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Sat May 7 2016 14:56:17

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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Can a massive retailer like Amazon with a reputation for low prices and fast shipping provide a suitable selling environment for artists, crafters, and artisans? 

Greg Holden was curious about how artisan sellers have been faring on Amazon's new Handmade marketplace. He recently spoke to some of the early adopters to find out, and you can find his report in Sunday's EcommerceBytes Update (it's available now).

What may be most surprising about his story: Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) is a viable option for some artisans. That's the program where sellers send their goods to Amazon's warehouses, and the company handles everything from customer service, orders and payment processing, to packaging and shipping. 

The fact that items stored in FBA fulfillment centers are eligible for 2-day Prime shipping means greater exposure on Amazon and greater appeal to buyers who want their items quickly.

But Greg also spoke to one artisan who was reluctant to use FBA - and you can see from the photos in Greg's article why possible breakage is a concern for the seller after all the hard work he puts into creating his glass creations.

If you've used Amazon Handmade, let us know what you think of the program. As Greg points out, sellers will soon have to pay a monthly fee for an account (beginning in August) - is Amazon returning enough sales for handmade sellers to believe it is worth their while to pay for a shop on its site?




Comments (21) | Permalink

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Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
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Sun May 8 00:32:36 2016

Well, at least Amazon cannot go behind the seller's back to source the "handmade" goods directly, always assuming that the goods are indeed "handmade" by the seller ...

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

by: pfft!! This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 8 01:51:03 2016

Interesting to read this article.  When they first announced Handmade Amazon I read a LOT about it online.  I believe the press dubbed it the "Etsy Killer" because everyone just assumed since Amazon is so popular that they'd have no problem burying Etsy.  I decided to sit back and see how it did (having just wasted my time with the whole 11 Main debacle)
But honestly.......while this article reports great things about it..........I never hear ANYTHING about it from either buyers OR sellers.  I do this full-time so I keep up with many of the facebook sellers groups as well as the discussion boards on ebay, etsy etc.  and I RARELY hear any of them saying a thing about Handmade Amazon (either pro OR con).  
I go there from time to time just to SEE what's on there and most of the searches I do (for instance footstool....birdhouse.....lamp shade....etc) returns very very few items.  Of course there's LOTS of jewelry....but c'mon.....EVERY site has TONS of jewelry.
I keep waiting for someone to come out with a REAL article (no offense Greg!) honestly looking into handmade amazon.  Because I"m just not seeing or hearing ANYTHING one way or the other  

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Sun May 8 07:54:52 2016

I do not think it is possible for Amazon to have a good handmade section. I joined and on day ten I quit. I had set up a shop and had my products listed nicely.

The problem was it became apparent Amazon had no intention of keeping their handmade actually handmade. It was a scam and front to save face i imagine? the Intellectual Property theft and bogus handmade junk was just like Etsy. example Batman decals on Chinese made cheap glasses. I assume 100% made in China. We went through a vetting process and then we see this? garbage allowed to contaminate the site.

No thank you. They still contact me to rejoin. Why bother? Just another big corporate bunch of liars and cheats out to screw the sellers of real handmade.

The hoops they make people jump through are OK if they were Real but they are not Real. I imagine in August most of their REAL handmade sellers will leave if the insist on charging the due monthly fees.

As it is , it is an embarrassment to sellers to set up next to the Chinese Factory Junk that is paraded as handmade by a vetting department on Amazon that must be taking bribes? only an idiot would call batman decal drinking glasses handmade.

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Sun May 8 08:12:40 2016

1,608 "Disney" items in Handmade.. Same results across the board for all similar searches of  IP theft items.. most of this junk is made in China Factories.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-
alias%3Dhandmade&field-keywords=disney&rh=n%3A11260432011%2Ck%3Adisney

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun May 8 12:16:37 2016

@White Rabbit - I see there's a seller called Madison and Morgan that sells lots of "Disney inspired" art. I'm tempted to send them a question about whether or not they have a license to use those images since those are clearly copyrighted characters.

