eBay vs Amazon Selling Fees are a frequently discussed topic but direct comparisons of fees are hard to find. In this article we’re going to take a look at how eBay and Amazon selling fees stack up for business sellers across a handful of different categories. We’ll also be looking at an incredibly useful free tool that will help you quickly calculate these fees.
eBay vs Amazon Selling Fee complexity
Amazon and eBay fees differ depending upon the product category you’re selling in (such as tools, clothing, kitchen appliances, etc) and you’ll find that Amazon fees are cheaper in some categories whereas eBay fees are cheaper in others.
In terms of simplicity however, Amazon comes out on top since it charges just one fee (known as a referral fee) on the final sale price. This is variable depending upon the category but is typically between 8-18%, full details of Amazon referral fees can be found here. Amazon’s fee covers both the cost of the product listing and the transaction. This fee is deducted from the money accrued in your Amazon account prior to being transferred into your bank account every two weeks.
By comparison, eBay takes both an insertion fee each time a product is listed and a final value fee each time a product sells. eBay’s insertion fee is a maximum of £0.30 each but it may be less depending upon your eBay shop subscription, full details of eBay selling fees can be found here. Their second fee paid when a product sells is typically 8-11% of the sale value, but this depends upon the category you list within. Not forgetting that PayPal also deduct a transaction fee for the payment which is typically 3.4% of the total transaction + £0.20, less if you’re receiving over £1,500 a month. Full details of PayPal’s fees can be found here.
It’s worth noting that eBay’s insertion and selling fees are eligible for discounts if your account has a Top-rated seller status and some types of eBay store subscription also provide further discounts such as free listing each month on your first 200 items (check eBay’s dedicated business seller fees page for full details regarding store subscriptions).
This is all complicated slightly further by the way that eBay and PayPal deduct their fees. The PayPal fee is deducted prior to the money reaching your PayPal account whilst the eBay fees (insertion and final value fees) are billed monthly and the money debited from your payment source (this will be your credit card, bank account or PayPal account depending upon your eBay billing settings).
Conclusion? Amazon wins the fee complexity battle hands down. But which marketplace is cheaper to sell on? Keep reading…
eBay vs Amazon Selling Fees – Real World Comparisons
In the interests of simplicity, we’re going to compare selling fees for a new seller with no previous selling history on either Amazon or eBay who has less than 65 product listings and therefore qualifies to sell on the cheapest eBay store subscription which costs nothing. By comparison, Amazon’s subscription costs £25 per month but new customers qualify for the first 3 months free, full details here. There is also a free Amazon subscription option but we felt that comparing the subscriptions covered above to be a more fair comparison of selling fees between the two marketplaces.
Let’s first take a look at pet supplies. Here’s the breakdown of costs for a dog toy which falls under the “Pet Supplies” category on eBay and “Everything else” on Amazon.
eBay wins this round, coming out £0.12 cheaper than Amazon.
Next up, screwdrivers, which fall under the “Home, Furniture & DIY” category on eBay and “DIY & Tools” on Amazon.
Amazon wins this round, coming out £0.74 cheaper than eBay.
How about a dress? This would fall under the “Clothes, Shoes & Accessories” category on eBay and “Clothing” on Amazon.
eBay wins this round, coming out £1.62 cheaper than Amazon.
A fridge freezer would fall under the “Home, Furniture & DIY” category on eBay and “Large Appliances” on Amazon.
Amazon wins this round, coming out £1.20 cheaper than eBay. It’s interesting to note here that in some eBay categories, including certain products within “Home, Furniture & DIY” (such as the fridge freezer in this example), eBay caps the maximum final value fee at £10.00. This means that, although Amazon is cheaper on a fridge freezer of the above value, the more expensive the item is the more competitive eBay’s fees become since they will not charge any more than £10.00 on the final sale value.
Finally, a tennis racket would fall under “Sporting Goods” on eBay and “Everything else” on Amazon.
eBay wins this round, coming out a stonking £2.24 cheaper than Amazon. As with the fridge freezer example above, eBay has a maximum final value fee of £10.00 on products in its “Sporting Goods” category. So, the more expensive the item, the cheaper eBay’s fees become when compared with Amazon since regardless of the quoted final value percentage (10% in this case) eBay will not charge any more than £10.00 on the final sale value.
If you were to sell all the above items on both eBay and Amazon then eBay would work out to be the cheaper of the two marketplaces, coming in £2.04 cheaper than Amazon. However, as demonstrated by the above examples, fees vary across categories and Amazon may come out top in other examples.
Ultimately, most sellers suck it up and sell on both eBay and Amazon (and other marketplaces like Play.com Rakuten) to get the most coverage and product exposure in order to increase the likelihood of making more sales.
Lastly, we stumbled upon a great free tool recently by Pigflog, an eBay trading assistant company, that allows you to quickly calculate eBay and Amazon selling fees. Check out www.instantebaycalculator.com. It rounds to the nearest pound so it’s unlikely to be 100% accurate but it does give a rough estimate of how your eBay and PayPal or Amazon fees will stack up if you successfully sell your item.