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Thu Oct 3 2019 16:27:22

Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon conducted a survey this week to learn if sellers on its Handmade marketplace have enough resources, a sign that it's important to the company and possibly worth further investment. The survey comes as rival Etsy continues with its strategy of allowing sellers to offer factory-made (but artisan-designed) goods.

A seller on Amazon Handmade forwarded the survey questions they received this week. Most questions asked the respondent to indicate their agreement or disagreement on a scale:

1) Handmade provides me the educational materials needed to be successful on Amazon.

2) I have the tools needed to grow my business.

3) Handmade emails provide helpful tips that are easy to understand.

4) When I need to get help immediately, I use the following (pick up to three): 
Answers: Seller Central help pages, Seller University videos, I contact Seller Support, Forums, Support Groups - Outside of Amazon, None of the Above, Other.

5) Based on your overall experience with Seller Central help pages, please indicate to what extent you agree or disagree that each statement:
a) I am able to get my question answered quickly
b) The answer is easy to understand
c) The answer provided is relevant to Handmade Artisans

6) I would recommend Amazon Handmade to fellow Artisans to grow their business. 

The seller noted that for the last question, there was no ability to select "Disagree" or "Strongly Disagree." The choices provided were Strongly Agree; Agree; Somewhat Agree; Neither Agree nor Disagree; Somewhat Disagree; Agree; Strongly Agree. It appears to be a mistake, but one the seller did not find amusing.

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Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 3 22:14:28 2019

Based on the last article you ran on Amazon with free stores for handmade I decided to give it a try.  

1. There definetly was a learning curve. Amazon charged me the $39.95 for the store so it took me a bit to get them to refund that - then reading the fine microscopic print that "free" offer is only good until the end of december

2  - I had to navigate the system for a couple of days just to get the listing up.  And it seemed like a big job making the system happy and took some time.  That said - I have 15 items up. By the end of listing the 3rd item thinks fell into place and moved along quickly

3 - I don't care for the fact that there is no option to know if anyone has even looked at my 15 items.  I get it - it's a HUGE place. My skinny little 15 items are a molecule in the big picture but I still would like to know if I'm totally wasting my time.

4 - with the close association Amazon has with Chinese goods - I'm not 100% certain that the solicitation of new vendors via this avenue isn't simply Amazon's way of forking over new product designs to the Chinese - this is a grave concern for me as they have ripped off many an item from me over the years. And yes it happens.

Long and short of it is so far I haven't sold anything.  After 42 years at my craft and a sold retail value of over $20,000,000 (yes that's right) I'm fairly confident that I am good at my craft. I'm still waiting for a sale to see how things work out and if I should continue.

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 3 22:53:22 2019

Maybe you could tell us what your “craft “ is .

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 4 10:04:41 2019

Amazon is just BAD!

They are worse than ebay. They wont give you business unless you let them handle the logistics at their warehouses. Besides that they dont show your items unless you have the absolute lowest price. When you do have the lowest price, you are lucky if you get anything out of it when you make a sale. You also make yourself a huge target when you have the lowest prices. Other sellers will do anything to take you out. Anything. And Amazon loves this, perpetuates a bigger race to the bottom. Who wins, only Amazon.

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 4 10:54:11 2019

amazon is only good at cheap chinese crap. end of story

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Fri Oct 4 12:07:01 2019

Dear Amazon :
GIVE UP ON HAND MADE !
Your fees are way too high.
If Amazon wanted to be Pro American, it would take No More than 3%.
Charge the Chinese 15%.
NEXT !

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: Slowest Learner This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 4 17:44:15 2019

@Whatever
So you've sold 20 million dollars worth of merchandise lifetime, but struggled to list 15 items on Amazon.
Hmmm

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Fri Oct 4 17:44:35 2019

Amazon has a handmade marketplace? Never knew that.

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 5 04:24:07 2019

Slowest Learner

Retail value

I sold to the hotels with a 1 time mark-up because we did huge volume.  That model would certainly never fly these days. In turn they took a 10x markup on the product I sold to them - today it's a 15-20x mark up - oh if I had only gotten to keep ALL the money - I did make a great living but worked my arse off for it.  Retired now - lol - is there such a thing?

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 5 04:43:31 2019

As for Amazon - just dabbling - wanted to see what all the fuss was about - apparently nothing - all these eyars I thought I'd missed something

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: regina This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 01:32:46 2019

A newly listed product will stay in "no man's land" forever, unless you pay for sponsored ads. Then (through "pay per click") if said product begins to get a little traction (aka sales), depending on how crowded your niche it, -only then will it start to move up in search. "No pay-ey, no play-ey". So you can't just add a product, and expect sales-  Bezos makes you pay to even have a hope of getting seen.

