Artisans all over the world got a wonderful medium called internet to sell their craft. Earlier, they were dependent upon word of mouth and their networking to promote their products. However, it is not easy to sell online by creating a website as it requires a lot of hard work and advertisement to attract customers. Etsy and now Amazon Handmade provide two wonderful selling mediums to craftsmen across the world. But which one of these two platforms is better for selling your products as an artisan? Let us find out.
Etsy had been the world’s largest handcraft empire until now. However, there was a controversy because of its policy that allowed vendors to outsource manufacturing. They served as middlemen and ate into the profits of real artisans. This is why Amazon Handmade came up with a strict policy of allowing only handmade, hand altered, or hand assembled products on its website. Amazon also spelled out categories like jewelry, bath and beauty products, home products, toys and games, and stationary etc under which artisans could place their products.
Comparison of Etsy and Amazon Handmade
Handmade at Amazon is a relatively new offering from online retail giant Amazon whereas Etsy is an established player in this field. It started its operations in 2005 as ecommerce portal for handmade or vintage items and supplies.
Number of potential customers
Etsy has around 24 million active buyers worldwide whereas Amazon has more than 250 million buyers around the world. Unlike Amazon where buyers are interested in a wide variety of products, Etsy buyers are primarily those interested in handmade products. As a designer you want to attract the right customer but selling on Etsy can mean a lot of competition since there maybe multiple designers selling the same type of crafts.
Listing and sales fee
Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee for every product list and charges 3.5% on every transaction made. Whereas Amazon does not charge any listing fees but charges a $39.99 monthly fee and 15% fee on every item sold. Amazon also holds the sellers funds for about 3-4 weeks and Etsy quickly disburses funds in about 24 hours. Therefore, it can be more expensive as a designer/artisan to sell on Amazon. A designer will have to increase their prices in order to make the same profit they would if they sold on Etsy.
Image and video options
Etsy allows up to 5 images for every listing whereas Amazon allows up to 8 images per listing. Currently Amazon does not provide a feature of videos with listings whereas Etsy sellers can upload a shop video to advertise their shop.
Amazon offers many payment options to its seller such as credit and debit cards, checking account, Amazon Gift Cards, Amazon Points etc. On the other hand, sellers at Etsy can make payments using credit cards, Apple Pay, PayPal, and Etsy Gift Cards.
Terms and conditions
You have to apply and get registered before being able to sell on Amazon Handmade. Amazon allows only handmade products made by you or your team containing not more than 20 members. On Etsy, there are fewer restrictions and you can sell not only vintage items but also items that are mass produced. In a sense, Etsy is no longer a website for artisans alone. Also when selling custom made items is good to know if the platform you are selling on allows customers to return on exchange items. When Eshays was selling on Etsy, Etsy allows the seller/designer to write a policy based on the sellers’ own business structures/protocols. Whereas when selling on Amazon Handmade they sometime do NOT abide by the seller/designer policy which can be costly for a designer. Eshays made a listing on Amazon Handmade concisely stating, “Know your shoe size before ordering and all sales are final,” yet a customer purchased the wrong shoe size and Amazon granted a refund. There was another customer who wanted to return a pair of custom shoes after wearing them for 30 days and they put a A to Z Amazon Department claim in and Eshays had to fight for months to tell this department that this customer should NOT get a refund based on the listing description and Amazon Handmade Policy (listed below). It took Eshays having to consult an attorney and the CEO of Amazon to get this issue resolved.
Eshays Conclusion (in our opinion)
In our opinion if you are already selling your products on Etsy, making an account on Amazon Handmade may not be necessary. There is no way of knowing how many views your products have got in a month on Amazon whereas Etsy provides these analytics to its sellers from time to time. Also, your products are not shown on Amazon’s main search engine so the figure of 250 million buyers is quite misleading. Amazon also does NOT abide by their own policy let alone the sellers policy. Amazon also charges too much to sell on their platform, although you may get more sells since their isn’t much competition BUT you still have to wait forever to get paid for a custom item. So ETSY WINS sorry Amazon Handmade!
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