Amazon or eBay? Where Should You Be Selling?

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Seems that for several years now, I have amazon.com been reading of disgruntled sellers leaving eBay to set up shop on Amazon. So much so, that leaving eBay, and kicking the door closed, seems to have become the in-thing. There are even ex-eBayers writing “How To” books.

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Well, I do not doubt for a minute that there are a lot of sellers who, in recent years, have left eBay. eBay is evolving, and change always rankles those who are established in their ways. People just dislike change, that is our nature.

Furthermore, several of those eBay changes, perhaps all of the major ones, have been quite seller unfriendly. Consequently, many eBay sellers have rightfully left eBay, simply because their business models require that they should.

What are the eBay evolutionary changes? Well, some chide that eBay is trying to become more like Amazon. And, in a sense, that assessment is correct. eBay has moved towards becoming a marketplace for the purchase of fixed-price commodities (like Amazon), as opposed to being principally an auction marketplace. Consequently, the small auction seller no longer enjoys the same status as they did in eBay’s early days.

The purpose of this article is to attempt to identify and to understand the differences between eBay and Amazon. And, ultimately to answer this question – based upon your business model, should you be selling on eBay or Amazon?

We will get to their differences in a moment, but first here is a quick answer to the above question: if your business model permits, and you can reconcile the operating and philosophical differences between selling on eBay and Amazon, then sell on both. Your goal is not to assign loyalty to one marketplace or the other, but to develop as many successful selling channels as possible.

Why? Because your long-term financial security is best served by multi-channel selling. Which is otherwise known as, not putting all your eggs into one basket, especially when you do not own the basket. Indeed, your main selling channel should be neither Amazon nor eBay; but instead, your own eCommerce website – an exclusive marketing place that you own and control.

To begin, think of eBay as an indoor shopping mall. On the ground floor, you will find the typical independently operated stores. But, on the mezzanine there are no stores, just tables full of merchandise. In this analogy, the mall stores are similar to the eBay stores, while the mezzanine represents the auction aspect of eBay. In your store, you own the merchandise, determine it’s advertising and display, and receive support and promotion from the mall owner.

Now, for Amazon. Think of Amazon as being more like a Walmart super center. Here, figuratively speaking, you must compete for shelf space. And, your little space is entirely surrounded by your competitors. Furthermore, even Walmart may decide to begin competing against you with their house brand. Amazon also provides store space, but it is practically invisible to shoppers.

In a nutshell, here is the operational difference between eBay and Amazon. On eBay, you are the second-party (seller), while eBay operates as a third-party (marketplace). On Amazon, the roles somewhat reverse; now Amazon is the second-party (seller and marketplace), while you are a third-party (seller). In either marketplace, the customer is always the first-party.

Thus, in any transaction on Amazon, Amazon’s presence is always in the foreground, and sometimes standing between you and the customer. As one example, many times a customer may buy your product, but think that they are buying from Amazon. And, there is the possibility that as Amazon learns more about your business, they may decide to become a competitor.

Whereas on eBay, eBay is more like a presence in the background, guarding against fraud and promoting the marketplace, but never competing against you. When a customer buys from you, the customer knows that they are dealing with a business independent of eBay.

Amazon has always been a major player in the e-commerce industry. There are a huge variety of product categories listed on their website, with in-stock products numbering in the millions. Along with all these products come several ways to save money while shopping on Amazon. We’ll look at a few of these methods and see just how easy it is to save cash and find Amazon bargains.

Amazon Discount Codes

Amazon sometimes provides coupon codes that you can apply to your purchases to save money. Although these are not regularly advertised by Amazon, a quick Internet search will reveal a plethora of coupons. One of the great things about these discounts is that they are deducted from the total price of your shopping cart. This will sometimes allow you to get free shipping on items which cost less than $25. Amazon coupon codes usually apply to certain products or categories only.

When you find a coupon code for a product you are interested in, all you do is enter it in the “Promotional Codes” box when you’re checking out. The discount will then be applied directly to your shopping cart and you’ll see the savings instantaneously.

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