You must be one of the talented individuals who loves to make things: jewelry, home decor, sewing, painting, woodworking, crocheting, gifts, etc. Well, here at How to Make Money as a Kid, we are going to talk about how to make money online through your craft business. First on the agenda: Amazon Handmade vs Etsy online platforms.
Learn the pros and cons here so you can get your homemade merchandise business off the ground and onto the internet.
Who will win your business? Amazon Handmade vs Etsy when Selling Crafts Online
Before we even talk about platforms, let’s get one thing straight: if you are trying to sell a product that doesn’t sell well online, you will have limited success. Click here for some ideas and examples of which kinds of products sell best online.
Homemade Products that Work Best on Each Platform
We all know Etsy as the center of selling handmade items online. But, because they are the go-to for customized crafts, they can tend to get overloaded with competition.
I remember looking on Etsy for a wooden flower bouquet for my wedding. I thought it was a unique request, but apparently a lot of people make wooden flowers. There were over 200 options to choose from! I wondered if those whose listings landed on pages 10-20 ever got sales. Which made me realize:
If you are feeling like a little fish lost in the Etsy ocean among a lot of bigger fish, Amazon Handmade could be the better way to go.
The kind of product you have can make a big difference in your success on each platform. Let’s break it down.
Choose Amazon if:
- Your competition on Etsy is insane.
- Your product appeals to “fast & affordable” shoppers.
- You fit neatly into one of their categories:
- Home & Kitchen
- Handbags & Accessories
- Beauty & Grooming
- Stationery & Party Supplies
- Toys & Games
- Pet Supplies
- Sporting Goods
Choose Etsy if:
- Your profit margin is small.
- “Personalized and careful” shoppers are drawn to your product.
- Your merchandise is unique enough to stand apart from other Etsy sellers, but it fits nicely into one of Etsy’s many categories.
Etsy Pricing vs Amazon Handmade fees
Above we mentioned profit margins. Let me explain why.
Etsy does $2 billion in business every year. That’s a lot! Until you consider that Amazon does $75 billion. Source.
So, on Amazon you will have more exposure to many more shoppers! But Amazon charges you more for it. Here are Amazon and Etsy’s price structures side by side. For the most updated versions, click here for Amazon and here for Etsy.
|Percentage of each sale||15% or $1, whichever is greater||3.5%|
|Payment Processing||$0||3% + $0.25|
****Amazon’s monthly fee has been waived until December 2017. Apply now for a few months of trying Amazon for free!
Selling Your Designs on the Web to Your Target Market
Exposure to all those online shoppers that spend $75 billion on Amazon every year might seem like a deal-closer. Of course you want to choose the platform with the most traffic, right?
There is another thing to consider before you make that your deciding factor. Think about the kind of people that shop on Amazon.
They are usually deal-seekers. There is a reason they approach one of the world’s largest stores: the variety is immense and they can find the cheapest product. Also keep in mind that there are 65 million Amazon Prime members…they care about fast and free shipping. So why am I telling you all of this?
If each one of your products is customized and takes time to make, Amazon may not be the way to go. But that is where Etsy shines. Let’s go back to my example of shopping on Etsy for my wedding bouquet.
I selected a buyer I liked, and then over the next couple weeks or so, we communicated on every level of the creation. Did she get the colors right? How did I like this combination? She had some extra stock in a certain material…would I be interested in that? We developed a relationship and she was able to deliver exactly what I wanted with a personal note wishing me well in my married life. That never could have happened on Amazon.
I went to Amazon to get the groom’s ties and the wedding favors: with those products, all I cared about was price and speed. I didn’t need anybody to send me a personalized note.
So when you are choosing your platform, consider your product and where your target customers will be looking.
Amazon Handmade Application vs. Etsy’s Onboarding
Launching your online store is very different on the two websites we are considering.
Getting started with Etsy is as simple as opening an account. You choose a store name and upload pictures of your merchandise. You can be up and running in just one afternoon!
Amazon Handmade has a more rigorous process. You must submit an application that will be evaluated and approved or disapproved. It is more work, but it ensures that you are actually producing handmade items and can limit the number of your competition.
Amazon Handmade Login vs Etsy Seller Interface
Amazon’s backend is highly customizable, but a little out-dated. Some users have mentioned that it can be difficult to work with.
Etsy, on the other hand, has a updated backend that is catered to ease of use. However, every seller page looks identical, so it can be harder to customize the look and feel of your own shop.
Both sites offer the ability to create discounts and coupon codes for special sales or events. In addition, you can pay for some additional traffic. There hasn’t been much research on which ads are more worth it, so feel free to experiment! Be sure to email me your results and I will update this post.
Etsy Seller and Amazon Handmade reviews
Just like you wouldn’t enjoy working for a mean and unethical boss, you don’t want to put your online craft business in the hands of a business that is dishonest, unreliable, and self-interested. So just for the record…
The Better Business Bureau—an organization who rates businesses based on what makes them trustworthy to buyers—has ranked both Etsy and Amazon. Amazon was rated a B+ and Etsy earned an A+. Not bad scores for either business.
That being said, keep in mind that Etsy is going to worry about keeping you happy than Amazon is. Here is why:
Growing Towards Independent Sales
Customer loyalty is a huge part of growing your business. You want to work so that your store eventually becomes big enough that you no longer need to pay someone another business to work through them.
This is where Amazon is so undesirable. You can’t include a link to a private website on your seller profile. Nor can you collect email addresses of the people you sell to or even remarket to them through an insert in the box. Instead of loving you, your buyers are loving Amazon. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get started on Amazon and then move toward collecting your own customers once you have a bit of capital to play with. But it is important to consider. If you decide to go with Amazon Handmade, make a plan to grow out of it.
Etsy, on the other hand, allows you to develop that brand loyalty. In fact, if you don’t, you will get swallowed by all the other sellers on the platform and will be easily buried under their listings. In addition, Etsy’s profitability depends on you. They are motivated to keep you happy and eager to create more listings. Amazon won’t lose much if you are unhappy. If they find someone who does what you do cheaper or better, that is just too bad for you.
Selling handmade items
Producing and making money off of things you have made can be one of the most rewarding ways to make money as a teen. Yes, we hope this article has given you a good dose of reality in deciding which online platform is best to start with, but we hope you also feel that this is a great route to go.
Not sure you want to sell on either Etsy or Amazon Handmade? There are other smaller websites that could be your answer. Explore them here.
But remember, the only way you are guaranteed to make NO MONEY is to never get started. So don’t put it off until tomorrow. You can’t go wrong here.
Click here to create your Etsy Store.
Click here to submit your Amazon Handmade application.