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Sarah Waggoner

Handmade Sellers: Etsy vs Facebook Marketplace Comparison

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There are so many options when it comes to selling your handmade items online. Whether you have tried selling on Etsy yet or not, you might be wondering about other platforms as well. Facebook has a ton of potential customers on the platform every day. So is it worth it? Which is better: Etsy vs Facebook Marketplace? Keep reading to learn more.

Facebook Shop Overview

A Facebook Shop offers sellers a platform to showcase and sell their products directly through Facebook. It provides an easy shopping experience for buyers because it allows them to find products, complete purchases, and communicate with sellers without leaving the Facebook platform.

There are plenty of customization options in a Facebook shop to help your business look like it has a professional storefront, even if you don’t have a website.

You’ll need to add product listings individually or import them from another source.

What is Facebook Marketplace?

Facebook Marketplace is a section within Facebook where anyone can sell new or used goods. It has a large local community focus but has recently enabled shipping options as well. Learn more about shipping on the Facebook Marketplace here.

You’ll want to think of the Facebook Marketplace as a citywide garage sale where anyone can buy or sell items in any condition.

You can find it by navigating the left side menu on the Facebook website or at the bottom of the app.

The Facebook Marketplace is a section of the Facebook App found in the main menu.

Pros and Cons of a Facebook Shop

While setting up a Facebook Shop can be more time-consuming than using the Marketplace, the sales process is much more automated. You’re able to accept a payment and adjust inventory automatically. You can even sync with your website inventory using Shopify or Woocommerce.

You do, however, have to comply with Facebook commerce policies which can be more restrictive than selling on the marketplace.

Facebook is also extremely protective of buyers, more than other platforms. This won’t be an issue for most sellers but can cause stress if a buyer opens a case against your online store.

Pros and Cons of Facebook Marketplace

While there are no fees with the marketplace on Facebook, you do need to manage each sale more thoroughly. Buyers will be able to pay with a variety of methods like with cash or Venmo, but you also open yourself up to more buyer scams. Read more about Facebook Marketplace scams here.

The biggest con with selling on the Facebook Marketplace is that you’re side by side with sellers listing random stuff from their homes that they no longer need.

So if you make gorgeous handmade jewelry, you’ll be up against your neighbor who found a stash of her daughter’s old jewelry from the 2010’s and lists it on the platform for $10 for the whole box just to get it out of her house.

That sounds kind of silly, but you need to recognize what this means for you if you’re going to sell on Facebook Marketplace.

You’ll want to make sure that you can distinguish the value of your products when they’re listed against used and heavily discounted products from non-handmade sellers.

You will also get plenty of messages from buyers who want you to discount your prices so you’ll want to decide your strategy ahead of time for dealing with this before your Facebook messenger starts going crazy.

Facebook Shop vs Facebook Marketplace

Both options on Facebook can be profitable for handmade sellers. The Facebook Shop gives you a more professional-looking online store but with the automation comes payment processing fees and the need to follow Facebook’s e-commerce rules.

The Facebook Marketplace, however, can put you in front of a lot of buyers who are looking for deals on products, not quality and value. If you want to sell handmade items on the marketplace, you’ll want a plan for standing about amidst the “garage sale” sellers using Facebook marketplace to clear out the stuff they don’t want and can sell cheaply.

Pros and Cons of Selling on Etsy

Etsy is one of the easiest professional online marketplaces to sell on. While you can sell anything on Facebook, Etsy allows you to sell handmade, vintage items, and craft supplies.

Pros include:

  • Low listing fees

  • Large audience of improved buyers more likely to be in your target audience as handmade sellers

  • A larger variety of seller tools including advertising options and an easily optimized algorithm to show up in search results

Cons include:

  • Higher transaction fees than the Facebook marketplace or a Facebook shop

  • Limited ability for offsite advertising options to sync with the platform when it comes to reporting features

  • More difficult to sell large items due to limited local community features

Is it worth trying to sell on Etsy?

The Etsy audience isn’t as large as Facebook’s, but the buyers are coming to the platform specifically ready to buy something. The same thing can’t be said for Facebook as a platform.

So while both platforms work for small businesses, Etsy’s pool of customers is more likely to value handmade products and to purchase them for a price that will allow you to profit off each sale.

To get results on Etsy, you’ll want to focus on filling your product lines, optimizing your listings with best SEO practices, and standing out with your product photography.

What are other online marketplaces?

The trouble with finding other marketplaces to sell on is balancing platform fees with the amount of traffic they can send you. Amazon marketplace, for example, has a ton of potential buyers, but much higher fees than Etsy or Facebook.

Options like Craigslist, eBay, and Nextdoor have much less traffic even if the fees are potentially lower.

While it may be worth it to include some experiments with your preferred platform in your business strategy, you won’t want to rely too much on marketplaces with low traffic to keep steady sales.

Conclusion: What’s the better platform?

There are a lot of pros and cons to think about when comparing Etsy vs Facebook Marketplace. Both platforms offer great features and large audiences that can benefit small businesses without a monthly fee which can be difficult to find on other third-party platforms.

Either way, it can be difficult to sell on a crowded marketplace like Facebook or Etsy. You’ll want a business strategy that allows you to stand out, get traffic, and professionally promote products to a targeted audience no matter what platform you focus on.

Try selling items on both platforms to see which fits your business best. You can easily start by listing a few unique items on the Facebook Marketplace and then spending more time optimizing Etsy so buyers who are ready to purchase can find you quickly.


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About Author:
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Sarah Waggoner is a full time Etsy Seller with over $700,000 in sales. She helps handmade and digital sellers get daily sales on Etsy without all the complications.

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