September 19, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

HOW to Turn a FAILING eBay Business 
into an Amazon FBA SUCCESS Story!

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Welcome back!

My long-term followers will know that I was an eBay seller for more than 10 years before I switched my attention fully to Amazon in 2017. I started this blog during my eBay career, so there are tons of eBay-related articles published here. Unfortunately, I haven’t updated these posts and don’t plan to update them in the future. Since I’m no longer selling on eBay, I can’t really offer advice about eBay selling. I don’t even know what works and what doesn’t work on eBay anymore.

However, because of all the eBay-related content on my blog, I still get comments and emails from eBay sellers asking for help. If they’re struggling, I usually just recommend that they switch over to Amazon—the same move I made a few years ago, and I have never looked back…

As good as eBay was 10 years ago, nowadays it’s a super-competitive, price-driven, unfair platform where product quality and seller efforts have little to no impact on rankings. I could not stand that environment, and the LOW-PRICE, LOW-QUALITY agenda was not something I wanted to pursue.

I have never been a fan of the high-volume, low-margin business model—mainly for personal reasons. When you take the high-volume approach, it means extra overheads, more employees, etc., which always results in more stress and more problems! I have always strived to stay “lean” with my companies. Even though I don’t turn over millions per year, I do manage a very small team of employees and partners and maintain a healthy profit-to-turnover ratio.

I very much enjoy the “relaxed” way of doing business on Amazon. By using the FBA program, I don’t have to deal with customers, shipping or returns. Plus, I like how Amazon INNOVATES all the time and is constantly bringing out new, helpful features for sellers. Heck, eBay hasn’t even created a proper advertising program. Meanwhile Amazon, this year, has launched all kinds of additional PPC tools and services.

Long story short: if you’re struggling on eBay, my best advice is to move away from that platform. Unless, of course, you want to play the stressful high-volume, low-quality, low-margin game. However, I can’t see how anyone can make that work in 2020 and beyond.

Obviously, there are always exceptions. For example, if your side hustle is to deal in used goods, eBay is still a perfect place for that business model. But, as I’ve already mentioned, I can’t provide much help on that topic as I’m no longer selling on eBay and don’t even follow the latest eBay news.

What I can do is give you advice on how you can begin to transition from selling on eBay to Amazon because I did the exact same thing! There are multiple approaches you can take to successfully transition over. Today, I want to cover them in more detail, so you will know what to expect, what problems you will face, etc. Without further ado, let’s get started!

How to Move Your Business
From eBay to Amazon!

The first scenario I want to cover revolves around an existing, failing eBay business. A failing eBay business means that you’re not making any profit or maybe you’re even losing money each month.

A failing eBay business could also be a situation where your profit is continually decreasing each month and you’re already predicting that you will be out of business within six to nine months. This is the better of the two situations, of course, because you have TIME to transition your operations from eBay to Amazon!

A failing eBay business could also mean that you’re simply sick and tired of dealing with daily eBay-related problems and the stress that comes with it.

This was actually the main reason why I switched from eBay to Amazon in 2017. I wanted to radically reduce the stress in my life as I naturally do not handle stress very well. For me, as someone who has struggled with all kinds of addictions throughout my whole life, stress is something I actively work to minimise as much as possible. I can definitely tell that it directly affects every aspect of my life, from my eating habits to my exercise, depression and more!

There’s simply no point in running a business if it’s making you unhappy, stressed, unhealthy or if you don’t enjoy any part of it. If that’s your situation, it’s much better to get a simple, manual job and sail through life doing the normal 9-to-5 routine completely stress-free.

Anyways, if you have come to the same point I reached, where you’re feeling stuck with eBay and want a change, then moving to the Amazon platform could be your only option (apart from maybe starting your own online store, but that’s a whole other discussion).

So, what are the first steps you need to take?

You will need to open an Amazon seller account. If you’re already registered as a Sole Trader or have a Ltd. company for eBay purposes, this will be a very simple process. But if you have been selling all these years on eBay as an individual, you will have to (finally) register a proper business. Amazon is not as “soft” as eBay in this regard. If you want to sell on Amazon as a business and use all the seller tools, you will have to have a registered business.

I won’t go into great detail about the business registration process in this post as I have a separate article on that topic here:

Just so you know, even though Amazon also offers a personal/individual account type, it’s not really meant to be used for business purposes. It has limited functionality and should only be used to sell personal belongings— it’s not ideal for running a real business.

Next, you need to decide what products to sell on Amazon!

This is the biggest dilemma you will face, obviously. I recommend you start by checking out how your current (eBay) product portfolio is doing on Amazon. It could be that you can start off selling the exact same or maybe a slightly improved version of your inventory on Amazon.

