Wednesday, May 9, 2012

eBay or Etsy: What are the Pros and Cons?

Help wanted: What are the Pros and the Cons of Ebay vs. Etsy?

Someone had posted that question on an alumnae board, and I thought it would be interesting to explore here. Many of you are impressively creative and you have Etsy sites already. I think Etsy = fine crafts, but what about eBay for fine crafts? I mean, eBay is all about stuff (and services and events, etc.). How do you decide whether to post your goods on Etsy and when on eBay?

I visited these websites for background information, but if you want to suggest some other sites, I'd be happy to add them to this list.

Etsy 101


Etsy Basics

Thanks in advance for any feedback :-)


Black Doll Enthusiast said...

I have only purchased a couple of items on Etsy. It is my understanding that, unless an item is vintage, Etsy merchandise must be hand crafted, which is why I have never listed anything for sale there.


Alrunia said...

I have actually bought on Etsy quite a bit :) We all know what Ebay is like, so here's what I think about Etsy.
Two cons right off the bat- first off, there is a ton and I mean a TON of listings for weird and downright useless items to wade through if you want to find anything. I suppose it's because Etsy listings are cheaper to make, and stay online longer. See archives for a good selection of the most egregiously stupid merchandise.
The second issue is more non-doll related- you can never be sure that an item is genuinely handmade or vintage. Yes technically it's against the rules but it's pretty impossible to police that many listings I guess. There's examples of that as well on regretsy, but it seems to be very common to sell cheap mass-made items such as costume jewelry and pass them off as handmade or vintage. Do be careful and research before shopping because there is a slight chance it's on alibaba for 50 cents apiece. One doll related example of this are "handmade" Blythe combat boots (, they come in tons of different colours and some are patterned in one way or another, or have higher soles. But they are EVERYWHERE, on ebay, in dollar stores as keychains, on etsy being sold by some twenty unrelated sellers. Handmade? I think not. (my pet theory is that they are made in a factory, by factory workers after hours, possibly with vinyl the workers themselves bring, thus the huge variety of colours and patterns. Thus kinda sorta in a way- handmade.)

Now for the pros, Etsy has something that's either nonexistent or hard to find on Ebay- established, long running "shops" that put out doll clothes of consistent quality and style, often ooak ones. (I guess on Ebay the mass market chinese stuff drowns it out? Not sure.) If you like a particular style of doll clothing, or good quality knitwear, there is a good chance that store and the same person will be there later with more variety. I'm gonna go ahead and link a few favourites of mine that specialize in doll clothes specifically, hope you don't mind ;) - very cute, very pretty and most of all affordable vintage style dresses. a bigger variety of different clothes, all adorable and colourful made with absolutely amazing fabrics! The person who runs it is a delight :) last but not least - , a variety bag of everything from knit sweaters to jeans to graphic tees, all impeccably well done.
Hope that wasn't too wordy and at least a little bit helpful. :)

D7ana said...

Thanks for your feedback, DBG and Alrunia!

Thanks for providing those links, Alrunia. I am glad to have collector-vetted Etsy sites.

(Aside from those of regular readers here - come to think of it, I should do a post including those Etsy sites.)

Would you mind if I added these to a new blog post on recommended Etsy sites? I thank you in advance, but I'll wait to hear from you to confirm.

(In case you wanted to post a similar blog post - although the Etsy sellers would probably be glad for double references ;-D)

Alrunia said...

That's perfectly fine, happy to help :)

Muff said...

I have only sold stuff on Ebay and I have never made a purchase from Ebay or Etsy. I have a real problem with buying stuff I cant examine first. Don't get me wrong, as I buy stuff from Walmart online all the time. But that's a major retailer and if I don't like the quality I can take it back with no hassles. I'm not willing to take that risk on a regular person. But that's more a personal issue than a statement to which venue is better.

For selling, it's really about the merchandise. I sold off my Xena collection on Ebay. I could not have done that on Etsy. If I wanted to sell something homemade I would more likely choose Etsy because I like the owner shop set up better than Ebay. Now, it's been 6 years since I've logged into Ebay so it could be better than it once was and I just don't know.

D7ana said...

I can appreciate what you mean about wanting to see an item before buying so that you know what you're getting.

There is a difference between buying from a collector or dealer and buying from a retailer. Walmart doesn't attach emotional value to the items it sells. Returns are much simpler - and permitted. Individuals don't have that detachment.

Brigid Manning-Hamilton said...

I'd love to see some comparisons with/feedback about also.

D7ana said...

Hi Brigid! is a new one to me. I'll ask about it though. Thanks for the idea ;-)