If you’re thinking about selling online on Etsy or eBay, you’ve landed in the right place. Our Etsy vs eBay comparison will provide you with everything you need to decide which one you should go with.

  • A brief overview of Etsy and eBay.
  • Detailed analysis on some of the key essentials of Etsy vs eBay (ease of use, selling tools, delivery methods, fees, etc.).
  • Suggestions on choosing the best suit marketplace for your business: Etsy or eBay.
  • And far more.

Let’s get started with the detailed Etsy vs eBay comparison!


Etsy vs eBay – Overview

Before you choose to sell on Etsy or eBay, it’s important to understand what they are and how they assist your business.

What is Etsy?

Founded in 2005, Etsy is an online marketplace connecting merchants and shoppers who are passionate about creating or purchasing custom-made items, vintage or unique treasures. Currently, there are 4.36 million Etsy sellers across the globe – each of whom is the driver of both economic impact and personal empowerment.

How an Etsy Seller Spends Her Time

The most interesting thing about Etsy is that everything is made, collected, and sold by its sellers. This platform creates an independent room for sellers who produce their products and manage their orders and inventory at the same time.

Pros & Cons of selling on Etsy

Pros and cons of selling on Etsy - Etsy vs eBay
Pros & cons of selling on Etsy

Advantages:

  • Easy setup without startup fees included
  • Greater control over your storefront
  • Unlimited products & customized shipping options
  • Established customer trust and reliability

Disadvantages:

  • High selling and maintaining fees
  • High competition in a large marketplace
  • Limited design choices available
  • No ownership for data collection

What is eBay?

eBay is a famous online marketplace within the eCommerce industry. The US-based company is a great place for buyers and sellers to come together and trade almost anything. What makes eBay so special lies in its selling system. It allows users to sell items online as they want in an auction, which means buyers can try to outbid each other.

With eBay, selling new or secondhand products is completely allowed. Therefore, eBay is more about mass-produced items and good bargains which can make it highly competitive.

Pros & Cons of selling on eBay

Pros and cons of selling on eBay - eBay vs Etsy
Pros & cons of selling on eBay

Advantages:

  • Wide access to buyers around the world
  • Ease of use
  • Seller protection policy
  • Open and transparent transaction

Disadvantages:

  • High selling fees
  • Limited control over your listings
  • Pressure to offer free shipping
  • Working with bargain shoppers frequently

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Etsy vs eBay – Which One Should I Sell on?

Who should sell on Etsy?

If you are a content creator, an artist, or simply enjoy dealing in artistic and creative products, then Etsy can be your wise choice. It’s extremely simple to utilize and does not require much knowledge of the eCommerce industry, all you need to prepare is the uniqueness in goods and proper audience targeting.

Suitable for: content creators, artists, handmade makers, crafters.

Detailed guide on how to sell on Etsy here.

Moreover, in case you already have an online store built on an eCommerce platform like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, etc., you can integrate your store with Etsy to skyrocket your sales, check out here:

Who should sell on eBay?

One of eBay’s most valued advantages is the increased flexibility it provides to sellers. The design of product listings, shipping charges, and return policies are all completely under the hands of the seller. In addition, the charge is smaller, allowing things to be sold at lower prices.

Suitable for: Professional sellers, retailers, second-hand sellers.

Detailed guide on how to sell on eBay here.

Talking about expanding your business is another story, handmade, unique items can also be sold on eBay. If you want to start a multi-channel selling strategy, you can give LitCommerce a try. This tool allow store owners to integrate Etsy with eBay or vice versa, and control product inventory, orders, customers from both Etsy and eBay for a better management.

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Etsy vs eBay – Break Down Key Differences

#1 – Product types

It’s essential to compare the product types support in the comparison of Etsy vs eBay to find out your products would meet the requirements or not.  Also, the main distinction between Etsy vs eBay lies in the product’s types which help merchants define the audience who come on these marketplaces.

Etsy: Product types

Etsy is a great place to sell handmade, antique, and one-of-a-kind items. This multi-vendor platform has a creative persona that brings a creative vibe. Therefore, Etsy appeals to a specific group that is more likely to own these kinds of interesting items.