Bezos is a billionaire for a reason.

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: SSJS This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 04:42:08 2019

Good luck @Whatever.

I have sold bracelets on Amazon Handmade since its inception back in 2015.  Yes, their fees are WAY too high but I build that into my retail cost.  Yes, it has an EXTREMELY difficult learning curve.  It’s not like Etsy where most of the listing info is all on one page.  It’s very easy to get lost and I’ve never found a good guide to walk me through it all.  I figured it out in pieces and over time.  And any instructions you do find are definitely not written for the casual, part-time seller with a simple Associate's degree.  Apparently you need a Doctoral degree to understand what they’re saying.  Which is why I’m still not certain it’s all done correctly.  

That being said, I have done quite well on Amazon Handmade.  I sell way more bracelets on Amazon than I do on my Etsy bracelet shop.  It’s a great supplement to my main Etsy income, which is jewelry supplies.  I love that there are no monthly fees or listing fees to worry about.  Just pay the sky high transaction fee when I sell.  So it definitely works well for me.

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 05:41:41 2019

It would be better for Amazon to buy a handmade site like Artfire; or break off the handmade from the other vast AMAZ departments.  

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: marty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 06:32:42 2019

Perhaps the survey does indicate that they are about to give up. If they were doing fine, they would not need a survey.

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by: EETC This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 08:14:04 2019

We have used Amazon Handmade since '16, in addition to Etsy. While Etsy generates most of our sales, Amazon has steadily increased in sales. The thing I like about it is that it is the only venue that allows enough customizations for our customers and the products they choose. Etsy, by way of contrast, only offers two custom fields so the rest of the requests must be included in a message, which just confuses and prolongs the ordering process, leaving room for confusion and missed messages. Our experience with Amazon seller central has also been very good in that they have found in our favor on a number of occaisions. Just make sure your policies are clear and present. I also like that there are no fees until you sell something, but they are high. We just charge more for Amazon than for Etsy listings. The thing is, some people will by from Amazon because it is there, not because it is the cheapest. Go figure.

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: choochoo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 08:56:11 2019

I sell on Etsy.  Their fee is 5% of the sale.  Amazon charges 15% for handmade.  I do not sell on Amazon.
I thought I'd try Amazon, as a test.  I gave up even trying.  There are no humans to communicate with there, by phone or email.
Their verification process to open a store is horrific. Any question you might have is sent to a computer which gives you any answer that 'relates' to your question.  I sent my driver's license, bank account records and credit card statement.  That wasn't enough.  I guess they want my first born.  You need two Phd's to figure
them out and FOR WHAT?  So they can get you to pay  so your items are seen?  So the Chinese sellers can look legitimate because they are surrounded by real handmade items?  Then, if their special promotion of $39.99 monthly fee goes away in December, you have to fork over more money to them.  Another thing they do to other non-handmade sellers is force them not to sell on a competitor's website. Just google 'Amazon Horror Stories'. There are many.  Check out this website: https://mywifequitherjob.com/the-dangers-of-selling-on-amazon/

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 8 02:11:28 2019

just hitting ya'll back - a follow-up -  well I sold my first item - figure out the shipping process which wasn't as complicated as the first listing. Everything went smoothly - I'm happy - got more for the item that I do on the bay - I guess I'm in wait and see mode. Hope there's more to come but not depending on it and would love to be surprised in the future.

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 10 11:13:13 2019

choochoo - come december if there are not significant sales I'll be dumping Amazon like a hot potato. I only jumped in there because it was free.  Funny thing - I listed a very nice actually handmade gemstone bracelet.  Yesterday just for S&G I went looking in handmade bracelets. First BIG problem Amazon has is it's pretty danged hard to find actually handmade bracelets there - most were cheap Chinese bracelets. Also those tricky chinese - there were barrettes + pins in there and after hitting the first 10 pages I gave up trying to find my actual handmade bracelet. If Amazon's idea of handmade is taking a wire coil bracelet (not handmade) - a real person jumping a charm on it (again not hand made) constitutes "handmade" well whoever is controlling the inventory there is in real trouble and probably didn't get out of high school.  If Handmade isn't working for Amazon they have only to look at themselves.  There are thousands of starving real artist and designers just hanging around waiting for a real opportunity to go back to work. They should give them a chance - screw the Chinese

Perminate Link for Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade   Amazon Not Giving up on Handmade

by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 14 04:26:12 2019

As a handmade artisan I can’t even imagine selling my items on Amazon.  I have been selling on Etsy for several years as a hobby really- only a few items sold per month.

It used to be so much easier to sell handmade and genuine vintage.  Not anymore.  There are a few top sellers in my category who are making big bucks but their items are not truly handmade.
One other problem- too many outstanding artists who virtually give their beautiful work away.



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