Finding the Best Online Marketplace for Your Crafts: Amazon, Etsy or Ebay?

best online marketplace for your crafts

When you sell crafts online, choosing the right platform is paramount. There are plenty of different options available to handmade business owners. Three of the most popular are Etsy, Amazon and eBay. But each one offers different options and benefits for handmade shop owners. Here are some comparisons and basic information that can help you make the best decision when it comes to choosing Handmade at Amazon, Etsy or eBay.

The Importance of Choosing the Best Online Marketplace for Your Crafts

Choosing the right marketplace site when selling crafts online is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Target Audience Reach: Different platforms attract different types of customers. Selecting a marketplace that aligns with your target audience can significantly increase your sales.
  2. Platform Fees and Policies: Each site has its own fee structure and policies. Understanding these can help in maximizing profits and avoiding unexpected costs or policy conflicts.
  3. Brand Alignment: The marketplace should reflect the values and aesthetics of your brand. A mismatch can dilute your brand identity and confuse potential customers.
  4. Features and Support: Some sites offer better support, tools, and features than others, which can aid in marketing, sales tracking, and customer service.
  5. Community and Networking: Certain platforms have a strong community of sellers, which can be beneficial for networking, advice, and support.

Overall, the right marketplace can make a significant difference in how effectively you can sell your crafts, reach your audience, and manage your online business.

best online marketplace for your crafts

Evaluating the Best Online Marketplace for Your Crafts: Our Thought Process

Selecting the right online marketplace for selling crafts is crucial for small business owners and craft entrepreneurs. It involves balancing a range of factors to find a platform that aligns with their products, target audience, and business goals. We rated each option using an objective scale; the importance of each factor is included below, with ten being the most important and one being the least. Here’s how we evaluate online marketplaces for crafts:

  1. Audience Reach and Demographics (Scale: 10/10)
    • Size and nature of the customer base using the platform.
    • Alignment with the target demographic for your crafts.
  2. Fees and Pricing Structure (Scale: 9/10)
    • Understanding the costs associated with listing and selling items.
    • Comparison of subscription fees, transaction fees, and other charges.
  3. Ease of Use and Seller Support (Scale: 8/10)
    • User-friendliness of the platform for listing and managing products.
    • Availability of seller support services and resources.
  4. Customization and Branding Opportunities (Scale: 7/10)
    • Ability to customize your store and showcase your brand identity.
    • Options for personalized branding, store layouts, and marketing tools.
  5. Payment and Security Features (Scale: 9/10)
    • Secure and reliable payment processing options.
    • Protection against fraud and support in resolving disputes.
  6. Marketplace Reputation and Credibility (Scale: 8/10)
    • The reputation of the marketplace among customers and sellers.
    • Trustworthiness and credibility in the market.
  7. Integration with Other Tools and Platforms (Scale: 6/10)
    • Ability to integrate with social media, websites, and other marketing tools.
    • Compatibility with third-party tools for inventory management, analytics, etc.
  8. Community and Networking Opportunities (Scale: 5/10)
    • Access to a community of fellow crafters and sellers for networking and collaboration.
    • Opportunities for learning and growth through community interaction.
  9. Marketing and Exposure (Scale: 7/10)
    • The platform’s ability to market your products and increase visibility.
    • Features like promoted listings, SEO tools, and access to larger audiences.
  10. Feedback and Review System (Scale: 7/10)
    • Availability and effectiveness of customer review systems.
    • How the platform handles feedback and its impact on seller reputation.

By carefully considering these criteria, craft business owners can choose an online marketplace that not only enhances their sales potential but also aligns with their business ethos and customer base.

best online marketplace for your crafts

Which is the Best Online Marketplace for Your Crafts?


Handmade at Amazon is a relatively new offering from the ecommerce giant. It allows artisans and handmade business owners to set up their own shops on the popular platform.


Amazon has over 250 million customers worldwide. So there’s definitely access to a wide array of potential customers. However, not everyone who visits Amazon is specifically looking for handmade goods, so it’s not exactly a targeted group of customers.

Listing Fees

Amazon doesn’t charge listing fees, but instead takes a percentage of each transaction.

Image Options (free, charged and limitations)

Amazon lets you add one main image for each product and then up to eight alternate images for each listing, free of charge. Amazon also specifies that main photos should depict only the product for sale, not drawings or renderings, and no props that don’t come with the product.

