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Amazon vs Ebay

Posted by The New N Used Link Team on Wednesday, October 23, 2013

 

These two companies are unique in their own way, but based on alexa report for traffic amazon is ranked higher but lets go deeper in comparing the two.

Back in the days eBay was the Champion of ecommerce, and for many kinds of goods, it was literally the only reasonable choice for online shoppers.

These days, things are different buyers have all the choice in the world. In particular, another Champion, Amazon.com has come on the scene to entice sellers, and there's now significant overlap in selection and pricing between the two marketplaces.

One way to decide whether to buy on one platform or on the other is simply by looking at price, but is there more to the picture than that? After all, the prices between the two often vary by just a few dollars; if there's a significant advantage to shopping one marketplace over the other, maybe price shouldn't be the final deciding factor.

The answer to this question is a matter of personal choice, but here are some common ways to make the decision.

Shop Amazon.com For

Amazon.com offers advantages to shoppers making frequent purchases of common items, or of items that must be returned. Think of shopping Amazon.com for:

  • Comparison shopping. Amazon.com has a much cleaner, easier to use product catalog than eBay does (a trade-off related to the choice to give sellers less flexibility in how to list their items). This makes brand-vs-brand or product-vs-related-product comparison shopping on Amazon.com much easier. Throw in Amazon.com reviews and if you're shopping in product areas where the price differences are minimal, Amazon.com may be a no-brainer.

  • When you think you'll be returning items. eBay's managed returns platform goes some way toward making up this difference, but the program is relatively new and uneven across the eBay marketplace, while all Amazon.com sellers have long been required to use the same, standardized returns process that's easy to use and relatively foolproof.

  • You're buying commodity goods. With services like Amazon Prime (which offers free 2nd-day shipping on much of Amazon's catalog), Amazon subscriptions, and other similar perks, Amazon.com is a good place to go if you're basically looking to replace a trip to your local department store with a trip to an online store.

Shop eBay For

Given the buzz that Amazon.com has generated in recent years, some have been tempted to think that eBay has been outclassed. Not so there are definite cases in which eBay is the obvious choice. Think of shopping eBay for:

  • When you're buying imported goods. eBay remains a much more global marketplace than Amazon.com, even today, and for imported goods that aren't normally available in your local market, eBay still reigns supreme, with better selection and more seller choice than is offered on Amazon.com.

  • One-of-a-kind, boutique, and craft goods. Yes, there are sellers dealing in these kinds of goods on Amazon.com, but it's not nearly the fun bazaar that eBay is when it comes to non-mainstream products. You'll find anything at all on eBay, from an almost infinite variety of sellers. Serendipity (accidental discoveries when searching) often delivers fabulous and unique results. None of these things can be said in the same way for Amazon.com.

  • Used goods, especially if valuable. Because Amazon sellers dealing in most kinds of products don't have much space to talk about or show photos of the actual item they're selling, buying used on Amazon.com can be a risky bet, particularly for complicated items (for example, those with lots of accessories that come standard) or condition-sensitive items (like gadgets, phones, or clothing). For these kinds of goods, eBay sellers' ability to provide extended descriptions of the actual item(s) in question and multiple photos illustrating any flaws makes eBay a much better bet.

  • Antiques, collectibles, vintage items, and curios. The eBay marketplace continues to reign supreme for memorabilia and collectibles of all kinds. Amazon.com just isn't quite set up for this sort of thing, while eBay is ideal for it.

Complementary Marketplaces

At the end of the day, eBay and Amazon.com don't have to be mutually exclusive. In most cases, they're actually complementary. Amazon.com is a great choice for diapers, coffee, batteries, and new products that you might otherwise find in a retail store. For these kinds of goods, Amazon can save you both legwork and money.

eBay, on the other hand, is still unmatched for providing access to goods and deals that can't be had anywhere else a full selection of products from around the world, unique or vintage goods, used items at a significant discount over new, and so on.

Most of the savviest shoppers happily use both, and know when to choose each one.


Tags: ebay  amazon  online shopping 
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