When you’re starting a new handmade business, many people wonder is selling on Etsy better than Amazon. I started my first handmade shop on Etsy and it was a great starting point. Then almost a year later, I started my Amazon store. I want to share with you the pros and cons of selling on Etsy vs. Amazon Handmade so you can decide which is better for your handmade business.
Is selling on Etsy better than Amazon? (The pros and cons)
If a person is just beginning, Etsy is a good option because the sales don’t take off quite as fast as Amazon. This will allow for time to get methods of making and selling solidified before getting too busy. Selling on Amazon is a better option if a person already has experience selling items online due to the amount of customers on Amazon and orders that will be possible immediately.
Etsy Customer Expectations vs. Amazon Handmade Customer Expectations
Etsy customers and Amazon customers are quite different.
Amazon has more of a get it quick and returns made easy vibe.
Etsy customers know it may take a little longer to receive something handmade and appreciate the work you put into your craft.
I’ve found that Etsy customers seem to be used to buying handmade items and know what to expect and Amazon customers sometimes can expect something manufactured.
As long as you have perfected your process for making your product and are confident in the quality, this shouldn’t be an issue.
Production Time Expectations On Etsy vs. Amazon
Etsy customers usually understand that it may take a little time to make your products.
Amazon customers are used to getting their products quickly with Amazon Prime.
Both sites allow you to put in your production time, but sometimes customers just don’t pay attention.
I haven’t had too many issues with this. The main thing that could happen is, they will ask to return the product because it didn’t arrive in time.
This can be frustrating when you’ve spent your time making it and then get a return because the customer didn’t read the expected delivery date.
Control Over Ads On Etsy vs. Amazon
If you choose to run ads on Etsy and Amazon, the experience can be quite different.
On Etsy, the only thing you can set at this time is how much you want to spend and which products you want to advertise. The rest is automated based on your keywords in your product titles and tags.
On Amazon, you have much more control over your ads and how they are shown to customers.
You can choose keywords to target and keywords to eliminate and lots of other ways you can customize your ads.
The Etsy ads are less intimidating for a beginner, but if your keywords aren’t great, you could be wasting your money.
Amount of Sales On Amazon Handmade vs. Etsy
The amount of sales on Etsy and Amazon are very different.
Of course, many things can affect the number of sales you get, but Amazon has a lot more customers and that results in a lot more sales.
Some handmade products are over-saturated on Etsy, but have barely any listings on Amazon. So you can stand out on Amazon and make more sales because of this.
I currently make about 3 times as many sales on Amazon as I do on Etsy.
You will need to do some research and find products to make that aren’t oversaturated that are for specific customers.
Selling Fees On Etsy vs. Amazon Handmade
Selling fees for Etsy: $0.20 for listing fee, 6.5% transaction fee, and 3.5 % + $0.25 payment processing fee.
Selling fees for Amazon Handmade: No listing fee, but 15% selling fee.
There is supposed to be a monthly selling fee, but they so far have continued to waive it year after year.
There are additional fees if you choose to have Amazon ship your products through FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) so they qualify for Prime.
I sell a $15 product and my fees are $1.65 on Etsy and $2.25 on Amazon. This could be quite a difference on a higher priced product. So you’ll want to consider this when deciding where to sell and when calculating your prices.
Branded Packaging On Etsy vs. Amazon
On Etsy you are allowed to put business cards in your packaging with your website, information to sign up for your email list, social links, etc.
So you can use Etsy to build your business as a whole if you want to sell on your own site eventually. Amazon is purely just to get sales right now.
Shop Customization On Amazon vs. Etsy
Etsy has a banner for your shop that you can customize to give customers a feel for what your brand is all about. You’re also allowed to put links to your website, email list opt-in and social links in your About section of your shop.
On Amazon, there is no way to personalize your store. You have an About section where you can tell about yourself and your business, but links to your website, email and social links are not allowed.
Going On Vacation Mode On Etsy vs. Amazon
Taking a vacation while running a handmade business can be challenging.
On Etsy, you have to put your shop on Vacation Mode which means you get no sales during that time and your rankings in search go down.
The other option on Etsy is to extend your production time, but in this case, you’re relying on the customer to actually read how long it takes to receive the item. This could end up with customers being frustrated and you getting bad reviews.
On Amazon you can do both of the above things, but you have another option…
You can use Amazon FBA which means you send your items in to Amazon and they ship them out to the customer with Prime shipping when you make a sale.
There will be additional fees for using FBA to fulfill your orders, but it could be a good alternative to having zero sales during your vacation.
If your products are personalized, this won’t be an option since you have to make items ahead of time and send them to Amazon.
You are still required to answer customer messages and deal with customer service though.
Exposure With Affiliates On Etsy vs. Amazon
Both Etsy and Amazon have affiliate programs for bloggers, YouTubers and social media influencers.
An affiliate program allows someone to post on their blog, social media, YouTube channel, etc. about a product and if a person buys the product, the influencer receives a commission from Etsy or Amazon.
Etsy’s affiliate program is not as popular as far as I can tell.
Amazon has a great affiliate program that nearly every influencer is a part of.
This is great for you as a seller because if they find your product and write or post about it on their site, it will send tons of traffic to your product and get you more sales.
Returns On Etsy vs. Amazon Handmade
Amazon’s “excellent” customer service and return policy can make it a bit annoying for handmade sellers who are selling on there.
Customers are quick to request to return items for ridiculous reasons on Amazon.
One way you can avoid this is to only sell custom items on Amazon Handmade.
Custom items can be non-returnable per Amazon’s terms.
So if you make something personalized or customized in some way, this will help keep the return rate on Amazon at bay.
In my Etsy shop, I’ve only had a few return requests in the 7 years that I’ve been selling on there.
Customers seem much more attentive and aware of what they’re purchasing and treat it more like a small business rather than the big box Amazon return culture.
Is selling on Etsy worth it?
Selling on Etsy is totally worth it!
Etsy is a great starting point if you’re a beginner because you’ll get enough sales to hone your skills and get your business systems set up, but you won’t be overwhelmed.
With Etsy your traffic and sales build up over time. I feel like Etsy is perfect if you’re just starting to sell your handmade items or if you just want a side income.
Is selling on Amazon Handmade worth it?
Absolutely! If you’re just starting your handmade business or are only able to work on your handmade business part-time, I would suggest only putting a few items on Amazon at first to be sure you don’t get overwhelmed with orders.
Amazon Handmade is perfect if you want to make your craft business your full-time income.
Which one is better for handmade sellers, Etsy or Amazon?
You have to be the one to decide if Etsy or Amazon is better for you.
It all depends on what your business goals are and how much time you have to work on your handmade business. If you want to go all in and make serious money, I say do both! That’s how I’ve built my business up to $10,000 months and it’s changed my life.
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