When you sell crafts online, choosing the right platform is paramount. There are a lot of different options available for craft business owners. Three of the most popular are Etsy, Amazon, and eBay. But each offers different options and benefits for artisan shop owners. Here are some comparisons and basic information that can help you make the best decision when it comes to choosing Handmade on Amazon, Etsy, or eBay.
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What is an Online Marketplace?
Unlike an independent website, an online marketplace offers space for multiple vendors to sell their products. Usually, an online marketplace has better visibility, more streamlined processes and is thus preferred by customers who don’t know about a brand but need the product.
Some examples of an online marketplace include
More recently, with the addition of the Instagram Shop feature, Instagram is coming close to becoming an online marketplace as well.
Benefits of Selling on an Online Marketplace
1. It’s easy to start right away
2. No tech experience or marketing resources required
3. No site or server maintenance is necessary
4. You get access to a large customer base
5. There is existing brand familiarity
Difference between eBay,Amazon and Etsy
|Point of comparison
|Amazon has over 148.6 million active users worldwide in 2021. So there is certainly access to a wide range of potential customers. However, not everyone who visits Amazon is specifically looking for handmade products, so it’s not really a target customer group.
|According to Statista, Etsy had around 39.4 million active buyers as of 2021. Unlike eBay and Amazon, these buyers are primarily interested in handmade items, rather than a variety of other products.
|EBay’s user base reached around 182 million active users in 2021. However, not all of these users are interested in buying crafts. In fact, some active users are primarily interested in selling rather than buying.
|Amazon does not charge the registration fee, but takes a percentage of each transaction.
|Etsy charges 20 cents per ad. And the ads are valid for four months before they expire. You can pay an additional 20 cents to relist expired or sold items.
|The fees for eBay sellers can vary depending on the type of listing, since you can host both auctions and fixed price sales. In general, it’s free to build your first 50 lists per month, then the 30 cents per list beyond that.
|Image options (free, paid and limitations)
|Amazon lets you add a main image for each product, and then up to eight alternate images for each listing, for free. Amazon also specifies that the primary photos should only represent the product for sale, not the designs or renderings, and any props that do not come with the product.
|Etsy allows you to upload up to five photos with each listing. There is no additional charge to add photos beyond the initial registration fee. Etsy recommends using photos with a width of up to 800-1000 pixels and images in landscape or square format for main photos.
|You can add up to 12 images for free with every listing with eBay image hosting. It also includes zoom and magnification functions so that customers can get a close-up view of your products.
|Final selling costs
|Currently, Amazon takes 12 percent of each sale, with the sale price calculated to include shipping. As of August 1, 2016, this rate reaches 15%.
|Etsy charges a transaction fee of 3.5 for each sale. You can pay this fee, along with the registration fee, once a month.
|eBay also charges 10 percent of the total sale amount, which includes the item price, shipping, and any other charges you charge the buyer, except sales tax. The maximum amount is $ 750.
|Video options (available or not)
|Sellers do not have the ability to add video to listings. However, Amazon itself may add videos for some vendors, but only those that are part of invitation-only vendor programs.
|You can create and upload a store video on the main page of your store. Etsy doesn’t have strict requirements for these, but recommends videos of around two minutes or less, landscape, and a maximum of 300MB.
|You can add FLASH files for audio or video to every eBay listing. So, you can upload a video to a third-party service like YouTube and then link or embed the video in your ad page.
|Amazon accepts a variety of different payments, including credit or debit cards, checking accounts, Amazon gift cards, Amazon points, and even cash on delivery in some cases.
|Each Etsy seller can specify which payment methods to accept, including PayPal, credit cards, Etsy gift cards, and Apple Pay.
|Sellers can select the payment options you want to accept, including PayPal and credit or debit cards. You can also choose to accept payment upon pickup.
|Inventory management features (can you easily export items from and to your site to these sites?)
|You can add your products through Amazon after you have applied and been accepted. But you have to add the information for each listing. There is no simple import function to add products from another site.
|You can add each listing individually on Etsy. But there is no automatic download or upload function.
|You can create listings directly on eBay. You can also upload your inventory data or ad templates via CSV or Excel files.
|To sell on Handmade at Amazon, you must apply and be accepted. You should also only sell items that are handmade by you or a member of your team, if your team is under 20. You can also set your own production time and even offer personalized products. But Amazon only allows you to set the production time for 30 days.
|Etsy allows sellers to list items that are handmade, vintage (must be at least 20 years old or older), or craft supplies. However, the definition of “handmade” has changed in recent years, to the dismay of some Etsy buyers and sellers. The site is much less strict now and will allow users to sell items that are mass produced in some ways. Thus, an object can present original works of art but actually be produced on a large scale.
|eBay offers the ability to sell a wide variety of items. So you don’t have to worry about restrictions on handmade items. However, there are rules for listing items in specific categories. For example, if you are listing an item like a piece of jewelry, it must have a good metal setting or a fine gemstone included. Fashion settings are not allowed without fine gemstones in this category. There are also prohibited and prohibited items, such as alcohol or hazardous materials, which are generally not allowed on eBay unless they have been pre-approved.
|Store availability (Is a store available as opposed to individual listings?)
|With Handmade at Amazon, you get a unique storefront with a personalized URL and artist profile. There you can tell your story and offer ways to connect with customers. And of course, you can showcase all of your products for sale in this storefront, but they will also appear alongside other handmade products on Amazon when customers search or browse a category.
|Each Etsy seller can create their own store with their own header photo, profile, and policies. Buyers can see your products in your store or in Etsy categories or search results.
|You can create a dedicated store if you have an eBay seller account, a credit card on file, and a verified PayPal account. eBay also offers options for Premium or Anchor stores as long as you have a high level of performance.
Tips on Marketing Products on Amazon, eBay, & Etsy
Amazon, eBay, and Etsy are global marketplaces with thousands of sellers competing for customers’ attention.
How to make your products stand out?
Here are some tips:
- Include keywords in product titles and descriptions to help customers find your products.
- Don’t participate in pricing battles. Instead, aim for a superior shopping experience.
- Display high-quality photos of the products you are selling. Consider hiring professional photographers, if you don’t have the necessary equipment and skills. Photos should display a product in detail, from different angles, and even in life-like situations.
- Offer great customer experience, as it is one of the most important things in e-commerce and one of the ways to be different from the competition. Try to always be there for your customers, answer their questions, provide additional information and quickly address all the issues that might arise.
- Consider social proof as your main weapon. Try to get positive customer feedback and generate positive customer reviews. The availability will make you stand out among the competition and make you more trustworthy in the eyes of potential customers.