Compare Before Selling: Etsy vs. Ebay

Compare Before Selling: Etsy vs. Ebay

By camilaforero

Each of these e-commerce platforms, Etsy and eBay have advantages and disadvantages for sellers, you may know the platforms and have bought there at some time, but to sell is different, therefore we will see some categories where both platforms can be compared and you can choose the best.

Customer Base

The eBay platform is based more on customers located in the United States, with a wide variety of products with good prices and quality and sometimes even mass-produced. On the other hand, Etsy relies more on a smaller but global trade and offers handmade items or one-of-a-kind vintage items.


In 2020 the platform had around 81.9 million buyers and its potential customers value high quality handcrafted products, Etsy is a great place for your online store, with more than 40% of sales coming from active buyers who buy more at once. Likewise, Etsy’s customer base, despite being more global, is based more on buyers in the United States, it is also the fourth most visited US e-commerce website, after Amazon, Walmart and eBay.


eBay’s marketplace is much larger, and as of 2021 it was the second largest marketplace in the United States with 159 million customers worldwide. The products on this platform are more general, you can find second-hand, wholesale or new products and the categories that are most common on the platform are technology, cell phones, jewelry and clothing.


Both platforms offer you several shipping options, and the tools and resources vary depending on which one you decide to choose.


It is usually cheaper to ship with most carriers like USPS, FedEx and Canada Post and they also offer discounted postage labels. Some of the tools that this platform offers are such as being able to calculate the cost of the shipment; tracking the shipment to have more control; you can also have assistance with customs forms; and create, edit and bulk edit delivery profiles to automate the Shipping. One thing to keep in mind is that Etsy is not designed for dropshipping, which means you can’t resell handmade products.


About 71% of eBay sales are free shipping, which means you should consider this option in your budget as most sellers have this option, which can also put pressure on your business . The market on this platform is known for its low and competitive prices which can be a challenge considering also possible free shipping.

Among the tools eBay offers for shipping are shipping labels that you can use; be able to estimate the cost of shipping through various carriers; offer discounts; and also international shipments. Also the eBay platform allows you to send your products via dropshipping.

Seller fees

The two platforms allow you to create online stores, eBay has up to 50 free listings per month, however their rates can vary, on the other hand, Etsy does not have listings, but the rates are more defined.


Here are listing fees and listing renewal fees, keeping in mind that Etsy listings expire after four months and charges are $0.20 per item, listings automatically renew or can be manually terminated.

There are no listing fees for the items listed, in case you want to put listings on your Etsy Pattern shop which is a tool to personalize your website and these exclusive Pattern listings do not expire, also sellers are not charged for edit listings, and when they sell items they have a 5% per sale fee plus any shipping and gift wrap charges if applicable.

If you have a good reputation on the platform you can be chosen to have the Etsy Plus subscription, which helps you to have your own domain name and advanced customization tools, the subscription costs $10 USD/month and is also deducted monthly from the vendor balance. For the first 30 days using Etsy Pattern, it’s free, then the fee will be $15 USD/month.

Using Etsy Payments, fees vary depending on the location of the bank account, as well as currency conversion fees.


Fees on eBay vary depending on the number and type of listings you post, as well as the number of items you sell and advanced listings you purchase, and these fees can be paid automatically or through one-time payments.

The stores need a subscription and their monthly rates are as follows:

  • Basic plan costs $27.95
  • Premium plan costs $74.95
  • Anchor plan costs $349.95

Annually rates:

  • Basic plan costs $21.95
  • Premium plan costs $59.95
  • Anchor plan costs $299.95

You also have listing cost fees and per percentage of final sale per item, whether you have a subscription or not these fees vary, however if you have an eBay store you can have access to 200 zero insertion fees for your listings.

Advertising fees

Both platforms have different advertising rates, for example Etsy has Etsy Ads which is standard, similar to Google AdWords and Facebook. On the other hand, eBay is based on a percentage model and now has an external advertising program.


Here it is very similar to Facebook ads, based on a daily budget set by the seller, with a default minimum of $1.00. Depending on the clicks on the ads, it is charged, as well as the CPCs are calculated daily and paid in advance with no guarantee that the ads will be viable for the seller the next day.

Introduced Offsite Ads, which is a new advertising service on Etsy, Etsy users are charged 12% when they make a sale if the vendor earns more than $10,000 in 12 months, 15% if less. Also, please note that these listings are external and are promoted outside of the Etsy platform on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Bing.


The seller is the one who chooses the advertising rates on eBay and they are based on a percentage of the sale price of the item, therefore it is known exactly how much they will pay to advertise and sell the item. Listings are lower risk than classic Etsy listings as you only pay when the item is sold on eBay, likewise listings are charged per click no matter if they sell, also the fees are based on the advertising rate in effect at the time of the first click and are charged when a buyer clicks on a promoted listing and when the purchase is made within 30 days of the click.

Seller experience

The experience on both platforms is different depending on performance, tools and other factors, for example eBay is a more competitive platform and Etsy is more community based.

Performance: Etsy

Performance is less critical and not scrutinized as thoroughly by the platform, and by using Etsy Reviews you can get feedback on buyer experiences, which is very important. There is also a great community which allows you to have support from other vendors and useful criticism to put into practice; the platform encourages you to follow your company’s policies and gives guidance to sellers.

Performance: eBay

In this platform, with more hard work, you will have more rewards, since the performance is very important, the ideal is that the buyers have a great experience and have many sales to be able to have a seller level in the platform, which are like badges that let shoppers know they can trust your products and your online store, and there are levels like Top Rated and Above Standard.

Your account must be active for at least 90 days, with at least 100 transactions and over $1,000 in sales with global and/or US buyers in the last 12 months, in order to be a Top Rated Seller; it is also important to comply with eBay’s sales policies; and meet transaction defect rate requirements, whether it be late shipping rate or cases closed without seller resolution.

Seller tools: Etsy

Its focus is more for small businesses, it offers advice with the Etsy Seller Manual and allows sellers to support each other to grow through forums, also and very importantly, Etsy allows the seller to manage their business when they are away from their workplace or home.

Seller tools: eBay

It is a platform that allows businesses to grow, as well as being competitive and has tools for sellers such as Seller Hub, which helps improve and optimize business operations and increase sales; Selling Templates, which helps create high-quality listings quickly and easily through templates; The eBay App, where you can easily sell and work from anywhere; and Sales Reports, which allow you to have free reports to track your business.

Which will you choose?

Both platforms can benefit your business and be ideal, all depending on what you want to sell. On the one hand Etsy focuses more on small businesses with handmade, creative, artistic, unique and even vintage products, on the other hand with eBay it can work for any seller as it has a very diverse inventory.

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