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EDIT 12/30/16 - Decided to close my Handmade at Amazon account. I'm not happy with the platform - it's turned out to be even less "handmade" than Etsy. I will continue selling on Etsy instead as I have good business there!

Amazon recently opened up an all handmade marketplace on their site called Handmade at Amazon. As someone who has been selling embroideries and jewelry for years through Etsy, I was excited to try another marketplace.

Throughout the years I've tried several other handmade marketplaces, but none of them have the traction OR traffic of Etsy - many of the ones I've tried have been completely erased from the internet already. Online stores for handmade goods always seem to come and go, while Etsy has continued to grow throughout the years.

But Handmade at Amazon is different - think about the audience Amazon already has! Many publications have declared Handmade at Amazon an "Etsy killer" already. I know loads of folks are going to be excited to have an alternative to Etsy due the fact that Etsy has turned into a free-for-all for every reseller under the sun. :P

In this instructable I'll go over the basics of applying for and selling on Handmade at Amazon, and any tips and tricks I've learned in all my research! Sadly, life has been too crazy for me get loads of products listed, but I'm ever so slowly chipping away at it. In the meantime, here's my making jiggy Handmade at Amazon store. :)

Interested in selling your products online on Etsy? Or just learn more about selling handmade products online? Check out my "How to Start Selling on Etsy" instructable for loads of information to help you start to build an online store. :D

Step 1: Pros and Cons of Handmade at Amazon

At first, I felt a little unsure about Handmade at Amazon.

Firstly, would I even get in? I am truly a one woman operation (well except for when Tyler runs packages to the post for me) and I just can't churn out products like many Amazon buyers would expect.

Secondly, how will it really be any different from Etsy? As it turns out, it is VERY different.

Pros of selling on Handmade at Amazon:

  • Every seller application is reviewed extensively. Handmade at Amazon even ordered items from sellers to attempt to verify they weren't mass produced. This will limit resellers and wholesalers, which levels the playing field. Mass produced items run rampant on Etsy.
  • Selling professionally on Amazon normally costs $39.99 a month, but by signing up now for Handmade at Amazon, you may be able to sell until 8/1/16 for free.
  • Extremely large customer base - Amazon is a #1 name in online shopping, so you're upping your chances of being seen. They have around 250 million customers!!
  • You have the option to let Amazon ship your items for you if you're doing well enough to send them loads of products at once - perfect for those of you who make printed items! This will allow you to take advantage of Prime shipping/free shipping as well, which may draw in more customers.
  • Ability to do all shipping through the site - you can buy and print labels from their interface.
  • Smaller amounts of sellers and items. Last I looked, Handmade at Amazon has about 250,000 products listed, while Etsy (at the end of 2014) had 29 million products listed. Less competition.
  • Ability to create and sell custom products - their interface for customization of products is much nicer than Etsy's in my opinion. Much easier to use!
  • They handle year end tax paperwork for you, whereas on Etsy you are in charge of your own tax destiny.
  • If you live in a place where you can participate in the Amazon Associates program, you can list your products on your site and take a cut of any purchase made via clicking that link. Sadly it's not available in Colorado! noooooooooooooooooooo
  • Actual seller help from Amazon - Etsy has always been slow to respond to seller issues and does not offer phone support, but with Handmade at Amazon you can call them up and get the support you need.

Cons of selling on Handmade at Amazon:

