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Amazon Opens Store for 3D Printed Products, Sellers Welcome

Amazon kicked off a new store for 3D-printed products on Monday, starting with 10 sellers and 200 print-on-demand products that shoppers can customize and personalize. Petra Schindler-Carter, Director for Amazon Marketplace Sales, told EcommerceBytes the company is looking for more sellers to grow the selection of products. “We’re working on growing the store quickly,” she said.

Amazon built its first relationships with sellers who could bring great selection and provide a great customer experience, said Schindler-Carter. In terms of what Amazon is looking for in sellers in the new store, she said it’s not that different from the company’s Wine and Fine Art stores – “we’re looking for quality sellers,” she said.

Must sellers manufacture the 3D-printed items themselves, or can they be approved to sell items that are made by a third-party manufacturer?

“We’re very flexible – the first 10-plus sellers we’re working with have a variety of business models. Some are designers using third-party manufacturers, others keep it all in-house.”

One of the pillars of the new 3D Printing store is a personalization widget that lets customers make something unique. “We’re very excited about that,” she said. “It’s a whole new avenue for customers to apply their creativity and allows for unlimited possibilities of products.”

This is the first time Amazon is offering the personalization widget, and it could migrate to other areas of the site. “We’re looking to see how it could be expanded in other categories, we are absolutely looking into that,” Schindler-Carter said.

Can designers sell their patterns/wireframes on Amazon? It’s not a capability of the store, and Schindler-Carter said she could not share specifics of Amazon’s plans. “We’re very excited about what we’re hearing from sellers and customers, and it will guide us to what’s next.”

Nor could she speak to whether Amazon has plans to sell its own 3D printer, but she pointed out that Amazon offers 3D printers for sale on its marketplace.

When asked about more niche areas, such as 3D printed car parts for classic cars, Petra said, “Let’s all stay tuned and see what see what our customers and sellers are telling us. The possibilities are limitless.”

She said her team is learning from its selling partners – “some are industry leaders and some are up-and-coming.” As for advice for sellers: “Contact us, we’re super exited to hear from you. We want to hear your ideas. We love to hear from designers, manufacturers and sellers on how to make the store better and grow the selection.”

While Amazon is getting a lot of attention for its 3D Printing store, it’s certainly not the first. Online sellers are already selling 3D printed products on other venues including Etsy (its CEO calls 3D printer patterns the “sewing patterns of the future,” and 3 years ago EcommerceBytes wrote about Shapeways, a marketplace for 3D printed products.

The new store is at Amazon.com/3dp. And by the way, if you’re not seeing the personalization button on the Amazon listings, it may be due to your browser. Amazon explains, “As of July, 2014, the Personalization feature is supported on the following browsers: 1) Firefox v 13.0 and above; 2_ Chrome v18.0 and above; and 3) Safari v5.1 and above.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.