ChannelReply Blog

eBay Fees vs. Amazon Fees

Published at Aug 08, 2017.

The contest of eBay fees vs. Amazon fees has a winner: most of the time, eBay charges less. Amazon generally charges 15%, while eBay sellers usually pay about 12% + $0.30 per transaction. But selling on Amazon can occasionally save you money.

Last updated 8/11/2020.

How High Are eBay Fees vs. Amazon Fees?

Scale of Uncertainty

eBay Fees

eBay sellers have two main fees to worry about: the final value fee and the payment processing fee. The payment processing fee is either the PayPal fee or the managed payments fee. You don't have to pay both at the same time (thankfully!).

U.S. Transaction, No eBay Store or Starter Store

 U.S. Transaction with an eBay Basic Store or Better

Note that all of the above fees apply to both the cost of the item and the cost of shipping. See “The Full Cost of Selling on eBay” for a detailed explanation of eBay fees.

If you get an eBay Store account at the Basic level or higher, fees are often lower than 9.15%, and occasionally higher. However, you can expect to pay that amount for most categories. Both Store and non-Store accounts have a couple categories with exceptionally low fees, such as Guitars & Basses (which has a 3.5% fee either way).

Amazon Fees

Individual Account

  • Standard Amazon referral fee: 15%.
  • Per-item fee: $0.99.

Professional Account

  • Standard Amazon referral fee: 15%.

Referral fees vary widely between categories. As with eBay, they apply to both the item price and shipping charges. See “The Full Cost of Selling on Amazon” for our excruciatingly detailed analysis of their fees.

When Is Selling on Amazon Cheaper Than on eBay?

Discounts

The great thing about Amazon’s fee structure is that it covers payment processing. In some cases, that can cause Amazon’s 15% to be lower than the total fees charged by eBay + PayPal or eBay + managed payments fees.

International sales can get complicated, so we’ll stick to fees for domestic sales between U.S. sellers and buyers for the sake of sanity here.

Fees for an Amazon Individual Account vs. an eBay Account with No Store

In this case, using the standard fees outlined above, it’s always more expensive to sell on Amazon than on eBay. 15% plus $0.99 is always higher than 12.9% plus $0.30. And if you use managed payments instead of PayPal, selling on eBay is even cheaper at 12.35% + $0.30.

Categories Where Amazon Charges Less

Personal Computers and Mobile Devices

There are a few Amazon categories that you are allowed to sell in with an Individual account that have lower fees than a standard eBay account with no Store. These include:

  • Personal Computers: 6% + $0.99 Amazon fee.
    • Cheaper than selling on eBay with PayPal when sold for more than $10 (where both charge $1.59).
    • Beats eBay with managed payments when sold for at least $10.85 (where both charge $1.64).
  • Camera and Photo, Cell Phone Devices, Consumer Electronics, and Unlocked Cell Phones: 8% + $0.99 Amazon fee.
    • Cheaper than selling on eBay with PayPal when sold for more than $14 (where both charge $2.11).
    • Beats eBay with managed payments when sold for more than $15.75 (where both charge $2.25).
  • Video Game Consoles: 8% + $0.99 + $1.80 (closing fee) Amazon fee.
    • Cheaper than selling on eBay with PayPal when sold for more than $50.75 (where both charge $6.85).
    • Beats eBay with managed payments when sold for more than $57.25 (where both charge $7.37).
  • Base Equipment Power Tools: 12% + $0.99 Amazon fee.
    • Cheaper than selling on eBay with PayPal when sold for more than $77 (where both charge $10.23).
    • Beats eBay with managed payments when sold for more than $198 (where both charge $24.75).

There are also several categories with tiered fee structures that Individual sellers can participate in, including:

  • Beauty
  • Electronics Accessories
  • Furniture
  • Grocery & Gourmet Food
  • Major Appliances

To see an example of how these complex pricing structures can work in your favor, see “Really Expensive Watches” below.

Fees for an Amazon Professional Account vs. an eBay Account with a Store

The point of equilibrium between standard Amazon Professional fees and eBay fees with PayPal and a Store occurs at $10.25, when it costs the exact same amount to sell on Amazon and on eBay:

Amazon: $1.54 on a $10.25 sale.

  • 15% referral fee on $10.25.

eBay with PayPal: $1.54 on a $10.25 sale.

  • 9.15% eBay FVF: $0.94.
  • 2.9% PayPal fee: $0.30.
  • Fixed PayPal fee of $0.30.

Anything much less than $10.25 will cost less to sell on Amazon than it will to sell on eBay. However, if you’re like most sellers, you’re going to be selling mainly items worth well above $10.25—meaning it will cost you less to sell on eBay.

Also, note that an Amazon Professional account costs almost twice as much as a yearly eBay Basic Store membership.

If you use managed payments on eBay, the point of equilibrium drops to $8.50.

Amazon: $1.28 on a $8.50 sale.

  • 15% referral fee on $8.50.

eBay with managed payments: $1.28 on an $8.50 sale.

  • 11.5% eBay FVF with managed payments included: $0.98.
  • Fixed managed payments fee of $0.30.

Categories Where Amazon Charges Less

Produce Organized by Categories Diagonally

In general, if Amazon offers a lower price than usual on one of their categories, then eBay will go even lower for their Store-owning members.

