Did You Get an Invitation to Amazon Handmade?

Updated on July 22, 2016
Getting in to the new Amazon Handmade Marketplace
Getting in to the new Amazon Handmade Marketplace | Source

Handmade at Amazon

It's Amazon vs Etsy with the latest program being unveiled by Amazon. Is there anyone Amazon doesn't seek to compete with? Regardless of how you feel about that, the fact is this new program is a great opportunity for artisans and crafters to introduce their items to a massive audience using Amazon's platform.

Amazon started by exclusively inviting artisans online, many of whom were already selling on Etsy. Now, they have opened up the process and are accepting applications for invitations.

The process of applying isn't a long one. The whole form takes less than ten minutes to fill out and asks a variety of questions about your product, how it is produced, and if your company consists of just you or if you have employees.

The application also asks for a very brief description of your primary item and not any secondary items. If you don't have a website – I would highly recommend setting up a blog or at least a Facebook page where you can highlight your creations.

So, did you get your invitation yet? If not, read on to learn more about the pros and cons of Amazon vs Etsy - or apply for your invitation here.

The Benefits of Handmade by Amazon

* Up to 30 days to ship items

*Monthly sellers fee (normally $39.99) is waived until August 2016 for those who make fewer than 40 sales per month.

* Amazon has over 250 million active accounts, vs 20 million or so on Etsy

* Premade items are eligible to use the Fulfillment by Amazon program, allowing sellers to send their inventory to Amazon's fulfillment center (great if you don't have a ton of space for inventory)

* Your products featured on the Amazon platform (more than 250 million shop Amazon)

* Listing is free, has great customization features and listings never expire.

* You can earn back 10% of sales generated by your items on your personal website if you are a member of the Amazon Associates program.

* Strict handmade policy – all products must be handmade or altered, not from a kit. They must be made by the artist or an employee if your company employs less than 20 people. You cannot resell other handmade items or any mass-produced products. (Earlier in the year Etsy relaxed some of its standards, angering many of their members)

The Cons of Amazon Handmade

* The monthly fee waiver is only effective until August, 2016 and only if you sell fewer than 40 items per month.

* There is a 12% fee (minimum of 50 cents)

* Amazon will be pricier than its competitor for set up. Etsy charges only .20 per listing and a smaller percentage of sale.

* Amazon is a giant behemoth that often crushes small businesses and may now be trying to do the same thing to Etsy, eliminating competition and ensuring increased fees and profits for Amazon. This may also eliminate other up and coming handmade marketplaces. Monopoly is rarely ever a good thing as has been witnessed with eBay over the years.

So, will Amazon Handmade be worth it? Time will tell of course, but I am looking forward to giving it a try. In recent years, I gave up on Etsy. The market was too saturated and I noticed a lot of not handmade items competing and driving prices down. It wasn't worth it to me for the handful of sales I received, so I started focusing my attention locally doing fairs, festivals and consignments.

If I make the cut; I will definitely try Amazon's Handmade program on for size and see how it goes. The listings I've viewed are impressive and I like that they have stricter rules for what is handmade. I personally believe that the quality overall will likely remain higher on Amazon.

I won't get my hopes up however and I will continue to direct my efforts to local markets and I encourage other crafters and artisans to do likewise.

Will you participate in Amazon Handmade?

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      • ChristinS profile image
        Author

        Christin Sander 2 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks Sally - will do :)

      • sallybea profile image

        Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

        Well done, I would love to see a link to your arts and crafts when you are up and ready. Send me an email when you can:)

      • ChristinS profile image
        Author

        Christin Sander 2 years ago from Midwest

        You're most welcome Sally. I finally got my invite a couple of weeks ago and need to get cracking. I think it will be a good opportunity to get some of my arts and crafts sold. Good luck to you!

      • sallybea profile image

        Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

        I found this very interesting, thank you for sharing your knowledge.

      • ChristinS profile image
        Author

        Christin Sander 2 years ago from Midwest

        Thank you camusser for bringing that to my attention - I'll check and make changes.

      • profile image

        camusser 2 years ago

        The 40 sales limit stated in your article is incorrect. The fee is waived until August 1, 2016 regardless of amount if handmade items sold. The 40 item limit applies to non handmade products.

      • ChristinS profile image
        Author

        Christin Sander 2 years ago from Midwest

        You're welcome MizBejabbers - hope it works well for you if you try it :)

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        No, I was unaware of the Amazon site. I sell a few pieces of jewelry locally and used to be serious about it, but now I do more writng. I was considering Etsy to get serious again, but this sounds interesting. Thanks for the tip.

      • ChristinS profile image
        Author

        Christin Sander 2 years ago from Midwest

        You're very welcome agusfanani and I appreciate the read and comment. Have a great day.

      • agusfanani profile image

        agusfanani 2 years ago from Indonesia

        That's very interesting information and I am thinking of giving it a try. Thanks for this information ChristinS.

      • ChristinS profile image
        Author

        Christin Sander 2 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks for the read and comment Matt, much appreciated. It's a fairly new program so I imagine there are many who haven't heard about it yet :)

      • Matt Easterbrook5 profile image

        Matthew A Easterbrook 2 years ago from Oregon

        Very interesting article for craft makers. I always enjoy reading about new and interesting topics. I knew nothing about this program before reading your hub and now I know about it.

        Thanks,

        Matt

      • ChristinS profile image
        Author

        Christin Sander 2 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks Flourish for the read and comment

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

        If it works anything likes selling other items on Amazon, then they are expensive and challenging and I wouldn't recommend it. I hope your experience is different.

      • ChristinS profile image
        Author

        Christin Sander 2 years ago from Midwest

        I also wonder what will happen to Etsy purl3agony, it's definitely going to be something to keep an eye on. I think where Etsy may win out is the lower fees, BUT Etsy angered a lot of people when they made their rules more lax on what constitutes "handmade" and they lost a lot of sellers that way. Thanks for reading, commenting and pinning - much appreciated!

      • ChristinS profile image
        Author

        Christin Sander 2 years ago from Midwest

        Thanks for the feedback Stacie - we share similar concerns in that I do worry Amazon will try to kill off the competition. It seems to have done so in many other areas. I'm sorry to hear that their rules are super strict when it comes to returns. I can see how that could be problematic, especially for those who do personalized or custom items. yikes.

      • profile image

        stacie l 2 years ago

        Amazon is very strict and rules an iron fist over the sellers. Seller have no choice if a buyer wants to return an item or insists it never arrived. I like a little more control over my policies and customer service.

        I also think it will try to kill off all competition. Hopefully it won't.

      • purl3agony profile image

        Donna Herron 2 years ago from USA

        Thanks for clarifying the differences between Amazon's new handmade site and Etsy. I've been an active Etsy buyer over the years and have long thought about setting up my own shop. It's nice to have another option through Amazon, though I wonder what this will do to Etsy. Thanks again for this great hub. Pinned to my craft business board.

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