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Is “Amazon Handmade” a good way for crafters to make money online from their work?
Woo – I’ve just discovered “Amazon Handmade”. It’s another possible outlet for artists and crafters (and Amazon, of course) to make money from home via their creations.
But is it a good outlet? See below to read about my research so far:
Apparently it’s actually been around since 2015, so I am obviously a bit late in catching on, but just in case anyone else is, here is a quick summary of what I’ve discovered today:
What is Amazon Handmade?
This is their description (that I found here):
“Amazon Handmade is a store on Amazon.co.uk for invited Artisans to sell their one-of-a-kind, handcrafted goods to our millions of customers worldwide. Explore categories like Home Décor, Jewellery, and much more!”
…in other words, it sounds a bit like “Not on the High Street“, because (1) you have to apply to be a seller, and (2) they are looking for personalised/OOAK items.
What are their criteria for suitable sellers?
Check out their ‘Frequently Asked Questions‘ section, but basically it looks like they prefer businesses with fewer than 20 employees who make their own designs (and don’t assemble items from a kit) and don’t mass-produce their items.
I’m definitely confident that my artwork is of a good enough standard, but I’m not sure that using a laser cutter counts as ‘handmade’. Then again, if people make artworks using a sewing machine instead of sewing by hand, I’m pretty sure that still counts as handmade, and to me there is not much difference. Especially with the fancy digital sewing machines that now exist, where you can choose from many different fonts and designs, and can program them to (e.g.) embroider someone’s name onto some fabric.
How to find out more information
The first step is probably to go straight to their info page: https://services.amazon.co.uk/handmade.html?ld=AZUKHNDSF0318
…but you can also check out some more info in the links below. These lukewarm and/or just plain scary articles appeared towards the top of my Google search for “Amazon Handmade”, and made me slightly worried about what I would be getting myself into if I signed up for it:
- Article that compares Etsy and Amazon Handmade
- Huffington Post article claiming we should be very afraid of Amazon Handmade
- Article detailing why we most definitely should NOT use Amazon Handmade
But here goes anyway – I am attempting to apply to be a seller.
It’s a very detailed application, actually – they ask for a description of how you make the items, and the environment you work in, etc. So before you start applying it might be a good idea to take a photo of your workspace/studio, and of your typical production process. (I had no idea how to show that in one photo, so I sort of cheated and took a screenshot of a typed message giving them a link to a blog article where I’d already shown an example of how I create my work.)
…Once I’d traipsed round the house taking photos of my work/workspace and uploading photos and filling in the forms, there was a chance to review the previous answers. I tweaked a couple of them and then clicked ‘Submit’.
And then they confirmed that my application had been received.
I’ll post an update once I receive confirmation about whether I’m accepted or now, but for now I just have to wait…
How to apply
If you’re the same as me and want to see for yourself whether it’s worth a try, then go to the main home page for Amazon Handmade and at the top right a link says “Sell on Handmade”:
Well, I’ve only applied just now, so I’ll add an update when I hear back from Amazon. In the meantime though, have you tried Amazon Handmade? Did they allow you to become a seller? What do you sell? How is it going? Have you read (or written!) any of the articles claiming what a terrible idea it is to sell through Amazon Handmade? Please let me know via the comments section, contact us page, Twitter, or Facebook. Thanks!
Update – I was accepted!
It only took two or three days for them to email me back, and it was with a message that I’d been accepted. Now for the hard bit – setting it up!