February 27, 2017 by Andrew Minalto - 0 Comments

Handmade at Amazon – Etsy Killer?

Today I want to talk to you about an exciting new addition to Amazon’s selling marketplace, geared towards custom made, one of a kind products – called Handmade at Amazon.

Handmade at Amazon is a new store that’s available on all 5 of Amazon’s European marketplaces (and the US store as well of course):

Now this may sound very familiar to you and yes, this is basically Amazon’s answer to Etsy! Now if you don’t know what Etsy is, to put it simply it’s the eBay for custom and handmade products.

And Etsy has actually turned out to be a huge success with consumers who are looking for something a bit different – something unique, something quality, something with a story behind it…

The opposite of the mass produced, cheap, generic products that are so common on eBay and Amazon basically. Now there’s nothing wrong with such products, of course not, but this is just a different niche and market and after the success of Etsy, it’s not a surprise that Amazon want to tap into it as well.

And from what I’ve seen so far, Amazon really understand this market and what sells – they get what consumers want when searching for such products. Even how they refer to sellers as “artisans” and how they place such a strong emphasis on building a storefront to “share your story… and connect with customers” really illustrates to me that they get this market and Handmade at Amazon can be a big success.

So how can you take advantage of this?

Can you just start listing all your products on Handmade at Amazon?

Well, no is the quick and easy answer. There are some requirements that your products have to meet in order to be sold on Handmade at Amazon. These include:

  • All products in your Handmade at Amazon store must be handmade, i.e. created, altered or assembled entirely by hand (not from a kit).
  • Products must be handmade by you (the artisan), by one of your employees or a member of your business.
  • Sellers are unable to offer mass produced products or products handmade by different artisans in the Handmade at Amazon store.

So not only do the products have to be handmade, you yourself (or someone who works in your business) have to be the one producing the product.

This is obviously to keep all products on Handmade at Amazon unique, without countless duplicate listings cluttering the store.

Further to the above requirements, Handmade at Amazon is currently only open to products from select categories:

  • Jewellery
  • Home Products (this includes Art, Baby Bedding, Bath, Bedding, Furniture, Home Décor, Kitchen and Dining, Lighting, Patio, Lawn and Garden, Storage and Organisation)
  • Party Supplies
  • Stationery
  • Accessories
  • Toys and Games
  • Sports

If you do sell in one of these categories and your products fit the requirements then you can apply to be invited to the store.

Yes, that’s right – you do have to manually apply to be allowed to sell on Handmade at Amazon, which is really quite reasonable – it’s important for Amazon to maintain the authenticity and quality of the products listed.

It’s a 4-part application process that takes about 30 minutes in total.

Part 1 is just general info about you and your business:

Part 2 asks about your products, their category, how many items in total you sell, who makes them, and where you currently sell your products:

There are a couple of questions here that can trip you up – for example when they ask who makes your products, two of the options would disqualify you from selling on Handmade at Amazon:

You’re also asked to explain the role of all of your employees if you’re not a sole trader. This is a good idea in my opinion, as the vast majority of sellers (or artisans if you prefer) of such products are sole traders, so this is a good way to weed out the big businesses trying to sell their mass produced products:

Part 3 is a very in-depth look at your product process – Amazon want to know exactly how you make your products, where you make them, and what tools and equipment you use.

They also want to actually see – asking for pictures of your workspace:

And once again there are a number of answers that can disqualify you from selling on Handmade at Amazon. For example “how do you make your products?” – both “made from a kit” and “mass produced” would mean you’re not eligible to sell on Handmade at Amazon.

And that’s it!

Step 4 is simply double checking all of the information you’ve entered and submitting your application.

Amazon say that they’ll get back to you within a week and “invited artisans will receive an invitation email with a link to start the registration process.”

After that you need to create your Artisan Profile, which is basically your storefront and where you can share your story, showcase your work and connect with customers. You can use a number of images here as well, which is what I would strongly recommend.

Please don’t neglect this part – your Artisan Profile is basically your BRANDING and we all know how much importance I place on branding! And in a niche market like this, where products will generally cost more than their mass produced counterparts, it’s even more vital to get your branding right!

After that it’s a simple matter of setting up your listings and Amazon really have made this easier than ever. In fact I’ve noticed everything to do with Handmade at Amazon is incredibly simple and seller friendly and I think it’s because Amazon want to simplify the whole selling process as much as possible for the less business-minded sellers, and that’s honestly a smart move by them.

Speaking of seller friendly, all listings are FREE and last an unlimited amount of time (they never expire!) and there is no monthly selling fee/subscription fee. You simply pay a 12% referral fee on all sales. Amazing right?!

And that’s pretty much all you need to know. If you have any more specific questions on the actual selling process, marketing, how it works etc. you can check out Amazon’s FAQ page, which covers most of the smaller details.

Otherwise, feel free to leave your questions and comments below this post and I’ll personally get back to you within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.

All the best,
Andrew

Leave a Reply