Should you sell on Etsy or Amazon?
When it comes to selling online, you will want to choose a website that can make the biggest profit. Choosing that website can be difficult; you want a website that can reach thousands of people and has a great reputation. If you’ve done your research, that normally leaves you trying to decide between selling on Etsy or Amazon. Previously, we’ve covered Merch by Amazon and Etsy on our blog but today, we’re here to compare the two! Read about the positives and negatives for both sites and see where your services would fit best:
What is Etsy? It’s a massive online store where budding artists and designers can sell their products. It specialises in quirky and stylised ‘shops’ and features a wide range of services such as jewellery, fan art and most specifically, t-shirts. All of their products are from independent sellers from around the world. Etsy can also provide print on demand through third party services such as Printful.
Etsy has many benefits and traits that make their company appealing. They are able to provide constant analytics to you can properly plan the years’ quarters, reach out to the correct target audiences and design a development plan. They’re also a huge website now, with a very familiar name. Selling on a website with a good reputation is extremely important and helpful when advertising to the public. Their last report in December 2018, stated they had over 39.4 million buyers (source). It’s safe to say you’ll reach out to someone who is interested in buying your products. Plus, when selling with Etsy, they provide constant and quick customer support and a fulfilment strategy. Chances are, if you’re uncertain, that question you wanted to ask has already been answered in their help section. Overall, their easy to use website and data management would allow for a successful store.
Of course, there are some negative sides to this. The fact that this market is so big means you could struggle to get seen. Sure, it’s 39.4 million buyers is great, but you’re also competing against 2.1 million sellers, with products similar to yours. The time spent on programming a website is cut in half by its easily navigable site, however, the time is filled up by the excess labour put in. As Etsy allows you the creative freedom to make and sell, you’ll be spending hours product controlling and doing everything in between. Another thing is that Etsy sellers, are kept within the Etsy website. It is unlikely that you will be seen on general Google searches and you will be limited to Etsy buyers.
What about Amazon? There are two stores that are worth investigating: Marketplace and Merchandise. The marketplace is what you are presented with as a buyer when you go on Amazon. Merchandise is the one for selling designs and a print on demand service. With the same process as creating an online store, you don’t have to worry about the things in the middle, such as customer service or even shipping. Even though Merch by Amazon is presented by one of the world’s biggest online stores, it is still up and coming. The platform allows sellers to create and list designs for free, meaning you get to decide how much you get paid on a per shirt basis and Amazon will make money from royalties after a shirt sale, covering the cost and process.
The difficult stuff is taken out of the process and everything is covered by Amazon, which means you can depend on one site. With millions of users, you will be seen in a quick Google search too. Stuff trends on Merch, meaning you can keep up to date with the current popular trends. The statistics are there to guide you when selling to such a large crowd of potential buyers. Plus, there is a whole network of people who have written articles and guides on how to be successful on Amazon Merch. It’s an extremely supportive network of sellers and a place where reviews and questions are constantly maintained.
A lot of the time, you’ll find that your designs are similar to those around you, and therefore won’t sell. Anyone can start selling their work, meaning the competition is high and it can be hard to be original. Unlike other stores, it also takes an extreme amount of upkeep to stand out against the current trends and to keep in their Best Seller Rank league board. Merch also has less stories of success when it comes to making passive income. We’d argue here that, because some of the tricky steps are cut out, you have less creative freedom when it comes to making and distributing your shirts. Sometimes, success comes from having quirky or innovative traits, so this is something to consider.
Overall, both of these sites are very different but can promise success if you put the work in and do the research. Aside from the fact that the two have different formats, marketing and structures, ultimately, if you decide which one suits your products the most, you’ll be able to start making a profit.