Difference between eBay and Amazon

Key difference: Amazon is an online retail store, whereas eBay is an auction house.

Both eBay and Amazon are online shopping sites. While there are many similarities between the two, there are a number of differences between them. The main difference being that Amazon is an online retail store, whereas eBay is an auction house.

As an online shopping site, they both aim to provide their customers a convenient way to shop from the luxury of their homes. They offer a number of products, with or without discounts, and both new and used. Amazon is a retailer, and hence operates as a regular store. It has its own stocks, inventory, and warehousing. eBay, as an auction house, operates as a third party, connecting purchasers to sellers. Hence, it does not have its own inventory, stock or warehousing. It just connects buyers to people who do have the products.

eBay is a site that allows people to buy or sell their stuff. Hence, it is a one on one operation. A person buys a product from another person who wants to sell it. However, eBay has become so popular that even companies and stores list their products on it. A buyer can buy new items directly from Amazon.com or new or used items from Amazon Marketplace sellers. Comparatively, Amazon has a much restricted and stringent process, in case third parties want to sell their new or used products on Amazon Marketplace.

Also, eBay tends to have a number of various different products and categories, as compared to Amazon. Both offer vast varieties, but eBay generally tends to have much more products than Amazon. A seller can list almost any kind of item, anything from antiques to cars, books to sporting goods. Even, if the item does not fall into tradition categories, eBay has an ‘Everything Else’ category, which comprises of, well, everything else. The seller can choose to accept only bids for the item, or to offer the Buy It Now option, which allows the buyers to purchase the item at the price fixed by the seller.

Amazon, on the other hand, usually has a listed prize, on which the buyers can purchase the product. Furthermore, the Amazon Marketplace is not available in all countries where the Amazon site functions.

If a person buys directly from Amazon, the purchase is guaranteed by Amazon. However, if one does buy from a marketplace seller, they would have protection but not as much as directly buying from Amazon. There have been cases where the products sold by the marketplace sellers have not been at par to Amazon’s policy. Still, Amazon is very particular at trying to stop these instances and all buyers can provide feedback on the sellers and products they buy. Furthermore, if a buyer is unhappy or unsatisfied with the product, they can return or ask for a replacement of the product, and Amazon will refund the money, or ask the seller to refund it, in case of marketplace sellers.

Similarly, eBay has gotten a reputation as being risky, as the presence of scammers has increased on the site. These scammers would advertise a product, but run away with the buyer’s money and not deliver the advertised product or any product for the matter. However, this is not entirely the case now. Now, only registered eBay users can sell products on the website. eBay has also since built up and promoted its user rating system, where if a user is rated at untrustworthy or not satisfactory, eBay has the right to block that user’s account. Furthermore, with the implement and popularity of PayPal, a business that allows payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet, eBay transactions have become more secure.

In addition to being an online retailer, Amazon has also produces consumer electronics. These include the Amazon Kindle e-book reader and the Kindle Fire tablet computer. Amazon also is a major provider of cloud computing services.

Image Courtesy: which.co.uk, mshcdn.com

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