Last Updated: September 6, 2020
So, you’ve been thinking about starting your own online business – that’s great!
Starting an online selling business is easy, but choosing the right platform isn’t easy.
The same goes for Etsy and eBay, and if you choose the wrong platform between either of these two well-known marketplaces, you will lose your money, and no one wants that, right.
Therefore, in this article, I’ll be comparing Etsy vs eBay based on:
- Selling on Etsy vs eBay
- Competitiveness: Which One Is Easier To Sell On?
- Pros And Cons: Etsy vs eBay
- Customer Base & Stats: Etsy vs eBay
- Etsy Fees vs. eBay Fees
- Things You Can’t Sell on eBay And Etsy
- Getting Started
- Getting Paid: How Do You Get Paid?
By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to make the best decision for you and your future business.
Here we go!
If you are serious about selling your stuff, whether on Etsy or eBay, please read this whole topic carefully because this information is crucial for you to know.
Are you ready?
Let’s talk about the difference in selling.
Etsy and eBay are different marketplaces from each other, and if you already decided what items you’re going to sell – that’s great because choosing between these two platforms becomes very easy.
For Whom Etsy Is?
Etsy is a global marketplace, especially for unique and creative goods.
Most of the items selling on Etsy include vintage, jewelry, clothing, art, furniture, home décor, toys, as well as craft supplies and tools.
Don’t know what to sell or want to know the best selling categories of Etsy? Read our post on “What To Sell On Etsy.”
If you are creative in making these handmade goods, then there is no other platform better than Etsy.
But, if you aren’t selling these types of items, then Etsy isn’t an option for you.
For Whom eBay is?
eBay is one of the world’s largest marketplace for buyers and sellers, where millions of people trade every day.
People can sell almost everything, whether it’s new or second-hand items, but it’s best known for its auctions and consumer to consumer sales.
After you come to know the difference of selling on Etsy and eBay, now it’s important to know the competitiveness on both platforms.
Therefore, now we will learn is selling on Etsy easier or eBay.
Is it easier to sell on Etsy?
Opening an Etsy shop is very easy, but making it a successful shop isn’t easy.
Many new sellers think that they just have to add listings, and people will buy from them.
But, the reality is, it’s not as simple as just listing your stuff, you must have to promote your goods.
Etsy Marketing & Promotions: Promoting your items is essential to get sales because it’s hard to be discovered on Etsy.
Yes, ranking on eBay is also not easy, but it is much easier than Etsy.
Etsy is great when your products are handmade, and you already have a following on social media or a blog.
Your audience must be related to the items in some way, and if they are then what are you waiting for, Etsy is waiting for you.
Tips to become a successful Etsy seller
- Create the Perfect Product Combination.
- Be Creative.
- Use the Right Keywords in your title and description.
- Understand copyright and Trademark Laws.
- Write easy to understand the description.
- Include unique identifiers.
- Avoid keyword stuffing.
- Include relevant links.
- Use image alt tags.
Is it easier to sell on eBay?
Yes, it is easy when you are a loyal seller because eBay generally gives preference to ‘good sellers’ and also follows their rules of selling.
eBay Marketing & Promotions: Marketing your products is not compulsory on eBay, but if you promote them, that’s well and good.
eBay is effortless than Etsy for ranking your products in the search results.
Some of the important tips for selling
- Find the right product to sell at a fair price on eBay
- Write a good title and description
- Create high-quality product photos
- The item you are going to ship must be in good packing
Some SEO tips to rank your products
- The better your conversions rate is with good reviews from your buyer, the more likely you’ll appear in the search result.
- If you’re using templates in your product descriptions, they must be mobile-friendly.
- Add keywords you want to rank for in the beginning and toward the end of your listing description.
- Your product description must be clear and informative.
- Add alt text to product images – it helps you to rank high on eBay and Google search results.
I recommend you to read their official article, which will help you to drive people to your eBay shop.
No platform is perfect (just like humans 😋), no matter which platform you choose, there’ll be some advantages and disadvantages, and you’ve to decide by yourself which one is a better fit for you.
So, these pros and cons will help you to make your decision on where you decide to sell.
Pros And Cons of Selling on Etsy
Here is the list of the most common pros and cons of Etsy.
- Getting discovered by buyers is hard.
- The ease of use is pretty simple.
- Etsy is a way cheaper marketplace than eBay for sellers.
- Listing up a product is easy; you can create a listing in just minutes.
- It has built-in analytics tools to track your sales visitors.
- It’s easy to set up your virtual store and get started.
- You don’t have to worry about setting up a website or a product page.
- The buyers on Etsy don’t tend to mind paying a little bit more for products.
- Starting a store on Etsy is so simple and easy.
- You can’t sell everything; your products must be unique & handmade.
- Every niche or category seems saturated; to succeed, you have to be patient.
- Getting discovered by customers isn’t easy.
- A lot of competitors listing the same type of oversaturated products.
- You may face copycats replicating your work when your brand grows, but you can report them.
Pros And Cons of Selling on eBay
Here is the list of the most common pros and cons of eBay.