However, you should bear in mind that there are some niches that you cannot sell on Etsy, here are some examples:

  • Animal items
  • Human remains
  • Tobacco, drugs, alcohol, medical drugs, or drug paraphernalia
  • Products that provoke hatred and violence
  • Recalled items, weapons, and hazardous materials
  • Internationally regulated products
  • Mature content and pornography
  • Highly regulated products or promoting illegal activities

Find out more on Prohibited Items Policy from Etsy.

eBay: Product types

On the other hand, if you are looking forward to offering a variety of items, from antiques and gently used items to brand new ones, then eBay is the right place for your business. eBay offers both fixed price (for those who want to buy without bidding) and auction-based pricing. Hence, shoppers can choose to buy your product immediately or bid for it.

For beginners, it’s encouraging to look for the best-selling items on eBay to select the kind of product that can quickly bring profits.

Just like Etsy, eBay also forbids its users to sell:

  • Adult items
  • Alcohol
  • Animals and wildlife products
  • Autographed items
  • Digitally delivered goods
  • Drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Electrical and electronic equipment
  • Event ticket
  • Encouraging illegal activity
  • Stamps, currency, and coins

For more detail, check out eBay’s policies on restricted items.


#2 – Customer base

Customer base is a necessary factor in this Etsy vs eBay comparison. There are significant differences in the customer behavior of the buyers from both marketplaces. Let’s take a look at what sets Etsy buyers apart from eBay buyers.

Etsy: Customer base

While it has grown for years, Etsy is still a smaller marketplace than eBay. According to Statista, there are over 39.4 million active Etsy sellers from 2012 to 2021 worldwide.

Generally, Etsy’s major buyers are seeking the unique and one-of-a-kind from a product that can’t be found on any other site. They are usually looking for a product for personal use or to add to their collection.

eBay: Customer base

Up to now, there’re 187 million buyers and over 20 million sellers on the eBay marketplace globally. When it comes to the customer base, they are regularly looking for general products that may be found at a reasonable price in comparison to other marketplaces.

The verdict:
If you have a really narrow niche that you can easily target with the correct product, Etsy is where you’ll most likely discover your type of buyer. On the other hand, eBay is a good fit if you want to sell in bigger market niches.


#3 – Ease of selling

The first question that might pop out your mind is “Which one of them is more user-friendly?”. At this part, we will help you figure out which marketplace is easier to manage and sell on.

Etsy: Ease of selling

With Etsy, you can open your own Etsy shop with ease, but becoming successful is not always as easy as it seems.

First of all, signing up for an Etsy seller account is pretty straightforward. To begin, you need to enter your store name and upload a few products – 10 is a nice number to start selling on Etsy, but you can just start with a handful.

Note: Don’t too stress on choosing the best name right at first, Etsy allows you to change your shop name up to 5 times after opening your store. 

After registering a selling account, Etsy will walk you through everything you should include in your listing:

Etsy Guideline
Etsy Guideline
Getting Started on Etsy
Getting Started on Etsy

You can then provide your consumers with invoicing and payment options.

Etsy Payments
Etsy Payments

You can also interact with other sellers by participating in the forums. There, you may obtain their Seller Handbook, which is a comprehensive and helpful instruction for newcomers.

Etsy's seller handbook
Etsy’s seller handbook

Furthermore, there are several strategies to “level up” to attract more customers. Sellers with a good reputation can join Etsy Plus to get extra benefits including free listing credits, Etsy Ad credits, custom web address discounts, and more comprehensive store customization.

If you want to be a successful Etsy seller, consider the following suggestions:
  • Increase your activity and creativity.
  • Raise the number of product combinations.
  • Make use of appropriate and targeted keywords in the title and description.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of both Copyright and Trademark laws.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing by including more special identities.
  • Add more keywords and links that are relevant.
  • Remember to utilize the image alt tags.

eBay: Ease of selling

Similar to Etsy, becoming an eBay seller is simple using Seller Hub. Plus, it gives you step-by-step instructions on how to get started, as well as some suggestions to promote your products (like free listings).

