Squarespace vs. eBay

Looking for ecommerce software? Here's how Squarespace and eBay stack up.

Daniel Adams
Mark Hammersley

Daniel Adams and Mark Hammersley

Last updated 19o August 2020


Squarespace

4.5  Stackupp rating


Pricing from

$ 16.00 / month

Free Plan?

Trial


Best for

It’s best for small and medium retailers that don’t need extensive support for different languages and access to a large integration and extension library.

eBay

3.5  Stackupp rating


Pricing from

N/A

Free Plan?

Yes


Best for

retailers that intend to sell mainly through eBay or want to expand their existing market.

Squarespace or eBay: Which is best?

Can't decide between Squarespace and eBay?

Find the best platform for you with our side by side comparison of Squarespace and eBay. See how each platform stacks up across ease of use, design, support and value for money.

Let the comparison begin. Don't worry, we'll guide you.

Is Squarespace right for you?

Squarespace Commerce is an excellent choice for retailers that want to create and manage a stylish store. The platform is easy-to-use, includes a wide selection of features, and allows for unlimited products.

Squarespace Commerce is the “cool kid” of site-builder ecommerce platforms. Users have access to a powerful set of features - including unlimited bandwidth and storage, analytics, and POS - along with a library of sleek, professional templates.

It’s a fully-hosted solution, so you won’t have to take care of any backend tasks.

But while we like Squarespace Commerce, it’s not perfect. The editor does take a little getting used to. What’s more, the number of integrations on offer is a little limited.

Advantages

  • Easy-to-use site builder and management dashboard.
  • Stylish and professional themes
  • Unlimited products

Drawbacks

  • Promotion features only available on top plan.
  • Small number of themes.
  • Number of integrations is limited.

Use Squarespace Commerce if you’re looking for a platform that combines ease-of-use with the option to take advantage of more advanced features like POS, discounts and promotions, and theme editing.

Is eBay right for you?

As an ecommerce retailer, you’ve likely already heard of eBay. Most people know it as the web’s leading auction site. But eBay also offers a suite of tools for businesses. Retailers can use the eBay ecommerce platform either as their sole store or in conjunction with their self-hosted website.

Tools for businesses include the “Selling Manager”, of which there is both a free and a paid version; “File Manager”, for high-volume sellers; “eBay shops”, which enable you to build your own dedicated storefront; and a large library of integrations and third-party tools.

Consider using eBay if you want to leverage the marketplace’s existing audience, or if you’re looking for a straightforward solution that doesn’t come with the hassle of building a store from scratch.

Advantages

  • Access to eBay’s existing marketplace.
  • Simple and easy to use.
  • The platform itself is inexpensive.

Drawbacks

  • Limited design options.
  • Comparatively high listing fees.
  • Difficult to promote your store outside of eBay.

you want to take advantage of eBay’s large marketplace, want to grow your sales by establishing a presence on eBay in conjunction with your existing ecommerce store.

Ease of Use

Our first comparison criteria, ease of use. Why? Because it’s the most important.

Think about it. You don’t want to invest a lot of your precious time setting up an online store and tweaking the design only to find out that it’s a pain in the butt to manage day to day.

We take a look at how simple the Squarespace and eBay platforms are to run.

How easy is Squarespace to use?

Rated 4.5/5 for Ease of Use

While the site-builder is very easy to use, it does take a little getting used to. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the basics, however, you’ll have no trouble changing everything from your logo to your color scheme.

The management dashboard, from where users manage listings, orders, and analytics, is intuitive and easy to navigate.

What Squarespace customers are saying...

Beautiful template designs, user-friendly features, website is loading well. Very well coded and developed.
Easy to use, hugely customizable, great templates.
I love Squarespace. I have built my entire business on Squarespace, to annual revenues of over 500K.

How easy is eBay to use?

Rated 4.5/5 for Ease of Use

eBay is very easy to use. Sellers without any technical knowledge or limited experience navigating an ecommerce dashboard will find it particularly appealing.

The business tools, like Selling Manager Pro and File Exchange, are intuitive and straightforward and come with extensive documentation. If you’re comfortable with the normal eBay dashboard, then you won’t have a problem adapting to the more advanced features.

What eBay customers are saying...

"It was through eBay that we were able to realise the potential we had."
"It was so incredible getting my first sale within 24 hours. We were literally jumping with joy."
“Selling Manager Pro suits me fine with only around 130 items per month going out.”

It's a draw!

Design

Powerful features are great, but we all know first impressions count. So, do Squarespace and eBay templates actually look any good? See for yourself. We outline each platforms design options, plus showcase a few real life examples.

How good are Squarespace's themes?

Rated 4.5/5 for Design

Squarespace Commerce strikes a rare balance for an ecommerce website builder by combining intuitive, accessible customization tools with the option to make more advanced code changes.

Because the site-builder has a lot of options, it does require a little familiarization. But once users have overcome that initial hurdle, an array of customization opportunities open up.

The only downside is that, while the templates are beautifully-designed and mobile-optimized, only ten are offered. If you’re thinking about opting for Squarespace, check that one of the themes meets your needs before signing up to a paid plan. There’s a free trial, so you can take the platform for a test-drive first.

Squarespace Examples

  • 2 HR SET
    2 HR SET
Item 1 of 3

How good are eBay's themes?