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Sun May 8 15:57:36 2016

Even using the IP name should not be allowed as all it is is a trick to get in the search results. Amazon knows this and that is why their Handmade section is useless. The vetting does not exist. It was all a joke on the sellers that applied. They pretended to care about quality and as soon as the quality handmade merchants saw the truth.. many like me left. I reported a few of the ones that bother me.. no reply from Amazon and the junk remains on Amazon to this day.

This really is not a big deal to me as all it does is confirm the lack of integrity of Amazon upper management. I actually was not surprised at there behavior. No way will Amazon Handmade be successful as long as the act this way.  

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 9 11:25:23 2016

I am assuming that Amazon has ''safe harbor'' status, the same as Etsy. Because of this, it's unlikely that they can do anything about the infringing items unless the rights-holder files a DMCA takedown notice for EACH item, as must be done on Etsy.

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Mon May 9 17:23:35 2016

IP theft is one thing.. another thing that Amazon can do is start vetting the so called Handmade craftspeople. If their standards include Disney IP theft products.. so be it. And that appear to be a fact. They most certainly can legally refuse this junk on the handmade site.

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Mon May 9 17:25:55 2016

no reason has to be given to remove a seller on any venue. They have proven this many times. A simple letter stating they do not fit in is sufficient.  

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 9 17:48:59 2016

@White Rabbit - I would agree with that, although I think the venue/site could not mention the ''potential'' IP infringement in such a letter (we all know it's more than potential ... LOL!)

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

by: MysticKnotwork This user has validated their user name.
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Tue May 10 00:07:27 2016

Amazon Handmade, in 7 months, has grown to be our second best channel on average and during December was our best channel.  I am amazed at the support there, and have called for tech support and advice 3 times already.  Very helpful and straight forward.

We do have the advantage of entering Amazon Handmade with Martha Stewart's American Made endorsement.  The partnership of the two brands is POWERFUL...

Matt

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Tue May 10 01:56:54 2016

@white rabbit - have you actually turned in the sellers that are selling the junk? I mean go through the channels that Amazon has set up for turning in sellers that aren't following the rules? Currently I have 6-7 sellers that I am documenting stuff on that will soon be turned into Amazon on the issue that these sellers are using fake UPCs to start product pages when there are already product pages going. I assume that each handmade seller has their own product pages so this couldn't be worked the same way, but giving up in disgust isn't the way either unless you have gone through the proper channels to notify Amazon. Just finding more than one seller selling the same/identical handmade stuff should be enough to help close them down.

I haven't actually checked out the handmade site yet, but have been wondering if it would be a good place to sell some of my handcrafts. I'm already a professional seller and paying the fees anyhow, so that would be no different for me.

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

by: pfft!! This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 10 02:23:12 2016

LOL @ "going through the channels" at Amazon and turning in those sellers.  Seriously?  THEY'RE the ones who set up the site and announced the extensive "vetting" process they had put into place to assure they'd have the right kind of sellers.  
If they let in OBVIOUS "china junk" like those already mentioned..........they're either STUPID (doubtful) or they simply don't care.  Regardless....it's certainly not OUR place to point out the obvious to them.
What IS obvious is that "handmade" amazon is NOT a priority for the site.  If they WERE they'd have a MUCH bigger pool of products to choose from and the existing pool wouldn't already be littered with Chinese junk.  Quite frankly.....that's ALL I need to know.  
As a seller you pretty much can gauge the success of a site by what OTHER sellers have to say about it.  Or if you ever hear any buyer "buzz" about it.  And when it comes to "handmade Amazon" I'm hearing neither.  Nothing pro.  Nothing con.  Just NOTHING at all.  And that aint good.    

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 10 02:31:30 2016

Yes. I think they can. There are enough Chinese craft sellers to fill ten Amazon sites and FBA is just another step for them.  

