The internet offers various different ways of generating revenue for companies and entrepreneurs who decide to take advantage of digital commerce. Selling products through online platforms is one way of making a profit without needing a large business infrastructure, as it allows you to access a wide range of potential customers that use these platforms for online shopping.
Amazon and eBay are two of the best options for selling products online, as both platforms offer sellers many different features for building an online business and offering products to their users.
We’re now going to take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of selling on Amazon and eBay.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of selling on eBay
Understanding the pros and cons of selling products on eBay can help you to decide whether the platform is a good option for your online business, or whether another alternative may be better suited to your needs or expectations.
The benefits of selling on eBay
Selling on an enormous platform like eBay offers sellers a series of advantages over other forms of online business. The main benefits of selling on eBay are:
1. Access to a large number of users
Users go to eBay with the intention of looking for products, comparing them and buying or bidding on them. It is one of the platforms with the largest number of users in the world, and these users are people who have a clear intention to buy.
Selling on eBay gives you the opportunity to access all these people who use the platform for their online shopping. When you upload a product onto eBay, it will be visited by buyers who are looking for that product or something similar, making it much easier to achieve sales than through eCommerce or another type of platform.
As with other platforms like Amazon, eBay allows you to access a much larger market, removing geographical barriers so you can sell at an international level.
2. Sell any kinds of items
There are practically no limits to the types of products you can sell on eBay. Users can find pretty much any kind of item on the platform. From new products to second-hand products, including both physical and digital products, eBay allows you to sell all kinds of things (with some limitations, such as illegal products, firearms, hazardous substances and pornography, among others).
3. Selling on eBay is simple
To sell products on eBay, all you need to do is create a user store on their web portal and begin creating products for sale, adding a title, description, images, price and payment and shipping methods. You can be all done in just a few minutes, then you’ll be ready to start displaying your products for sale on the platform.
4. Less investment in digital marketing
Traffic on eBay is practically guaranteed, so there is no need to invest large sums of money on digital marketing to implement SEO/SEM strategies or promotional campaigns to redirect traffic towards your products.
The disadvantages of selling on eBay
Although there are many significant benefits to selling on eBay, there are also some downsides that sellers should bear in mind:
- The commissions and fees for selling on eBay are higher than other online sales platforms, thus reducing profits for sellers.
- If you use the auction model, you will need to constantly monitor the items you’re selling, and reactivate them if they expire without receiving any bids.
- It is not a platform that promotes relationships between sellers and customers.
- You can only personalise your product listings according to the eBay templates, which prevents you from producing product information that adds value for the customer.
Advantages and disadvantages of selling on Amazon
Amazon is the biggest marketplace in the world and a perfect place for selling your products online. The benefits of Amazon make it the best option for many sellers, but you should also know about the downsides of selling on this platform before you begin listing products there.
The benefits of selling on Amazon
The advantages offered by Amazon are similar to those of eBay: access to a large customer base looking to buy products, reduced investment in digital marketing, easy setup to begin selling on the platform and the fact that you can sell practically any kind of products there.
Some other advantages of selling on Amazon are:
1. You don’t need a warehouse
Amazon has more than 100 storage centres throughout the world. Amazon offers a service where they will take responsibility for stocking the user’s products, so the seller doesn’t need to organise and store them in their own smart warehouse.
2. Amazon deals with the logistics
One of the main advantages of selling through Amazon is not having to worry about logistics. Once a sale has been made, Amazon takes charge of everything else, from packaging and shipping the product, to managing the after-sales service and returns. This means that the seller doesn’t incur any costs for logistics or transport, so they can concentrate all their efforts on promoting their store and increasing their sales.
Amazon charges commission for each sale and the user receives the payment directly in their bank account, so there is no need for any logistics work.
It’s important to note that Amazon offers a fantastic service for preparing and delivering packages to customers, being one of the most efficient companies in the world in this regard. Sellers on Amazon can take advantage of their quality services to offer significant value to their customers.
Amazon is renowned throughout the world as a safe platform for online shopping. Users feel safe shopping on Amazon, both in terms of using their bank details and in terms of the minimum quality demanded of products that are offered on the platform.
The disadvantages of selling on Amazon
Now let’s take a look at the downsides for sellers who choose Amazon as their online marketplace.
- Amazon is the number one marketplace in the world, which means it contains a large number of sellers. There is a lot of competition to sell on Amazon, so you will need to make some effort to stand out through digital marketing and add value for customers in order to achieve sales.
- The commissions from Amazon vary according to the type of product, and can sometimes be quite high, thus directly influencing sellers’ profit margins.
- Just like eBay, Amazon is focused on products, meaning it’s not easy for sellers to establish a relationship with customers to achieve recurrent sales. This is one of the factors that sets Amazon apart from other platforms, like AliExpress, where it’s more common for customers to search for products from a specific seller.
- There are limited options when it comes to personalising product information.