eBay and Amazon were both founded in 1995. Amazon back then specialized in selling
books, and eBay had few other competitors in the ecommerce selling space at first.
As we know, this is no longer the case – by a long shot. eBay is now up against giants
like Amazon and Walmart (whose relatively new marketplace has taken the ecommerce
industry by storm) and Shopify to name a few.
With these kinds of competitors, what could give eBay an edge for sellers, and why
should you consider the platform if you aren’t already using it?
- The Auction Format: what eBay is known for (although you do have the ‘Buy It
Now’ option available too). Particularly good for rare or collectible items, the
auction format allows buyers to bargain for products and may result in higher
profits. It can also move your inventory quickly, if you need faster sales.
- Simple and Quick Set-Up: your eBay store can be set up and ready to go in a
matter of minutes. Great for newer sellers to get started and build on over time.
Scroll down for a step-by-step on this process.
- Competitive Fees: there are six subscription options for sellers on eBay, starting
from as low as $4.95/month. You then have insertion fees (approximately $0.35c
per listing), final value fees (around 10%) and if you choose, listing upgrade fees.
These are relatively easy to stay on top of compared to some other platforms.
- eBay Managed Payments: eBay’s new Managed Payments system eliminates
the extra fee previously paid to PayPal for a transaction, saving sellers a little in
the process. It gives buyers more payment options, generates reports on your
financials, provides tax documentation, and allows direct transfer to your bank
account, saving you time. Plus, with A2X now able to integrate with Managed
Payments, you can level up these bookkeeping tools even further – more on this,
- Third-party Sellers Only: sellers on eBay escape the added challenge of
competing with own-brand products like Amazon Essentials for example, being a
platform for third-party sellers only.
- More Global Reach: typically, more than half of eBay’s annual sales revenue is
generated from its 60 million buyers outside the US, setting it apart. Sellers are
able to choose to list their items on international eBay sites, expanding their
reach and tapping into that huge overseas customer base.
- Global Shipping Program: reaching international customers requires
international fulfillment, and eBay delivers. You will need to meet a few criteria to
be eligible for the program, including earning a rating of Above Standard or
higher. If eligible, your items may be covered by eBay’s Money-Back Guarantee,
and any bad feedback received due to mistakes in the handling will be
automatically removed from your store.
- Highest Mobile Reach (for Android): approximately 6.27% of Android users
can be reached with the eBay app compared to Amazon’s 0.97% and Walmart’s
1.78%. Those numbers may look small, but with mobile ecommerce sales
expected to make up around 54% of total ecommerce sales by 2021 – they add
up. And don’t underestimate the portion of people using android; the number of
Android smartphone users is forecast to reach 130 million in 2021 and only just
lost the top spot to iOS at the beginning of 2020.
- More Room for New Brands and Private Label Sellers: large established
brands flock to sell on platforms like Amazon, flooding the seller space and
making things a little tougher for the smaller or younger businesses to cut
through. Sellers still developing their customer base and brand might have more
success on eBay, as may private label sellers, due to a few changes in eBay’s
- More Room for the Miscellaneous: eBay has the option for sellers to select
“does not apply” when they can’t find a product identifier relevant to their listed
item. There are also no ‘gated categories’ as found on other ecommerce
platforms (but there are some prohibited and restricted products to be aware of).
- Diversifies Your Portfolio: diversification is a great step to grow and future-
proof your ecommerce business. Having all your virtual business eggs in one
basket is never a good idea. Not only can you sell more stuff by branching out,
but you can protect yourself from complications if you are suddenly suspended
on one site. You can also expand your reach and learn more about your
customers’ buying behavior beyond one platform, and ultimately grow your brand
awareness and loyalty.