Why you have to sell through Amazon and eBay

There’s a very simple reason why you would want to sell through Amazon and eBay if you want to succeed in online retail. Amazon and eBay are where the customers are.

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During the third quarter (May, June, July, and August of 2014), Amazon sites had 168 million visitors a month in the United States alone, according to the Statistics Portal, Statista. Statista’s data also showed that eBay attracted 111 American million visitors a month.

There simply is no other website in the United States or Canada where you will be able to make contact with that many customers. Not one of the other sales platforms that will let smaller retailers conduct third-party sales attracts that kind of traffic.


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The Best Online Real Estate

Basically, eBay and Amazon have staked out the best real estate online, and in retail of any sort, location is everything. The great thing about these giants is that they are willing to let you sell through their prime locations. Walmart and Costco would not let you come into their stores and sell used books, but eBay and Amazon will.

Combat Pacific Theater

Amazon and eBay’s numbers also show why setting up your own online store is now a dumb idea for most sellers. There is no way you will be able to attract that kind of traffic to your website.

If you set up your own online store, you would have to pay for website design and hosting and invest a fortune in advertising to attract a tiny fraction of the number of visitors that Amazon and eBay get. The money you would invest in website, advertising, search engine optimization, etc. would probably exceed the cut of the sales profits eBay and Amazon would take.


This is not my imagination: I have a friend and client who has his own web store and moved most of his retail operations to Amazon. One reason for this is Fulfillment by Amazon, which handles all of his shipping.

A good way to think of your website, compared to Amazon and eBay, is this: Amazon and eBay are operating on some of the busiest streets in the world, such as Fifth Avenue in New York or Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, and they are willing to let you sell in their stores. Your website, in comparison, will be a dingy little shop in a strip mall on the outskirts of Amarillo, Texas. Which would you rather sell through?


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