blackboard diagrams representing eBay Etsy selling schematics

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Selling on eBay vs. Etsy

an apple and an orange (representing eBay and Etsy) on a teeter-totter scaleAt first glance, it might seem like trying to compare apples and oranges. On one hand, there’s eBay’s big-box store image, and, on the other, is Etsy’s personal one-of-a-kind boutique feel. Talk about two totally different business models!

Differences notwithstanding, there are several important indicators that can help sellers decide which selling platform will work best for them.


Generally speaking, you can sell just about anything on eBay. And it can be either new or second hand inventory. In short, there is quite a bit of flexibility on this platform.

Not so with Etsy, whose selling policy is much more merchandise-specific. They limit sellers to handmade items, crafting supplies, or vintage pieces that are at least twenty years old.


With eBay, your costs will vary depending on the category. On average, you can expect to pay 10-12% of an item’s purchase price plus listing and other fees.

Many sellers prefer Etsy because of its lower overall cost. Even though you will still pay listing fees, selling fees are just a flat 3.5% of the sold price, regardless of category.


EBay is an industry leader with better name recognition. Its sheer volume of customers often results in faster sales.

But there is a downside: the ever-increasing amount of competition. And this of course leads to price wars and lower profits.

By contrast, Etsy has a large, but targeted, customer base. These are buyers looking specifically for handmade and custom merchandise. Overall, this marketplace may be a better fit for sellers who want a community feel without the headaches of too much competition.

Although I’ve only covered the basics here, it should be a good foundation for helping you weigh the pros and cons of these two selling platforms. For more information, I’ve included some additional articles below.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *