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Comparison: eBay vs Amazon seller fees

By Chris Dawson April 4, 2011 - 5:56 am

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.

  • 6 years ago

    With respect Chris I find this a little misleading. You said “What the table also doesn’t show is that for Amazon there is a flat monthly fee of £28.75 per month”

    This is not in fact mandatory, it is a choice. You can choose to sell products that are already in the Amazon catalogue as an individual seller for a flat product sold fee of £0.86 plus the Amazon (referral) fees shown in your chart which include payment processing.

    Amazon suggests this is best value for sellers who do not anticipate selling over 35 items per month but in fact the break-even point comes after the sale of the 33rd item.

    Also “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.”

    Delivery price is NOT included for calculating the Amazon Referral Fee but will be for calculating the eBay FVF later this year.

    As you mentioned PayPal charges a 20p per transaction fee which Amazon does not but eBay also charges insertion fees which can add up.

  • 6 years ago

    In the UK Amazon fees say “For the other product categories, the referral fee applies to the total sales proceeds, including the product price, all delivery and handling, gift wrap and other charges collected, including any taxes and customs duties.

    eBay will only charge final value fees on shipping on eBay.com, not on eBay UK.

    You’re right they have a plan for casual sellers, but to be honest not too many people are going to make a living based on selling less than 35 items a month so I used the Amazon Pro seller fees.

    • 6 years ago

      We are both right, I was looking at books which states delivery price not included and you were looking at everything else which says exactly what you quoted.

      PS Lovely very clear chart, most useful, thanks

  • edwina
    6 years ago

    Just to clarify as a seller on Amazon.

    Amazon does charge on p+p and item cost, however if the buyer buys expedited delivery it is only charged on the item part not the expedited del part

  • northumbrian
    6 years ago

    which ever way you look at it ebays fees are less and a very interesting and informative post by chris

  • edwina
    6 years ago

    Its easier to trade on Amazon (customer wise) and very few questions re products, and returns are far less than Ebay

  • northumbrian
    6 years ago

    not for us , amazon is just not for antique and collectables

  • dave
    6 years ago

    23% for groceries and we are to believe supermarkets make little money on everything they sell us !

  • Gary
    6 years ago

    In the table should some of the eBay 10.4%’s be 11.4%’s?

    There is an eBay fee difference of 3% in some catsgories where the Paypal difference is 2%.

  • Facebook Fanny
    6 years ago

    Ebay is yesterday ,It was a place to trade,Now its just a wreck,Tweeked to death,Filled all the catagories with junk?So you can’t find anything,Best match is a joke………Ect,When will Facebook take over where Ebay has left off? We need a good venue for collectables and and oddities,Ebay had it ,but they decided what built them isn’t welcome there anymore,very sad.I will never buy at Ebay again.

    • hawkwind
      6 years ago

      I think one of the main reasons that people don’t buy on ebay is the way they have been treated as sellers.

      Nearly every seller on ebay is also a buyer apart from maybe the outlets and very big shops.

      So if you focus most of your attention on the outlets at the expense of the small to medium sellers you are losing a lot of buyers as well.

      this was in reply to northumbrian put it in the wrong place

  • northumbrian
    6 years ago

    I can understand folks not selling on ebay
    but not buying is daft
    ebay sellers have sliced their prices to the bone because most are TRS best match and feedback paranoid , many will give extra if pushed , even if they wont, many buyers chisel a little extra via the paypal and ebay complaints procedure

  • 6 years ago

    It’s fine, I don’t want to sell to anyone who can’t spell “etc.” :lol: (or check what “fanny” means in the UK :lol: :lol:)

    • Henrietta
      6 years ago

      ROFL!

  • Robert Mansell
    6 years ago

    I use both ebay and amazon.

    I prefer Amazon for media items because there are no relist fees, you sit items there and they sell for what you want in full knowledge of monies received.

    As for ebay for those items it’s a mess.

  • Jimbo
    6 years ago

    Cliche time: It’s the bottom line that counts. If anyone is looking for low fees try eBid.

  • elvis
    6 years ago

    Are you sure amazon fees are on the total amount including shipping. I thought in the media categories such as dvd that they only charged 17.25% on the sale price excl postage

  • BigPoppa
    6 years ago

    Our sales in the toys/games cat fees are not on postage.

    • elvis
      6 years ago

      From amazon…

      “The referral fee applies to the total sales proceeds, including the product price, all delivery and handling, gift wrap and other charges collected, including any taxes and customs duties. We do not charge a Variable Closing Fee.”

      This excludes books, music, video and dvd. No mention of it excluding toys/games.

    • Peter
      6 years ago

      Depends where you look on amazon:

      “Variable Closing Fee on delivery charges

      Delivery charges are collected from the buyer at the time of purchase, at pre-set rates. We take a Variable Closing Fee and pass the rest on to you as postage credit. The Variable Closing Fee depends on the delivery charge collected from the buyer.”

      And yes it is charged on BMVD and toys and games according to the table on their site.

    • elvis
      6 years ago

      Do you have a link to this table on amazons site as BMVD do not get charged a fee on postage (Toys do). They charge a seperate set fee for BMVD instead of charging on postage. i.e. DVD is 16p

  • Karen
    6 years ago

    When comparing sites, do bear in mind that from May EBAY is increasing its final value fee’s.