Getting Started on eBay
Getting Started on eBay

After creating your account, you will have 2 possibilities to choose from:

  • Individual account (also known as Personal account)
  • Accountant in Business (also known as Business account)

Depending on your business size, you can choose your suitable account type to sell on eBay. If you want to sell on eBay full-time, deal in large volume transactions, or resale things, a business account is what you’re looking for.

For more information about Personal account and Business account, check out our detailed comparison between these 2 types to find your best answer.

Once you’ve done, you’ll be able to get an overview of your selling page which shows you all of the products you’re currently selling:

eBay's selling overview
eBay’s selling overview

What’s amazing about eBay is that you can look for similar products to use as a starting point for your listing. This can save you a lot of time filling out data like size, color, and so on. Furthermore, you can also create your own listing templates if you have a wide range of listings to get through.

The fact is that eBay isn’t the most visually appealing marketplace. It’s a little bit cumbersome and it’s not always clear where important features are located (for example, the ability to build templates).

Create product page on eBay
Create product page on eBay

You should bear in mind that standing out on eBay can also be challenging. Focusing all of your efforts on customer experience is the best thing you can do at this time.

Just like Etsy, here are some selling tips you can consider while using eBay:
  • Find the right products to sell for a reasonable price.
  • Spend time crafting descriptive names and descriptions.
  • Create high-resolution item images.
  • Make sure your shipping items are well-packaged.

The verdict:
 It’s obvious that selling online on Etsy is much more straightforward and it’s faster to list products on this marketplace than on eBay. You can take Etsy into account when your store is all about hand-made or unique items.


#4 – Selling fees

At first glance, eBay appears to be more appealing to newbies because it offers up to 250 free listings. Etsy might not offer such a warm welcome, but its fees are more predictable than eBay’s. Let’s have a closer look at Etsy fees vs eBay fees.

Etsy fees calculator

Since eBay is much larger when compared to Etsy, you might raise the question “is Etsy cheaper than eBay?”. To answer this question, let’s look at the fees on Etsy, they are quite clear and comprehensive.

The total cost of an Etsy store
The total cost of an Etsy store

There are 3 selling fees that the store owners must pay:

    • Listing fee: Whether your item sells or not, publishing a listing on Etsy costs 20 cents; you must pay a $0.20 listing fee which expires after 4 months.
  • Transaction fee: Etsy charges a 6.5% transaction fee on each item sold (including the shipping price you set).
  • Payment processing fees: It obviously depends on your country, however in the US and Australia, Etsy charges 3% + $0.25 for each transaction.

(*) In terms of sell on Etsy fees, there’s no monthly or yearly plan to sell on this marketplace.

With Etsy fees in advertising, Etsy Ads are used for displaying your product advertisements across Etsy. Etsy sellers can create their own Ads campaign and budget. The default daily ad budget on Etsy is just $1. Whenever the ads are clicked, the merchants will be charged. Etsy will apply this fee to the seller’s payment account the next day which means Etsy ads pay upfront with no guarantee that their ads will pay off.

Offsite Ads

Advertising fee

Participation

More than $10,000 USD in sales in a 12-month period

12%

Required

Less than $10,000 USD in sales in a 12-month period

15%

Recommended

Etsy also offers an offsite ad campaign, which allows your ads to show on a variety of social media channels as well as search engine results. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Bing

eBay fees calculator

When getting started with eBay, sellers must pay monthly or yearly. eBay fees can be paid regularly or in one-time purchases. Below are the costs of an eBay store subscription.

FEES ON EBAY

Insertion Fees

Final Value Fees

Listing Upgrades

Members can create up to 250 listings each month for free. Beyond that, the 'insertion fee' (or 'listing fee') for most categories is $0.35 per listing.

Also known as 'selling fees'. Once your item sells, you'll be charged a percentage of a item's total sale price. For most categories, the final value fee is 12.55% or lower plus a $0.30 transaction fee.

You've got the power to attract more buyers with optional upgrades like larger photos, more than 12 photos, tagging a single listing in more than one category, listig on other international eBay sites, and more.

Selling fees are divided into 2 categories: an insertion fee when you create product lists, and final value fees which are charged after your items sell. The amount eBay charges mostly depends on the item’s price, the format and category you choose for your listing, any optional listing upgrades you include, and also your sales conversion.

