Amazon vs eBay are 2 of the bigger online ecommerce platforms for selling books. Both have been well-recognized for online retail with a wide range of customers around the globe.

Each of them has proved to be a reliable linking system for booksellers and their customers.

However, they differ in some of their features such as selling fees, shipping policies and other policies for selling books on Amazon or eBay.

This is for both that might be looking to start their online arbitrage game or for an author looking to expand your reach. We give you tips to up your game.

As an individual seller, it is essential to fully understand the different features and policies before you choose the site to sell your books.

This will enable you to maximize resources and profits on book sales. It can also help to avoid unnecessary charges & fees on book sales.

You also need to be aware of the shipping fee particular to each site and the potential sales to expect. Another key thing to note is you can sell used books on Amazon

These varying policies & fees will be largely discussed here.

Selling On Amazon Vs eBay: The Market Differences

The online store Amazon has become a more competitive platform as many new brands are joining the e-commerce site, with an average of 100,000 new sellers monthly.

Upcoming e-commerce brands or beginners, especially retailers, may not find it easy to thrive in such an intensely competitive space.

However, it doesn’t mean sophisticated phantom brands cannot cope with the Amazon market trends. 

Amazon’s Enhanced Brand Content (EBC) and A+ content, assist in detailed product review and marketing content, thereby enhancing large purchases and helping you take better chances as a seller.

According to Statistics, eBay has over 170 million active users. This online shopping site appears to give more space for your product marketing. 

As a seller that has just started growing your brand, and not yet well-known, this platform is an opportunity to thrive and stand out.

One of the merits of selling here is that it enables you to build up your brand and market it to likely buyers.

For sellers on Amazon, it is highly required of them to meet the customer’s expectations.

Failure to do so might lead to the seller getting suspended.  Selling a book on this platform still comes with some manageable risks, but this is true for most business models.

Most times, buyers on eBay strictly lookout for quality, although some may have lower prices. It also gives room for buyers to negotiate product prices.

There is no negotiating prices or fees with your buyers on Amazon.

sell books on amazon fba

Book Sales Price

A typical book sells on Amazon at a much higher cost, which implies that you will make more profits.

Most times, buyers on Amazon are ready to pay higher for products than eBay customers.

This is particularly evident when you sell your books utilizing fulfillment by Amazon (FBA).

Books that are sold through FBA usually sell within the range of 50% to 200% higher than their non-FBA counterparts. Selling books on Amazon does come with this added benefit.

FBA gives these privileges for the following reasons:

  • FBA provides a two-day (or even a one day) Prime delivery, for which most buyers are pleased to pay an even bigger premium.
  • Amazon generally rewards the Buy Box to Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) offers over merchant-fulfilled (FBM) offers.

Many buyers on Amazon, purchase any offer that holds the Buy Box without even considering other competing offers, and are also ready to pay more to get the books.

We will talk more about FBA and FBM as an Amazon seller in the next section.

Books Shipping or Delivery

The two e-commerce sites differ in their shipping strategy. 

Amazon has two different ways that a seller can deliver the books or other sales items to its customers, which include: 

  • Fulfilled by Amazon (Amazon FBA) 
  • Fulfilled by Merchant (Amazon FBM)

FBA strategy necessitates that sellers send their books to Amazon distribution centers. The books would be fulfilled from that point.

Specific selling fees are made on your books depending on:

  • How heavy the books are
  • Handling expenses
  • Storage requirements per sq ft.
  • Pick and pack fees
  • A certain percentage of Sales profit

FBM permits third-party vendors to fulfill items to customers in-house, or by means of outsourcing shipping partners. Sellers who already have fulfilment centers can benefit from this policy.

However, on eBay, you are solely responsible for the delivery of books to buyers. 

On books and some other products, there are no set limits for the most extreme delivery costs. 

Consistent and rapid delivery of your books to customers also come with specific incentives on eBay such as a reduction in fees as a Top Rated Seller.

Selling Fees

Please note that these are taken from the most recent policies that Amazon or eBay have listed that this was written.  We will do our best to update this should they change.  

You can find the most recent fees for Amazon here. eBay fee structure can be found here.

Amazon Selling Fees

Amazon fees comprise two different basic selling fees, for professional and individual accounts.

Professional seller accounts are mandated to pay a fee of $39.99 per month.

In contrast, individual seller accounts have a fee of $0.99 per each sale instead of the monthly fee.

The individual plan is designed for sellers that have a limited number of books up for sale.

It is strictly meant for sellers that have no more than 40 books to sell per month.

