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Sell on Amazon vs eBay: What are the Key Differences

Sell on Amazon vs eBay: What are the Key Differences

Due to the pandemic, ecommerce is playing a more significant role in the world economy. It is critical to choose the online business platform that suits you the best. If you are not interested in setting up your own website, Amazon and eBay are two major marketplaces that cannot be ignored.

Both Amazon and eBay have earned worldwide reputations and are ranked as the No. 1 and No. 3 top-performing online shopping sites. Although there are an increasing number of other marketplaces for merchants, these two behemoths still stand out from the rest.

In this article, we will take a closer look at every key difference between these two monsters. Hopefully, it can help you determine which is the right one for your type of business.


Market Size and Potential

In 2021, Amazon accounted for 13.77% of the global ecommerce market, and 52.4% of the US market. For eBay, the statistics for the US market share are 4.2%. There is no doubt that Amazon has much more market share than eBay. 

It seems you can draw a conclusion easily that Amazon has much greater selling potential than eBay. But actually, it depends on your target audience. 

Most of Amazon’s users are from the US, with an average age of 50. eBay’s customers are younger, and the shoppers outside the US contribute to most of eBay’s sales. In addition, in general, buyers on eBay are pickier and more concerned about price and refund policy.

In short, if you have pinpointed a specific niche market and are able to provide a specialized product, eBay should be your best choice. But for most circumstances, it is recommended to sell on Amazon to reach as many potential customers as possible.

Customer Loyalty

When comparing Amazon and eBay, they are both well-established and have been active since the 1990s. However, ever since Amazon launched its premium subscription services in 2005, it has been the killing factor that differentiates Amazon from other competitors. By setting up its own warehouses and fulfillment teams, Amazon is able to provide premium subscribers with fast and convenient delivery experiences.

Another key reason is that customers can return and get a refund easily if they aren’t satisfied with what they bought from Amazon or the time it takes to arrive.

As for the return policy of eBay, it is more complicated and unfriendly. eBay doesn’t guarantee a refund, instead, it provides options to sellers for whether to offer refund services, which puts the customers at the risk of being scammed. Because of that, eBay has a bad reputation in its early stages. But its protection for customers has been massively improved in recent years. It ensures that customers will get their money if products don’t arrive as promised.

Combining all these factors into consideration, Amazon has a huge advantage over eBay in customer loyalty.

İstanbul, Turkey - December 26, 2013: Hands holding Apple iPad 2 displaying ebAy home page on Safari web browser. iPad is a touchscreen tablet computer produced by Apple Computers.


The competition varies from platform to platform, Amazon stated that it had reached over 200,000 sellers in 2019. Most Amazon sellers are professionals with registered brands.

Compared to Amazon, most eBay sellers are individuals and consider selling on eBay a part-time job, or just selling their used products or collections occasionally. 

Besides, on Amazon, when you click through to the specific product page, there might be a dozen sellers competing for the Amazon Buy Box that makes up most of the sales. In most cases, the seller with the lowest price can win the Buy Box, which leads to the fierce competition of selling on Amazon.

Given that eBay allows sellers to upload several listings for the same item, it is relatively easy to gain raw traffic. What’s more, eBay provides options to upgrade sellers’ listings to be more visible and attract more potential audiences.

Overall, if you are just starting up your online business and prefer less competition, eBay is recommended. On the other hand, if you are able to offer the best product in the niche market at the proper price, you will have a great chance to make a fortune on Amazon.

Fulfillment Methods

By storing your goods in the nearest warehouse and shipping them on your behalf, Amazon provides great convenience for sellers who join the FBA (Fulfilment by Amazon) program. Every time a customer makes a purchase, Amazon will handle the picking, packing, delivery, and refund of your products, so you can focus on marketing and customer service. 

There is also an option for sellers to handle these things by themselves or hire third-party service providers.

Right now, eBay has launched a similar fulfillment program called Managed Delivery. But it is only for global shipping, which means native sellers have to do it on their own. 

Considering the big advantages of FBA, Amazon should be your first choice if you want to avoid being swamped with customers’ complaints about delivery. Besides that, Amazon tends to give priority to FBA sellers in rankings of listings and Buy Box. So if you prefer to handle things by yourself, you should choose eBay.


Although Amazon and eBay both have millions of used and new products on their sites, they hold different policies on what can be sold.

In general, Amazon has more restrictions. Some of their categories are seasonally restricted, some of them require certifications to sell, and certain products like cigarettes are not allowed.

In most cases, compared to Amazon, eBay doesn’t require as many certifications as Amazon. Another difference is that eBay focuses more on selling collections and rare things. 

If you plan to sell your collections, like vintage clothes or Pokemon cards, there is no doubt that eBay is perfect for you.

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