventory levels across multiple warehouses – especially with prepping your inventory for FBA.

Additionally, they can offer local delivery services as well as retail shipping and fulfillment solutions to reduce costs while still providing excellent customer service. 

  • When selecting an ecommerce 3PL provider, make sure they are experienced in barcode scanning, SKU tracking and pick & pack processes in order to maximize efficiency. 
  • In addition, they should also provide kitting and value-added warehousing services such as bundling, repackaging, sorting and supply chain management. 
  • By outsourcing fulfillment and logistics to a 3PL provider, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best in ecommerce fulfillment and help reduce costs while still meeting customer expectations. 

Overall, using an experienced e-commerce 3PL provider is one of the best ways to ensure your products get delivered on time, in perfect condition and at an affordable price. 

With their help, you can focus on what matters most – growing your business! 

By taking advantage of their expertise in product customization, value-added warehousing and delivery services, you’ll be able to significantly increase efficiency while saving time and money. In the end, it all comes down to choosing the right 3PL for your business.

Track Your Profitability w/ Ecombalance

Know your sales, expenses, and profits for Amazon and/or Ebay by using a monthly bookkeeping service like EcomBalance. They’ll deliver your P and L, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow Statement by the 15th of each month so you never have to wonder how your Amazon or Ebay operations are performing.

Which is better: Amazon vs. eBay?

In our opinion, Amazon is the clear winner. 

Think about it like this – is there any reason to even put effort into a platform (like eBay) when the potential scalability isn’t even there? 

Amazon may be very competitive, but the marketing capabilities, customer reach and growth potential is far better than eBay.