Etsy vs. Facebook Marketplace

Etsy and Facebook Marketplace, both popular online marketplaces, cater to different seller and buyer needs. Etsy’s reputation is built around its focus on handmade, vintage, and craft supplies, attracting customers specifically searching for unique and hard-to-find items.

Conversely, Facebook Marketplace is known for its broader range of offerings, including used items, furniture, and electronics, appealing to sellers with a more diverse inventory.

The competition level is another distinguishing factor between the two platforms. Etsy’s niche focus on handmade and unique goods may result in higher competition in certain categories, but it also boasts a dedicated customer base actively seeking these items.

Facebook Marketplace, while potentially having less competition in certain niches, might also experience lower demand for specific categories of items. Sellers should thus weigh their product type, niche, and target audience when choosing between Etsy and Facebook Marketplace for their business.



History and Primary Purpose

History: Etsy, founded in 2005, emerged as a unique online marketplace primarily focusing on handmade, vintage, and craft supplies. The platform was created as a response to the need for an online community where crafters, artists, and makers could sell their handmade and vintage goods. It started as a smaller, niche market but quickly grew in popularity, gaining a reputation for being the go-to destination for those seeking unique, handcrafted items not typically found in traditional retail outlets.

Primary Purpose: The primary purpose of Etsy is to provide a platform for individual artisans, crafters, and vintage collectors to sell their products to a global audience. Etsy’s business model is centered around showcasing unique, often personalized, and handmade goods. This includes a wide array of items such as jewelry, clothing, home decor, art, and craft supplies. Etsy’s platform is designed to foster a sense of community and connection between artisans and customers, emphasizing the value of handmade and unique products in a world increasingly dominated by mass-produced goods.

Target Audience

Target Audience: Etsy’s target audience is two-fold. Firstly, it caters to artisans, crafters, and vintage collectors looking for a specialized platform to showcase and sell their unique items. This includes individual creators, small business owners, and vintage collectors who value a community-centric marketplace that highlights craftsmanship and creativity.

Secondly, Etsy targets customers who are searching for unique, handcrafted, and personalized items. These consumers are typically those who appreciate the artistry and story behind handmade goods, often seeking items for special occasions, gifts, or unique additions to their collections. Etsy’s audience values the authenticity and uniqueness of items over mass-produced alternatives, and they often enjoy the personal interaction with sellers that Etsy’s platform facilitates.

Facebook Marketplace


Facebook Marketplace was introduced in October 2016, building on the existing habit of people using Facebook Groups to buy, sell, trade, and barter. The idea was to formalize this process, making it easier and more organized. The platform was developed as part of Facebook’s broader strategy to integrate more services into its social network, recognizing the growing trend in online buying and selling.

Unlike traditional e-commerce platforms, Marketplace leveraged Facebook’s massive user base, allowing users to conduct transactions within the network they already use daily. Its launch signified a significant move by Facebook into the realm of online commerce, competing with established players like eBay and Craigslist.

Primary Purpose

The primary purpose of Facebook Marketplace is to facilitate buying and selling activities among Facebook users within their local communities. It’s designed to be a convenient and accessible platform where people can discover, buy, and sell items.

What sets Marketplace apart is its integration with the broader Facebook experience, allowing users to see listings from their community and interact directly with sellers through the platform. This integration has enabled a more personal and trust-based transaction process, as buyers and sellers can view each other’s profiles. The platform supports a wide range of categories, from second-hand goods and vintage items to new products from businesses, making it a versatile option for various users.

Target Audience

The target audience for Facebook Marketplace is remarkably broad, encompassing a wide range of Facebook’s user base. It appeals to individuals looking for a convenient way to buy or sell items within their community. This includes people decluttering their homes, bargain hunters, collectors of specific items, and even small businesses looking to reach local customers.

The platform is particularly attractive to those who value the ease of connecting with sellers or buyers in their local area and prefer the trust and familiarity associated with community-based transactions. Because of its integration with Facebook, Marketplace is also appealing to users who appreciate the convenience of managing their social interactions and marketplace activities in a single platform.

This audience ranges from young adults and college students to families and older adults, essentially anyone already engaged with Facebook and interested in local buying and selling.

Product Categories and Listings

Etsy Product Categories and Listings

Types of Products Typically Sold

Etsy is renowned for its focus on handmade, vintage, and craft supply items. The platform is a hub for unique and often personalized products such as custom jewelry, handmade clothing, unique home decor, artisanal soaps, and more. Vintage items, defined by Etsy as being at least 20 years old, are also a significant category, encompassing vintage clothing, accessories, and home goods. Additionally, Etsy is a popular destination for craft supplies, including unique fabrics, beads, and DIY kits, catering to the crafting community.

