Amazon vs personal online store: which is better?

Posted on 22 Sep 2020 17:00 in Small Business Hacks
by Zainab Sohangpurwala

Are you confused about where to sell your products? On Amazon or other online marketplaces or personal online store website? This blog may help you to make up your mind.

In today's world, thanks to technology, there are several ways of buying and selling products. People are earning millions by selling their products online. This is because customers prefer to shop online in the comfort of their homes.


How to sell online?

There are two main ways how you can sell your products online. Either you can sell it on marketplaces like Amazon, Ebey, Walmart, Flipkart, Etsy, etc. or sell your products from your online website store. 


What is Amazon, Flipkart, and Etsy?

These are the world's largest online marketplaces. Over here, millions of retailers from across the globe register as sellers and sell their products.


On Etsy, too, you have to create your online store. When someone purchases your product, the packaging and delivery are taken care of by them.


How to sell on these market places?

There are numerous things you have to do before you start sailing on these marketplaces. 


  1. Register yourself as a seller on the desired marketplace.
  2. Give all your details such as brand name, location, GST number, and address.
  3. After they approve you as a seller, start stocking up things in your inventory.
  4. Take attractive and appealing pictures of products and start updating with details. 
  5. Check pricing with competitors and set your pricing and discount strategy.
  6. Start selling once you get listing approval.


Even though this sounds easy, it takes much hard work to sell products on marketplaces. Filling out their registration form is very difficult. They ask for tons of details which some of you who have just started their business might not have.


Disadvantages of selling on marketplaces.


1. Your product gets lost in their Catalogue

In India alone, there are more than 120,000 registered sellers on Amazon. Worldwide there are more than 5 million. There are over 350 million products in Amazon's catalog itself. Hence, can you imagine how difficult it is to sell your product when there are so many competitors and similar products on the site!


2. Additional charges and commissions

Online retailers such as Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra charge additional storage fees. Your products will be profitable only if they sell quickly. The longer it stays in their inventory, the higher will be the storage fees. 


On, when you make your store, you need to pay a small fee for it. They also charge you when you add a product. Whenever a buyer purchases your product, they take a commission of your profits too! This reduces your profits.


3. Too many returns

As it is very convenient to return products on these marketplaces, so many people return products. Many customers do test buying. They purchase a product and return it as they are not happy with it. It may be a disadvantage for small sellers.


4. Product prep can be difficult

All marketplaces sites have strict guidelines on how to prepare and ship items to them. It takes much time to get the hang of the details.

You have to label your products according to the serial number provided by them.


Lastly, the packaging of the product is done by them. It is wrapped with the logo of Amazon, eBay or Walmart, etc. Hence, your brand does not get recognition.


5. Tracking inventory can be difficult

It can be challenging to manage inventories. To continuously check what's sold out and needs to be restocked. If you sell on multiple platforms, it's very challenging to keep up with it. 


6. Misuse of data by Amazon

Amazon employees have reportedly accessed data about independent sellers to build competing products under its private-label brands. 


One of the employees also said “We knew we shouldn't, but at the same time, we are making Amazon branded products, and we want them to sell."


Hence, they misuse your brand to sell their own products. 


Advantages of selling on your online store website


1. Control 

As it is your website, you can control everything. Designs, layout, products, pricing, discounts, and everything else will be under your control.


Moreover, your website will represent you and your brand, unlike Amazon, where millions of products from different brands are displayed. On your website, it is only your products will be displayed! It will become a go-to site for people who want to purchase only from your brand.


2. Brand Name

Whenever someone buys something from a big eCommerce site, they said, "I bought this from Amazon." They will not mention your brand name, but they will specifically mention your brand name if people buy from your website. This will lead to referrals.


3. Saving money

If it's your online store, then no commission is taken on sales. No inventory charge. Hence you save much money. Here you only have to pay a yearly fee for the maintenance of your website. You can use your profits in marketing and expansion!


4. Packaging and delivery

You can package your products whichever way you want. You can put your brand name on it. You will save a lot of money on delivery too. You can hire your delivery executive.


Hence, I feel that selling via a self-owned website is easier and much more profitable. 


If you want to switch from Amazon, Flipkart to create your own website, check out ShimBi Labs Ninjin!


What is Ninjin?
Ninjin is a revolutionary new e-commerce solution for your online store. Ninjin is fully-featured out of the box, ready to use and very easy to operate e-commerce solution for your online store. Ninjin requires no coding knowledge, so it’s perfect for anyone who wish to start selling online, learn More


About the author

Zainab Sohangpurwala     
Passionate about helping companies grow their business via content marketing.

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