  • Higher fees. Whereas Etsy fees are $0.20 a listing and 3.5% for each listing that sells, Amazon takes a flat 12% fee from every listing that sells. However, your listings never expire, and it doesn't cost money to list items.
  • Amazon's notoriouslybad treatment of their employees. This made the decision trickier for me. In the end, I decided to go for it, but keep myself in charge of every facet of my business so that I'm not outsourcing work to Amazon's warehouse employees.
  • Customers are sure to expect different things. Amazon customers are used to getting very cheap products VERY fast - the opposite of handmade. It will be interesting to see how Handmade at Amazon is accepted by the larger community of buyers on Amazon.
  • Amazon is still allowing "collectives" of up to 100 people to sell their products in a "handmade" store, which sounds dangerously close to the way Etsy has turned out. I only hope that their rules for sellers aren't made more lax and that no loopholes are created, because I've watched how quickly resellers have taken over Etsy and it is not a good situation.
  • Having to open another store if you're selling on Etsy already is a an exercise in frustration. Also a time suck. But I'm trying to make the best of it by getting all new photos and organizing myself.
  • Because Amazon is such a large marketplace, any changes made to your inventory, shop or shipping will not be instant. It can take up to 15 minutes for changes to take effect, so it's important to keep that in mind. :)

Step 2: How to Apply for Handmade at Amazon

Unlike Etsy, Handmade at Amazon has a fairly strict vetting process to go through before they accept you as a seller. You can't just sign up and start selling immediately!

To apply and find out the basic information, go here.

The application process is fairly painless - just need to answer questions and supply information about your products and yourself. At this point, you'll do better applying if you've been selling online already, as they are reviewing all the stores of the folks who apply.

I applied back in early October, but didn't receive confirmation of my acceptance until late November, so it may take a little while if they're still as backed up with applicants. :)

Step 3: Getting Started on Amazon Handmade

Once you've been accepted, you'll receive an email explaining how to get your account all set up. I'm not going to go over this in detail since you'll have all the information there - but I can definitely try to help if anyone has questions!

Getting started on Handmade at Amazon means essentially filling out loads of forms, so it's not very exciting. If you have your business registered, make sure you have all that info on hand.

If you've never sold on Amazon before, you'll have to set up a seller account. If you have an individual seller account, you'll have to upgrade to a professional one. Don't sign up for the professional selling account before you've been accepted to sell at Handmade at Amazon, though! Selling on Amazon professionally normally costs $39.99 a month, but if you get accepted into Handmade at Amazon, they will waive that fee until 8/1/2016. Do keep in mind that if you sell more than 40 items in a month, you will have to begin to pay the $39.99.

Go through all their steps and fill everything out and you'll end up on your seller page. Now you'll be able to start on the fun parts - getting your shop up!

Step 4: Review the Handmade at Amazon Style Guide and Getting Started Guide

You can download the Style Guide and Getting Started Guide from your main seller page.

The Seller Guide is amazingly helpful when it comes to styling your photos, artisan profile, and creating your listings. It's a really basic and quick guide to read. :)

The Getting Started Guide is much more in depth, and should answer nearly any question you have about being a seller on Amazon.

Because Amazon has put together these fantastic guides, I'm not going to spend much time going over these in detail. It's better you read about it from them, anyway. That way you know you're getting all the correct information. :D

Step 5: Create Your "Artisan Profile"

The first thing you'll want to do is create an Artisan Profile for yourself. Head to your seller page to find the link to do this. This is essentially your store front, and will be what you can link your customers to.

Here's my artisan profile so you can see at a glance what it looks like. :)

There are three sections within your artisan profile, so make sure you're filling it out completely. Keep in mind that you have no control over the text spacing on this page! If you're a rambler like me you'll end up with bigger blocks of text.

Try to get some clear photos of your workspace and your items, and also put up a nice image of yourself if you're comfortable with it! I fully understand not wanting to take photos or put yourself out there and it's hard for me too! But it'll make customers feel more comfortable to see you're a real person!

Bonus points for photos of you making your products! I'm hoping I can get some of those soon.

Step 6: Setting Up Your Shipping

Handmade at Amazon actually suggests you post listings first, but I am an eternal worrier. I wanted to make sure everything on the back end of my store was in good shape before I plunged into putting products out there. :)

If you scroll down to the bottom of your seller page, you'll see "shipping settings" - click that and get started!

First, set your shipping location using the top box.