Listing Process and Ease of Use

Listing items on Etsy is a straightforward process, designed to cater to individual sellers and small businesses. Sellers create a shop, add listings, and set their prices. Each listing requires detailed descriptions, photos, and categorization. Etsy provides a step-by-step guide for listing items, which helps new sellers navigate the process. The platform charges a listing fee for each item, and listings are active for four months or until they sell.

Customizability of Listings

Etsy listings are highly customizable, allowing sellers to showcase their unique items effectively. Sellers can use multiple high-quality images, write detailed descriptions, and choose appropriate categories and tags to help buyers find their items. Etsy also allows sellers to personalize their shop with a banner, profile picture, and shop story, giving a personal touch that reflects the brand and appeals to the target audience.

Facebook Marketplace Product Categories and Listings

Types of Products Typically Sold

Facebook Marketplace is known for its wide range of product categories. It’s common to find items such as used furniture, home appliances, electronics, cars, and clothing. Unlike Etsy, Marketplace is not focused on handmade or vintage items but instead offers a platform for a variety of everyday items, including second-hand goods, making it a more generalist marketplace.

Listing Process and Ease of Use

The process of listing an item on Facebook Marketplace is designed to be very user-friendly, often requiring just a few clicks. Sellers can quickly upload photos of the item, write a description, set a price, and post the listing. One of the key advantages of Marketplace is its integration with Facebook, allowing users to list items without setting up a separate shop or account. This ease of use has made it a popular choice for casual sellers who are not necessarily running a business but looking to sell items occasionally.

Customizability of Listings

While Facebook Marketplace allows for basic customization of listings (such as adding photos and descriptions), it doesn’t offer the same level of shop personalization as Etsy. Listings are more straightforward and transactional, with a focus on the items rather than the seller’s brand or story. This reflects the platform’s nature as a more general marketplace for a wide range of items and users.

Fees and Pricing Structure

Etsy: Fees and Pricing Structure

Listing Fees: Etsy charges a fee for each item a seller lists on the platform. As of my last update in April 2023, this fee was $0.20 per listing. This fee is applicable whether the item sells or not and is a fixed cost per item listed.

Transaction Fees: When an item sells, Etsy collects a transaction fee, which is a percentage of the total sale price, including the cost of shipping. This fee varies by country, but in the United States, it was typically around 5%. This means that for every item sold, Etsy takes a cut of the sale price.

Other Costs: Etsy also charges a payment processing fee for each transaction, which covers the cost of handling the payment from the buyer. This fee varies based on the location of the seller’s bank. Additionally, sellers can opt for Etsy’s advertising services, which incur additional costs but are optional.

Pricing Structure: Etsy’s pricing structure is designed to support individual artisans and small businesses. The fees are relatively small, making it accessible for sellers who are just starting out or who operate on a small scale. However, for larger businesses or high-volume sellers, these fees can add up.

Facebook Marketplace: Fees and Pricing Structure

Listing Fees: One of the main attractions of Facebook Marketplace is that it does not charge any listing fees. Sellers can list as many items as they want without incurring a direct cost. This is particularly appealing for casual sellers or individuals who are not running a business but simply want to sell unwanted items.

Transaction Fees: For the most part, there are no transaction fees for person-to-person sales on Facebook Marketplace. However, if a seller uses Marketplace Checkout, which is required for shipping and selling across the United States, Facebook charges a selling fee. This fee is a percentage of the sale price and was around 5% as of my last update.

Other Costs: There are no additional fees for payment processing when conducting local transactions in person. However, if the Marketplace Checkout feature is used, the transaction fee covers payment processing. Facebook also offers paid advertising options for sellers who want to promote their listings, but this is optional.

Pricing Structure: Facebook Marketplace’s pricing structure is designed to be very accessible, especially for casual or occasional sellers. The lack of listing fees and the optional nature of transaction fees (depending on how the sale is completed) makes it an attractive option for a wide range of users, from individuals clearing out their garages to small businesses reaching local customers.

Fees and Pricing Comparison

CriteriaEtsyFacebook Marketplace
Listing Fees$0.20 per listingNo listing fees
Transaction FeesTypically around 5% of sale price (varies by country)Around 5% for Marketplace Checkout transactions, otherwise none
Other CostsPayment processing fees, optional advertising costsNo additional fees for local transactions, optional advertising costs
Ideal forBusinesses and individuals selling handmade, vintage, or craft itemsCasual sellers and a wide range of items, including local sales

Audience and Reach

Etsy Audience and Reach

User Base Analysis

Etsy’s user base is a distinctive blend of creative artisans, vintage enthusiasts, and craft lovers. This platform has cultivated a dedicated community that appreciates the artistry and uniqueness of handmade goods. The typical Etsy buyer is often looking for personalized, custom-made, or one-of-a-kind items, ranging from handcrafted jewelry to bespoke home decor.

