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Tue May 17 2016 23:04:06

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

By: Ina Steiner

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When you think about shopping for used goods, eBay would likely come to mind before Amazon. But a recent discussions on the Amazon boards raised some interesting points about which was the better venue for selling used goods.

It seems to be the case that, at least for electronics such as cameras and camera gear, sellers are doing well selling used on Amazon. Note that Amazon does not allow the sale of used goods in certain categories, such as clothing.

The discussion began after sellers began having problems listing used electronics on Amazon beginning on Friday - specifically, used Sony and Nikon products (see Wednesday's Newsflash article). The problem cleared up by Sunday, but in the meantime, sellers had plenty to say about the desirability of selling used goods on Amazon.

"I don't think the Amazon buyers will be happy about the fact that they have to go to eBay looking for a used Sony camera," a seller wrote. And they feared that if Amazon shoppers had a positive experience there, they would continue buying on eBay. 

Another seller noted they sold things that were no longer available as new but were accessories that camera buffs needed.

Many said they were shocked Amazon would give eBay such sales on a platter when they thought the problems listing used electronics was a deliberate move by Amazon.

However, one seller said they wished Amazon would stop selling used electronics and sell only factory-manufacturer refurbished or open-box, in addition to new.

This weekend's incident may have been some sort of glitch, or, as some seem to believe, a sign of things to come on Amazon in terms of future restrictions. 

What do you think about buying and selling used goods on Amazon versus eBay, or elsewhere?




Comments (44) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 17 23:47:49 2016

Most people selling used goods on eBay are just that - selling actual used goods. Some are simply used and unwanted, some are as-is items, but NONE of them are NEW.

As apposed to Amazon, where %90 of the people (most of the ones complaining about this issue) are selling NEW goods listed under USED. They all say "NOT used, new". Some of them openly say they have to list items there because Amazon gates certain brands and/or items.

While eBay is known for pay to play, so is Amazon. Being a retailer (unlike eBay), they rely on backend monies. Manufactorers threaten Amazon, and Amazon folds and then gates the brands.

Pioneer, Sony, Kenwood, SMS etc area all gated. There are no counterfeit issues (like there are with the BEATS brand) they are all simply gated "just because".

Most of those complaining are the ones using the USED category to list new items when they arent allowed.

This also ties in to another of Inas columns - Amazon and the UPC crack down.

Sellers are using any and every kind of UPS to get around the gated brands, causing trouble.

When you list in Seller Central it doesnt check for validity. So sellers use the first 6 digits (which is the brand) and then make up the last 6 - or even get it off a soup can - ANYTHING to list brands that are blocked.

All this would go away if Amazon simply stopped gating brands for no reason!

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed May 18 01:56:08 2016

I never knew Amazon sold used items besides books until I called them inquiring about become a seller.

After the rep answered a few questions I decided Amazon was not the place for me and my Used Aircraft Tools.

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed May 18 05:33:46 2016

@Tool, do tell, with everything going so well on eBay, what caused you to enquire of Amazon?

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

by: Mog This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 18 05:43:09 2016

@Tool, why look elsewhere to sell when ebay is so brilliant for you.

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Wed May 18 07:47:52 2016

:-) poor tool...  LOL

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 18 08:11:51 2016

Tool is only trying to make us think the is NOT an Ebay pawn. He probably makes a good living in his category but it's probably not anywhere near as good as it used to be. I don't know anyone who would say their Ebay business has picked up in the last few years!

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

by: Will This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 18 09:34:05 2016

No way was the restriction a glitch, it was an intentional test. If it was a glitch, it would have been ALL electronics from ALL manufacturers, but it was specific brands targeted. Be careful out there!

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 18 09:43:32 2016

For me, I never sell used electronics on Amazon, all of my used electronics are listed on Ebay. I do this because you have much more control over the photos and description of the item.
On Amazon, buyers have been trained to trust Amazon and the listings so they tend not to investigate the used listings. On Ebay, buyers have been trained to be skeptical and they will usually investigate the listing description and photos.

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 18 10:05:29 2016

EBay should be the clear choice for selling used items over Amazon, however eBay management has clouded the issue with their exposure manipulation policies.

At this time when comparing Amazon to eBay the core issue is not the type of item being sold. Sales on eBay are largely determined by the seller, not the product. EBay gives full exposure to Diamond huge sellers, and limited exposure to smaller sellers. Amazon has maintained a level selling field.

So what I am saying here is the question asked misses the real issue in terms of selling success on eBay. The likelihood that an item will sell or not sell on eBay is largely determined by factors that are not under the control of the seller, i.e. how many potential buyers are allowed to see the item. Until eBay stops manipulating traffic it is pointless for small sellers to bang their heads against the wall trying to figure out how to boost their sales on the marketplace.

