Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu May 21 2015 21:20:47

Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon is launching Handmade at Amazon and it invited artisans to learn more about the marketplace for handcrafted goods. Etsy sellers were abuzz, wondering how it would impact them, and they were eager to learn more.

Amazon sent an email to sellers this week telling them about the new marketplace and including a link to a form to fill out to receive updates. 

Sellers discussing the news on both Amazon and Etsy forums wondered if shopper expectations about Amazon purchases would clash with the method of selling handmade goods, which is different from selling commodities. They also expressed concern about Amazon's listing process, fees, and policies.


Sellers wondered if Amazon would allow made-to-order items on the Amazon Handmade marketplace, since it would deviate from its requirements that sellers ship items out quickly. Many Etsy crafters and artisans offer customization that can take days or weeks.

One Etsy seller said Amazon was going to launch "Amazon Custom" to let sellers offer customized and personalized products - but that's something EcommerceBytes could not confirm.

That would be a big departure from its current policy in which it prohibits sellers from allowing custom listings that would require buyers to communicate with sellers before or after the purchase in order to receive the product they want.

Amazon requires in most categories that sellers include product identifiers such as UPCs. One Amazon seller said they expected that would not be a requirement on Amazon Handmade, and said, they would expect Amazon to use "offer-specific catalog pages like the collectibles categories."

Another Amazon seller was skeptical that Etsy sellers could adhere to Amazon rules, adding that Etsy does not have a vetting process. Others wondered if Amazon would keep Handmade gated, as it does with other categories such as jewelry (itself a popular category among Etsy sellers).

Not surprisingly given some sellers' dissatisfaction with Etsy's decision to broaden its definition of handmade, sellers wondered how Amazon would handle the issue and the problem of resellers.

Amazon's standards for product safety also came up in discussion, with a seller noting that Etsy doesn't get involved with product safety, but Amazon does, and guessing that a good amount of Etsy handmade items would be rejected by Amazon for that reason.

Some sellers wondered if Amazon would be interested in acquiring Etsy - there was disagreement about whether Amazon would have any interest in doing so. And of course now that Etsy is a public company, its stock price is vulnerable to competitors' actions.

Jason Malinak, author of Etsy-preneurship, highlighted some of Amazon's strengths in a blog post but said, "don't kick Etsy to the side of the curb just quite yet." 

Malinak said competition was good for sellers, and advocated they consider diversification. "My gut says that Amazon would have stricter rules for operations and acceptance into the marketplace.  It might be a place for more serious sellers to operate their businesses that can accept the potential higher demands that Amazon has historically placed on their sellers."

What do you think of Amazon opening up to handmade goods?

Update: See Friday's Newsflash story. Other publications are now starting to pick up the news.




Comments (39) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 22 01:53:40 2015

I think it might work IF (big IF) Amazon makes it a separate site.  A separate site under the Amazon 'label' would allow Amazon to set rules and listing practices that might vary from the main site regs, but be more accomodating for hand and custom designed items.  It will be interesting to see what Amazon actually does.

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 22 07:04:17 2015

yes, I was reading all the stupid sellers at etsy signing up for amazon handmade, too funny, just wait until amazon woo's all these naïve sellers, and destroys etsy, amazon will put the screws to them all once they have the market.

What on earth is the matter with sellers, this is 2015, find business with your own website, and leave these greedy corporations

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 22 07:26:11 2015


Amazon Innovates and expands

Ebay continues their death spiral , with phony surveys, and figuring out ways to further devalue their remaining seller base .

Re-thinking feedback! Are you eefing Kidding? 20 years and you're "rethinking FB" ?

Six years ago ebay was ahead of Amazon in sales and views, now they are close to 50% behind, yet they continue the same policies which crippled them

If they would leave their sellers alone and devote their energies to IMPROVING the site as opposed to tormenting the sellers , things might pick up.

A sad slow death of what was close to becoming an iconic American Business

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 22 07:47:04 2015

Amazon has ALWAYS understood the importance of quality and HIGH STANDARDS. That doesn't necessarily mean that a given seller is going to be thrown under the bus. Maybe said seller just isn't "good enough".

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

by: Orwellwasright This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 22 08:18:22 2015


Hey EBAY!!!

while you were devouring your loyal sellers for breakfast, Amazon ate you for lunch!

And its just about Dinnertime!

Ding Ding

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 22 08:27:57 2015

I've requested more info from Amazon. Not interested in paying $39/month or using FBA.  

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 22 08:51:45 2015

now sellers will leave etsy with all the issues, go to amazon, then when amazon sees the huge margin in jewelry will start mass hysteria on the sellers, not to mention trademark rights that will be a large issue, and used goods not wanted hmm could be entrusting for craftsman that make to order custom design items for sure, ANYTHING is better than E**Y slow death with "if we wish to show your items" at least amazon will show them and bring higher standards to the venue

another issue is the returns once worn items when the newness wears off I wonder how they will handle that issue or this does not fit me I ordered a size 6 but my finger is size 9 will you size for free?

this will introduce a whole different set of problems for amazon

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

This user has validated their user name. by: Bad Hair Day

Fri May 22 09:02:15 2015

Oh let's just keep ''muddying the waters'' between these 3 sites! Eventually they *will* become just carbon copies of one another. eBay want's to be Amazon. Etsy wants to be eBay...and now Amazon wants to be like Etsy! I personally would never go to Amazon for anything handmade.Possibly Amazon got the drift about all the problems with Etsy and figures they can do it better? It's doubtful.Just like eBay thought it could do Amazon better. They can't.The only thing that eBay still has going for it are the auctions. Hopefully they won't be foolish enough to get rid of them in the future.These 3 sites need to focus on what they do best and be happy with that!!! However not only are there BIG bucks involved here...there are also *HUGE* ego's involved here!A very destructive element indeed!  

