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1. Shopify vs. eBay pros and cons

eBay vs. Shopify: What's best for ecommerce? [2024]

In the world of online selling, choosing between eBay or Shopify is a big decision for businesses. You're likely looking for a straightforward answer on which is better for your online business. In this article, we'll break down both options, showing their good and bad points to help you choose wisely.

Ready to explore eBay versus Shopify? Let's dive in.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • When it comes to eBay vs Shopify, eBay is great for quick, global access with easy setup but faces high competition and offers limited control over branding. Shopify provides extensive customization, advanced marketing tools, and an integrated point-of-sale system, but comes with extra fees and a learning curve for beginners.

  • eBay charges for listings and sales, catering to individuals or businesses, while Shopify has tiered pricing plans to suit various business sizes and needs.

  • eBay is user-friendly for beginners with basic customization, whereas Shopify offers a comprehensive platform that requires some learning to fully exploit its features.

  • eBay supports a wide range of payments, including PayPal, while Shopify enhances payment flexibility with its own solution and third-party providers.

  • Shopify outshines eBay in customization, allowing for a unique brand identity with extensive design options and functionalities compared to eBay's basic storefront adjustments.

  • Shopify is designed for growth and control, offering advanced functionalities and extensive app integrations, while both platforms provide solid customer support and marketing tools tailored to their respective audiences.

Shopify vs. eBay pros and cons

Entrepreneur at work

The choice you make between eBay and Shopify can significantly impact your business's online presence, sales, and growth. To aid you in the decision-making process, we've listed the pros and cons of both these ecommerce giants below.

Pros of eBay:

  • Global marketplace: With eBay's global marketplace, you immediately gain exposure to millions of potential customers based all over the world.

  • Simple set-up: eBay's process for listing and selling products is pretty straightforward, making it a breeze even for ecommerce beginners.

  • No website required: You don't need to create and maintain a website to start selling on eBay. Your product goes directly into eBay's marketplace.

Cons of eBay:

  • Competitive environment: Since eBay is an open marketplace, the competition can be pretty fierce, meaning your product needs to stand out for it to sell.

  • Fees: Successful transactions on eBay attract fees. While these may seem small at first, they add up over time, potentially eating into your profits.

  • Less control: Since you're selling in eBay's marketplace, you have less control over your brand presentation and customer relationship than you would on a standalone site.

Pros of Shopify:

  • Customizability: Shopify allows for complete customization of your store's design, making it possible to create a brand-specific, unique storefront tailored to your preferences.

  • Integrated POS system: Shopify offers an integrated POS system, allowing a seamless link-up between your online and offline sales.

  • Advanced marketing tools: Shopify comes loaded with advanced marketing tools that help drive traffic and sales conveniently for your store.

Cons of Shopify:

  • Additional transaction fees: Unless you're using Shopify Payments, transaction fees will apply over and above payment processing costs.

  • Complexity: The multitude of features offered by Shopify may be overwhelming for beginners in the ecommerce space, involving a bit of a learning curve.

Shopify vs. eBay: The breakdown

Analyzing data on laptop

Given the rapid advancements in ecommerce, it's more important than ever to choose your business platform wisely. The question is, which platform suits you better—eBay or Shopify? Let's dive headfirst into a comprehensive comparison that evaluates different aspects such as pricing, ease of use, support, and more. This detailed exploration will equip you with a decisive understanding of both platforms, paving the way to the ecommerce success story you envisage.


As we delve into the cost analysis below, you'll see that Shopify has a slight advantage due to its varied payment plans and ability to control overhead costs, making it the leading platform for cost-effectiveness.

eBay costs

The eBay platform started as an auction listing site, and although it now supports the ability to buy items at a fixed price without bidding for them, its design and pricing remain structured around listings. You pay two types of fees for using eBay's online marketplace:

  • Insertion fees for listing items, with a limited number of free listings allowed per month, varying by plan

  • Final valuation fees for selling items, calculated as a flat fee per sale plus a percentage of the sale value

Depending on how many listings you plan to do, you can sign up for two different types of eBay accounts:

  • Personal

  • Business

Personal accounts are designed for individuals who only intend to sell on a small scale or as a hobby. They allow up to 250 free listings per month before insertion fees kick in. Insertion fees vary by category, ranging from free listings for musical instruments to $0.35 per item for collectibles such as trading cards to $1.50 for certain types of real estate ads.

Business accounts have five pricing tiers that offer progressively higher numbers of free insertions per month and progressively lower fees for monthly subscriptions, insertions, and final valuations:

  • Starter: $4.95 per month with annual subscription, with 250 free auction and fixed-price listings and $0.30 per listing after that.

  • Basic: $21.95 per month with an annual subscription, with 1,000 free fixed-priced listings a month and $0.25 per listing after that, and 250 free auction listings in select categories per month and $0.25 per listing after that.

