I know many artists were really excited when given the opportunity to apply to be a seller on the newly launched Handmade at Amazon section.

Handmade At Amazon Claims Its Sellers’ Creative LicenseWho wouldn’t feel excited? Big names in the handmade industry such as Martha Stewart and Three Birds Nest were also invited by e-mail to sell there.

So it would be truly an honor to sell side-by-side with these artists.

In addition, Amazon is huge and has a lot of traffic. This takes us out of website maintenance, the Facebook auctions, the face to face selling and all of the other interaction we currently have so that we can spend our time creating instead of conversing.

To some people this sounds like a great thing. Never mind that their fees are higher than any other platform available at 12% plus 50 cents per sale and the $39.99 per month (which is waived until August 2016 for artisans).

It’s Amazon, what can go wrong?

But last week, in a conversation with some members of a Facebook group about the topic “Can handmade at amazon actually kill Etsy?”, the discussion got very interesting when someone commented:

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And another member said:

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Of course, it caught my interest because obviously, who would want to sell his/her original creations on an online marketplace that can claim all creative license of your designs.

So I did some research about it…

And this is what I found:

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Source: Amazon.com Help: Changes To The Participation Agreement – Section 20

I was shocked with what I have just read… dumbfounded, flabbergasted!

I could not believe that they are so blatant about it. Yes, we have the right to exploit you. You give us this right. This right is irrevocable.

My secretary Ganessa is a member of Handmade at Amazon Facebook group so I asked her to post a question in there about this Amazon’s policy to spread awareness and maybe have someone to explain to its members about this creative license issue that might threaten its sellers’ intellectual property.

And maybe… just maybe, Amazon.com has a separate terms and conditions with Handmade at Amazon.

One member replied to the question, “That’s not true! Content is different from materials, etc etc”

But honestly, I wasn’t convinced with her reply.

Next morning, the post was DELETED!

So here we are left with so many questions.

My advice to all handmade sellers, please do your own research before you sell on any online handmade marketplace. Do not forget to read their terms and conditions to protect you and your business.

I hope this concern reaches the people behind Handmade at Amazon and explain to us the truth about their participation agreement. I am sure they have a good explanation or reason for it.

Please share this post and let us know what you think.

Gary Capps

I live in the one of the most beautiful places in the world on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with my wife and our 2 dogs, Poppy and Mia. Since 2009 I have helped over 15,000 handmade business owners to grow their business with our software and free tools designed for todays entrepreneurial artisan.

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8 Responses to “Handmade At Amazon Claims Its Sellers’ Creative License – A Must Read!”

  1. Christine M 23. Jan, 2016 at 9:43 pm #

    No, it has absolutely nothing to do with the artwork itself. It refers to the right to use your photos for promotional purposes. Facebook, Etsy, Pinterest all use similar disclaimers.

  2. Sierra 23. Jan, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    This legalese simply means that Amazon has the right to use seller’s images and words for ADVERTISING PURPOSES. They DO NOT have the right to steal seller’s designs, copyrights, trademarks, etc.

    This wording has been debunked on numerous web sites and by Amazon themselves. PLEASE do your due diligence before posting this type of article; not doing so reflects very poorly on you.

    • Gary Capps 28. Jan, 2016 at 5:05 am #

      Thanks Sierra. Our research and links to it are in the article. Very happy to find out more info that we can share with our readers if you have it.

  3. EILEEN NUYEN 23. Jan, 2016 at 4:22 pm #

    It specifically states “creative derivative’ so I would say that they can have a right to your crafts.

  4. Tenecia 23. Jan, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

    Hahaha. Etsy states pretty much the same. But because of this nonsense Amazon has clarified it:

    Here, copied and pasted from Amazon’s Handmade FAQ:

    Intellectual Property

    You represent that you have all necessary rights to list and sell each product that you offer in the Handmade Category, including all Intellectual Property Rights as defined in your seller agreement.

    We respect the intellectual property rights of the Artisans who sell on Handmade at Amazon. The goal of Handmade at Amazon is to provide customers with an opportunity to buy unique products directly from the Artisans who make them. We do not take the view that your seller agreement gives us the right to reproduce your products as a result of them being offered in the Handmade Category. The rights you grant us allow us to promote your products across multiple channels and help you grow your business on Amazon.

    • Gary Capps 28. Jan, 2016 at 5:08 am #

      Thanks Tenecia for posting that 🙂

  5. Robyn 23. Jan, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

    Good grief, more fearmongering… This was discussed and settled everywhere months ago. Here, copied and pasted from Amazon’s Handmade FAQ:

    Intellectual Property

    You represent that you have all necessary rights to list and sell each product that you offer in the Handmade Category, including all Intellectual Property Rights as defined in your seller agreement.

    We respect the intellectual property rights of the Artisans who sell on Handmade at Amazon. The goal of Handmade at Amazon is to provide customers with an opportunity to buy unique products directly from the Artisans who make them. We do not take the view that your seller agreement gives us the right to reproduce your products as a result of them being offered in the Handmade Category. The rights you grant us allow us to promote your products across multiple channels and help you grow your business on Amazon.

    • Gary Capps 28. Jan, 2016 at 5:09 am #

      Not trying to fear monger Robyn, we have nothing to gain from that, just encouraging people to be aware of what they are signing up for and do their own due diligence. Thanks for your input.

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