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Etsy vs eBay: Which Online Selling Platform is Better?

Discover the pros and cons of selling on Etsy vs eBay. Find out which online platform is the best fit for your business needs.

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Etsy vs eBay: Which Online Selling Platform is Best? | PhotoCut

Etsy vs eBay: Which Online Selling Platform is Better?


Before you can sell anything online, you first need to decide where you want to sell it. That is, what online selling platform do you want to use?

And there’s no shortage of options on the table!

On one hand, this is awesome. The variety of ecommerce platforms available gives sellers plenty of opportunities to connect with customers, showcase their products, and generate sales.

But on the other hand, there are so many online marketplaces that it’s just not practical to create listings on all of them. Instead, you need to carefully weigh your options and select the best platform for you.

Comparing Etsy and eBay

In this article, we’ll compare two popular online marketplaces: Etsy vs. eBay. We’ll look at the pros and cons of each, including audiences, merchant plans, and seller fees, to help you decide which platform is right for you.

Background on Etsy

What is Etsy?

Founded in 2006, Etsy is an online marketplace where independent sellers, artists, and artisans can list handmade goods, vintage items, and craft supplies.

What You Might Not Know About Etsy

Etsy is known for handmade items—but it’s not a marketplace for reselling handmade goods.

If whatever you want to sell doesn’t fit into one of Etsy’s three categories (handmade, vintage, or craft supplies), then this is not the right place to list your items.

What Sets Etsy Apart from Other Online Marketplaces?

Shopping on Etsy feels like the modern-day version of browsing an antique market or farmer’s market, but with a much larger audience. Not only can you get way more eyes on your products than you could from local foot traffic, but it’s also possible to sell items to customers almost anywhere in the world.

To list handmade items on Etsy, you must be directly involved in the creation process—either as the designer or maker of the item. Everyone involved in the creation must be listed in the shop description and any production partners must be credited in the listings.

For example, an artist could sell original works or downloadable prints on their Etsy store; but a collector wouldn’t be allowed to sell artwork they had no part in creating (that is, unless it meets Etsy’s requirements for vintage items).

If you want to sell vintage items on Etsy, you must be prepared to prove that the item is at least 20 years old.

As for craft supplies? This is the only category on Etsy that can include “commercial” items (alongside handmade and vintage craft supplies, of course). Etsy allows the selling of “tools, ingredients, or materials” to be used “in the creation of an item” or for special occasions. Examples include party decorations, DIY kits, patterns, canvas, and paints.

Background on eBay

What is eBay?

Created in 1995, eBay is one of the oldest shopping websites in existence. Millions of people around the world use eBay to buy and sell everything from clothing and furniture to electronics and collectibles.

What You Might Not Know About eBay

It’s not just for resellers anymore. Although eBay originally launched as an online auction site (named “AuctionWeb” at the time), over 80% of today’s listings feature brand new items.

What Sets eBay Apart from Other Online Marketplaces?

Perhaps eBay’s biggest advantage is its sheer size and popularity. As the second most popular ecommerce and shopping website in the world, eBay sees over 600 million visitors every month.

Originally eBay was an online auction site that involved bidding on each item. These days, the eBay marketplace has expanded to include a wider range of selling options—including auctions, store pages, individual listings, and more.

What Online Sellers Need to Know About Etsy vs. eBay in 2022

If you’re choosing between Etsy and eBay for online selling, there are a ton of factors to consider. Not sure what you should base your decision on? We recommend comparing eBay vs. Etsy by these five criteria:

Audience: How many shoppers can you potentially reach on each platform?

Merchant plans: What plans are available for sellers?

Platform fees: How are sellers charged for listings, sales, and transactions?

Payment processing: How do sellers get paid by their customers?

Shipping and fulfillment: How does shipping and fulfillment work?

Audience: Etsy vs. eBay Customers

How many shoppers use Etsy vs. eBay?

Both Etsy and eBay are wildly popular. At the end of 2021, Etsy had 90.1 million active buyers and 5.3 million active sellers.

As for eBay, the ecommerce giant boasts 142 million active buyers worldwide and has approximately 1.6 active listings.

What are Etsy and eBay customers shopping for?

Etsy shoppers are looking for unique handmade items, vintage goods, and craft supplies. Some of the top categories on Etsy are Clothing, Jewelry, Home & Living. In 2021, 23% of Etsy’s global market share came from custom and made-to-order products.

eBay shoppers could be looking for virtually anything, in either new or second-hand condition. The top-selling category on eBay is “Electronics & Accessories” (16.4%), followed by “Clothing & Accessories” (13.8%) and “Automotive” (11%).

How do shoppers access the platforms?

Ecommerce shoppers love to browse listings on their phones. Both Etsy and eBay have dedicated mobile apps that receive more traffic than their website counterparts.

On Etsy, 67% of traffic comes from mobile devices; on eBay, about 60% comes from mobile shoppers.

