1. Seller Fees
Etsy's fees are significantly less, Amazon recently increased their fees for handmade sellers; they now take 20% of your sale. Due to the volume that we sell it doesn't hurt us to stay on Amazon and keep our prices the same on all of our platforms, but if you are getting started we'd recommend adjusting your pricing for Amazon (or on all of your platforms) to keep your profit margin where you want it to be.
2. Variations and Pricing
We definitely prefer Amazon. On Etsy you can only add two variations and the text is limited. On Amazon we receive fewer inquiries about variations because we are able to explain them on the actual item listings. Also, you don't have to adjust your pricing for variations like you do on Etsy. If you want to charge more for certain variations you can set the variation to add to your base price.
3. Custom Order Listings
On Etsy this is a breeze, on Amazon, not so much. For a custom listing on Amazon you have to create an entire listing, set it to private, and then send the customer the link. On Etsy the custom order option is part of your conversation with the customer.
4. Traffic and Buyer Potential
While there are technically more Amazon shoppers out there than Etsy shoppers, it doesn't mean you'll be able to get more sales on Amazon. The buyers are different - Amazon shoppers are typically used to a quick return, Etsy shoppers are looking for something handmade, specific, and usually consider who they are buying from. If you have a product that is unique and not replicated all over Amazon by a factory, then it can definitely do well. Otherwise it may get lost in the mix.
5. Interface / Design
Etsy is preferred! Amazon's backdoor is really no different than what you see as a shopper, if anything it's even less modern than their shopping interface. It is almost like comparing Apple to PC. We'd say that Apple and Etsy are best friends and PC and Amazon hang out on the weekends. This takes some getting used to when you've been in Etsy land for a while. The design options for making your shop and listings brand cohesive are limited. Most customers will not find your "shop" or "account" on Amazon like they would on Etsy, rather they would find an item and then be suggested similar items that aren't yours.
We love the Amazon reports. They are detailed and can be broken down by product, and the graphs are informative. The reports are more complex but definitely informative.
7. Customer Connection
You'll likely feel very detached from your Amazon customers, unlike on Etsy where you can end up chatting so much that you decide to meet a customer for coffee. Overall it's nice to have that personal connection and it builds better brand loyalty and referrals. (Sometimes it is nice to get that quick sale and not have to connect with EVERY customer.)
8. Customer Inquiries
If you shop on Amazon you're familiar with reading other customer questions about a product. It's nice to be able to find information this way. As a seller it's great too, you don't have to respond to the same questions repeatedly like you maybe have to on Etsy. The seller can answer the questions posted too.
We forgot to mention deposits. On Etsy you can deposit sale monies daily, you decide. On Amazon you get two deposits each month, and only items that have been marked shipped will be paid. (You can't mark them shipped in the future.)
Comment below if you have any other questions about Etsy or Amazon Handmade.