Handicrafts are no longer associated with grandma generations. The Association of Creative Industries said that Millennials and Gen Y make up 41% of its handcrafters. Handcrafted and handmade products are rising in demand and popularity, earning $718 billion in 2020, proving it to be a viable business.
Newbies or professional crafters out to spread their markets globally have an excellent opportunity to expand overseas and profit from it. As you consult for a professional selling plan and set up your own website with a professional selling account for your handmade items, you should also consider joining Amazon Handmade.
Opened in 2015 by e-commerce giant Amazon, Amazon Handmade is the latest online marketplace for the handmade category. Here, artisans and small businesses can sell their products and creations directly to customers all over the world. It’s easy to join, we will show you how, and there are also tutorial blogs and Youtube videos on how to sell on Amazon Handmade.
With the Amazon worldwide customer base and its lineup of features designed to help sellers succeed, it’s no wonder aboutamazonnews.com reported that more than 1 million handmade sellers coming from more than 80 countries had joined the platform. It added that over 100k artisans have netted more than $1M for their handmade goods in 2020 alone!
Since then, the pandemic has driven the popularity of e-commerce so much, and Amazon, the most extensive online marketplace, profited greatly from the lockdowns and people all over the world doing almost everything remotely, that is, online. In fact, as of 2021 first quarter, its profit was $8.1 billion, soaring from $2.5 billion the previous year.
Selling on Amazon Handmade by putting up your virtual handmade store is an excellent way to build a side hustle of a handmade goods business that could grow into your full-time profession. With clear guidelines and the right strategies in a well-prepared professional selling plan, you’ll be able to reach Amazon customers worldwide and maximize your earnings potential.
In this article, we’ll provide detailed steps to create an attractive shop, upload photos and descriptions of your handcrafted products, use reviews to increase customer trust, and everything you need to know about how to sell on Amazon Handmade and profit from your Amazon Handmade business.
How Does Amazon Handmade Work?
Amazon Handmade is an online store, also called a handmade platform that sells handmade items quite simply and efficiently. All products must have been handmade or handcrafted, not mass-produced products, by small businesses or cooperatives.
There is a strict application process that is easy to follow as long as you are ready with all the required documents and information. You will have to answer several questions and submit photos (of your products and production process) because Amazon Handmade wants to make sure that your products are authentic handmade goods.
Then you choose the fulfillment method for the shipment of your items. You can choose between Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) or Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM). In the first method, you send your products to Amazon to package, store and ship to the customers. In the second method, you do the packing and shipping yourself, including putting on the shipping labels.
Once your seller account application is approved you will be invited to Amazon Handmade’s artisan-only community as a seller.
What Can I Sell on Amazon Handmade?
Amazon accepts three kinds of handmade items: handmade or handcrafted, hand-altered, or customized. Amazon Handmade does not permit resell or drop-shipping. All Amazon Handmade products must be made by either you or your staff.
Amazon Handmade currently offers 14 handmade category options in which you can sell your product. Categories of Amazon Handmade products include
- Beauty & Personal Care
- Shoes & Handbags
- Outdoor & Home Care
- Jewelry & Watches
- Kitchen & Dining
- Pet Supplies
- Sporting Goods
- Stationery & Party Supplies
- Toys & Games.
If you don’t see your product category listed, this means Amazon Handmade does not allow the sale of those items in the Handmade store. Restricted categories for now, although popular, are Digital or Downloadable Products, Food & Grocery items, and Electronics.
You may consider registering to sell and listing your products in another Amazon store, or check back in the future to see if the category becomes available on Handmade.
What Products to Sell on Amazon Handmade?
What handmade products will you sell on Amazon Handmade? That is if you are still a newbie handcrafter business. You would naturally wish for all your product offerings to be sold so you could earn a profit.
Here are factors to consider when choosing your product to sell on Amazon Handmade.
- Study the top-performing products: Amazon has a Best Sellers list that features the most popular items on its website, based on sales volume. The page is updated hourly and by category. Browsing through this page will give you insights as to the handcrafted products that are popular and guide your listings as you make your professional seller account.
- Validate the competition: Google trends will come in handy for this purpose.
- Product must be easy to sell and ship: This is where Amazon FBA comes in handy in this crucial process of online selling.
- Product must not be in Amazon’s restricted category: Check out Amazon Handmade listing categories.