  • Premium: $59.95 per month with an annual subscription, with 10,000 free fixed-priced listings a month and $0.10 per listing after that, and 500 free auction listings in select categories per month and $0.15 per listing after that

  • Anchor: $299.95 per month with an annual subscription,  with 25,000 free fixed-priced listings a month and $0.05 per listing after that, 1,000 free auction listings in select categories per month, and $0.10 per listing after that.

  • Enterprise: $2,999.95 per month with an annual subscription,  with 100,000 free fixed-priced listings a month and $0.05 per listing after that, 2,500 free auction listings in select categories per month, and $0.10 per listing after that.

Final valuation fees are lower for business plans above the starter tier, with fee percentages varying by product category. 

With this in mind, let's delve deeper into the value for price that eBay offers. 

eBay's sustained popularity opens doors to a vast global market, enhancing product visibility and boosting business returns. Its broad product categories cater to diverse business needs, making it a versatile choice for varied ecommerce operations. 

Additionally, eBay's auction feature facilitates the sale of unique or high-demand items at premium prices, inflating profit margins and fostering customer loyalty through the exhilarating bidding process. 

Moreover, eBay streamlines ecommerce operations with its all-inclusive seller services, sparing sellers the complex task of setting up and running a business. Sellers also get access to eBay-branded shipping supplies to build credibility and trust with their target audience.

All these advantages, in tandem with an appealing pricing structure, position eBay as an invaluable asset, especially for nascent or small-scale businesses.

Shopify costs

Shopify features three main pricing tiers that vary by monthly subscription fee, fees per credit card transaction, and ecommerce features:

  • Basic

  • Shopify

  • Advanced

The Basic tier costs $39 per month, with a trial price of $1 a month for the first three months. Credit card payment processing fees are 2.9% plus 30¢ USD online and 2.6% plus 10¢ USD in person. Ecommerce features included are basic reports, up to 10 inventory locations, and up to a 77% shipping discount.

The Shopify tier costs $105 per month, with a trial price of $1 a month for the first three months. Credit card rates are 2.7% plus 30¢ USD online and 2.5% plus 10¢ USD in person. Ecommerce features include professional reports, up to 10 inventory locations, up to an 88% shipping discount, and five staff accounts.

The Advanced tier costs $399 per month, with a trial price of $1 a month for the first three months. Credit card rates are 2.5% plus 30¢ USD online and 2.4% plus 10¢ USD in person. Ecommerce features included are custom report builders, up to 10 inventory locations, up to an 88% shipping discount, and 15 staff accounts.

All plans include an online store, sales channels, point of sale (POS) tools, and 24/7 support.

Shopify also offers a $5-a-month Starter plan for sellers who want to sell through social media apps and a $2,000-a-month Shopify Plus plan for high-volume sellers. Modular pricing called Commerce Components is available for sellers who want to use specific components of the platform.

Given its tiered pricing structure, Shopify demonstrates its commitment to supporting businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to thriving enterprises. By offering diverse plans, a huge app store, and the unique option of 'Commerce Components,' Shopify enables sellers to choose and pay for only the features they need, making it a cost-effective solution. 

This dedicated focus on customization not only gives you ultimate control but also enhances the value proposition of Shopify, where every dollar spent is geared toward your business's growth and success. Multiple pricing options guarantee that there's a suitable plan for every seller, ensuring you get real value for your money and an ecommerce solution that scales with your ambitions.

Ease of use

In terms of ease of use, Shopify just slightly outperforms eBay, offering a more comprehensive and intuitively designed platform ideal for building a full-scale ecommerce store.

eBay ease of use

The eBay platform is designed to be easy to use for retailers without coding skills. If you use a personal account, you only have to create an account to begin filling out listing forms. If you use a business account, you can create an eBay store homepage similar to a social media profile page. You have options to customize your store name, image, logo, and description. You can create a limited number of featured categories, add featured items, create a clickable marketing banner, add a store video, and describe store policies.

Shopify ease of use

Shopify's platform allows you to build a website using a range of customization features. The onboarding process introduces you to a dashboard that allows you to add products, view transactions, and manage store operations. You can organize products by vendors, categories, keyword tags, and collections of related items. You can add pages to your store, such as about, contact, and policy pages. You can customize your store design and functionality by using templates, customizing navigation menus and checkout carts, or adding apps from the Shopify app store.

Advanced Shopify site configuration requires some moderate coding knowledge. The platform uses its own coding language rather than standard HTML code. You'll need to learn this language if you want to modify your store's template.

