You are ready to start your dropshipping journey as an artisan, but you’re not sure what platform to choose?
Well, look no further because here we are going to look at the two leading platforms, Amazon with its special department called Amazon Handmade and Etsy, and find out who wins the Amazon Handmade vs Etsy debate when it comes to dropshipping.
In this article, we will cover the basics of each platform, including how you apply for Etsy and how you apply for Amazon Handmade.
We will also mention how much does each platform costs, what are the benefits, and what are some of the bad sides.
We will also include a short dropshipping FAQ at the end to summarize if you are a too-long-didn’t-read type of a person.
So let’s end the Amazon Handmade vs Etsy dilemma once and for all.
Did you know that Etsy is the queen supreme when it comes to selling hand-made goods? Shortly after its launch in 2005 as a tiny startup, Etsy became the no.1 spot for creators of handmade crafts reaching a whopping 3.9 billion in sales as of 2018.
Today, Etsy is the marketplace for anything custom-made, vintage, and unique. Whether you want to sell personalized candles or digital illustrations, Etsy is the way to go.
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If you are thinking of starting a dropshipping business or if you are a mere mortal, you probably know what Amazon is.
Well, in 2015, fully understanding the market potential of Etsy, Amazon decided to launch its sub-branch called Amazon Handmade, where creators can sell their goods and reach a broader market scope.
LEARN MORE: Dropshipping on Shopify vs Amazon FBA – The Ultimate Guide for Beginners
Now let’s dive into how you sign up for each platform.
How do I sign up on Etsy as a seller?
Unlike Amazon Handmade, signing up on Etsy is way easier.
Here are the steps:
- You visit Etsy.com/sell and click on the Get Started button
- Given the area and your target audience, you select the language, currency, and country where you want your shop to be located
- When you fill out all of this information, click Save and Continue
- Then you choose a shop name and again click Save and Continue
Please bear in mind that you have to do the first step via a desktop browser. To mention, you can manage it through the phone app when your shop is open. If you want to know more on how to open a store on Etsy, click here.
How do I sign up on Amazon Handmade as a seller?
Amazon Handmade is way more difficult to sign up for. Not only that, but you also need to get approval from Amazon first.
Now, you might be wondering, “Okay, so how do I get approval to sell on Amazon Handmade?”
There are several things to keep in mind here, such as:
- You must have a pre-approved selling Amazon account that has a professional selling plan,
- You must have a license to sell – you can’t have a restriction on selling
- Your company cannot be bigger than 20 workers
- You can collaborate with cooperatives, described by Amazon as a group of makers united to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs. There are also non-profits, social enterprises, a.k.a. companies that strive to empower and support organizations and communities of makers that make unique, handmade goods. Amazon gives the example of a social enterprise that creates unique designs and simultaneously works with communities of makers to help create and produce the final product.
However, the application process for Amazon Handmade is more or less straightforward.
First, you include your basic information, you answer questions based on your production practices, as well as a detailed description of your production process and photos of the products you create. Amazon then reviews this to ensure that it meets the given standards.
The whole application process lasts less than 30 minutes, but that is still way more than Etsy.
On the question of how long does it take to get approved on Amazon Handmade, the answer is that it takes approximately two weeks to get feedback on the application.
Now, let’s look at the pricing.
Pricing: Amazon Handmade vs. Etsy
When it comes to pricing, there are big differences in how much each platform will cost you.
Here’s a table to understand this better.
|15% referral fee for each sale||5% transaction fee|
|No listing fee||0.20$ listing fee for each item (you have to renew it every four months)|
|No other hidden fees||0.25 $ plus 3% payment processing fee|
|No monthly fee||No monthly subscription fee (10 $ per month Etsy Plus option)|
Pros and cons Etsy vs Amazon Handmade
Amazon Handmade and Etsy seem to have a lot of similarities and a lot of differences.
Thus, each platform offers a myriad of possibilities. Let’s have a look first at the Amazon Handmade ones, followed by Etsy.