When it comes to advertising fees, the seller sets the ads rate on eBay based on a percentage of the item’s price. As a result, an eBay seller knows upfront how much it will cost to market and sell an item.

eBay advertisement - etsy vs ebay litcommerce
eBay’s advertisement

Compare Etsy Ads to eBay, it seems that eBay is a better option because the seller pays only when the item is up for sale on eBay. To be more specific, the eBay ad rate is charged when a customer clicks on a sponsored listing and buys it within 30 days. The cost is calculated using the current ad rate at the time of the first click.

Indeed, eBay offers many marketing tools directly on the platform, including:

  • Email marketing
  • Cross promotions
  • Promotion for similar items
  • Seller top picks
  • The ability to add branding materials such as your logo

Besides, eBay offers two types of advertising: brand advertisements and promoted listings. You can buy a massive ad banner for your entire brand if you have a sufficient budget. On the other hand, most merchants employ sponsored listings to get their products to the top of the list.

The verdict:
In terms of Etsy vs eBay fees, both marketplaces offer their users at the most affordable price, however, Etsy seems to be better because of its clear and comprehensive pricing plan. When it comes to advertising fees, eBay, on the other hand, equips itself with numerous marketing tools to help store owners expand their business.


#5 – Shipping

In the comparison of Etsy vs eBay, both marketplaces go out of their way to make shipping easy for sellers.

Etsy: Shipping calculator

It’s worth it to ship with Etsy. Because Etsy offers sellers subsidized postage labels, it’s less expensive than shipping directly with most carriers like USPS, FedEx, and Canada Post.

Notably, Etsy has its own set of tools and features that help sellers with shipping, such as calculated postage. The convenient shipment monitoring to give you peace of mind; the ability to build, update, and bulk edit delivery profiles to streamline sending; and customs form assistance to make crossing borders a breeze.

eBay: Shipping calculator

With eBay, there may be some pressure on retailers to provide free shipping. This is at your own expense, so you’ll have to adjust your listing pricing accordingly. No seller can afford free shipping. However, the good news is that postage for multiple purchases is free on eBay.

Furthermore, for those who are selling low-priced products on eBay, you might feel under more pressure! This marketplace is well-known for its competitive pricing, and users can use the searching button to find specific items.

eBay shipping - etsy vs ebay comparison
eBay shipping

By providing sellers with specific tools, eBay can make the shipping process easier. They include shipping labels that merchants can print at home. Moreover, this marketplace provides its users with an eBay shipping calculator to help them estimate the delivery costs among various shipping providers. On eBay, sellers can offer their customers a delivery discount, free shipping, or flat rate shipping.

eBay's managed delivery
eBay’s managed delivery

In 2020, eBay has finally launched Managed Delivery which allows e-merchants to fulfill orders more conveniently and swiftly. Plus, eBay has a Global Shipping Program which lets sellers ship purchased items to eBay drop shipping in Kentucky. Then, it will be in charge of taking care of any custom formalities and shipping the items to buyers all over the world. Because of that, this marketplace will be accountable for any delays in delivery.

The verdict:
In the end, this is a tie. Both platforms provide sellers with a variety of shipping tools and resources. Unfortunately, both marketplaces make it difficult to track orders.


#6 – Selling tools

Etsy vs eBay selling tools is one of the most decisive factors when it comes to choosing the marketplace. Both of them offer different tools that enhance your business in managing products, orders, inventory, and far more.

Sell on Etsy

Unfortunately, Etsy does not provide any tool to help you improve your selling process. However, Etsy has the advantage of being simple to use, and selling on this platform does not require an extensive understanding of the eCommerce industry. To be a successful seller on Etsy, learning and adapting Etsy SEO might be the best possible option to win out the search engines. It’s also possible to use a third party tool such as an Etsy scraper, which can help you discover new products to sell.

Furthermore, Etsy community forums allow merchants to actively encourage one another, provide advice, and share constructive criticism. The Etsy app allows merchants to manage their businesses while out and about for sellers on the go.

