Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Apr 6 2015 22:12:14

Reasons Why eBay Sellers Expand to Amazon

By: Ina Steiner

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In Tuesday's Newsflash we report on the trend of eBay sellers expanding to Amazon, something that did not happen overnight. Take a look at tomorrow's article for some interesting data and read what Bloomberg has to say about it. (Now available.)

Beyond the numbers, we'd like to explore the reasons some sellers embrace multi-channel selling while others find that's not an option.

First, to show how dramatic the shift has been, here's a look at some survey data. In 2006, 28.2% of EcommerceBytes readers were selling on Amazon and 99.2% were selling on eBay. A survey conducted last year revealed that 47% of readers were selling on Amazon; 59% on eBay; 45% on Etsy; and 40% on their own website. 

Sellers have told us some of the reasons they can't sell on Amazon - items must be new, and many categories are restricted (like clothing), for example. Selling on more than one venue also adds complexity. Syncing inventory isn't necessarily easy and can result in sales of out-of-stock items.

Are those legitimate reasons? Defend your position for staying put.

On the other hand, many eBay sellers are successfully selling on both venues - what were the reasons for expanding to Amazon? And how do your strategies vary by marketplace? What would you tell your peers about making the leap to Amazon or other venues?

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Perminate Link for Reasons Why eBay Sellers Expand to Amazon   Reasons Why eBay Sellers Expand to Amazon

by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 7 14:04:54 2015

INA STEINER, FOR ALL THE WORK YOU DO; YOU AND MOST HERE ARE ACTUALLY CLUELESS. THE VAST MAJORITY OF EBAY DEFECTORS TO AMAZON HAVE 1 REASON AND 1 REASON ONLY. AMAZON CHARGES NOTHING TO LIST; IT'S CALLED FREE LISTINGS. SO YOU CAN PUT 1,000'S OF ITEMS ON AMAZON AND YOU PAY $0.00 IN LISTING FEES. OR YOU CAN HAVE A STORE FOR $30 OR SO AND AGAIN YOU PAY $0.00 IN LISTING FEES FOR UNLIMITED OF ITEMS LISTED.  

WITH AMAZON, YOU PAY 15% IN FEES WHEN YOUR ITEM SALES, BUT THAT'S IT. WITH EBAY YOUR TOTAL IS ABOUT THE SAME OR MORE WITH FINAL VALUE FEE AT 10%, PAYPAL AT 3% PLUS 35 CENTS AND THE OBNOXIOUS SHIPPING MONEY THAT EBAY TAKES FROM THEIR SELLERS, WHICH BRINGS EBAY TO ABOUT AMAZON'S 15%.

I NEVER USE CAPS BUT AM STUNNED ONLY 2 OR 3 PEOPLE HERE MENTIONED THAT LISTING FEE IS FREE ON AMAZON. THAT IS THE MAIN REASON FOR PEOPLE LEAVING EBAY FOR AMAZON. I THINK INA STEINER IS PAID OFF BY EBAY TO NOT HIGHLIGHT THE OBVIOUS. EBAY HAS COPIED AMAZON IN ALMOST EVERY WAY, EXCEPT THAT EBAY CHARGES LISTING FEE. AND THAT IS THE MAIN REASON WHY AMAZON BLOWS EBAY AWAY IN SALES AND REVENUE.  SELLER AFTER SELLER QUITS OR GREATLY DOWNSIZES EBAY DUE TO THE UPFRONT LISTING FEES. AND AS AMAZON ADDS MORE USED ITEMS AND NOW HAS MILLIONS OF USED COINS, BASEBALL CARDS, VIDEOS, VINYL RECORDS, ETC, ETC, ETC; MORE AND MORE SELLERS OF USED ITEMS QUIT EBAY ON THE ATTRACTION OF NO UPFRONT LISTING FEES

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by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 7 14:44:45 2015

@funky, I started to list individual comics for sale on Amazon a couple of years ago. I was very surprised how well they sold. Amazon is a horrible venue for comic sales, even with the new addition of photo uploads, but just the same some people seem to use it for comic shopping. More than 90% of my comic sales still happen on Ebay, but I have certainly found it worth my time to cross-list all individual comics selling for $5+ on Amazon. It takes about a minute to create a listing at Amazon and then I can just leave it out there indefinitely for free. When the comics do sell they bring in good prices, and the whole experience is stress free.

The only other collectible I sell on Amazon are older board war games (Avalon Hill, SPI, etc). They sell well there, better even than comics. I would sell many more of them if I could obtain consistent inventory.

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by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 7 14:59:12 2015

we use speediTrade as amazon does not allow estate or used goods we like this venue very fair and honest site, etsy is just vintage bonanza no sales, ebay days are numbered more and more e bay sellers are leaving daily read the boards and reviews  

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Apr 7 15:36:32 2015

@ajeweler - You must be a shareholder in SpeediTrade. They still refuse to show what their listing fees are (stating "very reasonable" tells me nothing) unless you register for the site. And if a person isn't selling jewelry, watches or coins, I would think sales would be dismal. Let's see, two DVDs for sale, zero dolls, one sporting goods item, and two under everything else. Potential buyers are not going to find much of a selection there.

