Amazon or eBay--Which is best for Sellers?
January 1, 1970Should I sell on eBay or Amazon? If you’re a small e-commerce company which channel is best? It’s a question more and more businesses are thinking about these days, and there’s no easy answer. However, based on our many interviews with eBay PowerSellers, as well as with folks at Amazon we can offer some guidance.
If you’re just getting started and looking to build your brand, hands-down eBay is the winner. The challenge for Amazon sellers is that it’s difficult to separate yourself from all the other third-party sellers (and all told, there are over a million of these). Pretty much they all look the same on Amazon. Also, there’s no mechanism in place for building an email customer list, which on eBay you can do through a number of different places.( One of these is your My World page, which is similar to the better-known About Me page, but is more robust—you can include a lot more information and more different types of information. )
Now Amazon is not without its advantages. PowerSellers tell us, and our own experience has shown us that Amazon customers pay more on average than eBay customers do. They are also less work to deal with. Let me explain. Because of the cloud of fraud that hangs over eBay (whether deserved or not) a lot of buyers build in a discount to account for this possibility. Amazon, however, has a strong A-Z guarantee in place for buyers, and therefore the perception is that fraud is much less of a concern. And because customers are more comfortable they won’t necessarily feel the need to test you as some eBay buyers do, and communicate with you regularly during a transaction to make sure you’re legitimate. Obviously, responding to emails like these eats up a lot of valuable time!
But we want to caution eBay sellers not to move off eBay too quickly. A lot of people get started on eBay but then move to other channels, such as Amazon, or even their own websites before they are ready. You first must establish yourself as an e-ecommerce brand. Build a customer list that’s loyal to YOU and not eBay. When you’ve done that you and you’re consistently grossing, say, $5,000 per month then it’s time to venture beyond eBay. But even then you may want to keep an eBay presence if for no other reason then to drive folks to your website.
No matter what, be prepared to work hard but also reap the many benefits that come from working for yourself. Most people who do this wouldn’t go back to the 9-5 world for anything.