As a dropshipper, choosing the right platform can make or break your business. With Amazon Handmade vs Etsy being popular choices, it’s crucial to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses to determine which one suits your needs best.
In this article, I will cover the basics of each platform, including how you apply for Etsy and how you apply for Amazon Handmade. I will also mention how much each platform costs, what the benefits are, and what are some of the bad sides.
I will also include a short dropshipping FAQ at the end to summarize if you are a too-long-didn’t-read type of person.
So let’s end the Amazon Handmade vs Etsy dilemma once and for all.
What Is Etsy Handmade?
Did you know that Etsy is the queen supreme when it comes to selling handmade 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.
💡 LEARN MORE: Etsy Dropshipping – The Ultimate Guide for Beginners.
💡 Tip: Discover the 17 Best Multi Vendor Marketplace Platforms For Ecommerce.
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What Is Amazon Handmade?
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.
What’s more, when a customer makes a purchase on Amazon Handmade, you have the opportunity to use the Amazon order fulfillment system, delivery, and customer support. This ensures that you can tap into the vast amount of traffic and potential customers in the most prominent global marketplace.
However, remember that it is crucial that the items you offer on Amazon Handmade are created by hand, altered by hand, or assembled by hand. Also, mass production is strictly prohibited. Additionally, if you wish to open a new store, you must apply as a new artisan in the Handmade category on Amazon. This allows customers to make their purchases with confidence.
Now let’s dive into how you sign up for each platform.
👉 Check out the 20 Best Dropshipping Suppliers For Amazon In 2023.
Etsy Vs Amazon Handmade Quick Review
- More niche audience
- Shop and Seller Dashboard is easy to set up and maintain
- A broad range of categories 140+
- Automatically enrolled in off-site advertising
- Listing expires after 4 months
- A lot of listing fees
- Constant changes and updates – difficult to track
- If you’re selling a lot, you cannot opt out of advertising
- Etsy Plus plan starting at $10; 0.20$ listing fee; 5% transaction fee; 0.25 $ plus a 3% payment processing fee
- Vast audience
- Great Customer Support
- The listing doesn’t need updating.
- Customize shop profile
- Difficult and a long wait time to be accepted
- Payment is released only after shipping the item
- Only 5 categories for listings
- Difficult to navigate the Seller Dashboard
- Significant volume of sales – $39.99 per month; individual sellers – $0.99 per item sold;; 8% to 15% referral fee for each sale
How Do I Sign Up On Etsy As A Seller?
Unlike Amazon Handmade, signing up on Etsy is way easier. So, here are the steps you need to take.
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.
And, there you go! You are signed up for Etsy Handmade. Next, you need to set up your store, listings, payment method, etc.
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.
👉 Also, check out my guide on Shopify Vs Etsy: The Ultimate Reviews For Online Sellers.
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, let’s see what you need to do.
First, go to the Amazon seller page, and click on ” Sign up”.
Next, you will enter your email and click on ” Create Amazon account”. Once you do that, the application process starts by adding your personal information, like, first name, last name, proof of identity, business address, etc.
Also, you have to add your billing information, upload the documents like your passport, etc.
Next, Amazon requires answers to some store information, and once you are done, you will get your verification.
However, that’s not all. Now, you might be wondering, “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 only have one seller account – Amazon is really strict about this. They want to make sure you are who you say you are. So, be careful about this.
Also, in order to sell handmade, you need a professional Amazon account. The approval process typically takes a few weeks. Amazon evaluates the uniqueness and authenticity of your handmade items.
First, you need to enter and add your name, email, your business info, etc.
Next, they also require photos from your work. So, you can make a few screenshots from your products, or your workshop.
Also, they require you to explain what you do, your process of work, or how you produce your products.
Now, let’s look at their features.
Amazon Handmade vs Etsy: Key Features
🔸 Product Categories
When it comes to offering custom products, both Amazon Handmade and Etsy provide fantastic platforms for artisans and creatives. These online marketplaces cater to a wide range of custom products, ensuring that sellers can showcase their unique creations to potential customers.
➡ Amazon Handmade Products
On Amazon Handmade, sellers can offer custom products such as:
- Home & Kitchen
- Clothing, Shoes, & Accessories
So, they offer handmade items in only five categories. Also, they do not fall under a specific “handmade” product category.