- Ensure you have various products in stock: The most successful Amazon Handmade stores go to market with more than one product. Just browse any Seller on the platform and you’ll see at least three to five products. You would want to be prepared with multiple (or at least multiple variations) of your crafted wares.
How to Get Started with Amazon Handmade?
To sell on Amazon Handmade first create an Amazon Handmade seller account. Amazon Handmade is strict in screening applicants. They just want to ensure that the applicant is going to sell handmade products genuinely made by hand because they do not allow mass-produced items.
The Amazon Handmade account application process itself is easy to follow.
- Create a seller central account
- Submit the application
- Wait for approval of your application – Because of their intense scrutiny of applications, waiting for approval could be as long as two weeks. Note that approval comes with a waiver of the professional selling fee, also called the monthly subscription fee, after the first month, as mentioned on the Amazon Handmade website.
- List your products – Amazon Handmade Seller Guide gives valuable tips for setting up your shop, from preparing your photos and artisan profile to creating your listings;
- Manage and grow your business – Another Amazon Guide is the Getting Started Guide which provides all the possible information you would wish to know about how to sell handmade items.
By following the application process procedures above, you get your professional seller account and then start selling handmade items on Amazon Handmade. With a customer base of over 300 million people and, 200 million paying Amazon Prime members as of December 2022, Amazon provides an incredible opportunity for crafters and small business owners alike.
Creating an Amazon Handmade Seller Account
You have to first set up a Professional Seller account where you will give information about yourself, a detailed description of your products, and the production process. Then you apply to join Amazon Handmade. You will get the link to the application site after you submit the required information.
Before you sign up, make sure you’re ready with the following:
- Business email address or Amazon customer account
- Internationally chargeable credit card
- Government ID (identity verification protects sellers and customers)
- Tax information
- Phone number
- A bank account where Amazon can send you proceeds from your sales
Create Your Artisan Profile
When you decide to sell on Amazon Handmade, you sign up on Amazon Seller Central for your professional seller account. Seller Central is the sellers’ portal where sellers can see all their sales activity like inventory management, pricing update, communication with buyers, contacting selling partner support, adding products to their listing, check out their account health.
You need to create an Artisan Profile in Settings, which will include your photo and photos of your products and your production process. This page is your store and is a fantastic way to show off yourself (like describe the story of your handcrafting journey), amaze customers with your products to inspire them to buy with creatively laid-out photos of your finished products, your work area and production process that will show everything is done by hand.
Besides promoting your business to the artisan community, the Artisan Profile enables customers to locate you when they search to purchase handmade products. As your virtual store, your Artisan Profile must reflect you and your crafts and craftsmanship!
Complete the Application Process for Handmade at Amazon
On the Seller Central page, you will answer questions regarding your handmade products or handcrafted goods and include photographs. You will need to detail how you or your employees who number no more than twenty, make each handmade product. Photos of various stages of your production process, including your workspace, will be excellent supporting documents for your application.
Uploading Product Photos and Descriptions
To successfully boost your goods on Amazon Handmade, it is important to provide high-quality product photos and detailed descriptions. Take note:
- All product images should be in JPEG or PNG format with a minimum of 1000 pixels in width or height.
- Descriptions should include detailed information about the item such as materials used, dimensions, and any special care instructions.
- Providing accurate information will help customers make informed decisions
- Add pricing information for each item.
- Ensure product descriptions are accurate and up to date.
Building Brand Recognition with Excellent Reviews
Building brand recognition and trust with potential customers is critical for successful selling on Amazon Handmade. Gathering excellent reviews from previous customers can help develop trust among your customers, boost your reputation, and increase sales. Ensure that your product description, photos, and customer service are top-notch so that customers will happily leave positive feedback.
Respond promptly to any customer inquiries and provide a satisfactory resolution to issues if they arise, to show you care about their experience with your products and gain not just their trust but their loyalty! Getting their trust and loyalty will grant you satisfied customers who are more likely to leave positive reviews and become returning customers.
When you get positive reviews, thank the customer for their purchase and provide additional information to build relationships and drive future sales. Reply to negative reviews or complaints like inaccurate shipping labels, professionally by offering an apology and letting the customer know how you plan to improve their experience.
Listing Products on Amazon Handmade
This is the step in the process where you show the Amazon world your products and creations! There are two things you should be aware of when making your Amazon Handmade listings.
- Amazon Handmade does not yet have many categories for various products, so check out the categories where your products could be listed.