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by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 7 16:00:27 2015

@ajeweler No used on Amazon? Thats 80% of what I sell on there. Probably almost $40k/year.

@Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer - 10% fee on ebay? Only if you don't have a store sub. I think most of my fees are 4-8%. As for overall fees. ebay feb 16-mar 15 $347 including store sub. $4392 in sales. Lets just say 3% on paypal (I got the rate knocked down, but too lazy to check). So $478 in fees or about 11%

Amazon: $408 of fees on $3290 of sales 12.4%

Somewhat similar, but my amazon fees are always higher

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

Tue Apr 7 16:03:58 2015

@ angryllama,

eBay fiddles with fees for one reason only, to try to increase their revenue; if you have found a benefit in such an increase in fees, good for you; but, most sellers, unless they fall into eBay’s “preferred” seller category will likely simply pay more, and ultimately that may drive them elsewhere and make eBay even less interesting to buyers than it has already become …

@ quirkyantiques,

“the ability to take customers checks”—how quaint! I’m surprised that, these days, anyone with an online computer and a banking account would still have a check book let alone be offering to pay for anything, particularly online, via a piece of paper …

@ Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer,

Anyone that could accuse eCommerceBytes of being biased towards eBay has to be as demented as eBay’s cretinous Johnny Ho …

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

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This user has validated their user name. by: IDKwhoIare

Tue Apr 7 16:11:04 2015

I am a one-woman operation, on eBay since 2001 in glass, china & jewelry.  In 2003 I focused on jewelry. I am not a big Seller, just a part of The Noise.  In winter of 2013 I put my store in vacation mode to deal with family issues.  I found myself renewing that status for almost a year.  I was just tired of dealing with the constant changes and running ragged to keep the highest level of Top Rated and kissing butt to hold on to the 100% FB rating.  Changing all my listings, titles, or pictures, ad nauseum, per whatever the latest requirements made the time for the creative part of my work non-existent. I was depression-level unhappy, very frustrated and, I admit, fearful of the train-wreck I saw coming. I could not even immerse myself in my own personal collecting...could not find much in searches and had not been able to for years.  I quit buying there long before the selling ''vacation''.  Without eBay, I found myself happier & healthier. I consider myself very lucky. I did not have to rely on the income and I missed a lot of the angst of being an insider this past year while eBay steadily implodes. Their idiocy is astounding. I thought I was ready to get back to it...get rid of inventory & supplies if nothing else. However, there are so many concerns to address...eBay has deteriorated pretty far in a short time.

I tried to keep current by reading board discussions at eBay and this Newsletter.  I had always ignored the more hot-headed Posters and tried to find cooler heads and intelligent, experienced Posters to pay attention to, but it seems that so many different types are reaching consensus...and that is not a good sign. However, there is nothing like first-hand experience and in March I started listing on eBay again.  I am still waiting to see this defect rating in action.  Waiting because you need 10 recent ratings to see anything and guess what? Over a month and I have not met that requirement. Feedback has been 1 out of a dozen sales.  Far less Buyers, why? Everyone here knows why...less visibility is the most telling of their/my woes.  A year ago I would get 30-40 views a month, which was down from it's heyday by half or more...it is now 8-10.  Wow. Cassini (insert colorful, eff-populated commentary of your choice here - I am trying to be a Lady today).

I was hoping to read more responses to Ina's last question regarding making the leap to Amazon. They claim ''over 95 million monthly unique visitors'' on one of their sell-on-Amazon pages.  I am thinking of putting my toes in the water right now.  Not jewelry because I would have to go in as a ''Professional'' and pay their $39.99 fee upfront for the privilege of...what? Anyone?  Big concern is there is no way to see past sales of items similar to what I want to sell.  In fact, there is little to no real information anywhere on their site. Does it become visible if you make a Seller account?  Or is that what you gain if you pay that fee to be Professional?  Before I commit, I want to know things. Like how much text are you allowed for the description? What about returns on high dollar items?  Do they refund the Buyer before or after the item arrives?  Where do they get the refund money from?  Direct access to my personal account or deducting from my account with them?  Who pays the return shipping? Do return shipping charges stay at their published rates or are they real amounts?  Do they allow restocking fees? etc, etc, etc. Without easily accessed policy information, expanding to Amazon seems intimidating without a trial run of low dollar, non-professional items.

Noteworthy - my millennial children shop on Amazon occasionally, but do a lot more biz in eCommerce storefronts than I ever did.  Which they find doing a Google search or see in various Social Networking sites. They are the ones driving the sales now, apparently.  Ebay is not in their mind when shopping (or selling)...ever.  Amazon rarely.  Makes it hard to know where to land as I jump the sinking eBay ship.

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by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 7 18:59:48 2015

Try eCrater. Yes, you have to do your own promoting, but it is your own store, just using the eCrater setup. If you are patient enough to wait a little to get a following, it will happen there. I've had almost 1400 sales there, and others have had many more than that.