Sell on eBay

eBay may be a fiercely competitive marketplace. In fact, this marketplace encourages sellers to scale up, expand listings, and drive their business thrive. To assist them in doing so, eBay provides the professional tools which are meant to help sellers meet and exceed their objectives as shown below:

  • Seller Hub – Assists with the business and management optimization.
  • Selling Manager tool – Helps the vendors in managing, creating, and monitoring product listings.
  • Selling templates – This makes the process of listing single product or multiple items easier.
  • Promotions Manager – Helps to create promotions to the target potential customers.
  • Sales reports – Helps track your business, understand the main drivers of your sales, and guide key decision-makers.
  • The eBay App – Enables you to sell and work with eBay’s tools on the go with ease.

In a nutshell, eBay is a wonderful venue for skillful online merchants because of these selling tools.

The verdict:
When it comes to Etsy vs eBay marketplace, obviously, eBay takes one-point home thanks to its wide range of professional selling tools.


#7 – Customer Support

When it comes to Etsy vs eBay, you should take a closer look at how these marketplaces help you during the selling process. Both platforms feature help center pages if you’re new to selling and are having problems setting up your business or have general concerns about it.

Etsy: Customer support

Let’s start with Etsy’s seller support center. Their materials are rather simple; they cover issues such as handling orders, managing your business, payment FAQs, and typical inquiries about Etsy listing tool, and more.

Although Etsy offers well-defined customer service channels, several users have claimed that they take a long time to reply, particularly to support issues. You can speak with an expert by calling eBay’s tech support line.

eBay: Customer support 

Talking about customer service, eBay also has a comprehensive help center with information on selling fees, listing creation, refunds, shipping, selling tools, performance factors, and more. While eBay’s help center is quite basic, Etsy goes a step beyond its support center. They have instructions on how to manage your business during the COVID-19 outbreak, how to use simple stats, how to search on Etsy, and so much more.

As a matter of fact, many people have said that eBay’s customer care is superior to Etsy’s. eBay makes communication simple by providing a variety of communication options, including email, phone, live chat, and social media.

The verdict:
Talking about Etsy vs eBay customer service, both channels have a plethora of learning materials for users and customers to look for, such as a robust help center. However, Etsy’s users in support forms have reported problems sending support cases. And that’s why eBay obviously takes the upper hand.


Etsy vs eBay – FAQs

  • Who pays for shipping on Etsy?

In most cases, buyers are the one who pay for the shipping as the shipping costs are added on the price of the product. Moreover, most Etsy shops charge an extra, separate shipping fee on top of the product price.

  • How can I lower my Etsy fees?

There are so many ways to reduce the Etsy fees, however, it’s important to understand that you cannot attempt to avoid Etsy fees; that’s prohibited by Etsy and will likely get your shop suspended or shut down:

– Lower shipping fees
– Reduce shipping countries
– List prices in your banking currency
– Reduce listings
– Turn off auto-renew function
– Limit unique items
– Use variations
– Create bundle listings

  • Does eBay take a percentage of shipping?

eBay actually doesn’t charge any fees related to purchasing postage from them. The final value fee on shipping is based on what the buyer pays, so if sellers offer free shipping, then the fee is zero.

  • Does eBay always take 10%?

eBay takes a percentage on almost all sales, ranging from 1.5% to 15%. eBay’s final value fees are often the largest single cost for sellers. This is a percentage of the amount actually charged to the customer. This includes the item price, the shipping cost, and any sales tax.


Final Words: Is it better to sell on eBay or Etsy?

To sum up, the comparison of Etsy vs eBay has come to an end. Both are impressive online marketplaces that could be beneficial for your business.

While eBay suits the needs of growing business for any seller thanks to its massive reach and vast diversity of inventory; Etsy is a perfect option if you’re having a small business that sells handcrafted, creative, artistic, or unique products. Therefore, it all depends on what you want to sell and who your potential customers are.

Etsy vs eBay comparison only helps you choose the marketplace you want to integrate. In the long run, every merchant can sell their products on both or beyond these marketplaces with the help of multichannel selling.

This can be a daunting task to go through initially, but LitCommerce is proud to be your companion. With only 4 simple steps and no technical skill required, you can easily list products and sell on top global marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and far more. Especially, we offer state-of-the-art integration solutions at the most reasonable price or even free forever.

Why wait any further? Contact us to get the ticket to expand your business effectively with LitCommerce.

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