A lot of work goes into designing and producing handmade products. While the selling process is a huge challenge in itself, using eCommerce platforms helps a lot. The question now is choosing the best platform to sell on: Amazon Handmade vs Etsy.
In this post, I’ll discuss the differences between Amazon Handmade vs Etsy. I’ll also go through each platform’s pros and cons to help aspiring online business owners like you make the best decision for your business.
Ready? Let’s get to it.
Amazon, the leading ecommerce platform in the US, launched Amazon Handmade in 2015. It caters to small entrepreneurs and Amazon sellers specializing in handmade products. Amazon Handmade products include:
- Beauty and Personal Care
- Shoes and Handbags
- Outdoor and Home Care
- Jewelry and Watches
- Kitchen and Dining
- Pet Supplies
- Sporting Goods
- Stationery and Party Supplies
- Toys and Games
If your products do not fall under one of these categories, you can’t sell them on the platform.
Amazon Handmade sellers can leverage the Amazon system to fulfill orders and provide customer support. If you want to sell your handmade goods, make sure your items are made by hand. Mass-produced items are not allowed.
Amazon is one of the most visited websites in the US as of 2022, along with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Because Amazon Handmade is integrated with this platform, it also means that you can access the same potential reach.
Those who sign up to be an Amazon Handmade seller can access the professional plan benefits for free. You will be charged a flat 15% transaction fee on all sales. Meanwhile, Amazon Marketplace offers individual and professional plan options, the latter of which charges a monthly fee of $39.99.
With Amazon Handmade, you don’t need to pay product listing fees unless you make a sale. This is extremely helpful if you’re just starting.
While Amazon Handmade sellers get the perks of professional selling plans for free, the 15% fee for every sales transaction is higher than other marketplaces.
Amazon offers a few in-house brands. That means if you are a seller, you are directly competing with Amazon — which could be intimidating if you are a first-time entrepreneur.
Etsy is a legit and popular online marketplace where you can sell handmade and vintage items at friendly prices. You can find anything from custom home decor to craft supplies and jewelry on Etsy.
The Etsy shop already existed as an online selling platform back in 2005. It specifically catered to craftspeople who made vintage and handmade arts around the world. Since then, it has grown into a global ecommerce site with more than 45 million items for sale (and still growing).
Etsy competes with Amazon Handmade. As of 2021, Etsy has more than 7.5 million sellers and close to 100 million buyers worldwide.
Etsy is an entrepreneur-friendly ecommerce platform because of its low startup fees. You can create your account on the etsy platform for as low as $0.20 with no additional subscription or monthly fees.
Etsy’s standard plan includes a Stats feature that shows your store’s traffic volume and where the visitors came from. Etsy Plus, the upgraded plan, lets users customize their online store with featured listings, banners, waitlist notifications for sold-out items, ad credits, and more.
Sellers can buy on-site and offsite ads through Etsy’s auto-bidding system. You can set a daily ad budget and then use it to “auction” ad space for specific product categories and search terms.
Sellers will pay for every ad clicked and receive an order from the customer who clicked the ad within 30 days. The ad fee is 15% of the total sales amount. All Etsy sellers can avail of the offsite ads, but those who make less than $10,000 a year can opt out of the program.
Etsy pricing also includes recurring listing fees, usually every four months. Even if there are no products sold during those months, the seller would still have to pay the same amount as when the account was opened. This can be a deal breaker for some Etsy sellers.
Etsy fees can be expensive, especially for users with hundreds of individual listings. There is also a risk of losing money running an Etsy store if listing costs exceed sales.
Etsy sellers are responsible for their shipping logistics. While the platform provides discounted printable labels, you still need to print them yourself, attach them to packages, and find a third-party distribution vendor to ship your packages. So you need to take into account the shipping fees when making a choice.
Etsy focuses on handmade and vintage goods. If your products don’t fall into this category, you will not be allowed to sell on the platform. Your items may even be flagged or removed from the platform.
Selling vintage products with a trademark or license (e.g., a handmade bag with a Disney character as design) may not be allowed. In the worst cases, your account can even be suspended.
To determine which ecommerce platform is best for your budding business, it is important to understand what makes each one distinct.
Both platforms can help aspiring entrepreneurs earn money while doing what they love. Additionally, you don’t need coding skills and acquire a business license to operate for either.
However, Amazon Handmade and Etsy differ in fee structures, startup time, and support services.
Here are comparisons of their features:
Both Etsy and Amazon Handmade have user-friendly websites for buyers and sellers. You don’t need extensive website development experience to create an online store on either platform.
They both have seller dashboards that let you track sales and order information. They also have mobile apps so sellers can perform transactions anytime and anywhere.
The only difference is that Etsy’s dashboard lets you view the number of visitors and where they came from. Amazon Handmade does not.
