Amazon is apparently not content with just allowing third-party vendors to sell mass-produced items through the website. The online retail giant is reportedly prepping a new marketplace for customized, unique products, setting up a potential showdown with Etsy.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the e-tailer has begun readying its new marketplace, known as Handmade, by reaching out to current Etsy vendors.
Amazon reportedly sent the sellers invitations to sign up for the forthcoming marketplace and asked them to participate in a survey regarding the types of products they specialize in.
“We’re offering artisans like you a first peek at Handmade, a new marketplace for handcrafted goods,” the Amazon email states.
While the correspondence didn’t provide information on when the new marketplace would launch, it did offer a few details about what customers might find there. Categories offered in the questionnaire include those targeted toward apparel, babies, pets, jewelry and home and kitchen items.
Several vendors who were approached by the online retailer tell the WSJ their interests were piqued after receiving the email.
An Indiana-based handmade jewelry maker says she was surprised to see the invitation from Amazon. While she currently sells about 1,300 products through Etsy, the larger Amazon audience is inciting.
“Amazon has such huge traffic numbers on their website already, it’s pretty appealing,” she said. “I am probably going to do it.”
Another jewelry maker, based in the Philippines, said she would consider Amazon’s new site.
“It’s a good idea not to put all your eggs in one basket, and joining another handmade marketplace would make me feel like I’m not so dependent on Etsy for income,” she tells the WSJ.
Still other vendors have expressed concern over high fees and strict shipping guidelines.
Since many of goods being sold on Etsy are made on demand, some sellers worry they wouldn’t be able to meet Amazon’s strict guidelines, including the possibility that Prime two-day shipping may be included on the marketplace.
According to the WSJ, Etsy takes a 3.5% commission and a 20-cent listing fee for sellers. Amazon, which hasn’t released fees for the new marketplace, currently charges sellers a fee depending on the product they sell, on average that translates to a 15% fee on the price of each sale.
Amazon Targets Etsy With ‘Handmade’ Marketplace [The Wall Street Journal]