Comparison: eBay vs Amazon seller fees

There’s been a lot of talk about eBay fees recently which are due to change from May this year for business sellers. Many have mentioned comparisons to Amazon seller fees so here is a break down by category of what you’ll be paying depending which marketplace you list on.

Although you might think it a simple comparison there are other fees to take into account. The table shows closing or Final Value Fees payable on each site including PayPal fees for eBay (Amazon fees already include the cost of the financial part of the transaction).

We’ve shown the highest and lowest PayPal fee tranches, but you need to check the rate you qualify for, which can be between 3.4% plus 20p dropping in 0.5% increments down to 1.4% plus 20p. The level you pay will vary according to your monthly payment volumes. If you’ve not already applied for a discount on your PayPal fees you should do so immediately.

It’s not a direct comparison as eBay fees exclude shipping costs but PayPal fees are charged on the total transaction value, as are Amazon fees.

What the table also doesn’t show is that for Amazon there is a flat monthly fee of £28.75 per month, which is roughly equivalent to eBay’s shop subscriptions. eBay shop subscriptions are £14.99 for a Basic Shop, £49.99 for a Featured Shop and £349.99 for an Anchor Shop.

In addition on eBay for fixed price listings you’ll pay 40p per fixed price listing if you don’t have an eBay shop, 10p with a Basic Shop, 5p with a Featured Shop and no insertion fee for fixed price listings with an Anchor Shop. On Amazon there are no per item insertion fees to pay.

VAT at 15% is included for both eBay and Amazon fees, but there is no VAT payable on PayPal fees. VAT isn’t charged on either marketplace for sellers who are VAT registered and qualify for VAT exclusive fees.

Even with the fee changes overall eBay is still a lower cost per sale than Amazon in all categories, and in some such as Jewellery eBay is significantly lower. However fees are only a part of the criteria sellers should be considering. More important is which site achieves the best prices and the highest sell through rate. (Don’t forget Amazon insist that the price you sell on Amazon should match or be lower than the price you sell at on any other website).

Most sellers of new products should be selling on both eBay and Amazon. Whilst sell through rates and costs vary, not listing on either marketplace and missing out on a large slice of the ecommerce potential just doesn’t make sense. However the economics may influence which products you sell on Amazon and how much of your inventory you place on eBay.