Final Sale Fees

Currently, Amazon takes 12 percent of each sales, with the sale price calculated to include shipping. Starting August 1, 2016, that rate goes up to 15 percent.

Video options (available or not)

Sellers don’t have the ability to add video to listings. However, Amazon itself can add videos for certain vendors, but only those who are part of invitation-only vendor programs.

Payment options

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 instances.

Inventory Management features (can you easily export items to and from your site to these sites?)

You can add your products through Amazon after you apply and get accepted. But you have to add the information for each listing. There’s not a simple import feature for you to add products from another site.

Rules and Regulations

To sell on Handmade at Amazon, you need to apply and get accepted. You also need to sell only items that are handmade by you or a member of your team, if your team is under 20 people. You can also set your own production time and even offer custom products. But Amazon only lets you set production time for 30 days out.

Store Availability (Is a store available versus just individual listings?)

With Handmade at Amazon, you get a unique storefront with a custom 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 that storefront, though they’ll also appear alongside other handmade products on Amazon when customers search or browse within a category.

best online marketplace for your crafts


Etsy has long been considered the leading handmade marketplace. The site includes handmade crafts for sale, vintage items and even craft supplies.


According to Statista, Etsy had about 24 million active buyers as of 2015. Unlike eBay and Amazon, those shoppers are primarily interested in handmade items, rather than a variety of other goods.

Listing Fees

Etsy charges 20 cents per listing. And listings are good for four months before they expire. You can pay an additional 20 cents to relist items that have expired or sold.

Image Options (free, charged and limitations)

Etsy lets you upload up to five photos with each listing. There’s no additional charge for adding photos beyond that initial listing fee. Etsy recommends using photos that are a maximum of 800-1000 pixels wide and landscape or square images for the main photos.

Final Sale fees

Etsy charges a 3.5 percent transaction fee on every sale. You can pay those fees, along with the listing fees, once per month.

Video options (available or not)

You can create and upload a shop video to your main shop page. Etsy doesn’t have strict requirements for these, but recommends videos be around two minutes or less, landscape, and a max of 300 MB.

Payment options

Each Etsy seller can specify which payment methods to accept, including PayPal, credit cards, Etsy gift cards and Apple Pay.

Inventory Management features (can you easily export items to and from your site to these sites?)

You can add each listing individually on Etsy. But there’s no automatic upload or transfer feature.

Rules and Regulations

Etsy allows sellers to list items that are made by hand, vintage (must be at least 20 years old or more), or craft supplies. However, the definition of “handmade” has changed in the past few 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. So an item can feature original artwork but be actually produced on a mass scale.

Store Availability (Is a store available versus just individual listings?)

Each Etsy seller can set up their own individual store with its own header photo, profile and policies. Shoppers can view your products within your store or within Etsy categories or search results.

To learn more about selling on Etsy, read: How to Start an Etsy Shop

best online marketplace for your crafts


eBay is mostly known for online auctions. But some handmade business owners have found the platform to be helpful in selling crafts.


eBay’s user base grew to about 162 million active users in Q4 of 2015. However, not all of those users are interested in purchasing handmade crafts. In fact, some active users are primarily interested in selling rather than buying.

Listing Fees

The fees for eBay sellers can vary based on the type of listing, since you can host both auction type sales and fixed-price sales. In general, it’s free to create your first 50 listings per month, and then 30 cents per listing beyond that.

Image Options (free, charged and limitations)

You can add up to 12 images for free with each listing with eBay picture hosting. That also includes zoom and enlarge features so customers can get an up-close view of your products.

Final Sale fees

eBay also charges 10 percent of the total amount of the sale, which includes the item price, shipping and any other costs that you charge to the buyer, aside from sales tax. The maximum fee is $750.

Video options (available or not)

You can add FLASH files for sound or video on each eBay listing. So you can upload a video to a third party service like YouTube, then either link to or embed the video into your listing page.

Payment options

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 to and from your site to these sites?)

You can create listings directly on eBay. Or you can upload your inventory data or listing templates through CSV or Excel files.

