Back in October 2015, the handmade world held it’s breath as internet giant Amazon launched Handmade at Amazon and went after a share of the handmade market. Nobody held their breath quite as hard as Etsy though.
Handmade at Amazon was touted as the “Etsy Killer” and article after article was written about how Etsy would meet their demise thanks to the Goliath known as Amazon. Etsy stock instantly plummeted and sellers on Etsy starting quaking in their boots thinking that their selling days at Etsy might be over.
Others hailed Amazon as a new handmade marketplace as Etsy had received lots of bad press for veering away from it’s roots by allowing relationships with manufacturers, wholesale connections and their lack of support for it’s sellers. There has also been loads of complaints about counterfeit goods on Etsy.
The handmade world was divided among panic and whole-hearted embracement.
Handmade at Amazon launched months ago and it certainly has not turned out to be the “Etsy Killer” as originally anticipated. Most sellers had few sales and claimed that it was really difficult to actually locate their items. And then there are the fees. Yes those stinkin’ fees. In August of 2016, Amazon will implement the $39.99 per month fee and it’s sellers are already dreading it and threatening to pullout once Amazon starts charging this fee. (This fee is currently waived until August 2016). Most sellers claim they are not making enough sales to offset the costs of selling on the behemoth site. On top of the monthly fee, there are also commissions on sold items. A whopping 12% !!!! (Minimum fee of 50 cents). Chatter among sellers is that as small crafters, the monthly fee and the commissions make it difficult for them to be as profitable as they would like. The support for their sellers is among the complaints from sellers as well. And Amazon doesn’t really seem to be listening. Shame, shame.
In the meantime, Etsy has sort of stepped up their game. They out together a group of sellers that is meant to help Etsy find out where they are lacking in the minds of it’s sellers. They have also started blasting out more newsletters than anyone on the planet wants to receive (as a way to keep their name in the minds of sellers I suspect). But have they done enough ?
Etsy has loyalty in its followers. That’s for sure. Amazon has a much, much larger pool of buyers. There are pros and cons to each venue.
I, for one, believe that there is room for everybody. As a proud supporter of handmade and the handmade community, I welcome any and all marketplace venues that are going to help the growth of handmade as a whole.
What say you ?