It is a decent site. If you follow good common sense regarding your sales, and treat your customers decently, eCrater will leave you alone. They are very nice to deal with.

And eCrater also has made many, many improvements over the years I've been there. Yes, it's slow, but steady improvement. They are well integrated with Google and other search engines.

I just like the place. Easy, and it brings back some of the fun again or at least diminishes the aingst of selling on eBay.

I also sell on eBay and Etsy, and have a dormant store on Bonanza. Etsy is pretty good. I have limited items listed there. But I do get sales and proportionally, it's pretty darned good. It is also a decent place to list. I cringe every time I list on eBay. But for certain things, it is the best option. Bonanza is dead.

Amazon is not a good fit for what I sell.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Apr 7 20:58:20 2015

Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer

CLUELESS IS AS CLUELESS DOES, Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer. YOUR POST WAS INCREDIBLY CONDESCENDING AND RUDE AD CLEARLY DISPLAYED YOUR INADEQUATE UNDERSTANDING OF SEVERAL TOPICS.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: elpereles
Web Site

Wed Apr 8 03:39:34 2015

About Amazon.

As seller, I try it. But never understood how to list items. Also the items, I have for sale the category isn't very clear or easy to find like in other sites.

As buyer. I never have the experience, but I have family and friends using it. If they can't find something in eBay. They go to search in Amazon and vice versa. Outside the ''Prime'' members, I never hear any issue about one site better than the other. They receive the items. They are happy.  

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by: Postthoughts This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 8 12:04:57 2015

I started selling on ebay in 1999. I started moving most of my business off ebay the Day Donahoe called small sellers ''noise''.  The writing was on the wall, he didn't want small sellers.  The rapid changes, the horror stories of sellers that were banned without warning or notice and now, the defect rate all added up to ''you have to be crazy to count only on ebay''.  ebay can put you out of business overnight without warning. The cassini serach is a disaster as a seller and as a buyer.  Amazon is friendly to sellers, not hostile like ebay.  

You just don't see the scam customers on Amazon as much as you see them on ebay.  ebay gave a license to steal to all customers. Why would anyone list anything of any value when you know ebay will not stand behind you?

ebay's customer service sucks, plain and simple.  You never get the same answer for the same questions and nothing ever gets resolved.  They lie to sellers, they claim they will research and get back to you and they never do.  I have 4 selling venues and ebay is only getting 5% to 10% of my listings and those are to promote my other venues.  I do not trust ebay. I have no faith in ebay.

Donohoe forgot that sellers are also buyers.  I do not buy where I was treated so poorly as a seller.
Donahoe was out of touch with reality when it came to the ''noise''.  The ''noise'' has helped bring ebay down year to year since the comment was made.  

Sellers who only count on ebay and depend on ebay as their sole income are gambling with their business and livelihoods.  

Perminate Link for Reasons Why eBay Sellers Expand to Amazon   Reasons Why eBay Sellers Expand to Amazon

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 8 16:39:58 2015

No surprise that sellers are looking for viable "platforms" to replace deadBay.  Sell-thru on this PoS has become a complete joke. But, The Hoe's multi-million dollar checks are still clearin' so he couldn't care less.

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by: adams This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 8 21:14:26 2015

I just listed all my ebay items on bonana after 17 years of FeeBay and being lied to by their customer service.  I will never sell on ebay again.  I had 100% feedback for 17 years and they say I am below standards for their seller dashboard.  Like I said go with Bonanza - I've sold over 12 items on Bonanza.com in less than a week and  it would take three weeks to sell that many on ebay.  

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by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 9 01:01:57 2015

@ angryllama

i've done the math... right now with a premium store my listing fees including store fee are around $100. after the fee increase an anchor store will be cheaper, but my listing costs will still double, with no further benefit to me.

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by: wonderswhy This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 6 16:23:54 2015

I get more profit on Amazon but less traffic compared to ebay. If Amazon does not have the item in stock I will receive the sale, which could be in 2 months, sooner and more so later.  I first sold on Amazon back in 2002, I sold many rare books. I had a big inventory of new communications equipment which I do not think you could list on Amazon at the time so I listed on ebay. What I didn't like at Amazon was a buyer purchased 6 small items from me shipping weight about a lb. Sale was $60 for the items and the buyer was charged over $40 for shipping, actual shipping was only about $7.00. That did not sit well with me. Amazon doesn't like refunds or contacting the buyer and they frown on that. I refunded the buyer on what I thought would make Amazon and buyer happy. I wrote/clicked to Amazons CSC and explained the shipping was excessive, tho Amazon understood the excess cost and doing something right they stand by their policy, each item is charged separately. The buyer apparently didn't really care about paying that much shipping when they clicked to buy. After I contacted the buyer that I sent a refund of course they were happy.  So... some items I will not list there, maybe I'm just from the old school, I don't like feeling I cheated someone to make a buck. A profit of $30 for shipping would just be greed.

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