Articles »

Should I sell on eBay and Amazon?

You’ve done the hard work of sourcing your products and creating fulfilment processes. Your website is great but you could always benefit from more traffic. You want more revenue, you need more eyeballs. Go to where the eyeballs are – on eBay and Amazon!

Is eBay & Amazon for me?

eBay was once regarded as an online garage sale of second hand items. Not anymore. 85% of listings are new and there are many big brands selling on eBay.

Similarly Amazon is often thought of as a owning all the stock they sell, crushing competitors both online and traditional retailers.

But the truth is, both eBay and Amazon are open to third parties and chances are your competitors are already selling there so if you’re not, you’re handing them an unnecessary but significant advantage.

What are the benefits of multi-channel selling on eBay & Amazon?

1) The number of eyeballs - established user base.

The largest benefit is the established user base. Both eBay and Amazon have millions and millions of buyers showing up every month. The best ecommerce websites in the world can’t compete with that volume and the marketing spend you would incur to even get near that is always way more than the fees these marketplaces charge (a point often missed by those griping about marketplace selling fees).

2) Mobile compatibility

The ability for shoppers to buy from mobile devices is extremely important – not just for actual buying but for browsing in downtime commuting or wherever. Mobile shopping is expected to account for nearly a quarter of all online revenue by 2017, and retailers that don’t have a mobile option will lose out.

Both eBay and Amazon have well-established apps for both Android and iOS, allowing access to goods from most smartphones and tablets.

The alternative is to develop your own mobile-optimised ecommerce website or dedicated app but building and maintaining can be expensive.

30% of online shoppers research Amazon before buying Forrester Research and a large part of that will be done from mobile.

3) Payment gateway integration

If you’re a physical retailer looking to expand into ecommerce, issues like PCIDSS compliance and security concerns mean that being able to tap into eBay’s and Amazon’s payment systems make it much faster to get up and running online and increase revenues.

Even if you’re already selling online, eBay and Amazon give you accelerated access to international markets and dealing with currency conversions may not be part of your existing gateway solution. Tight Paypal integration with eBay or using Amazon’s own payment gateway reduces time to getting online and increasing revenues.

The Challenges on selling on eBay & Amazon

1) Inventory management

If you are selling multi-channel, it’s crucial to decide where your ‘source of truth’ for inventory is. Which system is the master and which are slaves? If you oversell, customers will rage and the marketplaces are unforgiving. Businesses can be severely affected by just a relatively small number of incidences of overselling.

It’s critical that your inventory management system can manage inventory across multiple platforms or at least be adapted. Many online businesses use well established ecommerce platforms designed to do this job. We have concentrated on developing the best of breed eBay and Amazon integration for a few of the most common and quickly growing platforms such as Magento, WooCommerce and potentially Shopify and Big Commerce rather than attempting to provide low quality integration into many platforms or forcing users to manage marketplace integration in a different place by developing our own platform.

Without central inventory management that’s updated in real-time, overselling via manual processes or poor quality automation of inventory synchronization can occur on a regular basis which is why Codisto integration is so important.

2) Channel Management

Updating inventory is one element of multi-channel selling. But just as important is keeping your product data updated across all your platforms. Change your price on your website, you want to automatically change your prices on eBay and Amazon assuming that is your set up. Attempting to manually update prices, descriptions or eBay or Amazon sales templates is extremely time consuming and error prone.

3) Order fulfilment

Customers demand an easy buying experience. eBay and Amazon are great at making products visible for sale but fulfilling orders remains the sellers responsibility. Without functionality to automate the process of updating order statuses on Amazon and eBay and updating shipping tracking information (and even leaving feedback for buyers), customer experiences quickly reduce because it’s simply too hard and time consuming to do it manually. Integration solutions like Codisto are the only commercially viable approach for scaling your business.


Sellers should get their products in front of as many buyers as possible and the quickest and cheapest way of doing that is to list on eBay and Amazon. But an integration solution is needed to successfully sell multi-channel and avoid delays, costs and errors associated with manual handling of multi-channels.