Guest post by Abi Cool, Director of Search at Marketing Wind
The digital world has made an immense impact on commercial activities. With many sophisticated gadgets in vogue, shopping has been brought to the fingertips of customers and in few minutes orders can be made from any location in the world.
There are many websites and WooCommerce stores that seek to be visible online. Some businesses engage in search engine marketing to advertise their brands among search engine results. Other commercial websites may carry out SEO analysis with a tool to ensure that websites meet the requirements of search engine algorithms.
Companies like Amazon or eBay have long succeeded in making their names an established brand. It seems that a good number of online shoppers are conversant with the name. In fact, Amazon and eBay rank among top online shopping sites in the world.
If you have considered ecommerce for your business, the question of location should have popped up in your mind. Let us briefly zoom out of the digital world into the physical world. People visit marketplaces based on the product they are looking to purchase and so putting location into consideration is important. For online stores, it is possible to sell on several places at the same time.
Even at this, it is also important to know which would be a better choice for you. To purchase a product, where would buyers rather be and why? As a seller, there are also other factors you may need to consider. In relation to Amazon and eBay, here are five differences between selling on these shopping sites.
1. Amazon Vs eBay: The Market Environment
Every month, Amazon receives about 100,000 new sellers on board. Several large brands are flocking into the shopping site to sell and this has made Amazon an ever competitive space. For budding ecommerce businesses or start-ups, especially for those retailing, it might not be easy to keep up with this type of competition.
This is not to say that solid phantom brands cannot thrive. Amazon’s Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) and A+ Content helps to enhance product details and marketing content so as to reduce hesitations on purchases and give sellers better opportunities.
As reported by Statista, eBay is home to 175 million active users. This shopping website seems to provide a more accommodative marketing space. Sellers whose brands are not so popular have the chance of standing out on eBay. One of the benefits of eBay is the ability to develop a brand and market it to potential customers.
Amazon expects its sellers to fulfil the expectations that customer has or the seller could be suspended. The customers on eBay are also highly conscious of quality although the prices for some products on eBay are lesser. EBay makes it possible for buyers to bargain on products. This feature is not available on Amazon.
In relation to product categories, eBay requirements tend to be more permissive than Amazon’s. Amazon’s product categories are quite competitive and restrictive plus the decision regarding where products appear is made by them. On eBay, while sellers are selecting a product listing, where no product identifier matches the product, sellers can select “does not apply.”
Amazon provides about 40 product categories that range from Clothing & Accessories to Software & Computer Games, some of which require approval from Amazon. 12 of the available categories are open for sellers without approval provided that the required fees are paid. Books, Clothing and Toys usually top the Amazon chart for best sellers.
Notably, the products on these sites affect the nature of their customer database. EBay caters for specific products that appeal to dealers, resellers or hobbyists. The provision of the auction price feature by eBay makes it home for wholesales.
3. Shipping of Merchandise
Both platforms vary in their delivery policies. Amazon has two ways that a seller can deliver products, Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) and Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM).
FBA method requires that sellers send their products to Amazon warehouses. The products would be delivered from there.
Fees are charged on this feature based on:
- The weight of the item
- Handling fees
- Cost of storage per sq ft.
- Pick and pack
- A percentage of total profits on sales
FBM allows third-party sellers to deliver products to customers in-house or via drop shipping. Sellers that already have fulfilment centres can benefit from this.
On eBay however, sellers are responsible for delivery of products. On some categories like books, DVDs and Video Games, there are no set guidelines for the maximum shipping costs. There are incentives for sellers that ensure speedy delivery.
4. Selling Fees
Amazon has provision for Professional and Individual accounts. These two groups are charged differently. Professional accounts are required to pay a monthly fee of $39.99 plus per selling item fees while Individual accounts are required to pay a fee of $0.99 per each sale alongside other selling fees that vary per category of products. The Individual plan covers sellers that plan to sell less than 40 items a month.
eBay fees are mainly of two types; an insertion fee is charged when you create a listing and the final value fee is to be paid when your item is bought. On the average, eBay sellers retain more profit than those on Amazon. A flat fee of $0.30 is inclusive for insertion fees and final value fee includes 10% of sale for most product categories as against 15% on Amazon.
5. Getting Paid for Purchases
This is yet another point that you may like to consider among the two shopping sites. Sellers on eBay can get paid instantly, it all depends on the payment options available to buyers. Once an item has been successfully sold, you can receive your proceeds. The options available are;
- Credit or Debit Card
- Merchant Credit or Debit Card
- Payment on Pickup (this is not recommended as it is difficult to rectify should problems occur).
The procedure of getting paid on eBay differs much from Amazon. Amazon receives payments for sellers and makes deposits twice a month. This takes out the need for sellers to track unpaid items or send invoices. When the balance of your account is in positive, the money is sent to your bank account through an electronic funds transfer or Automated Clearing House (ACH).
The decision of which is best among the two shopping sites is left for you to make. You might want to leverage on the larger customer base of Amazon or you could choose eBay because of the selling fees that it offers.
Although there are challenges attached to fulfilling products on multiple platforms, some are successfully engaging in it. Given that you can bear the responsibilities, you can also choose to sell on both shopping sites as well. Overall, the knowledge of these differences can help sellers maximise the benefits from each site.