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March 22, 2011

Comments

Shara

For me ebay tends to bring more money, but I don't love selling there. Etsy is trickier. I've landed on the front page twice since January, which brings a ton of traffic. Yesterday a little doll of mine was on the front page & I had a good run of sales.

I'm hoping to specialize a little more on ebay & buy more for etsy. I love this post--thanks for putting so much time into your blog. I've learned a ton & look forward to it everyday (:

Gina at Vintage Junk in My Trunk

Thank you for this post. As someone new who is selling primarily vintage, this is my biggest dilemma. Right now, 99% of my items are on Etsy, which seems less expensive to list and more user friendly as a seller, but maybe a better venue for handmade items. However, I know that Ebay has a much larger audience with a possibility of greater profit. One of my issues with Ebay is how to decide what to list the item as -- auction? buy it now? start the auction high or low? I am just starting to put a few things on Ebay that I know have sold for a higher figure than I think I can get on Etsy.

Thanks for sharing what you do and how you do it--it is definitely helpful.

shannon

There are some things that I look at it and to me, they just scream "ETSY". But you're right, they are usually lower in value items.
For higher price items, I usually go with Ebay and use Fixed Price with best offer.
There are a couple exceptions.
I put vintage cameras and vintage typewriters on Etsy. They are valued more there and can fetch higher prices than Ebay.


Also wanted to say that I added your blog to my Recommended Reading post today.
http://therecycleista.blogspot.com/2011/03/recommended-reading.html

Thanks!

Heather

I find that on etsy, I am selling a certain aesthetic. On Ebay, I am looking for rarity and obscurity. On Amazon, I am looking to get rid of things for as much as I can (I don't buy specifically for amazon). Sometimes I buy books that are beautiful looking, but not worth a lot, but I can sell it for people's decor. I certainly tend towards buying things that I like with the intent to sell them to people who like the same things.

Renee

Right now I only sell on Etsy although in the past I did sell quite a bit on ebay. Etsy is definitely about selling a style or an ideal. Despite what they say about being a marketplace for all hand made and vintage that doesn't mean that all hand made and vintage will sell well there. I sell mostly vintage clothing and fabric and I do research on the street style blogs from time to time to see what items are hot at the moment. Pop culture plays a huge roll in what's selling at any given time. When Mad Men got popular it triggered an explosion for everything related to the 60's and I geared what I was buying to sell accordingly.

With big budget costume movies like the 4th in the Pirates of the Carribean franchise coming out this summer I'm going to try and stock up my hand made pirate hats because I know they'll be an increased interest. I'd list them on ebay but I feel like they get so lost among all the mass produced "Jack Sparrow" look a like hats that it's not worth the time or the listing fee.

Dana

Thanks for a great post. You always give me a lot to think about in regards to the best venue for an item.

Right now I sell exclusively on Etsy. I opened my shop seven months ago. At that time, I did a lot of research to learn how to sell on Etsy. I spent the next couple of months learning how to take pictures. There is definitely an "editorial" style on Etsy in regards to photographs of any item. This is something I continue to work on and try to refine but on Etsy something really has to look good.

Most people would say that Etsy pics are paramount to sales, and while I agree that they are important, I find that Search Engine Optimization is far more important. I would estimate that most of the listings I see on Etsy are not utilizing SEO. Over half of my sales (and all of my high ticket sales) have come from Google searches. I am able to determine this through a variety of methods. 1) Did the person make an Etsy account solely to purchase my item? 2) Oftentimes the buyer will tell me how they found an item. 3) I track the traffic to my Etsy site using Google Analytics (a free service!).

Using services like Google Adwords is also really important because you'll have a much better defined grouping of keywords that you're able to incorporate into your listing descriptions and that translates into SEO. It might be a bit of legwork to initially set up - but once you've done that legwork it often is applicable to many different listings.

Being very new to the resell game, I'm still trying to work out a lot of the kinks. Right now I'm focusing mostly on what types of items sell the best and how to create fair (to the customer) and profitable (to me) valuations for my vintage items.

megan

I would agree with basically if it's a searchable item, it will get more money on eBay. I don't think people tend to search for obscure products they want to buy in Google, I think they go to eBay first.

I also don't think people browse as much on eBay, where Etsy is much more about window shopping. This is why I think you can get away with really terrible photos and descriptions on eBay. But in Etsy it can make or break a sale.

So if it's eye candy, it goes to Etsy. Searchable goes to eBay. Though sometimes I'll try things in Etsy first just because of the lower fees, as long as I don't mind storing it for a while!

Heidi

I do both, but I prefer Etsy for most of what I sell, which is low-dollar vintage and crafting supplies. I think the eBay fees just eat up way too much of my profits, and they're only going to get worse since they're going to start charging FVF on shipping costs, too! I can't afford to offer free shipping, and it makes me furious to have to pay a cut to eBay for what the USPS charges, an amount that is out of my hands.

I did just sell a vintage tiki mug on Ebay for $60+. I never would have gotten that on Etsy. So it just really depends on the item.

