Does Amazon really have more buyers than eBay?

by jumbo1
17 replies
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Hi all,

someone suggested on another thread in this forum that:
"Amazon has WAY more buyers and less sellers than eBay."

What do you think of this statement? Is it accurate?
#amazon #buyers #ebay
  • Originally Posted by jumbo1 View Post

    Hi all,

    someone suggested on another thread in this forum that:
    "Amazon has WAY more buyers and less sellers than eBay."

    What do you think of this statement? Is it accurate?
    Even if they did, I'm not sure that would dissuade me.

    Here's why - do they have more buyers OF MY PRODUCT?

    Also - do I have an established relationship there?

    Also - do I have the leverage where I can, algorithmically, have an advantage in their system?

    I'm not going to sit here and bash on Amazon. I don't think it's a bad platform and I don't dissuade people from selling on it. (Just flipping stuff from there to eBay..... major TOS violation.)

    What DOES worry me is that Amazon has NO research tools - especially those that are important. There are no market value tools - nor formatting tools to put you at a competitive edge.

    In fact, their prices change all the time making it hard to predict your profitability prior to acquisition.

    Even if those were available to know (margins) the fact that you cannot predict the selling price is a huge thumbs down that makes me wary of 'testing.'

    Especially when all of that data is right at my fingertips on eBay. For free.

    Also - eBay still has MASSIVE traffic. (80 million visitors?) So, I'm okay with targeting my traffic to those people KNOWING that if I replicate what the winners to, I can replicate their results. Especially because I can know what they do. eBay tells me. Amazon doesn't.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    The easy way to profit from ebay is to find the best selling products in small niches that aren't always obvious, then find a different traffic source besides Amazon/ebay where there's no competition for the product.

    A lot of buyer traffic doesn't comparison shop for prices. If they did they wouldn't be buying from me because I jack my prices up 50% compared to ebay prices for the exact same product.
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  • Profile picture of the author kjamesnv
    If you dig into the financial reports for both companies, Gross Sales are very similar. About $18 Billion per quarter with a slight edge towards eBay. But its close.

    However I have read reports that eBay has taken a major SEO hit recently because of Google's new algorithm. That may have a big impact of their traffic and revenue.
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    • Originally Posted by kjamesnv View Post

      If you dig into the financial reports for both companies, Gross Sales are very similar. About $18 Billion per quarter with a slight edge towards eBay. But its close.

      However I have read reports that eBay has taken a major SEO hit recently because of Google's new algorithm. That may have a big impact of their traffic and revenue.
      You are right about the SEO hit.

      However, you can do things to help YOUR listings - especially with content. If your listings are 'thin' and not selling the product, nor yourself adequately, then Google has no reason to index your listing - nor your store for that matter.

      As big-a-fan of eBay as I am, I do agree with the Google penalty. It will force the true eBay sellers to actually brand themselves appropriately.

      As far as the long-term affects it will have on eBay - I don't think it will be that drastic. Even before the Google manual action, they were already aware that they needed to make some changes - and were doing things about it. They were increasing their effectiveness in their paid search campaigns - and even branching out into social media.

      Yes, social media.

      eBay is MASSIVELY successful WITHOUT social media being a huge influence on what they do.

      Imagine, now what they can do once they saturate this medium?!

      I only see good things coming from a company that clearly adapts.
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  • Profile picture of the author RunMarty
    I agree with eliminator for the most part here. However, I would also point out that more buyers usually means more sellers as well. So the two just cancel each other out.

    Also, usually when there are "more buyers", this is usually not across the board. Each individual niche would have to be evaluated to determine who has more buyers for the data to mean anything. And then, once again, more buyers just means more sellers as well.

    Both sites have seemingly endless traffic for nearly any prospective or current seller.
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    • Originally Posted by RunMarty View Post

      I agree with eliminator for the most part here. However, I would also point out that more buyers usually means more sellers as well. So the two just cancel each other out.

      Also, usually when there are "more buyers", this is usually not across the board. Each individual niche would have to be evaluated to determine who has more buyers for the data to mean anything. And then, once again, more buyers just means more sellers as well.

      Both sites have seemingly endless traffic for nearly any prospective or current seller.

      I'm not worried about the other sellers.

      Why?

      Because what I've noticed is that 95-98 percent of the sellers on eBay have no idea what they're doing.

      Admittedly, that is not a scientific number, but it is my observation.

      There are so many common mistakes that people make.

      For example: They assume that they need to be the lowest price to increase their turnover. (Not the case, they need to just rank higher. I have taught people how to do this for years)

      They also don't know WHAT this price is in the first place! They just guess and hope for the best. This often leads to lost profits - and they never even know it.

      They don't utilize the views-to-actions ratio.

      They don't use copywriting to turn visitors into buyers.

      They don't optimize each element in their listings

      They don't otherwise market their perpetual listings effectively - increasing their work load ten-fold.

      So, I'm not worried about other sellers because I know I can decimate them. In fact, what they do is just data for me. And I don't have to sign up for expensive research tools like Terapeak when all I need to do is get all of my information from free research tools.

      If you replicate the winning strategy, you replicate the winning result - always.
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  • Like others have said - I think an individual's success on any marketplace really depends on what they're selling, what they're competition is doing, and how they utilize the site. But, since it is an interesting topic, Ecommerce Bytes recently released a study on which marketplaces were voted the best place to sell. Some of them might surprise you...I expected Amazon to be voted a little higher in profitability. Here's the link, if you'd like to check it out Sellers Choice 2014: Merchants Rate Top Online Marketplaces. We wrote a blog about it too, but it's probably best to link you right to the source!

