Choosing Between Etsy and Amazon Handmade: Which Platform is Right for You?

Choosing Between Etsy and Amazon Handmade: Which Platform is Right for You?

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Customer Experience: Etsy vs. Amazon Handmade
  • Shop Setup: Etsy vs. Amazon Handmade
  • Pricing and Fees: Etsy vs. Amazon Handmade
  • Advertising: Etsy vs. Amazon Handmade
  • Return Policies: Etsy vs. Amazon Handmade
  • The Personalized Product Loophole on Amazon Handmade
  • The Importance of a Strategic Business Plan
  • Conclusion

Amazon Handmade vs. Etsy: Which Platform is Right for You?

If you're an artisan or a craftsperson looking to sell your handmade products online, you've probably considered both Amazon Handmade and Etsy as potential platforms. With their vast user bases and established reputations, both platforms offer unique opportunities for sellers. But choosing between them can be a challenge, especially when there are certain aspects about each platform that account managers may not tell you upfront. In this article, we'll dive deep into the differences between Amazon Handmade and Etsy, uncovering crucial information that can save you time, energy, and potential headaches.

Customer Experience: Etsy Customers vs. Amazon Customers

One of the key factors to consider when deciding between Amazon Handmade and Etsy is the nature of the customer base on each platform. While both platforms attract online shoppers, their behaviors and expectations differ significantly. Amazon customers tend to be more transactional, focused on finding the best deals and receiving their purchases quickly. On the other hand, Etsy customers are often more brand loyal and value the unique, boutique-like experience that the platform provides. Understanding these differences allows you to tailor your marketing strategy and customer interactions accordingly.

Shop Setup: Simplifying the Process

Setting up your shop on Etsy and Amazon Handmade is a critical first step in your online selling journey. However, the process can vary greatly between the two platforms. Etsy's setup process is relatively straightforward, with verification of payment account information being the main requirement. On the other hand, setting up an Amazon Handmade shop can be more complex and time-consuming. From verifying your identity to navigating the intricacies of listing creation, the setup process on Amazon Handmade often feels like programming a computer for someone unfamiliar with coding. We'll explore these differences in detail to help you determine which platform aligns better with your technical skills and time constraints.

Pricing and Fees: Finding the Balance

Pricing your products competitively and understanding the fee structures on both Etsy and Amazon Handmade are crucial aspects of running a successful online shop. While Etsy charges a 6.5% fee on each sale, along with a 20-cent listing fee and a 3% payment processing fee, Amazon Handmade fees are higher, at 15% per sale. Additionally, Amazon has a policy that sellers must offer their lowest price on their platform, which can create challenges for sellers who want to maintain consistent pricing across multiple platforms. We'll share strategies to navigate these pricing and fee considerations effectively, ensuring that your margins remain intact.

Advertising: Do You Need to Spend?

Advertising options can greatly impact your sales and visibility on Etsy and Amazon Handmade. While Etsy offers optional on-platform ads and off-site ads for sellers with over $10,000 in annual revenue, Amazon Handmade approaches advertising differently. Account managers for Amazon Handmade will often encourage sellers to invest heavily in ads, sometimes relentlessly pursuing them to increase their ad spend. However, the low saturation and competition levels on Amazon Handmade's platform might make advertising unnecessary, particularly in specific niche categories. We'll discuss the pros and cons of advertising on both platforms, empowering you to make an informed decision regarding your marketing budget.

Return Policies: Dealing with Customer Returns

Handling customer returns can be a significant concern for online sellers, as it affects both profit margins and customer satisfaction. Amazon Handmade has a lenient return policy that allows buyers to initiate returns easily, even if your shop has a no-return policy. This can lead to potential abuses by customers, such as returning used or damaged items. However, there is a loophole that sellers can leverage to protect themselves from excessive returns. By creating personalized and customized listings, sellers can exclude these products from Amazon's default return policy. We'll delve into this loophole and provide guidance on implementing it effectively.

The Importance of a Strategic Business Plan

Having a solid business plan is crucial for success on both Etsy and Amazon Handmade. As an experienced seller on both platforms, I'll share my insights on how these platforms fit into an overall e-commerce strategy. I'll discuss the balance between dedicating time and resources to Amazon Handmade, considering its lower competition levels, and focusing on other platforms that can yield higher returns. Moreover, I'll touch on the significance of continually assessing the return on investment and adjusting your approach to maximize profits.


In conclusion, both Amazon Handmade and Etsy offer unique opportunities for sellers to showcase and sell their handmade products. Understanding the differences in customer experience, shop setup, pricing and fees, advertising options, return policies, and overall business strategy is crucial for making an informed decision. By carefully evaluating your priorities, target audience, and resources, you'll be able to choose the platform that aligns best with your goals and ultimately leads to success in the world of online handmade sales.


  • Amazon Handmade and Etsy cater to different types of customers, with Amazon being more transactional and Etsy focusing on brand loyalty.
  • The setup process on Amazon Handmade is more complex and time-consuming compared to Etsy.
  • Amazon Handmade charges a higher fee (15%) per sale compared to Etsy (6.5% plus listing and payment processing fees).
  • While Etsy offers optional on-platform and off-site ads, Amazon Handmade often pushes sellers to invest in ads.
  • Amazon Handmade's lenient return policy can be managed effectively by leveraging the personalized product loophole.
  • Creating a strategic business plan is essential for optimizing sales on both platforms, considering the competition levels and return on investment.


  1. Q: Can I sell on both Amazon Handmade and Etsy simultaneously?

    • A: Yes, many sellers have success selling on both platforms, as they attract different types of customers.
  2. Q: How can I differentiate my products on Etsy and Amazon Handmade?

    • A: By offering personalized or customizable options and leveraging the unique customer experiences each platform provides.
  3. Q: Do I have to spend on advertising for my shop to succeed on Amazon Handmade?

    • A: While ads are often pushed by account managers, low competition levels on Amazon Handmade may not require heavy advertising investment initially.
  4. Q: How can I protect my profit margins with Amazon Handmade's higher fees?

    • A: By creating slightly different versions of your products for Amazon Handmade, you can charge higher prices to accommodate the fees.
  5. Q: Is it worth it to set up a shop on Amazon Handmade if I already sell on Etsy?

    • A: It depends on your target audience, product offering, and overall business strategy. Evaluating return on investment and potential market demand is crucial.

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