NSFE: What is the point of Amazon handmade

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The point of Handmade is to allow Chinese sellers to be able to sell factory made products from Alibaba or Aliexpress without having to pay the $40/mo professional fee, or a Jewelry Category testing fee. Oh… and as a secondary reason, maybe not have to provide a UPC for unique handmade product.

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we were really hoping for so much better :crying_cat_face:

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See I was always under the impression that hand made sellers had to have a majority of items, um, hand made. Then one day I heard about hand made prime and had to think, ok yeah make a small stock of items and send them to FBA.

Now it just seems like hand made is being abused (just like the rest of Amazon).

Sad

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We were just approved in handmade.
We have a line of items that are, in fact, HANDMADE.
It is far more convenient using handmade so no UPC for each item is needed(we have 100 minimum)
It is distressing that items that are not handmade have found themselves dominating this area.

Does anyone know if handmade items come up in search or if the buyer has to go into handmade to search there for the item?
Appreciate any help.

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Yes, it’s possible for a handmade item to come up in a search without the buyer filtering for handmade. The item would usually need to have some sales history and good reviews. If there are thousands of similar marketplace offerings, the handmade item will typically get pushed back (sometimes so far back as to not show up at all) in search results because the sales volume for most handmade items doesn’t match mass produced items.

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Let us not forget, sellers from anywhere, most likely the Asian Basin, can sign up for Amazon Handmade. Then they do not pay the $40 fee. Then they can sell on the commercial side. And never pay a fee, since the original concept of 40 items if you go over you start to pay, was suspended.

Said an Amazon Handmade Seller that started, and continues to sell on the Commercial side. And pay the fees. Others just learned how to game the system.

How do I know that sellers sign up for Amazon Handmade, then sell exclusively on the commercial side? When they asked for help, and I would help them, the research showed, them as a Handmade seller. Yet they had nothing listed in Amazon Handmade.

Spending much time in the region, this is normal. Gaming the system is expected. It is a badge of honor to lie, cheat and steal.

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image

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I thought the point was to compete with Etsy when Etsy was actually handmade, by providing the same products and thrill of handcrafted/custom/unique items, but with Amazon’s social trust factor and customer-delight focus.

For Sellers, the “no fee” is still just a “temporary” incentive to add Amazon as a sales channel. They still periodically threaten to cancel it.

And “no UPC” just acknowledges that handmade items are often small batch or bespoke boutique items that have limited, often local-only availability, and don’t need “global trade” GTINs–but also mostly is to compete with Etsy. :wink:

My acceptance into the program said I will be charged the $39.99 fee (which of course I already pay).

etsy bots gone wild this week hundreds of accounts suspended by bots, within hours same accounts receiving the “permanent suspension” message, account owners getting no way to contact etsy and getting tickets closed immediately when they attempt to make contact.
We are slowly moving away from there as this is not the first time we are hearing about it.

Nothing is perfect . It’s just which level of imperfection you are able to work around.

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I don’t know how many non handmade people are in these new forums, but I’m one of the handmade sellers on Amazon since amazon handmade opened and amazon has honestly done handmade dirty. I know many of you probably don’t have access to a lot of the handmade drama stuff because it’s hidden in forums but there is a lot of unhappiness going around.

Recently the promotion of non handmade reseller stuff on the actual amazon handmade Instagram happened that several of us were upset about. A few of us spoke up and it got deleted.

Several of us actual handmade vendors have gotten a dreaded “prove you are handmade within xxxx days “ which is a slap in the face as we all had to prove we were handmade when we first joined.

The promotion of handmade on Amazon for prime day and Black Friday has dropped every year. One year they put a link to amazon handmade on the home page. The next few years handmade at least got its own coupon landing page.

The last prime day June/July (can’t recall exact dates) the handmade deals page listed 10 of the same bracelets by different sellers. I copied the urls of every profile where it said an American state but then you went to the actual shop profile and it was a place on China. I posted about it on the forums and was told to pm mods who would urgently check it out and handle it. Fast forward to the fall prime sales event and the same sellers selling the same bracelet from China.

One thing to also mention the lack of actual handmade sellers in these handmade deals pages couldn’t participate because of a lack of listing price bug. Eventually it came out that not only do you need a list piece, but also recent sales history, so recent that a sale from more that 30 days did not count. I had 500 listings and only about 40 of them actually qualified for the prime exclusive discount. Went round and round with seller support for months and gave up. Black Friday came around this year and the banner in handmade department didn’t even go to handmade it rerouted to small businesses.

For handmades 5th birthday they gave $15,000 away to 5 sellers. For amazons 7th birthday they gave away 7 $70 gift cards on Facebook/instagram.

Recently what I’m most bitter about is I use the search term dashboard for market research and just yesterday I noticed a “this dashboard is retiring April 1st so use the new one”. The new one does not feature the ability to select “handmade” category.

As a small handmade seller (starting on Etsy since 2008) I could just go on and on about handmade.

