Amazon vs eBay vs Newegg - Where to Buy?

Please note that this post is over a year old and may contain outdated information.
I purchase a great deal of electronics, computer components, house goods, and yard supplies online. I am very price and review sensitive so I cross-shop everything. My purchases tend to be split fairly evenly between Amazon, eBay, and Newegg. I'm going to share my personal pros and cons for each marketplace, and hopefully it can help you with your buying decisions.


Amazon is the most popular out of these according to Alexa (ranked 7th globally), but shouldn't be the only marketplace you shop.

  • Amazon has great reviews. You can often find out what products are better than others by reading the reviews. If you're serious about getting the most for your money, be sure to take the time to really read the reviews and check if they're verified or not. Customer photos are particularly useful as they often show the product in a non-perfect light. I usually start at Amazon for the reviews, but may not end up buying there.
  • Amazon's Best Seller lists are a great way to find out what is popular by category. These products tend to have the most reviews and pictures, and it's a glimpse into what Amazon is actually selling the most of.

  • Amazon's prices tend to be a little higher. They have hefty fees for sellers (12-15%) so you can often find the same product on eBay for less (net total fees are as low as 8% for top eBay/PayPal sellers).
  • While most things on Amazon have free shipping, most also require spending $35 or more to obtain that free shipping. For example, I was looking for a WiFi adapter and found this one with good reviews for $14.88. I then spent the next 20 minutes trying to reach the $35 mark without going too much over. I then looked on eBay and found the same adapter for $12.95 free shipping (with no shipping minimum). Don't fall into the "spend more to get free shipping" trap.

Other Thoughts
Amazon sometimes gives free products to customers for the sole purpose of gaining reviews. This is called the Amazon Vine Program. It's a great way to cultivate product reviews, but some might consider it a little shady. I personally think it is an okay practice, as the reviews tend to be well-written and informative. Just watch out for too much marketing-speak.

‹ Go to Amazon (opens in a new window)


eBay does not have much in the way of reviews, but I often end up buying here when the price is better.

  • eBay has lower seller fees so you'll often find lower prices.
  • eBay has the traditional auction bidding system still, which allows you to bid on items if you prefer. They also have "Best Offer" that allows you to make an offer for a product.
  • eBay sellers tend to have more feedback accumulated since eBay pushes its seller feedback through email reminders and such (whereas Amazon pushes its product reviews). This may give you a little more confidence in the seller you're buying from.
  • The item descriptions and pictures can be better on eBay, since each listing has a seller that is responsible for it with complete control over it. Amazon products tend to be neglected as multiple sellers are selling under the same product page. As an Amazon 3rd party seller there is little incentive to improve product pages since you could be helping your competition just as much as yourself.
  • eBay has Detailed Seller Ratings, that allow you to see just how well each seller performs in four different categories.
  • If you're looking for used products eBay is the best place to buy from. With full control over the listing page, sellers can provide much more detail about a used product they're selling. Outside of books, I sell most of my used components and electronics on eBay, and there's a big market for it.

  • eBay has very few product reviews, so you're mostly buying blind. I almost always find reviews elsewhere for products before buying them.
  • Seller feedback is very character-limited (80 character or less), so you won't get much detail on customers' transaction experiences with a seller outside of the ratings.

Other Thoughts
I spend most of my time browsing on Amazon, but I often end up buying at eBay. Be sure to always pay close attention to the seller you're going to be buying from, and read how to spot eBay scammers and fraudulent sellers. It might seem scary to buy from eBay, but as long as you pay attention and do your due diligence, you are well-protected by both eBay and PayPal.

‹ Go to eBay (opens in a new window)


Newegg is excellent for computer components and peripherals. They sell in most other categories as well just like Amazon (Newegg Marketplace), but they don't have a strong presence there.

  • Newegg's product pages are much more detailed than Amazon's or eBay's on average, and their product photography is exceptional. They take a good deal of care with each and every product to make sure it has a wealth of information.
  • Long after a product has been discontinued, you can still find the original product page with details, pictures, and reviews.
  • Buying open box or manufacturer refurbished parts on Newegg is safer and easier to do than with eBay or Amazon.
  • Newegg's search engine blows away Amazon and eBay. It has very fine-grain control over searches with well-developed categories and filters. Very few mistakes.
  • Newegg has reviews that rival Amazon's when it comes to computer components. The more computer-focused a product is, the better chance it will have more reviews on Newegg than on Amazon.
  • Newegg recently opened up their site to allow 3rd party sellers just like Amazon and eBay. It's not as well-developed but it does give additional buying options for components.

  • Outside of computer components and accessories, the prices and reviews tend to be not nearly as good.

Other Thoughts
If you're buying computer components, accessories, or peripherals, Newegg competes very closely with Amazon and eBay, and often times has a little lower price or better reviews. I tend to buy about 60% of my computer components from Newegg, with the remaining 40% split between Amazon and eBay. I rarely shop Newegg for things outside of electronics, unless they come up in a Google search.

