eBay UK now more popular than Amazon

By Chris Dawson August 11, 2014 - 7:50 am

eBay has overtaken Amazon to become the UK’s most popular retail site according to the 2014 Ofcom Communications Market report.


In March 2014 eBay had the largest digital audience among retail websites with 27.3 million visitors compared to Amazon’s 26.9 million visitors. Both eBay and Amazon are streets ahead of ahead of the next most popular sites, Argos (11.2 million) and Tesco (10.2 million).

Year on year, eBay has had the largest absolute growth (up by almost 4 million) while Amazon experienced smaller growth of 2.5 million.

Unique Audience in Millions full


eBay also win on mobile, they are the most popular online retail site on mobile devices. Despite having similar reach across the entire digital audience (57% for eBay and 56% for Amazon), visitors to eBay were less likely than visitors to Amazon to use a laptop/desktop computer and much more likely to access the site on a mobile device.

Amazon had a mobile reach of 28%, six percentage points lower than eBay’s mobile reach of 34%. However Although eBay had the largest audience in March 2014 (4.9 million) compared to Amazon (4.6 million), the Christmas period for Amazon took its mobile audience to a peak of 5.8 million.


According to the report eBay users spend a combined 2.5 billion minutes per month on the site! Bearing in mind that sellers generally use 3rd party tools through the API to manage their activity, the real combined time spent on eBay will be significantly higher.

  • Robert C
    4 years ago

    Is this because EVERYONE had to visit to change their password?

    • Mark
      4 years ago

      Given that these statistics have come from a 3rd party, and they’re not just figures spun by eBay to make themselves look good, perhaps we could just say ‘well done’ for a change instead of being cynical?

    • Robert C
      4 years ago

      Sorry, it was May not March that ebay asked for every user to change their password.. so that data wouldn’t include that incident.

      Don’t worry, I’m not on the “I hate ebay yet rely heavily on their website” bandwagon… I am eternally grateful that they give me a platform to make a living in my pyjamas.

      But wouldn’t everyone who has had an ebay account accessing mean that there would be an unnatural spike of unique visitor traffic? Not cynical in my eyes, I just like to look at statistics with scrutiny. However my question “Is this because EVERYONE had to visit to change their password?” is not relevent to the data reported.

      So… Well done Ebay!

    • Mark
      4 years ago

      Sorry, I just re-read my first reply and it sounded much grumpier that it was meant to. I apologise for that! (I’d just had a quick glimpse at the Powerseller Board where everyone is really cynical!)

  • jon
    4 years ago

    True enough, well done up until March 2014! Our ebay sales plummeted mid-March (strangely around the time of the Spring seller update?!) and only got worse after May 21st (password announcement day)- very interested to know what those figures show for ebay traffic and sales.

  • john
    4 years ago

    its march 2013 to march 2014 data. So password change did not really effect it.

    Our sales have been up and down. They have not returned to our peak/pre-recession level.

    Really the stats would have to be compared to previous years to get any sort of info from it regarding sales.

  • 4 years ago

    I am confused. If I visit ebay to check on any Sales or to list or relist any items does that show up as a Visitor. So if there is say a Free Listing Weekend and possibly thousands, tens of thousands of Private Sellers are busy listing their 100 Free Items does that show up as thousands, tens of thousands of visitors even though they are there to sell rather than buy.

    I know in my case I may be checking on my Sales or listing I may very well have a browse as well in which case I may bid for something which I may ultimately Win.

    However do the figures quoted above differentiate between Selling Visits, Buying Visits or Visits where both Buying and Selling might take place?

    • 4 years ago

      The figures are for unique visitors, not for page views.

      There is no differentiation between buying and selling visits.

  • Ross
    4 years ago

    It is interesting. EBay do encourage sellers more than Amazon, so you could deduce that Amazon has more buyers.
    Ebay’s mobile app is streets ahead of Amazon’s. On the Ebay app I can do almost as much as on pc, I barely scratch the surface with Amazon.
    That said Amazon sales are soaring and eBay sales continue to tumble. The only statistic I can rely on is my own sales figures.

