Etsy vs eBay: Which Marketplace is Right for You?

Updated: January 01, 2021


Etsy vs eBay: Which Marketplace is Right for You?

As you already know, both eBay and Etsy are the two most notable online marketplaces all over the world. Whether you want to start your business or look for a side hustle, selling online items is one of the most effective ways to earn more profits.

Currently, sellers can have so many platforms to choose from and start selling their products. Both eBay and Etsy are the most common choices. You can get your photos uploaded and sell them to the rest of the world. By the way, both marketplaces provide their users with powerful features.

In this article, you will be shown Etsy vs eBay: Which Marketplace is Right for You?

Tables of contents:

What is Etsy?

Esty is widely known as a global marketplace for any creative and unique products. It is home to various goods, ranging from handcrafted items to vintage treasures. Generally, most items sold on Etsy consist of jewelry, clothing, vintage, furniture, home decoration, furniture, and craft supplies and tools. Besides, Esty is also a vibrant community of real people who want to connect on special items. This platform enables sellers to do whatever they fall in love with and helps buyers find what they need.

In case you are a creative person in creating those handmade items, then Etsy is one of the best platforms for you. However, if you do not sell any item, Etsy might not be for you.

What is Etsy?
What is Etsy?

What is eBay?

For anyone who does not know, eBay is an online shopping marketplace that is famous for its auctions and consumer to consumer sales. It is well-known for different online merchants to take advantage of it as a sales channel. As you can see, eBay is also available for various countries. With eBay, you can sell everything if it is new or second-hand products. eBay can be the best for you if you are also searching for platforms you are likely to sell lots of items if they are new or used.

What is eBay?
What is eBay?

Etsy vs eBay: Which platform is the best for sellers?

Etsy and eBay are among the most common online marketplaces. Each one will confer its own benefits and drawbacks to any seller.

Customer Base and Statistics

While eBay is one of the best online platforms with both new and used things being sold to the majority of American customers every day based, Etsy is smaller where American buyers can purchase unique, handmade, and items with creation.


Although Etsy has a smaller scale than eBay, it can attract approximately 45.7 million buyers. In case you try to get your customers who appreciate the quality of products targeted and seek artisanal items, this might be the best marketplace for you. Etsy is a perfect place to help you start with building a shop and set up your loyal customer bases. Should you target the U.S customers, then Etsy can significantly support you with 34 percent of consumption from outside the U.S. Besides, there is a fact that many well-done sellers have already successfully turned their own Etsy shops into their full-time jobs.


Unlike Etsy, eBay is the second biggest market in the U.S. It owns 183 million customers in 2020 and has over 70 percent of American customers. Other customers from different countries are not big. What you want to opt for selling on eBay can decide your success here. For example, the platform of electronics and Accessories category is known as the top seller, along with electronics products with Bluetooth capabilities selling the best.

Etsy vs eBay: Which platform is the best for sellers?
Etsy vs eBay: Which platform is the best for sellers?

Seller Fees

Regarding Seller fees, eBay can invite new sellers since it gives them a maximum of 50 free listing monthly. On the comparison, Etsy does not go this way; however, its fees can be easily predicted than eBay’s fees. Etsy asks for listing fees, but those fees are more standardized than eBay. You can use both of them to set up online stores, and generally, Etsy stores are cheaper than eBay’s ones.


Sellers on eBay have to pay their fees monthly or annually. As you can see, those fees can be different from the seller to seller and it also relies on the kind of listings they officially announced, the number of items they are selling, or advanced listings they are purchasing.

Fees on eBay can be automatically paid or through one-time payments. If you are not a new seller and already have your own eBay store, your fees can vary. The following is the fees of the eBay store shown below:

  • Monthly fees:

Basic plan: USD19.95 Premium plan: USD 59.95 Anchor plan: USD299.95

  • Annual fees:

Basic plan: USD24.95 Premium plan: USD74.95 Anchor plan: USD349.95


Fees on Etsy are much better and easily recognized than fees on eBay. As you might not know, listing renewal fees can be priced at USD0.20 for each product. Etsy’s listings can expire after using four months. After that, listings can be automatically renewed in case of termination via manual one. With listed products, you will be charged no extra listing fees, and sellers incur without any listing fees for Pattern-only listings.

