INDEPENDENT STORES VS. EBAY & AMAZON

eBay and Amazon are giants, their names are brands and they have high reputations amongst sellers and buyers worldwide. At the same time, Amazon and eBay cannot offer their customers some services and options which are offered by independent stores. Small stores are beginning their business and they work very hard to build a good status and satisfy their clients. When you buy something on eBay or Amazon frequently you deal with independent sellers unless you are buying products like Amazon Kindle or Amazon stick etc. I mean something which is produced by Amazon itself. eBay sells nothing other than eBay prepaid cards. Most of the time a buyer is dealing with independent sellers on eBay and Amazon. Thus Amazon and eBay are not responsive to the products you buy from independent sellers. So when you buy items on Amazon and eBay you do not buy them from Amazon or eBay. You buy the products from independent sellers. It is just the same as if you buy something from independent stores. On this occasion, Amazon and eBay are not in charge of the quality of products you buy but they may make some efforts to provide you seller protection. This protection is not 100%. You may be in a situation when eBay will ignore you and you won’t see any replies from them. When eBay demands its fees they always remember you but when you have a problem they don’t care about your troubles. So as I have explained to you wherever you buy Amazon, Etsy, eBay, or independent stores – you buy from independent sellers. 

Let us compare what is better for a buyer: purchase from an independent store or from eBay & Amazon.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

Typically when a buyer has some questions regarding a product he wants to clarify everything immediately. What happens in this situation on eBay and Amazon? Sellers on these markets are different and they visit their eBay or Amazon at a different time. Some of them do it on a regular base and some don’t. When a buyer sends a question regarding an item on Amazon or eBay he may get the answer immediately in the case if a buyer is online. Usually, a buyer sees a response to his question the next day.  It is not convenient and very annoying. A buyer may be interested in your product, he sends you a question about the item and you answer him the next day. At this time a buyer has already forgotten about your product and has spent his money buying something else. There is no online communication between a buyer and a seller on eBay or Amazon. 

Now let us look at the same situation but on an independent online store outside eBay and Amazon. These stores do their best, they build their reputation and do everything to satisfy the needs of their clients. Some independent stores offer 24/7 online support via online chat, Skype, free online call, and WhatsApp. If a buyer is interested in a particular product he sends a question and immediately receives an answer via the preferred method of communication.  We see that online stores offer better customer support than Amazon and eBay. 

So what would you choose: shop somewhere where you are not given answers to your questions or somewhere where you are offered to have online communication via every possible method? Most of you will prefer the second option. I have made it clear to you that independent online stores provide better customer support than eBay and Amazon.

BUYER PROTECTION

Amazon and eBay claim to protect their buyers from fraud. There are thousands of different sellers on eBay and Amazon and none of these corporations knows how many of these sellers are scammers.  There are as well some terms when seller protection can be applied to you and in some cases, you can’t be protected. Amazon’s and eBay’s responsibility is very limited. They have intentionally narrowed it because they cannot control all fraud that can happen in their online market. Additionally, they are not able to personally deal with every seller in their stores. For example, I have a seller whom I have made a refund by mistake. This buyer has received my item and has already left me positive feedback. I made him a refund by mistake. Every day I write to him and demand to return my money but he refers to different PayPal issues and other things. Nowadays he simply ignores me. I have reported this buyer to PayPal and eBay. PayPal is ignoring my issue and I still have not received even a message from eBay. So what does it mean? It means that eBay does not care about its sellers. If they don’t care about their sellers why should they care if some of their buyers were cheated? I am sure that eBay will also take no notice of buyers who face difficulties on their website. Amazon’s customer support is really great. They offer online chat and if you leave a message you will receive the answer in 24 hours. Amazon’s support group resolves the problems of their customers. Buyer protection on Amazon is also limited by its terms and policies. Finally, Amazon and eBay have built their brands and they have too much work to worry about rather than satisfy every individual customer. These companies do not afraid to lose some of their buyers because they have millions of buyers who will shop and bring them profit.

Is a buyer protected while shopping in an independent store? I have stated that customer support in some of the independent stores is ideal. You may have a live phone talk with customer support which will be happy to resolve all your problems. These stores are not too busy and they have time to resolve your problems. Plus, they are just building their brands and reputation and therefore opinions of their buyers are very important for them. Independent online stores will work very hard to satisfy the needs of every particular shopper on their website. There is a difference when you deal with only one independent store and when you deal with tens or even thousands of independent sellers around the world. There is more likely to be cheated on eBay or Amazon rather than on an independent store that struggles to build a good reputation.

QUALITY OF PRODUCTS

Amazon’s and eBay’s policy regarding selling brand new clothes is very strict. A seller may be banned just because he has listed something from Louis Vuitton or Chloe. Even though items are authentic eBay may suspend your account anytime they wish. Nowadays sellers on eBay afraid of listing products from the LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennesy). All of us know about a famous court case between eBay and LVMH. There are several brands that are included in LVMH. Christian Dior for example. Sellers are frightened that their accounts will be suspended if they list some brand name clothes. At the same time when sellers are restricted to their listing choice buyers are limited in their choice too. eBay and Amazon are not accountable for the quality of the products you buy.  They may restrict some sellers from listing real authentic clothes and at the same time by mistake, they may allow someone to list counterfeits. Their decisions are unpredictable.  So you may not be 100% sure about the quality of the products you buy on Amazon or eBay.

Independent stores are not controlled in their listing choices. They may list as many products as they want and they are in charge of the quality of products they sell on their online stores. As I have previously told small online stores are beginners. They are just starting their brands and reputation. These are the reasons why they will provide you with high-quality products. Every independent online store is fully responsible for the excellence of the goods they sell. Even single bad feedback from their buyers may entirely ruin their beginning business and they will do their best to satisfy you with a high quality of items you purchase from their online stores

CONCLUSION

As you see independent online stores have more advantages than Amazon and eBay. The only things these two companies have are their brands. Amazon is better than eBay in many fields. However, some independent online stores offer their clients better customer support, buyer protection, and higher quality of products than Amazon and eBay do.

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Written by Bahtiyar
Bahtiyar is a businessman, Internet marketer, blogger, traveler, and the founder of one of the world's most popular blogs Bahtiyar World.