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed May 18 10:42:12 2016

How does anyone know if Amazon "throttles" or not?

My guess is they throttle more then eBay does since I'm under the impression it doesn't happen at all on eBay.

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed May 18 11:06:17 2016

Did Toolguy just admit that he's not as happy selling on eBay as he would like us all to believe? Why would he even inquire about selling on Amazon if his eBay sales were so great and he was so happy selling there?  

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 18 11:14:54 2016

As a buyer, when I think of purchasing something old, vintage or used, I look to eBay, though I never end up purchasing anything there because of their manipulated search. I ultimately end up going to trade shows, yard sales or flea markets to add to my collection. Basically, I just use eBay to get a general idea of what something might be worth to help me determine what I should pay.
When I am shopping for something new, I almost always look on Amazon or a local retailer.  

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed May 18 11:27:23 2016

I was interested in taking a ride on the river, decided not to once I read the rules and seen the prices.

Ebay Works & Works Well for my Used Aircraft Tools

PS: I sold 5 item on my website yesterday ~ LOL

1st sale in 2 months, can't pay the bills with sales like that. . .

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed May 18 18:27:27 2016

@Tool,

"1st sale in 2 months, can't pay the bills with sales like that." ???

And this is what you consider to be "working well"?

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 18 18:28:47 2016

@Tool,

Because Amazon has structured their site around specific product pages the only way they could throttle exposure is to black out an entire item. If you have a book to sell you list your copy on the same product page as everyone else who is selling that book. Amazon cannot black-out or promote specific sellers (outside of who wins the ''buy'' box for new items).

Amazon is structured in such a way that all sellers offering the same item are displayed to the buyer with no preference given. This leaves it up to the buyer entirely from whom they will purchase the item.

If EBay would go back to the level selling field, which was one of their stated corporate philosophies during their years of phenomenal growth and popularity, 90% of all my problems with the company would immediately disappear.

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed May 18 21:13:45 2016

@Philip Cohen - The one sale in two months toolguy was referring to was from his website.  

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed May 18 21:28:47 2016

@JQ

I went to Amazon

Searched for: Drone Aircraft, 11,622 results came back. How does Amazon decide who's on page 1 and and who's on page 101?

How does Amazon's search know what "relevance" is? Who's listing is more "relevant" then the others?

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed May 18 22:26:10 2016

Oh Tool, say it ain't so. You've dogged Amazon from the day you came on this blog. (And yes, I clearly remember when you weren't here.)

Like everyone else said, if eBay is so !GREAT! for you why go looking for a greener pasture?

Looks like things aren't as rosy for you on eBay as you would like for everyone to believe.  And my guess is that when you found out that it would be quite an effort for you to list your used tools on Amazon without the aid of a UPC or similar code you hit the bricks.

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed May 18 22:47:44 2016

@Rexford

To start off I could only list 100 items a month, they wanted $39.95 a month for being a seller, and 15% FVF fees and they would hold my money for 14 days.

I can list all I want on eBay.
I pay $15.95 a month for a store.
I pay 6.4% FVF fees and I get my money right away.

I only checked Amazon because so many here were raving about it.

I can buy all the UPC codes I need on eBay they cost $10 for 1000 of them, Amazon wanted $5 each!

Did anyone notice eBay was a little slow the last few days?

Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon   Used Goods: eBay vs. Amazon

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 18 23:37:26 2016

TOOL - Amazon DOESNT throttle anyone (unlike eBay).

The Amazon buy box - winning it - is the key, along with FBA to making sales on Amazon.

Since Amazon is a REAL ecommerce company (not just a website with grumpy old men like GRIFF hanging on) their ENTIRE GOAL is to make sales. They hide nothing and no one.


They DO "gate" certain brands - but none of your items would be part of that. Most are companies that have complained to Amazon about counterfeits, and if you "get approved" the brand becomes ungated.

The buy box is based on a formula - google is your friend - look it up :)

In Amazon, there is no Cassini. Search works VERY well and the suggestions that are made dont point you to any specific company or item - just items that are similar (spelling or content) as what you put into the search box.

If you are looking for an IBM XXX then if Amazon has it, they will show you the ASIN page with that item. If theres no such item in their catalog, they will offer suggestions.

While selling on Amazon has its own set of issues - it is a different experience then eBay. Theres NO lieing, cheating or sliminess - its about making sales and having happy customers.

If you cant wait the 2 weeks to get paid, then there are other considerations that you need to think about aka how to fund your business!

AGAIN, I had more sales on Amazon today then eBay - and thats what and where I am concentrating my efforts. In fact Im sending in to FBA a few Samsung TVs .... should be a fun ride!

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