Selling Books on EBay vs Amazon

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  • January 17, 2024
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  • 6 min read


The world of electronic commerce (e-commerce) is booming and only getting bigger. In this digital marketplace, two major players, eBay (EBAY) and Amazon (AMZN) have held their ground for quite some time.

Both eBay and Amazon operate as online shopping platforms where you can explore and shop for various products. They each have digital storefronts, allowing you to find items listed for sale or auction.

Even though eBay and Amazon have adapted to meet the changing needs of consumers, there are some key differences between eBay vs. Amazon.

In this article, the Ghostwriting Founders will delve into the pros and cons of selling books on eBay vs. Amazon, helping you make an informed decision tailored to your needs.

Understanding the Audience:

Before comparing eBay vs. Amazon, it’s crucial to understand the distinctive audiences each platform attracts. eBay is often perceived as an auction-style marketplace, fostering a diverse range of sellers and buyers.

In contrast, Amazon is renowned for its vast product catalog and streamlined purchasing process, appealing to a broad customer base.

Fees and Pricing:

When it comes to fees on eBay, think of it like this: imagine you’re setting up shop in a bustling marketplace. To get your stall, you pay a small fee just to set up; when you make a sale, the marketplace takes a small percentage. It’s like a handshake agreement – you pay a bit upfront, and they get a slice when you succeed. Remember that they’ll also want a small piece if you use PayPal for transactions.

When you sell ebooks on Amazon, remember that it would operate differently. Picture a store where you know exactly what shelf space costs. Amazon charges a fixed fee based on what you’re selling, and that’s it. No surprises. If you opt for their FBA service, where they handle the packing and shipping, there are additional costs, but it’s like helping with the logistics.

Audience Reach:

Think of eBay like a lively flea market – many people milling about, each with unique tastes. Your books might catch the eye of someone looking for that hidden gem. However, because it’s so diverse, getting noticed for your fiction, nonfiction, psychology books, and even any other books can be a bit like standing out in a crowd.

Now, imagine Amazon as a massive bookstore where people specifically come to find and buy books. Your books are displayed in a store that attracts book lovers from all walks of life. The site’s recommendation, like best non-fiction or fiction categories, can also put your books in front of exactly the right readers.

Listing Flexibility:

On eBay, you can either set a starting bid and let people compete for your book (like an auction), or you can decide on a fixed price that you believe is fair. It’s like being the artist behind the auctioneer’s gavel or the seller with a clear price tag on their masterpiece.

Now, shift to Amazon, where things are more like a gallery with standardized prices. Your book gets a fixed spot on the shelf with a set price. It’s straightforward and eliminates the bidding drama. Buyers know what they’ll pay, like grabbing a book with a labeled price at a regular bookstore.

Now, it depends on your style – whether you prefer the excitement of an auction or the simplicity of fixed prices. It’s like choosing between an art auction and a bookstore shelf.

Ease of Use:

Imagine you’re setting up a lemonade stand at a fair – it’s pretty simple. That’s eBay for you. You create your stand (listing) by filling in some details, and you’re ready. However, managing an auction can be like keeping an eye on your lemonade stand and ensuring everyone gets a fair chance to bid.

Now, picture Amazon as a vending machine. You put your book in, set the price, and the machine takes care of the rest. It’s efficient automated, and leaves you with more time to focus on finding more books to sell.

Seller Services:

Regarding the cost for sellers, eBay and Amazon show significant differences. eBay, driven by the need for sellers to list products and generate revenue, leans heavily towards being seller-oriented. In contrast, Amazon takes a more buyer-centric approach.

eBay actively encourages sellers to join its platform, creating a marketplace where sellers can list their products for potential buyers. Sellers can operate within an eBay store or utilize the auction site’s classified section. This emphasis on sellers contributes to eBay’s focus on fostering a diverse and dynamic marketplace.

On the other side, Amazon positions itself as more buyer-oriented. The platform invites buyers to explore its site, like strolling through a traditional retail store. While Amazon utilizes third-party sellers for product distribution, the primary emphasis is attracting a broad buyer base to the platform. Many book marketing agencies can provide you with Amazon marketing services as well.

EBay’s revenue generation relies on a vibrant community of sellers listing products. It also actively works to provide platforms for sellers to engage with buyers. Meanwhile, Amazon emphasizes drawing in buyers, positioning itself as a go-to destination for online shoppers.

So, in the realm of seller services, eBay stands out as a more seller-friendly platform, leveraging the active participation of sellers to drive its marketplace. At the same time, Amazon focuses on creating an attractive space for buyers.


In the eBay vs. Amazon debate for selling books, the choice ultimately depends on your priorities and preferences as a seller. If you value flexibility in pricing and enjoy the thrill of auctions, eBay might be your ideal platform. On the other hand, if you seek a vast audience, transparent fees, and a streamlined selling process, Amazon could be the better fit.

Remember, success in online bookselling requires more than choosing the right platform: excellent customer service, accurate product descriptions, and sometimes even help from professional branding and publicity services providers.

That’s why, whichever platform you choose, understanding its nuances and leveraging its features will enhance your chances of thriving in the competitive world of e-commerce.

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