‹ Go to Newegg (opens in a new window)
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Comments (13)

Haji Nash khan   Dec 10, 2019
Brothers buy form Ebay you cannot go wrong. I am a seller and I get zapped every day by buyers. They receive my item then buyers claim you forgot to mention a scratch so I give them an additional 10 to 15 percent refund. Buyers cannot go wrong on eBay. After selling for 10 years finally I am ready to quit Ebay as a seller cause lately Ebay has become a place for buyers only. Ebay does not give hoot about sellers at all. Prices are way way way cheaper than amazon so buyers buy from eBay even though I have been treated like a step son with eBay as a seller for the past 10 years but I still like eBay. If I write a book about my selling experiences on eBay it will be a 1000 page book. I have had customers make me buy a buy a brand new item and ship it to them or he would leave a neg
mis4um8   Jun 08, 2019
I passed on Amazon way back when they were still only a bookstore. Too aggressive with the junk mail (back then). I am stubborn like that. I've had a great run on Ebay, where I have bought most of my computer hardware, over $10k of it. In an apparent attempt to force growth, Ebay have attracted a lot of opportunist sellers of late, resulting in too many bad buying experiences to bear. 8 deceased or just plain wrong hard drive models in a row. So, I have closed the door on Ebay and I am about to put all my eggs in one basket. Haven't had a bad experience at newegg yet, where I have only been an occasional buyer in past years. Hope they'll be able to attract some of the professional sellers from Ebay that now find themselves mixed in with know-nothing amateurs.
Mau   Apr 04, 2019
Thanks for sharing.
Naume   Jan 02, 2019
Newegg's prices are a joke. Seriously? A Pocophone for CAD900? And a Huawei Mate 20 Pro for nearly CAD2200? REALLY???
DRB   Aug 29, 2018
Amazon is by far the worst of the two eBay wins hands down. I did two purchase with Amazon first I ordered a pair of shoes, could not see what state or even which country, guess what china and 3 weeks later they arrived talk about slow boat from China. Then ordered a case(48) rolls of tp for my RV it came in plane box upon further review I opened Scott case severely damaged inside tried to get replacement not a option with second rate amazon. And they wanted me to transport to ups store and pay to return. So my fellow buyers “beware of substandard “ poor customer service with these wanna be’s . I know I’ll get people who will say opposite . So be it
DRB   Aug 29, 2018
Amazon is by far the worst of the two eBay wins hands down. I did two purchase with Amazon first I ordered a pair of shoes, could not see what state or even which country, guess what china and 3 weeks later they arrived talk about slow boat from China. Then ordered a case(48) rolls of tp for my RV it came in plane box upon further review I opened Scott case severely damaged inside tried to get replacement not a option with second rate amazon. And they wanted me to transport to ups store and pay to return. So my fellow buyers beware of substandard poor customer service with these wanna bes . I know Ill get people who will say opposite . So be it
Alexa Tilbrook   Apr 12, 2018
I have accounts on both Amazon and eBay, but I've been using eBay more than Amazon recently. (I know this post is from 2015 but is the first result in Google, so adding my 2¢...) Amazon has some items cheaper than eBay, and sometimes the inverse is true (example: plastic female mannequin for $40 shipped [free shipping] on Amazon vs $60 for similar on eBay), but Amazon doesn't have actual "bare metal" vintage computing equipment like the Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computers (26-3### series) like eBay does. (I bought one off eBay recently.) That being said, I have been having a difficult time recently to find exactly what I need on Amazon recently. Most free shipping deals on Amazon require Prime membership nowadays. eBay, free shipping on a lot.
Rory Hammond   Mar 14, 2018
I do not use Amazon Prime and when available, I choose "economy free shipping" . I think Amazon might be holding items to meet the estimate arrival times for economy shipping, so as not to compete with the expedited options. eBay prices are competitive with Amazon. Many eBay sellers advertise same day shipping. When matched with free shipping, I often receive orders before the estimated arrival times and on occasion, I receive items before some of the expedited options. This of course depends on the carrier and the location of the seller. When making a purchase, I always weigh free and same day shipping as part of my buying decision. Generally, I get better results (faster-cheaper) shipping from eBay than Amazon.
Ron Abrams   Jan 03, 2018
I did about 90% of my holiday Christmas on Ebay, the rest was with Amazon. I find the prices on Ebay to be cheaper by 50% and even 60% at a time, just for example, a pair of Eyeskey 10x42 Binoculars that sells on Amazon Prime for $109 could be found on Ebay for $44.99, identical product, offered by US seller who guarantee fast free shipping. I can list 5 more similar scenarios.
Used EBay and Amazon   Oct 18, 2017
Did all my Christmas shopping on Amazon last December 2016. No issues with Macbook or toys or tablets purchased. All came as described and packaged well. Have Amazon Prime so only choose Prime products since it gives you free feel fast shipping.
Mark Steven Bailey   Sep 15, 2017
Buying... Years ago we used ebay to buy then after burning our fingers "several" times we backed of and went to Amazon and "was" happy for years but now Amazon has gone downhill. Why? Shipping is not at all what it was! Be prepaired to wait a "long" time! At the same time they are now trying to push massive shipping costs on their costumers. Now we are moving back to ebay having better luck their now.
Harpritpal Singh   Jul 16, 2016
Amazon's review are febricated. Amazon does not allow a buyer post his review unless it is positive. Customer care has authority to disconnect customer's phone whenever they think fit. I got such disconnection in two different issues. Ebay is fair and the best for buyers, I have foudn so far. I am registered with ebay and amazon since 2010.
Lowell Radder   Apr 01, 2016
Thanks for the information.
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