- Getting discovered by customers can be easier than Etsy.
- eBay literary lets you sell almost anything.
- Great for Auctions and used items.
- It has a massive amount of potential customers.
- Instantaneously accept payments from customers all over the world because eBay is integrated with PayPal.
- It does not take a lot of money to get started on eBay.
- Unlike other popular e-commerce marketplace sites, eBay offers both auctions as well as Buy It Now options for sellers.
- The fees are quite high than Etsy.
- It’s getting very competitive with thrift stores like clothing, electronics or shoes, etc.
- Listing up a product isn’t easy as compared to Etsy.
- It has stringent policies that sort of lockout most drop shippers.
- eBay is very time-consuming; let’s say you are selling clothing; you have to clean your clothing, measure them, take quality pictures, shipping them as well as answering buyer’s questions, etc.
When selling online, it’s essential to know who your customers are and what expectations they have.
Let’s have a look at what differentiates Etsy shoppers from eBay.
- In 2018, almost 39.5 million buyers had purchased goods on Etsy.
- As of 2018, total sellers on Etsy are more than 2.1 million.
- Nearly 67% of visitors come from a mobile device.
- Etsy buyers mostly shop for unique creative items.
- Total generated revenues worth 603.7 million U.S. dollars in 2018.
- The majority of the customers come from the USA; only 34% of the customers are from worldwide.
- 10 million+ Installs on a mobile phone.
- eBay reached 182 million active buyers worldwide in the second quarter of 2019, representing a 4% growth year-over-year
- 476 million number of times, eBay app is downloaded across the globe on mobile
- In Q2 2019, $13.4 billion amount of sales volume completed on mobile devices
- eBay generated 61% of the revenue internationally
Check out eBay’s fast facts.
eBay is a clear winner in popularity, but Etsy is becoming popular and growing day-by-day, Need proof? Ok so, I searched both terms on Google Trends, and here are the results.
As you can over the past 5 years, eBay is trending down, and Etsy is trending up as time passes.
Which platform has more fees? Well, it depends on how many listings you want to add to your store.
Let’s talk about the difference in fees.
Etsy’s fees are pretty straightforward, and the good news for beginners is that joining and starting a shop on Etsy is free.
Read further on.
There are three necessary selling fees:
- Listing Fee – Publishing a listing on Etsy costs 20 cents whether your item sells or not; you have to pay a $0.20 listing fee, and it expires after four months.
- Transaction Fee – Etsy charges a 5% transaction fee of the item you sold (including the shipping price you set).
- Payment Processing Fees – It depends on your country, Etsy will charge a payment processing fee of 3% + $0.25 per transaction for the United States & Australia. (to know the costs of other countries read our post mentioned below)
These are the main fees of Etsy, and if you want to know about them in detail, check out our post on “Etsy Fees.”
Understanding eBay fees is a bit confusing, but don’t worry, I am going to explain it as simple as I can.
So, there are two main fees that you have to pay on eBay, and that’s the insertion fee and the final value fee.
The insertion fee is a small fee that you’re going to pay for every single listing you put up, while the final value fee is 10 percent of the total order amount.
One benefit of eBay is that they’ll give you 50 free listings every single month and 6 vehicle listings in a year.
If you exceed the limit, then you have to pay $0.35 per listing.
It’s great to save some money if you’re just starting, or even if you’re not selling many products every month.
Now, I am going to break down the different insertion fees:
So, if you have an auction for 1 to 10 days and it’s under $150, you have to pay a $0.10 insertion fee on every single item.
And, if you have a good ’til canceled listings under $150, you have to pay a $0.30 insertion fee.
|Item price of $150 or less||Good ‘Til Cancelled listings of $150 or less|
What if the product is worth over $150? eBay is going to double the insertion fee.
So, if you have an auction listed for $150, you have to pay a $0.20 on that while $0.60 for good ’til canceled listings.
|Item price over $150||Good ‘Til Cancelled listings over $150|
So that’s all you have to know about insertion fees.
Final Value Fee
The final value fee is a percentage (%) that eBay is going to take a right off the top whenever you sell something.
For most of the items eBay charges, 10% of the total price of item + 5% shipping up to 750 transactions but for some categories fees are different.
Look at the table below to know the fees of other categories.
PayPal is going to charge 2.9% of the total selling price + $0.30 per transaction.
That’s it; these are the main fees of eBay, and if you want to learn in detail, check out eBay’s official article about selling fees.
Total Fees (Summary): The total fees are roughly about 12.9% + $0.30 of the total selling price of an item.
There are some prohibited and restricted items you should know about to prevent your account from being banned.