➡ Etsy Handmade Products
Similarly, Etsy provides a diverse range of product categories for custom products. And, they offer products from more than 10 categories.
So, you can offer custom items such as home goods, art, crafts, jewelry, and even digital prints. The categories available on Etsy include:
- Clothing & Shoes
- Home & Living
- Wedding & Party
- Toys & Entertainment
- Art & Collectibles
- Craft Suppliers & Tool
- Digital Downloads
- Holiday Shop
Also, all these categories you see, break down into hundreds of sub-categories. So, you have more options on Etsy when it comes to showcasing your handmade products.
👉 Check out the Best Dropshipping Products In Any Niche For Max Profits.
Well, on this one, I will definitely say Etsy is the winner.
🔸 Store Customization
➡ Etsy Store Customization
Etsy provides clean and attractive designs to help you organize your store.
When it comes to customization, On Etsy, you have the ability to upload a custom shop banner, include links to their website, email list opt-in, and social links in your “About” section.
This level of customization allows you to showcase your brand and provide additional information to potential customers, creating a more engaging and interactive shopping experience.
➡ Amazon Handmade Store Customization
However, on Amazon Handmade, the level of shop customization is more limited. While you can still provide information in your “About” section, you do not have the option to include clickable links. So, you cannot directly link to your website, social media platforms, or other online presence.
Clearly, Etsy offers sellers a clear advantage in terms of shop customization.
🔸 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 Shipping & Fulfillment
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.
➡ Etsy Shipping & Fulfillment
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.
👉 Read about What Does Shipped Mean In Dropshipping?
🔸 Branded Packaging
When it comes to branded packaging, Etsy and Amazon have some notable differences.
➡ Etsy Branding
On Etsy, you have the freedom to include personalized touches like business cards with your packaging. So, you can add:
- Customized stickers or labels with your shop logo or name to add a personal touch to your packages.
- Thank you cards or notes expressing gratitude for the customer’s purchase.
- Branded tissue paper or wrapping paper with your shop logo or design to enhance the presentation of the product.
- Customized packaging tape with your shop name or logo to add a professional and branded look to your packages.
- Customized packaging inserts, such as discount codes, promotional materials, or product samples, etc.
By including these extra promotional materials, you can build a stronger connection with your customers beyond just the transaction.
➡ Amazon Branding
In contrast, Amazon offers branded packaging but strictly prohibits any links to external websites in packaging. This means that you are limited to promoting your Amazon store only.
While this may seem restrictive, it is important to note that Amazon has its own massive customer base, and promoting your brand within its platform can still be beneficial.
Overall, while Etsy allows for more freedom in including business cards and extra promotional materials with packaging, Amazon’s prohibition on external links doesn’t diminish the value of branded packaging.
🔸 Marketing & Advertising
When it comes to advertising and marketing strategies, these platforms have different approaches, ad formats, targeting options, and advertising fees.
➡ Amazon Handmade Marketing & Advertising
Amazon Handmade offers more control over advertising through various ad types such as Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, and Sponsored Display ads. Thus, these ads allow you to promote your products on Amazon search results and product detail pages.
Plus, you can set your own budgets, keywords, and targeting options. However, Amazon Handmade charges advertising fees based on the cost-per-click model.
Also, Amazon has a larger consumer base. In fact, as of 2023, more than 310M people buy from Amazon daily. So, this means you have more traffic too.
➡ Etsy Handmade Marketing & Advertising
On the other hand, Etsy focuses mainly on CPC (Cost-per-click) ads and Offsite Ads. So, as an Etsy seller, you can choose to participate in Offsite Ads. Hence, this means you can display your listings on external advertising platforms.
Of course, this helps you reach a wider audience, but you will be charged a fee per sale generated from these ads.
So, in my opinion, Amazon Handmade has a larger customer base and a wider audience due to its massive customer base on Amazon. However, advertising on Amazon Handmade can be more costly compared to Etsy’s advertising options.
How To Create Your Storefront On Amazon Handmade (Step-by-step)?
Selling your handmade products on Amazon can open up new opportunities and help you reach a wider audience. So, here is my step-by-step guide on how to sell handmade on Amazon:
As I already explained above, to start selling on Amazon, you need a Professional Seller account. So, you need to sign up on Amazon Seller Central and provide the necessary business information. Once you have a Professional Seller account, apply for the Handmade category. Amazon will review your application to ensure your products meet their criteria.
