If you’re considering diving into the world of e-commerce, you’ve likely come across the two giants in the industry: eBay and Amazon.
With both platforms offering various advantages and disadvantages, it can be challenging to decide which one is the right fit for your online selling endeavors.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down eBay vs Amazon seller fees, compare their business models, and provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision about which platform to choose.
- Different Business Models: eBay’s auction-style marketplace allows for a wide range of products, including used and unique items, while Amazon’s streamlined model is ideal for new, brand-name products.
- Consider Your Goals: The choice between eBay and Amazon depends on your business goals, competition, and the type of products you want to sell.
- Seller Fees Comparison: Seller fees can vary, but for a $30 product, eBay’s fees are generally lower than Amazon’s, as illustrated in this example.
- eBay Fees: eBay’s fees include insertion fees and final value fees, with an average of 13.25% and a 30-cent transaction fee per order.
- Amazon Fees: Amazon’s fees are complex, consisting of referral and fulfillment fees, which vary based on product category, size, weight, and other factors.
- Evaluate Your Needs: Consider logistics, growth opportunities, brand trust, and support when choosing the right platform for your business.
Before delving into the nitty-gritty of seller fees, it’s essential to understand the fundamental differences between eBay and Amazon’s business models.
eBay operates primarily as an auction-style marketplace, where sellers list items for bidding or set a fixed price.
This model offers a more open and flexible selling environment, allowing for a wide range of products, including new, used, and unique items.
On the other hand, Amazon focuses on providing a streamlined, efficient buying experience for its customers. With its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service, sellers can store their products in Amazon’s warehouses, and Amazon takes care of storage, packaging, shipping, and customer service.
This model caters more to new, brand-name products and offers a more structured selling experience.
Determining which platform is better for selling largely depends on your individual goals and the type of products you want to sell.
To make an informed decision, consider factors such as the size of each marketplace, their competitiveness, and the buyer experience, including shipping options, customer support, and payment methods.
Amazon boasts a vast customer base and a reputation for fast shipping and exceptional customer service. This makes it an attractive option for sellers with new, branded products who want to reach a wide audience quickly.
However, the competition on Amazon is fierce, and you may face strict guidelines and higher fees.
eBay, while smaller in size, offers a more open and flexible selling environment. This platform is ideal for sellers with unique, used, or niche items, as well as those who prefer a more hands-on approach to managing their online store.
While eBay’s fees may be lower, the shipping options and customer support are not be as streamlined as Amazon’s.
To provide a clear comparison of seller fees on eBay and Amazon, let’s take a hypothetical product and analyze the costs associated with selling it on each platform.
For this example, we’ll use a $30 product, weighing 2 pounds, with a shipping cost of $8.
On eBay, you’ll pay a 13.25% final value fee based on the item’s total cost (including shipping, handling charges and sales tax), amounting to $5.03 + 30 cents Ebay transaction fee. Grand Total: $5.33.
Using Amazon’s FBA calculator, we can estimate the fees for selling the same product on Amazon.
The referral fee would be 15% of the product’s price, equating to $4.50. Additionally, the FBA fee, including fulfillment and storage, would be approximately $5.41. In this scenario, your total Amazon fees would amount to $9.91.
This comparison highlights that, for this specific example, eBay’s seller fees are lower than Amazon’s. However, it’s essential to remember that fees can vary depending on factors such as category, shipping method, and product size and weight.
In 2023, eBay’s fees consist of two primary components: insertion fees and final value fees. Insertion fees are charged when you list an item and vary depending on the type of listing and your eBay store subscription level.
Every month, you get up to 250 zero-insertion fee listings.
The total amount of the sale includes the item price, handling charges, the shipping service the buyer selects, sales tax, and any other applicable fees
13.25% is the average Ebay fee and you need to add a 30-cent transaction fee to each order.
If your item sells, eBay keeps a portion of the sale. This final value fee for most categories is 13.25% of the sale price or lower, plus $0.30 per order.
To estimate your fees when selling on eBay, you can use an eBay fee calculator. There are plenty available online. Plus check out the eBay selling fees help doc for more info.
Amazon’s fees are extremely complex. The two main components are referral fees and fulfillment fees. Referral fees are a percentage of the product’s price, typically ranging from 8% to 15%, depending on the category. For most products, the referral fee is around 15%.
Fulfillment fees apply if you choose to use Amazon’s FBA service. These fees cover packaging, shipping, and customer service, and are determined based on factors such as product size, weight, and time of year.
However, they manage to slip in all sorts of extra fees such as storage fees, inventory fees or refund admin fees, etc. Plus the referral & fulfillment fees vary wildly depending on your product category, weight, size, etc.
To get a detailed breakdown of Amazon FBA fees, check out our article on Amazon FBA Fees.