Individual seller plans also include a closing fee and a referral fee.  This does not matter if you sell a used or new one.

Closing Fees

An Amazon Seller also pays a closing fee for each media item that you sell. 

Media items include Book, Music, Software & Computer/Video Games, Video, Video Game Consoles.

Referral Fees

Sellers are also mandated to pay a referral fee on each book sold, and that comes with a 15% charge. 

eBay Fees

There are also two basic eBay fees:

  • These include an insertion fee which is required when you make a listing, and comes with a flat fee of $0.30.
  • The other one is the final value fees.
  • Both fees are billed when your books are purchased.

The final value fee entails 10% of the total sale price on your books, unlike Amazon with 15% charges.

Your total sale price includes your books’ retail prices, shipping fees charged to the customer, and any listing upgrades (such as gallery promotions, bold listing, and reserve prices.)

sell books on amazon

Scalability Of Selling Books

How To Scale Your Amazon E-Commerce Business?

Developing business with high financial returns needs deliberate scaling for better outcomes!

Regardless of the particular type of product you are selling, e-commerce business on Amazon, or other online platforms is not only about the total number of sales. 

You should also consider the actual amount of profit generated.

When Should You Embark On Scaling Your E-Commerce Business?

It is necessary to regularly check the balance between the total expenses incurred, and the overall profits made when selling on Amazon or eBay.

You should begin scaling your e-commerce business if you want the business to grow. This way you can maximise your sales and profit.

Scaling also helps you make an overall assessment of your business, to see if the goals you have set are being fulfilled.

A Few Steps To Take 

The first step is to concentrate on getting your first book sale on Amazon or eBay effectively.

  • Find some used or new books that rank well on Amazon or eBay with some reviews and start making good sales and profit.
  • You might want to look serious at your profit margins if you are not making much from it, while also considering scaling up your business.
  • Be an active or dynamic seller and beat the market competitiveness with reliable and consistent strategies.

Before we go into details about scaling up your business on Amazon or eBay, you need to take these critical steps:

  • Ensure you have an active account in good standing on either platform
  • Get familiar with the Amazon or eBay strategies, terms and conditions, account stability, and other policies.

Online Arbitrage To Find a Book To Sell

Finding books to sell on Amazon on eBay can actually be done in your pajamas or at 3am in the morning.  

Tactical Arbitrage has a library feature that scours the internet for used or new books that you can sell.

You can flip books easily and narrow it down to fit your desired profit margin.  You can sign up for a free 30 day trial here.

Are You A Book Author?

Maybe you have a book that you want to sell on Amazon or other online stores.  Here are a few suggestions to help maximize your chances of selling it.

Building your Brand Beyond Amazon or eBay

Standardizing your brand compels people to buy your books. The quality, trust and reliability are key factors to watch out for.

This will help you to stand out in a competitive market space like Amazon or eBay.

You can build your brand value beyond Amazon/eBay and drive traffic towards your book listing page.

This can be created via social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.

It will help you to extend your brand awareness and traffic for potential customers.

eBay gives most of the retail operations responsibilities to its sellers, and permits them to create a personal identity for direct customer interaction.

Amazon sellers, on the other hand, are almost anonymous.

There’s little opportunity for branding on Amazon, as there is a minimal or no direct customer-seller relationship.

Paid Advertising

It is very beneficial to make use of this strategy to increase traffic to your Amazon or eBay books page.

You should have a good knowledge of how to run Amazon sponsored products (PPC) ads, eBay promoted listings, and their significance.

You can also include other channels, such as social media ads like Facebook ads or Instagram, to reach more potential buyers.

eBay promoted listing is easier to comprehend.

It also has a fixed cost and works well as reported. 

Meanwhile, Amazon sponsored products (PPC) are much more well-organized and effective than eBay promoted listings in terms of sales potential.

Amazon PPC also comes with varying costs, unlike eBay, which has a fixed charge.

online arbitrage for books

Get Some Help

In order to scale your E commerce business, you need to put in enough time to grow and develop your brand.

Buyers don’t just show up from you simply listing your books. 

You might still need to add some copy writing services or sponsored products (PPC) while also carefully complying with the shopping site’s guidelines.

You can hire experts in these fields and other required services to add value to your business.

Some specialists can help you grow your eCommerce business if you don’t have enough time for the business due to other engagements.

Launch Different Titles

You should diversify and sell different books as one book won’t sell forever on Amazon or eBay. You can enlist other books of current high demand and quality.

Adding new books to your listings will help you to remain competitive and also yield more profits.

