As a company that has sold products on eBay, Amazon and our own eCommerce stores for more than 10 years, we have learned that most buyers have a preference based on “risk”. The perceived risk of making purchases on the three largest online channels is a primary factor of where people make online purchases.
eBay buyers are the most comfortable with risk because they want the lowest prices. Because of historical perceptions (mostly based on press articles) of being ripped off by eBay sellers, buyers will take the risk if they can save a few dollars. Yes, eBay and Paypal have buyer protection policies, but it is a hassle to go through the process of disputing purchases. So should you sell on eBay? If your competitors sell on eBay, you should also. eBay is a huge marketplace and you could miss out on a significant amount of sales (if it is profitable).
eCommerce store (.com) buyers are less risk adverse than eBay buyers. Primarily because if Google likes you either because of the investment in SEO for ecommerce that puts you on page one or if you are spending a lot of ad dollars, the credibility of being on page one makes people more comfortable with making purchases. Proprietary .com stores present the largest market opportunity, so you should definitely have your own online store.
Amazon buyers are the most risk adverse (historically). Why, several reasons. First is that Amazon places the buyers interest first. They have buyer protection systems in place for both payments and shipping confirmation (before sellers get paid). Sellers on Amazon don’t have access to purchaser emails. In todays world, most buyers don’t want unsolicited emails. Most people are not aware that most of what is sold on Amazon is not sold by Amazon. You need look closely if you want to see who you are actually buying from when purchasing a product on Amazon.com. Should you sell on Amazon? If your competitors are, then you should also.
President, Snap Agency