Rated 2.5/5 for Design

eBay doesn’t offer much in the way of design flexibility. Shops and listings follow a standard template. In terms of the storefront, users can modify the logo, banner image, and description. It’s also possible to alter the navigation section on the left side of the store by creating various categories and subcategories.

In regards to the listings, sellers have control over the title, variation options (colour, size, model, etc.), and initial description.

The central overview area can also be used to add further product information and extra pictures.

If you’re looking for a high level of design freedom, then it’s probably fair to say that eBay isn’t the solution for you. If, on the other hand, you’re happy to work within the constraints of eBay’s storefront, then there won’t be any issues.

eBay Examples

  • Fishwest
    Fishwest
Item 1 of 3

Squarespace is our winner for design

How much do they cost?

Everyone’s favourite topic - pricing. Let's dive in to see if Squarespace or eBay offers better value for money.

How much does Squarespace cost?

Rated 4.5/5 for Pricing

All in all, Squarespace offers excellent value for money. The feature-set is extremely robust and includes unlimited products, multi-channel management (through the “Shopping Feed” integration), POS, abandoned cart emails, customer accounts, and more. It’s also possible to sell digital products and subscription services.

The only area where Squarespace falls is the limited add-on library. Compared to a solution like Shopify, Squarespace doesn’t offer smaller, less obvious features like countdown timers or personalized promotions.

To take advantage of all the features, you’ll need to sign up for the “Advanced” plan, but smaller retailers will get by happily on the “Basic” plan. The “Business” plan offers a limited feature-set and is designed for webmasters that want to sell a small number of products.

How much does eBay cost?

Rated 3.5/5 for Pricing

Depending on the specifics of your situation, including your volume of sales, the size of your existing market, and your return-on-investment from advertising, eBay may fall at either end of the spectrum when it comes to value from money, from absolutely excellent to jaw-droppingly terrible.

The business tools themselves aren’t particularly expensive - Selling Manager Pro will set you back by $15.99/month and a “Premium Store”, which allows for 1000 free fixed-price listings per month, will cost you $59.95/month. Compared to most ecommerce platforms, those fees are very good.

The main costs, however, lie in the “final value fee”. Whenever you make a sale, eBay will take around 10% of the sale amount (which includes the payment processing fee).

For smaller businesses, the total fee amount per month will likely be lower than what you would pay if you opted for your own store with a platform like Shopify or BigCommerce. For high-volume retailers catering to a market outside of eBay, however, final value fees will likely represent significant and unnecessary losses.

Squarespace is our winner for cost

Help and Support

If things go wrong (and they often do) you need to know someone’s there to help get you back on track. So, how does Squarespace's and eBay's support measure up?

How good is Squarespace support?

Rated 4.5/5 for Help and Support

The support package offered by Squarespace is excellent and users generally report high levels of customer satisfaction.

Customer support is available 24/7 via email and on Twitter. Live chat is available between 4 AM and 8 PM on weekdays.

Because Squarespace is a well-known and popular site-builder, a large community of users are active on the forums, which is another bonus.

How good is eBay support?

Rated 3.5/5 for Help and Support

eBay’s help and support package varies depending on which type of plan you purchase. Higher-level subscription options come with “eBay Concierge”, in which users have access to additional support options compared to the basic package. Basic customer support is mainly provided through email and live chat.

“Concierge” includes lower wait times, access to highly-trained members of the support team, and sales and marketing training. You’ll also receive extra assistance with negative reviews and listings that don’t meet eBay criteria.

Generally speaking, we’ve found eBay response times and the quality of customer support to be very good. Sellers also have access to extensive documentation and training materials.

Squarespace is our winner for support

The Bottom Line

The final say. Let's wrap up our thoughts on each platform.

Squarespace: Our Verdict

Squarespace is a popular ecommerce platform and site-builder with a loyal band of users. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use solution with a comprehensive and powerful set of features, then take advantage of the free trial and give it a test-drive.

One of the best aspects of Squarespace is its applicability to retailers with a range of coding abilities. Non-developers can take advantage of the feature-rich site-builder (which is easy to navigate one you’re familiar with all the options) and build a highly-customized site. Developers, on the other hand, can customize and alter a site’s code extensively using the “Developer Mode”.

So what about the downsides? While we’re big fans of Squarespace, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Although the feature-set is excellent - covering omnichannel listings, customer accounts, POS, promotion features, and email marketing - the integration library is a little sparse. Without coding experience, retailers will find it difficult to add smaller features, like countdown timers or personalization, without advanced coding abilities. If you want access to a large add-on library, a solution like Shopify might be preferable. Furthermore, while the themes on offer are superb, there’s only ten of them.

eBay: Our Verdict

Consider using eBay as your primary ecommerce platform if you want access to the marketplace’s large customer base or if you’re looking for a streamlined, easy-to-use solution that doesn’t come with many of the hassles of running your own independent store. It has a wide selection of seller tools, solid customer support, and won’t break the bank.

Many well-known brands, like Adidas and Dell, also run eBay shops alongside their main websites to reach new customers.

If, however, you want full control of your store and plan to market directly to customers, then you will likely need a more advanced solution like Shopify, WooCommerce or BigCommerce.

Overall, we found Squarespace to be the better ecommerce platform.

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