eCommerce Tips & Trends

Etsy vs eBay - Understanding the differences

Need to decide whether to sell your items on eBay or Etsy? We give you the rundown between Etsy vs eBay so you can choose the right marketplace for your online business.
Etsy vs eBay - Understanding the differences

By Jules


November 12, 2018

Online marketplaces have significantly changed the way consumers participate in retail.

However, if you interested in starting an online business through a marketplace, you must go in with the mindset that the competition will be fierce, with thousands of other sellers who are competing for their share. Therefore,  it's important that you choose the right marketplace based on what you want to sell.

How do I choose the right online marketplace for my products?

First, research and understand what works for your target audience. Then, consider the type of products you are offering. Some marketplaces are better suited for certain types of products and as such, the buyers may differ from your target audience.

eBay and Etsy are two marketplaces that are appealing when it comes to starting an eCommerce business. According to a poll carried out by manta, approximately 70% of small business owners confirmed that their businesses experienced increased sales using the online marketplaces, while about 30% reported negative impact in online selling of their products. It's possible that those who had a negative experience were not in the right marketplace to begin with.

Etsy and eBay: What do they sell?

Before you choose to sell on Etsy vs eBay, consider what each platform specializes in.

What Etsy sells

If you are into handmade items, then Etsy is definitely the place for your products. Being very boutique in design, this marketplace is the perfect spot for those creative designers who are passionate about designing and selling unique products.

It's also a great platform for sales of craft supplies. Add in fashion accessories and interior décor items, and there will be a space at Etsy for you.

Another unique feature of Etsy is that thrives on selling vintage items, especially those that are over 20 years old. As long as your offerings meet the marketplace requirements, you have a shot at generating significant sales.

What eBay sells

While Etsy is about unique and original products, eBay has a different goal altogether. If you are looking towards offering a variety of items, from antiques and gently used items to brand new items, then eBay is the place for your business. eBay is more about mass produced items and good bargains, which can make it highly competitive. So, if your target audience is made up of those who are interested in getting a good deal, check out eBay.

Now you can see that it is not every item that can be sold on Etsy but on eBay, you can find almost everything, both new and second hand.

How good are these marketplaces?

When it comes to selling on Etsy or selling on eBay, both are great marketplaces as long as you are selling the right type of products. Another factor that can determine if the marketplace is good for your business is how you price your products. If you plan on selling higher quality items, consider selling on Etsy as eBay is all about lower prices.

However, if you're looking to sell an item off as quickly as possible, eBay is the marketplace for you.

The pros and cons of Etsy

The pros:

  • Large marketplace with approximately 40 million active buyers who are specifically on the search for unique handmade products.
  • Profit margins can be good as items can sell for higher prices
  • Brands are easy to set up
  • A variety of payment options are available
  • Good availability of forums to get help immediately, or to feel part of the community
  • Great customer service

The cons:

  • Possibility of having copycats replicate your items, making the pricing very competitive
  • Requires more time and resources as separate listings need to be created for each product
  • Fees are higher compared to selling directly from your own website

The pros and cons of eBay

The pros:

  • Easier and less time consuming to create product listings as listings can be duplicated
  • Larger marketplace with over 150 million active users
  • Enjoy a more global audience
  • Increased popularity for your products

The cons:

  • Expensive sales charge - they charge a 10% fee for each transaction, which can add up
  • Unreliability of some buyers
  • Unfavorable dispute resolutions

Consider the following when choosing between Etsy and eBay

Before you make the final decision to sell products on Etsy or eBay, you need to have a clearer understanding of how much it will cost you in terms of listing, re-listing, and final sales commission.

Etsy fees (as of November 2018)

  • Etsy charges 20 cents for each listing, which expires after 4 months.
  • An additional 20 cents is charged for re-listing of sold or expired items.
  • There are no costs attached to uploading of images of the listed items
  • 3.5% transaction fee applies to every sale made on Etsy

eBay fees (as of November 2018)

  • eBay offers its users fee-free listings for the first 50 listings and afterwards, it charges 30 cents per listing
  • There are no charges for the uploaded pictures
  • eBay charges 10% fees on each transaction


As far as selling your items in an online marketplace, eCommerce store owners can gain a lot from selling on Etsy and eBay.

To be successful, you need to ensure that you follow the basic rules of the marketplace - that you are selling items that qualify, especially for Etsy.

And, if you need assistance with shipping your eBay or Etsy items, consider using Easyship! Our platform offers discounted shipping rates to ensure you can remain competitive when it comes to delivery.

Learn how to connect your Etsy or eBay store by heading to our Support Center!