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brief online shopping advice: amazon vs. ebay.

September 11, 2013

I buy almost all books and DVD’s online. In the past, it has seemed to me that Amazon almost always had a better price than ebay. Yes, ebay still has some auctions, and it is possible to get great deals. However, most items I have wanted to purchase on ebay these past years have been set at “buy it now prices.”

I have been checking prices on both websites lately, and have been finding more and more that Amazon does not always have the best price.

I have Amazon Prime, which means I don’t pay any shipping cost, just a $79.99 fee once a year. For that fee,  I get 2 day (or three day) shipping at no cost. No more shipping charges for Amazon Prime items.  The once a year fee also gets me a year of access to Amazon Prime streaming video service. This is an awesome deal!! A year of Netflix will cost $95.88, and that is just for streaming video.. but I digress.

Some merchants on ebay also offer free shipping. That is something to consider.

Here is one example of a price of an item on ebay being cheaper than Amazon. I am considering buying a 3 DVD set of guitar instruction, called “Essential DADGAD for Beginners, Vol. 1-3.”  The set is an Amazon Prime item, so I won’t have to pay the shipping charge. The Amazon price is $53.96. I have found the same item on ebay for $40.79, and free shipping from the ebay vendor.

With some items, even with no shipping charge from Amazon, and, let’s say.. a $3.99 shipping charge for the same item on ebay, some items on ebay will still cheaper than on Amazon.

One more thing to consider.. most items sold on Amazon will not only be sold directly from Amazon, but by other vendors as well. This gives you the option to buy used items, and potentially, although not always, save some money. Also, some vendors who are selling new products might sell such products cheaper than the Amazon Prime price, even if you factor in the shipping cost from other vendors. This is pretty rare, but it does happen.

Happy shopping!

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