I need to be honest with you. Etsy’s new updates KINDA SUCK.
Between the new ads that take a chunk out of your profits (BOO) to Etsy prioritizing stores that offer free shipping (GRRR!), it’s never been harder to get started with your Etsy shop.
You probably spent some obsessive nights Googling "how to sell on Amazon Handmade", and wondering “is Amazon Handmade worth it?”
Spoiler alert: I don’t think that Amazon Handmade is worth it for most people.
It's A LOT more work than Etsy. Believe it or not, the devil you know can be a pretty damn good devil.
BUT, as I'll get to later in this article, selling on Amazon Handmade (DESPITE how much more work it is) can be a MASSIVE / INSANE / ABSURD profit booster.
And if that's what you want, Amazon Handmade might be right for you...In SPITE of all its shortcomings.
Sure, I’ll accept that Amazon Handmade DOES have some good features, and getting your products in front of Amazon shoppers is never a bad idea!
But unless you’re already making sales on Etsy, Amazon Handmade isn’t worth your time.
Let’s take a closer look at Amazon Handmade vs. Etsy and why I think Etsy is still the best platform if you want to make a living ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️
What’s Amazon Handmade?
Okay, so unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what Amazon is.
Amazon Handmade, the Amazon department for crafters and small businesses, opened in 2015, but it’s still not a largely known.
But saying that, it’s becoming a popular choice with Etsy users who want to make more sales and reach customers with LESS WORK.
If you're sick of being on the social media hamster wheel, Amazon exposes you to SO MANY people you don't have to promote anywhere NEAR as much.
After all, Amazon is the place to go for nearly anything you want to buy, so taking advantage of their colossal customer base is only good sense. Right?
Etsy is the biggest platform for artisans like you.
It launched in 2005 to provide makers and vintage sellers with a sales platform, and since then, it’s become world-known as a place to go to support local businesses.
Etsy’s the platform many people start with because it’s super user friendly and it has a massive customer base of people who want to buy products from INDIVIDUALS, not big companies.
Amazon Handmade Selling Fees
One of the reasons why I don’t get on with this platform is because Amazon Handmade fees are way higher than Etsy’s.
And of course, no one likes fees eating into their profits, but it feels a bit ICKY when a billion-dollar company is taking money out of small businesses’ pockets.
So, how much does it cost to sell on Amazon Handmade?
Well, listings are free, so that’s something. But here's the REAL TEA ⬇️
Amazon takes a 15% cut of all the money you make (from their platform), plus shipping fees.
That means if you're selling a mug for $15, Amazon will take $2.25 off the top.
For some sellers, this causes a SIGNIFICANT profit reduction, especially if your items don't cost much.
And let's be honest, it's hard to charge $20 for a mug.
So keep this in mind when thinking about your items – can you get away with charging a bit more? Do OTHER sellers like you charge MORE?
If so, then Amazon might work for you.
Etsy Selling Fees
Amazon Handmade’s fees vs. Etsy fees aren’t all that different, truth be told, but I think Etsy has a MUCH fairer system.
While each listing costs you $0.20 (which lasts you for four months) they only take 5% out of your total order amount. This includes the shipping price.
This feels way more reasonable for someone just starting a business from scratch!
I mean, let's be honest – you have OTHER costs too! Supplies, packaging, shipping...You don't need everything under the sun cutting into your profits.
And our mug seller who I used as an example above? Her $15 mug (let's say it costs $5 to ship) would just cost her just $1 in Etsy fees when she makes a sale.
Can You Make Money on Amazon Handmade?
Um, this is where things get interesting. Some Etsy sellers actually make MOST of their money on Amazon Handmade.
We're talking the potential for $2000 per month (on Amazon) instead of $200 a month (on Etsy) – that's what CAN happen when your items are POPULAR on a platform the size of Amazon.
But SOME sellers are not ALL sellers. So let's talk REALITY.
Yes, Amazon is waaaaaaaaay bigger than Etsy, and far more people use it. BUT that doesn’t mean that your products are going to be seen.
