Amazon VS. eBay: Where To Score The Best Deal

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No one likes paying more than they have to. Thankfully, alone with the convenience of shopping from home, the not-so-secret secret is that nowadays, the best deals are usually online. But when forced to choose between the two online commerce giants Amazon and eBay, which comes out ahead as the better marketplace? Before you go pressing that pay-in-one-click button, read on in this play-by-play analysis of the two Internet storefronts.

Price: eBay

Woman-Using-Computer-MouseIf your top concern is the bottom line, look no further that shopping with eBay. While Amazon may be your go-to on Black Friday, eBay tends to have the lower prices. This is because, behind the scenes, the two sites charge fees for product listings on their sites, and those extra costs can change based on many different factors. However, as a general rule of thumb, Amazon has higher selling fees than eBay, meaning that sellers mark their prices up a little higher. And because of eBay’s very nature – it started off as a straight-up auction site, don’t forget – there’s a chance that you’ll be able to snag your product for a cheaper price than anywhere else.

Shipping: Amazon

If you’ve ever shopped online before, you know that the sticker price isn’t really what you pay. As well as tax, there’s the dreaded shipping you must also take into account. If you’re buying something small, shipping isn’t going to break the bank. But when it comes to larger purchases, shipping may play a large part in your buying decision. In most cases, shipping on eBay is left up to the seller, who chooses whether he or she will eat the cost or pass it on you, the customer. On the other hand, Amazon offers free shipping through their Amazon Prime service. While Prime definitely isn’t free, you can quickly get your money’s worth if you plan on buying a lot. And along with the free shipping, Prime nets you some other excellent perks, such as Amazon’s streaming collection of films, TV, and music.

Other Factors: Tie

For the discerning shopper, price and shipping aren’t going to be the only factors that work their way into a decision. While the cost of buying the product will probably rank high, you may want to consider some other points that go into the sale. For one, Amazon draws more customer reviews, so you’ll have a better idea of what you’re purchasing. Amazon also has a greater selection of common products, while eBay will do you better for those harder-to-find purchases. One last thing to consider between the two is their ethics – Amazon has caught a lot of flak for how it treats its warehouse workers and its competition with independent book publishers. If you prefer to shop with a conscience, you might want to avoid Amazon.

So, it looks that, by most accounts, it’s a tie. Nothing in life is as easy as a “yes” or a “no”, is it? In general, if you’re looking to make a one-time purchase, eBay will be your best bet, while if you are someone who shops somewhat frequently, Amazon Prime might suit your needs better. For the best results, do your own price comparison and see which site comes out better for you.

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