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[95] The Pros & Cons of Amazon Handmade & Shopify with Linda Blume from Rustica Jewelry

 

There are so many selling platforms available to us that it can be daunting to figure out which ones to try.

Many of us get started on Etsy – and for good reason – but where else might you be tempted to look for an online sales platform?

In this episode we give you a behind-the-scenes look at 2 potential options – the venue store option of Amazon Handmade, and the stand-alone website option that is Shopify.

I chat with Linda Blume from Rustica Jewelry who has used both platforms after seeking to expand from her Etsy store, which she started in 2010. When she took her jewelry business full-time in 2015, she looked to expand her online platform – and she shares her experience with both AH and Shopify in this episode.

If you’ve ever considered either platform for your online shop, don’t miss this episode!

 

 

Quotes and highlights from this Episode:

  • Amazon
  • The day the store went live orders started streaming in.
  • About a month in this slowed greatly and sales continued to decline as Amazon accepted new makers to the site.
  • The fees were quite high per sale – upwards of 12% – and there is now a monthly fee, too.
  • A huge barrier for Linda was communication. There was no direct way to contact customers and so it became super hard to sort out issues and custom requests.
  • Set up was relatively easy but it was obvious you were part of Amazon rather than a stand alone brand.
  • Shopify
  • Shopify charges a monthly fee to use their platform – there are different levels.
  • Analytics for Shopify are very helpful to track your customer’s habits.
  • There is support there when you need it and more often than not it is quick to access.
  • Shipping can be tricky to charge correctly when you pay for the lower priced subscription.
  • There are some limitations to what you can do but you learn to work with it unless you can afford a higher monthly payment.
  • Shopify also offer an import option which Linda used to transfer her items from Etsy which saves bucketloads of time setting up your store!
  • You can find Linda on her website: Rustica Jewelry.

 

Download or Listen to This Episode

(You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen to this episode on iTunes + Stitcher – just search ‘Create & Thrive’.)


Jess

Van Den has written 350 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at Epheriell.com. You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.

Comments

cozyfolk
Reply

Hi Jess, I love your podcast!

I run a full-time handmade business, and I’ve always had both an Etsy shop and an independent website. I originally built my independent store on WordPress (using the WooCommerce cart system) and had it for years, but I recently rebuilt it as a brand new site on Shopify – and I wish I would have done it sooner!

You mention Shopify being a good option for people who aren’t tech-savvy; I actually am quite tech-savvy, and I still think it’s just the best option overall for having a standalone store. There are so many little invisible things that are crucial for a successful site: software updates, website security, payment processing, SEO-friendly coding, efficiency of order management, etc. I’ve realized that it’s incredibly valuable to have a paid team solely devoted to making these things as good as they can be. It’s also important to remember that Shopify includes web hosting and SSL – things that require additional monthly fees on a “free” site built with WordPress, CubeCart, etc – so the cost is more reasonable than it might seem. Just like when selling handmade goods, I’m a big believer in “you get what you pay for.” If you’re running a professional business, it just makes sense to use professional services.

Shopify’s not perfect, of course, but my website is definitely prettier, faster, more secure, and easier to use (for both me and my customers) than it’s ever been, and that’s helped my business take a major step toward reducing the dependence on marketplace venues like Etsy.

Jessica Necor Studio
Reply

Shopify has calculated shipping now for the $29 basic plan 🙂 I am so glad because now I can offer really accurate shipping!

Andrea
Reply

Hi Jess, thanks for this informative podcast 🙂 I actually have an Etsy shop and a Shopify site as well. I like Etsy as it is easy to get some orders, people are already “there”, meaning on Etsy and can search for your items. With Shopify you have to get the people to go to your site, so social media, SEO and ads are needed to drive traffic to your site.
Shopify for me means independence of Etsy, to have my own website, to create my own corp identity with colors and fonts, which is much more possible than on Etsy. Shopify can look a little bit overwhelming at first, having to find out about the set up of menues, of shipping, of pages and of the set-up of your theme. But they have very very good help pages, where you can read about everything and they explain it step by step. Not one thing I could not figure out when I was looking up their help pages.
Different languages and different currencies depend very much on the theme that you are using. Some have this already integrated, but these are mostly the ones which you need to buy (mostly about USD 160, can be more as well, one time payment).
You can integrate your own domain as well.
You can ad apps to your site (for shipping, for SEO, for you name it) and you can integrate MailChimp to collect emails for newsletters (which I`m sooo waiting for on Etsy 🙂 ).
So many other things, I think you can talk about Shopify a lot longer than just an hour 🙂 So overall I`m happy right now with Shopify!

Andrea Pipas
Reply

Love the podcast! Thank you for all your work!
Amazon handmade is actually still free/month, until the end of the year.

What say you?