Etsy restricted items are:
- Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs, Drug Paraphernalia, and Medical Drugs
- Animal Products and Human Remains
- Hazardous Materials, Recalled Items, and Weapons
- Items that Promote, Support, or Glorify Hatred
- Promoting Illegal Activity, and Highly Regulated Items
- Internationally Regulated Items
- Pornography and Mature Content
- Items that Promote, Support, or Glorify Violence
For more details, check out Mercari Prohibited Items list.
eBay restricted items are:
- Adult items
- Animals and wildlife products
- Artifacts, cultural heritage, and grave-related items
- Autographed items
- Catalytic converter and test pipes
- Chance listings
- Credit and debit cards
- Digitally delivered goods
- Drugs and drug paraphernalia
- Electrical and electronic equipment
- Event ticket
- Embargoed goods and prohibited countries
- Encouraging illegal activity
- Firearms, weapons, and knives
- Gift cards
- Government, transit, and shipping-related items
- Government documents, IDs and licenses
- Hazardous, restricted, or regulated materials
- Human remains and body parts
- Lock picking devices
- Mailing lists and personal information
- Medical drugs, devices, and healthcare
- Personal relationships and services
- Police-related items
- Real estate
- Product safety
- Slot machines
- Selling art
- Stamps, currency and coins
- Stocks and other securities
- Stolen property
- Used cosmetics
- Used clothing
For more details, click here.
No matter which platform you choose on the bases of your situations, the first step will be getting started.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” ― Mark Twain
So, here you are going to find the information you need to start your shop on Etsy and eBay.
Getting Started on Etsy
This guide is going to help you through the first steps of opening an Etsy shop and provide resources for further guidance along the way.
It’s easy to start selling on Etsy; you have to fill out some necessary information while creating your account and start adding listings to your store.
Once the process is complete, your next step will be promoting your products and after that, managing the store.
So, let’s get started:
Getting Started on eBay
Selling on eBay is a great way to earn extra cash for stuff you don’t need anymore, or even start a business.
Don’t know where to start?
Our guides below will help you to get started selling and provides resources for further guidance along the way.
- Signing up for an eBay account
- Sell on eBay
- Creating a listing
- Pricing your items
- Setting up your shipping options
That’s all you need to get started, and later on, you have to add your payment method to get paid by eBay, which you will learn below.
For more guidance and tips on selling, click here.
Keep in mind that not all payment methods will provide the same level of buyer confidence when you’re selling online.
It’s essential to know the buyer’s perspective when you are selecting the payment methods.
There are many payment methods that you can add, but some of them are restricted and not allowed, so knowing about them is crucial for you.
Let’s start with Etsy.
Getting paid on Etsy
Before getting paid, it’s crucial to know how your buyers can pay for the products you are selling.
Your buyers can choose from the following payment options:
- Credit cards
- Debit/bank cards
- Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
- Klarna Invoice payments (Germany)
- iDEAL (the Netherlands)
- Sofort (Austria and Germany)
But how do you get paid from Etsy is the next question. Right?
Etsy Payments is the primary way to get paid on Etsy and simplifies payments for both you and your buyers.
To get paid from Etsy your shop must be enrolled in Etsy Payments.
Getting Paid on eBay
First, we will talk about which payments are allowed, restricted, and not allowed, and then how do you get paid.
- PayPal credit or debit card
- Merchant credit or debit card
- Payment upon pickup
- Bank-to-bank transfers or bank wire transfers
- Money orders
- Online payment services such as CertaPay, Allpay.net, Fiserv, XOOM, Nochex.com
Not Allowed 🚫
- Paying through the mail
- Bank-to-bank transfers
- Paying with Cryptocurrencies
- Mailing checks or money orders
- Offering a payment method to specific buyers
- Paying using online or other payment methods
- Paying through Western Union or MoneyGram, etc.
- Disappointing buyers from using any payment method
- Offering buyers to contact you for additional payment methods.
- Asking buyers to pay using a method not mentioned in the listing
So, these are the information you need to keep in mind, now let’s know how to get paid for items you’ve sold.
How To Get Paid When Selling on eBay?
Once a buyer has paid for your item, you’ll automatically receive your proceeds, but the timing of processing depends on the payment method the buyer used.
Whenever the buyer pays with a credit or debit card or PayPal, eBay will let you know by an email when the payment will be finalized in your account.
You can check the status of a payment in “My eBay”:
- Go to Sold and select Awaiting payment in “My eBay.”
A question might arise, how long does it take to get paid on eBay?
Well, It depends on the payment methods you added:
- PayPal – If a buyer pays with Paypal, eBay will immediately send money directly to your PayPal account.
- Paypal Credit or debit card – When a buyer uses a Paypal credit or debit card, their payment will be processed through the PayPal payment gateway before being added to your account balance.
- Merchant credit or debit card – The buyer’s merchant bank account will be credited as soon as the card information is received and processed.
- Payment on pickup – When the buyer gets the item from you, you can accept bank or personal checks, money orders, cash, PayPal, or cards.
Conclusion – Which Is Better, Etsy or eBay?
At last, I want to say that I can’t make the decision for you to choose between Etsy or eBay because it depends on your situation, but on the bases of the information I shared, you can easily make your decision.
One thing I’ve learned in business is that it’s never the way it appears, and also everyone has different opinions.
So you must dive into it to experience any platform for yourself to know which one is beneficial for you and which one isn’t.
If there are any other differences that you have experienced or prefer one marketplace over the other for a specific reason, feel free to drop a comment down below 🙂