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eBay vs Etsy: What Sellers Should Know Before Opening a Shop

Both eBay and Etsy are great places to start selling online because they’re affordable and well-known, but which is better? If you have to choose between eBay vs Etsy, what’s the right call? 

This breakdown will give you everything you need to know before you sign up for a storefront. 

Let’s get started!

At a Glance: Differences Between eBay vs Etsy Sellers

Which is right for you: Etsy vs eBay? It really depends on what you’re going to be selling. 

Handmade Items: Etsy Sellers

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Etsy specializes in a very niche market: primarily handmade items. If you have jewelry, printables, craft patterns, prints, or anything else you create with your own two hands, then Etsy is the place you should consider setting up shop. They were designed to sell handmade goods, and people come here when they want a one-of-a-kind item. 

New, Used, or Antique Items: eBay Sellers

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eBay offers one of the best opportunities to sell items that haven’t been handmade. They specialize in both new and used products, with the greatest sales seen in electronics and gadgets, followed by clothing and accessories. They can be a great place to search for antique or vintage items as well. 

eBay vs Etsy: Audience and Market

eBay offers a robust platform that reaches a global audience. They boast 135 million users

 around the world who have bought something in the last calendar year. Much like Etsy, it is dominated primarily by the United States and United Kingdom for sellers. 

More than half of the top sellers have been around for at least ten years, so this should be proof that there is plenty of sticking power here.

Etsy has a slightly lower reach than eBay does, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore what it has to offer. They have a growing customer base of roughly 90 million people who make a purchase each year. The vast majority of Etsy users (86%) are female, and this traffic comes primarily from the US, followed by the UK. 

Financial Aspects of eBay vs Etsy

Before you dive in, you should know what the eBay and Etsy fees will cost you. Here is what you need to know about what sellers pay for the privilege of using these platforms. 

Startup Costs

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If you’re serious about starting a business, you need to know what you can expect to shell out upfront. Both eBay and Etsy are great low-cost options for anyone who is thinking about selling items on a tight budget. 

eBay sellers can get started with a store subscription with a $4.95 monthly fee (billed annually). You get 250 fixed-price listings, which should be enough to get you started. You can still use promoted listings (more on this soon) with this base rate. Upgrading gets you more fixed-price listings and access to perks like dedicated customer support. 

On the other hand, anyone who wants to sell handmade items might want to consider Etsy instead. It is free to get your shop started, and you will pay only for each listing. While this could be more expensive than eBay, depending on how many items you sell, it’s great for anyone who doesn’t want to be locked into a year-long commitment. 

Seller Fees

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What are the seller fees for Etsy vs eBay? These fees can seriously eat into your profit and should be considered when setting the price for items you want to sell. 

The eBay selling fees are a little higher than you might expect from other online platforms. Each month, you can list up to 250 listings (more if you have an eBay store subscription, depending on your plan). After these zero insertion listing fees have been exhausted, the eBay fees vary depending on category. 

For most products, you will be charged 13.25% up to $7,500 and a $0.30 per order fee. For the full breakdown of categories and percentages, see their chart here

Etsy selling fees are a little more straightforward: they charge $0.20 per listing with no fees for editing the listing later. Listings expire in four months or upon making a sale, when they will need to be renewed at the same rate. Other Etsy fees include transaction fees of 6.5% of the display price, including shipping and any gift wrapping. 

Payments Accepted

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Both eBay and Etsy are ahead of their times, offering multiple ways for your customers to pay for their new purchases. Let’s take a look at eBay first. 

eBay payment methods include all of the following payment options:

  • Credit and debit card
  • Apple or Google Pay
  • PayPal
  • Checks
  • Money orders
  • Wire transfers

Etsy offers many of the same, including credit or debit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal. However, they also offer Klarna, iDEAL bank transfers, Sofort bank transfers, and Etsy gift cards or credits. Sellers might choose not to offer all payment methods or to pick and choose which ones are best suited to their business account. 

Shipping Costs

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For those who will be selling goods on eBay, you will find their eBay shipping calculator to be a great asset to you when it comes to getting your packages ready. They predict your shipping costs directly from the eBay Seller Hub so that you can mark prices accordingly. 

From here, you can print premade shipping labels to affix to your packages, benefitting from their discounted shipping rates. 

Etsy allows you to send your products with their shipping labels, which are often less expensive than you would get by going to the post office, FedEx, or UPS on your own. All you need are your package weight, dimensions, and type to get a label from the convenience of your home office. 

Marketing Your Etsy or eBay Store

With some of the basics out of the way, here is what you need to know about how Etsy vs eBay compare on the marketing front. Which platform puts your brand in front of more people? 