Extending Coverage To Other Market Places

You might also wish to extend your customer reach/traffic by listing your products in more than one market place. 

Amazon and eBay are available in other countries like Canada, Germany, Australia, and some other countries apart from the US.

Cross-border selling can be more complicated and stressful for sellers in terms of taxes and shipping.

However, it will be a great relief for sellers if these online marketplaces can consider these issues and help sellers reduce these burdens.

Meanwhile, eBay has a more extensive international reach than Amazon, which has just a single international system or global shopping programs.

Good Use of Keywords

Your listing can also be optimized for more visibility and product ranking by using highly rated keywords to your advantage. 

This can also bring in more sales and profit.

Optimize your Listing

For better sales and returns, you might also want to optimize your book listing by using top-quality images, bullet points, titles, descriptions, and utilizing well-ranked keywords. 

This will make your product easily discover-able by customers on the Amazon or eBay top pages.

Some experts can also help you with the listing optimization.

However, Amazon’s product listing allows buyers to compare prices easily. 

This makes it relatively difficult to compete with other sellers except when you run a Buy Box.

Therefore, having the most competitive price for a particular book on Amazon gives you an edge on making sales on that book.

Unlike Amazon, eBay is more diplomatic, showing buyers many results to filter and research by themselves.

eBay makes it more difficult for buyers to compare sellers on price alone, as there are many other bases for comparison displayed to them.

Performance Standards & Penalties.

Virtually, nobody plans to perform below standards, but trade outcomes might not go well sometimes. 

This can be the fault of the seller or the buyer’s unreasonable actions.

Amazon’s performance targets and sanctions are more strict than eBay’s performance standards and penalties.

Amazon’s penalties, especially account suspensions, are more severe and often given out more often.

Customer support

eBay buyers tend to be more demanding than Amazon buyers in terms of making inquiries and providing feedback.

eBay policies make it easier for buyers to contact the seller and vice versa, unlike Amazon, where the seller is almost anonymous.

selling books on amazon

Website Traffic 

It is quite evident that one of the biggest concerns of a seller is the actual rate at which your stock gets sold.

It is suggested that Amazon is a better choice when considering how fast your books get sold.

This can be deduced from the web traffic of Amazon in comparison with that of eBay.

Amazon worldwide Alexa ranking (which rates sites based on the number of visitors) is much higher than that of eBay. 

Likewise, Amazon also ranks higher in the United States than eBay according to Alexa ranking.

The above web traffic comparison suggests there is a higher influx of customers buying on Amazon than eBay.

A few other bases for comparison include the fact that Amazon has been known for books since its inception. 

Therefore they are relatively more book sales friendly than eBay, except for antique or used books which are more peculiar to eBay.

Also, it always saves more time when listing books or other sales items on Amazon than eBay, even though both platforms provide third-party listing software.

Final Thoughts

Amazon tends to offer the most sales potential and also makes customer support less demanding for sellers.

Although Amazon is a very strict platform for sellers in terms of performance standards and sanctions, it is still preferred by its customers.

Amazon saves you the stress of shipping books to customers, unlike eBay, where you are solely responsible for delivering your books to customers.

However, some books sellers thrive better on eBay than Amazon.

eBay makes it more difficult for buyers to compare prices, unlike Amazon which makes it easier for buyers.

Making a prudent choice between Amazon and eBay for selling your books will also depend on the type of books you plan to sell, your actual selling price, and the total quantity of books for sale.

You don’t need to stress yourself too much in making such prudent choices.

Beginning online arbitrage in which you buy a product online and resell it for a better price.

Tactical Arbitrage is a software used primarily for online arbitrage, book flipping, and wholesale sourcing in the Amazon space. 

This software searches online stores (e.g. Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc.) and compares prices based on specific criteria.  

All in all, it will help guide you to successful e-commerce trading.

Now, you can even get a free trial by clicking here.

Related Questions 

  1. Is it worth it to sell books on Amazon? –Yes, it is. You can have good sales even at high prices without shipping your books to customers by yourself, or facing customer support responsibilities.
  2. Is eBay a good place to sell books? – Yes, it is relatively cheaper to sell books there. Selling books in general is a good move, especially when you are selling antique or used books.
  3. Can you make money selling used books on eBay? – eBay is the best place to sell a collectible or used book as the platform is well-known for selling used items. Selling used books on eBay can yield high sales potential and profit.
  4. How much does it cost to sell books on Amazon? – Individual sellers on Amazon are meant to pay a fee of $0.99 per book sold, a closing fee of $1.80 and a 15% referral fee on book sales.