eBay v. Etsy

I read in the paper this weekend that eBay have angered both buyers and sellers alike by their decision to allow large high street retailers to sell on the site. In terms of protecting eBay’s brand and what it used to represent I think it’s a terrible idea. I have already stopped browsing the site as I might have done in the past as I get completely exasperated by seeing the same brand new item listed over and over again, sometimes on the same page with a “Buy it now” price.


eBay is rapidly losing the very element which made it different and new and which gave users from both ends of the transaction a feeling of community and ownership. It’s no longer a site where you buy stuff you didn’t even know you wanted – most people do a specific search, find the item and buy it. No fun, no surprises, no gypsy caravan shaped, hand-knitted tea cosies.


The new head honcho at eBay who has made the decision says that it was made on purely commercial grounds, stating that 40% of all current sales are made on new “buy it now” items through retailers. This change, along with the gradual shift of sellers on the site is set to dramatically change the type of business eBay becomes and the types of customer it appeals to, thereby creating a whole new identity for the brand.  I only wish I had £250K + to set up a new eBay-style site. In the meantime my browsing loyalties go to www.etsy.com. I love it!


– Carla


4 responses to “eBay v. Etsy

  1. I think eBay are looking at their sales wrong. It’s more that 40% of people coming to the site want to Buy It Now while 60% want to to do auctions. I know I do both. Sometimes I want to buy something from a “reputable” dealer (electronics, for example), sometimes I want the flea market effect (vintage cameras, expired film).

    So why not put some filters in place? You can have the whole Ebay experience or you can strip out the stuff you don’t want. They sort of do this already with the advanced search tools but why not formalise this into 4 or 5 subdomains?


    and so on.

    But yeah, Etsy is brilliant!

  2. I very rarely go on eBay these days. My main gripe about listing on eBay is the fact that almost every element of the listing process adds extra fees, earning it the nickname ‘Feebay’ among Etsy users. Also, as a seller you can no longer leave negative feedback for a buyer, which is awful. The point of the feedback system is that both seller and buyer can leave an honest comment about the transaction.

    As someone who sells their art on Etsy, I am of course biased towards that site, but even if I wasn’t there would be many reasons not to use eBay. Their decision to allow large high street retailers to sell on the site is just another one. Isn’t the point of eBay that’s it’s not the general High St? They should be kept separate. Large retailers such as those will have an unfair advantage over smaller retailers and force them out.

  3. even better, why not support your local West Midlands based http://www.artflock.com

  4. This is such a problem for me. Right now I have an a store on Etsy as I sell vintage and clothes made by me. I just don’t know if it gets the same traffic as ebay though

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