September '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 2 • G R A P H I C S P R O 6 9 LOOKING AT EACH PLATFORM Let's start with defining what each plat- form purports to be. Etsy touts itself as an online marketplace where sellers offer custom made items or vintage treasures. Although that mission has morphed some over the years, Etsy is still known as the place where creatives can sell what they make. Its handmade policies may not be enforced as stringently as they once were, and some Etsy sellers would argue that there are other sellers on the site selling mass produced items, but the overall goal of the site is to offer artists and creatives a place to sell their unique handcrafted and created goods and intellectual property. Etsy also claims to specialize in vintage goods, but that's generally a lesser product category. Most buyers go to Etsy looking for items with which they can create their own projects, or for unique and fun goods created by others. As for eBay, it's been known for years as an online auction house. Sellers can sell things for a straight price, or they can have auctions where people bid on goods and the highest bid wins. e products don't have to be handmade. A seller can, in fact, sell new and used products that it bought from a supplier, if the seller is so inclined. Buying on eBay is not so much about find- ing a unique, handmade product as it is about finding a deal. Essentially, eBay is where the bargain hunters go. To be fair, eBay is also the place where people look when they're trying to find something vin- tage or unique that could only have come from someone's private collection or attic. In some respects, eBay is a giant online garage sale or flea market, which isn't nec- essarily a bad thing. If you have the right merchandise, eBay can be a very fertile marketplace. Before talking about what makes the sites different, and which selling propo- sition might be right for your business, there is one commonality that should be noted: competition. Both sites are highly competitive selling arenas, with lots of sellers competing for the eyes and dol- lars of the potential customers who visit. According to the latest data for 2022, there are 4.36 million sellers on Etsy. In 2022, so far anyway, there are 19 mil- lion sellers on eBay. at's a big signal to noise ratio, and sellers have to be diligent and work hard to stand out in the crowd. While both eBay and Etsy spend money and effort to bring customers to their sites, and do have sizable flows of traffic, that Vs In the end, the general rule of thumb is that selling somewhere is better than selling nowhere.

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