Understanding Merchant Plans on Etsy and eBay

Merchant Plans on Etsy

Let's talk about the different plans available for sellers on Etsy:

Etsy Standard

This is the basic version of Etsy that is free to use.

Etsy Plus

For $10 a month, Etsy Plus subscribers get access to tools to improve their shop, like advanced customization options and monthly credits for listings and ads.

Etsy Pattern

For $15 a month, sellers can use Etsy Pattern to further customize their store for a more professional look. You can try it out for free for 30 days.

Merchant Plans on eBay

eBay offers even more options for sellers. Here are the six types of merchant plans:

No Store Package

List items without opening a store. Ideal for sellers with a few items to sell.

Starter Store Package

For $7.95 a month, get 250 free listings and reduced fees for additional listings.

Basic Store Package

For $27.95 a month, get 1000 fixed-price listings and reduced fees for more listings.

Premium Store Package

For $74.95 a month, get 10,000 fixed-price listings and reduced fees for additional listings.

Anchor Store Package

For $349.95 a month, get 25,000 fixed-price listings and reduced fees for more listings.

Enterprise Store Package

For $2999.95 a year, get 100,000 fixed-price listings for large scale sellers.

Etsy Fees vs. eBay Fees

What are the costs of selling online on Etsy and eBay?

What Type of Fees Do Etsy Sellers Pay?

Here are some fees you might encounter when selling on Etsy:

Listing Fee

$0.20 per item listed.

Transaction Fee

6.5% of the total price when you make a sale.

Advertising and Promotional Fee

Optional fees for promoting items on Etsy.

Subscription Fee

Monthly fees for paid subscribers.

In-Person Selling Fee

Fees for syncing in-person sales with your online shop.

Payment Processing Fee

Fees for processing payments through Etsy.

Shipping Fee

Fees for purchasing shipping labels on Etsy.

Regulatory Operating Fee

Fees for sellers in certain countries due to new regulations.

Currency Conversion

Fees for accepting foreign currencies on Etsy.

What Type of Fees Do eBay Sellers Pay?

Here are the main fees for selling on eBay:

Subscription Fee

Monthly or annual fees for sellers on an eBay store plan.

Insertion Fee

Fees for publishing listings on eBay.

Final Value Fees

Fees for making a sale through eBay.

Fees for Real Estate

Fees for listing real estate on eBay.

Fees for Classified Ads

Fees for certain categories of listings on eBay.

Choosing Between Etsy and eBay for Your Online Store

Payment Processing

Etsy Payments

Etsy Payments is Etsy’s way of letting shoppers pay for their purchases. Shoppers can use credit or debit cards, Etsy Gift Cards, Etsy Credits, Etsy Coupons, certain bank transfer services, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Klarna. Merchants can set up direct deposits to their bank accounts and choose how often they want to get paid (monthly, weekly, or daily).

eBay Managed Payments

eBay also has its own payment system for processing sales. Customers can pay for items using credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal, as well as some other local payment methods. Sellers can connect their bank accounts and choose how often they want to receive their money (daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly).

Shipping and Fulfillment

Whether you’re selling on eBay or Etsy, you need to think about how you’ll ship your items to buyers. Sellers on both platforms can buy shipping labels from third-party services (like USPS) through the platform.

Shipping Labels on Etsy

Etsy sellers have to ship items within 30 days of purchase. They can buy shipping labels on Etsy for up to 30% less than regular rates. To buy shipping labels on Etsy, sellers must be in the United States, Canada, UK, Australia, or India and accept Etsy Payments or PayPal. Etsy sells labels from USPS, FedEx, Canada Post, Royal Mail, Australia Post, Global Postal Shipping, and Yakit Shipping Partners.

Buying Shipping Labels on eBay

Sellers on eBay are also responsible for shipping their items. eBay offers shipping labels that sellers can buy and print instantly. eBay’s shipping partners offer discounted labels and automatic tracking.

Etsy vs. eBay: Which Marketplace Will You Choose?

Deciding between Etsy and eBay depends on what you’re selling, who you’re selling to, how much you plan to sell, and what kind of store you want to create.

What are you selling?

Etsy is for handmade, vintage items, and craft supplies, while eBay allows almost anything to be sold.

Who are you selling to?

Consider if your shoppers prefer Etsy’s artisan vibe or eBay’s auction-style listings.

What type of volume do you hope to sell?

Think about your growth goals and if eBay or Etsy can support your sales volume.

What’s your vision for your store?

Compare the merchant plans to see which platform aligns with your store vision.

On Either Platform, Online Sales Require Top-Notch Product Photos

You need high-quality product photos to succeed in online selling. Beautiful visuals can help you stand out and draw shoppers into your store. The right photo-editing app, like PhotoCut, can help you create professional product photos quickly and easily. Add filters, backgrounds, and effects to make your items look their best. Don’t wait! Start creating eye-catching product photos for your online store today with PhotoCut.

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