What is Handmade at Amazon?
Handmade at Amazon launched in October, 2015, shortly after a dismal IPO from Etsy. There have been rumors in the past about Amazon wanting to acquire Etsy. Perhaps this is their way of trying to add some pressure, which in turn would lower the price tag of that acquisition. However, they haven't been successful at troubling Etsy to-date, and traction has been slower than everyone had expected and hoped. Despite that, Handmade at Amazon is a worthy Etsy alternative that has scored very highly according to our criteria.
It's still early days for Handmade at Amazon. It'll be interesting to see how it evolves over time.
Handmade at Amazon review summary
- There's some really good potential to increase your exposure with Handmade at Amazon.
- The fees are a killer. At 15% commissions and a $40/mo membership fee, it's going to be tough for many to make it work.
- The $40/mo membership fee is being waved until December 31, 2017, so now is the perfect time to give it a try.
Handmade at Amazon review scores
- Competitiveness: 6/10
- Exposure: 10/10
- Fees: 2/10
- Flexibility: 8/10
- Handmade ethos: 9/10
Total score: 35/50
Handmade at Amazon review
This review is written for those wanting an alternative to selling on Etsy. So, I'll be reviewing Handmade at Amazon based on the top 5 reasons people are looking for an Etsy alternative:
1. Competitiveness – Do your products have a chance of standing out from the crowd?
2. Exposure – Is there a good chance of increasing your traffic and getting more exposure?
3. Fees – How much does it cost? Is the pricing simple and predictable? More than that, are the fees fair for what's on offer?
4. Flexibility – How professional does it look, and how flexible is it to change?
5. Handmade ethos – Are they strictly for handmade, or can you sell anything there? Will you be competing against manufacturers of mass produced goods, that can easily beat you on price?
I'll give each of these elements a score out of 10, to arrive at a total score out of 50. I'll then use this score to arrive at the top 10 Etsy alternatives.
Amazon is normally associated with cheap and fast – the opposite of handmade. The problem with Handmade at Amazon is that "Handmade" is simply a category under all of Amazon's other categories like "Books", "Music", "Videos", "Electronics" etc, and even categories like "Home", "Beauty", "Toys", "Clothing", which are generally sub-categories of "Handmade" on sites like Etsy. So, it can be confusing for shoppers as well as hard to find.
Therefore, because Handmade at Amazon isn't a standalone marketplace, but part of Amazon's main site, you're actually facing a lot of competition from mass produced goods that are cheap and can be shipped fast.
The potential for exposure on Handmade at Amazon is terrific. With a customer base of over 285 Million customers and a bucket load of traffic, although the Handmade category is somewhat buried on the Amazon platform, there would still be a significant amount of traffic going to it.
There is a little over 650,000 products on Handmade at Amazon, so there is a great opportunity to stand out there.
Handmade at Amazon's fee structure sucks. It shows that they're not in touch with handmade, which is a real shame.
There are no listing fees, however you'll pay 15% commission fee to Amazon (Or $1, if that's greater).
They also have a $40/month membership fee, which is waived until December 31, 2017.
I'd recommend trying Handmade at Amazon before they introduce the $40/mo fee. You should also experiment with trying to increase your prices by 10% greater than you would sell them on Etsy. It's worth a test. If it works, then you have effectively nullified the expensive commission structure.
Handmade at Amazon storefronts look very "Amazony", but it actually looks really lovely. Nice big photos and plenty of spaces to tell your story. Check out Peg + Awl (pictured above) and you'll see for yourself.
Product listings are also really flexible, allowing you to have up to 12 photos of your product and 10 custom variations if you need them!
I found the Amazon listing process very sophisticated with a reasonable learning curve, I only have to list customizable items once so it's much quicker. – Jacqueline Rudd from Linen and Letters
For a marketplace storefront, I'd say Handmade at Amazon has everything you need and a little bit more.
Obviously Amazon isn't normally associated with handmade, but their handmade category has some strict guidelines around it. 🙌 You even have to fill out an application form if you want to score an invite to sell there.
Here's how "handmade" is defined at Amazon:
All products available in your Handmade at Amazon store must be made entirely by hand, hand-altered, or hand assembled (not from a kit). Products must be handmade by you (the artisan), by one of your employees (if your company has 20 or fewer employees), or a member of your collective with less than 100 people. Mass-produced products or products handmade by a different artisan are not eligible to sell in Handmade.
This is great to see! The only thought here is that a collective of 100 people seems like a lot. 🤔
Because the handmade category sits amongst all of the other mass produced categories, I've deducted a point. Otherwise, Handmade at Amazon sounds promising, provided they don't loosen their policies at it grows.
In conclusion, Handmade at Amazon definitely has the potential to give you more exposure and sales. The fees are hefty though, but without the $40/mo fee it is definitely worth a try, so make sure you give it a go before December 31, 2017.
Not everyone likes Handmade at Amazon. I've seen some scathing reviews and have heard some horror stories, but I do believe it's still worth a try. If you don't like it and it doesn't work for you and your business, you can just leave.
Handmade at Amazon has finished up with a score of 35/50, which ranks them 2nd in the top 10 Etsy alternatives list.