Just GETTING your items onto Amazon Handmade is a bit of a PROCESS.
Here's how you get on Amazon Handmade:
So, before you even set up a profile you have to APPLY.
Amazon Handmade has super strict criteria too, you CAN'T outsource your manufacturing, you need to make everything at home. There's no options for you to sell vintage items, and no option to sell digital items on Amazon Handmade, either.
If you get accepted, then customers have to use the Amazon Handmade portal to find your products.
Translation: Your items are NOT listed on regular old Amazon!
Buyers actually have to GO to the "Handmade" department on Amazon's search to even SEE your items! ⬇️
You thought that your cute jewelry would show up in a general Amazon search? Yeah, there’s no chance of that.
But you get access to Amazon Prime customers right? Nope, not unless you’re using Amazon's fulfillment warehouse. That means you have to ship HUGE BATCHES of your products direct to Amazon (Spoiler Alert: it's not FREE to do this, either).
If you can only make small batches of your product, it’s on YOU to deal with shipping.
Plus you don’t even get to advertise your stuff. I mean, you have some advertising options on Amazon itself (ads - 😒), but you can’t link back to your website, build an email list of Amazon customers, or even include fun promo stuff in your shipments!
You’re locked into selling through Amazon, and you’ve got no way to make your shop more desirable like you can through Etsy.
It just becomes homogenized like the rest of Amazon sellers, and as we all know, normal is the death of fun.
Can You Make Money on Etsy?
Hell yes you can! I’ve talked about this a bunch before on my blog.
While you’ve gotta be realistic - and that means don't expect to make SERIOUS money in your first year - it’s entirely possible to make a living from your Etsy store.
I need to be honest with you, though. It’s not easy to get your Etsy shop to the level where it's your sole source of income.
Honestly, so many people think Etsy will be an EFFORTLESS side hustle but they wind up burning out – And then they give up completely.
Here’s the thing that sets Etsy apart from Amazon Handmade: You have to do all of the marketing yourself.
While Amazon will kick your ass if they find you’re soliciting sales outside of their platform...Etsy TOTALLY GETS the hustle and gives you a whole bunch of tools to help you out.
So, you’ve got to put a ton of effort into your Etsy business. Because you’re not just building something on Etsy, you’re building your brand and your customer base.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling screen-printed T-shirts or custom armor for puppies. You have to create more Etsy traffic all the time, because otherwise, how the hell are your customers going to find you?
HINT: Try Pinterest for some easier, lower effort Etsy Marketing. You’d be surprised at how valuable this platform is. (And how QUICKLY it works when it comes to making Etsy traffic appear from thin air!)
Once again for the people in the back:
ETSY. IS. NOT. EASY.
There’s more competition than ever before. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to thrive on Etsy. It's a much SIMPLER, easier mountain to climb than Amazon Handmade.
Pssst...if you’re looking for tips on how to grow your Etsy store, I got you boo.
Is Amazon Handmade Easy to Use?
Tons of Amazon Handmade reviews talk about how awful the user dashboard is, and I have to agree.
Even if you are accepted after applying - which can take weeks, by the way - you then have the task of using a COMPLICATED seller dashboard, that requires about 50 steps for each new item you add.
As a long-time Etsy user, I was super overwhelmed when I tried out Amazon Handmade. There’s really no guidance at all, and it took me about 4 weeks to get my Etsy shop of (then 120 items) into Amazon Handmade.
Honestly, it's easier to just pay someone to deal with Amazon Handmade for you:
Is Etsy Easy to Use?
Honestly, I think one of the reasons why Etsy is so popular is because it’s super user friendly.
When I first started Etsy, it didn’t take me long to work out where I needed to go to list my items (and see how my store was doing).
Sure, there’s a learning curve, but in comparison to Amazon it’s like strolling up a lovely hill instead of fighting your way up the streets of San Francisco. ⬇️
What Can You Sell on Amazon Handmade?