If you want to set up an Amazon Handmade store, you need to be approved by the Amazon team first. You won’t have problems if you meet their criteria, although you have to wait up to a few months to get approval.
On the other hand, Etsy does not have an approval process. You can set up a store and start selling once your account has been created.
Both platforms allow automated direct deposits as payment options. Etsy payments to sellers can also be processed via PayPal, mail, or their Etsy accounts.
The platform pays sellers every two weeks. However, sellers can change the payment schedule according to their preferences.
Amazon pays only through direct deposit into the seller’s bank account. They also pay their sellers every two weeks but provide no option to change the payment schedule.
Amazon Handmade and Etsy charge selling fees, which are taken from the total sale amount.
Etsy charges transaction fees of up to 6.5% of the total sale price, plus an additional 3.5% and $0.25 for the payment processing fee. Amazon Handmade charges 15% of the total sale price.
While both charge selling fees, Etsy charges a flat $0.20 listing fee per item
Sellers on both platforms can pay extra for preferred listing placement.
Etsy offers offsite advertising for stores with less than $10,000 in total annual sales. Amazon Handmade does not provide integrated offsite advertising features.
You can offer free shipping on both Amazon Handmade and Etsy. Both platforms also allow sellers to choose their shipping methods and rates.
Amazon has an advantage with Fulfillment by Amazon. With this service, Amazon handles inventory management and shipping processes on behalf of sellers for a fee. You will just need to ship your products to Amazon’s warehouse, and they’ll handle the rest. Alternatively, you can fulfill orders through the Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM) model.
Etsy does not offer services like this. However, they offer shippers with discounted Etsy shipping labels.
Amazon has around 6 million active sellers worldwide, while Etsy has approximately 4 million. But when it comes to artisan products and crafts, Etsy is more popular and often the go-to platform for most customers.
In terms of customers, Amazon takes the bigger slice of the pie. Amazon has more than 200 million users in its Prime membership alone. On the other hand, Etsy has around 81 million users.
There is no denying that Amazon is the leading eCommerce website in the world. However, it is yet to conquer the handmade and vintage goods niche for which Etsy is well-known.
Many buyers will go to the Etsy marketplace to find unique handmade goods. On the other hand, Amazon offers virtually everything and even has a handmade category. However, Amazon Handmade isn’t the first name that comes to mind when talking about handcrafted products.
To help you decide, define your target market and plan your business model. Consider the logistics, fees, and items you plan to sell before opening an Etsy account or an Amazon Handmade page.
The pros and cons presented above will help you weigh both options. You can even open accounts on both platforms and experiment on a small scale to see which one generates more sales and provides a better experience.
Even better, you can connect Etsy and Amazon Handmade to a seller tool so you can sell on both sites simultaneously.
In any case, both Amazon Handmade and Etsy are powerful eCommerce platforms that can reach millions of customers worldwide. Ultimately, these are only tools, and your success will depend on the quality of your products and the service you provide.
Yes, you can sell handmade items in the jewelry category. This includes handcrafted items, custom products, genuinely handmade products. However, you first need to go through Amazon’s approval process.
Selling handmade item has never been easier. There are 14 categories in the handmade department on the amazon seller central account.
These include Accessories, Artwork, Baby, Beauty & Personal Care, Clothing, Shoes & Handbags, Home, Outdoor & Home Care, Jewelry & Watches, Kitchen & Dining, Pet Supplies, Sporting Goods, Stationery & Party Supplies and Toys & Games.
Amazon Handmade is more expensive than Etsy, with a commission fee per sale three times more than Etsy’s! However, you can list unlimited items without any expiration.
It’s not hard to get approved. Simply follow this link, create a seller account then submit an application. What’s great about this program is that if you get accepted, you will not get charged Amazon’s subscription fees for the professional account.
Yes, you can link Etsy and Amazon Handmade to a central platform and sell on both platforms at the same time.
There are various tools that will allow you to do that easy integration. And on top of that, you can manage inventory, orders, customers in a single dashboard.
As challenging as it may seem, choosing between Amazon Handmade and Etsy is only the beginning of your journey in the ecommerce world.
Whatever you choose, mastering the platform is every bit as crucial. Make sure to take your time learning how to maximize it. The more skilled you are with the platform of your choice, the smoother it will be as you grow your business.
Always have your customers in mind. Think about the difference between etsy customers and handmade customers, and which ones you want to target first.
And I would actually say: why choose amazon handmade vs etsy when you can sell on both and tap into both audiences?
My recommendation is to choose the one that makes more sense to you initially, then once you have some cash flow, use the momentum to expand on other marketplaces, including your own site, which in the end should be your priority, as those would be your own customers.
Enjoyed this one? Why not checking our master list of Amazon seller tools to help you sell on Amazon the right way?