Rules and Regulations

eBay offers the ability to sell a wide array of items. So you don’t have to worry as much about restrictions on handmade items specifically. However, there are rules about listing items in specific categories. For instance, if you list an item as fine jewelry, it needs to have a fine metal setting or a fine gemstone included. Fashion settings are not permitted without fine gemstones in that category. There are also restricted and prohibited items, such as alcohol or hazardous materials, which generally aren’t allowed on eBay unless they’ve been pre-approved.

Store Availability (Is a store available versus just individual listings?)

You can create a dedicated store if you have an eBay seller account, 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 seller performance level.

FeatureAmazon HandmadeEtsyeBay
AudienceOver 250 million customers worldwide, not targetedAbout 24 million active buyers, primarily interested in handmade items162 million active users, varied interests
Listing FeesNo listing fees, percentage taken per transaction$0.20 per listing, valid for four monthsFree for first 50 listings/month, then $0.30 each
Image OptionsOne main image, up to eight alternates, no extra chargeUp to five photos, no additional chargeUp to 12 images free, with zoom and enlarge features
Final Sale Fees12% (increasing to 15% after August 1, 2016)3.5% transaction fee10% of the total sale (max $750)
Video OptionsNo seller-added video, Amazon adds for select vendorsShop videos allowed, recommended <2 minutes, <300 MBFLASH files for sound/video, link/embed from YouTube
Payment OptionsVariety including credit/debit cards, Amazon gift cardsSeller-specified, including PayPal, credit cardsPayPal, credit/debit cards, payment upon pickup
Inventory ManagementManual addition post-approval, no import featureManual listing addition, no automatic transferDirect creation or CSV/Excel file upload
Rules and RegulationsApplication required, handmade items only, production time limit of 30 daysHandmade, vintage, craft supplies; less strict on 'handmade' definitionWide array, specific category rules, some restrictions
Store AvailabilityUnique storefront with custom URL and artist profileIndividual store with header photo, profileDedicated store with eBay seller account

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

27 Reactions
  1. We are currently working on both Amazon and eBay. We are getting great response from eBay store as compare to the Amazon. We have stores in Australia, UK and .com on ebay. Also, using ebay paid campaign to promote the products on the ebay.

  2. If we are going to talk about handmade products, I’d say Etsy. Amazon is best for books. Not really a fan of Ebay.

    • I’m sure it all depends on the type of products and audience – but yes, Etsy certainly offers more of an audience of specific handmade buyers.

  3. Very in-depth research. Each platform has strengths, but find the one that works for you and run with it.

  4. I generated over $100,000 in sales three years in a row on Etsy. If I could do it all over, I would avoid them and also Ebay. Instead, focus on building your own market channel, use Shopify as your platform and also branch out to Amazon (fees aside).

    My issue with Etsy is you’re not building brand value from their channel. I’d say capture the email address of everyone who buys a product from you, and when you need to jump ship, start contacting your old customers telling them about your move.

    Here is what I did and am still generating revenue on my own:
    – open a shopify store
    – Run Facebook / Instagram adds
    – Run Pinterest ads

    • WOW?! how in the world did you do that? ($100,000) and what are you selling? I just closed my etsy shop today because I have 0 revenue for 2017 so far and was hit with a $200.00 fee! (Etsy). It’s ludicrous your just paying for Facebook ads? Those also do next to nothing for me.

      • Don’t even get me STARTED on “paying” for Facebook Ads! lol kinda ridiculous however I received the most new clients, calls & interest. I did color tutorials and just really went hardcore & it worked! I was exhausted but I was making good $ 🙂 I have to pick one of these places to sell stuff online by tomorrow. I’m hearing good things about Shopify…..

    • It really is fantastic that you’ve had so much success with etsy. My main problem with them is that since they ditched the “handmade” ethics standards, pretty much everyone and their second cousins have an etsy shop. It’s really hard to get a following there anymore. I assume you worked very hard at building up your client base, and probably started pretty early in the game (before it became completely oversaturated)… but it’s still quite a accomplishment. I’m sure I’m not the only one wondering why you decided to ditch it if you were making that kind of income. Sounds like you got burned in some way.

      My other question is why you suggest a “shopify” store, specifically. I have a website that I created myself, using a wordpress theme that includes a shopping cart. Though I make occasional sales, I am not very good at driving traffic to it. Is there something intrinsic to Shopify that helps drive traffic? Thanks for sharing your story and advice.