- There is a listing editor that has customization options, including putting in the processing time for each product you list.
This step isn’t tricky or tedious. The seller portal will walk you through the process, plus there are several tutorial resources on the Amazon website for e-commerce newbies. If you fill in the correct information in the description, tags, meta descriptions, etc., Amazon will help you present and promote your goods to match people’s searches.
What are the Amazon Handmade Seller Fees?
Signing up to be part of Amazon Handmade does not incur processing, transaction, or listing fees. Members of the community will be deducted a 15% referral fee for every sale of handcrafted products in the marketplace. There is also no requirement for UPC (universal product code) to be generated for each product.
When you register for a Professional Seller Account, Amazon Handmade provides you with Handmade-specific tools and support for your business. The Amazon selling programs website says that the Professional Selling plan that costs a seller $39.99 monthly will be waived for approved Amazon Handmade applicants after the first month.
How to Fulfill Your Orders: FBA or FBM?
What Is the Amazon FBA?
Amazon FBA is an Amazon program that allows sellers access to Amazon’s fulfillment centers all over the world. If you choose Amazon FBA for your fulfillment, you can store your products in any fulfillment centers or Amazon warehouse. Other services you can get from choosing Amazon FBA are easy returns, automatic Prime eligibility, and free super saver shipping, all designed to help your business thrive.
FBM, Fulfillment by Merchant is the option of doing the shipping yourself. For this option, you pay Amazon shipping fees, based on your product category and the shipping service you prefer.
How Does Amazon FBA Work?
Here’s how Amazon FBA service works.
- You sign up for Amazon FBA at $39.99 monthly + selling fees depending on your specific inventory.
- You create your product listings, prepare them according to Amazon’s standards, and ship them to a fulfillment center or Amazon warehouse.
- Upon arrival, the products are held and fulfilled by Amazon’s inventory management staff.
- In addition to fulfilling your orders in the standard Prime 2-day shipping window, Amazon will handle any customer service, refunds, or returns.
The FBA is the service that has given Amazon dominance in the e-commerce world. It won’t be difficult for sellers to crunch the numbers and come up with the conclusion that in the final analysis, joining Amazon FBA will do their business more profit and give them less or no headache.
It is recommended to fulfill your orders with FBA if you decide to start your Amazon Handmade business.
Is Amazon Handmade the Right Platform for You?
Amazon Handmade vs Etsy
Amazon’s vast numbers of consumers blow every market. Amazon has more than 2.4 billion monthly users, and almost 90% of all U.S. customers shop online. Amazon Handmade has an enormous market, which can only be due to massive traffic, which grows constantly.
From 2005, Etsy dominated the handmade category among online platforms worldwide. Then in 2015, Amazon Handmade came into the picture. The new kid on the block has proven to be a tough competitor and caught up in popularity and revenues, both for the platform and its sellers.
The following table could explain in one glance the reasons for Amazon Handmade’s quick rise to its prime position in handmade ecommerce.
|Nature of products||Almost anything as long as it’s legal*||Unique handcrafted or vintage goods|
|Sellers||Through subsidiaries||Through independent sellers|
|Sign up Process||Does not allow sellers and buyers to sign up using their Facebook accounts||Allows sellers and buyers to sign up by using their Facebook accounts|
|Incentives||Prime free shipping||Loyalty incentive|
|Setting up Fee||With payment||For free|
|Commission Rate||Commission rate is much higher and less standardized||Only takes 3.5 percent commission|
|Competition||Competition is low||Competition is high|
|Shopfront||Does not provide any shopfront customization**||Offers some customization tools, although not extensive|
*Clarification: Anything handmade, handcrafted or hand-altered
**Note: Amazon Handmade, as you read in setting up the account, is now customizable.
Where you choose to set up your shop will depend on your target audience and business model. If you sell a high volume of products at relatively low individual price points, Amazon Handmade, with its fulfillment assistance and free product listings, might be the right choice for you.
On the other hand, if you require a few listings and expect to bring in a more significant dollar figure per sale, Etsy’s lower percentage cost per individual transaction will likely compensate for the 20¢ per quarter that you pay for product listing fees.
If you’re still not sure whether selling on Amazon Handmade or selling on Etsy is right for you, try running the math on a few different scenarios to see which platform is best positioned to help your shop succeed. After all, you’ve put your labor, creativity, and even love into your craft. It’s time to show the world what that looks like.
