E-commerce behemoth Amazon launched Handmade today, a platform for independent artisans to showcase and sell their handcrafted products. More than 80,000 listings already populate the storefront across four main categories: jewelry, home & kitchen, baby, and lighting. “We know you’re an expert in your craft, and deserve a place to tell your story,” says Amazon in their promotional video launched this past June.
Etsy, the premiere person-to-person e-commerce site for vintage and handmade goods since its launch in 2005, has dominated the not-so-niche-anymore market for artisanally crafted goods. Etsy allows anyone to set up a shop wherein listings cost a small fee and expire after four months. Conversely, Amazon is curating their selection through an application process, allows you to list as many items as you’d like for free, and then takes a 12% fee from sales. Amazon Handmade listings never expire. Otherwise, the setup closely mirrors Etsy: purveyors set up profile pages where they can describe their process, with associated product pages featuring each of their goods.
Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson is confident in the solid foundation Etsy has laid over the last ten years. “Etsy has a decade of experience understanding the needs of artists and sellers and supporting them in ways that no other marketplace can. Our platform attracts 21+ million thoughtful consumers seeking to discover unique goods, and build relationships with the people who make and sell them,” he told USA Today.
Handmade is not the first niche marketplace that Amazon has recently launched; Amazon Home Services as well as their Collectibles and Fine Art platform demonstrate Amazon’s mission to become the world’s one-stop shop.
Amazon’s move to launch an Etsy-esque platform reflects a trend that many in the Maker Movement already live and breathe: cheaper and more accessible digital fabrication tools have heralded the growing popularity of DIY goods, a trend that has caused the 21st century consumer market to ebb away from mass-produced products.
Interested Makers can apply to sell via Amazon’s online application.
5 thoughts on “Amazon Launches Handmade Marketplace, Goes Toe to Toe with Etsy”
I wonder if it, too, will be populated by Chinese-made catalog products modified very slighting (eg adding a single Chinese dangle) to qualify as “handmade”?
it’s already full of crap.
It seems amazon is leaving no stone unturned to
take on etsy. Etsy has been so successful and has given rise many clone
websites. As a person who has been analyzing the ecommerce industry, i have
been seeing webmasters attempting to replicate etsy model using the clone
software available in the market, like the one offered by a company named
Agriya. Such is the pull of etsy. Many a
times i too have purchased on etsy and had a great shopping experience. Hope
amazon too impresses the buyers. Would shop on amazon’s handmade as well…
I was interested in this at first. Who wouldn’t want to let Amazon take on all the shipping, leaving you free to create more? But the buzz so far is that Amazon sides with problem customers over reliable creators. Worse yet, a friend of mine who started signing up found this in the contract:
You grant us a royalty-free, non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use, reproduce, perform, display, distribute, adapt, modify, re-format, create derivative works of, and otherwise commercially or non-commercially exploit in any manner, any and all of Your Materials, and to sublicense the foregoing rights to our Affiliates and operators of Amazon Associated Properties; provided, however, that we will not alter any of Your Trademarks from the form provided by you (except to re-size trademarks to the extent necessary for presentation, so long as the relative proportions of such trademarks remain the same) and will comply with your removal requests as to specific uses of Your Trademarks (provided you are unable to do so using standard functionality made available to you via the applicable Amazon Site or Service); provided further, however, that nothing in this Agreement will prevent or impair our right to use Your Materials without your consent to the extent that such use is allowable without a license from you or your Affiliates under applicable law (e.g., fair use under United States copyright law, referential use under trademark law, or valid license from a third party).”
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