Last updated on August 17th, 2023
Written by Ken Zhou
When considering an eCommerce platform to start your business with, two major platforms come to mind: eBay vs. Amazon. Both marketplaces have established themselves as global leaders in eCommerce. But which one is best for you as a seller?
In this blog, let’s dive into the seller fees of these eCommerce platforms and see which offers the best value for your money as a business owner.
Selling on eCommerce platforms is not free—you have to pay to sell. So, choose the platform that can bring you the most bang for your buck. Measuring seller fees in eCommerce platforms is crucial because it directly impacts your profit margins and financial performance.
If the cost of seller fees is too high but fails to contribute significant value to your eCommerce business, you may be at a loss.
If you plan to sell products on eBay, you'll be among the 18 million eBay sellers willing to pay for the fees to sell their items. But are the fees worth it? Let’s discuss the following eBay selling fees:
When you list an item on eBay, you will be charged an insertion fee. Each month, sellers are typically given 250 free insertion fee listings. For listings beyond this, the standard insertion fee is $0.35 per listing, though this may vary based on your subscription level.
Once your item sells, eBay charges a final value fee, typically around 0.5% to 15% of the total sale price. The fee percentage differs based on the item’s category, with categories such as industrial equipment having a lower fee.
Like Amazon Advertising, eBay’s Promoted Listing allows sellers to advertise their products directly on the platform. This helps sellers increase the visibility of their products, ensuring the ads will reach a number of engaged online shoppers.
However, a Promoted Listing comes at a price. You’ll be charged when someone buys your product through the Promoted Listing. The prevailing ad rates determine the cost, which is 2–100% of the product’s total sale amount.
eBay provides store subscription plans for sellers seeking advanced features and benefits. These subscriptions come with a monthly fee. Each plan offers different features, including lower final value fees and increased free listings.
You can take the Starter Store or Basic Store plans if you're new to eBay. Then, as your business grows, you can upgrade to higher-tier plans.
Take a quick look at eBay’s subscription plan and pricing below:
|Subscription Plan||Pricing (Per Month)|
eBay applies an international fee if
These eBay fees are deducted automatically from the sales profits. Below is the percentage of international fees eBay charges per country or region:
|Seller Registered Address Country/Region||International Fee|
|Rest of Asia-Pacific||1.30%|
|Europe United (excluding EU)||1.30%|
|Rest of World||1.55%|
To compare Amazon vs. eBay, this section will provide a comprehensive breakdown of Amazon selling fees.
Unlike eBay, Amazon doesn’t charge sellers for a per-item listing. Amazon offers two seller accounts: Individual and Professional. For those starting or selling occasionally, the Individual seller account is a better fit if you sell fewer than 40 units per month.
On the other hand, if you are an established seller selling more than 40 items a month, a Professional account will suit you.
Below are the prices of selling plans on Amazon:
An Amazon referral fee is equivalent to eBay’s final value fees. Each item sold on Amazon incurs a referral fee, which varies depending on the product category. This fee is generally between 8% and 15% of the item price and shipping charges. Amazon’s referral fee is typically higher than eBay’s final value fees.
If you’re using an Individual selling plan on Amazon rather than the Professional selling plan, you’ll be charged a fixed closing fee of $0.99 for each item you sell.
If you could sell 40 units in a month, you’ll have to pay a total of $39.60 for the items you sold, almost equivalent to a Professional selling plan. This could be one of the drawbacks of getting the lowest plan.
The Professional selling plan offers benefits such as access to different tools, bulk listings, advertising, and more that the Individual selling plan doesn’t.
Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service offered by Amazon, where they will handle the storage, shipping, and packing of your products.
Here are some benefits of enrolling in the Amazon FBA program:
Using FBA enables Amazon sellers to save up to 32% of shipping costs per unit. However, enrolling in Amazon FBA isn’t free. You’ll be charged FBA fulfillment fees, which depend on your item’s weight and size.
Aside from the FBA fulfillment fee, FBA sellers will also be charged a monthly storage fee. These Amazon fees apply to the total cubic footage of your product stored in Amazon fulfillment centers. Aside from the product size, charges also vary depending on the time of the year, with higher fees from October to December and lower fees from January to September.
After listing all the seller fees for both Amazon and eBay, it’s important to understand that these alone may not fully determine which of the two platforms provides the best value for your money.
To help you come up with a more informed decision, here are more factors to consider when choosing between eBay or Amazon:
Consider the potential customer reach on both platforms. eBay and Amazon accommodate expansive customer bases but differ in demographics and interests. eBay’s diverse user base attracts 35-64 year-olds, while Amazon targets millennials.
It’s also noteworthy that 92% of shoppers prefer buying from Amazon to other eCommerce platforms like eBay and Walmart. These facts will help you determine your products' potential audience size and market demand.
Amazon generated $514 billion in sales in 2022, compared to eBay’s $9.79 billion. Amazon’s sales volume significantly surpasses that of eBay. Amazon reportedly had 300 million active users in 2022, compared to eBay’s 138 million users.
This means you might find more opportunities for sales on Amazon, but remember that greater sales volume also means more competition among sellers.
Both marketplaces have their share of competition. However, Amazon features well-known and established brands, making it more competitive. On the other hand, eBay is known for niche markets and a global audience seeking unique items.
Aside from this, Amazon has 9.7 million registered sellers on the platform, of which nearly 2 million are active. Meanwhile, there are 18 million active sellers on eBay. If you’re looking for low competition in terms of the number of sellers, Amazon might be a better choice than eBay.
Promoting your products on both platforms requires different approaches. Amazon provides Amazon Advertising, while eBay has its Promoted Listings. Depending on your promotional strategy, one of these platforms might be more appropriate for your business.
Amazon Advertising offers different products, such as Sponsored Product, Sponsored Display, and more. Meanwhile, eBay’s advertising options might not offer the same level of customization.
Both eBay and Amazon prioritize buyer and seller protection. But in terms of payment protection and processing returns and refunds, Amazon appears to be safer for sellers than eBay. Choose the platform where your potential customers can enjoy a positive online shopping journey, as this can influence your sales outcome.
When it comes to choosing between eBay and Amazon, there are several factors for you to consider. Both platforms offer unique benefits and drawbacks tailored to selling and shopping experiences. As a seller, you should evaluate which platform offers the best exposure and target audience for your products.
If you want more freedom in selling products, then eBay may be the right eCommerce platform.
You’ll be paying lower selling fees, too. However, the tools and services that can help you sell your products might be limited.
But if you’re open to growing your potential as a seller, Amazon may suit you better. As the world’s largest eCommerce platform, you can sell your products to a large user base. You’ll pay more fees to access various seller tools and services, but you’ll get the most out of what you pay.
So, are you now ready to start your eCommerce venture with Amazon? If you’re still not confident about entering the dynamic world of eCommerce, don’t worry.
Seller Interactive can assist sellers like you in navigating the complexities of eCommerce. Our comprehensive account management services cover everything from product listing optimization to prep and logistics. Book a call with us today, and let’s start your eCommerce growth story!
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