If you want to get a share of shoppers’ appetite for buying gifts for the holiday season, now would be a great time to get into business, and Amazon knows that. So get ready for Amazon Handmade, a site selling handcrafted goods that the company hopes will challenge Etsy’s business.
Even though both these websites look like they are doing the same thing, descriptions of Amazon Handmade proves that wrong by addressing a different seller base and featuring a different stance on manufacturing and fee structure.
The Seattle-based retailer explained that the new website will have almost anything you can think of, starting from $30 walnut cufflinks delivered from Australia to $320 handmade quilts produced in Wisconsin.
Joining Handmade as a seller if invite-based, and partners started being invited back in May to gain access to Amazon’s more than 285 million shoppers. According to their statement, Amazon Handmade has come into existence at the request of the customers and in response to the many site searches for crafty items.
Peter Faricy, vice president for Amazon Marketplace, said handcrafted and handmade items are among the most looked for on the website, and it was only the next logical step to meet the sheer demand by creating a standalone website.
Focusing on this merchandise pits Amazon directly against Etsy Inc., a company that started 10 years ago in the form of a marketplace for homemade goods. Public since April, Etsy is however rather different in scope and size.
At the moment of launch, Amazon Handmade’s offering will have to grow quite a lot to reach Etsy’s size; now it features 80,000 items from about 5,000 sellers coming from 50 states and 60 countries. The parent company will take a 12 percent fee from Amazon Handmade sellers’ overall sales; for now, listing or monthly fees are not required in order to start.
By comparison, Etsy’s scope is a lot broader, with 1.5 million sellers and 21.7 million buyers reported in June 30. The handmade company has set a 3.5 percent fee on overall sales and takes a 20 cent listing fee per item.
Manufacturing policies also differ; Amazon’s sellers can only sell “factory-free” items and not made by manufacturers, whereas Etsy has started allowing some merchants use manufacturers for some of their products back in 2013.
This is where the challenge rises: do you keep the platform strictly for handmade craft sellers, or do you allow them to move to the next level and make more money by mass manufacturing?
Image Source: Handmade in PA