I just have this gut feeling that handmade is on its way out. Handmade isn’t trendy, most people don’t care if things actually are handmade. Etsy pretty much abandoned handmade a few years ago. 7 years ago we all thought amazon was going to spin off handmade to it’s own site or buy etsy or something but it just seems like this has been someone’s “pet project” maybe something to keep a high salary employees wife happy and as long as it makes money at the end of the day it’s allowed to exist. It’s clearly not making enough money to investigate non handmade people, it’s clearly not making enough money to invest in being its own spin off site. Im not sure it’s even making enough money now to get its own moderator in the forums (actually seems like all the forum mods have gone Mia since the new forums. It’s like instead of being better then Etsy they decided well if it’s good enough for Etsy it’s good enough for us. Etsy had a huge exodus when they overhauled their forums several years ago.

I am sorry for the long post. Im just kind of sad because there isn’t really a genuine place for handmade because there is no money to be made in handmade. I’ve seen so many marketplaces come and go.

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If you ask they will wave this.

Unless you were selling in Commercial as I did, then no, you have to pay it.

And, they used the word, “Waved Indefinitely” a few years ago after dancing around the issue.

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You should not be paying the fee. You can get a refund for it since you are in handmade. Not really sure how to do it since I have never gotten the fee charged. I’ve been on since the beginning. Someone else should be able to tell you.

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Another person said one of the things of handmade was that it was a locked forum. I had to reply to that that it wasn’t locked anymore. I used my new name over there.

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Yes which I have been since 2004.
I can’t see them waiving the fee and was not surprised by it.
Is there an additional $39.99 ? Of course that is what we are all paying now, not thinking there was an additional charge???

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Yes, we are similar, Started somewhere around 2010, joined the forums a few years after that. We paid for the monthly fee for the benefits it provided.

When Amazon Handmade came along, we signed up, and continued to pay the $40 fee. No extra fees.

Yet, when new people onboard to Amazon Handmade, they can request a refund, and not have to pay “indefinitely” according to Amazon. Then again, the Amazon Handmade Forum was private and closed forever, so who knows what time will expose.

ETA, I resisted to enter a political comment, since I am dealing with the SSA right now. Somehow I think if I “snuck in” my issue would have been resolved in less than 6 months. :zipper_mouth_face: :zipper_mouth_face: :zipper_mouth_face:

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Handmade was the programs devised when Amazon truly believed that it could dominate every type of ecommerce sale.

Fine Arts and Collectibles categories (including Advertising, Entertainment, Historical Collectibles, Collectible Coins and Sports Collectibles) were other efforts of a similar type intended to have curated sellers and fee structures to encourage a high quality/premium prices group of offerings.

To my knowledge, none of these categories has met this high end goal, and all have been adapted to survive using ad hoc changes, and limited strategic thinking.

As they have, they have become similar to, and duplicative of offerings elsewhere on the site.

As is pretty much the case for many aspects of selling on Amazon, what generates the best bottom line for you, is the strategy you should follow.

And you really need to watch the policy changes, Amazon is now charging commercial side fees on items certain items in collectible categories.

There are definitely some sellers in the Handmade category who feel they are successful. But it is unlikely that Handmade is considered by Amazon to be a success.

Being an Amazon seller means that you need the skills to run the numbers on what you sell. Running the numbers is one of the greatest strengths Amazon as a company has, the decisions they make on the results - less so but pretty good for Amazon shareholders.

I can run numbers, but prefer to run by the seat of my pants, which reduces the attractiveness of the Amazon Experience for me.

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True fact, our handmade items, by Amazon’s definition do 40 times better on the commercial side.

And to be clear we do not duplicate items in Handmade and Commercial.

Yes, so many Amazon Handmade sellers have seen, or worse not seen, offshore “USA” companies, research and duplicate their products.

One of the items that sticks in my craw, on Amazon Handmade, are the sellers that “embellish” an item they bought on Alibaba. Paint a flower on a mass market painting and now it is “handmade” Bull ■■■■.

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And that’s something I personally hate because it means that at any minute, Amazon can make a “business decision” to cut the Handmade program, that could then devastate the small businesses of so many legitimate Handmakers, in an instant.

I don’t dispute Amazon’s right to do it (or even wisdom, if they did), and I know that’s a known risk at joining–but it’s dumbfounding in the catastrophe it could be.

THIS IS WHY all sellers need:

  • multiple sales channels
  • business emergency plans A, B, and C
  • scaling flexibility
  • off ramps
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I was SO SAD when I saw this yesterday. They gave an amazing tool and then took it away. :frowning:

IMO Handmade used to be a niche thing that was coveted and people would pay more. But now that alllll of the marketplaces are inundated with mass-produced crap disguised as ‘handmade,’ why on earth would a customer ever believe something is? Etsy ruined it when they allowed sellers to have X amount of employees (which meant as many as they want, let’s be honest). And Amazon will always be Amazon.

The only thing we have as TRUE handmade folks is originality. The things I sell can’t be replicated, so all I can do is continue to shoot original artwork. I did find (another) seller on Etsy yesterday who copied my entire Store Info page word-for-word. Good grief. But anyway - the ship has sailed, just have to keep forging ahead!

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