For some categories, eBay charges Store owners less than Amazon—but after you factor in PayPal or managed payments fees, Amazon is often more affordable. Here are a few examples:

  • Most personal computers:
    • 6.9% + $0.30 with eBay + PayPal.
    • 6.35% + $0.30 with eBay + managed payments.
    • 6% with Amazon.
  • Most consumer electronics (including cellphones/smartphones), cameras and some photography supplies:
    • 9.05% + $0.30 with eBay + PayPal.
    • 8.5% + $0.30 with eBay + managed payments.
    • 8% with Amazon.
  • Tires and wheels products:
    • At least 11.05% + $0.30 with eBay + PayPal.
    • At least 10.5% with eBay + managed payments.
    • 10% with Amazon.
  • Other automotive and powersports, 3D-printed products, Base Equipment Power Tools and some industrial/scientific equipment*:
    • Generally 12.05% + $0.30 with eBay + PayPal.
    • 12% with Amazon.
    • Generally 11.5% + $0.30 with eBay + managed payments (making this option the cheapest when the price exceeds $60, at which point both Amazon and eBay charge $7.20).

*eBay charges as little as 1.5% for qualifying Business & Industrial categories, such as heavy equipment.

As mentioned above, many Amazon categories have tiered pricing structures, with a portion of the fee being charged at a lower rate as the price goes higher. It may be cheaper to sell such an item on Amazon than on eBay if it is extremely valuable. These categories are:

  • Collectible Coins
  • Entertainment Collectibles
  • Fine Art
  • Sports Collectibles
  • Electronics Accessories
  • Major Appliances
  • Watches

Let’s take a look at one of the occasions in which an item that’s normally cheaper to sell on eBay would be less expensive to sell on Amazon thanks to the tiered pricing structure:

Really Expensive Watches

Rolex Dive Watch

Amazon has a tiered pricing structure for watches:

  • Any amount up to $1,500 has a 16% referral fee.
  • Any amount over that has a 3% referral fee.

That means really expensive watches have a chance at having lower fees on Amazon than on eBay.

However, at the same time, eBay has maximum fees that apply to most categories, including jewelry and watches. While the maximum fee doesn't apply to PayPal or managed payments fees, it does take care of the normal final value fee.

For watches, the maximum fee is:

  • $750 if you have no store or a Starter Store (not counting PayPal or managed payments fees).
  • $350 if you have a Basic or Premium Store and use PayPal (not counting PayPal fees).
  • $250 if you have an Anchor or Enterprise Store and use PayPal (not counting PayPal fees).
  • $228.75 if you have a Basic, Premium, Anchor or Enterprise store and use managed payments (not counting managed payments fees).

It turns out that at the point of hitting eBay’s maximum fee for Basic or Premium Stores with PayPal, you could save over $150 on your fees by selling on Amazon rather than eBay. That maximum fee point is hit at $3,825.14.

Amazon: $309.75

  • 16% referral fee on the amount below $1,500: $240.
  • 3% referral fee on the last $2,325.14: $69.75.

eBay Basic or Premium with PayPal: $460.92

  • 9.15% eBay FVF: $350 (maximum).
  • 2.9% PayPal fee: 110.92.
  • Fixed PayPal fee of $0.30.

Amazon will even save you $50 over the fees for Enterprise and Anchor Store subscribers at the maximum fee point of $2,742.24.

Amazon: $277.27

  • 16% referral fee on the amount below $1,500: $240.
  • 3% referral fee on the last $1,242.24: $37.27.

eBay Anchor or Enterprise with PayPal: $329.53

  • 9.15% eBay FVF: $250 (maximum).
  • 2.9% PayPal fee: $79.23.
  • Fixed PayPal fee of $0.30.

You could save on fees by selling on Amazon if the price of your watch (including shipping) is over $2,200 or so. Much lower than that and Amazon’s 3% fee on the higher end of the value won’t have had time to average out with their 16% on the lower end.

Above $3,825.14 (or $2,742.24 if you have an Anchor or Enterprise store on eBay), PayPal’s 2.9% fee gradually catches up to the 3% Amazon fee. Eventually, somewhere well into the five figures range, it becomes cheaper to sell on eBay with PayPal again.

So, how does Amazon stack up against eBay with managed payments and a Store? It's a much tighter race, with the maximum fee point for eBay occurring at $2,500.

Amazon: $270

  • 16% referral fee on the amount below $1,500: $240.
  • 3% referral fee on the last $1,000: $30.

eBay Basic or Better with Managed Payments: $287.80

  • 9.15% eBay FVF: $228.75 (maximum).
  • 2.35% managed payments fee: $58.75.
  • Fixed fee of $0.30.

It's only cheaper to sell watches on Amazon if they're worth more than $2,290.60 (where both charge $263.72) but less than $5,238.25 (where it costs $352.15 to sell on either). If your watch is worth more or less than that amount, selling on eBay with managed payments is the most affordable option.

This is just one example of how complex pricing is with tiered fee systems. Windows of affordability like these ones can exist in any category where Amazon has tiered fees.

Where Should I Sell?

Football Referee Flipping a Coin

If lower fees are your only concern, then eBay is generally better, but there are quite a few exceptions for Amazon as explained above. Be sure to check how much you would have to pay to sell each item in your inventory on Amazon and on eBay before jumping to a conclusion. Use these resources:

Note that eBay fees vs. Amazon fees isn’t the only criterion to consider. See "Selling on Amazon vs. eBay" for the pros and cons of each platform. Alternatively, just sell on both at the same time!

What People Say About Us

Start 14 Days Free. No Credit Card Required.
Start Free Trial