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Difference Between Amazon and Etsy

Amazon and Etsy are both e-commerce websites or online marketplaces that cater to aspiring entrepreneurs. Amazon, which was founded in 1994 in Seattle, Washington, is considered as the largest e-commerce company in the world. Moreover, it is a company of logistics, payments, hardware, data storage, and media. On the other hand, Etsy, which was established in 2005 in Brooklyn, New York, is an online platform for selling not only unique handcrafted pieces made by artists, designers and crafters, but also vintage treasures by individual sellers. The following information furthers on such distinctions.  


What is Amazon?

Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos and his company started as a small online bookshop, which eventually became the largest internet-based company in the world. Amazon was named after the world’s biggest river – the Amazon River in South America. 

This company practices the “flywheel” philosophy which involves lowering prices to attract customers. The prices will then later be increased to allow the company to benefit from the economies of scale. After which, the company can lower the prices again and undergo the same process. Hence, Amazon is a company that puts its customers first at the expense of its shareholders.

The products and services provided by Amazon include:

  1. Alexa
  2. Amazon Appstore
  3. Amazon Digital Game Store
  4. Amazon Drive
  5. Amazon Echo
  6. Amazon Fresh
  7. Amazon Kindle
  8. Amazon Music
  9. Amazon Prime
  10. Amazon Studios
  11. Amazon Video
  12. Amazon Web Services
  13. Amazon Wireless
  14. Fire tablets
  15. Fire TV
  16. Kindle Store
  17. Music Unlimited

Amazon as the world’s largest e-commerce company has over 40 subsidiaries which include the following:

  1. A9.com, Inc
  2. AbeBooks.com
  3. Amazon Air
  4. Alexa Internet
  5. Amazon Books
  6. Amazon Game Studios
  7. Amazon Lab126
  8. Amazon Logistics, Inc.
  9. Amazon Maritime
  10. Amazon Publishing
  11. Amazon Robotics
  12. Amazon.com Services, Inc.
  13. Amazon Web Services, Inc.
  14. Audible
  15. Beijing Century Joyo Courier Services
  16. Brilliance Audio
  17. Body Labs
  18. Book Depository
  19. Brilliance Publishing
  20. ComiXology
  21. CreateSpace
  22. Digital Photography Review
  23. Eero
  24. Fabric.com
  25. Goodreads
  26. Graphiq
  27. IMDb
  28. Junglee
  29. PillPack
  30. Ring
  31. Shelfari
  32. 32.Shopbop|East Dane
  33. Souq.com
  34. Teachstreet
  35. Twitch
  36. Whole Foods Market
  37. Woot!
  38. Zappos


What is Etsy?

Etsy was founded by Rob Kalin, Haim Schoppik, Jared Tarbell and Chris Maguire. It was established as an online marketplace for handmade pieces. Etsy was named after the Italian phrase “eh, si” which means ‘oh, yes’. 

Due to the modern days’ automation, Etsy has a mission to “keep commerce human”; in other words, to “keep human connection at the heart of commerce”. The company’s products are categorized as arts, crafts, jewelry, homeware, or baked goods. Vintage items, categorized as at least 20 years old, are also being sold. These products are unique and creative; thus, they exhibit something special with a human touch. Since Etsy connects independent sellers around the world, it empowers individuals in using their ingenuity that leads to successful businesses. In 2007, Etsy was one of the main platforms utilized in an effort to encourage buying handmade holiday gifts called Handmade Consortium. 

The items they sell in Etsy fall under a range of categories, including:

  1. Jewelry
  2. Bags
  3. Baked goods
  4. Clothing
  5. Home décor
  6. Home furniture
  7. Toys
  8. Craft Supplies
  9. Tools
  10. Vintage items 


Difference between Amazon vs Etsy

  1. Nature of  Amazon vs Etsy Products

In Amazon, anything legal can be sold while using Etsy as an online marketplace is exclusive to unique hand-crafted and vintage goods.

  1. Sellers

Amazon has a lot of subsidiaries (over 40 subsidiaries), while Etsy directly supports independent sellers (artists, designers and crafters) who manage their own orders. 

  1. Sign Up Process for Amazon vs Etsy

Etsy has an easy and fast sign up process compared to what Amazon has. Another bonus is that, Etsy allows sellers and buyers to sign up by using their Facebook accounts.

  1. Incentives when purchasing Amazon vs Etsy products

Etsy offers a “loyalty incentive” wherein various discount codes and shared shipping costs are given to same customers. On the other hand, Amazon has “Amazon Prime”. It promises two-day free shipping for all Prime customers and free two-hour “Prime Now” delivery in certain cities on more than 25,000 qualified items.

  1. Setting up Shop Fee

Etsy lets sellers set up their shop for free while Amazon does not. 

  1. Commission Rate for Amazon vs Etsy

Amazon’s commission rate is much higher and is less standardized depending on the category. It can also change its monthly fee to maintain the seller’s shop. On the other hand, Etsy only takes 3.5 percent commission.

  1. Competition

Since individual or independent sellers are supported by Etsy, there is a much tighter competition as compared to Amazon which has many subsidiaries.

Amazon vs Etsy: Comparison Table


Summary of  Amazon vs Etsy

  • Both Amazon and Etsy are e-commerce websites that cater to aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • Amazon is a company of logistics, payments, hardware, data storage and media.
  • Etsy is an online marketplace for selling not only unique handcrafted pieces made by artists, designers and crafters but also vintage treasures by individual sellers.
  • Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos and his company started as a small online bookshop, which eventually became the largest internet-based company in the world. 
  • Etsy was founded by Rob Kalin, Haim Schoppik, Jared Tarbell and Chris Maguire. 
  • Setting up shop in Etsy is easier and more affordable. 
  • There is a higher competition in Etsy than in Amazon. 


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References :

[0]MacGregor, Jr. Jeff Bezos: The Force Behind the Brand. Edina, MN: CAC Publishing, 2018. Print. 

[1]Shoup Kate, Strine, Allison, and Gatski, Kate. Starting and Etsy Business for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2017. Print. 

[2]Stone, Brad. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and The Age of Amazon. New York, NY: Little, Brown, and Company, 2014. Print.

[3]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Etsy_logo_lg_rgb.png

[4]Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/70/Amazon_logo_plain.svg/500px-Amazon_logo_plain.svg.png

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