Sellers on Etsy are predominantly artisans and small business owners who specialize in handmade or vintage items, and craft supplies. The demographic is skewed towards women, particularly in the 18-34 age bracket, but the platform attracts a diverse range of ages and genders, united by a shared appreciation for craftsmanship and creativity.

Geographic Reach and Market Penetration

Etsy has established a significant global footprint, with a particularly strong presence in the United States, its largest market. The platform has also penetrated other key markets, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and various European countries, appealing to consumers who value artisanal and handcrafted products.

Etsy’s international sales contribute a substantial portion of its revenue, indicating its successful market penetration in regions with an affinity for unique, artisanal goods. This global reach underscores Etsy’s position as a leader in the niche market of handmade and vintage e-commerce.

Facebook Marketplace Audience and Reach

User Base Analysis

Facebook Marketplace taps into the enormous and diverse user base of Facebook, encompassing a wide spectrum of demographics. This platform is a go-to for a variety of users, from individuals seeking to declutter their homes by selling second-hand items to small businesses looking to reach a local customer base efficiently.

The Marketplace user base is not confined to a specific demographic but rather mirrors the general Facebook audience, which spans all ages, backgrounds, and interests. Its key appeal is to those seeking convenient local transactions and an integrated shopping experience within a social media platform.

Geographic Reach and Market Penetration

Leveraging Facebook’s extensive global network, Facebook Marketplace enjoys a vast geographic reach. It is operational in numerous countries, making it one of the most broadly accessible online marketplaces. The platform’s market penetration is closely aligned with Facebook’s user density in various regions. Notably strong in the United States, Facebook Marketplace also has a significant presence in parts of Europe and Asia.

The widespread adoption of Facebook in these regions translates into a robust user base for Marketplace, though its popularity and usage can vary widely based on local e-commerce habits and the prevalence of Facebook.

Comparative Analysis

When comparing Etsy and Facebook Marketplace, it’s evident that Etsy’s audience is more specialized, focusing on a market segment enthusiastic about handmade, vintage, and unique items. In contrast, Facebook Marketplace benefits from the sheer scale and diversity of Facebook’s global user base, making it a universally accessible platform for a broad spectrum of buying and selling activities.

Etsy’s stronghold lies in markets with a high appreciation for artisanal goods, while Facebook Marketplace capitalizes on Facebook’s global presence, offering a versatile platform for local commerce across various regions.

User Experience and Interface


User Interface and Navigation

Etsy’s interface is artistically designed, reflecting its focus on unique, handmade, and vintage items. It is user-friendly and visually appealing, with well-organized categories and a powerful search engine that makes finding specific items straightforward. The platform also offers personalized recommendations and curated collections, enhancing the browsing experience.

Ease of Navigation

The site is structured to facilitate easy discovery of items. Filters for price, color, and material, among others, allow users to refine their search effectively. The platform’s layout is intuitive, making it easy for both new and returning users to navigate.

Mobile App Availability and Features

Etsy’s mobile app is available on iOS and Android, offering a cohesive experience with the desktop version. The app features include browsing and purchasing items, managing orders, and communicating with sellers. Additionally, the app provides personalized notifications, a convenient feature for keeping users engaged and informed about their favorite shops and items.

Facebook Marketplace

User Interface and Navigation

Facebook Marketplace features a more utilitarian design, focusing on functionality. Integrated within the Facebook app, it offers a familiar interface to existing Facebook users. The layout is straightforward, emphasizing listings with large photos.

Ease of Navigation

Marketplace is easy to navigate, with clear categories and a local focus. Users can search for items near their location, filter results by various parameters, and directly message sellers, facilitating quick and easy transactions.

Mobile App Availability and Features

As a part of the Facebook app, Marketplace is readily accessible to anyone with the Facebook app on iOS or Android. Key features include the ability to browse listings, create new listings, and communicate directly with buyers or sellers. The integration with Facebook also allows for quick view of seller profiles, adding a layer of trust and familiarity.

In terms of user experience and interface, Etsy provides a more curated and visually engaging environment, suited for browsing unique and artisanal items, with a strong emphasis on the quality of presentation. In contrast, Facebook Marketplace offers a straightforward and functional interface, leveraging its integration with Facebook to provide a seamless experience for users familiar with the social media platform.

