Is there room for artisans in the eCommerce world? If I want to sell online, do I have to shove my creative abilities aside and sell branded products? Have you always wondered if there are online marketplaces for artisans? You’ll be pleased to learn that Amazon Handmade and Etsy are online marketplaces built solely for that purpose.
These are the most popular online marketplaces for artisans. Hence the Amazon handmade vs. Etsy comparison is quite common among new sellers. If you have considered selling handcrafted items online, you must have come across these platforms and struggled to settle for one.
New sellers often ask, “Is Amazon Handmade worth it?” or “Why should I sell on Etsy”? Both marketplaces are well-recognized and offer great potential, but there are a few things to consider before deciding to sell on either. So, before selling on either platform, you should compare them thoroughly to see which one works best for you.
In this post, we’ll do a thorough Amazon handmade vs Etsy comparison to help you make an informed choice. Ready? Let’s get right into it.
Amazon Handmade was launched in 2015 as an online marketplace for artisans. Since the parent channel for this platform (Amazon.com) has over 300 million active customers, the handmade channel has gained massive recognition too. The traffic on the Amazon Handmade platform is not as massive as that of Amazon.com. Still, AMZN handmade sellers have a high chance of building profitable businesses by feeding off the online giant’s customer base.
Etsy, on the other hand, was established in 2005. This online marketplace focuses on handmade and vintage items, allowing artisans to list and sell their handcrafted goods. Since it has existed for longer, Etsy has built a solid reputation for selling strictly handmade items, and over 2 million artisans currently offer their unique products on the platform. As of now, Etsy has a little over 96 million customers.
Etsy vs Amazon FBA: Similarities and Differences
If you’re struggling to choose between these marketplaces, it’s probably because you don’t know if they are similar or different. Yes, they are both great marketplaces for artisans, but if you want to start a business, you don’t just want a great platform, you want something that works for you. Hence, it’s important to be
- User-Friendly Dashboard: Both websites are functional and easy to navigate. So, you do not have to worry about not being able to find your way around. Plus, the stores are well-designed and your buyers will not have any difficulty placing orders.
- Product Listings: To list products for sale on both platforms, sellers have to create product listings using numbered lists, descriptions, images, and drop-downs.
- Custom Products: Both platforms allow sellers to list their unique, handcrafted items for sale.
- Listing fees: Creating product listings on AMZN is free and listings do not expire. But if you decide to sell on Etsy, you’ll have to pay $0.20 per listing and 5% per sale. Also, your product listings will only be valid for four months after which they must be renewed.
- Payment Processing: On Etsy, you’ll get the funds in your bank account once a transaction has been completed. In contrast, the payment process on AMZN is quite long. Sometimes, it takes up to 24 days to get the funds in your account.
- Sign-up Process: Etsy’s sign-up process is quite straightforward; there are no complicated approval stages. In contrast, the sign-up process for Amazon Handmade is lengthy and it may take weeks or even months for you to get approval to list your products on the platform.
- Customer Base: Although Amazon Handmade is a streamlined market that only carries handmade items, not all online shoppers are aware of the platform yet. Etsy, on the other hand, is recognized as an artisan-only marketplace, and many shoppers go there specifically for that.
- Product Categories: Etsy offers over 160 categories while Amazon handmade only has about 14 product categories.
- Shipping Fees: Amazon Handmade uses a unit/weight-based shipping model. The standard delivery fee on AMZN is $4.49, and per-weight shipping costs $0.50 per pound by default. Etsy charges a 5% transaction fee and a 5% shipping fee on all orders.
- Mode of Operation/Production: Etsy allows you to recruit people to help with product manufacturing. AMZN’s policy is that your products must be manufactured by you or staff in a company with less than 20 employees.
Handmade by Amazon and Etsy are quite similar, but they’re also very different. So, before deciding to sell on either platform, you should consider their pros and cons individually.
Related: Amazon vs eBay
Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons of Selling on Etsy
Etsy is a great place to sell, but like every other business decision, selling on Etsy has its pros and cons. Let’s take a look at the good and bad sides of selling on Etsy.
- Quick sign-up process: Etsy’s sign-up process is smooth and easy, so if you want to get your business running in the shortest time possible, Etsy is your best bet.
- Ease of setup: Launching your product is fast and easy. You can create your product listings in 5 minutes just by uploading product images, descriptions, and payment information.
- Easy to Navigate payment system: Etsy has an already established payment system that makes it easy for sellers to receive and process credit card payments.
- Seller Community: No one wants to be left to figure things out on their own all the time. In addition to the seamless setup process, Etsy has built a strong seller community where sellers can rub minds and access help easily.
- Customer trust: Etsy has a relatively large customer base, but this does not automatically translate into trust or loyalty for your brand. Since you’re selling on an online marketplace with competitors, customers may be unable to recognize your products or remember your brand. This often results in fewer repeat customers and referrals, making it difficult to scale an Etsy store quickly.
- High Competition: Since Etsy is strictly for artisans, the competition is quite high. Plus, the majority of the niches are crowded making it hard for sellers to make sales without taking additional measures.
The Pros and Cons of Selling on Amazon Handmade
Yes, the application process for Amazon handmade is complicated. But that doesn’t mean there are no benefits to selling on the platform. Let’s take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of selling on Amazon Handmade.
