Amazon Handmade vs Etsy: Best Comparison of 2023

Jerrika Cox

Do you want to share your artwork or other handmade items with the world? Have you decided that you want to not just share them, but also that you want to sell them to the world? Well, if you have decided that selling your handmade items are going to be the best way to get them out, then you are going to run into two online shops that you can use: Amazon Handmade and Etsy. 

However, with these two massive platforms for artisans, you might wonder what all the differences are and which one is better. So this article is going to take the Amazon handmade vs Etsy battle and go through both sides, letting you know which one is better and also which one you should be using as your storefront. 

Amazon Handmade


Amazon Handmade vs Etsy

What Is Amazon Handmade?

Amazon Handmade is a branch of the traditional Amazon shop where artisans only are allowed to sell their work, and you need to be approved as an artisan and a maker in order to sell your unique, one-of-a-kind products to all your customers. 

While most Amazon storefronts are designed to sell all sorts of items, the Amazon Handmade items must be handmade, hand altered, or hand-assembled. If you have products that are designed to be mass-produced, then you need to sell those on your traditional Amazon marketplace but would not be able to sell them at the Amazon Handmade shops. 

Once it is confirmed that you or a member of your team handcraft every single product that you are going to sell, then you will need to fill out an application and then decide how you want to fulfill your amazon orders that people are making for your goods.

How Are Orders Fulfilled?

Whenever your products are ordered in Amazon Handmade, then you can pick from two different options to have those orders fulfilled. The first option is to use Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon service. The service is similar to other purchases on Amazon, where you ship your products to an Amazon warehouse, and that item is then packaged and shipped to the person who ordered it. Additionally, all your items become eligible for Amazon Prime as well.

The second option is for you to use Amazon’s Fulfilled by Merchant method, which is where you take charge of all the shipping and packaging yourself. Either way, once the items are delivered, then you will grow your business while your customers have your new handmade items.

Amazon Handmade on Yarn


Pros of Amazon Handmade

First, Amazon Handmade, and Amazon in general, has a massive reach and is one of the first shops that everyone thinks of. So if you can find a following, you will be able to share your handmade items across the world and make a good buck doing it. Additionally, Amazon Handmade doesn’t give you any listing fees as well, although they do have a fee of 15% per sale.

So if you want to get your items out into the world and know that you have an Artisan friendly community around you, then Amazon Handmade is a great storefront for you to look into.

What Is Etsy?

Etsy is another place where Artisans can sell their items, and in fact, Esty’s storefront is actually older than Amazon Handmade. Etsy is also easier to apply for, and you can easily set up your business and also get quickly approved in as easily as a few clicks. Etsy also has a niche-driven and focused audience as well, where artisan items only are approved.

Etsy also has rules that can help you figure out what you want to sell on the platform. For starters, you need to physically create the designs featured on the items, all photos and photography used in the listing needs to be your own, and everyone who is involved in making the items will need to be listed in the ‘About Section’ of your shop. Production partners will also need to be disclosed.


The Pros Of Selling On Etsy

Etsy has a very large audience, and they are looking for explicitly handmade or vintage items, and creating a shop is very easy to start and also to maintain. Plus, if you are more art-driven and not necessarily technical-driven, then you won’t need to worry about anything being user-unfriendly. 

The dashboard of the Etsy shops are designed to be straightforward forward and you also have access to a detailed seller handbook that will help you work through all the tools and the options available to you as you build your ship. You can also list as many items as you want, but there is a fee for listing.

There is a $0.20 listing fee for each item, as well as a 5% transaction fee along with any shipping or gift wrapping costs. But the biggest fee, as well as the biggest source of bringing people to your shop, are the Etsy offsite ads.

Etsy Offsite Ads

Etsy Offsite advertisements are able to bring people to your shop from other places online, and they can be a great way to reach out to people in your niche who might not even know about you. The advertisements for your services and goods can be on someone else’s blog, website, or on the social media of influencers, and people can click on those advertisements to be redirected to your shop. However, every time someone clicks on an off-site advertisement, you pay an extra 12-15% if someone clicks on the advertisement and then makes a purchase from your shop.

You can opt-out of this if you are confident in your own marketing or don’t want to pay the extra fees for the extra exposure, but opting out of the offsite ads program is only available for business owners who have sold less than $10,000 in 365 days. So make sure to opt-out before you get hit with a ton of sales!


Is Etsy Or Amazon Better?

For this article, we are going to assume that ‘better’ means easier to sell on. First, being approved on Etsy is much much easier than being approved on Amazon Handmade. Additionally, there is a 15% fee for those who are not on a professional account which takes an additional monthly fee of 40 dollars.
If you don’t have a professional selling plan, then the standard Amazon referral fees will apply to your Amazon handmade shop, which can go from 8% to 45%. Now Etsy has a referral fee of $0.20 per item and a 5% transaction fee. Amazon Handmade is going to be more expensive than Etsy, but the main draw is the audience.
Amazon reaches a massive audience, especially with the Amazon Handmade shop. Etsy is smaller, but more focused on hand-crafted and vintage items. It all depends on what you want to sell, and that will determine which is better for you.

What Is The Difference Between Amazon and Amazon Handmade?

For a traditional Amazon account where you are selling non-handmade and handcrafted items, you simply need to pay a monthly fee of 40 dollars and a referral fee of 8% to 15% which will depend on the category that you are selling from. For Amazon handmade, you don’t need to pay for any listings as they are all free, and you only get a flat referral fee of 15% for each sale.
You also get a standalone market with Amazon Handmade, where you are selling your items, alongside other handmade item sellers, to people who are specifically looking for handmade items. So it really attracts people who are looking for handmade items at a very good price, and it takes some of the complications out of things whenever you are an Amazon seller.

How Much Of Etsy Is Handmade?

While 100% of Etsy isn’t fully handmade, the seller policies on Etsy’s website state: “Everything listed for sale on Etsy must be handmade, vintage, or a craft supply. Handmade items are items that are made and/or designed by you, the seller.” 
Plus, in order to open an Etsy shop, you do need to follow certain rules to prove that your items are handmade. Even the photographs on your listings need to be taken by you as well, so it can be guaranteed that everything on Etsy is handmade, vintage, or a craft supply.
It’s the perfect storefront for people looking to make those types of purchases, which leads to the last frequently asked question.

Is It Worth It To Sell On Etsy?

While setting up an Etsy account is very easy, you might wonder if that means ease of selling as well. Etsy is growing and sticking to its niche, and that means that you’ve got an option to sell your items… and the more unique your items are, the more of a look your customers are going to give your work. Give selling on Etsy a try and see if it works for you!

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