Etsy is a turnkey solution to selling your art and handmade crafts online. Before estores like Etsy were on the scene, you had to sell your items at craft shows, fairs, galleries and at other venues. The number of customers you could reach was limited, because you could only attend a certain amount of shows or display your work at a few galleries. Etsy takes away that limitation, by giving you the chance to showcase your items and to reach customers all over the world. Amazon offers a similar platform, but the items sold on that website go beyond arts and crafts to many different household items and consumer goods. Each website offers unique seller benefits. Knowing what they are can help you choose to sell on one versus the other.
The goal of Etsy is to provide a marketplace and community for individuals who want to sell crafts. Visitors to the website come with the expectation of finding handmade crafts and art, and nothing else. That in itself is a benefit if you're a crafter, but here are some others:
- Access to resources and community centered around making and selling crafts
- Ability to create custom orders
- Not competing with non-craft listings
- Easy to list custom and other one-of-a-kind items
- Can set up a collective store with other crafters
- Buyers can request commissioned work
- Popular site among craft artists and customers
You should take of advantage of the opportunity to sell your crafts online, but Etsy may or may not be the best choice for you. It depends on whether you have other items to sell, and if making a living as a crafter is your sole or secondary source of income. Let's take a look at some Amazon benefits to help you make a decision about which store is a better fit for your circumstances.
Without at doubt, Amazon is the leading online marketplace. About one third of all online commerce takes place on Amazon.com, and you can benefit from just having a presence on the website. You can sell arts and crafts on Amazon, but it's not tailor made for those types of sales like Etsy. There are however other benefits to selling on Amazon that make it competitive with Etsy, such as:
- No listing fee to sell as an individual (Etsy charges 20 cents per quantity)
- Charges a lower sales commission than Etsy
- You can sell unrelated items from the same store as an individual, such as books
- Ability to host amazon store on your own website
These benefits may outweigh those offered by Etsy, at least when you're first starting out. You don't have to pay to list your ads, and if you're starting with no money, than that's going to be important to you.
There's room for both websites in your business. You can sell as a individual on Amazon and then work your way up to opening stores on both websites.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business.