eBay Valet vs Amazon FBA: Comparing Fulfillment Services

Whether you’re just starting out in online arbitrage, or eager to expand to a new platform, it pays to know what services are designed to make parts of your selling process easier. Both Amazon and eBay offer fulfillment services for selling products on their platform, but how do the two stack up against each other?

Amazon’s “Fulfillment by by Amazon” service, known as Amazon FBA, is marketed towards sellers that do not want to store and ship inventory themselves. Similarly, eBay’s Valet service takes care of the selling process entirely with professional “valet” sellers doing all the work for you. Let’s take a look at what these two fulfillment services actually do and how they compare.

eBay Valet vs. Amazon FBA: At a Glance

  • Amazon FBA allows sellers to send goods to Amazon’s warehouses for storage. Sellers then list the items for purchase, leaving shipping and handling to Amazon itself.
  • eBay Valet lets users who want to sell electronics, fashion, collectibles, appliances, sporting goods, and musical instruments mail or drop items off. The valet then handles all aspects of selling.

We should take a moment to distinguish Amazon FBA from the Amazon Marketplace, which also allows sellers to list items for sale, but leaves sellers responsible for fulfillment. eBay Valet is also different from its core marketplace, which leaves the freedom and responsibility of listing, selling, and shipping to the individual seller.

How They’re Different

Now let’s look at how eBay Valet and FBA services differ, so you can decide which of the two best meets your particular needs.

Fulfillment: eBay Valet vs. Amazon FBA

Fees

eBay Valet doesn’t charge the seller for listing of items — the service takes a percentage of the final selling price. This percentage varies based on the cost of the item. For items over $500, the seller keeps 80% of the total sale, scaling down to 25% for items selling for $25 or less.Amazon charges for monthly storage of items, plus a per-unit fee for fulfillment and packing. It cost about $2.99 to fulfill a 1-lb package, and storage fees are $2.35 per cubic foot per month. Amazon provides a tool for estimating your fees, making the number-crunching a bit easier.

Listing

eBay Valet lists and sells items for you. Once you ship or drop off an item, the valet does pricing research and lists the item for 60 days. After that, you have an option to relist or have the item returned.Amazon FBA leaves you to select the goods you want to sell, but provides listing information, such as product description and images, for items. When listing an item on Amazon, you set your price, the item condition, and your shipping rates.

Product Restrictions

eBay Valet only accepts a certain range of goods. They have a full list of items they don’t accept (low-end clothes, high-end jewelry, CDs, DVDs, books, etc.) Items must be in excellent, new, or like-new condition, and “new” items must come in factory-sealed original packaging.Amazon lets resellers list almost everything available on the Amazon website. However, they do temporarily prohibit new sellers from listing certain products. Once a seller has proven reputable, this “gating restriction” is removed, sellers must make an effort to understand the Amazon gating system before making large sourcing investments.

Payment

eBay Valet pays exclusively through PayPal, usually within a few business days after sale.Currently, Amazon
only uses Amazon Payments. Amazon deposits the money directly in your account after a sale.

Which Service Should You Use?

So who benefits most from each of these fulfillment services?

With eBay Valet, the user doesn’t have to worry about anything but sending in goods and collecting the money. eBay Valet markets itself as a “fire-and-forget” service, perfect for those looking to unload their excess goods with an absolute minimum of fuss, but probably not ideal for your average reseller. If you’re just looking to get rid of excess product or goods you were already going to donate, there’s no reason not to try eBay Valet. Categories that sell well with eBay Valet include electronics, fashion, and collectibles.

Amazon FBA offers more control over listing and pricing items, and leaves the market research to the reseller. Most resellers see this as an advantage, as they can fine-tune their pricing strategy and generate a higher ROI. Both eBay Valet and Amazon FBA offer free apps of their service, but for the reseller focused on harnessing the most profits Amazon FBA is the obvious choice.

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