eBay and Amazon: selling on both marketplaces

Can one sell on eBay and Amazon? Is it advantageous to be present on both sales channels? Both are well-known in our market. The two platforms can facilitate sellers’ contact with a broad audience of users, albeit with some profound differences that vendors should be aware of.

The two marketplace services are not equivalent. This is suggested by the fact that a significant portion of Amazon sellers is also concurrently present on eBay. In this way, they capture all the benefits of this integration across commercial channels.

In this guide, we will try to outline the characteristics of selling on both marketplaces. We will see why it might be advantageous to be present on both platforms. Finally, we will explore how to seamlessly integrate one’s business strategy on eBay and Amazon.

eBay and Amazon: Similarities and Differences

As probably well-known to all our readers, Amazon is the most renowned marketplace globally. Here, sellers can list their products by registering with one of the two main account types, thus immediately reaching out to millions of people. eBay also allows sellers to offer their products through a professional account or a store. But… be careful not to jump to hasty conclusions: the two services are by no means identical.

Let’s try to outline the main differences in the following table.

Characteristic Amazon eBay
Selling Format Fixed-price selling Can sell at a fixed price or via auction 
Global Reach 14 global marketplaces 24 international sites
Monthly Visits in Italy + 200 million + 55 million
Customer Type Aged between 45 and 54, with spending capacity generally higher than eBay’s typical customer Aged between 35 and 49. Buyers are predominantly male (57%)
Costs Has two accounts, with the choice predominantly influenced by exceeding (or not) 40 monthly sales Has two categories, the first without fixed fees, the second with a fixed fee (for more than 50 listings). Beyond 300 listings, eBay also offers PRO accounts 
What to Sell  Can sell almost every product within 40 different categories, a third of which is subject to various restrictions Numerous commercial listings where one can sell their product 
Logistics Two ways to ship products from Amazon: FBM (seller ships the item to the customer) or FBA (items are shipped through Amazon’s warehouse) Seller ships the product directly to the customer
Warranty Refund to the buyer in case of product defects, delivery delays, problems with returns  Right to a refund only if paid with PayPal

Amazon and eBay: Which is More Profitable for Sellers?

So far we have explained what the main features of Amazon and eBay are. Now, we need to understand which marketplace is more profitable for professional sellers.

As we will see shortly, one platform does not exclude the other. eBay is generally considered more cost-effective due to lower fees and fewer category restrictions. However, eBay has a much smaller audience compared to Amazon. Furthermore, it does not offer any fulfillment or warranty services.

On the other hand, Amazon can provide better logistics services through its FBA program. Moreover, it ensures greater brand opportunities due to a wider audience and a platform that is considered more reliable. Compared to eBay, competition is even fiercer on Amazon. Furthermore, fees are higher, and there are restrictions on various product categories.

In short, it is not necessarily the case that Amazon is better than eBay, or vice versa. It all depends on the type of items you decide to sell and your overall strategy. eBay, for example, is definitely more suitable for selling vintage or used items.

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Can You Sell on Amazon and eBay Simultaneously?

Sellers interested in maximizing sales opportunities in the market should consider the idea of selling on Amazon and eBay simultaneously.

To do this, however, you should remember one thing. Although the same product categories can be sold on both marketplaces, in reality, the target audience will have significantly different profiles. 

Remember that the audiences of Amazon and of eBay are loyal to their respective reference platforms. Generally, this loyalty develops for very different reasons. Clients who buy on Amazon may do so due to the good product assortment. Or due to the possibility of obtaining fast and free shipments. Those who buy on eBay, on the other hand, may do so due to the opportunity of finding items that are unavailable elsewhere (think of old family mementos) or for the good customer service.

The possibility of addressing different audiences should not frighten you. On the contrary, integrating Amazon and eBay so as to be effectively present on both platforms will allow you to reach different customers. Contrary to what you might think, customers who continue to search for products and buy goods only on Amazon or only on eBay are more numerous than you imagine.

In short, to put it even more clearly, by posting a sales announcement on both platforms, you can reach more potential customers, who may still prefer one platform over the other.  

Other Reasons to Sell on eBay and Amazon

The reasons that lead many sellers to be present on both platforms go on. For example, remember how relying exclusively on a single marketplace can be risky. You expose yourself to changes in algorithms, policies, market trends. Not to speak of the risk of unwittingly encountering issues such as account suspension. Diversifying sales on eBay and Amazon can mitigate this risk and ensure a more stable stream of income.

Also recall how listing products on multiple platforms can increase online presence. When potential customers search for your products, it is more likely that the items will appear in search results, thus bringing more traffic to your listings.

As if the above were not enough, selling on multiple platforms will allow you to test different strategies and pricing models. You can analyze your eBay and Amazon sales data. Consequently, you can optimize your listings to improve overall performance. 

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How Many Amazon Sellers Are Also on eBay?

To provide a reliable answer, we have the latest Statista data published a few months ago for the year 2022. According to this data, 24% of sellers who place their products on Amazon also do so on eBay. The percentage has decreased compared to the 28% in 2021. 

With this data, eBay confirms itself as the preferred marketplace for Amazon sellers, ahead of Shopify (16%), Walmart (15%), Facebook Marketplace (13%), and Etsy (13%).

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