Then, head down to the next shipping module. You can choose to do per item/weight based shipping OR shipping that scales with the total cost of the order. Click the "Change Shipping Model" button to check out those options.

After that, you'll need to click "edit" and choose which regions you want to ship to and what shipping speeds you'd like to offer. After you do this and click "continue" you'll see a list where you can input your shipping prices for each region. Keep in mind that you'll have to click "continue" and then confirm again on the next page or it won't save your changes. :)

In order to figure out your shipping prices, you'll want to get estimate from the website of the carrier you've chosen to use. I always ship USPS First Class, so I went to their website and grabbed the international and domestic rates so I could calculate it. Make sure that you're factoring in the cost of shipping and packaging - you don't want to lose money when you mail out your products!

Step 7: Creating a Handmade at Amazon Listing

Amazon, like Etsy, allows you to "copy" a listing once you've made it. If you have lots of similar items, this will make populating your shop easier. :)

Creating a listing on Handmade at Amazon is very similar to Etsy, though I actually find it to be a little easier!

There are two things you should be aware of when listing:

  • Handmade at Amazon has far less categories to put your products into - I'm having to put my embroideries in "artwork / mixed media" because there is not a fiber arts section so far. Keep that in mind and try to hunt around for the right category!
  • Like the artisan profile, you have no styling options for your text on your listings. It will be one big block of text, so keep that in mind - spacing is completely out the window!

My favorite features of the Amazon listing editor are the customization options and the fact that you can input a processing time for every listing.

Because the process of listing an item on Amazon is so similar to Etsy, please refer to my "How to Start Selling on Etsy" instructable for more information over it, and make sure to consult the Getting Started Guide, too!

Step 8: Managing Orders and Shipping

Handmade at Amazon is very similar to Etsy in the way you manage orders. I suggest downloading the Amazon Seller app (iPhone version here, Android here) and turning on notifications just so you can stay on top of it. :)

Once a customer places an order, you'll see the date the item needs to ship by. Make sure to adjust your processing times as necessary so you don't ship orders out late! As I've stated before, you're able to buy and print shipping labels directly from the site, so it makes it super easy.

Amazon tracks nearly everything you do, customer service-wise. This information is available to your customers, so it is even more important to stay on top of orders and communicate well with your customers.

Step 9: Managing Your Inventory

I really like Amazon's inventory system. You have easy access to so much information at a glance, and you're able to edit, delete and copy listings.

Neat things to point out here:

  • Amazon assigns a SKU to each listing, which will be beneficial when talking to customers if they have any issues!
  • You can see how much in fees you're going to pay for each listing.
  • The right hand drop down menu on each listing line will be the one you'll use primarily for editing your listings.
  • You can edit prices right from this screen.

Step 10: Comments / Questions

If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the comments below!

I'd love to hear from other sellers with any tips and tricks you guys may have. Since this is such a new marketplace it will be exciting to see how it goes. :)

