5 min read

Selling on Amazon vs eBay: Which is Better for Sellers?

Written by
Vanessa Hung
February 9, 2024

Deciding on the ideal online marketplace to sell your products can be tough. With Amazon and eBay leading the field, small business owners are often torn between the two. This blog post will provide a helpful guide on essential factors like customer reach, fees, product types, target audience to consider when choosing your selling platform.

Read along to unlock key insights that'll help you make an informed decision!

The Differences Between Amazon and eBay

What's the cost of selling on eBay?

Since its inception in 1995, eBay has acquired several companies, such as PayPal (purchased in 2002 and spun off in 2015), Gumtree, and StubHub. By the third quarter of 2022, it had amassed 138 million active buyers. So, what's eBay's revenue model?

Primarily, they earn from transaction fees, which charge sellers 2.99% + $0.49 for every credit/debit card payment they receive. Additionally, eBay's Marketplace platform, where products are listed for sale or auction, imposes certain fees. While sellers get several free listings initially, there might be an insertion fee based on the starting bid of the item. Once an item sells, a final value fee is also applied. To illustrate, sellers with an eBay store enjoy a higher number of fee-exempt listings each month compared to those without a store. Yet, every seller is subject to the final value fee, which varies based on the product category and sale amount, plus an additional $0.30 per order.

For top-tier sellers, eBay has subscription plans providing numerous free listings for a monthly charge, reduced insertion fees for those exceeding their free listing quota, and a more complex but generally lower scale of final value fees. Through the Marketplace, sellers can enhance their listings (like achieving better search result placements or adding more photos) or opt for fixed price listings, which incur similar fees as auction listings.

What about the cost of selling on Amazon?

Amazon employs a more intricate fee structure in comparison to eBay. Sellers have the option to register either as Individuals or Professionals. Under the Individual plan, Amazon levies a $0.99 listing fee per item, coupled with a referral fee that can vary between 8% and 45%, contingent on the product category. Furthermore, there's an adaptable closing fee. However, for BMDV (books, media, DVD, and video) products, this fee is fixed at $1.80 each. The closing fee for other merchandise is determined by its weight.

Amazon provides a myriad of categories for sellers to list their items, ranging from books to cosmetics to large appliances (some of which necessitate Amazon's endorsement before listing).

For certain categories, Amazon requires approval before you can list your items. Understanding the intricacies of Amazon's fees is crucial for any seller, and those looking to manage costs effectively should learn how to get GTIN exemption on Amazon.

Sellers of BMDV items benefit from standardized shipping rates determined and collected by Amazon. This system benefits buyers, as it offers transparency: when procuring BMDV products from Amazon, they can easily ascertain the total cost without delving into individual shipping rates of different sellers.

For those keen on listing products already available on Amazon, they can simply input the product's UPC or SKU number. This approach streamlines the listing process as much of the pertinent information is pre-filled by Amazon's team. Payments to sellers are facilitated through periodic bank transfers, and they are further safeguarded by Amazon's Fraud Protection service.

Comparison of Selling on Amazon vs eBay

Selling on Amazon and eBay involves differences in business models, target customers, fulfillment methods, payment methods, global standing, customer feedback systems, and product restrictions.

Business model differences

Amazon and eBay vary significantly in terms of their business models. Let's list down some key features of each platform and compare their differences below:



These differences can impact various aspects of your business, including the type of products you can sell, the audience you can reach, and the fees you need to pay. Therefore, understanding these differences is vital to make an informed decision about which platform is right for your business.

Target customer differences

Amazon and eBay cater to distinct target customer bases. Amazon boasts a broader customer reach, with millions of active shoppers spanning diverse product categories. It attracts a wide spectrum of buyers seeking various products.

In contrast, eBay maintains a well-established and devoted customer base accustomed to the online auction format. This demographic consists of bargain hunters and collectors with a penchant for unique items.

When sellers contemplate whether to choose Amazon or eBay, they should carefully assess their product offerings and consider the specific audience they wish to target.

Fulfillment method differences

Amazon and eBay have different fulfillment methods for their sellers. Amazon offers a service called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), where sellers send their products to Amazon's warehouses. When customers place orders, Amazon takes care of the packaging, shipping, and customer service. This can be convenient for sellers who don't want to handle these tasks themselves.

If you're interested in starting an FBA business. Here are related articles you need to read:

On the other hand, eBay does not offer a centralized fulfillment service like FBA. Sellers on eBay are responsible for handling all aspects of fulfillment, including packaging and shipping the items directly to customers. This gives sellers more control over the process but also requires more effort on their part.

Payment method differences

Amazon and eBay have different payment methods for sellers.

