For local makers, marketing their crafts online can be a real hassle. Especially, because there are not many options when it comes to sales channels to showcase their unique products. Luckily, with Amazon Handmade, creative entrepreneurs can continue doing what they love while making their products available to millions of Amazon customers.
In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about Amazon Handmade so you can learn about all the benefits of joining this wonderful program. Read on!
What is Amazon Handmade?
Amazon Handmade is an online community exclusive for artists and crafters where they can offer their one-of-a-kind products to customers all over the world.
It’s important to know that Amazon Handmade is different from Amazon’s business model. Amazon wants to make sure that none of the products sold on this platform are mass produced and that means you’ll have to comply with a few requirements.
How to get started with Amazon Handmade
To be eligible for Amazon Handmade, you need to follow a couple of steps:
- First of all, all the products must be handmade, hand-altered, or hand-assembled. Think of abstract art, pottery, bead jewelry, handmade cutting boards, etc. The product needs to be handmade by you or by a member of your team.
- You’ll have to fill out an application where you have to answer questions about your business. This is Amazon’s way of making sure that you are a qualified handmade seller.
- Decide on your fulfillment method. Amazon Handmade is eligible to use Amazon’s Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), which is when Amazon packages and ships your orders for you and it gives you the advantage of becoming part of the Prime program. You also have the option of fulfilling your orders yourself.
- Start selling and fulfilling the orders of your handmade products!
Make your answers as thorough as possible when you fill out the application form.
How to decide which products to sell on Amazon Handmade
If you have some experience with Etsy, most likely you already have an idea about your product’s demand. However, to make sure your product will do well on Amazon it is recommended that you do little research by scouting your competition, for example.
Here are some useful tips:
What’s your competition doing?
Search through each Handmade category on Amazon and Etsy. When you do it, you’ll see the top-selling items in each category. Amazon Handmade will award these products with a “Best Seller” badge. Which products sell better? Do you have a similar product?
Also, keep in mind that,normally, a product that sells well has reviews. So, in most cases, the more reviews, the more people who are pleased with their purchase.
Check demand for your product
1. Use Google Trends
Search keywords related to the product you make in Google Trends. Check the results for the last year and compare it to the results of 5 years ago to see if it has become popular.
2. Find similar products on Amazon Handmade and Etsy
Search for the product you make on Amazon Handmade and Etsy. Similar products with reviews are a good indicator for demand.
Know your timelines
You should know, at least on average, the estimated time it will take you to create or build your product, even if you’re just starting. Make sure to communicate to buyers the lead times when they place an order so you avoid any confusion and complaints.
Once you get a hold of the process as a whole, you’ll know how much inventory you should have ready to sell.
Take advantage of this opportunity
It’s not that hard to start selling your crafts on Amazon Handmade. Since it’s a new platform, competition is not as tough and it’s easy for your products to stand-out. And of course, with Amazon’s amazing reach, your product will be seen by thousands of users.
How much does Amazon Handmade cost?
Image: Amazon Handmade
You can join Handmade, create your online store and list your products for free. Once you start selling, Amazon will deduct a 15% referral fee for each purchase.
You need to have a Professional account to join the program, which usually costs $39.99 per month. However, Handmade artists and artisans don’t have to pay this fee if they sell on Amazon Handmade.
Amazon Handmade Pros and Cons
Here we list a comparison of both platforms, so that you know, in a general way, what to expect from each one:
- Amazon’s reach. The biggest marketplace in the U.S. is worth a shot if you want to expand your customer base. Amazon receives 3.1 billion visits per month. It’s a no brainer.
- It’s affordable: Yes, it is true you need to pay a referral fee, and you’ll need an accurate breakdown of fees in your Manage Inventory dashboard, but that is still reasonable compared to the sales you can have.
- Exclusive for artisans and artists. As we mentioned before, you have to go through an application process to make sure your products are handmade. This also means, customers are guaranteed to receive a quality handmade product. Being exclusive means you won’t be competing with mass-production items, so the platform is more focused on an audience that is likely to buy from you.
- Get customers to know you: As a seller on Amazon Handmade you’ll be able to create a customized shop profile and showcase all your products. You can also create an artisan profile to share your story and whatever you want to share about your art. Oh, and your products can be customized as well.
- FBA & Amazon Prime: When you decide to use Amazon FBA, Amazon fulfills and ships your products and you have the opportunity of adding an Amazon Prime badge. It’s just a perk of selling on Handmade, you can also fulfill your products yourself.
- Listings don’t expire: It’s also not necessary to have UPC codes to sell.
- Complicated dashboard: Amazon Handmade’s biggest competitor is Etsy and at a glance, Etsy has a more user-friendly dashboard. If you’re new to Amazon Seller Central, you might want to take the time to become familiar with all the different components.
- Application process: You have to be thorough with your answers. Amazon wants to make sure you’re not manufacturing your products, so it takes a while to fill it out, plus it might take up to 2 weeks to get approved and start selling.
- Payment process: You’ll receive the payment once the order has been marked and shipped and wait for the money to get to your account.
- Customer engagement: It’s known that Amazon does not allow sellers to access customer data, so this can limit your marketing campaigns and your customer’s engagement with your brand, since you don’t have a lot of information to launch better campaigns and products.
Amazon Handmade vs. Etsy
If you are undecided about which platform to use, don’t worry, you can use both!
Etsy has been around forever and has a solid seller and customer base. It is likely you already sell on Etsy and you’re thinking of Amazon Handmade.
Each marketplace caters to different customer needs. For example, Amazon gets significantly more purchases than Etsy, but remember Etsy is already focused on handmade and vintage products. However, a more focused audience means the competition is tougher since the catalogue of products is way bigger.
Also, it’s easier to sign up to Etsy than Amazon Handmade, however,the number of sellers on Handmade is lower; therefore,it’s easier for your product to take over.
Sellers have reported to do better on Handmade than Etsy due to Amazon’s great reputation and customer-centric approach.
Buyers on Amazon might prefer to go with Amazon Handmade when looking for a unique product, because they’re already familiar with the platform.
Etsy releases the money to the seller immediately after the purchase, which can help those artists that need upfront cash to create their product. Amazon, on the other hand, withholds it until the order is shipped. Definitely something to consider depending on the product you’re making.
For brand new sellers who are about to start their handmade product business, Etsy might be the easiest choice when it comes to testing the waters for selling online. Once you get a grasp on what products are on demand and how long it takes you to fulfill orders, you can join Amazon Handmade and expand your customer outreach while promoting your best products.
Related Content: What Is The Amazon Custom Program All About?
Having a new and exclusive sales channel especially for artists and artisans online like Amazon Handmade is always a great advantage.
The great thing about this program is that you don’t have to wait for customers to find your website and you don’t even even have to worry about the logistics to ship your order.
Plus, considering that for now you don’t need to pay anything before making a sale, it’s worth giving it a try.
We recommend you take a look at what’s being sold there right now and see if your product would be a good fit. Of course, depending on the product that you make, demand, and your sales margins you’ll be able to decide whether Amazon Handmade is the platform you need to boost your sales.
The truth is that this is one of the easiest ways to get the exposure that every artist needs. Good luck!