Let’s see what’s next.
After approval, create a free shop on Amazon Handmade. Customize your storefront, shop policies, and return/exchange policies.
So, to customize your storefront, from the menu go to Stores> Manage Store. Hence, the customization starts once you start adding your brand information, like brand display name, and brand logo.
Furthermore, you can create your storefront layout, add meta descriptions, define products display, add tiles, sections, etc.
Also, you need to upload high-quality images and write detailed descriptions for your handmade products. So, go to Inventory> Add a product.
Next, you need to organize your products into relevant categories to make it easier for customers to find them. So, choose the category and sub-category that best describes your products.
After that, you can write a product title, product description, add size charts, product variations, images, keywords, and many other details.
So, to add photos, just navigate to the “Images” section, and here you can upload multiple product photos. However, make sure they are high-quality size images that can really showcase your product.
Next, you can set your SKU, product pricing, quantity, shipping template, production time, shipping method, etc.
Once you are done, click on the “Save and Finish” button.
How To Create A Storefront On Etsy (Step-By-Step)?
Selling handmade products on Etsy is a popular option for artisans, crafters, and makers looking to showcase their creations to a wider audience. Here is a step-by-step guide to get started.
So, you can start adding your handmade items to your shop from the ” Stock your store” section. Include listing details, like clear photos, detailed descriptions, and appropriate categories to help potential customers find your products easily.
👉 Want to automate your product-importing process? Check out my Megamo Review: Automate Product Import To Your Store.
Next, choose the payment methods you wish to offer to customers. Etsy offers various options, including credit/debit cards, PayPal, and Etsy Gift Cards.
Also, you need to set you your billing information, like credit/debit card, billing address, etc.
Furthermore, personalize your shop’s appearance by customizing the header, logo, and shop policies. This enhances your brand identity and gives customers a better view of your business.
By following these steps, you can easily set up your shop and start selling your handmade products on Etsy.
Amazon Handmade vs. Etsy: Pricing
When it comes to pricing, there are big differences in how much each platform will cost you.
➡ First, Etsyprovides a selection of three different plans, with the added benefit of one of them being available at no cost. Furthermore, the pricing options start at $10, ensuring affordability for all users.
Additionally, it is important to note that all pricing plans on Etsy necessitate dropshippers to pay fees, which begin at a modest 20 cents.
➡ On the other hand, Amazon provides professional selling plans for sellers who expect a significant volume of sales, priced at $39.99 per month, while individual sellers are charged $0.99 per item sold.
In contrast, Amazon implements a referral model for fee charging. Sellers are required to pay referral fees for every product sold, and these fees differ based on the category of the product.
Here’s a table to understand this better. 👇
|from 8% to 15% referral fee for each sale||5% transaction fee|
|No listing fee||0.20$ listing fee for each item (you have to renew it every four months)|
|No other hidden fees||0.25 $ plus a 3% payment processing fee|
|$39.9/month for large-volume sales$0.99/per item sold for individual sellers||No monthly subscription fee (10 $ per month Etsy Plus option)|
As you can see, Amazon Handmade monthly subscription might be higher for large volumes, and it has more additional fees.
Etsymight be the cheaper option. Hence, it offers more cost-effective commission fees compared to Amazon Handmade, positioning it as the more affordable choice between the two platforms.
Amazon Handmade vs Etsy: Which Platform Provides Faster Payments?
You want your money faster? Well, who doesn’t? So, let’s see how each of these platforms works in terms of “getting paid”.
➡ With Amazon Handmade, similar to other categories on Amazon, they pay after the products are shipped. Plus, there is a holding period of around two weeks before you can access your funds.
➡ On the contrary, Etsy clearances payment immediately after a customer has made a purchase of your product, with no waiting period. Therefore, when it comes to payment timing, Etsy proves to be superior to Amazon.”
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Pros & 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 & Cons
🔸 Etsy Handmade Pros & Cons
In my opinion, 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 items.
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 Amazon Handmade vs Etsy shipping and fulfillment options.
FAQ: Amazon Handmade vs Etsy
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. Also, it gives you more freedom in storefront customization and branded packaging.
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.