Amazon Launches New Etsy Rival, Handmade

Bad news for Etsy: Amazon is launching a service called Handmade at Amazon, where artisans can sell their crafted goods. Amazon, which dwarfs Etsy in terms of annual sales ($75 billion to $2 billion) and in terms of customer reach (285 million active accounts to 22 million), could very well take over the craft market.

The big difference between Amazon’s Handmade and Etsy will be Amazon’s guarantee that they will sell only “genuinely handmade items crafted and sold directly from artisans” and that Handmade will be “factory-free.” Etsy, on the other hand, just introduced Etsy Manufacturing, a service that matches artisans with manufacturers, last month. The craft marketplace has had a series of policy changes that has eased the site out of its handmade roots and toward a good deal of coziness with factory-produced items.

Handmade is launching with only six categories – jewelry, home decor, artwork, stationery and party supplies, kitchen and dining, and furniture – but it already features 80,000 items from 5,000 artisans in 60 countries and all 50 states. [*SHAMELESS PLUG* Um, and expect even more because I’ll be putting up my weavings, which are already available on Etsy, ASAP. — Amelia *END SHAMELESS PLUG*]

I’m dealing with some serious feelings of schadenfreude over here – I’d be lying if I said I didn’t use Etsy a lot, but at the same time, I have had snarky feelings about it since the days of Regretsy (remember Regretsy? Those were some good times). Besides, it really is hard to find what you want on Etsy and feel like you have a guarantee that it’s actually someone’s handmade work. It’s not to say that Amazon is better or more ethical as a business, of course, just that perhaps this will be a positive change for the craft consumer.

[Boing Boing]
[Amazon Newsroom]
[New York Times]

[Image via Handmade at Amazon]

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