Amazon's craft marketplace: Handmade at Amazon
In October 2015 Amazon launched a new marketplace - Handmade at Amazon - a place for small ecommerce retailers to sell completely handmade items.
Until now Etsy has always been the home for small online sellers who sell handcrafted and unique items, but as part of its efforts to sell everything on one site Amazon has now expanded into Etsy’s territory. Here’s all the info craft sellers need to know about the new marketplace.
How do you start selling?
When Handmade at Amazon went live 5,000 sellers from 60 different countries received an invitation email and signed up. Selling on the marketplace is still invite-only, so you’ve got to fill out an application form to be considered, and Amazon is specific in the requirement that your products have to be completely handmade by you or your employee, or a member of your collective.
Zenstores user, Jacqueline Rudd from Linen and Letters, was one of the sellers on Handmade at Amazon when it launched:
“I was very excited about the prospect of benefitting from the increased traffic that the giant of Amazon attracts and felt for the first time that it was a genuine alternative venue to Etsy.”
Handmade at Amazon allows you to list handmade items with up to 10 customisation options, plus 12 photographs. So rather than setting up different listings for size and colour options, they are all listed under one product.
Jacqueline was positive about the functionality:
“I found the Amazon listing process very sophisticated with a reasonable learning curve, I only have to list customisable items once so it's much quicker.”
Pricing and Payment
Handmade at Amazon takes a 12% fee per item sold, or 50 cents, whichever is more. This charge includes the transaction and payment processing fee, and there is no listing fee. There will also be a $40 monthly fee, though the fee is waived until August 2016.
Jacqueline hopes that these costs will pay off in the long run:
“Since I pay a much greater amount than $40 on Etsy, if my sales increase to the level of Etsy’s then it would appear good value, but I feel this may not come into effect for several years. The monthly fee will prevent a lot of sellers from continuing if they have not been successful in their first year.”
“The one part I don’t like about Homemade at Amazon is that they only make payments every 2 weeks. This is where Etsy wins for me, all businesses are as good as their cashflow and Etsy makes this more manageable.”
Discovery and traffic quality
Amazon has a much larger audience for online sellers; it has 244 million active users, compared to Etsy’s 22.6 million. However, Jacqueline has found her products are getting buried in the search results, “It’s not a stand alone platform, but just another section of Amazon, our products can hardly be found. Subsequently, the traffic is not as good as I was expecting, and not as good as Etsy, but I feel it will get better.”
You can find the full requirements for Handmade at Amazon and apply here.
To find out more about Handmade at Amazon take a look at these articles:
Amazon treads on Etsy’s toes with handmade marketplace launch
Amazon challenges Etsy with strictly handmade marketplace