Amazon has launched a specialist artisan goods marketplace titled Handmade. It’s already been seen as a challenge to Etsy in that sector.
Rather than launch the site and hope to pick up some sellers, it seems Amazon launched a recruitment drive beforehand, directly approaching Etsy store owners. As a result it’s launching with 5,000 sellers and 80,000 products already in place.
To differentiate Handmade from the rest of the Amazon marketplace, the company is using strict criteria. Not only must all products be made entirely by hand rather than from a kit or by machine, but they must be made or assembled by the seller, an employee in a small business with fewer than 20 staff, or a member of a collective of fewer than 100 people. The company has even been making sample orders to examine goods to check they do indeed appear handmade.
That’s in contrast to Etsy which is more relaxed about sellers contracting out manufacturing, though only to firms which have been vetted for ethical standards.
Amazon has also adopted a pricing policy that may persuade existing Etsy users to at least list on both sites if not switch altogether. Etsy charges 20 cents to list an item and then 3.5 percent of each sale. Amazon will have no listing fee but a 12 percent cut of sale revenue. It also plans to bring in a monthly fee of $40 from August next year, but only to stores selling more than 40 items each month.