At first glance, online market places like Amazon and Ebay seem like a seller’s paradise. Many marketers feel that joining these platforms mutually beneficial wherein store owners get exposure and the market place gains an expanded product line.
However, closer inspection reveals that while mutual benefit remains, but the selling reality is different. Should you expand your store and tackle the world of online selling?
The answer: perhaps. An online market strategy can be a boon to some sellers but a burden to others. There are a lot of factors to consider including the type of product you are selling and the competition in your niche, restriction, market place fees and many more.
But there are pros and cons that remain the same across multiple platforms.
Pros Of Selling On Amazon Or Ebay
· Increase Scale Of Online Presence
Selling on Amazon and Ebay can help increase sales because they are high traffic channel. Amazon has an estimated 184 million visitors per month while Ebay has over 164 million active buyers. That’s a lot of visitors which can translate to higher sales volume for you.
Amazon sellers report that they experience 50% increase in sales when they join the market place.
· Acquire New Customers
While it’s true that nobody goes to Amazon and Ebay to search for your store, there is a big chance they will discover your product while searching.
Once you get a customer, there is a good chance of winning repeat business especially if you have exemplary customer service and fulfillment. This is especially true if you’re selling a product that prompts repeat orders like cosmetics, hobby shops or fishing equipment.
· Many People Like Shopping Online
According to statistics, more and more people are shopping online. It’s more convenient for many shoppers because online shopping means no long queues at the checkout or endless searches for parking space. Having products delivered to your doorstep is also more convenient.
Cons Of Selling On Amazon Or Ebay
· Market Place Fees
Sad to say, selling on Amazon and Ebay is not free. These platforms generally take a percentage from each sale that varies from site to site and category.
Before selling on any market place, make sure you have a good understanding of profit margins and the market place’s fee structure.
Before joining any market place you need to understand that they will want you to conform to their brand. Online markets like Amazon and Ebay exist to help themselves. They are focused on the products, not the sellers. This means that there will be restrictions on how you can brand or promote yourself or product, limit communication with customers and even dictate which products you can and cannot sell.
· Keeping Inventory In Sync
It can be hard to sync inventory when selling in online market places. Essentially they are considered as a second point of sale and can’t be configured to talk to your shopping cart. As such, reconciling stocks for your online and physical store can be complicated without having result to doing a manual count.
Choosing A Market Place
Amazon is a great place for retailers. They have tools that can help sellers become part of a seamless shopping experience. Amazon lets you send your products to them in bulk and let them take care of shipping and fulfillment.
Ebay is a massive marketplace that lets you buy and sell products in fixed priced or auction style. While Amazon focuses on shopping experience, Ebay has tools to make it easier for you to feature products and brand in an Ebay store.
Where To Sell?
How to choose between Amazon and Ebay? It really depends on what you’re selling and the size of your operation.
Many successful business owners sell their products online as well as on online market platforms. Just remember to take time to figure out a market place and see how it affects your current business before diving into another one.
Have you tried selling on Amazon or Ebay? Can you tell us about your experience on online marketplaces? Tell us by leaving your comments below.