Amazon may be a retailing giant, but it also has a knack for catering to smaller segments of its audience. For instance, Amazon is now in the grocery store business with its Amazon Pantry and, earlier this year, it launched Amazon Home Services to connect customers with home service professionals, like plumbers and contractors.
Now, Amazon is reaching out to people who like to buy and sell homemade products. Just today, Amazon launched Handmade at Amazon with 80,000 items from about 5,000 craftspeople.
Handmade at Amazon is similar to Etsy, which launched in 2005, and is now generating $2 billion every year, according to the New York Times. That number would get anyone's attention, so it's no wonder that Amazon has jumped into the handmade arena. (Not that it's struggling, of course. Amazon already has $75 billion in annual sales.)
Handmade at Amazon works a lot like Etsy, however Amazon is a much larger platform. You can put your products in from of 250 million customers around the world, which is a bit more than your local arts and crafts festivals.
Note: To sell your items on Handmade at Amazon, Amazon has to invite you. To let Amazon know you're interested, apply here.
To be considered to sell products on Handmade, Amazon requires that you yourself have made the product, or you have a company with 20 or fewer employees. Amazon will also accept handmade products from a collective of craftspeople, if it has fewer than 100 people. Once accepted, there's no charge to list your products on Handmade at Amazon. However, Amazon will take 12% of the sales.
Right now, Handmade at Amazon is looking for products such as stationery, jewelry, party supplies, and products for the home, such as furniture. The products will be grouped with other handmade products in Amazon.
Handmade at Amazon will have a folksier feel than Amazon itself. Each craftsperson's products will be accompanied by a photo of them, plus with a little icon of the state or country where they live.
Amazon is asking craftspeople selling their products on Handmade to deliver products to customers within 30 days. However, Handmade products are eligible to be part of Amazon Prime, which offers paid members perks such as free two-day delivery. If you sign up for Fulfillment by Amazon, you sell your products but Amazon handles shipping.
(Check out this video from Amazon to see how you can start selling your crafts on Handmade at Amazon.)