Today entrepreneurs and business owners have more options than ever when it comes to selling products online. You can start your own eCommerce website using platforms or web developers. Or you can sell on an established online marketplace like Etsy, Amazon, eBay or Shop Local.

So which option is best for your eCommerce business?

Pros & Cons of Selling on Amazon, eBay, Etsy and Shop Local

Blue = Pro
Red = Con

 Amazon  Etsy  Ebay  Shop Local
 Customer Base  One of largest online retailers.  Large targeted customer base.  Immediate access to millions of potential customers  Immediate access to local online shoppers.
 Credibility & trust  Known and trusted  Well known but not always trusted.  Well known  Newer but instant trust because of the community/local aspect.
 Back-end Infrastructure  Good with tax collection and credit card processing  Easy set up.  Easy to use  Easy set up!
 Fees  Up to 25%!  Listing, sales and processing fees add up!  Fees add up fast! And you may not get paid.  Low monthly fee or sale fee. Your choice!
 Competition  A ton of it including Amazon iteself!!  Lots of competition!  Many competitors Very little! More product visibility than Amazon or Etsy!
 Branding  Very little control  Little to no ability to customize your shop.  Very little control  Customization and control over branding capabilities.
 Buyer’s Info  No way to capture  Can capture  Favors buyers over sellers.  Ability to capture and tools to create repeat customers!
 Customer Loyalty  Lack of loyalty to your brand.  Some loyalty but larger oversees corporations driving prices down.  Not much loyalty to your brand.  VERY loyal because of the local aspect!

Selling via an Online Marketplace and Your Own Site

Now the benefits to having your own eCommerce site is that you have way more control over your branding, messaging and customization. You also have access to customer information as well as the ability to run promotions/discounts.

The downside is the lack of visibility because now you have to get traffic to your website. Where the advantages of selling on a marketplace (Amazon, Etsy, Shop Local) is that you often have a better chance of having your products discovered by shoppers. With your own site, it can take months to show up on search engines and can cost a ton with advertising to  increase sales. Managing and marketing your own site is time consuming and expensive!

Now you could do both and doesn’t hurt anything if you have the time and funds to start & market your own site. In the mean time (and I’m a bit biased :-)) I would highly suggest trying the Shop Local Online Marketplace. With code “3SLMFREE” you can get 3 months FREE to try it out!