As someone who sells our crafts online, we always have to look for marketing changes and shifting trends.
A few weeks ago, Renae Christine pointed out how people who shop online buy from Amazon first instead of places like Etsy. So, is Etsy still ideal for selling handmade products?
Around 2015 or so, I was making that big decision of choosing to sell my products on Etsy or Amazon Handmade. I ended up not choosing either, but over the last year I started to wonder if I could use Etsy to funnel traffic to my website.
Then, Renae made two videos about how most handmade business owners think the customers are on etsy, but the reality is they aren’t.
Amazon has so many customers that they are advertising that they need more sellers. The buyer traffic is already there. You could potentially start selling handmade products on Amazon and market to millions of customers.
Whereas with Etsy, there are so many sellers competing with each other. Normally, competition is a good thing, but in this case and at this stage in the game, your business may not be able to grow as efficiently as people before you who started on Etsy 5+ years ago.
Etsy has grown their amount of sellers. It is why I continued to hesitate to use it as a traffic source. What good is a platform for handmade sellers when the average buyer doesn’t know about it or use it?
I also noticed more and more people who sell on Etsy set up a quick shop because they think running an Etsy shop is easy. They want to do it as a hobby. So they cut their prices dramatically, have poor customer service, have little to no shopping policies, and just overall leave a bad taste in buyers' mouths.
While it is fine for anyone to make a shop on Etsy, people who want to make a true living selling their handmade stuff are being impacted by the over saturation and price undercuts.
Let’s not talk about people who simply buy stuff from China and try to pass it off as handmade…
Did the cheese move to Amazon? Is the Amazon Handmade Marketplace really that good?
To be honest, I have never sold on Amazon Handmade. But I have kept my eyes on Amazon as a whole because their Prime membership is why their users skyrocketed.
If you’ve made note of the amount of Etsy changes that have caused mass panic within the last three years, you may have put together that they are secretly competing with Amazon’s–regular Amazon–customer base.
Required free shipping on orders over x amount of dollars? Guess who offers free shipping.
Customer dissatisfaction? Hmm…how well does Amazon make sure you get your money back in the event that you had a horrible experience–granted, I am not 100% sure all cases end perfectly.
If Etsy is constantly changing the way their platform runs, then that means they have a big competitor they don't want their sellers to become aware of. I think Renae figured out selling your crafts on Amazon may be very fruitful for your business growth.
She mentions in her “Etsy Offsite Ads” video that Amazon now places Amazon Handmade products in the regular Amazon listings. I once thought this was because they’re desperate to continue to promote Amazon Handmade. Now I feel it is because they want sellers to use their services so that both Amazon and the handmade small business owners can grow.
A business, no matter how big or small, wants to continue growing. The minute the CEO gets comfortable with the way things are, is the minute a new competitor swoops in and takes their customers.
Amazon created their handmade program because they noticed top Etsy stores growing at an amazing rate. We are finally in an age where it is acceptable to work from home selling stuff you made. Amazon is trying to tap into that market.
Is creating an Etsy store still worth the headaches? Should you just skip it and start selling art on Amazon Handmade instead?
Even with this market shift, even with the cheese moving, I still feel Etsy is a good starting point. But you, as a business owner, have to treat it as a traffic source and eventually funnel them to your future website.
Your goal shouldn’t be to rely solely on any platform to run your business. You are a business owner. You are in charge of everything that goes into it.
By setting up an Etsy shop, you will be able to get some traffic, especially if you follow Starla and Marc’s teachings. If you get the traffic with products that convert, you will get sales.
Having multiple traffic sources that funnel to one place helps your business grow and stay afloat in the midst of all the chaos.
When you are ready, create an Amazon Handmade account and sell on both platforms. This will also give Renae and other besties enough time to teach us how to properly run an Amazon Handmade account.
What was that Amazon FBA Renae was talking about? Will that help with selling crafts on Amazon?
So, I don’t know too much about FBA. I can only share what I understand.
FBA means “fulfilled by Amazon”. This means whatever products sold through there get shipped instantly because they are stored in the Amazon warehouse. People are loyal to Amazon because their shipping policies are off the charts.
By having handmade products in the FBA warehouse, you could potentially reach millions of new customers because Amazon customers expect the fastest shipping. If someone buys from you through that, you can funnel them to your main platform, then they will become a repeat customer.
What products do I send to Amazon FBA? Does FBA work with the Amazon handcrafted marketplace?
In Renae’s really long “All the things I know about Amazon thus far” video, besties have said you can do FBA with Amazon Handmade. Please bear in mind, I do not know how to do this. But I am sure Renae and other Besties are working together to teach us in the future.
For now, I suggest creating some products that are easy to make that you can send to their warehouse. Use whatever materials you have. For me, I was thinking about sending an economy line of products to the warehouse.
Connecting your handmade products with Amazon FBA will most likely make your business grow within the next couple of years. It is a hassle to do right now, but by starting it before Etsy sellers who want this to be their full-time job realize how fruitful Amazon Handmade is, you are putting yourself ahead of the curve.
I hope this article helps in some way. I will continue to look for more people’s responses to this topic. If something big happens, I will do my best to write my thoughts on it.