"U.S. consumers are buying used goods as a way to save money and even
help the environment. Today, 75 percent of adults are purchasing used
(pre-owned) goods to save money and nine in ten adults (88 percent) view buying pre-owned merchandise as a form of recycling, a new survey released today by Harris Interactive® for eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY - News) reveals. More than a quarter of adults (27 percent) who have purchased used goods in the past six months say they saved 76 percent or more off the retail price of the last item they purchased." (bold is mine)
Used goods have always been eBay's strength and in this uncertain economy, should be what sets them apart from from the rest of ecommerce. Instead, sites like Amazon are actually making head way in the used market. In fact, I sell my used media items (DVDs, CDs and Video Games) on Amazon because I can get a better price.
Here are two examples: (From the sellers perspective)
- The Wizard of Oz (DVD) - This particular version of the film is OOP (Out of Print). It is the original Warner release on DVD and I sold a "Used - Very Good" one this morning on Amazon for $17.97 -- BTW, they just received this item in the Reno FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) warehouse this morning and it sold before 8:00 am.
On eBay, using Terapeak to research completed sales, I found that over the last 30 days this same Used DVD has an ASP (Average Selling Price) of $12.20.
- Seven - 2-Disc DVD - I sold one this morning (again it was just received in Amazon's warehouse this morning) for $5.96. On eBay the 30-day ASP for this title (used) on eBay is $3.42
- I usually only have a quantity of 1, with most items, so I'm going to choose the marketplace that gets me the highest price, sells the fastest and is the least hassle. On Amazon I got a higher price, they both sold the same day they arrived in Amazon's warehouse - oh and I won't get any emails from the customer.
- On eBay I will get a lower price; if I auction the item it will take 7 days to sell and possibly another 2-3 days to get paid - oh and I guarantee I will get a minimum of 2 emails.
According to the survey "The most popular items purchased secondhand within the past six months include consumer electronics and entertainment, which 56 percent of pre-owned shoppers have purchased, and clothing and accessories, which more than half of pre-owned shoppers (54 percent) have purchased."
Amazon is an online leader in Consumer Electronics and Entertainment so they stand to benefit from this trend. eBay still has a lead in clothing and accessories, but the way Amazon is going that may not last.
Now, I know I come across as anti-eBay and pro-Amazon and I certainly lean that way, but it is because eBay has become marginalized. In fact, other than category advantages (breadth of categories) Amazon is besting them at every turn.
Update: One thing I forgot to discuss: If eBay has lower prices why wouldn't the consumer shop there, rather than Amazon?
I forgot to mention S&H in quoting the eBay numbers. The avg. S&H cost to ship both of the DVDs mentioned above on eBay was $5, while on Amazon it is $2.98 and in my case (with FBA) shipping was free.
That makes the Wizard of Oz sale comparable in price between Amazon and eBay (except the customer gets 2-day shipping on Amazon) but the Seven DVD is much more expensive.
Which is the better buying experience?
Who would have thunk it - if you want something used buy it from Amazon.
Just my 12%