Selling on eBay

Michael MicheliniBlog, Business, Ecommerce0 Comments

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eBay, as per Wikipedia, is a multinational e-commerce corporation, facilitating online consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales. Only people living under a rock probably don’t know eBay. It was one of the first e-commerce platforms and started in 1995 – it was previously known as AuctionWeb. eBay started the first online auction and many people went crazy for the great deals found on eBay – the most popular categories were collectibles, used items, and random stuff. eBay’s growth was so rapid that it quickly became one of the most recognized companies.

Advantages of Selling on eBay

  1. Large User Base – To date, eBay has over 168 million active shoppers from all over the world.
  2. Auction Feature – eBay is a pioneer in online auction. If you opt for an auction, eBay is the best place to go.
  3. Excellent SEO – With the right optimized titles and relevant keywords, people can easily find your products through search engines.
  4. Global Shipping Program – If Amazon has FBA, eBay has GSP. Both are similar for international fulfilment and delivery services. This program is great if you plan to sell your products internationally.
  5. Many people trust eBay – For over two decades, eBay has gained loyal customers.
  6. Insertion fees – Your first 50 listings per calendar month are free. To know more about fees, click here
  7. Seller and Buyer Protection – Seller Performance Standards, eTRS, eBay Money Back Guarantee, Verified Rights Owner Program and Feedback Forum – all these features protect both sellers and buyers.

Disadvantages of Selling on eBay

  1. Competitive Market – Honestly, if I were to shop on eBay, I would most certainly make a purchase with a top-rated seller. The competition will be tough for those who are just starting out on eBay.
  2. Fees – Listing fees, final value fees, PayPal fees. To know more about how these fees are calculated, click here.
  3. Joy Bidders – Beware of bidders that really have no intention of seriously purchasing the items.
  4. eBay Is Focused on Buyers – For sellers, this can be unfair. One piece of negative feedback from a customer may cause pain to your business, or worse, your account may even get banned.

Is eBay Still a Relevant Sales Channel?

Yes, eBay is still a relevant sales channel. A marketplace with over 168 million active shoppers is a clear reason why it is still a relevant sales channel. However, with a clear cut-throat competition with Amazon, Walmart, Etsy and many other marketplaces, eBay’s profit is indeed plunging. Nevertheless, eBay is finding ways to catch up to its e-commerce rivals. In fact, eBay is continuously investing in marketing, artificial intelligence bots, and new search technology.

eBay vs. Amazon

Both eBay and Amazon launched online the same year – 1995. Both started off as marketplaces providing different products – eBay was for used items and collectibles, while Amazon started off with books. Both have rapidly grown into larger marketplaces offering almost every product anyone can think of.

eBay & Amazon Comparison

eBay Amazon
Number of Users/Shoppers 168 million 304 million
Alexa Global Rank 40 11
Fees
10% FVF 15%
Insertion Fees, Final value fee, PayPal fee Account subscription, listing fee, shipping charges, referral fees, closing fee
Countries 36 15
International Selling Feature Yes Yes
Best Features GSP, live auctions FBA & Prime
Mobile-friendly Yes Yes
Free Shipping Yes Yes

Bottom Line

E-commerce is a healthy industry. It continuously changes and improves the way people shop. At the end of the day, it’s not the marketplaces that solely create sales; it’s up to how creative you can be in figuring out how to generate sales and profit.

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