It’s important to stay informed about any changes in Amazon’s fee structure, as they adjust their fees periodically.
Pros and Cons of Selling on eBay vs Amazon
When it comes to deciding between eBay and Amazon as a platform for your business, several factors need to be considered. Let’s break down the pros and cons to help you make an informed choice:
Pros and Cons of Selling on eBay
- Lower Seller Fees: eBay often boasts lower seller fees compared to Amazon, making it an attractive option for cost-conscious small businesses.
- Flexible Selling Environment: eBay’s auction-style marketplace allows for a wide range of products, making it ideal for sellers engaging in retail arbitrage or those with unique, used, or niche items.
- Returns Policy: eBay’s return policy is generally more lenient, which can be beneficial for sellers as it often leads to higher customer satisfaction and fewer returns.
- Limited Brand Trust: While eBay offers opportunities for smaller businesses, it may not provide the same level of brand trust and recognition that Amazon enjoys.
- Less Streamlined Fulfillment: eBay’s shipping options and customer support may not be as streamlined as Amazon’s, potentially requiring more hands-on management.
Pros and Cons of Selling on Amazon
- Vast Customer Base: Amazon has a massive customer base, giving your small business the potential to reach a wide audience quickly.
- Fast Shipping with Amazon Prime: Amazon Prime offers fast shipping, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction and more repeat business.
- Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): Amazon’s FBA service can simplify the logistics of your business, handling storage, packaging, shipping, and customer service, making it an attractive option for businesses that want to scale.
- Higher Seller Fees: Amazon’s fees, including referral and fulfillment fees, can be higher than eBay’s, impacting your profit margins.
- Strict Guidelines and Competition: Amazon’s competitive environment may lead to strict guidelines, and the competition can be intense, making it challenging for small businesses to stand out.
The choice between eBay and Amazon depends on your specific business needs and goals. Consider factors like fees, brand trust, logistics, and your product niche to determine which platform is the better fit for your small business.
When weighing the pros and cons of selling on Amazon or Ebay, consider the following factors:
- Logistics: Which platform offers a better fulfillment process that aligns with your business’s needs and capabilities?
- Scaling: Which platform provides better opportunities for growth and expansion in your target market?
- Brand Trust: Which platform has a more reputable and trustworthy brand image that can benefit your business?
- Growing Your Business: Which platform offers better tools, resources, and support for growing and managing your online store?
By evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision about which platform is best suited for your business.
Learn How to Build Your Own 7-Figure Amazon FBA Business
Part of the Junglescout suite of excellent FBA tools, the learning academy is a comprehensive video training library containing hours of content, including training videos, webinars, and interviews with successful Amazon sellers.
Whether you’re just starting your business, or growing your brand, get expert training from Amazon sellers without the hefty price tag.
eBay vs Amazon Seller Fees – Summary
Deciding between eBay and Amazon ultimately comes down to your business goals, the products you want to sell, and your preferred selling environment.
By considering the factors discussed in this article, such as fees, business models, and logistics, you can make an informed decision about which platform is best suited for your online selling venture.
Good luck, and happy selling!
eBay vs Amazon Seller Fees – FAQs
Yes, you can sell used items on Amazon. However, certain categories and products may have restrictions or require approval from Amazon before you can list them as used.
Yes, many sellers choose to sell on both eBay and Amazon simultaneously. This strategy can help diversify your income streams and reach a broader audience.
Amazon is known for its fast shipping options, particularly its Prime service. However, eBay sellers can also offer expedited shipping methods. Ultimately, the shipping speed depends on the seller’s chosen shipping method and the buyer’s location.
There are many other e-commerce platforms available, such as Etsy, Walmart Marketplace, and Shopify. Each platform has its unique features, advantages, and disadvantages, so it’s essential to research each option to find the best fit for your business.
Does Amazon or eBay take more fees?
Amazon’s fees are generally higher than eBay’s, but the specific fees can vary depending on factors like the product category, size, and weight.
How much does eBay take from a $100 sale?
The fees eBay charges for a $100 sale can include a final value fee (usually 13.25% or lower) and a 30-cent transaction fee. However, it’s essential to note that fees can vary based on the specific circumstances of the sale.
Is it better to buy on Amazon or eBay?
Whether it’s better to buy on Amazon or eBay depends on various factors, including the specific product you’re looking for, pricing, and the seller’s reputation. Each platform has its advantages, so it’s advisable to compare options for your particular needs.
What is the difference between selling on eBay and Amazon?
The primary difference lies in their business models. eBay operates as an auction-style marketplace with a more open and flexible selling environment. In contrast, Amazon focuses on a streamlined, efficient buying experience, often ideal for new, brand-name products.