Start Selling on Ebay and Amazon

Why should I sell on eBay or Amazon?

Ebay and Amazon are two of the most popular marketplace websites, accounting for a huge number of total online sales. For anyone considering starting a business, they’re a good entry point as set up costs are usually low.

eBay established its reputation early on as the leading marketplace website for selling used and second-hand items. In 2016, worldwide, merchandise worth a total of $83bn was sold on eBay, which has more than 170m active buyers and 1.1bn listings

Amazon originally started out as an online bookstore. Today it has over 285m active customer accounts and sells practically everything. Part of its evolution was to open up the platform to independent sellers. Today, half of all sales on Amazon’s global sites are made by third-party businesses selling new and used products on Amazon Marketplace. In 2017, Amazon helped UK businesses reap a record £2bn worth of sales.

Some businesses sell only on eBay or Amazon, others use both, in many cases to supplement sales made via their own e-commerce websites. Selling on eBay or Amazon can be a good way to test the water and learn before investing in your own e-commerce website.

The major advantage of selling on marketplace sites is they already attract huge numbers of shoppers. But success isn’t guaranteed.

  • You must sell the right products at the right price.
  • You must list them in the right way if you’re to attract buyers.
  • How you describe and present your products is crucial, with good imagery a must. Marketplace sites are your online shop window and you must display your goods in the best possible way.

What sells well on eBay and Amazon?

If you’re not sure what to sell on eBay and Amazon, it’s worthwhile doing some research into what sells well. Both companies release regular sales reports with useful insights for sellers. We’ve picked out some interesting facts to help you decide what you might want to sell.

How do I start selling on eBay and Amazon?

Selling on eBay

You can quickly register online to start selling on eBay. You’ll be asked for your registered business name, business email address, telephone number and a password. You can change your site preferences to suit your needs. You specify the payment method you accept from buyers when you list items for sale, and you can link a PayPal account to your eBay account. You can save time by adding your preferred postage, payment and returns options to business policies that you can apply to your listings.

eBay provides a handy guide for sellers on how to get started. It also explains “how to create the perfect listing”, “take you listings to a new level” and manage your salesPostage, payments and returns are also covered, and you can find out how to build trust with customers and grow your business.

Selling at

On Marketplace you can sell new, used, collectable and refurbished items alongside new ones offered by Amazon. It’s not an auction; rather, you set prices for items you offer.

First, you must register a Seller Account. To complete registration, you’ll need your business credit card; phone number; company registration details; business address; primary contact person information (ie the Amazon account holder); beneficial owner information (ie details of who owns or controls the business); and your business bank account details.

Once registered, after you list an item, it’s displayed to buyers when they click on the “New and Used” link. When it’s sold, Amazon sends you an email to let you know that the buyer’s payment method has been verified. You must send the item to the buyer within two days of receiving this email.

Money is deposited into your Seller Account and funds are transferred to your bank account regularly. If you sell more than 30 items a month, it can be worth becoming a Pro-Merchant seller, which costs $30.00 a month (ex VAT) and can bring many additional benefits.