<p>Welcome to our Russian portal !</p><p>We are just starting to explore other countries and artists from other countries we will provide the opportunity to place their products for free as a promotional offer.</p><p>You can write descriptions in your native language because your products are intended primarily for your country.</p><p>Until we decided how to do multi currency, you can sign in the description of the currency in which the price.</p><p>Our portal will accept all and try to be convenient for all.</p><p>LangeSTORE - http://langestore.ru - http://langestore.com</p>
<p>Thanks so much, this is some useful info. I just discovered their handmade section. Seems interesting. </p>
<p>I would very much like to start a store on your site in order to sell typically Tunisian 100&deg;/&deg; handcraft products. But as your site Handmade at Amazone is not available in Tunisia. I wish to know if you could suggest a way for me to set up a store on your site.</p><p>Thank you in advance.<br>Cordially yours</p>
<p>Eres una genia! Gracias! </p>
Hi jessy! I was going to start an etsy but then learned about handmade at Amazon and read this article and now I don't really know what I should do. How are your sales now compared to before when you weren't putting work into your shop on the site as much? Sorry if this comment has typos. The comment box isn't letting me see more than &quot;hi jessy! I was going to&quot; lol. I appreciate your time -elana
<p>Still not great! I have only made 5 sales, which is terrible compared to Etsy. :\</p><p>Handmade at Amazon is not really the marketplace I was hoping for. Yet again I feel very lost in a sea of things that are not actually handmade, so boo to that. Lots of cheap products from China that are being customized by etching or laser cutting or gluing things on. And loads of "quirky" "handmade" shops that are actually outsourcing their work.</p><p>I think I'd honestly recommend sticking with Etsy and trying your hardest to market outside of Etsy. I've been using Instagram to market and it's been going very well! I have an instructable up over that: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Promote-Your-Business-on-Instagram/</p>
Amazon handmade is horrible I sold a desk for $1600. After I shipped it Amazon refunded the customer!! Even the customer email them and said he got his desk. I still havent seen the money. Amazon and Amazonhand made are not a place for handcrafted good. Artisains are not fulfillment robots. Plus I do about 100k gross on etsy per year. Amazon hand made is about 2k. Horrible. Stay with etsy.
<p>Ohhhhh my lord, that is horrific. I'm so sorry. :( </p><p>I have to admit I've not been feeling so great about Handmade at Amazon lately. It's really turned into the same sort of marketplace Etsy is - loads of stuff that's not *really* handmade. Cheap prints, things etched on cheap glassware, laser-cut-everything, mass produced beads made into gaudy jewelry. Many of the featured artisans are outsourcing their work, too. <br><br>I saw they waived the seller fees for even longer (into 2017, maybe?), but I might not even stay around the whole time. I've only had 5 sales, and I'm really not a fan of the product listings compared to Etsy. </p>
<p>Hi Jessy, <br>Thanks for an interesting and helpful article<br>I wanted to apply to Amazon Hand made but I open the apply form and there are some questions, which I really don't know how to answer to.</p><p>maybe you can help..</p><p>Q1: How many different products do you offer in your primary category? - </p><p>I have rings with words from the dictionary (like at <a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/Junkohol" rel="nofollow">My Etsy Shop</a>) for me each ring is different, because it presents a different word. From another point of view - I have silver sterling ring ,Copper ring, Zinc Alloy ring, narrow ring and thick ring.<br>Which difference makes THE difference for Amazon?</p><p>Q2: Max production per week for one item?<br>For me - It depends which Item this question is asked about. From one Item I can prepare hundreds and from the other only 50.</p><p>I'll be thankful if you could enlighten my way here.</p>
<p>Q1: I believe you should say you have three items: rings, coin purses and clutches. And then you can explain that each of those come in different variations.</p><p>Q2: For this one I just gave my best guess. I have a ton of variety for mine, too. I entered 10 per week - I figure I can make quite a few embroideries and some necklaces during a week!</p><p>But I wouldn't worry about them too much! These questions don't seem to be as critical to the approval process as your products, photos and information. I think these questions are more of a way to vet if you REALLY make your own items. :)<br><br></p>
<p>Thank you very much!</p>
<p>I've applied to AHM, been accepted and uploaded some products. but I haven't had any sales and can't tell if I've had any traffic.</p><p>Unfortunately, there is no direct way to find my category in the drill-down menus- only by search, even though there IS a category (ceiling fixtures) when creating the listings.</p><p>I have all the business I can handle from Etsy, thankfully, so I can afford to wait until the free trial period expires on Amazon before I bail. It actually took nearly half a year before I started getting consistent sales on Etsy, so we'll see.</p>
