Shopify vs. Etsy: Which Platform is Cheaper for Sellers?

Shopify vs. Etsy: Which Platform is Cheaper for Sellers?

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Shopify vs. Etsy: Overview
  3. Shopify Fees and Pricing Structures
    • Basic Plan
    • Regular Plan
    • Advanced Plan
  4. Etsy Fees and Pricing Structures
  5. Comparing Transaction Fees
  6. Comparing Monthly Fees
  7. Other Considerations: Apps and Additional Costs
  8. Benefits of Selling on Shopify
    • No Listing Fees
    • Abandoned Cart Recovery
    • Detailed Reporting
    • Third-Party Calculated Shipping Rates
    • Fraud Analysis
    • Shopify Payments
  9. Benefits of Selling on Etsy
    • Top Placement
    • Etsy SEO
    • Free Shipping
  10. Case Study: Cost Savings on Shopify
  11. Conclusion

Shopify vs. Etsy: Which Platform is Cheaper for Sellers?

When it comes to selling products online, there are many platforms to choose from. Two popular options are Shopify and Etsy. Both platforms offer unique features and benefits, but one question that often arises is: "Is it actually cheaper to sell on Shopify than Etsy?" In this article, we will delve into the fees and pricing structures of both platforms to determine which one offers the most cost-effective solution for sellers.

Shopify Fees and Pricing Structures

Shopify operates on a monthly subscription model, with three different pricing plans available: Basic, Regular, and Advanced. The Basic plan is priced at $29 per month, the Regular plan at $79 per month, and the Advanced plan at $299 per month. Each plan offers a range of features and perks, such as staff accounts, sales channels, 24/7 support, manual order creation, and more. The transaction fees for Shopify vary depending on the plan. The Basic plan incurs a transaction fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents per order, while the Regular plan has a fee of 2.6% plus 30 cents per order. The Advanced plan, on the other hand, does not charge any transaction fees, but it requires a higher monthly subscription fee.

Etsy Fees and Pricing Structures

Etsy, on the other hand, operates on a different fee structure. The platform charges various fees, including a listing fee, transaction fee, and optional advertising fees. The listing fee on Etsy is $0.20 per item listed, and the transaction fee is 5% of the total sale price, including shipping costs. Etsy also offers optional advertising features, such as promoted listings and Google Shopping ads, which have additional costs associated with them.

Comparing Transaction Fees

When comparing the transaction fees of Shopify and Etsy, it is clear that Shopify offers a more cost-effective solution for sellers. With Shopify's Basic plan, sellers pay a transaction fee of 2.9% plus 30 cents per order. In contrast, Etsy charges a 5% transaction fee, which can significantly impact the overall profitability of a seller's business. By choosing Shopify, sellers can save on transaction fees and retain a larger portion of their earnings.

Comparing Monthly Fees

In terms of monthly fees, Shopify and Etsy have different pricing structures. Shopify operates on a subscription model, where sellers pay a fixed monthly fee based on the plan they choose. Etsy, on the other hand, charges a listing fee for each item listed and does not have a monthly subscription fee. However, it's important to note that while Etsy does not have a monthly fee, the listing fees and transaction fees can quickly add up, especially for sellers with a high volume of sales.

Other Considerations: Apps and Additional Costs

Aside from the basic fees, sellers should also consider other factors that may contribute to their overall costs. Shopify offers various apps and integrations that can enhance the functionality of an online store, but some of these apps come with additional costs. It's important for sellers to assess their needs and determine whether any additional apps or features are necessary for their business. Additionally, sellers should consider the costs associated with shipping and payment processing. Shopify offers discounted shipping rates and its own payment processing platform, Shopify Payments, which can help sellers save on these expenses.

Benefits of Selling on Shopify

Selling on Shopify offers several benefits that can contribute to a more cost-effective and efficient selling experience. Firstly, Shopify does not charge any listing fees, which can result in significant savings, particularly for sellers with a large inventory. Another advantage of Shopify is its abandoned cart recovery feature, which allows sellers to send automated emails to customers who have added items to their cart but failed to complete the checkout process. This feature can help recover potentially lost sales and increase overall revenue. Additionally, Shopify provides detailed reporting, including advanced report building capabilities for sellers on the Advanced plan. This allows sellers to analyze their sales data and make informed decisions to optimize their business. Furthermore, the Advanced plan offers the option of third-party calculated shipping rates, which can ensure accurate and competitive shipping costs for customers.

Benefits of Selling on Etsy

While Shopify offers many advantages for sellers, Etsy also has its own unique benefits. One of the main advantages of selling on Etsy is the opportunity to secure top placement in search results. Etsy's algorithm rewards sellers who offer free shipping, have good customer reviews, and optimize their listings with relevant keywords. This can result in increased visibility and more potential sales for sellers. Etsy also has a strong focus on search engine optimization (SEO), which can help sellers reach a wider audience and attract more organic traffic to their listings. Additionally, Etsy encourages sellers to offer free shipping, as listings that provide free shipping often receive priority placement in search results.

Case Study: Cost Savings on Shopify

To further illustrate the cost savings that can be achieved by selling on Shopify, let's consider a case study. Suppose a seller made $108,000 in sales in a year on Etsy. Based on Etsy's transaction fee of 5%, the seller would have incurred fees amounting to $5,400. In addition, if the seller had 4,227 orders, the listing fees alone would have amounted to $845. Comparatively, if the seller had used Shopify with the Basic plan, the total fees for the year would have been approximately $4,765, resulting in a savings of over $6,355 compared to Etsy.


In conclusion, when comparing the fees and pricing structures of Shopify and Etsy, it is evident that Shopify offers a more cost-effective solution for sellers. With lower transaction fees, no listing fees, and various other features and benefits, Shopify provides a comprehensive platform for sellers to build and grow their businesses. However, it's important for sellers to consider their specific needs and assess the additional costs associated with apps and integrations. Ultimately, the decision between Shopify and Etsy should be based on individual preferences, business goals, and the specific requirements of each seller.

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