EBay vs Etsy

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Forum topic by Mark Smith posted 12-07-2012 09:30 PM 4164 views 0 times favorited 50 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Smith

509 posts in 2039 days

12-07-2012 09:30 PM

I’m just starting up in the selling of my products business and although I don’t want to do all my sales online, I want an online presence and may eventually count on it for the majority of sales. Right now I have an Etsy page because I was told by several people it was the way to go and it was so much better than EBay and it’s cheaper, etc… At this point I don’t have a lot of items on my Etsy page, but it’s been up for two months now. To date, I have not sold one single thing on Etsy. I’ve been asking around and talking to a few other people who have used Etsy and they tell me they also sell next to nothing on it. Anybody else have any luck with Etsy?

I’m thinking about going to EBay and doing an Ebay store. Yes Ebay is more expensive but I think Ebay probably has hundreds of times more users than Etsy. What is your preference?

50 replies so far

View pwalter's profile


79 posts in 2583 days

#1 posted 12-07-2012 09:42 PM

Hey Mark! I have tried both etsy and ebay. I have had some inquiries about some things, but nothing has yet to sell. I think there is just too much competition on those websites.

View junebug's profile


101 posts in 2404 days

#2 posted 12-07-2012 09:55 PM

Sometimes etsy gets a little crowded with content. For instance, a search for “wood cutting board” brings up 4,176 hits. I see etsy as a place to show off my work, not expecting to make a sale. I hand out my card to people at craft shows with a link to etsy, and those are the people that tend to buy from etsy. I do get the very occasional random sale from there, but its very rare

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3101 days

#3 posted 12-07-2012 10:03 PM

I have bought from both Ebay and Etsy many times. I just bought a poster from this person on Etsy. I am doing a frame for it now in the shop. Hopefully it will be a Christmas present for my wife.

This person has 3481 sales with a feedback rating of 100%.
I don’t know anything about selling but I expect you have to give people what they want. That is the magic bullet I guess. I cruise the “wood” sections on Ebay and Etsy to get ideas and I see many winners and losers.

Good luck and don’t give up…........................

-- mike...............

View hhhopks's profile


651 posts in 2376 days

#4 posted 12-07-2012 10:05 PM

I like to see an Ebay alternative.
Unfortuanately, there really aren’t any.
It’s the chicken and the egg thing.
Buyers comes first or is it the sellers? Need both to get a new site going.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View americanwoodworker's profile


185 posts in 2373 days

#5 posted 12-07-2012 10:12 PM

I have heard of alot of people selling on etsy and making good money. Problem is, as I see it, etsy is more of a place to sell lower priced items. Things I want to sell would not do good there. I found this article awhile back and it does share some interesting facts about etsy.

-- Your freedom to be you, includes my freedom to be free from you.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2039 days

#6 posted 12-07-2012 10:14 PM

Redryder, I looked at the site on that link and I see why her work is selling. It’s because she’s using the work of others. The poster in the link is from a Beetles song. You think she’s paid Michael Jackson’s estate for the rights to use the Beetles in her merchandise? She also has lyrics from all kinds of songs as well as movies and TV shows. I notice she has her own copyright notice on there, I wonder if she is respecting everybody elses copyright?

View emart's profile


445 posts in 2627 days

#7 posted 12-07-2012 10:22 PM

A big deal for me has been just networking in general. no matter the site you use the most important thing is getting people to know it exists at all. just as junebug has demonstrated. One of the things i have worked at for many months now has been trying to build a reputation. every time I made anything (no matter how simple) i would post it on facebook and would frequent different conventions with some of my work (swords at anime conventions, armor at Renaissance fairs, etc.) Realistically i dont make much from those items since they are complex to produce but when I hand out business cards i have links to pictures of all my work.

so far my results are hit and miss but I have gotten some projects this way

that being said i think ebay is slightly better to get sales since it is more direct but etsy looks more professional

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2039 days

#8 posted 12-07-2012 10:22 PM

Interesting article. The average price of items selling on Etsy is $18. The things I have on there are several times more than that. I’m thinking it is probably not the best place to sell what I’m making. I think I will go ahead and give E-Bay stores a try. The only thing I don’t like is they have a monthly fee, but it’s only $15 for their smallest store. If I sold enough to have one of their bigger stores I would gladly pay the fee.

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2039 days

#9 posted 12-07-2012 10:40 PM

I should add to this that I can’t badmouth Etsy too much right now, because I only have a few items on it and they are more expensive items. I just kind of thought by now I would have at least had some inquires by message or some other contact.

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3101 days

#10 posted 12-08-2012 06:37 AM

There are a hundred and one excuses why someone can not sell there product.

How bout this guy 386 wood carvings with 100% positive feedback and most sales well over $100. ea., selling since the end of 2009.

or this guy selling 166 items with 100% pos feedback since only the middle of 2011.

you know this guy, 45 sales, 100% pos feedback, no cheap stuff here

How bout this guy selling turned bowls. Who would buy those? 379 sales, 100% pos feedback, most of them he is selling are hundreds of dollars each.

And on and on. Most of the people bad mouthing the Etsy site say the site is too crowded. Which usually means the stuff they are selling is over priced and or the same old dull stuff. As they say, excuses are like…........well you know. There seems to be two kinds of sellers out there, those who can’t make it because of one excuse or the other or the ones who sell them left and right and make no excuses.

Just a buyer…......Just my 2cents

-- mike...............

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2039 days

#11 posted 12-08-2012 06:53 AM

I’m not making excuses Redryder, just trying to find out how to do it better.

View RVroman's profile


163 posts in 2023 days

#12 posted 12-08-2012 07:02 AM

I think the biggest issue is not so much the site, but the marketing. Be it Etsy, Ebay, or a store hosted on your own website, how are you driving people to your product? (Personally I have no idea and am still trying to figure this out)

-- Robert --- making toothpicks one 3x3x12 blank at a time!

View Loren's profile (online now)


10396 posts in 3647 days

#13 posted 12-08-2012 07:32 AM

Make a viable product.’

When you do, promotional venue relevance decreases.

...a core law of selling, more or less. CNC capacity is not big advantage these days.

Undercut CNC guitar hollow form suppliers for some quick
dough. Going rate is too much and buyer will flock
to a cheaper option. Just one clue… the product is functional
rather than aesthetic.

View MNgary's profile


298 posts in 2416 days

#14 posted 12-08-2012 01:18 PM

Sounds like you need to do some market research and both etsy and ebay are great opportunities for doing it. Experiment with different pictures, descriptions, and price points until you find a combinaion that works.

One of the first things TV shopping networks learned was to offer a limited quantity of any new product starting at a high price and then regularly lowering the price until they get the responses needed to justify adding the item to their ongoing lineup. Then, and only then, they could determine if the item would be profitable.

With etsy or ebay you can use the same process. Change the photo’s, alter the description, and adjust the price until you get a decent respose rate. Then decide if it will generate a profit for you. And if you reach your lowest ‘willing to sell at’ price and have tried various ways to present the product without selling a few, move on to a different product.

The new product just may be a different size, finish, or style of the same item.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29226 posts in 2337 days

#15 posted 12-08-2012 01:44 PM

Limited success on etsy, none on eBay. I will say I haven’t tried very hard either because I can only marginally keep up with my local business. Someday maybe.

Good luck

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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