- Vast Customer Base: AMZN has over 300 million active customers, and over 85% of shoppers say they would rather shop on AMZN than on other marketplaces, making it the most sought-after online marketplace. Also, AMZN is well-recognized as a one-stop shop for any item, so although not all shoppers are aware of the handmade platform, they still search for handcrafted products on the main website and are redirected to the handmade platform.
- Functional Algorithm: AMZN’s search algorithm is effective, making sellers with well-optimized listings and little SEO knowledge more likely to show up in search results. Unlike AMZN, ranking on Etsy is not an easy feat, and sellers have to spend a considerable amount of time on SEO.
- Excellent Customer Service: AMZN has an easily accessible and effective customer support team that can be contacted via different channels, whereas Etsy only provides an email for seller complaints.
- Ease of Fulfillment: If you choose FBA, you can delegate fulfillment and a variety of additional tasks to AMZN. And AMZN has the smoothest delivery service in the world, so you can count on on-time, hassle-free deliveries. Using FBA also makes you eligible to sell to Prime subscribers, Amazon’s network of loyal customers.
- Long Sign-up Process: To become an Amazon Handmade seller, you must first fill out an application. AMZN is picky about quality and exclusively sells handcrafted items. As a result, these applications must go through a thorough review and approval process by humans. Because of the high volume of applications, days could turn into weeks or months before you receive approval.
- Scaling May Be Difficult: AMZN is a fiercely competitive marketplace, and the handcrafted category is no exception. You must be willing to go the extra mile to scale your business. This often entails constantly optimizing your listings and improving your advertising strategies. Even your product photographs must be professional if you want to make sales.
- Fewer Categories: There are only about 14 Amazon Handmade categories. As a result, some items may not be eligible for sale on the platform.
Which of these marketplaces is the best one for you? It may be difficult to make this decision, but the good thing is that you can sell on both platforms simultaneously. However, if you intend to sell on only one of these platforms, you’ll have to consider other factors like selling fees and fulfillment services. Let’s take a look at these other factors.
Amazon Handmade Fees
If you decide to sell on AMZN, you will have to choose between two selling plans: Individual and Professional. The individual selling plan costs about $0.99 per sale and is best for sellers who intend to sell fewer than 40 items per month. In contrast, the professional plan costs $39.99 and is best for sellers who intend to sell more than 40 items per month.
AMZN also charges a referral fee. The fee is charged as a commission on every sale and varies from 8% – 45%. However, professional sellers are exempted from the standard referral fees and will only have to pay a 15% commission or a minimum of $1 referral fee per sale.
Of course, there are other fees you will have to pay if you sign up for FBA. But these are the basic Amazon handmade fees that every seller will have to pay.
Signing up to sell on Etsy is free, and you won’t have to pay a subscription fee except if you sign up for Etsy plus. Etsy plus is a subscription-based plan that costs $10 monthly and gives you access to a wider range of tools and features.
Unlike AMZN where you can create listings for free, on Etsy, you will have to pay a listing fee of about $0.20 per item and a 5% transaction fee per sale.
As a result of the numerous fees on Amazon handmade, many sellers prefer to sell on Etsy instead.
Which Platform Offers Better Fulfillment Options: Amazon Handmade or Etsy?
AMZN offers two fulfillment options: Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) and Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). Sellers who use the FBM option will be fully responsible for storing and shipping their products. In contrast, when using FBA, AMZN will store and ship orders on your behalf. They will also provide 24/7 customer service and handle return processing for you.
Etsy, on the other hand, does not offer a fulfillment option that allows you to outsource crucial processes to a professional team. So, if you decide to sell on Etsy, you will have to handle all your business processes by yourself. You can still utilize FBA as a Multi-channel fulfillment option if you sell on Etsy. You may, however, incur extra fees compared to AMZN sellers.
Clearly, when it comes to order fulfillment, AMZN’s services are second to none.
Now that you know the costs of selling on either platform, as well as the fulfillment options that they both offer, you can make a more informed decision.
How to Start Selling on Amazon Handmade vs Etsy
The process of becoming an Etsy seller vs. Amazon Handmade vendor differs significantly. It’s significantly easier on Etsy, however, on Amazon Handmade, you’ll have to go through an application procedure. Let’s go over how to get started on either of these platforms.
How to Start Selling on Etsy
- Create an Etsy account to get started.
- Configure your shop’s preferences, such as currency, language, and home nation.
- Pick a name for your Etsy store.
- Add items to your shop, create your listings, and publish them.
- Decide on your payment options and billing information.
- Set up your shop, personalize it, and promote it.
How to Start Selling on Amazon Handmade
- Create a seller account: To do this, visit the Amazon handmade website, then click on the “Are you a maker?” design. You will be redirected to a landing page, click on “Apply now”.
- Complete the application process: The application process is simple and clear, and you should have no problems. However, it is exhaustive, and you must be meticulous. Make sure you include enough information in your application to increase your chances of approval. Also, include excellent product photos that capture your product’s benefits.
- Create your listings: Once you have gained approval to sell, you should create your listings and list your products for sale. Although the listing creation procedure can be a little perplexing, you should be able to figure it out. If you can’t, AMZN has a wealth of information to help you get started.
Conclusion: Is Amazon Handmade Better Than Etsy?
Is Amazon Handmade worth it? Of course, it is, and selling on Etsy is a great business move too. So, choosing between these platforms may be difficult, especially if you’re a new seller. However, if you read this Amazon Handmade vs. Etsy comparison to this point, you should be able to weigh your options and choose the best platform for your business. Good luck!