So Amazon has a really limited category list for the things that you can sell. Yeah, here’s the only types of items that are accepted on Amazon Handmade:
- Beauty & Personal Care
- Shoes & Handbags
- Outdoor & Home Care
- Jewelry & Watches
- Kitchen & Dining
- Pet Supplies
- Sporting Goods
- Stationery & Party Supplies
- Toys & Games
So y’know, it’s fine if you’re selling baby crochet blankets, but not so much if you want to sell that collection of old coins you found in your grandma’s loft. Or digital download embroidery patterns.
Amazon Handmade only accepts sellers who either make items 100% themselves or modify items.
If that's you, then you can sell on this platform – and you'll probably be accepted without a hitch.
As for the TOP Selling items on Amazon Handmade, here's the scoop:
If you wanna see Amazon Handmade's CURRENT Bestsellers, just visit THIS PAGE.
In the picture above, you can see that right now the big bestsellers are:
- Regular old items that you can personalize with someone's name, etc...
- Small, inexpensive seasonal gifts
- Gifts that you can give for a very specific occasion
- And of course, face masks because Corona just kinda ate everything this year.
What Sells Best on Etsy?
I mean, how long is a piece of string?
Honestly, trends change from day to day on Etsy. With there being so many products, it’s easy for products that are hot one week, one month (or even all yeaaaaaar…#sorrynotsorry for that earworm) to drop off the radar.
So you can’t really predict what’s popular, and what’s going to sell, unless you’re willing to do your research.
That means understanding what exactly your customers want. Not what you THINK they want.
Recognize that when it comes to Etsy trends, unless you're Anna Wintour, YOU KNOW NOTHING.
You MUST DO your research and spend a ton of time figuring out what it is that buyers have their credit cards whipped out for!!
That’s the real secret here, folks.
That there really is no secret formula to what sells well on Etsy.
Just hard work, intuition, and a shit ton of research.
So Do I Need to Use Both Platforms?
Hoooooold your horses. Okay. So before you even consider this, we need to talk about where you are with your business right now.
Are you completely new to selling stuff online and you don’t know where to start?
Just make an Etsy account. Trust me. It’s the easiest place to start experimenting with what works and trying to make sales.
“But I’m already on Etsy and I’m not selling anything!”
Alright, Buttercup. Listen up: STICK WITH ETSY.
Yes, I know getting no sales is depressing AF and you think that adding Amazon into the mix will help you to grow your sales... But trust me - it won’t.
You'll just get yourself in DEEPER, spend more money for no reason, and be even MORE depressed about your lack of sales.
I’m going to cover how to increase your sales on Etsy shortly, but if you’re not making sales, opening up an Amazon Handmade store won’t help.
You MUST have sales on Etsy before you open up an Amazon Handmade shop. Make sure your products PROVE themselves before you go down the Amazon wormhole.
“Honestly I’m Etsy ROYALTY and I’m already killing it!”
Okay first of all, I’m loving the confidence!
If you’re making 5-10 sales a month on Etsy and your goal is MORE SALES, then go ahead and give Amazon Handmade a try.
It has the potential to double your revenue, which does mean it’s a good place to open up if you’re already making sales.
I really can’t stress that enough. If Etsy isn’t working for you, then your sales strategies just aren’t working out. So Amazon Handmade won’t be any better for you (!!!)
Increasing Your Sales on Etsy
So how do you start crushing it on Etsy?
One thing that’s worth mentioning is that you can have more than one Etsy shop.
Using one Etsy shop to sell home decor, and another to sell wedding decor...Or kids' decor...That's an EASY way to double (or triple) your sales.
And it's a strategy that's already working for hundreds of Etsy sellers.
If you're looking for ALL my best Etsy Marketing Tactics in one place, try the FREE Ultimate Guide to Etsy course, which you can take right here ⬇️ ⬇️
If you're sick of WAITING for Etsy to WORK already, then you might want to consider some Etsy coaching.
Coaching works best for sellers who already have an Etsy shop with a product that's sold at least a few times.
Once you have something that's working, it's easy to create MORE sales and bring in MORE customers. All you need is a SYSTEM for success.
Learn more about your Etsy Coaching options here: