In a time and age where we are spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting what’s right for our online ventures, the choice can sometimes be confusing. Amazon and Etsy are both ecommerce giants in their rights that online sellers need to choose from. Both of these ecommerce platforms and marketplaces are distinctly unique from one another, offering different opportunities for entrepreneurs to sell their products online.

Both platforms have their fair share of strengths and weaknesses catering to different types of sellers and customers, traits that can either match your online business needs or get in the way of success.

So, when it comes to choosing the best platform for your online business, which one should you choose? In this article by Ecommerce Pro, we are diving into Amazon vs Etsy, allowing you a look into their strengths and weaknesses, ultimately helping you decide which to choose. Let’s get started.

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    Founded in 1994, Amazon is an ecommerce platform and marketplace that needs no introduction. What started as an online bookstore has since become the most successful online company to date. Today, Amazon is the titan of ecommerce that boasts millions of engaged and active users. This means you can enjoy unparalleled exposure to one of the world’s largest ecommerce audiences, giving you a chance to a higher sales volume.

    For those who wish to hitch their wagon to Amazon, you have two options. First is selling on Amazon Webstore, a hosted ecommerce solution. It’s not nearly as customizable as Shopify, but you’ll get your site and URL that is not attached to the Amazon brand. An alternate and popular route is joining the Amazon Marketplace, where you can sell your products alongside existing listings on

    Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages of selling on Amazon:

    Pros of Selling on Amazon

    1. Global Reach

    With a presence in 58 countries, Amazon has an astonishingly wide reach, giving you access to a diverse customer base around the world. This type of coverage allows Amazon to easily deliver rather quickly across the world. An estimated of 2.7 billion people shop on Amazon, which is where they owe their success.

    Depending on your goals and target market, this global reach may be what you need to positively impact your success.

    2. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA)

    One of the biggest pros to selling on Amazon is Amazon's Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program. This program effectively takes the weight of logistics off of sellers and provides you with comprehensive fulfillment options that make selling products online easier. With FBA, Amazon takes charge of storage, packaging, and shipping, relieving you of logistical responsibilities. By outsourcing these tasks to Amazon, sellers are streamlining operations, enabling them to focus on other aspects of their business, like product development and marketing.

    3. Trust and Credibility

    As we mentioned, Amazon needs no introduction. Their reputation for serving billions of online shoppers around the world precedes them and they are known as a reliable and trusted platform that shoppers turn to for the most necessary and frivolous buys on the web.

    The trust and credibility associated with the Amazon brand can lend itself to your online business, casting the glow of its reputation onto your brand. Online shoppers are often more willing to make purchases on a platform they perceive as trustworthy, rather than from an obscure website. Amazon’s reputation for being the reliable go-to for online shopping can benefit online sellers who are building their customer base, allowing you to drive repeat business and ultimate success.

    Start selling on Amazon.


    Drawbacks to selling on Amazon

    1. High Competition

    While Amazon is the world’s most popular and successful ecommerce marketplace, the sheer number of sellers on Amazon makes for steep competition. We all know that competition makes business more challenging, especially for new or niche products to stand out. To stand out from the crowd of sellers and products on the Amazon marketplace, you need to invest and study strategies that will help differentiate what your store has to offer to attract customers in an already crowded marketplace.

    2. Fees and Costs

    Another downside to Amazon worth considering is the high fees and commissions. While it’s true that Amazon offers exposure to a vast customer base, it comes at a cost. Sellers must pay a handful of varying fees, which can include referral fees, fulfillment fees, storage fees, FBA fees, and more, which can eat into profit margins. This is especially concerning for those who sell low-priced items that aren’t selling fast.

    3. Limited Branding

    If you were imagining building an online business around a unique brand, Amazon marketplace may not be the choice for you. You’re better off on platforms like Shopify if you wish to build a brand. On Amazon, branding options are limited with Amazon’s set template that limits how you display products and branding elements.



    Etsy is another ecommerce marketplace, but unlike Amazon, there’s more room for a touch of whimsy on the platform. Established in 2005, Etsy carved out a unique niche for itself: a marketplace for handmade, vintage, and creative products that supports small business owners and artisans.

    Explore Etsy and you’ll find a treasure trove of artisanal crafts and one-of-a-kind finds. If you're looking for mass-produced items or the convenience of fast shipping, Etsy might not be your first choice. The site attracts about 95 million active buyers who value unique items, supporting small businesses, and the charm of handcrafted goods.

    What draws buyers to shop on Etsy is the curated feel of the selection of items. They also get to connect directly with the makers of products, which lends to the sense of satisfaction one gets from making a purchase.

    For sellers, the platform allows them to showcase and profit off of their creativity, allowing them to build a loyal customer base who appreciate the stories behind the products.

    Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages of selling on Etsy:

    Pros of Selling on Etsy

    1. A Targeted Audience

    Etsy has a specific and targeted audience that may be just right for your brand, especially if you sell handmade or vintage items. Etsy attracts over 95 million buyers who are on the market for unique and handcrafted goods, offering creative sellers access to a niche market that is looking for your type of products.

    Other platforms, like Amazon, lack the approachable charm of Etsy, which feels more personal and grounded on the human artistic spirit.

    2. Community and Engagement

    Etsy’s more personal nature lends to a sense of community among buyers and sellers. There are features like forums, teams, and events. The platform takes community building a step further by hosting online and offline events. Unlike the vast anonymity and “distance” between brand and seller on many platforms, the personal shopping experience builds brand loyalty for sellers.

    3. Flexibility and Creativity

    Etsy is a platform that celebrates creativity and craftsmanship, which may make it the right place for artisans, crafters, and small businesses with a focus on handmade or custom products. However, the focus on creativity also extends to how sellers can design their shop to reflect their brand identity. Sellers can customize their shop banner and icon, and even how you arrange items on your shop and which items to feature. The opportunity to use eye-catching visuals is high and this level of control allows sellers to curate a cohesive shopping experience with branding elements that draw customers in.

    4. Low Barrier of Entry

    Joining Etsy as a seller is relatively easy and straightforward. It’s as easy as going on Etsy's seller page and clicking on the "Get Started" button and you’ll be guided through a really quick process. In under 30 minutes, you can start listing products and designing your storefront.

    Start Selling on Etsy.


    Cons to Selling on Etsy

    1. Limited Product Range

    Etsy’s heavy focus on handmade and unique items means its doors are closed to anything that isn’t handmade or vintage. For those who wish to sell mass-produced or factory-made goods that are in no way handmade, Etsy as a platform and community will not be for you. It may be challenging to thrive or even join the platform if your goods aren’t part of this category.

    2. Smaller Audience

    It comes across quite clearly that compared to Amazon, Etsy has a smaller user base, which can affect sales volume and visibility for sellers. This comes with the addition that selling on Etsy itself can be rife with competition, especially within specific niches, requiring sellers to develop strong branding and marketing strategies to stand out from the crowd.


    Why Choose Amazon

    If you’re among global and extensive reach, Amazon’s dominating presence makes it an easy choice for online sellers. Moreover, the FBA program is here to make running a business easier by handling storage, packaging, and shipping for you, enabling sellers to focus on other aspects of running a successful online business. By selling on Amazon, you’ll also be leveraging Amazon’s well-established reputation as a trusted institution that over a billion shoppers flock to, potentially boosting sales and fostering customer loyalty. Despite intense competition and associated fees, Amazon’s user base presents significant opportunities for sellers who are willing to put in the work to market and differentiate their products in the hopes of standing out and creating a successful business with Amazon.


    Why Choose Etsy

    Etsy is the ideal platform for artisans, crafters, designers, and vintage re-sellers. It’s the ideal online community for creatives and small businesses specializing in handmade or unique products. Etsy’s strong emphasis on community and engagement fosters connections between buyers and sellers that we don’t often see with Amazon and other platforms, allowing for collaboration and brand building. With a wider range of customization options for shop design and branding, Etsy enables sellers to create visually appealing storefronts that stay true to their brand identity. Moreover, Etsy’s has a low barrier of entry making it accessible with minimal hassle. Since Etsy is targeting a niche audience of buyers who appreciate unique goods, Etsy provides opportunities for sellers to thrive in specialized markets.



    The choice between Amazon vs Etsy all comes down to your your business's unique needs, from the products you sell to the customers you target, and many more nuanced business needs and goals.

    Ultimately, you’ll have to carefully consider your business objectives, target audience, and product offerings to make an informed decision that aligns with your goals for online success in 2024 and beyond.


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