Site Customization

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When it comes to site customization, Etsy wins the day with its free ability to make your storefront look exactly the way you want it to look. From your Etsy seller dashboard, you can upload your logo and name of your store. You can also set a single image or a carousel of images to display when someone visits your page. 

eBay also allows for some customization, but you will pay for the right to access this feature. A Starter store with an eBay store subscription will cost you $4.95 per month, with prices rising from there depending on how many listings you have in your storefront. 

Advertising and Sponsored Listing Fees

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Want to boost your sales but aren’t sure how much money you can afford to invest in advertising? 

eBay ads are a great option for your marketing because its promoted listings only require you to pay when you close a sale. Even if they put your product in front of someone, you don’t pay a dime upfront until a sale is officially on the table. 

You get high visibility from these listings because eBay wants to make a sale. After all, it’s how they get paid. Prices depend on the maximum percentage of the sale price you are willing to spend (which means there are no one-size-fits-all answers here). 

Etsy advertisements will cost you on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis and are based on an auction system. They are targeted to the user using four distinct categories:

  • Relevance
  • Listing quality
  • Bids
  • Likelihood of views or sales

Analytics 

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Who wins when it comes to the analytics you can see from your dashboard: Etsy vs eBay? Ultimately, it depends on what you want to see from your eBay or Etsy store. Both platforms have their own unique analytics systems that give you insight into sales. 

First up, let’s look at eBay’s analytics. From the eBay seller hub, you can track the performance of your storefront. You can see how your product listings compare to the bestselling product list and use this to conduct future research for other investments. They even have built-in research tools, but you can also use ZIK Analytics (more on this in a minute).

Etsy sellers can benefit from more in-depth research into how their store is faring. From your Etsy seller account, you can quickly see traffic sources, conversion rates, and even how much money you earned from sales in any given period. In other words, it tracks your current progress and sales rather than helping you look to the future as eBay does. 

Integrations

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Many sellers on both Etsy and eBay want to use their seller profiles with other programs. Fortunately, both come with available integrations that can make your selling seamless. 

eBay offers a more robust set of integrations with popular options, including Woocommerce and Shopify. Other tools allow sellers to list their products on their own website or via a mobile app if they want to spread out their potential of being found in the online marketplace. Other integrations include Wix and BigCommerce

On the other hand, Etsy sellers also have some integrations at their fingertips. Common programs that can integrate into your Etsy shop include QuickBooks, social media, and even some fulfillment programs such as ShipRush. Even Printful can be used with an Etsy storefront for print-on-demand services. 

Other Help with Marketing

You may also want to consider what tools and courses could prove helpful for your Etsy store. Alura is a great way to tap into your marketing data to boost sales and sell more products. It helps with all stages of the research process, from keyword research to optimizing your listing. You can even use it to spy on your competition and research top performers in your niche. 

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If you need more help with setting up an Etsy shop, you may consider this Etsy Masterclass. It walks you through everything you need to know at the beginning from someone who has been there and done that already. Learn SEO and start ranking on the Etsy platform faster. 

eBay also has a few tools that you can tap into if you want to become a successful seller. ZIK Analytics is a great tool, helping you to conduct product and competitor research, as well as helping with the dropshipping process. 

Customer Support: Etsy vs eBay

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Both Etsy and eBay have extensive knowledge bases for sellers to get their most common questions answered from the outset. The eBay database for sellers gives you everything you need to get started without ever picking up the phone or sending an email through the Seller Center.

Etsy allows you to choose what level of support you need: chat, phone, or email. You can also view their articles on getting your Etsy store set up at the bottom of this page. They may answer your questions without having to reach out to support. 

In the end, both platforms have a robust and responsive customer support team that can help you make more sales and resolve issues quickly and efficiently. 

Shop Ratings for Etsy Sellers and eBay Sellers

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How do buyers know that your store is the right fit for them? Most will look at your shop ratings as a form of social proof that your store delivers on its promises. The rating system is slightly different for each of these leading platforms. 

An eBay seller is rated based on transaction defect rate; cases closed without resolution, late shipments, and even tracking of the order. In other words, your performance as a seller is extremely important in the grand scheme of things. If you want to be seen as trustworthy, you need to put in the effort to get it right. 

Etsy is more focused on the actual product. Their seller rating is determined based on customer satisfaction with item quality, shipping, and customer service. 

Final Thoughts: Do You Need an Etsy Store or an eBay Store?

Both Etsy and eBay sellers can help you with starting an online store that truly competes with other sellers. Knowing what each platform specializes in and what you can expect to pay for listing fees, payment processing fees, and shipping labels can help you make the right choice. 

While some sellers use both platforms interchangeably, you should narrow down what you intend to sell to help you make the ideal decision. Armed with this information, you can start a successful store that meets your customers exactly where they are and harness the power of these reputable brands! 

Once you decide, be sure to see our other articles here: 

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