The best and quickest way to check demand and competition on Amazon for any given product is to use Jungle Scout. This is an Amazon research tool (and more) that is similar to Terapeak, which you have probably been using for eBay. Please check out last week’s Jungle Scout article to learn more about how it works, how much it costs and which tools you need for the market research process. You will also find plenty of tutorials and videos on how to use these tools on the Jungle Scout website.

By using the Jungle Scout extension, you will INSTANTLY be able to see how much revenue your products generate per month on Amazon. You will also see how many competitors are already out there, how established the listings are (by the number of reviews), how good the products are (by the ratings), and more information on those products, including pricing.

Most likely, you will see that the prices on Amazon are higher than on eBay. Don’t get too excited though as most sellers on Amazon use the FBA program (Fulfilment By Amazon), which adds an extra cost. I recommend you also use FBA for your Amazon business because it has many advantages, including reduced stress since you won’t have to deal with orders or customers. Plus, your account metrics will always be in pristine shape. No more dealing with eBay’s Below Average nonsense!

Also, you have to understand that, unlike on eBay, product quality comes FIRST on Amazon! Product reviews are an important part of the overall Amazon ecosystem, including rankings. If you have doubts about your product’s quality, don’t even try to sell it on Amazon. Chances are you will get bad reviews AND the competition is most likely doing much better by selling a higher quality version of that product.

Now, if you see that your products sell well on Amazon and the competition level is acceptable, then your transition from eBay to Amazon will be a simple one! You already have amazing product images (hopefully), descriptions and product in stock. All you have to do is send it over to Amazon, create listings, learn the basics of how to rank products on Amazon, run some advertising and you’re good to go.

If you see that a particular product is a good opportunity on Amazon BUT you feel that your product is lacking in quality or branding, you can make the necessary changes and still sell it on Amazon.

It will be much easier for you to improve an existing product than find a new one, because:

  • You already know the product/niche inside out;
  • You already have your suppliers lined up and ready to go!

It’s always easier to improve on an existing product than to start everything from scratch. One thing though: if you have been selling the product on eBay as an unbranded item, you will definitely want to create a brand to sell the product on Amazon. In most cases, you won’t stand a chance of competing on Amazon with an unbranded product because other sellers WILL have attractive and professional brands in place.

The only time you can sell or at least start selling an unbranded product on Amazon is if you see that the competition is very small, very weak or completely nonexistent.

In that situation, yes, you can simply sell the exact same product on Amazon that you have been selling on eBay. But be prepared to see the competition move into that space over time. If you stick with an unbranded version and choose not to build a brand around your product, you will be outcompeted in no time.

What about the other scenario?

Let’s say you check your products on Amazon and see that competition is high, the products being sold are of a very high quality and, basically, the niche is already oversaturated?

In a situation like this, you won’t really have any option but to start looking for totally new products to sell on Amazon. The same Jungle Scout tool I mentioned earlier is perfect for this task! You can also use the Product Database in the web app to find product ideas and then validate them using the Extension tool and Product Tracker. It will take time, of course, but you really have no choice here.

There could also be a situation where you check the product on Amazon and don’t see many sales or much competition at all. It could be that you have what I call a “ghost product”.

That is a product that is selling well on eBay but is not yet available on Amazon. And this could be your golden opportunity…

You see, most of the newbie Amazon sellers are using Jungle Scout (or similar tools) to find products to sell. The data they use is based on the current demand/supply on Amazon. They only see products that already sell on Amazon and have a proven sales record. What they won’t ever find, however, is a product that sells well on eBay and is not yet well represented on Amazon.

This could be your opportunity to be the first mover in that product category. Even though you won’t have any data to support it, if you know that a product sells very well on eBay UK, what are the chances that it won’t sell on Amazon UK? Very slim.

So, you need to take that risk and simply try it out. If you don’t want to send the product to Amazon (for whatever reason), you can still create a listing for it and use the seller-fulfilled method, which is basically the same delivery method eBay uses: you, the merchant, send out orders to customers and deal with returns, customer support and everything else.

Be warned, though: this triggers the monitoring of account metrics, including dispatch time, delivery times, etc., which are even more strict than those on eBay. For that reason, I really recommend that you use FBA from day one. It costs less than ten quid to send a box to Amazon and you don’t have to send a lot of stock your first time doing this. Trust me, the lower stress is well worth the money you will pay in FBA fees.

Using the same Jungle Scout extension, you could also check sales data for the product in the US and see if anyone is selling that product on Amazon in the United States. If they do and it sells well, it’s another good sign that you’re sitting on a goldmine. Sooner or later, sellers will catch up and start selling the product in the UK too.

So, the plan is simple: check your existing product portfolio on Amazon and determine if you have an opportunity there or not. If there is an opportunity there, do whatever you have to do to improve the product/brand (if needed), send goods to Amazon and start selling. If not, start doing Amazon product research from scratch using the Jungle Scout.