<p>Thank you SO much for telling me the time Etsy can take! I am not the most patient little monkey. Did you work it with Pinterest and Twitter the whole time you weren't making sales? I've closed down two shops because of it being dead, and mostly because of the huge clique where I would see Etsy promoting the same sellers (butt kissers) over and over! I got not only tired and fed up with their preference for &quot;hipster weirdness&quot;, but I actually became very depressed! Physically ill! I now have another, which can't have the actual name of my business (This is Beautiful) because some buyer already HAS it! So I was forced to use &quot;Shop This is Beautiful smooshed into one big word to make it easier for them! In fact, I'm going now to see if I can add in dots instead of using the dreaded word shop, which I'm told puts people off.</p>
<p>Are you on Instagram? I've been working since the beginning of the year marketing on there - gained 100 new followers on Instagram, and thousands of views and 100s of favorites on Etsy. <br><br>Instagram is definitely the best thing I've found to connect with customers - I post two or three photos throughout the day, so it's fairly low maintenance if you have lots of items and works in progress!</p>
Thanks Jessie, you do so much good work on Instructables! <br>Question-- are fees for credit and debit card processing inuded in the 12% fee Amazon will charge? I used to handle business accounts at PayPal so I know how expensive and frustrating it can be. With AmazonPayments being around and 12% being high for what it does, I hope and assume processing is included though. Thanks :-)
<p>Yep! Absolutely everything is included in the 12% fee. I was worried too, since Etsy has so many little fees, but it's all good!</p>
Yay I got the famous and prolific jessyratfink to respond to me ;-)<br>Thanks again! -Alex.
<p>What about the difference of eBay and Amazon?</p>
<p>Frankly, I plan on entirely avoiding eBay when it comes to my business. People are shady birds over there and handmade doesn't do so well. </p><p>eBay is even worse than Etsy when it comes to resellers, too. Some of the major ones from Etsy even moved to eBay and are selling in the "Artisan Collective" they started. I want to stay as far away from that as I can, honestly!</p><p>However, for selling vintage items or collector's goods (like comic books, action figure, games, etc) eBay can be great! I've sold and bought loads of X-Men stuff and old school RPGs on there. </p><p>eBay's fees are kinda a mix of Etsy and Amazon - you can choose to pay a fee every month and get some free listings, or just pay to list each item. Depending on what you're selling, they'll take 4-10% out of the final purchase price. <a href="http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/ebay-fee-structure/index.html" target="_blank">You can see more about their fees here!</a></p>
<p>Are things selling well enough so far to justify the (to me) sizeable monthly fee?</p>
<p>So far, no. Then again, I also haven't put the work in! I think I'll update this in six month or so as far as success goes. :)</p><p>It took me a long time to build traffic on Etsy, so Amazon might be the same!</p>
<p>Amazon does treat their employees badly, but not half as badly as their associates. If you ship to them, their restock software has been slow to awful, and don't get me started on their warehousing, but our business is stuck working with them. I'd take advantage of the free sales period, but read that contract very carefully and make sure they didn't just buy your content. Also, don't let them drive your prices down; they like to do that for you.</p>
<p>Jessy you need to put these instructions and insights into book form and use the self publishing ebooks at Amazon!! Chandler Bolt puts out a great how to. Let me know if you need some more info.</p>
<p>I can't tell you how happy I am to see this. I've been accepted at <a href="mailto:H@A" rel="nofollow">H@A</a>, another 1-woman show!! I need to wait until after Christmas to set up my 'shop,' and I truly appreciate this tutorial. I have an Etsy account but got in after the merchandise lost it's 'handmade only' look, so I haven't sold there. After being vetted by <a href="mailto:H@A" rel="nofollow">H@A</a>, I feel confident that the merchandise will really be handmade. You've lessened the fear factor for me already and I thank you for sharing.</p>
<p>WOW! Its a great initiative my Amazon, thank you for sharing.</p>
<p>Thank you so much for putting this together! I've been planning on looking into Amazon to sell my jewelry and tutorials, but felt overwhelmed. I can't wait to sit down with your instructable and get started : )</p>
thanks so much for the detailed info.
thanks so much for this info!

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Bio: part of the Instructables Design Studio by day, stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @makingjiggy to see what i'm working on! ^_^
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