December 18, 2011

Etsy versus eBay

I thought I would do an informal comparison between Etsy and eBay for those of you who are selling on either one or are considering switching from one of the other. First up is what they have in common:

They both -
  • charge fees to list
  • have final value fees once the sale is made
  • you have to be registered with them to buy or sell
I did some comparison on their fee structure and if you have Premium store on eBay and listed about 250 - 300 items and then listed 250 - 300 items on Etsy you would be paying about the same in total listing fees. The final value fees after the sale on eBay are slightly higher than Etsy.

How they are different -
  • Etsy only allows handmade, original artwork or vintage items to be listed. They also allow craft supplies but I wonder if I could list a computer with design software as a craft supply or how about a camera or video recorder?
  • Ebay has fixed priced listings as well as auctions and Etsy just has fixed priced lisings.
  • On eBay you can list almost anything as long as it is not illegal or prohibited by state or federal laws such as animal pelts from endangered species. 
  • Ebay is the bigger more established website while most shoppers that are not crafters have never heard of Etsy
That last point brings up the most important factor of all - traffic (AKA visitors. buyers) to the website. Without large numbers of visitors your items will not sell. It is the difference from having a store at out skirts of town when all the shoppers are at the mall. I compare eBay (the mall) to Etsy (the craft fair at the fairgrounds) they cater to very different shoppers but eBay has the money to advertise on TV while Etsy relies of word of mouth. I don't know about you but I want shoppers in my store. If I am paying money for listings and FVF fees that are the same in each website I am going to go with the place that has more buyers - eBay.

The old adage "you get what you pay for" does not work in this case. While Etsy charges almost the same as eBay in the long run, they do not provide the traffic that eBay does.

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