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Since Amazon Australia store launched in late 2017, it has been a tough competitor for the local online shopping market. Its biggest rival is eBay, which is similarly a platform for businesses to sell their products and has a much more established presence in Australia.
As a mum and online shopper, I have used both platforms to purchase baby goods at bargain prices, and I’m here today to share little known advantages and benefits to both platforms.
There are also key differences in their product and brand offerings, which will be covered in this article.
For this particular research and comparison, I have used the broad search term “baby clothes” under the category “Baby” on both platforms.
Table of Contents
1. Search Results
- Horizontal interface on the desktop makes it visually easier to take in everything at first glance
- A clear indication of brand names in the product title, suggesting more official products
- Out of 30 items on the page, 20% are sponsored listings
(ABOVE) List view – vertical layout
(BELOW) Gallery view – grid layout
- The default vertical display is long-scrolling and visually harder to navigate
- Item descriptions do not contain brand names and are frequently duplicated or repetitive
- On 24 items per page setting, 28% are sponsored listings
Amazon has a lower sponsored percentage, indicating more organic search result geared towards user needs, not manipulated by advertising costs. It also has more official brands and companies whereas eBay has more private sellers and small businesses.
2. Product Choices
Good variety of styles for both genders:
- 10% boys
- 40% girls
- 37% gender-neutral
- 13% non-relevant results (i.e. products that are not baby clothes)
No duplicate products or item titles – This is a strong indication of unique merchants with boutique products
37% of products are official international brands – Bonds, Bubba Blue, Lamaze, Carter’s etc
Clothing designs heavily skewed towards girls:
- 8% boys
- 88% girls
- 4% gender-neutral
- 0% non-relevant results
At least four duplicate products and two repeat merchants – This indicates more than one merchant selling mass-produced products
0% of the products are branded – 100% of the first page results (24 items) are private sellers with no official brands
Amazon has a more balanced range of options, and also more boutique items. eBay is compromised largely of private sellers with similar products from the same supplier.
3. Seller/Merchant Profiles
When I looked into the criteria for selling on Amazon and eBay, it became clear why there is such a stark difference in the type of products and brands available.
Amazon vs eBay Selling Requirements
|Require item approval||Monthly fee||Listing fee||Selling fee|
|Amazon||Some categories||Yes, starting at $49.95||None||6-12% depending on item category|
|eBay||No||No||First 40 free||Flat rate 10.9%|
As can be seen, it is pretty much free for any business to start selling on eBay, which means literally ANYONE can put up a listing for any product, used or new.
Amazon, on the other hand, has more quality control by implementing a monthly fee and approval process for certain categories. They also require all products to be brand new only.
This was taken straight from their seller’s website:
Please review the Baby category requirements before submitting your request
Strollers, Carriers, Baby Feeding, Activity Gear, Diapering, Baby Furniture, Infant Toys and Baby Topicals require prior approval to sell.
You must provide acceptable documentation and other information we request about the products you intend to sell. Specific requirements for each product type can be found when applying to sell products that require approval. Go to Add a Product in Seller Central and search for the product you want to sell, then click on “Request Approval”.
Based on the seller requirements alone, it is a straightforward deduction that eBay will attract a lot more private sellers and local start-ups who need want a quick and low-budget entry into the market, whereas Amazon merchants tend to be more established and recognised.
4. Price Range
For this section, I tweaked the search on both platforms to be more specific – “bonds wondersuit” – to see what comes up.
The first four listings on Amazon are all brand new official Bonds products (listed by Bonds company) with prices starting from $8.75.
The first four listings on eBay, however, are all private re-sellers, some are labelled “new with tags attached”, and others are pre-owned. Two of the listings are also sponsored items.
Prices start at $8, which is only slightly cheaper than the official Bonds wondersuit listed on Amazon.
It’s clear from this quick comparison that Amazon offers a lot value for money in terms of getting new products direct from official brands.
5. Buyer Benefits
|Delivery||Money back guarantee||Refund/return|
|Amazon||Free for orders above $49||Yes||Within 90 days of purchase, handled directly by Amazon|
|eBay||Up to individual sellers||Yes||Buyer resolve with individual sellers; eBay only steps in if matter cannot be resolved|
In terms of benefits for the buyer, both platforms have similar offerings. However, Amazon once again demonstrates its quality control including customer service by being the first point of contact for all disputes including refunds and returns.
eBay, on the hand, require buyers to contact the seller first and attempt to reach a resolution. If the seller does not respond or provide a satisfactory solution within 3 days, buyers can then reach out to eBay.
Overall, disputes on Amazon will be resolved more quickly because you don’t need to deal with various sellers and wait for their response.
Amazon offers a much wider range of branded products from both local as well as international companies. It also has more stringent control over product selection and customer service.
eBay is a more open platform that attracts smaller re-sellers as well as private sellers offering pre-owned or new-ish items.
If you’re looking for baby items including baby clothes, nursery furniture, prams and others, Amazon is a much better choice for the same price range.