    • can you give any further advice like if you would, how much did you partner in fees with shopify — did you see a response though you may have had a following prior due to your 3 years experience. yes. I am going to look into a Facebook page where I upgrade that and stay with Instagram … I just posted a shop on Etsy. and I may misunderstand but shipping fees seem high so I am going in to view as a shopper and see how what total costs are for my items.

      I have an art-website which may offer a Facebook link I think that is true. and with a newsletter option and blog option on that. I could link all together I guess.

      I want to understand if FACEBOOK promotions actually work … I may try that too. I did once before but really don’t understand completely.

  5. i have been wholesaling my handmade in the good ol USA for over 35 years. i just opened an etsy store in their new wholesale department. i uploaded over 100 items and have had almost no views other than the one store who put in an order for about $400 (not much for wholesale) i’m pretty disappointed with the whole shebang. i emailed twice asking how they were getting ‘people’ to the wholesale end of their site and was told they advertise in a few ‘trade magazines’ but god knows what that means.

    clearly they aren’t getting enough traffic to the site if no one is seeing my work. i’m not sure what the answer is. i’ve looked for other ways of getting my work out there and keep hitting dead end after dead end. i have a rep who works the west coast and they take 18% commission. it seems if i’m going to expand any farther i’d need to do the big Gift Shows on my own. an investment of about $16,000 with air fare, hotel and booth space, shipping of display etc. they charge a massive amount for a 10 X 10 space and then tack on little fee after fee for lighting and paying union guys to bring your pallet from the loading dock to your booth.

    sorry this got so long. this article is WONDERFUL for it’s in-depth (as written above) and am glad there’s a conversation about the whole shebang.

    • Susan,
      I feel your frustration. It’s really difficult to build up a wholesale business without investing a lot of money in trades hows. Have you looked into IndieMe (formerly WholesaleCrafts)? I get all of my wholesale business through that website, and it’s not terribly expensive.

  6. One more thing, if you go the build your own website route, the author has another article worth reading on this website.
    10 Small But Essential Ways to Boost Your Business by Annie Pilon.

  7. I’ve had very good success on Etsy, however my product falls into a niche category, a big advantage. Amazon handmade, not so much, even though their audience is larger. But so are the number of sellers. Far less activity in Amazon and I find it to be very impersonal which is hurtful to deliver good conversation from a customer service standpoint. Also, their fees are ridiculously high in my opinion. Etsy is the place for handmade. The more unique your product, the more success. And btw, I have not spent one cent on advertising and am a social media failure. If you have a great product, can afford to advertise, and are a social media genius, and deliver stellar customer service, you’ll make money…and a good chance of a lot of it.

  8. I like Amazon. Ebay sucks. I hate the stupid EBay. Ebay scans way to much and there products suck. They also have really bad deals. Never use Ebay. Always use Amazon.

    • What does that even mean that eBay products suck? They have a wide array of sellers selling everything under the sun. Sounds like sour grapes to me!

  9. Hi all…I’m on Etsy currently and have not sold a thing! However, I’m in Jewelry and that has literally thousands of listings, so competition is pretty tough. But it’s been a few months so I’m hanging in there. Put a few listings on Ebay with little or no interest there. I’m now trying to set up a Handmade on Amazon account and you wouldn’t believe the difficulties I’m having. Their website is horrific…I’ll be in a Sellers area and then click on another link and end up in the Retail area as a customer! I’ve been sent links to Handmade info and when I click on them I get the message FORBIDDEN….??? What the H…. is that all about? It is crazy and I’m about to give up on Amazon totally. The funny thing is….everyone who sees my jewelry…LOVES them. And buys them. So does that mean I need to open a brick and mortar shop so people can actually see and try on my items? It is a mystery to me…..

  10. I would love any suggestions as well. I’ve been on Etsy for 4yrs and have ended up doing my own marketing and advertising, I sold nothing until I did the hard yards. Things were “ok” and was reasonable until the recent changes and mandatory cross over to Etsy Payments system. Now I seem to be paying more hidden fees and having more issues with their current system setup, and no support for sellers if the buyer dos the wrong thing – you now have to give them a full refund regardless if the customer stuffs you around with custom work before you can cancel the order. I’ve had bad experience with ebay and difficulties also in getting anywhere with amazon. Any suggestions? Even a blog platform with online shop? My customers love my products, but they are becoming reluctant to use Etsy with the recent issues. I sell custom fibres and hand spun and hand dyed yarns for reference.