Regarding mobile app availability, both platforms offer robust mobile experiences. Etsy’s app is tailored to mirror the aesthetic and functionality of its desktop version, focusing on a personalized and engaging shopping experience. Facebook Marketplace, being part of the Facebook app, offers the convenience of managing marketplace activities alongside social networking, making it a practical option for users who prioritize ease and integration with their social media usage.

Payment and Security


Payment Methods Accepted

Etsy offers a variety of payment options through Etsy Payments, its payment processing system. This includes credit and debit cards, Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits, PayPal, some bank transfer services, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. This wide range of options makes it convenient for buyers from different regions to make purchases.

Security Measures for Transactions

Etsy Payments ensures that all transactions are encrypted and secure. It complies with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) to protect cardholder data. Additionally, Etsy has measures in place to detect and prevent fraud, such as monitoring transactions for suspicious activity and providing secure communication channels between buyers and sellers.

Data Protection

Etsy is committed to protecting user data. It adheres to global privacy standards and regulations, including GDPR for European users. The platform employs various security measures, such as SSL technology, to encrypt data transmitted between buyers and sellers, ensuring the confidentiality of personal and payment information.

Facebook Marketplace

Payment Methods Accepted

On Facebook Marketplace, the payment methods vary depending on how the transaction is conducted. For local transactions, payment often happens in person and can include cash, personal checks, or peer-to-peer payment systems like PayPal or Venmo. For items that require shipping, Facebook processes payments through Marketplace Checkout, which accepts major credit and debit cards, PayPal, and Facebook Pay.

Security Measures for Transactions

Facebook Marketplace encourages safe trading practices, such as meeting in public places for local transactions. For shipped items, Marketplace Checkout offers purchase protection, ensuring that buyers are charged only after confirming the receipt of the product in good condition. Facebook also uses encryption to protect personal and financial information.

Data Protection

Facebook implements several measures to protect users’ data, including advanced encryption techniques and secure servers. The platform operates under strict data protection and privacy policies, complying with international standards like GDPR. Facebook continuously monitors its systems for potential breaches and vulnerabilities, aiming to safeguard user information against unauthorized access.

Community and Support


Community Engagement

Etsy has a strong sense of community, fostered through various channels such as Teams and Forums. Teams are groups of sellers who collaborate based on shared interests, locations, or types of items. They provide a space for support, learning, and sharing experiences. Etsy’s Forums are a place for sellers and buyers to discuss a wide range of topics, from specific crafting techniques to general business advice. This active community engagement is a cornerstone of Etsy’s ethos, emphasizing collaboration and shared learning.

Customer Support and Seller Resources

Etsy provides comprehensive customer support and numerous resources for sellers. This includes detailed help articles, tutorials, and guides covering various aspects of selling, such as setting up a shop, marketing products, and managing orders. Etsy also offers a direct support system where sellers can contact Etsy for personalized assistance. Additionally, the platform regularly updates its Seller Handbook, a valuable resource for best practices, trends, and advice for running an Etsy shop effectively.

Facebook Marketplace

Community Engagement

Facebook Marketplace leverages the broader Facebook community, with numerous groups and pages dedicated to buying and selling. These groups often focus on specific types of items or local communities. They provide a platform for users to discuss their experiences, share tips, and offer support. However, the community aspect of Facebook Marketplace is more decentralized compared to Etsy, as it relies on the wider Facebook network rather than a dedicated marketplace community.

Customer Support and Seller Resources

Facebook provides basic customer support for Marketplace users, mainly through its help center, which includes articles and FAQs about using Marketplace. For transactional issues, especially those involving Marketplace Checkout, Facebook offers support through its reporting and resolution system. However, compared to Etsy, Facebook Marketplace has fewer dedicated resources and guides specifically for sellers, as it caters to a more casual selling and buying experience.

Etsy and Facebook Marketplace offer different levels of community engagement and support, reflecting their respective platforms’ nature and audience. Etsy, with its focus on artisans and unique products, fosters a strong, tightly-knit community with abundant resources and active forums for sellers. It provides extensive support and educational materials, helping sellers grow their businesses.

On the other hand, Facebook Marketplace, being part of the larger Facebook ecosystem, relies more on the social network’s existing groups and communities for user engagement. Its support system is more geared towards addressing transactional and usage queries, with less emphasis on seller development and education. This distinction highlights Etsy’s commitment to nurturing a dedicated community of creators and entrepreneurs, while Facebook Marketplace focuses on facilitating a wide range of buying and selling activities within the Facebook community.