    Tiana with ecomdash
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    • Originally Posted by tiana with ecomdash View Post

      Like others have said - I think an individual's success on any marketplace really depends on what they're selling, what they're competition is doing, and how they utilize the site. But, since it is an interesting topic, Ecommerce Bytes recently released a study on which marketplaces were voted the best place to sell. Some of them might surprise you...I expected Amazon to be voted a little higher in profitability. Here's the link, if you'd like to check it out Sellers Choice 2014: Merchants Rate Top Online Marketplaces. We wrote a blog about it too, but it's probably best to link you right to the source!

      Tiana with ecomdash
      Read the report - and I did try to sell on Bonanza before.

      Here's my take on it.

      It's a fun place to be. It combines social media with a selling platform. The people there are incredibly friendly, and encouraging. The interface is intuitive and it actually looks great.

      However:

      I made very little sales. Yes, it has very few fees - but that didn't mitigate the low turnover.

      In addition, part of Bonanza's ranking system is time-since-last-login. And, if you're not making sales - then you have no reason to log in. (This is why I think they combine the social aspect with it.)

      The traffic is abysmal. If it was as big as eBay, then we'll talk.

      And if they had the research tools that they had, we'd have that conversation too.

      So, it has a great interface - but like the article mentioned the profitability isn't there.
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  • Profile picture of the author repricerexpress
    Millions of buyers and millions of sellers on both platforms—which one works for you (both do for many multichannel sellers) totally depends on what you're selling, how you sell it (do you know what you're doing) and for how much (less so on eBay). Obviously sellers are making money on both and ultimately it's down to you—not the type of marketplace—that will determine what's the most profitable and best fit for your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Solid Commerce
    Originally Posted by jumbo1 View Post

    Hi all,

    someone suggested on another thread in this forum that:
    "Amazon has WAY more buyers and less sellers than eBay."

    What do you think of this statement? Is it accurate?
    In my experience, the most successful sellers ignore metrics like these, and instead follow strategies similar to those laid out by AuctionDebtEliminator - whose answer totally kills it, yet again.

    And really, why not both? Rather than picking one or the other, many online sellers work to leverage the benefits that each marketplace carries with it, and ultimately wind up enjoying the results.
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    _ Sean B.
    Solid Commerce

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    • Profile picture of the author Silas Hart
      This one isn't really a straight forward answer.

      According to visitor trackers, Amazon has more visitors. Statista.com reports that in Q1 of 2014, Amazon had 164,000,000 visitors, while eBay had 104,000,000.

      As a mega-seller, I sold a toy in Q4 with a rank of 2 (it bounced between 1 and 2) - I sold 590 units of the Disney Princess Elsa Doll in 3 days on Amazon and was Not the cheapest seller at an average price of 60.15 - on eBay, my sales in those 3 days were 49 at 54.20.

      Amazon: U.S. Market
      eBay: Global Market with international shipping.

      eBay accounted for 39% of my overall sales last year, and items sold at an average of 9% less. My refunds/exchanges/chargebacks were nearly 4 times higher on eBay than Amazon where less than 1% of my overall sales experience a refund/exchange/chargeback/fraudulent purchase, etc. The skewy variable of this data is that I sold a lot of inventory on eBay that I could not sell on Amazon without creating new listings.

      Amazon is a big fish in a little pond (although it seems silly to call the U.S. Market a little pond)

      eBay is a little fish in a big pond.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Some people are missing the bus with this Amazon vs ebay thing.

    Ebay is a goldmine of data, ebay shows Buy it now data where Amazon doesn't show the sales volume of a product.

    ...now take that ebay sales volume data to a new traffic source, easy, proven money.


    Here's a real example (screenshot below) of sales volume for a product with an ebay Buy it now sales page, that's $34,857 in sales from a single product.

    Ebay is loaded with this kind of data.




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  • Profile picture of the author Singlepile
    Our company sells on Ebay for more than 3 years and 1.5 years on Amazon, and sales on Amazon are 3 times of that on Ebay. Many Chinese suppliers sell on Ebay and the competition is high. We turn to Amazon and use their FBA service, it works well.
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  • Profile picture of the author BlackKryponite
    i have had better luck on amazon
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  • Profile picture of the author DWaters
    I am surprised to see that ebay and Amazon are so similar when it comes to gross revenue.

    A lot of buyer traffic doesn't comparison shop for prices. If they did they wouldn't be buying from me because I jack my prices up 50% compared to ebay prices for the exact same product.
    I am not surprised that this person sells so much higher than ebay prices. I regulalry buy from ebay and sell on Amazon, some times for a profit of 200 to 300%.

    Of course it all comes down to the niche/products that you sell. Both marketplaces are huge and can fit into the appropriate business model.
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  • I appreciate Yukon's answer as it does give a huge benefit to eBay.

    You have data. A lot of it. I'm not a fan of losing money, and I can predict all of that by utilizing eBay' wealth of data.

    Of course there are a lot more free ways of researching an item than the screenshot showed.

    For example - we don't know what the potential of that specific item was. It could be that they're selling the item for too low of a price.

    You want to maintain turnover, and maintain profitability.

    Something I've taught for YEARS and still advocate heavily.
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