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Amazon to Launch Handmade Marketplace

Amazon is launching a new marketplace for handcrafted goods called Handmade at Amazon. Etsy sellers discussed an email invitation they received from Amazon with great interest, and those who didn’t get an invitation were eager to learn more from those who did.

The email invitation said, “Introducing Handmade, a new shopping experience at Amazon. We’re offering artisans like you a first peek at Handmade, a new marketplace for handcrafted goods.”

Amazon included a link to a form where sellers could provide information about their businesses in exchange for receiving exclusive updates in advance of the launch.

Amazon wanted sellers to indicate the primary category in which they sold, giving them the choice of selecting one of the following categories: Apparel; Accessories; Baby; Beauty & Personal Care; Grocery & Gourmet; Home & Kitchen; Jewelry; Pet Supplies; Sporting Goods; Stationary & Party Supplies; and Toys & Games.

Sellers discussing the new marketplace wondered if Amazon.com could provide a suitable environment for handmade goods, or if it would have to be a separate marketplace from its main site, though the latter method is not in keeping with Amazon’s usual approach.

Some of the concerns about selling handmade goods on the regular Amazon.com marketplace included fees (“Keep in mind, Amazon takes 15% for product AND shipping for themselves on their regular site. I know that can kill margins for lots of people.”) and expected speed of preparation and delivery time (“People will expect 2 day delivery just like with Amazon Prime.”).

Sellers were also concerned about the amount of work to list items on Amazon.com and about whether other sellers would piggyback onto their listings – some were particularly concerned about the possibility of others using their proprietary photos.

Both Amazon and Etsy spokespeople declined to comment for this story.

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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. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.