Amazon sellers who want to improve their revenue are always on the search for profitable niches or categories. Amazon Handmade category is among the categories that offer a high-profit margin, with a reported average profit margin of 26%.
Some Amazon sellers, new and experienced alike, are not that familiar with the Handmade category of Amazon. To give you a better understanding of the Handmade category in Amazon, we have outlined frequently asked questions about Amazon Handmade.
- What Does Amazon Handmade Mean?
- Is Amazon Handmade Different From Amazon?
- How Can I Become an Amazon Handmade Seller?
- What Questions Will Amazon Ask During the Application?
- What Are the Eligibility Requirements in the Amazon Handmade Store?
- What Methods are used in Finding Amazon Product to Sell?
- What Fees are Involved in the Amazon Handmade Category?
- What Listing Categories are Available in Amazon Handmade?
- What Issues Do Sellers Face on Amazon Handmade?
- Should I venture into Amazon Handmade in 2020?
- How Can I Maximize My Amazon Handmade Store?
- Start Your Own Handmade Business Today
What Does Amazon Handmade Mean?
Amazon Handmade is an exclusive community for artisans created by Amazon to accommodate the growing population of interested online sellers who are mostly artists and crafters. This particular marketplace is designed to showcase various handcrafted goods.
From a marketing perspective, Amazon Handmade is the eCommerce giant’s way of challenging the increasing popularity and dominance of Etsy, another eCommerce site focused on handmade and craft supplies.
Viewing it from a platform perspective and functionality-wise, one can say that Amazon Handmade in itself is a “microsite” dedicated to catering to the handcrafted goods of artisans. As a microsite, Handmade caters to around 30 countries.
Is Amazon Handmade Different From Amazon?
The idea of microsite as espoused by other Amazon sellers can be confusing for newbie online sellers. The concept of qualification and exclusivity adds more to the confusion.
However, Amazon sellers should not be perplexed about the two terms. Amazon Handmade is not a separate entity or another marketplace. Amazon Handmade is actually its own category in the Amazon marketplace, similar to Books and Beauty & Personal Care.
It so happened that Handmade caters to unique products that Amazon has to provide subcategories like Jewelry, Kitchen & Dining, Beauty & Grooming, Toys & Games, most of which are named after other Amazon main categories.
How Can I Become an Amazon Handmade Seller?
Amazon has stipulated guidelines on its website to help would be Amazon Handmade sellers in their application.
Yes, unlike other platforms that focus on handicraft items, becoming a seller under Amazon Handmade category requires approval from Amazon. Since the company is quite particular about their reputation and the quality of the product and services they deliver, a vetting process has been implemented.
In brief, the steps involved in becoming a Handmade seller includes four simple steps:
STEP 1: Apply online to become an Artisan
STEP 2: Create a Seller Central account and complete registration
STEP 3: List your handmade products
STEP 4: Leverage programs to manage and grow your Amazon business
What Questions Will Amazon Ask During the Application?
At the beginning of the application process, you will be asked to fill-up and submit an application form or formally known as the “Maker Application.”
The Maker Application is geared towards Amazon understanding you as an artisan and the value you offer as an Amazon seller. The first portion of the application form will ask you about your name and email address. Similarly, to gauge what type of maker you are, Amazon will also ask whether you work alone or work with others.
Amazon Seller Central: Screenshot of Maker Application, Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://amzn.to/3072ZwS
The succeeding questions on the application form focus more on the product. This normally includes product description and category, product image sample, and the step-by-step description of the process involved in creating your products.
In summary, the questions that will be asked are headlined in a manner shown below:
- Tell us about you
- Tell us about your work
- Tell us about your products and processes
- Show us your work (images are required)
- Select your product category
What Are the Eligibility Requirements in the Amazon Handmade Store?
Since Amazon is quite strict with product admission, Amazon sellers should know whether the product they are planning to create or sell on Amazon Handmade is appropriate for the category.
Amazon specifically requires the design and production of the inventory items to be done by the seller or a small group of family members/employees, preferably fewer than 20 people.
Amazon would like to differentiate handmade from mass-manufactured goods, which is why products under Handmade should only be produced through hand tools and light machinery utilized within homes, studios, or workspace. Mass production utilizing automation technology or assembly lines are prohibited. Click Here for Complete Product Eligibility Guidelines!
The Following Are Prohibited in Amazon Handmade:
- Outsourcing of product production
- Drop-shipping of products
- Reselling products by third parties
- Digital/downloadable products, food/grocery items, and electronics
Despite Amazon being strict with product eligibility, the company still provides leeway for sellers. Hand-altered, pre-made items, upcycling, and repurposing of items are allowed, provided it does not violate listing policies and requirements.
What Are the Methods to Find Amazon Products to Sell?
For a craftsman or artisan, producing a product is never a problem, especially if the right tools and materials are readily available. Asking what product to sell on Amazon Handmade is somehow inadequate, especially for artists.