This is also a perfect time to change direction if you’re feeling exhausted with your current product portfolio. If, for whatever reason, you feel like starting over from scratch, this is your perfect opportunity!

In fact, I did the same thing. Basically, I got bored with the product range I had on eBay. I saw that profit was going down every year and so was my personal interest in those products. I just don’t like being in the same product niches for too long. So, I cut the entire product line on eBay when I moved to Amazon. Within a few months, I was back up and running with a successful Amazon operation that I had started from scratch. You can learn more about my story by watching my free video here.

Lastly, be aware that the whole selling process on Amazon is radically different compared to eBay. The listings, the ranking process, the backend, paid advertising—everything is different! You will have to learn a LOT of new things and learn them FAST!

You will find tons of videos and articles about how to sell on Amazon on Google, YouTube, forums etc., but if you want to speed up the process, avoid newbie mistakes, and get personal support from someone who has been in this business for 15+ years now, check out my Amazon Sharks video course. If you can afford it, I truly believe that it will be the best investment into your new seller career on the Amazon platform.

“OK, this sounds all great, Andrew, but what if my eBay business is actually doing fine?! Should I move completely to Amazon and stop selling on eBay?”

No, not at all.

How to EXPAND Your Business
From eBay to Amazon!

You don’t always have to cut eBay out completely. If you’re selling on eBay right now and actually making a profit, it would be stupid to let that go. By profit, I mean whatever constitutes a substantial profit for your personal situation. For some people, it will be £300. For others, it will be £3000 per month or more. If a few hundred pounds in profit doesn’t mean anything to you and you’re sick and tired of eBay, then of course you should call it a day and concentrate all your time and effort on Amazon!

For other people, though, £300 a month in profit is substantial and if they could add another £300 from Amazon, they would be very happy. There’s nothing wrong with your eBay/Amazon business being a side hustle alongside your full-time job. Millions of people around the world do it!

Not everyone moves into this game full time. You have to understand that. And even though most people dream about making this a full-time business at some point, many of them will never achieve that. Don’t overthink it. Be happy about whatever extra profit you can make TODAY and keep the dream alive by constantly improving your business and growing it.

And for those who already make thousands of pounds in profit per month on eBay, it would be stupid NOT to expand to Amazon too!

Just like we covered in the previous scenarios, you should do some market research on your products on Amazon using Jungle Scout. If everything looks good, simply get into it!

If you’re already successful on eBay, the chances are you will have the same success on Amazon—unless you sell low-quality, low-margin products that are not suitable for the Amazon game. You could still explore the opportunity, though.

Perhaps you could get a higher quality version of your products for Amazon from your supplier? Maybe you could bundle them together to create unique sets for sale on Amazon? This can also work very well for very cheap products that are not practical to sell on Amazon using FBA due to the extra fees.

Are you currently selling cheap, low-quality items for £1.99 a piece on eBay? Get a higher quality version from your supplier, bundle three items together and sell them on Amazon for £9.99!

This is just one example, but you get my point. There’s always flexibility in this, you simply have to be creative and think outside the box!

If you start selling your existing eBay inventory on Amazon, you have to be careful about pricing. I really wouldn’t recommend selling the exact same item on both platforms at radically different price points. It will backfire on you.

I have seen this numerous times in Amazon product reviews where people mention that the same product can be bought for X amount cheaper on eBay or on the seller’s website/online shop. A small difference is fine, but you don’t want to sell an item for £4.99 on eBay and for £9.99 on Amazon. It’s a ticking timebomb that can strike any time.

Sure, you might get lucky and do just fine, but a much safer approach would be to simply brand the items for Amazon using a different name/brand and ideally different packaging too. This way, you can have a different brand on Amazon while still selling your products on eBay at a different price point. No one will be able to tell you that you sell the same item for a much lower price elsewhere.

Amazon’s ecosystem is created in a way that allows sellers to register and use as many BRANDS as they want using just one seller account.

You will need to register a trademark to get your brand into Amazon’s Brand Registry, but in the UK, it’s a fairly simple, quick and cheap process. I highly recommend you do this for ALL of the brands you plan on selling on Amazon.

As for the order fulfilment process: as I’ve previously mentioned, on Amazon, the best way to sell is to use the FBA program. Unless you sell oversized items or have a huge catalogue of slow-moving items, FBA is the way to go.

When you expand your eBay business to Amazon, you can continue to deal with eBay orders on your own (or outsource them to a fulfilment company), but your Amazon orders will be handled by the FBA program. That means you will need to spend VERY little time on your day-to-day Amazon operations.