On the contrary, pattern-only listings do not expire. Then sellers will not be charged editing listings. As listings are sold, sellers can incur transaction fees minus from Seller’s balance. The payment process fees for online sales only apply if you take advantage of Etsy payments. Sellers might incur the fees of payment currency converter to convert from USD. If you are using Etsy pattern, your site will be free for the first month with an addition of USD15 per month of subscription fees, which is less expensive than eBay’s fees.

Etsy vs eBay: Which platform is the best for sellers?
Etsy vs eBay: Which platform is the best for sellers?

Seller Experience

Both Etsy and eBay bring different seller experiences on tools, performance, and so many more. You can see the differences shown below in details:

Performance on eBay:

Seller performance on eBay is worth trying. It means if you put more effort into eBay, it will give you awards. Generally speaking, eBay stimulates Sellers to make a customer experience and generate more sales to exchange eBay’s stamp of approval. Those levels will act as a badge to help sellers grab attention from the audience, which turns it into a good chance to make more sales and conversion. The level of sellers will inform buyers that buying from this seller will be safe and affordable.

If you want to be a Top-rated Seller, you will have to own an eBay account first activated for a minimum of 90 days. Besides, you are requested to include a minimum of 100 transactions, along with USD 1,000 in sales with U.S customers or global ones for the past one year. Also, complying with eBay’s policy and transaction defect rate or cases without the seller’s resolution and late delivery are also other vital factors.

Performance on Etsy:

Unlike eBay, Etsy is much more suitable for small businesses. You can see that the community vibe on eBay is not as relaxed as that on Etsy. Etsy allows sellers to heal each other and provides them with practical experience on how to sell through Etsy Seller Handbook. Furthermore, Etsy can give its sellers to support each other, offer critiques, and share advice.

Seller tools on eBay:

Regarding seller tools, eBay properly becomes a more competitive marketplace. Sellers are allowed to get their listings extended and scaled up.

Etsy vs eBay: Which platform is the best for sellers?
Etsy vs eBay: Which platform is the best for sellers?


Shipping is now much easier with both eBay and Etsy. However, you should remember that eBay can make you feel obligated to provide the customers with free shipping to compete with others. Etsy and eBay give its sellers effective shipping methods to help manage the delivery with ease.

Shipping on eBay:

With eBay, it might exist some pressure on vendors to ask them to give free shipping. This is up to your own expense; hence, you have to settle it to your listing pricing. No seller can bear free shipping; however, shipping for lots of purchasing is free on eBay.

In addition, you might fee more pressure to sell low-priced products located on eBay. This platform is famous for its competitiveness for low prices, then users can use the searching tab to find targeted results. eBay can turn the shipping process simpler by offering sellers with specific tools. They add shipping labels that sellers can get them printed at home. Moreover, eBay gives its sellers a shipping calculator to support the estimation of shipping through different shipping providers. Sellers on eBay are allowed to propose their buyer’s shipping discount, free shipping, or flat rates.

Shipping on Etsy:

Etsy brings to you that it is much cheaper than direct delivery with some carriers since this platform can provide you with discounted postage labels.

Additionally, Etsy can give its useful tools to make shipping easiest for sellers. Etsy enables you to track, credit, and edit delivery profile to make use of automatic shipping. With custom form supports from Etsy, you will see that everything is not so complicated as you thought.

Etsy vs eBay: Which platform is the best for sellers?
Etsy vs eBay: Which platform is the best for sellers?

Ease of selling

If you care about whether selling on eBay or Etsy is easy, you should not miss out on this part. Don’t go anywhere since it is much helpful for all of you.


With Etsy, you can open your own Etsy shop without difficulties, but becoming successful is not always easy. There is currently a thought that the more sellers add to listings, the more chances people can buy. However, it is not as simple as you expect because your products must be promoted. Promoting a product on Etsy is imperative to increase sales as it is tough to find out on this platform.

Selling on Etsy can become easier if you intend to sell some special or unique handmade goods. Ranking on eBays is challenging, but if you know SEO, it is much easier to follow accordingly.

Should you want to be a successful seller on Etsy, you can refer to some of the tips below:

  • Be more active and creative
  • Generate more product combinations
  • Make use of correct and targeted keywords in the title and description
  • Have a better understanding of copyright as well as Trademark Laws
  • Add more special identifiers and stay away from keyword stuffing
  • Insert more relevant keywords and links
  • Don’t forget to use image alt tags


When it comes to selling on eBay, it will become more challenging in case you do not have budgets for promotions and marketing that eBay provides its sellers with preference to excellent sellers. Marketing your own items is not compulsory but if you know how to get them promoted, this is ideal.