Amazon Handmade Pros and Cons
Amazon Handmade has many advantages when it comes to selling online. Amazon Handmade’s unrivaled customer base and low competition give a fantastic opportunity to attract customers worldwide, as part of the e-commerce behemoth Amazon company.
It has a number of great selling advantages. Its e-commerce supremacy is evident in its presence in 110 fulfillment centers in the US and 185 warehouses all around the world.
To help you make an objective decision, here are the pros and cons of selling on Amazon Handmade.
Pros of Selling in Amazon Handmade:
- Wide Customer reach – Being integrated into the Amazon Marketplace, Amazon Handmade sellers reach and are accessible to a massive buying market globally. At the same time, Amazon Handmade listings can be customized to make your products easily searchable.
- You don’t pay any Listing fee – Sellers pay for their listed products only when it is sold.
- Accessible customer service – Customer support is quick and accessible. The shipping process is straightforward and convenient for both sellers and buyers.
- Complimentary professional plan – Amazon Handmade seller account options are individual and professional plans. The professional plan has additional free features not present in the individual plan.
- Long-term listing – Amazon Handmade sellers can keep their listings up. There is no expiration meaning there is no need for periodic renewal of a listing fee.
Cons of Selling on Amazon Handmade:
- Time-consuming listing process – Listing products on Amazon Handmade takes weeks, even months because of the strict vetting process of applications. The company wants to ensure the applicant will sell handmade products that are authentic and genuine handmade, handcrafted, or hand-altered ONLY.
- The interface is not user-friendly – The Seller Dashboard could be tricky to navigate for newbies to the online business community. It’s better to get acquainted with its interface prior to making the product listings.
- Competition – Amazon Handmade sellers compete not only with other artisan sellers but also with in-house (Amazon products) listed next to your store.
- Selling fees – Amazon Handmade has a flat 15% selling fee for every item sold. This fee is considerably higher than in other market platforms and could deter a seller from joining.
- Limited listing categories – There are currently only 14 categories for product listings. This could change in the future because there were only 12 categories when Amazon Handmade was started.
Amazon Handmade is the ideal online marketplace for your 100% handmade or handcrafted goods. The application process, though tedious, can assure sellers of showing off the authenticity of their goods and motivating customers to buy them.
When you get approved to join the Amazon Handmade artisan seller community, you will be able to list your products creatively and start your global selling venture. Further assurance of your potential success is Amazon FBA’s two-day shipping offer for Amazon Prime members. The current 14 listing categories are bound to increase in the future.
With Amazon’s mammoth-like customer base, you could be among the 63% of Amazon Handmade sellers who make more than $1,000 monthly in sales. That is only the average earning potential in Amazon Handmade, according to foundr.com’s recent article.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it hard to get approved for Amazon Handmade?
A: Amazon Handmade requires you to meet certain criteria before you can set up a store and start selling. While the approval process is not overly complicated or difficult, it does involve providing documentation and evidence of your business and products. Ultimately, if you meet the eligibility requirements and provide the necessary information, approval should be straightforward.
Q: How long does it take to get approved for Amazon Handmade?
A: Approval for Amazon Handmade usually takes around two to three business days, however, some applications may take longer. Rejection notices can also take up to a week. Applicants should ensure they have met the eligibility criteria and that their application is as complete as possible to help speed up the process.
Q: What can I sell on Amazon Handmade?
A: On Amazon Handmade, you will be approved to sell genuinely handmade, handcrafted, or hand-altered items that you provide proof that you did without any factory-like assembly line procedures. The product categories for Amazon Handmade are discussed above.
Q: What are the Amazon Handmade seller fees?
A: When you are approved to sell on Amazon Handmade after completing your professional seller account, your monthly subscription fee is then waived. There are no listing fees and no hidden fees. There is only the 15% referral fee which is deducted from your earning for each item sold.
Q: What are the Amazon Handmade advertising fees?
Q: Is Selling on Amazon Handmade Worth it?
A: Selling on Amazon Handmade is assuredly worth it, especially for artisans and craftspeople who want to take advantage of the massive Amazon customer base.
Amazon Handmade is relatively new in the online marketplace but it has a straightforward fee structure and access to Amazon’s advertising system. Artisans and crafters of authentic handmade and handcrafted items would be joining the 63% handmade sellers making more than $1,000 in monthly sales.