On Amazon, sellers can receive payments through direct deposit or a check. For international transactions, they can also use Amazon Currency Converter to convert funds into their local currency.

eBay, on the other hand, offers various payment options including PayPal, credit/debit cards, and in some cases, cash on delivery. This gives sellers more flexibility when it comes to receiving payments from buyers.

Global standing differences

Amazon is a global e-commerce giant with a presence in multiple countries, allowing sellers to access a vast customer base around the world.

On the other hand, while eBay also operates globally, its focus is more on individual country markets, making it less prominent in certain regions compared to Amazon.

This difference in global standing means that sellers may have different levels of exposure and potential sales depending on which platform they choose.

Customer feedback system differences

On Amazon, customers can leave reviews and ratings for individual products, which helps other shoppers make informed decisions. The product's overall rating is visible on the listing page, making it easier for customers to assess its quality. Additionally, Amazon has a verified purchase badge, indicating that the review was left by someone who actually bought the product.

On the other hand, eBay uses a seller feedback system where buyers can leave feedback about their experience with a particular seller. This includes aspects like communication, shipping time, and item description accuracy. These seller ratings help build trust among potential buyers and assist sellers in establishing their reputation on the platform.

Both platforms value customer feedback as it enhances transparency and creates accountability for sellers. However, Amazon focuses more on product reviews while eBay emphasizes seller performance to ensure positive buying experiences for their users.

Product restrictions differences

Amazon and eBay have different rules and restrictions when it comes to selling products. On Amazon, sellers need to follow strict guidelines regarding the types of products they can sell. Certain categories, like restricted or prohibited items, require approval from Amazon before listing them for sale. This is to ensure the safety and quality of products sold on their platform.

On the other hand, eBay has fewer product restrictions compared to Amazon. Sellers have more freedom in choosing what they want to sell without needing prior approval. However, both platforms have policies in place to protect buyers and maintain a positive shopping experience for customers.

It's important for sellers to familiarize themselves with these product restrictions on each platform before listing their items for sale.

Advantages and disadvantages of selling on Amazon and eBay

Pros and cons of selling on Amazon

Selling on Amazon and eBay both have their advantages and disadvantages. On Amazon, the advantage is that it has a larger customer base, which means more potential buyers for your products. Additionally, Amazon offers fulfillment services through its FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) program, which can save you time and effort in storing, packaging, and shipping your products.

However, there are also disadvantages to selling on Amazon. The competition is high, as there are many sellers on the platform. This means you may need to lower your prices or offer unique products to stand out. Another disadvantage is that Amazon charges fees for selling on their platform, including referral fees and storage fees if you use FBA.

Pros and cons of selling on eBay

On the other hand, eBay has its own advantages and disadvantages. One advantage of selling on eBay is that it allows more flexibility in pricing your products because it uses an auction-style format where buyers bid on items. This can sometimes result in higher prices for your products.

However, one disadvantage of selling on eBay is that it may have a smaller customer base compared to Amazon. Additionally, eBay does not offer fulfillment services like Amazon's FBA program. This means you will be responsible for storing, packaging, and shipping your products yourself.

So, when deciding between selling on Amazon or eBay - it's important to consider factors such as the size of the customer base, competition levels, pricing flexibility, fulfillment options, and fees associated with each platform. Carefully weighing these advantages and disadvantages will help you make an informed decision about where to sell your products online.


In conclusion, understanding the differences between selling on Amazon and eBay is crucial for small business owners and entrepreneurs. From fees to customer reach, each platform has its own advantages and disadvantages.

By considering factors like product types, target audience, and profit margins, sellers can make an informed decision about whether to sell on Amazon or eBay. Conducting thorough research beforehand will help ensure success in the world of online selling.


1. Is it better to sell on Amazon or eBay?

The choice between selling on Amazon or eBay depends on factors such as the type of products you sell, target audience, and personal preferences. It's recommended to research both platforms and decide based on your specific business needs.

2. What are the fees involved in selling on Amazon and eBay?

Both Amazon and eBay charge fees for selling items on their platforms. The exact fees vary depending on factors such as the type of listing, category, and sales volume. It's important to review each platform's fee structure before deciding where to sell.

3. Can I sell internationally on Amazon and eBay?

Yes, both Amazon and eBay offer international selling options. However, there may be additional requirements such as shipping logistics, customs regulations, and language support when selling internationally.

4. How can I increase my sales on Amazon or eBay?

To increase sales on either platform, it is important to optimize product listings with clear descriptions and high-quality images, maintain competitive pricing strategies, provide excellent customer service, actively promote your listings through marketing efforts like advertising campaigns or social media engagement, and regularly monitor performance metrics for areas of improvement.


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