This is the last installment in my series covering the differences between the eBay and Amazon selling platforms. I asked veteran Amazon sellers what differences they found between selling on eBay and Amazon FBA. There were ten areas identified as noticeably different between the two platforms:
- What You Can Sell
- The Rules
- Customer Service
- Getting Paid
- Sales Tax
- Profit Potential
Why are you in business? To make the world a better place? Possibly. To bring your inventions to the masses? Could be. When it comes down to it, most business owners are looking to turn a profit on their investment each year. Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be much fun to lose money after spending countless hours on your business, would it? One of my goals is to increase my profits year over year so that my business can continue to grow. To do this I need to be able to sell more items. When I analyzed my business last year during Q3, I realized that in order to grow my business and continue to increase my profits year over year I would need to delegate. I am only one person with two hands and only so many hours in the day.
My first step was to hire a virtual assistant (VA) to do my eBay listing for me. This freed up some of my time but I wasn’t making that much more money with my freed up time. I needed more help. I decided to focus my efforts and funds on growing my Amazon business. Amazon has one of, if not thee, largest most efficient distribution channels in the world. They have efficiencies in place that a small business owner can only dream about. Amazon has a lot to offer; including a customer base that is willing to pay more for products.
Why are Amazon buyers willing to pay more?
When you go online to look for an item to purchase where do you head first? Based on Amazon’s growing sales figures each year you aren’t the only one to select Amazon.com. Why do buyers select Amazon over other online retailers?
- Selection – Amazon’s vision is “to be earth's most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.” Why wouldn’t a buyer shop at the store with the best selection?
- Speed – Prime members get free 2-day shipping with an option to upgrade to 1-day shipping for an additional $3.99. Turnaround from time of purchase to time of shipment is also very quick so even those without Prime shipping options get their product in a reasonable amount of time.
- Customer Service – Amazon prides itself on customer satisfaction by providing a customer-centric environment with a no hassle return policy and a quick to respond customer service team.
- Free Shipping – While many retailers periodically offer free shipping on purchases over a certain amount, Amazon offers the option all the time. Prime members get free 2-day shipping every day and non prime members get free shipping with orders of $35 or more. With shipping fees on the rise, free shipping draws in customers like kids to a candy store.
- Amazon Prime – This service provides many services to its subscribers. Most notably however is free 2-day shipping, $3.99 upgrade to 1-day shipping for only $99 a year.
According to Lisa Suttora in her article “Sourcing Products to Sell on Amazon: Understanding the Amazon Customer”, Amazon customers are willing to pay for quality products. They are not on the hunt for the best deal or cheapest price and Amazon buyers also replace items with more frequency and adapt to newer technologies and product offerings more quickly. Sounds very different from the buyers that eBay sellers are used to. Amazon customers want to find any product that they are looking for, have it delivered to them promptly with no hassle customer service if something goes wrong. They are willing to pay a PREMIUM for this service. Amazon sellers are able to ask and get higher selling prices for their items because Amazon buyers pay for convenience. As a seller you can charge more for an item on Amazon than any other platform which can quickly increase a seller’s profits.
I've spent the last ten weeks delving into the top ten differences between eBay and Amazon. Understanding the differences between Amazon and eBay is part of what will help move you forward in your e-commerce business. As a seller on eBay you have watched the marketplace evolve and change (not always for the better) over time. Has your business evolved, other than with the changes set forth by eBay? If not, ask yourself why.
Is it time for a change? When learning something new it can be overwhelming and often a bit scary because there are a lot of unknowns. Learning how to sell on Amazon is no different. You don’t need to jump into the deep end of the pool but it's time to test the waters and see how you can make Amazon and FBA work for you.
Now it's your turn to take the information I've shared and decide if Amazon is an avenue to pursue for your business. What is going to be your first step? Please share in the comments below.
What are you doing today to move your business forward?
Interested in selling on Amazon with Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or know someone who is? Not sure where to start?
Amazon FBA Launch Pad is the most current and comprehensive step-by-step guide to LAUNCH and GROW your Amazon FBA business from novice to startup success without spending a fortune. To find out more information click HERE.
If you are looking for more specialized one-on-one direction to grow your business and or manage your life balance, I highly recommend heading over here and checking out the individualized coaching available from the amazing Kristin Ostrander.