Marketplace Overview: Amazon

Year established: 1994 Product types: Fixed Price listings, general merchandise


Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Amazon has grown to be a Fortune 100 company. With a mission “to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices,” and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished, and used items across several different categories. Since 1995, Amazon has significantly expanded its product selection, international retail websites, and worldwide network of fulfillment and customer service centers. Today, Amazon retail websites offer everything from toys and video games to MP3 downloads and collectible items. Hundreds of thousands of world-class retail brands and individual sellers increase their sales and reach new customers by leveraging the power of the e-commerce platform. Partners work with Amazon Services to power their ecommerce offerings from end-to-end, including technology services, merchandising, customer service, and order fulfillment. Other branded merchants leverage as an incremental sales channel for their new merchandise. Over 2 million third-party sellers participate in Amazon where they offer new, used, and collectible selections at fixed prices to Amazon customers around the world.

Pros and cons for online sellers

Amazon pros

  • Amazon has brand name power
  • Most unique monthly visitors of included marketplaces
  • Low bounce rate and high daily time on site

Amazon cons

  • Free membership features are limited and come with high listing fees
  • Fees per sale vary drastically per item category and average around 15%, significantly more than other marketplaces included
  • Individual seller names are not emphasized when purchasing items on Amazon

Selling Tips

There are many different ways to go about selling items online. Here are a couple things to keep in mind when selling items on Amazon:
  • Think about how you will ship your items. Amazon provides a fulfillment service that many sellers choose to use. Simply ship your inventory to an Amazon warehouse, and when an item sells, they will ship your item. They also take care of returns and customer service.
  • Avoid weird punctuation, asterisks, caps or special characters in your item titles. It may be tempting to add exclamations or capital letters to catch the eye of shoppers, but most of the time those characters won’t be in the search terms, and could negatively impact the chances of your items getting seen.
  • Consider upgrading your membership to unlock extra features. Many online marketplaces offer great tools for their free memberships, but Amazon keeps all the goodies locked away for Pro Merchants only. Upgrading will give you access to tools like bulk uploading and enhanced editing.

Seller Ratings

amazon_3 Every year, eCommerceBytes conducts a survey of thousands of online sellers. The top marketplaces are rated by their users based on several categories. Amazon’s results from 2017 are as follows: Profitability: 6.09/10 Customer Service: 6.07/10 Communication: 6.09/10 Ease of Use: 6.21/10 Would Recommend: 6.13/10

Details and Features

Refer to the table below to get a sense of the various details and features for sellers on Amazon. SELL ON AMAZON
logo_amazon Amazon   Learn More About Amazon | Start Selling on Amazon
Individual Professional
Amazon Fees and Pricing
Fee per month $0 $39.99
Fee per sale Varies per category, typically 15% with $1.00 minimum Varies per category, typically 15% with $1.00 minimum
Fee per listing $0.99; ≤40 items per month $0; unlimited items per month
Traffic and Online Engagement
US Site Rank 4
How many monthly unique visitors? 146 million
How many unique visits per seller? 116
What is the site’s bounce rate? 22%
What is the daily time spent on the site? 11:39
Store Policies and Customization
Can I customize my storefront? no1 no1
Can I offer discounted listings? no1 no1
Can I create featured listings? yes1 yes1
Is there a public seller profile? yes1 yes1
Is there public buyer feedback? yes1 yes1
Tools for Sellers
Does the marketplace provide social media tools? no1 yes1
Does the marketplace provide options for shop analytics? no1 yes1
Does the marketplace provide resources for success? no1 no1
Marketplace Support
Are there options to promote my listings or booth on the marketplace? no1 yes1
Is email support available? yes1 yes1
Is phone support available? yes1 yes1
Is live chat support available? yes1 yes1
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