Amazon vs eBay vs My Own Store – Where to Start Selling Online

by | Aug 24, 2016 | Amazon, Business & Entrepreneurship, eBay, Ecommerce

Do I need a brick and mortar store as well as an online store?

Which platform should I choose- Amazon, Ebay or my own website?

A budding entrepreneur is surrounded by these and many other questions when starting a retail business. But sometimes these questions can lead someone into doing something that may not be their first choice. In many cases, the easiest option looks more appealing than something that would allow them to express their individuality and offer more opportunities. To overcome this situation, everyone thinking about starting an online store should spend some time channeling their knowledge and experience to find the best solution. Some things to keep in mind include:

1. Level of Experience

If you’re a novice when it comes to online selling, then it’s a good idea to choose a platform that is predefined and easy to use. Ebay is an ideal choice as the platform is user-friendly, has defined parameters for every product and category and guides a user throughout the process with the help of FAQ and Hints. After Ebay, Amazon takes 2nd place in providing a smooth experience, although it doesn’t offer free templates. To create a new eCommerce website or store, you need to be knowledgeable enough to design and set it up, or hire someone to do it for you. You also need to know how to promote your online store, otherwise, you’ll get no traffic, make no sales and it may be a complete failure.

2. Budget

Making a BudgetIt is all about money! Not only about what comes to you but also how much it costs to start the process. With Ebay, you can start with nothing at all and build up cash flow by selling old junk lying around the house using the free templates. As the cash flows in, you can add new items to your store. This is not the case with Amazon as you need to push new products in bulk which involves a hefty investment. If you’re thinking about an online store, you need to also think about the initial investment. Everything from designing and hosting to adding inventory costs money.

3. Long Term Plan

You should be very clear about your long-term goals. If you are looking for a side income source, then Ebay and Amazon are the best platforms to start with. But if you want to expand and turn the business into a full-time income, then you must consider all three platforms as potential sources. Not only will it divide the risk factor, but it will also help in gaining a wider customer base.

4. Time

Time ManagementIn a day-to-day scenario, most people have plenty of time to do the things they want or need to do. But when it comes to business, every second counts, and the time you spend on your business will affect the amount of income you bring in. With that in mind, decide if you want to start a full-time business or work a full-time job and start a part-time business. If first is the case, then opt for all three platforms and invest plenty of time to earn as much as possible. If later is the case, then open a store on Ebay or Amazon as they are both fairly easy and don’t take as much time.

5. Competition

One thing that no one can escape is competition. No matter where you go or where you work, it follows you around and urges you to take the lead or fall back. To get ahead in the competition, you need to have a smart approach. Ebay, is the world’s largest marketplace and has the most competitive market with millions of sellers from all over the world. One product can have thousands of sellers and 100 different varieties on one single platform. To keep up with this kind of competition, you need to be quick and innovative. With Amazon, you can take your time and build a store that attracts plenty of visitors. An online store lets you experiment and build at your own pace, but you need to be persistent to avoid sharks.

6. Control

Ebay and Amazon both have lists of rules to abide by. So when you open a store on these platforms, you need to follow every rule or risk your listing being removed. When it comes to an individual store, you are the boss with no rules in place. Be it shipping, payment or dispatch, everything works according to your rules. But this doesn’t give you the right to sell illegal or counterfeit material online. All three options have unique identities and attract a different genre of customers. But when it comes to an easy business with plenty of cash flow and little investment, then Ebay and Amazon rule the charts. An online store provides you with 100-percent control but takes more time, money, and knowledge. Take plenty of time to consider your options before starting an online retail business on any of the platforms in order to achieve your long-term goals.

Arpan

Writer is an e-commerce content expert with 6+ years of experience in writing high quality product content for world top retailers.

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