    • john
      4 years ago

      Unsure about amazon sales. However as a buyer, I have noticed a large increase in people selling on ebay and using amazon to drop ship.

  • Mukesh
    4 years ago

    The minimum order spend of £10.00 (to qualify for free delivery), which was introduced by Amazon UK in July 2013, will have had the most impact – and pushed those buyers looking for ‘value’ (known as cheapscate poundshop types)- back towards Ebay.

  • 4 years ago

    I had always thought that eBay was a much bigger market, but the figures shows that they are fairly much level. But the cleaner catalogue on Amazon means that my sales totally trumped eBay.

    The minimum £10 spend on Amazon probably is having an impact, but as a non FBA seller, that can only be good for me.

  • Steve
    4 years ago

    Good news and well done. However, to qualify that we need comparisons of value of sales, and market penetration of smart phones; one of the first things people do with the new phone is to go to familar sites to try them. However, we should all be looking at listing for tablets and phones, which are a nightmare to use – so simple descriptions, good pics, inclusive postage- all the things ebay have been pushing us to do, get them done.

  • Stuart
    4 years ago

    Very odd reading and doesn’t compare anywhere close to our sales.

    Same inventory on both sites, in fact possibly more on ebay as we run actions to clear end of lines, yet sales are around 70% more on Amazon than ebay. At Christmas that reaches almost 85% as Amazon rockets at Christmas where ebay jumps a little more than normal!

    They might be getting the visitors but are they converting to sales would be my question!

  • john
    4 years ago

    I wonder if the difference in sales/new traffic is due to the ads from other sites that click through to ebay.

    Ebay seems to have a lot off ads on other sites and amazon seem to target there ads.

  • radroach
    4 years ago

    As I operate a number of selling IDs, I’m constantly switching from one to the other during the course of the day, I wonder would each log in count as a “visit” ?

    • Paul
      4 years ago

      I wouldn’t think so radroach, this is number of unique visits. So I suspect it will only count you once regardless of how many times within the month you log in. If you operate 3 user ID’s I would think that would count as 3 visits then in the 27.3M number above.

  • Peter M
    4 years ago

    I would also be interested to see comparison sales figures betwen Ebay & Amazon.

    I searched but came up with this discussion thread which interestingly is almost entirely anti-Ebay and pro-Amazon

    To me the two marketplaces are different.
    Firstly, apart from books, almost all other items on Amazon are new. As I deal almost entirely in vintage and antiques I don’t have the option to use Amazon for selling.

    I buy on both but stopped buying new electricals on Ebay several years ago – now only on Amazon and Argos. I’ve also started buying mid-range Kitchen items on Amazon and have been very pleased.
    There are bargains on Amazon if you look.

    But for vintage, when I buy online, Ebay is the only place in town. I have tried some of the newer competitors but there just isn;t anything like the same choice.

    For selling also Ebay has almost no viable competitors for the UK market. The others just don’t have the traffic.

    I learned a year or so ago that of all Ebay’s country sites Ebay.UK has by far the largest market penetration. This surprised me as I assumed it would be the States. However it seems that although we may start a bit late, in this country we are very quick to take up new things (also Google)

    Except, that is, any competition to Ebay.
    I’ve tried Craigslist, Gumtree, Preloved, Ebid and Betubid.

  • hod
    4 years ago

    That ebid isn’t more popular (with sellers) than both of these jokes combined shows how mad the world is.

    • 4 years ago

      Who cares how popular eBid is with sellers? What actually matters is how popular eBid is with buyers and the answer sadly is “Not very”.

      It’s slightly better than it was 10 years ago, but eBid is still so far off eBay/Amazon’s popularity with buyers that it’s not even a blip on the radar (or rather the traffic graph)

Recent Comments

1 min ago
Jonah: @ Alan P Yes I quite agree Alan, I think returns are up across the board...
2 hours ago
Robert Temple Booksellers: Robert Temple Booksellers have not advertised on ABE since 2006 because of their unwillingness to...
3 hours ago
alan paterson: @ Jonah, I must admit our returns are up as well. But they have been...
3 hours ago
alan paterson: we made the decision not to sell to the EU on Amazon due to our...