eBay vs Etsy: Which Platform is Best for Selling in 2022?

eBay vs Etsy: Which Platform is Best for Selling in 2022?

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. A Comparison: Etsy vs eBay
    1. Number of Sellers
    2. Target Customers
    3. Seller Experience
    4. Shipping Process
    5. Listing Fees
  3. Pros and Cons
    1. Pros of Selling on Etsy
    2. Cons of Selling on Etsy
    3. Pros of Selling on eBay
    4. Cons of Selling on eBay
  4. Conclusion
  5. FAQs

Etsy vs eBay: Which Platform is Right for You?

When it comes to online marketplaces, Etsy and eBay are two popular platforms where sellers can make money. While both platforms offer opportunities for sellers, they differ significantly in several aspects. In this article, we will compare Etsy and eBay in terms of the number of sellers, target customers, seller experience, shipping process, and listing fees. By understanding their differences, you can make an informed decision on which platform is better suited for your business.

A Comparison: Etsy vs eBay

Number of Sellers

As of 2020, Etsy had over 4.3 million sellers, with approximately 2.7 million active sellers the previous year. This signifies a substantial number of sellers on the platform. On the other hand, eBay boasts more than 180 million buyers, making it one of the leading online marketplaces worldwide. While both platforms have a large user base, eBay's reach is undoubtedly broader.

Target Customers

The target customers of Etsy and eBay differ significantly. eBay caters to a largely American customer base that looks for reasonably priced, often mass-produced items. While eBay sells both new and used items, its focus is more on new products. In contrast, Etsy is a smaller global marketplace with predominantly American buyers. It is known for handmade, unique, and vintage finds, as well as products with a creative flair. If your target customers value product quality and are seeking art, essential goods, or unique finds, Etsy may be the best platform for you.

Seller Experience

The seller experience on eBay and Etsy also varies. eBay is a competitively structured platform where seller performance matters greatly. Top-rated sellers on eBay need to meet specific requirements, such as having an active account for at least 90 days, a minimum number of transactions and sales, compliance with selling practice policies, and maintaining a good customer experience. On the other hand, Etsy focuses more on customer opinions and reviews. While sellers on Etsy are expected to follow company policies and improve their selling, their performance is not as highly scrutinized as on eBay. Etsy also fosters a supportive community among sellers through forums and groups.

Shipping Process

Both eBay and Etsy provide tools and resources to make the shipping process easier for sellers. While the specific offerings vary, both platforms aim to simplify shipping management. It's important to note that if you choose to sell on eBay, offering free shipping can be crucial to compete with other sellers. On the other hand, Etsy's shipping options are more flexible, allowing sellers to choose their preferred shipping methods. Regardless of the platform you choose, you will have access to useful shipping tools.

Listing Fees

When it comes to listing fees, eBay and Etsy have different approaches. eBay offers up to a certain number of free listings per month as an incentive for new sellers, with the exact number depending on the seller's country. Etsy, on the other hand, always requires listing fees. However, Etsy's fees are more standardized and defined compared to eBay's fees, which can vary greatly depending on various factors determined by sellers. Additionally, Etsy's Patterned Stores, which allow sellers to create their own online store, are more affordable compared to eBay.

Pros and Cons

Pros of Selling on Etsy

  • Niche marketplace for handmade, creative, vintage, and unique products
  • Loyal customer base with high value for product quality
  • Affordable patterned stores for online sellers
  • Supportive community among sellers

Cons of Selling on Etsy

  • Listing fees for every product
  • Limited reach compared to eBay
  • Less competitive structure for seller performance

Pros of Selling on eBay

  • Massive reach with millions of buyers worldwide
  • Wide variety of products sold, including new and used items
  • Incentives like free monthly listings for new sellers

Cons of Selling on eBay

  • Higher competition among sellers
  • Potential requirement of offering free shipping
  • Complex fee structure


In conclusion, both Etsy and eBay are exceptional online marketplaces that offer opportunities for sellers. The choice between the two ultimately depends on your business and target customers. If you sell handmade, creative, vintage, or unique products and value a supportive community, Etsy may be the best fit. On the other hand, if you seek a broader reach and a diverse inventory, eBay could potentially work for any seller. Consider your product range, target audience, and business goals to make an informed decision.


Q: Are there any fees to list a product on Etsy and eBay? A: Etsy always requires listing fees, while eBay offers free listings up to a certain number per month for new sellers, depending on their country.

Q: Which platform has more sellers, Etsy or eBay? A: Etsy had over 4.3 million sellers as of 2020, while eBay boasts more than 180 million buyers worldwide.

Q: Can I sell both new and used items on Etsy? A: While Etsy's focus is more on handmade, vintage, and unique products, you can sell both new and used items on the platform. However, eBay is known for selling both new and used items.

Q: Which platform is more competitively structured for sellers? A: eBay has a more competitive structure for sellers, with top-rated sellers needing to meet specific requirements and maintain a high level of performance.

Q: Do I need to offer free shipping on Etsy and eBay? A: While offering free shipping on eBay may be necessary to compete with other sellers, Etsy provides more flexibility, allowing sellers to choose their preferred shipping methods.

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