Marketing and Visibility


Tools Available for Sellers to Market Products

Etsy offers a variety of tools for sellers to market their products effectively. One of the key features is Etsy Ads, which allows sellers to pay for their listings to appear higher in search results, both on Etsy and on Google. Sellers can also use Etsy’s social media integration tools to share their listings on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Additionally, Etsy provides sellers with analytics and insights, helping them understand customer behavior and tailor their marketing strategies accordingly.

Search Engine Optimization and Visibility

Etsy’s platform is optimized for search engines, which is crucial for online visibility. Sellers can improve their shop’s SEO by using relevant keywords in their product titles, descriptions, and tags. Etsy also encourages high-quality photography and detailed product descriptions, which not only enhance listings’ appeal but also contribute to better search rankings. The platform’s algorithm favors shops with good customer reviews, updated listings, and frequent activity, which means sellers who actively manage their shops tend to have better visibility.

Facebook Marketplace

Tools Available for Sellers to Market Products

Marketing tools on Facebook Marketplace are more limited compared to Etsy. However, sellers can leverage the vast network of Facebook to increase visibility. This includes sharing listings on their personal Facebook profiles, relevant Facebook groups, and pages. Facebook also offers the option to create paid ads for listings, which can appear across Facebook’s family of apps, including Instagram and Messenger, potentially reaching a wider audience.

Search Engine Optimization and Visibility

Facebook Marketplace listings are not as focused on SEO as Etsy. The visibility of items largely depends on the location and the relevancy to potential buyers in the area. Marketplace uses Facebook’s algorithm to show listings to users based on their interests, search history, and location. While sellers have less control over SEO, ensuring clear, descriptive titles and detailed information in listings can help in reaching the right audience.

Etsy provides a more robust set of marketing tools and emphasizes SEO, making it an ideal platform for sellers who want to actively promote their products and enhance their online visibility. Etsy’s marketing features, like Etsy Ads and social media integration, along with its focus on SEO, give sellers more control over their shop’s visibility and reach.

In contrast, Facebook Marketplace, while offering fewer marketing tools, benefits from the extensive reach of the Facebook network. Marketplace is more about leveraging the social aspect of Facebook for visibility, with the advantage of reaching a local audience through the platform’s algorithm.

Overall, Etsy is more tailored for sellers who are looking to invest time and resources into marketing and optimizing their online presence, while Facebook Marketplace is suitable for those who prefer a more straightforward.

Pros and Cons

Here’s a detailed presentation of the pros and cons for Etsy and Facebook Marketplace, organized in a longer column format:


  • Pros:
    • Specialized in handmade, vintage, and craft items.
    • Strong community and support.
    • Robust marketing and SEO tools.
    • Global reach.
    • High customization for shops and listings.
  • Cons:
    • Listing and transaction fees.
    • High competition in niche categories.
    • More effort is required for shop maintenance and marketing.

Facebook Marketplace

  • Pros:
    • No listing fees.
    • Broad and diverse user base.
    • Integration with Facebook platform.
    • Convenient for local transactions.
    • Suitable for a wide range of items.
  • Cons:
    • Limited marketing and SEO tools.
    • Less control over presentation.
    • Decentralized community support.
    • More suited for casual or occasional sellers.

Final Words

Choosing between Etsy and Facebook Marketplace depends on your specific needs and goals as a seller. Etsy is ideal for artisans and vendors of unique, handmade, or vintage items, offering a global market, strong community support, and advanced marketing tools, but at the cost of listing and transaction fees.

Facebook Marketplace, conversely, is more suitable for casual sellers or those dealing with a broader range of items, particularly for local transactions, with the advantage of no listing fees and easy integration with the Facebook platform. While Etsy caters to a niche market seeking specialty items, Facebook Marketplace excels in accessibility and convenience for general buying and selling within local communities.


Which platform is better for selling handmade items?

Etsy is more suitable for selling handmade items due to its focus on unique, artisanal products.

Are there listing fees on Facebook Marketplace?

No, Facebook Marketplace does not charge any listing fees.

Can I sell vintage items on both platforms?

Yes, you can sell vintage items on both Etsy and Facebook Marketplace, but Etsy is specifically known for its vintage and handmade items.

Which platform offers more robust marketing tools?

Etsy offers more robust marketing and SEO tools compared to Facebook Marketplace.

Is Facebook Marketplace good for local selling?

Yes, Facebook Marketplace is particularly effective for local selling due to its integration with the Facebook social network and community-based approach.

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