Payment processing

When it comes to payment processing, Shopify offers a broader array of choices and flexibility, making it a more adaptable solution for diverse ecommerce needs.

eBay payment processing

For payments, eBay's checkout process accepts:

  • PayPal

  • PayPal Credit

  • Credit cards

  • Debit cards

  • Google Pay

  • Apple Pay

  • Payment on pickup

  • Wire transfer

  • eBay gift cards, vouchers, and eBay Bucks

  • Spendable funds, available to eBay sellers as proceeds from sales

Certain categories also allow:

  • Bank-to-bank transfers

  • Checks

  • Money orders

  • Online payment services (such as XOOM)

The platform does not allow sending cash by mail or wire-to-wire transfer services, such as Western Union.

Only certain payment methods are eligible for eBay's Money Back Guarantee.

Shopify payment processing

Payment methods Shopify accepts include:

  • Credit cards via Shopify Payments or third-party providers

  • PayPal

  • Apple Pay

  • MetaPay

  • Cryptocurrency

Shopify offers customers several expedited payment options via the platform's own Shop Pay or through accelerated checkout features on other payment methods.

Shopify only accepts debit cards that are co-branded with major credit card providers.

Customization options

When it comes to customization, Shopify outshines eBay with its endless customization capabilities that provide businesses the flexibility to shape their online storefronts to match their brand aesthetics perfectly.

eBay customization

You can use a limited range of customization options on eBay's online stores. You can adjust your own eBay store homepage's name, image, logo, and description. You can add certain featured categories, featured items, a banner, a video, and store policy descriptions.

Shopify customization

Shopify lets you customize your own store design and functionality by using templates, customizing navigation menus and checkout carts, and adding apps from Shopify's app store. If you know Shopify's coding language, you can further customize your store's template to personalize your own branded online store.

Ecommerce features

In the heated tug-of-war of ecommerce features, Shopify takes the upper hand with its array of advanced options designed for fast-growing businesses.

eBay ecommerce features

The eBay platform offers a simple range of ecommerce features for store owners, including:

  • Product listings

  • Shopping cart functionality with multiple payment options

  • Search tools

  • Product reviews

  • Favorites and wish lists

  • Discount and sales options

For higher tier plans or additional fees, eBay offers advanced ecommerce features with its Selling Manager Pro tool. This includes features to save store listing templates, manage inventory, and track sales data.

Shopify ecommerce features

Shopify store owners can access advanced ecommerce features, including:

  • Store management dashboard tools

  • A homepage with additional page options

  • Customizable templates, menus, and checkout carts

  • Product organizational categories, tags, and collections

  • Third-party app integration options

  • Multi-channel selling across other platforms

  • Sale and discount options

  • In-person point-of-sale checkout

Many of these features come built into the platform. Third-party apps may require additional fees.

Customer support

When it comes to offering customer support, it's a tight race between the two platforms, but Shopify takes the lead with its robust, around-the-clock assistance.

eBay customer support

Customer support tools for eBay include:

  • A help center with articles

  • Community support

  • Chatbot and live chat assistance

Shopify customer support

Shopify customer support includes:

  • A help center with searchable documentation

  • Community forums

  • Support assistance via email, phone, or live chat

Marketing tools

When comparing marketing tools available for the two platforms, Shopify definitely takes the crown due to its extensive suite of marketing tools.

eBay marketing tools

Marketing tools provided by eBay include:

  • Internal SEO tools for customers searching on the platform

  • Social media integration with Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat

  • Email newsletters to eBay store subscribers

  • Analytics for listings, traffic, and sales reports

Shopify marketing tools

Shopify's marketing tools to support online selling include:

  • Externally-oriented SEO features designed to promote pages on search engines using on-page optimization strategies

  • Targeted ads

  • Integration with most major social media platforms

  • Integration with email marketing apps

  • Comprehensive web analytics tools for your store's traffic


When it comes to customers, it's a tie between eBay and Shopify, with each platform providing unique customer engagement opportunities and expansive reach.

eBay customers

Customers come to eBay primarily by searching for specific products on search engines or by clicking on social media integrations. Once a customer arrives, you can't do much follow-up marketing unless they buy from you and you use email marketing to stay in contact with them.

Shopify customers

Shopify customers may come to the platform from search engines, paid ads, social media, email lists, or in-store contacts. Once customers visit your store, you can maintain contact with them through targeted ads and the use of email marketing integrations.

Shipping options

When considering shipping provisions, Shopify surely outshines with its impressive integration features and adaptive solutions for sellers.

eBay shipping options

The eBay platform is integrated with major domestic carriers, including eBay's own shipping service, as well as export carriers, import carriers, and domestic freight carriers.

Shopify shipping options

Shopify offers shipping, local delivery, and local pickup. Shopify hosts its own order fulfillment network that works with USPS, UPS, and DHS in the US and other carriers in other countries.


When it comes to scalability, Shopify has a slight edge over eBay due to its superior customization capabilities and a wide range of tools designed for business expansion.

eBay scalability

eBay offers an established marketplace for easy product expansion, with access to international markets and the ability to quickly reach a wider geographical audience. However, navigating the rules and regulations can be tricky, competition is fierce, and establishing your brand can be challenging. 

