When shopping online, there is no doubt that Amazon and eBay rule. They both have millions of shoppers per day frequent their sites, and you can save money with both. I have purchased countless items for my home office on both sites, found great gift ideas, office supplies, furniture, and more. But who wins the contest if we were to put them side by side. Here’s a look at some of the best (and worst) of both:
1) eBay has been around the longest, and they know their stuff. They are highly organized, they allow both seasoned and amateur sellers to show their goods on their own store, and have millions of items on sale.
2) eBay has recently lowered their fees, so you can sell at a lower cost than has been true in the past. This is one of the primary criticisms of this storefront. They used to be such a monopoly that they appeared to believe that they could charge whatever fees they wanted to. This resulted in some sellers pulling out of their platform and going to sell on other platforms. The problem was, the platform is hard to beat and eBay is still the number one selling site.
3) eBay offers a choice in what to sell. This is true of other sites also, but no one does it as specifically as eBay. You can sell literally ANYTHING (so long as it is legal and not questionable) because there is a category on eBay for everything under the sun. And if there is not a category for your item, you can invent one! This makes it the most versatile selling platform of all in that way.
4) eBay offers a guarantee if you have problems. Whether you are a buyer or a seller, eBay protects you through their PayPal user agreements and policies, and their other policies. While they tend to rule in favor of the buyer, there are times the seller wins, such as in the case of fraud or in cases when they feel the customer is trying to take advantage. But in general, you are safe on eBay.
5) You can save a LOT of money! Like Amazon, eBay offers high discounts through various sellers on goods you need and buy every day. If you know how to look around and compare prices, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on all sorts of items.
1) Variety and Selection–Like eBay, Amazon has a lot going for it. They started as a book store but have grown to a huge conglomeration that features millions of items. Their categories are limitless but sellers must sell something that can be found in the Amazon catalog and cannot enter new items except by contacting the administrators.
2) Low Cost- No matter what you are looking for, you will find a sweet deal on Amazon. You can purchase school supplies, furniture, well-known clothing and accessories, gift ideas, and other great items. But, unlike eBay, you will not find just anything on Amazon. Their quality control is very strict. You must have a new, used, or refurbished item which can be found in stores to place anything for sale here. So, as a consumer you will only find fairly popular items. However, you may find stores on Amazon who stock older items, such as printer cartridges which are outdated, or other lesser known items.
3) Special Discounts-Unlike eBay, you can sometimes get special shipping discounts, especially if you are in the Amazon Prime club. You pay a fee for being in the club, but then you get a discount on most items and save on shipping. Saving on shipping is a good perk offered by Amazon that eBay does not offer on any consistent basis.
4) Guarantee- Like eBay, Amazon does offer a guarantee on any items that are DOA, the wrong order, or returned for any reason. They do not use PayPal. Instead, they use their own Amazon Payments system. But it is highly respected and usually errs in favor of the consumer.
5) Savings-Like eBay, you can save a lot of money if you shop with Amazon on a regular basis. Many items we found were less expensive than what was on eBay. But it just depends on the time you look and which sellers are offering it at the time on both platforms. It also is determined by the type of item. Amazon generally charges a bit more on electronics, since many prices are fairly close to street value in some examples we tried. Others though are much lower, due to a surplus in inventory, special deals, or market prices.
It has been said that Amazon’s prices determine the market online. I do not know if this can be proven or not, but sometimes it does seem that way. You can try this theory out by checking the price of a given item on Amazon and checking the price on several online retail sites. Amazon tries to beat all prices on the market when they can. This method has been criticized by some marketing experts, because it tends to drive costs down too much and makes the online market dependent on a system that is all “price based.” It is generally believed that the market should be “quality based,” instead where merchants offer quality goods at a reasonable price, but not a price based on being the lowest in the market. Either way, eBay and Amazon came out about even in our tests all in all. They both offer a way to save serious money. So the solution? Use both!
Robert Langdon is a professional blogger that writes for GreatDeals.com. Great Deals offers thousands of deals at hundreds of retailers across the web.