Are you looking for reliable online handmade marketplaces aside from Etsy? Amazon’s new marketplace might hold your interest.
Over the past few days, Etsy “makers,” the independent artisans that sell handmade items from jewelry to handmade soaps, have been receiving emails from Amazon, surveying their interest in a new platform that the e-commerce behemoth is preparing to launch called Amazon Handmade.
Etsy has carved out a cozy corner of cyberspace where the makers of handcrafted items and sellers of vintage items gather to reach an audience. Etsy has been able to stand out successfully in the otherwise cutthroat climate of e-tail. There were 1.4 million active sellers on Etsy last year, and their goods were snapped up by 19.8 million active buyers.
Etsy vs. Amazon – Rates
Etsy currently offers very competitive rates to handmade sellers trying to grow their own cottage industries. Etsy charges just 20 cents to list an item on its site for four months. It then charges just 3.5 percent of the subsequent sale.
Amazon offers vendors big and small access to its growing audience. Amazon doesn’t charge any listing fees for individuals looking to sell no more than 40 items a month through the site, but it does charge them 99 cents for each sale, and then we get into variable costs that typically consume another 6 percent to 15 percent of the ultimate sale, depending on the product category.
Amazon Handmade could have its hands full if it prices itself out of Etsy’s vendor base, but there’s also something to be said about the new platform providing incremental sales. If the fees are fair, there’s no reason a talented artisan can’t sell through both digital storefronts. Amazon would expand a craftsman’s client base, and there isn’t anything wrong with that.
Now we have the Amazon challenge, which at the very least will draw attention away from Etsy as the marketplace of choice for handmade goods. If Amazon promotes Amazon Handmade with the same kind of home-page marketing push that it has used to promote Kindle products in the past, it’s going to draw a crowd. That’s great news for potential sellers on the new site, but it may not be such good news for Etsy itself.
Advantages Of Amazon Over Etsy
Amazon has a few distinct advantages upon entering this arena, first among them being an enormous shipping network that is already in place worldwide. Also, the number of Etsy’s active buyers, a growing 20.8 million, seems unsubstantial in comparison to Amazon’s 278 million active accounts. Amazon’s large customer base could be very appealing to many Etsy sellers hoping to gain more online traction. In case that wasn’t enough to scare Etsy, they may be in some financial trouble after going public, seeing Etsy’s stock shares crashed by 50% in less than 2 months, and reporting a $36.6 million loss in the first quarter of the year.
However, Etsy has one point in its corner. The Brooklyn-based company charges its sellers a paltry 3.5% commission, pennies in comparison to Amazon’s 15% cut.
Will Amazon’s presence in this niche be a threat to Etsy? Will it expand consumer appetite for handmade products? We still don’t have all of the answers, but you can check it out if it suits your business goals in this space in the coming months.
So for now, do you think you’ll be comfortable in selling in this new platform? What are your thoughts about it? Please let us know in the comment box below.