Handmade at Amazon was launched in 2015, ten years after Etsy was founded. Handmade on Amazon is a special storefront within the Amazon ecosystem that allows artisans to sell their handcrafted goods. Customers can order customizable and unique items, much like on Etsy.
Handmade on Amazon vs. Etsy
The biggest difference between Handmade on Amazon and Etsy is that Amazon only allows artisans who provide handcrafted, factory-free goods to apply. Etsy will allow sellers to offer goods that have been designed themselves, but may be manufactured by a production partner as long as that is disclosed to the customers.
Another big difference is that Etsy is its own entity and website, while Handmade on Amazon is housed within the greater Amazon universe. This can make it more difficult for customers to know about and find Handmade on Amazon since it takes a bit of navigating to get to. With Etsy, you simply put in the URL and start shopping.
One alluring factor that draws artisans to Handmade on Amazon is that handmade goods are Prime eligible, which means Prime members can use their free 2 day shipping to get items quickly. Etsy has options to search for ‘free shipping’ or ‘Ready to ship in 1 business day,’ but some artistans’ goods sometimes don’t ship for up to a few weeks after ordering. It’s important for customers to look at the shipping time and calculate the exact shipping costs at the bottom of a product page, which can cause confusion if they don’t plan far enough ahead for things they are ordering as gifts or need by a certain date.
Because Amazon handles fulfilling Handmade on Amazon goods, that means any issues relating to shipping, returns or replacements go directly through Amazon customer service. Artisans can get a Prime badge to display if they can show they are able to fulfill orders themselves within 2 days. Artisans who do not have Prime shipping typically handle all of the selling and shipping on their own. Etsy sellers are responsible for shipping their items to customers. The expectation is that sellers will ship each item within 30 days of when the purchase was made. Each seller sets up their own refund and return policies, so customers will need to contact sellers directly through the Conversations messaging system on Etsy.
Etsy sellers choose the payment types they want to accept, so it will vary from seller to seller. Some of these payment methods include major credit/debit cards, Etsy gift cards/credit, Apply Pay, Android Pay, PayPal, check or money order. Etsy also allows the ability to contact the seller directly to set up other payment arrangements. Handmade on Amazon payments happen just like they do for other regular Amazon orders.
How to get started selling on Handmade on Amazon
After you’ve developed and refined your handmade goods and are ready to start selling them, you’ll need to complete an application. The application process isn’t very difficult and should only take about 30 minutes. The application requires some basic information and uploading photos of your handmade goods. You’ll need great photos before getting started, so have those ready! Amazon also has a vetting process to ensure that artisan goods are only selling completely factory-free handcrafted items.
Once approved, you’ll start creating your listings for your items. The most important thing is to make sure you fill out everything for your listings completely and accurately. It’s best to follow Amazon’s style guide so your listings are more likely to be found in search results. But nothing is set in stone, so you will be able to go back and update and edit these listings later. You’ll learn a lot through trial and error, and by doing research.
Make sure your photos for your listings are high-quality and show the features of your items. For example, if you are selling jewelry, show the scale of the piece or show how it looks with someone wearing it.
Don’t neglect keywords! Include keywords in your product titles, tags, descriptions, etc. Using SEO best practices will help Amazon’s search algorithm display your listing higher and more often in search results.
Do research on Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA and see if it makes sense for your business. You’re certainly able to pack and ship orders yourself, but Prime customers are die hard shoppers and are love using the free 2 day shipping perk. You’re more likely to get sales if you can utilize FBA. Plus, then you’ll save time on doing all of the packing and shipping yourself.
Handmade on Amazon also allows sellers to utilize Amazon Sponsored Product Listings to promote listings within search results to get more sales. Automating these Amazon ads can help drastically increase your listing’s chances of being found in search results. Sellozo offers fully-automated and optimize Amazon Sponsored Product Listings to help sellers save time and money. Sellozo’s platform has already helped artisans selling their items on Handmade on Amazon grow their businesses.