How to Sell Your Handcrafted Goods with Amazon Handmade
In case you haven’t heard, Amazon does a whole lot more than just sell books and gadgets. The company now operates in all kinds of industries, including cloud computing, food delivery, and shipping.
In their efforts to become a true one-stop shopping destination, Amazon has expanded into the handmade goods market. The company has recognized that people value items with a story that were made by a real person and not a faceless corporation. The result is Amazon Handmade, a place to “discover unique, handcrafted products created by artisans around the world.”
If you happen to make handmade items, then Amazon Handmade is an exciting opportunity. Read on to learn how Amazon Handmade works, how it can benefit you, and how you can get started selling your handcrafted goods on Amazon.
What Is Amazon Handmade?
We touched on it briefly already, but let’s take a closer look at what Amazon Handmade is. Amazon is great at selling products, but they historically have had trouble competing with handmade goods marketplaces like Aftcra or Etsy, as well as physical retail stores offering handmade products.
To fill this gap, they launched Amazon Handmade. It uses the same familiar shopping interface as Amazon, except that instead of products sold by large companies, you’ll only find products from “Handmade Artisans” (Amazon’s term for people who sell products on the Handmade platform).
The Amazon Handmade marketplace already features product listings from the following wide-ranging categories:
- Home & Kitchen
- Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
- Handbags & Totes
- Beauty & Grooming
- Stationery & Party Supplies
- Toys & Games
- Pet Supplies
- Sports & Outdoors
- Maker Pop-up (a category that features a rotating selection of makers)
All of this is very exciting whether you’re an Amazon customer or an artisan. But what are the benefits of selling on Amazon Handmade, especially with so many other options for selling online? Let’s take a closer look.
3 Reasons to Sell Your Products on Amazon Handmade
If you’ve never considered it, then you may not realize all the benefits that come from selling with Amazon Handmade. Here are three reasons that it could benefit your business:
1. Access to a Large Audience
Perhaps the greatest benefit of selling on Amazon is gaining access to a large audience of people who are looking to buy. Amazon does a large amount of the work required to target and bring in customers, so you can focus more on making and less on marketing. And with literally billions of people visiting Amazon each month, you have lots of people to buy your products.
2. Easy to Set Up
Becoming an Amazon seller can sound intimidating, but it’s actually quite easy. You don’t have to worry about the technical details of setting up your own website. Instead, Amazon will automatically create a page that beautifully showcases your products.
Listing products is also a breeze. You don’t have to learn how to use some sort of complex software or interface. Rather, Amazon has done everything they can to make it as easy as possible to go from making an item to listing it for sale in your store.
3. Streamlined Shipping Options
In addition to having an easy-to-use interface, Amazon Handmade also gives you access to a sophisticated shipping service called Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). With FBA, you can ship your products to Amazon’s warehouse, and let them handle the rest of the shipping and fulfillment process. This way, you don’t have to worry about storing inventory or dealing with shipping-related customer support.
Plus, when you choose to use FBA, you’ll be able to display the “Prime” badge next to your items. This boosts your credibility as a seller and makes your items more appealing to Amazon Prime Members who love being able to buy products with the fast shipping that Prime provides.
Seller Application Process and Requirements
Now that you’re excited about all the benefits of selling through Amazon Handmade, let’s look at what it takes to get your products listed on the platform.
To start, the items you sell need to meet certain requirements to be allowed in the Handmade category:
- You must make the items yourself (or with the help of a group no larger than 20 people).
- Your products cannot be mass-produced (including outsourcing of production).
- Digital products, food or grocery items, and electronic accessories are not allowed.
- Your products must not violate copyright or trademark laws.
Assuming the things you make meet these requirements, your next step is to apply to sell. This application consists of five brief sections:
- Basic information about yourself (name, email, etc.)
- Information about your work
- Description of your process
- Photos of your work (optional, but recommended)
- Product category for your work
Assuming Amazon approves your application, they’ll get back to you with information about how to set up your store, list your products, and start making sales.
When considering a platform to sell the things you make, it’s crucial to know the fees and other costs. Luckily, Amazon Handmade uses a straightforward fee structure.
To start, listing your products is free. This is appealing, given that many marketplaces charge listing fees for your products regardless of whether you make a sale.
The only fee that Amazon Handmade currently charges is a 15% referral fee each time you make a sale. This fee gets deducted from the earnings you make on each sale. For instance, if you sold a planter for $20, Amazon would take a $3 commission.
We should mention that you’re still responsible for covering shipping costs. You can choose to cover the cost of fulfilling shipments yourself, or you can outsource the fulfillment to FBA. FBA isn’t free, and the pricing structure is a bit too complicated to explain here. We recommend this guide to learn more about Amazon FBA pricing.
Finally, you should know that as an Amazon Handmade seller, you’ll need to sign up for Amazon’s Professional Selling plan. This normally costs $39.99 per month, but this fee is waived until 12/31/2019. So if you’re considering signing up for Amazon Handmade, now is the time to do it.
Amazon Handmade vs. Etsy
If you’re already an Etsy seller, or even if you’re just considering opening an Etsy store, you’re probably wondering how Amazon Handmade compares to Etsy. To start, we should mention that there’s nothing to stop you from using both. This can be a particularly appealing option for someone who already has an established store and is looking to reach more customers.
For a beginner, however, it’s key to look at the differences in fees and other associated costs. Starting with Etsy, the fee structure is certainly a bit more complicated than Amazon’s. To sell on Etsy, you’ll pay:
- 20 cent listing fees for each item
- 5% transaction fees on all sales
- 3%, plus 25 cents, payment processing fees on all sales
In addition, Etsy offers a “Plus” plan for $10 more per month. This is similar to Amazon’s Professional Selling plan, and it mainly offers discounts on additional services to help your store stand out. This includes things like a custom .com URL and further customization for your shop.
As it currently stands, Amazon Handmade charges higher overall fees than Etsy. It also costs more to get access to their Professional Selling plan than it does to use Etsy’s Plus plan ($39.99 per month vs. $10 per month).
However, it could be worth paying a bit of extra commission in exchange for offering your items to a broader range of people. You’ll have to decide for yourself which makes more sense for your small business.
Start Selling (and Earning) with Amazon Handmade
We hope this guide has shown you just how easy it is to get started selling your handcrafted goods on the Amazon Handmade platform. Amazon Handmade simplifies the listing and selling process so that you can focus on making the best goods possible.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up for Amazon Handmade to start selling today.