Amazon.com announced recently that Handmade at Amazon, its new store for handmade items, has added three new product categories of handmade items. The site sells products crafted and sold directly by artisans in competition with well-known handmade platform Etsy. The new Handmade at Amazon categories are Accessories, Baby and Toys and Games.
News that Handmade at Amazon has expanded categories of handcrafted items should be exciting for the artisans and customers choosing to use the service. That’s because the expansion will introduce thousands more Prime – eligible items, giving customers a fuller experience. It will also provide artisans a richer storefront for handcrafted items where they can showcase their work and make more sales.
The ecommerce company said the new categories of handcrafted items will offer more than 20,000 items sold directly from artisans. It adds that since the beginning of the year, there’s been a 100 percent increase in handmade artisans taking advantage of its service to deliver items quickly to customers.
New Handmade at Amazon Categories
Handmade business owners will now be able to offer everything from accessories like Italian leather handbags and plaid zipper clutches to baby-themed items like teething rings and toys & games products like wooden memory games and felt tool set toys with this expansion.
One doesn’t need stats and figures to see that Amazon Handmade is growing fast and making an impact. The new Handmade at Amazon categories of handcrafted items add to the previously featured Kitchen and Dining, Stationery and Party Supplies, Jewelry, Artwork, Bedding, Home Décor and Furniture categories launched last fall.
Amazon said in the press release that since launching the Handmade e-store last fall, the number of items listed has grown four times to more than 400,000 quality handcrafted items from all 50 states and more than 80 countries around the world.
Social media sites like Facebook also have many satisfied artisans and customers sharing photos of handmade items they either purchased or crafted. They are satisfied because handmade provides a unique feel that someone crafted the item, poured their hearts and soul into it, and the piece stands out.
Impact of Amazon Handmade on Etsy and Similar Sites
When Amazon first announced the opening of a handmade storefront on its giant ecommerce platform, many wondered what it would mean for those who shop and sell on Etsy and similar sites. Would Amazon Handmade be the end of sites like Etsy, the hitherto vibrant peer-to-peer niche ecommerce site focused on handmade or vintage items and supplies?
Amazon Handmade promised to facilitate seamless sales of authentic handmade items and has already made many of the items eligible for Prime, Amazon’s special two day free shipping service. However, it remains a bit hazy whether Amazon Handmade’s terms of service and listings are better than Etsy’s.
According to Investopedia, Etsy has a wildly low fee structure, charging only a 3.5 percent commission and a flat $0.20 listing fee. Comparatively, Amazon charges about a 15 percent commission on most products in its marketplace, although it brings this percentage slightly lower for its Handmade service in order to appeal to small businesses in the artisan space. Still, undercutting Etsy would be difficult.
It’s still too early to tell what the long-term impact the new Handmade at Amazon categories will have on Etsy, but many handmade business owners are welcoming the opportunity to sell their wares on Amazon in addition to Etsy. Amazon is certainly much, much bigger and the additional exposure for artisan items is good.