- Personal Finance
Selling Used Books: Which is Better, Amazon or Ebay?
Where to sell books online?
If you've got books, DVDs or other media which you want to get rid of, which site is best to sell them on? The two biggest and best are Amazon and Ebay, so I will look at the pro's and con's of each of them.
The advantage with Ebay is that you can sell anything you want (or almost anything anyway), and you can effectively do a lot of the marketing yourself, taking a good photo, writing an enticing description and so on.
Most ebay listings last for either 7 or 10 days, and so assuming the book or other item you are selling gets one or more bids then you will sell it quickly. You will also get paid and get the money straight away, via paypal. You have immediate access to that money to withdraw to your bank account (which does take a few days) or immediately spend on buying something else. Also, if there is a lot of interest in your book then you will get the true market price, as people will bid against each other for it.
The main disadvantage of Ebay is that it is quite a time consuming process listing items, as you have to take photos, write your own description, and fill in some of the details yourself. You also generally have to pay a listing fee, which is non-refundable even if you don't sell the item.
The advantages of Amazon are that items are much quicker to list, as you don't need to provide a photo or a description, as these are taken from Amazon's own database. There are no listing fees so there is no risk of losing money, and they stay on Amazon indefinitely until they sell or you take them off. Plus most people go to Amazon when searching for a book and not Ebay.
You get an email when something sells with the address of where to send it. They pay Amazon, not you, and then Amazon pay you monthly.
The disadvantage of Amazon is that fees are quite high, but as there's no listing fees and no paypal fees it probably works out not much different. It is always worth calculating the fees though to make sure it is worthwhile you listing the book, i.e. that your overall profit is worth it.
My view is that it is almost always better to list books on Amazon, unless there is a very high demand for the book or it is in some way collectible. If it is collectible or an antique, or if it has unusal characteristics you want to promote, then it is worth spending the time to list on Ebay. Likewise if it is on a currently topical area, then it may be worth listing on Ebay.