If you hand craft unique products and are looking for the best place to sell them then chances are you’re considering selling on Amazon Handmade. It’s a good option and in this article I’ll give you an overview and some tips on getting started.
What Is Amazon Handmade?
Handmade at Amazon is the new kid on the block and is now said to be Etsy’s strongest competitor in the hand crafted selling niche. This new marketplace gives Artisans the ability to sell their handmade crafts online and showcase them before hundreds of millions of Amazon buyers around the globe.
If you have a talent for creating unique hand crafted items and want to sell those on a trusted marketplace full of potential buyers, then this is definitely worth a look.
The Low-Down On The Marketplace
Taking a look at the marketplace there truly is some amazing products on offer by some seriously talented people. There are 9 major categories on display when you land on the page and you might be inclined to think this is primarily targeted at women, but that really isn’t the case.
Once you dig a little deeper you’ll see that there is a vast array of different items that anyone would be interested in buying or selling. I managed to find some of the coolest products I’ve ever found online in a matter of minutes and came across some awesome gift ideas as well.
Some of the incredible timber work throughout is what caught my eye personally. There were really nice looking coffee tables, chairs and other types of handmade furniture that you really wouldn’t find in a traditional store.
Some Of The Benefits
The main benefit for a seller is being able to focus on creating great product while having the audience of a global retailing giant that is dedicated to helping you succeed along the way.
Amazon also offers phone and email support and some very useful reporting features to make your job easy and even kind of fun.
You can even set the ‘production time’ on each item you intend to sell so you have more control over your schedule and can ensure you meet your customers expectations.
How To Get Started Selling
The first thing you’ll need to do is submit an application to become a registered seller in this marketplace.
Amazon really takes the time to make sure that you are indeed ‘hand making’ these items and are not a mass producing seller. They require you to either make it yourself or have altered it to some degree and if you’re a business you can’t have any more than 20 employees.
If your application is successful you will be invited to set up your free customisable store front and begin selling your items in the marketplace.
You will pay Amazon 12% of anything you sell and the minimum amount on any item sold is 50 cents. If you sell more than 40 items per month in different categories then you’ll need to pay the monthly fee of $39.99. This monthly fee is being waived until August 2016 though which is cool.
Some Things To Consider
As great a marketplace is this is there are some things you’ll need to consider if you really want to make any kind of money.
Here’s 5 things I think are worth considering to maximise your chances of success:
Make sure your product is different in some way to stand out from the rest and provide unique value to people, that’s what this platform is all about. Your goal should be to provide something that other people aren’t, or do it better than they are. People are looking for unique hand crafted items in this space, so give them that.
Calculate your costs as well as possible to be able to price everything effectively. Look at shipping, materials, outsourcing costs and anything else that is directly or indirectly going to effect the cost of your business. Set up a system to take all of these into account, something like Quickbooks for example can be very helpful and simple to use.
Listen To Feedback
Amazon has a great system where customers can leave feedback based on their experience. Listen to this and use it to adapt your offerings. Never be too proud to accept valuable feedback from your customers as this will allow you to craft a better overall offering and ultimately make more money. You may be attached to the way you do things, especially given you are hand making everything, but responding well and adapting to customer feedback can make or break your business.
Learn as much as you can about what your direct (and even indirect) competitors are doing and use this information to concrete your place in this marketplace. Doing this will allow you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of what others are offering and will give you some ideas on what you could do better.
Ask For Help
If there’s something you are unsure of, don’t stress! This is new to you and you will likely have questions. Take the time to send emails and jump on the phone to Amazon when you need to. They are there to help so take advantage of this and don’t allow technical issues to stand in your way.
AlternativeTo Making Your Own Products
While Handmade at Amazon is great it’s not the be all end all, keep your options open. The more you connect with potential buyers the better success you will have.
One way to drive even more business to your homemade goods is with your own website. Learning how to create a professional looking website and attract targeted buyers coming in from Google’s search results for free is an awesome way to drive more business and give you a competitive advantage.
Having a website and getting it ranking in the search results gives you credibility and will drive more sales than selling on Amazon alone. It’s not as hard as you might think and you don’t need to pay a web designer or marketing team thousands of dollars to accomplish this. In fact you can get rolling for free.
Depending on what you are selling could take advantage of wide open opportunity and be ranking on the front page with almost no competition. In Amazon you may have more exposure, but you also have WAY more competition. I recommend going for both options and capitalising on the incredible opportunity that comes with having your own unique website as well as selling on Amazon.
The other alternative is to sell other people’s products through affiliate marketing. Amazon pays a percentage in commissions when you promote other people’s products. It certainly has it’s advantages like no shipping, warrantee, order handling, staff etc. You just promote products and earn a commission which is a simple and highly effective strategy for making money online.