    • That’s the problem with platfoms. It’s never about you, always about the platform. As good as Amazon is with sheer numbers of people checking things out on there, they don’t allow you to customize too much.

      I think you should consider your own website first. Nothing fancy and learn as your grow. If you’re confident enough make short 1-2 min videos about things to do with your product area as a way to drive audience to your website. If you see something interesting when out and about, make a 30 sec video about it and send it to instagram and ask people what they think of it… Get a following, let them see your stuff. You never know after that.

  11. I just want to warn anyone that was invited to sell handmade,They say fees will be waived until end of 2018.However they deducted the money.I did not have enough money in there and send every day emails that they would deduct.I sent emails and got automated answers back.The website is horrible.No human answers.I keep sending emails and different people eventually say they are working on the case.Pathetic is the word.I stay with Etsy with only a few sales.

  12. Olddie but a Goodie

    I sell handmade and vintage items and in my opinion Etsy is so far behind the times in numerous aspects (yet they are touted as the “in place” for handmade”) compared to eBay. Just read where a group of vintage sellers from Etsy had a get-together in Wisconsin to share their views on vintage selling. REALLY. I cannot afford the time or money for a trip. However, I am not thrilled with eBay either, but for different reasons. As previously mentioned Etsy has no customer help for sellers who are just having technical problems.I am not a techie so if I get stuck there is no one to contact–sent email, got no response. On eBay you can speak with live person. eBay you can zoom a picture and then scroll the complete listing in zoom unlike Etsy where you have to close the zoom feature & go to next product pic. Etsy has no feature where you can check how much a similar vintage Coro necklace sold for or to see what items are currently trending. Product pictures on eBay can be cropped to eliminate any extraneous backgrounds, lighting can be adjusted—Etsy not so. Guess I am just too old. I don’t really like all the time that is required to make your shop successful by advertising on 3 or 4 social media sites plus if you write a blog, have numerous YouTube videos of how to make your product you are more apt to rate higher in the search engine results. So by the time you do social media, do a blog, take a trip to meet with like-minded sellers there is no time left to make your creations beside I am totally wiped out, how can I be creative? Why can’t you have the same chance by focusing your time on creating a great product instead of hours spent on FB , blogging, YouTube, Twitter,Pinterest, Instagram. I will give credit to the creators of social media. They have definitely changed the landscape of selling & the world but not for the betterment I feel. Now a disgruntled teenager with no structure from parents can hang out in the basement and create havoc and destruction and no one even knows it is going on until its too late.

    eBay seems you must give your stuff away. I know numerous sellers who are no longer on eBay and I feel sure they are not willing to sell a 100 year old gorgeous piece of glassware for $5. As for brick & mortar stores I just closed a booth that I had rented for 20 years because of high rent, change of shop ownership, etc. So I don’t know the answer, still searching. Thanks for letting me vent my frustrations.

  13. Well it is a difficult question to answer, amazon etsy & ebay are the best in eCommerce industry so it is difficult to choose which one is the best. Amazon is the best eCommerce website globally. It has the best visualization & best to buy a product with in a single page itself. Though i also use the etsy & ebay website too but it is slightly complicated than the amazon. In india amazon is the best eCommerce website to shop a product in online.

  14. I’ve been selling on ebay, Amazon and Etsy for years but I left Etsy. They do not care if buyers are scammers and even if you have proof – they still demand a refund to the buyer. Then, they will wipe your Etsy platform out and ALL of your relatives that live with you at the same address. As for Amazon – algorithms is the key. Sell three or more items and it boosts your presence on their site. Sell one, two or none and you will sit there for years. ebay – well, sought after items sell well and average everyday products the customers want for free. Of the three – I would say put time and effort into figuring out how to boost your presence on Amazon.

  15. I think it’s a joke that most craft makers and sellers think they can make a decent lively-hood on any of these sites. Just look at the enormous competition for virtually thousands of similar products for whatever your craft is. If you have a real paying job and just love to make your craft, and are satisfied with some extra supplemental income, enjoy. Otherwise, most will struggle at these endeavors. It’s similar to your typical yard sale. Buyers want a bargain and never want to pay nearly what the product originally commanded, even when it looks or does just as well as when they were new.

  16. Really these marketplace are the best online market place for getting good results, thank you for sharing these list with description

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