Amazon and Etsy Help for Inventors: How to Start Selling Online

How Home Inventors Stay Ahead: Selling Through Online Marketplaces

Making your first sale. It’s one of the most exciting things inventors look forward to as they near the final steps of the product development process. The good news is that you can get started online on your own in the comfort of your own home. Even better is that there’s a ton of great platforms to choose from – all offering different benefits to help you gain an edge over your competitors depending on your needs. But which platform is the most suitable for your product business? Should you go with an online marketplace or build an e-commerce website? In this blog, we’ll be providing Amazon and Etsy help for inventors. 

Both are popular online marketplaces where you can sell your physical products online. Online marketplaces differ from other platforms such as Shopify or Woocommerce. These last two are known as e-commerce platforms where you can build your customized website for your specific brand to sell your products. On the other hand, with online marketplaces, you can start selling without the need to build or code anything.

RIng Keeper: Amazon and Etsy help for inventors.

Etsy

Is a global online marketplace that offers a unique platform catered to inventors and buyers focused on selling handcrafted pieces, vintage goods, and other creative offerings. If you take a browse through their website, there isn’t a widescreen or smart device in sight. As a result, we think it’s a comfortable platform the helps first-time inventors who are trying to decide between Amazon and Etsy. It certainly works wonders for our client Dhérèse! In fact, her product, the Ring Keeper, has over 40 five-star reviews already!

Pros
  • Focused target audience: Thanks to their unique focus on creative goods, you’ll have an easier time getting your product in front of the customers who care.
  • Simple pricing model: No extra monthly fees, secure transactions, automatic deposits, and seller protection.
  • Promote and advertise: They offer a handful of advertising tools to help you market your product within and outside of Etsy’s platform. In addition to advertisements, you can create coupons or exclusive email offers to help generate even more sales.
  • Basic branding: Easy to design a basic store page that matches the aesthetic of your products.
Cons
  • With 81.9 million buyers, Etsy has a considerably small reach than Amazon.
  • Because Etsy focuses on a niche buyer, you might have some challenges differentiating your product – especially if you find competitors offer similar products.
  • Limited customization options compared to building your own website. 
Starting Price
  • $0.25 fee to list your product on the store (listings last for four months)
  • 5% transaction fee, a 3-4% and a CA$0.25 payment processing fee
  • 15% fee for any sales made through an offsite advertisement
Amazon

Amazon

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, this online marketplace needs no introduction. With over 300 million accounts worldwide and 150 million Prime memberships, no online marketplace comes even close when it comes to global reach.

Pros
  • Fewer product restrictions: Etsy has specific rules on what can be sold on its platform. Amazon has very few in comparison.
  • Visibility: Due to Amazon’s popularity, product listings from this online marketplace rank at the top of Google search results. 
  • Handmade category: In direct competition with Etsy, Amazon offers an “artisan-only” space for inventors to sell handmade goods. The caveat is that 
  • Fulfillment: If you’re interested in paying extra for Amazon Fulfillment (FBA), they’ll take care of picking, packing, customer services, shipping and returns. On top of it all, products shipped through with Amazon fulfillment qualify for two-day Prime shipping. A benefit, most Prime members look for when they’re shopping on Amazon.
Cons
  • Competition: Today, everyone wants a piece of the Amazon pie – so expect a lot of competition.
  • Limited Branding: Like Etsy, Amazon offers storefront customization. However, there’s very little you can do to design it and show off your brand.
  • Amazon Basics: Without warning, Amazon can list a direct competitor to your product, often at a competitively lower price. From doggie poop to monitor arms, who knows what they’re going to produce next?
Starting Price
  • $0.99 fee for each item sold
  • $0.30 commission minimum (they call this a referral fee) on each sale for most categories
  • $2.16 – $6.08 fulfillment fee for most standard packages under 3 lbs
  • $0.48 – $2.40 monthly storage fees per cubic foot, depending on the month

About Us: MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to small businesses, startups, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Feel free to Contact Us anytime for help with your project.

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