Amazon are always something of a puzzle

Amazon restricts sellers from reaching out to buyers and marketing to them. Traditionally, this has been an advantage to eBay since eBay allowed sellers to link to a site off eBay from the seller’s About Me page.

Recent changes at eBay have virtually eliminated the ability to use eBay as a lead generating tool for off-eBay business. eBay has all but forbidden any outside links from any eBay pages including custom store pages. The only place a link may appear is on your eBay About Me page. This has effectively neutralized eBay as a “branding tool.”

Advantage: Tie

7. Photos

eBay sellers have always struggled with photos. How to take good photos, how to get the photos to show up on eBay, how many photos. Each item, no matter if it’s exactly the same as another, gets its own photo on eBay.

Amazon is different. An individual product gets one photo, and one description page, and all sellers use the same page.

Generally, the first photo posted on a given product, is the photo everyone will use. Some sellers don’t like the idea of other sellers using their photo. But if “one photo fits all” for a particular product, it’s pretty likely that product is a commodity product. Not many photos are needed.

As an Amazon seller, I absolutely love the fact that I can list 20 items without shooting a single photo. It saves a ton of time.

Amazon buyers will buy an item without a photo. They know that the image they see is generally just representative anyway.

Advantage: Amazon

8. Taxes

Marketplace sellers are responsible for the sales tax on any items sold on, and if necessary, they generally add this cost into the price of their items. This is a pain for Amazon sellers who are running a business.

eBay provides a mechanism in the Sell-Your-Item form to collect the taxes in addition to the sale price. This way the taxes don’t eat into the seller’s profits.

It seems Amazon could add a tool like this to their process quite easily for their Marketplace sellers and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the future. But until that happens, I’d say…

Advantage: eBay

9. Average Sale Price

Amazon buyers have been shown to be more affluent, and more willing to spend more on similar items. eBay buyers tend to look for bargains, and are willing to wait through a seven-day auction to save a buck.

As a seller, I’ll pick the buyer that is willing to spend more. I have actually used eBay to source products at rock-bottom prices, then sold for good profit on Amazon. Amazon buyers often don’t even look on eBay, and they ultimately pay more.

Advantage: Amazon

10. Payment Methods

Amazon sellers must use Amazon Payments to accept payment. That’s it. Amazon collects the payment, and deposits it into your bank account twice per month (more often if you choose). They collect and deposit the funds with no fees added. eBay sellers can accept PayPal, money orders, cashier’s checks, or cash (in person).

eBay seems poised to require PayPal payments on all transactions. If that happens, it will significantly affect many sellers. If you sell an item for $500, you may now accept non-PayPal payments and keep most of your money. If PayPal is required, you will fork over 2.9% + $.35 ($14.85) in PayPal fees.

Amazon sellers do not have to send invoices, payment reminders, or track unpaid items. If Amazon cannot collect the payment, you don’t have a sale, and your item is still listed on their site. eBay’s system is simply more work, more time, and ultimately costs more to manage as a seller.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *