Cheaper Than Amazon and eBay: Private Retailer Websites

By | May 29, 2023

Cheaper Than Amazon and eBay: If you want to shop cheaper than Amazon or eBay, you need to remove the intermediary.

Online shopping nowadays is cleverly set up to put an intermediary between the buyer and the seller. That intermediary might be Amazon, eBay, another shopping platform, or an advertising portal like Google.

With food, it’s Uber Eats or Deliveroo. With taxis it’s Uber. With groceries it’s Getir. There’s always someone who wants to put themselves between buyer and seller at your expense.

However you wrap that up, somebody in between the buyer and the seller is looking to make a profit there, and that profit must be included in the price that you pay.

In an age where online shopping has become the norm, Amazon and eBay have established themselves as giants in the e-commerce industry. However, there is a growing trend towards private retailer websites, where customers simply purchase products directly from sellers. One of the major advantages of this is the potential to save money as sellers are not burdened with hefty selling fees. This article delves into the benefits of using private retailer websites as an alternative to Amazon and eBay, highlighting how cost-conscious customers can maximise their savings.

Lower Prices

Do you know how much Amazon or eBay makes from your spending? Most people don’t know they take between 16% and 35% of your total spend. Sometimes more.

That money isn’t simply ‘absorbed’ by the seller, there often isn’t the margin to do so. It’s simply added on by the seller. Most people think Amazon and eBay are cheap, but often they’re not.

Here is a screenshot of an Amazon seller dashboard showing their typical fees.

Cheaper Than Amazon and eBay: Private Retailer Websites

And that’s before fees for FBA, listing promotion, chargebacks, item not received fraud and all the other hidden costs. Private websites can afford to be cheaper than Amazon or eBay.

One of the primary advantages of private retailer websites is the potential for lower prices compared to established e-commerce platforms like Amazon and eBay. By avoiding the burden of selling fees, and Amazon cash grabs, sellers are able to pass on these savings directly to the customers. This enables buyers to access products at more competitive prices, potentially leading to significant cost savings across a range of items.

Here’s a simple example, if we have an item that costs us £10, and we’d like to see £3 profit, and if we have people pack and post it (via the cheapest economy method), that costs another £4, add £1 for overheads, we need £18 incoming to make a £3 profit.

But if we sell it on Amazon, they charge a minimum of 17% of the gross. Amazon has very generous 30-day return policies, often seller-funded, and a host of other policies that penalise sellers and allow the occasional unscrupulous fraudster to shop for free. Those extra costs must also be shared among all buyers. All those ‘easy returns’ are paid for by someone, and that someone is you.

The calculation we do for Amazon sales we fulfill is 20%. That’s their basic 17% ish seller fee, plus sundry other fees and a small margin to cover fraud, A-Z guarantee claims, returns, and the dishonest few who use Amazon to steal. So that part we wanted £18 for is now £22.99. You’re paying a fiver more. Our own website is always cheaper than Amazon and eBay. Do you still think Amazon is cheap? 

Greater Buyer-Focused Experience

Private retailer websites often prioritise the interests of the buyers and foster stronger relationships between buyers and sellers. This direct interaction allows customers to negotiate prices, ask questions, and seek personalised recommendations. By eliminating the middleman, buyers can establish a more transparent and mutually beneficial relationship with the sellers, which can result in a more satisfying shopping experience. Especially with higher ticket items.

Private websites often take their own photos and write their own descriptions. They know what spare part fits what machine for example. If a part needs a special screwdriver to fit it, they can tell you and link you to it. If a part looks similar to others, they can highlight it and link you to the other. If a part is awkward to fit, many have video tutorials linked within the listings to show you how. If you need technical advice, many have free advice forums and video tutorials to help you. You can ask questions and get free advice that way. Sellers can’t offer any of that on Amazon or eBay.

Enhanced Product Diversity

While Amazon and eBay offer a vast array of products, private retailer websites can surprise customers with unique and niche items not commonly found on mainstream platforms. Independent sellers tend to specialise in particular product categories, making it easier for customers to find rare or specialised goods that cater to their specific needs. This diversity opens up new avenues for exploration and allows customers to discover products that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Support for Small Businesses

Choosing to buy from private retailer websites is an excellent way to support small businesses and independent entrepreneurs. These platforms provide a level playing field for sellers, enabling them to compete with larger corporations on a more equal footing. By making purchases directly from these sellers, customers contribute to the growth and sustainability of small businesses, fostering a diverse and vibrant marketplace.

Shop local: by using a private local website, you are avoiding Chinese sellers. Why put up with longer shipping times and potential difficulties in resolving disputes or returning items due to the distance involved?

In synopsis, when shopping with a private website, your money is going to local businesses and not to overseas shareholders and giant US corporations.

Reduced Counterfeit and Inauthentic Products

While counterfeit products exist on every e-commerce platform, private retailer websites often have stricter policies and more stringent vetting processes in place and they know their supply chain better. This emphasis on quality control helps to minimise the presence of counterfeit or inauthentic products. By purchasing from private websites, customers can have greater confidence in the authenticity and quality of the items they are buying, ultimately saving them from potential disappointment and financial loss.

Plus, when dealing with a local private website, you know you are not dealing with a dodgy Chinese seller in disguise as you often are on eBay and Amazon. Local sites can still be cheaper than Amazon and eBay’s Chinese sellers as they are not shipping a single item across the globe.

Customisable Shopping Experience

Private retailer websites offer a more personalised shopping experience compared to their larger counterparts. Many of these platforms provide customisation options that allow customers to tailor their searches according to specific preferences. This customisation can include filtering by location, price range, seller ratings, or other criteria, resulting in a more streamlined and efficient shopping process. By focusing on individual needs, private websites empower customers to find exactly what they are looking for, further enhancing their shopping experience.

Better After-Sales Support

Shopping with a private retailer’s own website over Amazon or eBay often provides better after-sales support. When customers make a purchase directly from a private retailer, they establish a direct line of communication with the seller. This direct interaction allows for more efficient customer service, as the retailer is more invested in ensuring customer satisfaction. Private retailers are often more responsive to inquiries, concerns, and requests for assistance, as they have a vested interest in maintaining their reputation and fostering customer loyalty. Additionally, with fewer layers of bureaucracy compared to larger platforms, private retailers can often address post-purchase issues more swiftly, leading to faster resolutions and a more positive overall shopping experience.

Direct Feedback and Review System

In private retailer websites, customers have a direct line of communication with sellers, enabling them to provide real-time feedback and reviews. This direct interaction not only helps sellers improve their products and services but also allows customers to make informed decisions based on the experiences of others. This transparency and accountability foster trust and can aid in avoiding potentially unsatisfactory purchases, saving customers both time and money. Third-party review platforms such as Yell, Google and Trustpilot allow you to more easily check feedback, decide if it’s relevant, and form an opinion much more than generic eBay-type feedback, much of which is automated anyway.

Cheaper Than Amazon and eBay: Private Retailer Websites


While Amazon and eBay continue to dominate the e-commerce landscape, private retailer websites provide a compelling alternative for cost-conscious customers seeking to save money. By eliminating selling fees and embracing direct communication between buyers and sellers, these platforms offer lower prices, greater product diversity, and enhanced customer experiences. Additionally, supporting small businesses and enjoying a reduced risk of counterfeit products are additional

Cheaper Than Amazon and eBay: Now is the independent retailer’s time to shine. Shout it from the rooftops – if you shop at an independent private website, you will be dealing with real people, with years of experience.

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