Additionally, eBay has limited integration capabilities, which may become a challenge as your business grows. 

Shopify scalability

On the other hand, Shopify provides total control over product presentation and management, with a robust CMS for easier management of a broad product catalog. While entering new markets may require more time and effort, Shopify's SEO and marketing tools support international growth and branding. 

Additionally, Shopify offers excellent integrations with various business systems and apps, streamlining operations and providing scalability as the business expands.

Boost your online sales: Leveraging Shopify and eBay integration

Are you a Shopify store owner looking to expand your customer base? You don't have to abandon your Shopify store to do so. It's possible to leverage your existing online store on Shopify to sell online on eBay, one of the world's largest online marketplaces.

Shopify integrates smoothly with eBay, allowing you to manage your listings and orders from both platforms on just one dashboard. You can have seamless control of your inventory management, and it eliminates the need for manual updates and cross-checking, saving you considerable time. 

Features of Shopify-eBay integration:

  • Synchronized inventory: Your Shopify store's inventory is automatically synchronized with your eBay listings. You list an item once, and it's instantly available on both platforms.

  • Unified orders and fulfillment: You can view and manage all your orders from Shopify and eBay. This allows you to fulfill orders from both platforms from your Shopify dashboard.

  • Centralized customer service: Questions from customers on both platforms can be handled from Shopify, making it easier to maintain excellent customer service.

Benefits of combining Shopify and eBay: 

  • Extended reach: With your products available on both platforms, you gain access to eBay's large international audience, leading to increased visibility and potential sales.

  • Streamlined operations: Managing multiple ecommerce platforms can be a hassle. By integrating eBay with your Shopify account, you can streamline your business operations.

  • Greater market insight: By selling on both platforms, you can gain valuable insights about where your products are most popular and where there are opportunities for growth.

Potential considerations:

  • eBay's listing fees: You're responsible for paying eBay's listing fees, which can potentially eat into your profit margins.

  • Competition: eBay is a highly competitive marketplace, and it can be daunting for a brand-new seller. You'll need to strategize effectively to stand out.

Shopify vs. eBay: The final verdict

Decision-making in office

In terms of platform advantages, eBay shines for its simplicity and low-cost operations. It's an excellent option for beginners or small-scale sellers, allowing you to tap into a broad global audience without the need to build your website from scratch. The platform handles most aspects, including payment processing and visibility. On the other side of the spectrum, Shopify excels with its robust customization options and marketing tools. This translates into a more comprehensive control over your store's design and branding, advanced SEO capabilities, and integration with various sales channels, ideal for ambitious entrepreneurs aiming for scalability.

When selecting the perfect platform, consider your business size, industry, and long-term goals. For smaller operators or those in a niche market, eBay's simplicity and audience reach might provide an easier start. However, if you're planning considerable growth or prefer more control over your online store, Shopify is a superior choice, given its powerful store management tools. Be that as it may, either could be the 'right' choice depending on your specific case; hence, it's essential to thoroughly evaluate the pros and cons of both platforms in line with your business needs and goals.

Create a profitable online store on any platform with Gelato

Thriving in ecommerce requires more than just an exceptional product line; it hinges on your ability to streamline operations and offer a flawless shopping experience to your customers. As a leading digital business solution, Gelato gives you a solution to create a profitable online store regardless of your platform choice. Whether you opt for eBay's simplicity and ready market or decide to leverage the scalability of Shopify, Gelato's expansive global print network and customization options amplify your reach and improve your overall operational efficiency.

Gelato's Order Desk lets you connect to over 275 services, including eBay and Shopify. We integrate fully with Shopify so you can sell our products on their platform. Gelato uses the world's largest print on demand (POD) network to source quality, customizable products locally in 32 countries for eco-friendly production and shipping. We help you offer shoppers customizable items such as clothing, mugs, calendars, wall art, tote bags, phone cases, and more. Create a profitable online store selling customizable products by signing up with Gelato and connecting us to your Shopify or eBay store.

Shopify vs. eBay FAQs

What is the difference between eBay and Shopify?

The eBay platform is an auction listing platform with limited ecommerce features to support fixed-price purchases of listed items. Shopify is a full ecommerce platform that offers greater flexibility in design and functionality and more powerful marketing and analytics tools.

Does Shopify take a cut of eBay sales?

When you integrate your Shopify store with eBay, Shopify does not charge any additional fees for selling on eBay, but you do pay Shopify's standard transaction fees.

How much does Shopify charge for eBay?

Shopify does not charge any additional fees for eBay integration or sales. However, you do pay any standard fees you would pay for using Shopify, including your Shopify subscription fees and any transaction fees.


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