Amazon Handmade pros and cons
|Vast audience||Difficult and a long wait time to be accepted|
|Customer Support||Payment is released only after shipping the item.|
|The listing doesn’t need updating.||Only 14 categories for listings|
|Customize shop profile||Difficult to navigate the Seller Dashboard|
Etsy pros and cons
|More niche audience||Listing expires after 4 months|
|Shop and Seller Dashboard is easy to set up and maintain||A lot of listing fees|
|A broad range of categories 160+||Constant changes and updates – difficult to track|
|Automatically enrolled in off-site advertising||If you’re selling a lot, you cannot opt out of advertising|
Conclusion: If you choose to go with Amazon Handmade, you get a base of around 300 million potential customers interested in everything.
In case you choose Etsy you will get a base of about 35 million potential customers who are specifically interested in hand-made goods and vintage pieces.
On the other hand, Amazon doesn’t need you to update the listing, while on Etsy you have to update it after 4 months.
Now, it’s time to have a look at the possibilities of shipping fulfillment of orders
Shipping & Fulfillment
You are probably wondering how both companies, Amazon Handmade and Etsy offer different tools that can help you out and make shipping and fulfillment easier.
Here’s the rundown:
Amazon Handmade offers two shipping options:
- Fulfillment by Amazon
- Fulfillment by Merchant
The difference between the two is that Fulfillment by Amazon does the shipping and fulfillment for you, while Fulfillment by Merchant means that you do the whole shipping, and fulfillment by yourself.
Fulfillment by Amazon also allows you to ship using Amazon Prime.
Unlike Amazon, on Etsy, sellers have to do the shipping and fulfillment themselves.
However, Etsy does partner with postal services in the States and international ones like FedEx to help you streamline and ship out your order fulfillment.
Etsy also provides a 30% discount on postage rates, if you are using the platform to create labels directly.
However, keep in mind that if you have a lot of orders, it might be a good idea to look into fulfillment service companies.
Now it’s time to summarize all of the possible questions and to solve the Amazon Handmade vs Etsy dilemma once and for all.
1. Is it cheaper to sell on Amazon Handmade or on Etsy?
Short answer: It depends. Etsy has a lot of different listing fees including the 0.20 $ per listing that is charged immediately, but Amazon has a 15% fee on every sale, which is a lot.
If you are selling a lot of goods, then the cheaper option would be Etsy.
2. What can you sell on Amazon and what on Etsy?
Well, Etsy has more than 160 categories of handmade and vintage you can choose from, while Amazon Handmade has only 14.
Those categories are:
- Shoes and Handbags
- Beauty and Personal care
- Pet Supplies
- Party supplies and stationery
- Kitchen and Dining
- Outdoor and Home Care
- Sporting Goods
- Toys and Games
3. Should I sell on both Amazon Handmade and Etsy?
This is definitely a good idea since Amazon Handmade offers a broader base of potential customers, and Etsy offers a more specialized, niche target audience.
Thus, it is better to start with Etsy until you build a brand and then leverage Amazon for its wide reach.
4. What is better: Amazon Handmade or Etsy?
Ultimately it just depends on what you are looking for. On the one hand, Amazon has a massive reach.
However, Handmade is just a subsection, and you need to go specifically to it, although it can bring you many potential customers who might stumble upon your store.
On the other hand, Etsy is a great way to start your dropshipping business for hand-made goods.
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Both platforms have pros and cons and offer different functionalities to help you start your dropshipping business.
Etsy is ultimately cheaper, but Amazon Handmade offers a broader reach and can get you more clients with less work.
However, the people on Etsy have a bigger chance of buying your products since Etsy is a specialized business for handmade and vintage, thus targeting your niche better.
It’s also easier to set up an account on Etsy than on Amazon Handmade, but Amazon offers to ship and fulfill your orders.
To sum up, Etsy is better if you are just starting, and Amazon Handmade is better for reaching more customers.