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If you want to start selling online, you’ll have lots of different options on how to start. For those of you who want to start an eCommerce business from scratch, it might be interesting to start selling on Amazon or on eBay.
Alternatively, you could set up your own online shop and try to close your first sales.
If you choose this way, you will have to work years to get traffic, build trust and actually close your first sale.
It's quite easier to start selling on marketplaces, because they already have all of that. Trust me, setting up your own online shop will be ten times harder than starting on an online marketplace.
The two most popular online market places are Amazon and eBay.
But which one should you choose? Which one is actually better? After all, you don't want to lose hundreds of dollars within the first 2 weeks.
So, if you want to know whether Amazon or eBay is better to start a business, you've come to the right place.
Let's dive right in.
Amazon has much more traffic than eBay. According to SimilarWeb, Amazon.com has 2.7 billion website visits per month.
However, there are twelve marketplaces in total (Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.uk, etc.). Amazon.de alone has 578.8 million monthly website visits.
On the other hand, eBay.com has only 855.82 million monthly visits. eBay.de only has 229.32M.
59% of the 16-36-year-olds head to Amazon before to any other e-commerce site. (Inviqa)
This point is particularly important. You do not want to start a business on a marketplace that gets old-fashioned over time.
People trust Amazon. 89% of buyers say they prefer to buy their products on Amazon rather than on other e-commerce marketplaces.
There are no insights for eBay. That's right, on Amazon you can check out what sells and what doesn't with research tools like Helium 10. However, on eBay, there is no way to do this.
Amazon is experiencing stronger growth than eBay. This is probably one of the most important reasons for most sellers. Here is a chart showing people's interest in Amazon from 2005 until today.
And here's a chart showing people's interest in eBay from 2004 until today.
In fact, Amazon is growing faster than eBay. Thus, if you want to be successful in the long run, you should start your business on Amazon.
Using the FBA Program, Amazon takes care of all your logistical tasks, including storage, delivery and customer service.
As a seller, you no longer have any physical contact with your products when you sell them via the FBA program.
Note that 53% of all sales on Amazon are made by third-party sellers. 73% of the top US third-party sellers use FBA. You can check out all data about FBA here.
People are most likely to buy second-hand products on eBay. If you want to scale your business, it gets really tough for you. That's why you don't have time all year round to look for second-hand products to sell on eBay.
If you want to build a profitable business, you need to develop a business process that can be automated. And this process usually starts with ordering NEW inventory from your manufacturer.
Since most people buy second-hand products on eBay, they will also use eBay's auction model. The downside of this is that you have no control over your selling price, so you even can't control your margin.
This is a real business killer.
People prefer to buy new products on Amazon.
Finally, a marketplace where new products are sold proves to be better for most entrepreneurs.
Amazon is a marketplace where you can sell products the whole year and earn money all the time.
You can build a brand on Amazon.
Private Labeling is becoming even more popular. By 2018, the market share of private labels was 19.3 % in the US. Switzerland leads with 45%.
Amazon offers Amazon Prime. With Prime, customers receive their product within one day all year round and can Prime Video or Prime Music. In the US, there are approximately 103 million active Amazon Prime memberships.
You can expand your business to other Amazon marketplaces. For example, if you start selling on Amazon.uk, and you've stable sales over time, you can start selling on Amazon.com.
These are all the Amazon marketplaces:
While you can only sell ordinary products on eBay, you can sell almost anything on Amazon.
That's right, Amazon offers an enormous amount of opportunities to make money.
Here is what you can sell on Amazon:
I also wrote a detailed article about how you can make money on Amazon.
Once you have sold a product on Amazon, they will deposit your money right into your bank account. If you want to sell on eBay, you need a PayPal account or a credit card.
What seems to be less important might be important for your business processes at a certain point in time.
The German Merchants Association reports from a survey in which 53% of online merchants report that they generate more sales on Amazon.
If you want to sell second-hand products, Amazon isn't a good choice. There are second-hand products on Amazon, but eBay is more popular for selling old stuff.
Finally, it's important to mention that it is cheaper to sell on eBay than to sell on Amazon.
But also remember that there's no FBA when you sell on eBay. You probably have to rent a warehouse or something else if you want to go all in.
I wrote a detailed article about Amazon FBA fees here.
You need to spend more time selling on Amazon than on eBay.
Yeah, that's right, if you want to sell on Amazon, you have to put in more work than on eBay. On the other hand, you can make much more money than on eBay.
Competition on Amazon is stronger than on eBay.
That' because there are more sellers on Amazon than on eBay. It's logical: if there are more sellers selling the same product, competition grows.
At the end of the day, it's extremely easy choice for me. If you want to start selling online seriously and want to make money, start selling on Amazon.
If you want to sell your old stuff for a couple of bucks, choose eBay.
That's it. It's really that simple.