Here are some of the selling tips that you can follow on eBay:

  • Find out the correct items to sell at an affordable price
  • Spend time writing good descriptions and titles
  • Generate high-quality item images
  • Prepare for good packing for shipping items
Etsy vs eBay: Which platform is the best for sellers?
Etsy vs eBay: Which platform is the best for sellers?

Pros and Cons of Etsy and eBay

Pros and cons of Etsy

Pros of Etsy

  • Buyers find it hard to be discovered
  • Etsy’s use is simple
  • Etsy owns built-in analytics tools to get your customers tracked.
  • You are able to generate a listing in a few minutes since listing an item is not hard to perform.
  • You can set up your store without any limitations and get started perfectly.
  • Etsy leaves you no worries about building up a site and a product page.
  • Etsy’s buyers don’t have to worry about paying more for an item.
  • Etsy provides you with cheaper options with listing and selling fees. In case you do not need warehousing, Etsy is more affordable and suitable.

Cons of Etsy

  • You are unable to sell almost things, which means that your items have to be handmade and unique.
  • Lots of competitors who list a similar kind of oversaturated items.
  • On Etsy, all shops can look alike; hence, setting up an exclusive brand might become difficult.
  • There exist unlimited sellers who sell the same things as you. Buyers can get confused since multiple shops are the same.
  • Emails on customers’ lists cannot be created, and you might have to cope with copycats that replicate your work as your brand develops. But you can have the right to report them.

Pros and cons of eBay

For any business for more than two decades with website traffic to turn into billions of users, eBay is such an interesting marketplace to take into consideration.

Pros of eBay

  • Customers can discover what they need with ease. It is much simpler than on Etsy
  • This platform, with its library, enables its users to sell everything.
  • eBay can provide you with promising customers and audiences.
  • You will save some fees when staring at eBay.
  • eBay is suitable for Auctions as well as used products.
  • eBay gives you Buy It Now selections and auctions for different sellers.

Cons of eBay

  • The fees on eBay are higher than on Etsy.
  • eBay is an ideal and competitive marketplace for some kinds of stores, such as shoes, electronics, and many more.
  • That an item is listed up is not as easy as that on Etsy.
  • eBay is taking lots of time.

How to choose the best platform for you?

What you have to prioritize when considering which platform is suitable for your business is a profitable niche. It means you must try to find out what niche you will dig into and gives you the best results.

Take note that there are some niches that you cannot sell on eBay or on Etsy. And here are the details:

Restricted products on Etsy:

  • 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

Restricted products on eBay:

  • Adult items
  • Animals and wildlife items
  • Cultural heritage, grave-related items, and artifacts
  • Coupons, chance listings, credit and debit cards
  • Autographed items
  • Test pipes and catalytic converter
  • Digitally delivered items
  • Event ticket, foods, and gift cards
  • Drug paraphernalia and drugs
  • Promoting illegal activities
  • Weapons, knives, and firearms
  • Electronic devices
  • Government documents, licenses, IDs
  • Human remains and body parts
  • Police-related products
  • Real Estate
  • Slot machines
  • Stamps, coins, and currency
  • Medical drugs and healthcare
  • Selling art
  • Stock and securities
  • Lock picking devices
  • Personal information and mailing lists
  • Personal service and relationships
  • Product safety
  • Used cosmetics and clothing
  • Travel

After that, you can figure out items that can match your audience’s niche. When you already have products, niches, and audience, you also understand the marketplace in which you can easily find the best customers for your items.

You also take note that both Etsy and eBay have their kinds of buyers. By the way, you also need to understand some factors to choose from, which is the best marketplace for your business. For example, they usually search for something unique and creative with Etsy buyers that cannot be easily found on other platforms with large quantities. Those buyers sometimes look for items for their use and simply add them to their collection.

By contrast, eBay buyers are looking for general items they can easily find at affordable prices compared to other marketplace platforms. Hence, if you have a specific niche, you can find it easy to target with the right choice, you might want to go for Etsy.

How to choose the best platform for you?
How to choose the best platform for you?

Read more:


Which one will you choose to sell? eBay and Etsy are known as excellent online market places and you can make use of it for your business. It relies on what you tend to sell and who are your potential customers. We hope that our article on Etsy vs eBay: Which Marketplace is Right for You?, you can easily find a market platform to go along with. While eBay works well for any sellers because if its massive reach and big inventory, Etsy is suitable for smaller businesses that can sell creative, handmade, artistic, and vintage items.

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