You will very quickly see that the difference between eBay and Amazon is like night and day. You will begin to realise that Amazon is the way to go and you will want to aggressively grow your business there. And you will be able to do it because you will have time on your hands! With an Amazon FBA business, you can set your own hours, travel around the world and do whatever you want because the business will run 24/7 on autopilot.

In the long term, Amazon is where you will want to be. I have covered this in more detail in my recent Amazon is the Future of eCommerce article.

If you have a successful eBay business, don’t sit on it and wait until things get worse. Plan ahead of time and expand your sales to the Amazon platform. If you don’t, your competitors will—or most likely, they’re already doing it!

Conclusion

Ok, that’s about it. I have tried to cover the most common scenarios for people who want to move away from eBay to Amazon or simply want to expand their sales by adding another marketplace.

There will always be exceptions, though. For example, some products are simply not in demand on Amazon. I still believe that eBay is the best place to sell refurbished and used goods. There will also be categories of goods where eBay will give you more sales than Amazon, especially with products that are super cheap and small. But even then, as we discovered, there are ways to change the product or bundle the product to make it viable on Amazon too.

One thing is for sure: if you don’t give it a try, you will never know if it will work! It’s really not that difficult to test out the Amazon marketplace and, in most cases, for active eBay sellers, it will cost you less than £50 (which covers first month’s account subscription fee and sending a box or two of goods to Amazon).

Be prepared to learn how Amazon works because you can’t use the same strategies you’re using on eBay. The product quality, reviews, the algorithm—everything works differently on Amazon. Be ready for it and don’t blame Amazon for having different rules. Just learn those rules, adapt and make the most out of having this huge additional customer base at your fingertips.

I didn’t even cover the potential of international Amazon expansion, but just so you know, once you start selling on Amazon UK and it works, there’s an even larger customer base you can reach using Amazon’s regional marketplaces. Don’t overwhelm yourself with that information right now, though. Just take it step by step and expand internationally when you’re fully established on the Amazon UK platform.

As always, I’m here to help. If you have ANY questions related to this topic (or anything else), feel free to leave a comment below the post. I will personally reply within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.

To get more advice and information about starting or running an Amazon FBA business, join my 100% FREE private Facebook group here.

Lastly, to get my personal support and guidance on how to properly create a successful Amazon FBA business, check out my 20+ hour Amazon Sharks video course here.


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4 Comments
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  1. This sums me up! I have had enough of eBay and have decided to close down and focus my energy on Amazon. The shear number of customer service emails from ebay is shocking 🙁 I probably get 1 email a week from Amazon buyers and 10 a day from eBay buyers yet I have been selling the exact same products, exact same description on both platforms.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Thanks Fi, I totally agree. It was same for me.

      Andrew

  2. Andrew thanks.

    But here is what it’s not so much a question on eBay but rather on both.

    I have currently learned that the highest seller on Amazon US platform is actually a non FBA seller but a FBM seller who last I checked was doing 150 Million a year.

    With all the hype about Amazon FBA isn’t that surprising?

    Now I know Amazon has been the talk and still is I also do know that there are still people turning millions on eBay and the more people move to Amazon the less the competition for them.

    To me it all depends on the type of business you are running on all platforms…

    Instead of jumping Everytime something looks attractive why not anchor yourself and find a more efficient way to strive in that platform while enjoying the benefits of new platforms as well?

    True it’s a time game too and time as we all know it is More valuable but it’s also those who never quit and always find ways to adjust that develop skills and strength that most nomadic sellers don’t.

    You get diamonds fromed from nothing less than hadrcore pressure and it’s a guarantee you will get diamonds formed in that way.

    Although Amazon is rapidly growing makes no differce for me because the only factor to consider is time… It’s places like Amazon that will keep eBay refining what they are about and as we know competition always brings improvement especially when a platform remembers who they are not just follow everyone out there.

    For me I would say stick to eBay anchor yourself refine and improve while enjoying the benefits of Amazon too.

    Thanks.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Geo,

      Thanks for stopping by.

      In theory, it sounds good, yes, but on eBay – there’s not much we can do to impact rankings, apart from playing the lowest price game, which I simply don’t like. There’s also no good advertising system built within the eBay, which is a huge disadvantage over to Amazon, where we can launch a new product and get lots of sales in, from day one.

      I’m happy for people who make it work on eBay though! I just decided to be with the future, not the past and if you check Google Trends for Amazon and eBay, you will quickly see which direction each are going…

      Obviously, there are always exceptions – with good, unique, high-value products your business can strive on eBay, on Amazon or both. It all comes down to each individual situation. For me personally, though, the benefits of FBA outweighs everything else. The fact that I don’t have to worry about orders, late shipments, account metrics etc., makes the whole move worthwhile.

      Anyways, good luck with the business, no matter what platform you’re selling on! 🙂

      Thanks,
      Andrew

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