Teresa Raines

After listing on both venues I find that my sales are better on eBay. I recently listed some of my handmade doll clothing on Etsy. I'm very careful about listing there and always use as many keywords as possible. However, after 2 weeks I had very few viewers. I pulled half the items and listed them on eBay for about half of what I was asking on Etsy. I immediately had lots of viewers and followers for the 4 dresses. I sold all of them in 5 day auctions for about the same amount I asked on Etsy. My current dilemma is for listing all of my vintage items. I really want to sell these things but I haven't had much luck with Etsy. Because I don't have lots of time for blogging or promoting my items I think I am going to resort to eBay for the listings. Along with my little doll things I can at least make enough to pay my credit card bill and that's helping with the household expenses.

karen

I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate all the info. you are sharing. I have sold on both venues...I sell the higher price items, more collectible and searchable on ebay..such as a designer barbie but I sell my handmade and flea market smalls on etsy. I really enjoy etsy and the prices are much more affordable.

I am just venturing back into selling, hoping to up our income and your blog has been giving me some clarity on what to focus on. Thanks so much! karen....

Joselyn

Thanks so much for this post. I am brand new to etsy. You, along with your commenters, have provided great insight into both selling mediums which will help me make more informed choices in the future.

Ashlie

You are right on with this post. I just had a conversation with my sister about how selling on Etsy is all about the photos. I also think it's a good starting place for those of us who aren't depending on reselling for a full salary or have limited knowledge about collectibles. When I buy for my shop I'm looking for things that are pleasing to the eye or useful in the home. I consider it "icing on the cake" if I research an item and it has more value than I expected. Great post.
-Ashlie

Kate

As a new reseller this post is so helpful! I think you and the commenters are spot on. I have been serious about listing on etsy for a couple months, but I find it is slow going. So much of it is about the pictures and the aura you create. I have had some success on eBay and I think I am going to move toward listing more there. It is not as user friendly but I think I'll see better results.

Thanks again for posts like this...they are so helpful to me!

angelika

learning, learning, learning! wow. Selena your blogs are so generous and your readers are equally generous with their advice and tips. so great.
i noticed that a few of your readers also have booths in antique malls or at fleamarkets. i'd be curious to know how sales at these places compare with ebay/etsy sales.

Maya

I started out selling on eBay six years ago but over the last year have moved almost all of my business to Etsy. To me, Etsy is more than just a marketplace to make money...it's a vibrant, beautiful community that I respect and love being a part of. On eBay, I felt like one tiny person in a sea of millions, and lately so many of my items had just been selling for opening bid if even that, and then ebay was taking a big chunk of the profits (add to that Paypal & Auctiva's fees, and I wasn't left with much). So after I finally got tired of selling so many of my eBay items for less than their value, I made the jump to Etsy, and I am SO glad I did! I love my little store, I love taking pretty pictures, and I love all of my customers who somehow find my Etsy store, even though I am horrible at self-promoting...I don't twitter, blog, or facebook, but I make a lot more money on Etsy and also pay less than 1/3 of the fees that eBay charges! My Etsy sales are always pretty steady, and all I do is just try to list something new every couple of days (this helps me rank higher in item searches) and I also make good use of my tags (for example, if I'm selling a 1950's dress, I write "1950s 50s fifties" for one of my tags...this increases the chance my item will get found since I'm using more than just 14 tag words). Also the more items you have listed, the greater your odds are of someone finding your store. I tend to have more sales when I have at least 100 items listed in my Etsy store (& this last week I've had a few big multi-item sales too!). Maybe I'm just lucky...ok yes, definitely I believe I am! I also believe that somehow my customers can see the love that I pour into my store...I just try to have fun with it and make it a nice place to be, and the sales just keep on coming! I appreciate Etsy so much, not just for the money that I make there, but for the immense opportunity it has given to creative-minded people around the world. Everyday I discover something new, unique, & beautiful on Etsy. There's nothing else like it.

Elizabeth

I have sold on Ebay in the past, back in 2000-2001. I took a break the year I got married and when I came back to it, Ebay had changed so much! I discovered Etsy in early 2008 and opened my own shop (vintage) in March 2008. Three years later I have reached a milestone of over 5000 sales and I couldn't be more pleased with the whole experience! I've worked hard and invested a great deal of time and energy. I've made new friends and "talked" to people all over the world. I've sold items that were give a second chance in life. I sell not only to many artists who use my vintage items in their own work, but also to fellow collectors. I've sold to designers, scrapbooking gurus, theatre departments and more. I make more money selling on Etsy than I do at my PT job. It's grown by leaps and bounds and continues to amaze me! I firmly believe that if you find the right niche and the right product, you can be successful! For me, that's Etsy!

JSELEP

I had an Etsy store for over a year, and 54 sales. I have never sold anything on eBay, but I have bought more then 50 items from eBay.

Here are some considerations:

On Etsy, you are kind of committing to check your store every day for the 4 months a post lasts. This is why I eventually stopped my store on Etsy.

Etsy seems to favor posting more often on different days - this was not time efficient for me. I played games of posting an item a day, but that uses a lot of time.

Posting seasonal items becomes a mind game - when do you post a Valentines Day item, for example, November? January? The post lasts for 4 months.

Many sales I got on Etsy came from interacting on the Etsy community - time consuming. (and expensive - I traded, I bought great items from others...)

Cheaper items sold better on etsy. Etsy did not seem to be a place for the more expensive sales.

Etsy fees are reasonable, but a store with more items would get more attention, and only a percentage of those items would sell in the four months. I almost always had more then 100 items, and yet only 54 sales.

Etsy is definitely a more fun community, but it takes time and effort to get sales.

I plan to attempt eBay when my schedule frees up some time.

I would love to know the fees eBay gets for a $10 and $100 sale, and the fees Etsy (today) gets for a $10 and $100 sale.

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