Amazon Handmade VS. Etsy 2019


#1

I would like to share with you what I have learnt through my personal experiences over the past 7 years working on Amazon Handmade and Etsy. The information provided I hope will be helpful in your decision on selecting what platform would work best for your business.

Getting started
Etsy founded in 2005 focused on handmade and vintage products. The platform created an opportunity for artisans to present their unique handmade arts and crafts. In 2013 Etsy changed its policy allowing sellers to hire as many people as they need to run their businesses and to partner with outside manufacturers to produce their goods. Although I appreciate the motive behind the change which was to provide an opportunity to launch and expand my business, it had an adverse effect. In 2013 my business slowed drastically and designs that were once unique to my shop now flooded the platform at much cheaper costs.

Amazon Handmade launched in 2015, is a microsite that sells handcrafted goods to consumers in 30 countries. In order to sell on Amazon Handmade you need to qualify by submitting an artisan application. I prefer this process because it encourages a more authentic artisanal space by auditing each shop prior to accepting them to ensure the items are genuinely handmade. In addition, Amazon Handmade does not allow listings that violate the intellectual property rights of brands or other rights owners.

Seller Customer Service
The most important aspect of any business is customer service. Most times we forget that we are customers as well as business owners when we decide to select a platform to host our businesses.

Based on my user experience I find Amazon Handmade to be more user friendly in terms of seller customer service.
Amazon Handmade provides sellers with a direct phone number to a live service associate for immediate assistance with general inquires and troubleshooting any issue that may arise while navigating the platform. This service has provided me with immediate assistance with customer relation issues (reporting erroneous feedbacks etc.), marketing/promotional tips, product listing guidance and much more.

Etsy provides sellers with a contact e-mail. In the words of a previous Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson “All commerce is about real human interaction,” which sums up why I believe Amazon Handmade wins over Etsy for the having better seller customer service. Being able to speak with someone directly provides a more real human interaction for me.

Fees
Amazon Handmade fees are slightly higher than Etsy.

Amazon Handmade offers free product listings. They deduct a 15% referral fee from each product sale + shipping cost.

Etsy charges $0.20 per item listing which expires every four months. In addition to the listing fee, Etsy charges 5% from each sale + shipping costs.

Amazon Handmade referral fee deducts only from each product sale and not your shipping cost.

Getting Paid
With Etsy all funds resulting from a completed transaction will be reflected as a balance in a seller’s payment account. Transactions are considered complete once the payment is approved by Etsy. Funds in a payment account balance are eligible for deposit (the “Available Funds”) into a seller’s bank account at the end of any applicable deposit delay, reserve, or hold period as determined by the seller’s bank. Sellers can select the frequency of disbursements for their payment within their account settings with the options of daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. Basically, Etsy funds are available to you immediately once the transaction is completed.

Amazon Handmade payment process is quite long and confusing for sellers. Completed transactions will not be reflected in the seller’s payment account until the item has been marked as shipped by the seller. The funds in a seller’s payment account balance are only eligible for on demand disbursement (should you qualify) to your bank account 7 days after the latest estimated delivery date. The delivery date is set up by you in your seller account within the shipping settings. Example, if the delivery transit time for your item is 2-5 business days Amazon Handmade will mark the item delivered on the 5th day and 7 days after the transaction becomes available for disbursement. Should you not qualify for on demand disbursement after the 7 business days for the available funds, Amazon Handmade automatically disburse the funds an additional 7 days after, which is wait time of 14 days for the completed transactions. Once the funds are disbursed by you or automatically by Amazon Handmade it takes an additional 3-5 business days to be deposited into your bank account. The total time if added up would be the (transit time for shipment + 14 days after delivery date + 5 days for deposit to your bank account) The minimum wait time for payment for 1 transaction we can then say is 24 days!

Obviously, it is clear Etsy wins this battle of how you get paid!

I would love to share more on what I have learnt about differences between Amazon Handmade and Etsy but that would make for quite a long read! These differences can greatly impact your business as I have personally experienced. I would encourage you to continue to learn more in order to make the right decision for your business.

Please leave a comment below with any questions you may have.

Thank you


#2

This might be better shared on the gated Amazon Handmade Forum.

Especially since there are clear differences in many aspects of Amazon Handmade from the Selling on Amazon program.


#3

Thank you I will be sure to also share it via Amazon Handmade forum. Based on my post the only difference which is not shared between Amazon Handmade and Amazon.com is the application process and 15% referral fee, otherwise all other points are relevant for a Amazon Handmade and a Amazon.com seller.

For those reading who will apply for Amazon.com there is no application process and for fee you are charged $39.99 per month + a referral fee. I am finding conflicting fee amounts. Does anyone have an idea of the FBM (Fulfilled by Merchant) referral fee in addition to the monthly $39.99?


#4

It varies by category. Media also has a closing fee.


#5

Thank you! That is correct! Please refer to the link below posted by bookworkapril to learn more! Thank you April!


#6

If you just to to Help and type in fees, you will find what you need.

Not supposed to post offsite links in the forum.

Here’s a link to the relevant Help page:

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/gp/help/G200336920


#7

Handmade sellers get more support.

IMO now that identity verification is standard for Selling on Amazon there is little practical difference in the application process.

The real jurying for handmade ceased before its launch and the mirror test appears to be the major requirement.

Handmade sellers are not subject to the image guidelines for the rest of the site, IMO to their detriment in actually getting buyers to click through from the search results. And are not subject to many types of policy enforcement.