What you should be asking is what in-demand products should you sell in the Handmade category. With that, you will need to use some tools to guide you.
You may make use of Google Trends to give you inspiration on what particular product you will have to create that will actually sell. Alternatively, you may also check Etsy for inspiration of saleable products.
Remember, you are simply using them for inspiration, and not to create an exact duplicate product. Click Here to Know More About Intellectual Property Policy for Sellers.
What Are the Fees Involved in the Amazon Handmade Category?
Unlike other categories, Amazon sellers enrolled in the Handmade category will not pay the professional selling fee. Fees were waived along with the listing fee and monthly subscription fee.
However, a referral fee is still present under Amazon Handmade. Sellers will have to pay a referral fee on each product sold, and this may be “via a flat percentage rate or a per-item minimum fee, whichever is greater.” See the image below for reference.
Amazon Seller Central: Screenshot of Handmade Referral Fees, Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://amzn.to/30P9PpY
What Listing Categories are Available in Amazon Handmade?
As previously mentioned, Amazon Handmade has sub-categories for sellers to choose from. To give you a better view of your options, here are the listing categories available in the Handmade.
- Handmade Baby
- Handmade Artwork
- Handmade Pet Supplies
- Handmade Toys & Games
- Handmade Home & Kitchen
- Handmade Sports & Outdoors
- Handmade Beauty & Grooming
- Handmade Jewelry & Watches
- Handmade Health & Personal Care
- Handmade Electronics Accessories
- Handmade Stationery & Party Supplies
- Handmade Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
What Issues Do Sellers Face on Amazon Handmade?
Amazon, as compared to Etsy, is relatively new to the handicraft niche. Thus, explaining some issues being raised by Handmade sellers.
Some new sellers, especially those who already have experience selling on other platforms, find the dashboard of Handmade a bit overwhelming due to its numerous components. Sellers who are not familiar with Amazon are having some problems with their artisan profiles and Handmade search issues.
Other sellers were also complaining about the delay in receiving payments for their items. Some sellers had to wait up for almost 6 weeks for the payment. However, worth noting that such a payment mechanism was placed by Amazon to protect buyers in case of any dispute or potential product return.
Similarly, if you are an online seller wanting to venture into the Handmade category of Amazon, you will also have to expect 1-2 weeks approval window for your Handmade application, which is relatively longer as compared to other websites.
Should I venture into Amazon Handmade in 2020?
Despite the issues being raised on the Amazon Seller Central forum page, venturing into Handmade as an Amazon seller has been proven to be profitable.
In terms of profitability, it was previously pointed out that the Handmade category offers a potential average profit margin of 26%. Such a high margin can be attributed to the massive reach of Amazon as a brand and an eCommerce store.
As compared to other eCommerce stores, Amazon’s revenue has climbed over 1000% in the past decade. And as of 2019, the company’s annual revenue was $280.52 billion. And in the same year, Amazon also accounted for almost half of the U.S. eCommerce sales.
Furthermore, apart from profitability, market influence, and massive reach of Amazon, Handmade sellers also find Amazon as an affordable platform. Amazon has waived some of its sellers’ fees to attract more artisans and sellers to its platform.
The company has waived its professional selling fee of $39.99, along with the monthly subscription fee and listing fee.
In terms of logistics and fulfillment, you may also opt to enroll in the Amazon FBA program so that Amazon will be the one to pick, pack, and ship your handmade items. If you want Amazon to handle your Handmade products you may CLICK HERE.
How Can I Maximize My Amazon Handmade Store?
Like any other online selling platform, Handmade has its own pros and cons. However, this does not mean that you are incapable of employing methods that will enhance the engagement and conversion of your Amazon store.
Similar to other Amazon FBA sellers, Handmade sellers may take advantage of Amazon seller tools to improve their business.
For calculating fees, Amazon sellers may make use of the Amazon FBA calculator. When it comes to a strategic repricing method, you can depend on an Algorithmic repricer, such as Seller Snap, to automate your repricing strategy.
Apart from its default AI setting, Seller Snap also allows you to create your own repricing rule to suit specific Buy Box scenarios. Such a customizable feature of Seller Snap was previously discussed in one of our Amazon Buy Box articles.
Another way to maximize your Amazon Handmade business is through proper optimization and the use of Amazon SEO. An avenue for optimization includes your artisan profile and its three sections that need to be filled in.
To increase the credibility and aesthetic value of your Handmade store, you should also utilize professional photos for your products and showcasing of your workspace. If you have no time to do product photography, our friends from FreeUp can recommend experts to help you.
Start Your Own Handmade Business Today
The facts and scenarios we have outlined above provide you a window on what to expect when it comes to selling handmade products online. Whether you choose Amazon Handmade category or other online selling platforms, it is the commitment to your business and passion for customer service that will make you unique among other sellers online.
Hopefully, the frequently asked questions and facts we have outlined above have given you some guidance and inspiration to pursue your plans of venturing into the handmade industry.