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

by: bcfarmlady This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 10 08:27:09 2016

I have been selling on Amazon since the first day they opened.  I went in with no expectations and am very happy with the sales I've had. I do not sell jewelry and find very little competition for my products. I do not depend on this income to support my family, it's a supplement and one of many income streams we have. I never did sales on Etsy, but never really pushed it to the limit there. My Amazon buyers have been easy to please and I've had very little problems. I find the site easy to use and the bi-weekly payment schedule acceptable.  Although many crafters are wanting payment immediately upon a sale, ''the same as Etsy''.

I am part of a facebook Amazon group that provides a ton of support. It's not a marketing group and it has been in existence since before opening day. As with any venue you will find people violating the rules.  I think Amazon Handmade support was overwhelmed at first and are finally getting a handle on some things and taking action against those that are in IP violation or are listing items in the wrong places.  For those of you that are not finding many items ... it's because Amazon is SLOWLY opening categories.  Not every category that is on regular Amazon is available in Handmade.  It truly is it's own separate little section with different listing rules, support group and guidelines. Amazon is about to open a few more categories this week and others are planned.  So they are slowly populating the site. Many artisans are upset with the lack of communication from Amazon about opening categories.  Accessories, which will be huge, is just now opening and sellers have missed several major holidays where they have not been able to list. Many sellers are still waiting for their main categories. If you list in the wrong place you risk being deactivated and banned from selling or customers not finding your product at all. For me it will be well worth the $40 monthly fee in August and I will be staying, although many have not had any success and are planning to close shop. I think this first 6 months has vetted out many folks that are just not able to sustain in this type of selling venue and that might be just what Amazon planned from the start.  

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Tue May 10 09:34:02 2016

Had I wanted to sell on regular Amazon, i would have done that . Amazon Handmade is little different from Amazon Handmade. Not a big deal to me as i don't want to sell on amazon in a non real handmade environment. Amazon handmade may be a good selling site for some, i will admit this. the advantages will diminish in August with the monthly fees, i assume. It also depends if you are one of the ones selling chinese crap on the handmade site. A real advantage to buy on Alibaba and resale @ 50x your purchase price and claim handmade. It appears that the vetting is a complete joke on Amazon Handmade and or the Admin there are taking bribes. I suspect Bezos is totally unaware of the corruption in that department's so called vetting processes.

the items i reported were done through the required Amazon channels as a signed in member. there is no other way to report.

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Tue May 10 09:44:05 2016

This item is straight from the factories in China.. Amazon is well aware of this and this is NOT Handmade as Amazon allows to be claimed. You can purchase these on Alibaba for less than $1 each

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%
3Dhandmade&field-keywords=nail+cross&rh=n%3A11260432011%2Ck%3Anail+cross

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Tue May 10 09:52:26 2016

Please don't think I am out to slam Amazon Handmade as i really could care less about Amazon and what they do. I gave them 10 days to remove the garbage I reported and then left as i cold just as easily post on Ebay if i wanted to compete with chinese factories. a lot cheaper. (nothing was removed)

here is the exact same product i linked above on Alibaba for 90cents :-)

https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/2014-Classical-Horse
shoe-Nail-Cross-Necklaces_1922390854.html



Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Tue May 10 10:13:51 2016

and of course.. certainly... you can buy this same item on Etsy handmade in the same chinese factory and if you want they can supply 300,000 of them per month

https://www.etsy.com/search?q=nail%20cross

Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers   Amazon Handmade Drives Sales to Artisan Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Tue May 10 13:56:38 2016

As a matter of interest, an interesting analysis of Amazon v. eBay on SeekingAlpha.com today ...

http://seekingalpha.com/article/3973474-amazon-vs-ebay#alt2

But the best part is the graph ...

https://staticseekingalpha.a.ssl.fastly.net/uploads/2016/5/3965791
6_14628752108467_rId13.jpg


that graphically demonstrates the start of eBay's downhill slide to oblivion as being that point in mid 2007 when the "Pain from Bain", the cretinous Johnny Ho, had effectively taken the helm of the eBay marketplace ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the unscrupulous, the malevolent, the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid. ...

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