Selling on eBay, Amazon, Etsy vs. Shopify

Hi everyone. Let's discuss the differences between selling on Shopify and an online Marketplace.

Shopify is an specialised ecommerce platform that provides the tools to build and manage your own digital space. It allows web developers, like myself, access to the code, where we can add more features, improve functionality and and customise the look. You’ll also have your own custom domain, a professional email and a website that’s focused around your brand only. Giving you the space to tell your story behind your business and allowing customers to feel more connected to your brand. 

Amazon, eBay and Etsy are online marketplaces which allow you to sell with them, alongside other online sellers. They open the door to a huge audience that you couldn’t grow on your own. However, marketplaces tend to be overcrowded and sellers are constantly against high competition. You also have no control of the website look and have to go by their generic design.

Etsy is more focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. They have very strict guidelines on what can be sold through their website. Unless you sell these type of items, this platform wouldn’t be suitable. 

Depending on what you’re selling, you may even choose to sell on an online marketplace and your own Shopify site. You can drive traffic from the marketplace to your website and give customers a better insight into what you have to offer.

I myself own an Etsy store, where I sell prints of my artwork, but I would not rely on this as being my only shop.


Ok, let’s talk fees..

The difference in costs will come down to the selling fees that each platform charges. 

Shopify charges a monthly subscription fee which ranges depending on your plan - £25 a month being the most popular choice. Their credit card transaction fees are 2% + £0.25 of an online sale. If a customer pays via PayPal, it’s 2.9% of your sale.

Etsy is free to set up and doesn’t require a monthly subscription, but their transaction fees are a lot higher, which can make it more expensive in the long run.

Etsy fees are;

Transaction fee - 6.5% of your sale

Listing fee - £0.20 per product uploaded (renews every 4 months)

Offsite Ads - 15% of your sale (only deducted if your shops revenue is less than £10k for the financial year)

Payment & processing fee - 4% + £0.20 when an item is sold (if you use Etsy Payments) 

Amazon's Individual Plan is more suitable for small-scale sellers. They take 75p per unit sold. A Professional Plan is £25 (excluding VAT) a month, no matter how many items you sell. Amazon also charge referral fees on your sales which range from 8% - 15% depending on the type of items sold.

amazon referral fees


A basic eBay account is £19.99 per month. Your first 1000 listing are free and after that it costs 35p per listing. With eBay, if and when an item sells, you have to pay a whopping 12.8% of the total amount of the sale (which includes the item price, postage, taxes and any other applicable fees), plus a fixed charge of 30p per order. If the total amount of the sale is over £5,000 for a single item, you'll pay 3% for the portion of the sale price above £5,000. Paypal fees are also charged if the buyer uses this method. 

Shopify offers better value for money as it’s cheaper eBay, Amazon, Etsy and is more transparent with its pricing. You know exactly what you’re paying.

Shopify will always be a winner for me. After using the platform for several years and seeing my business + my client stores take off is incredibly rewarding. It's better in the long run for a developing a loyal customer base and having full control of your store. There are no dispute fees or unexpected deductions. It also provides a better insight into your payments and a website tailored around your brand.

It’s really important that when you choose a platform, you are planning for both today and the future growth of your business.

Are you interested in setting up your own Shopify store in 2023? Get in touch today and let me help you get started.

This article has been updated with the latest figures on 25th May 2023

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