#8

I have experience with selling both on Amazon.com and on Amazon Handmade. The application process is much more detailed than selling on Amazon.com because you are asked a series of questions concerning the production process of your product. The comparison also was not about Amazon.com vs. Amazon Handmade BUT Amazon Handmade vs. ETSY.

Should we continue to pursue the differences between Amazon.com and Amazon Handmade of course the policies are different. Concerning your specific point concerning image requirements it depends on the professionalism of the seller. There is plenty of information out there that educates sellers on what helps an item to be more marketable visually. FYI an all WHITE background is the ultimate best.

Lets keep this post on track however. Differences between Amazon Handmade and Etsy.


#9

I presently have an Etsy Store. The Etsy platform was great until they changed the algorithms. I am looking for a new platform but the “payment method” of Amazon Handmade is scareing me off quickly. Why would they get to use the money of thousands of sellers for free for about 3 weeks. Rediculous!!


#10

You can use Payability to get Amazon funds as soon as you ship the item. Then Payability gets the Amazon funds every 2 weeks from your account. They charge a small fee but it gets you your funds faster.


#11

HERE IS WHAT IS REALLY GOING ON with Amazon Handmade

I just wanted to tell you guys that there are huge problems with Amazon Handmade right now so I am seriously considering not using their service/program.

Here is why:

  1. They charge $40/month seller fee, which they did not waive for me as of yet. So I am losing money so far, instead of making it. I am a very low volume seller and after doing the math the Handmade simply charges too much. I can’t afford it. I want to make money, not lose it.

  2. NO CUSTOMER SERVICE OF ANY KIND. NO PHONE NUMBER, NO CHAT!!! NO NOTHING!!! And what they do provide (email), is way too slow and absolutely unacceptable.

This is why I think I will try Etsy and some other similar companies because obviously Handmade is not ready for any sort of serious business yet. It was a good idea, but this is what it still is - an idea. It is very far from being useful or profitable.

Besides, after all this, I will never consider going back to them as a partner because it would be only a waste of my time and money.

I hope this helps some of you and stay clear of that service/program.


#12

Addressing your first point, if the fee was not waived initially, you can simply request a full refund. The Pro Seller account monthly fee is waived for Handmade.

As for your second point, because Handmade artisans are gifted all the benefits of Professional accounts, we have Pro-level Seller Support. In fact, we have our own exclusive dedicated Handmade Seller Support (in addition to two forums, one private, and Forum Mods who help with questions and issues). We can request a phone call from Support. The two times I’ve done so, the call was returned within seconds. Usually, I prefer email. Which is immediately acknowledged, and quickly answered.

Etsy has none of this. Not to mention Etsy’s laughably-deplorable, nearing-fraudulent new “Etsy Ads”.


#13

Thanks for your reply but we must be using completely different sites or something.

My experience was exactly as I have described and I find it offensive and unacceptable. It had been 2 days since my account was suspended and I have not heard back from them at all.

So I have no idea what “support” are you talking about?!? There is not even a phone number or chat, not to mention that they do not respond even via email.

FYI, I am a pro seller, in good standing everywhere, and I have provided them all info to supposedly unblock my account. Nothing yet…!!!


#14

https://sellercentral.amazon.com/forums/c/selling-on-amazon/account-health

Sorry to hear it :persevere:

Click ^^^ that link to the Account Health forum and create a post there to get help from veteran sellers and Amazon staffers with getting over whatever stumbling block you’ve encountered.

Good luck :four_leaf_clover:


#15

Hi
As a seller on Handmade I do not share your experience. I am sorry to learn you are experiencing such challenges.

Should you go over to Etsy you will receive almost ZERO customer service assistance as a seller. Are you sure you are navigating the Handmade platform properly? I am able to speak to a live representative whenever I need assistance with anything.

I am not charged a $40 fee monthly.

I would suggest contacting them as all us Handmade sellers have access to do at any time and discuss all these issues so they can help you resolve them.

Do not give up on Amazon Handmade as they are really doing us all a favor by not allowing Etsy to have monopoly over us artisans. I would suggest FBA if you would like to see your business grown on Amazon Handmade.

I am willing to answer any specific questions that could help you troubleshoot other issues.


#16

Thank you for the link but after reading all the posts there, I am glad I have decided not to do business with them anymore. What they do (accounts suspensions w/o quick way to resolve it) is unbecoming of a conglomerate that Amazon is. I would be able to forgive something like this if they were a small company (cuz I know, shit happens). But not Amazon, no, no way!!!

I am very happy that some of you great artisans here have a stellar experience with them. Honestly, I do. But it was not what I have experienced so far.

Btw, it had been 3 days and still no response. All I get are same premade responses that are absolutely usless to resolve the situation. And also, they have been attempting to charge my card 3 times now, so I had to cancel my CC account to stop it.

So good luck guys, but I am out of here. Handmade is clearly not for me.

Have a great holidays :slight_smile:


#17

Wow, I’m so glad you mention this!

I sometimes fear getting a sale on Amazon since our shipping cost so much (and we don’t charge seller even half of what shipping really costs). So I haven’t listed all our inventory because of this.

I have GOT to look into this Payability. Have you used it long? Have they been around long?


#18

Nevermind. Site says I must have minimum $2k/mo. in sales to qualify. We’re almost there some months, but not other months. Oh well.


#19

They are passing the USPS discount along to the seller. This is big, $2.66 for First class package. I am sure etsy will turn into amazon when or if they manage to grow the seller and buyer base. Until then its pretty nice of them.


#20

This makes no sense.

If you “fear” a sale – then why on earth are you listing things for sale?