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Fri May 22 09:29:38 2015

"Bad Hair Day" nailed it ... eBay obsesses over its "rights" when it should be focused on getting it right.  

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 22 13:48:23 2015

Everyone wants a piece of the action. The action ebay had before greedy corporates took over, & tossed green salad everything. Hey , I love salad , I just don't want it on every search I do.

New , used , & handmade should be separate entity , with rules that apply to each.

Having your own website , depending on your experience with computers , ecommerce , can be too much for some. It requires more, than just listing. Educated people find it easier , where at home mom struggles with attributes , links , & such.

I just see amazon taking advantage of a ever changing market , with ever changing needs. Go with the flow.

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri May 22 15:53:44 2015

I'm guessing Chad isn't very happy today.  Any insider trading going on at Etsy today?

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri May 22 17:40:46 2015

While these guys duke it out is Bricks and Mortar becoming more competitive?

I found myself looking for an item I had seen in a market.  Came home and searched the web, Amazon and eBay.  The item, which is slightly over a pound was either at a higher ''free ship'' price or a lower price with shipping cost in the $8-10 price range.  

No matter which way - free ship or separated - even the lowest prices did not compete well with the market's regular price.  This item was not on sale.  

Sooo...  I went back to the market and bought four of them.  In effect, I ended up reverse-showrooming.



Shipping cost and profit are necessary item sellers must account for.  But  the math made the bricks & mortar store a bargain.  This has been happening more often lately. And I LIKE to shop online.  


Also, like others here - I always thought ''used'' ''new'' and ''handmade'' should be separate or have a filter for such.  If I look for something used - I want to be able to filter out new and handmade. And vice versa.

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

This user has validated their user name. by: askalice59

Fri May 22 19:24:02 2015

Whoa GIZMO! Are you serious? That's quite a sexist comment you made there. ''Having your own website , depending on your experience with computers , ecommerce , can be too much for some. It requires more, than just listing. Educated people find it easier , where at home mom struggles with attributes , links , & such.''

Maybe YOU need to get out of the house more. There are many very educated stay at home moms who are well equipped to manage a website. LOL OMG

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

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

Fri May 22 20:16:59 2015

Amazon ?
NOT IN A MILLION YEARS!
They've proven themselves to be Buttinskis on steroids.
They (like Ebay) don't know their place in the eCommerce landscape.

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 22 23:15:29 2015

@Watching the Wheels
I don't know what Amazon you're talking about, but we find it awful.
I sold there around 2000 for a few years, it was great, we used to purchase lots of items there also.
Then it began to be "everything to everybody" they got sloppy, horrible cs for sellers, searching for an item is a nightmare, thousands and thousands of results.
We ordered a DVD set, I think it was Akira Kurasawa, well, 4 times it came incomplete.  This was new, from Amazon directly.
I have a thousand complaints about Ebay, but Amazon is not better.
Hopefully Etsy will survive.

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 23 12:13:38 2015

Amazon treats its sellers like crap!
They short change shipping, charge high fees, and have a one-sided conflict resolution process, seller always loses. Why would anybody list their hand-made goods there ?

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

by: Troy Stiffler This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 23 13:17:35 2015

I really like Amazon for who they are.  They have their flaws (the biggest annoyance is how ''algorithm based dropshippers'' manipulate their catalog, duplicate catalog listings, work on 1% margins, etc).  

They can roll out this new platform.  They may be able to find a mainstream who's interested.  It's definitely good for the Etsy artisans to reach more people.

However, Etsy is the first to do what they do.  And the kind of people who buy those kind of products generally are the kind of people who are conscious about who they support.  It's kind of like Wal-Mart's ''organic'' products vs ''Whole Foods''.  There's a culture of people who will never shop at Wal-Mart for reasons deeper than price and availability.  So just because Amazon is entering the marketplace doesn't mean it'll be a runaway success.

There's also a very hard-to-pinpoint factor of ''what's cool''.  Etsy products are largely based on what's trendy and neat and cool.  And those sort of products need to stay out of the mainstream, or else they lose their appeal and the subculture moves onto the next cool thing to make them standout.

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sat May 23 14:33:29 2015

Whatever Etsy's problems, I don't see how Amazon taking 20% of every sale could ever be a more attractive alternative.

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 23 19:33:58 2015

This article seems to mostly be talking about Amazon and Etsy, but this might not only hurt Etsy a lot, but also Ebay.  Ebay sellers are sick of listing fees and the games with waiting for promotions and the blocking of relistings which have to be sell similiar and all the other fee games ebay does.  So no sellers of collectibles on ebay might have a new home at Amazon. Ebay's horrible changes each year, which see some fees rise as much as 500%, has many ebay sellers who have quit, but might try Amazon. Amazon is in position now to take over completely.

Perminate Link for Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz   Amazon Readies Handmade Marketplace, Etsy Sellers Abuzz

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

Sat May 23 20:44:45 2015

Amazon = run O' the mill new junk.
Ebay = auctions of Good Old Stuff.
Etsy = Special American hand made goods.

It's O.K. NOT to step on the other guy's toes.

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