Shopify vs Etsy: Should You Sell on a Marketplace or Website?

shopify vs etsy

Many people get confused between choosing Shopify or Etsy because there is a common perception that both of them are similar. However, there are some very striking differences between these two platforms.

Both of them are online sales channels but they are quite different. Etsy is an online marketplace while Shopify is a webstore. The purpose of both of these platforms is to reach a wide range of customers and sell products globally. The purpose of this article is to differentiate between these platforms and help you make the best decision for your business. In some situations, you can even start selling on both of the platforms. 

Shopify vs Etsy: Should You Sell on a Marketplace or Website?

Pricing Structure

The business model and pricing structure of Shopify and Etsy are quite different from each other. The upfront charges of Shopify mean the traders have to pay a certain subscription fee due to which they will have to bear more expenses in the short run. On the other hand, Etsy can be more expensive for long-term purposes because of the various charges and transaction fees.

Shopify Fee

There are five main packages offered by Shopify. These are:

  • The free package is basically a 14-day trial.
  • The basic package costs $29 per month and provides basic functionalities to users.
  • The Shopify package has a fee of $79 per month and provides almost all of the essential tools to users.
  • Advanced Shopify is suitable for businesses, including large-scale businesses. 

Other than these subscription fees, sellers also have to consider the online credit card rates. Moreover, evaluating the pros and cons of each of these packages is important to make sure you are able to choose the best package for your business. The most important factors that you should consider while choosing any of the above packages are:

  • The size of your team and the overall scale of the business
  • Different fees associated with online transactions and credit cards
  • Discounts
  • Additional functionalities like reports builder, rate calculator, gift cards.

The good thing about Shopify is that it is quite easy to set-up. Even if you have a fully new website, you can easily utilize Shopify’s advanced plan to fulfill your business requirements.

Etsy Fees

There is no monthly fee or subscription fee for Etsy. Instead, you have to pay the following charges:

  • Listing fee of $0.20 per item for four months.
  • A transaction fee of 5% for every purchase
  • Payment processing fee of 3% and $0.25 on every purchase. 

These charges can be quite difficult to understand as you will have to evaluate the total cost depending on the sales and number of items you have in your store.

Another major important aspect of the pricing structure of Shopify is that if you use their own payment gateway, then you will not have to pay extra charges of 2% or 1% for each plan. However, paying credit card rates is essential in all types of payment plans.

There are also many hidden charges in Shopify. Moreover, many businesses often start availing the services of Shopify apps and their SEO experts due to which the cost of Shopify usually ends up much more than Etsy. On the other hand, Etsy covers all of these things and you will not have to worry about hidden charges.


The entire purpose of using Shopify or Etsy is to grow your business and reach more customers. It takes a lot of time and effort to establish a good brand for your business, especially if you are starting from scratch, Etsy can be highly useful in this regard is it can give much-needed exposure to your business.

In 2019, Etsy had around 45 million active buyers and businesses and the sale of about $4 billion. Moreover, Etsy is capable of attracting much more traffic than traditional webstore. Even if the user is not buying your product and just browsing through the catalog, your brand will still be getting recognition which is extremely helpful in the overall branding of your business.


There are many other aspects of Shopify vs Etsy that you can consider before choosing a suitable platform. However, the bottom line is that it all depends on your business requirements. First of all, you must be familiar with your business conditions and requirements. If you think that your products are good enough to make their mark in a highly competitive marketplace like Etsy, then you should definitely consider using it. Otherwise, if you are interested in developing your own website, you can rely on the services of Shopify.