By Rieva Lesonsky
Do you have a business selling crafts, handmade or artisanal products? Do you have a crafting hobby you’d love to turn into a business? Crafts entrepreneurs face some big challenges when it comes to expanding their customer base beyond local consumers and finding places to sell their creations outside of flea markets and crafts fairs. If you’re searching for a way to take your crafts business to the next level (or just get it started), the Amazon Handmade program could be exactly what you’re looking for.
What Is Amazon Handmade?
Amazon Handmade is a store on Amazon.com where craftspeople can sell their wares to Amazon’s over 250 million customers around the world. In addition to all that exposure, you’ll have the benefit of selling from Amazon’s trusted platform, which makes shoppers more comfortable ordering from you.
Molly Beane, who joined Amazon Handmade in the spring of 2017, says the platform has been crucial to her business’s success. “When we were just starting out, being on Amazon gave me so much confidence that we could grow the business and operate it full time,” recalls Beane, whose company, From Molly With Love, sells handcrafted, artisan, all-natural skincare and aromatherapy products. “It also afforded me the critical opportunity to grow my brand awareness to millions of consumers, which is huge for a new brand.”
To sell on Amazon Handmade, your products must meet Amazon’s definition of “genuinely handcrafted” by you or your employees (if you have 20 or fewer employees) or a collective of 100 or fewer. Once Amazon accepts your application, which Beane says is “a straightforward and friendly process,” you’ll get an invitation to set up your Artisan Profile.
Making the Most of Handmade by Amazon
Amazon knows that making products by hand is labor-intensive. That’s why they offer so many tools to help you spend less time on the “business” end of your business and more time on the crafting you love. For instance, Amazon Handmade listings are free and never expire. You can use the Amazon Seller mobile app to manage your store on the go.
Want to spend less time packing your wares for shipping? If your products aren’t customized, you can join the Fulfillment by Amazon program, in which Amazon stores your inventory and handles all your fulfillment needs. Bonus: This also makes your products eligible for Amazon Prime shipping, which gives you a big advantage over competitors with slower shipping times.
“Fulfillment by Amazon is huge,” says Beane. “It has helped us grow our sales quite a bit. Consumers love to be able to get their purchases the next day. I don’t know any other way we could offer that to our customers as such a small business.”
For products that do offer customization, Amazon makes it easy to set up options on your product pages so customers can get exactly what they want. Plus, Amazon offers phone and email support and reports to help you run your store efficiently. “Amazon also works with their handmade artisans to provide other opportunities,” adds Beane. “For example, our products are being sold on Amazon Prime Now in select markets nationwide, and we were featured at a press day earlier in the year. [Amazon] really cares about helping their handmade artisans grow their business.”
From Molly With Love products are now sold on the company’s own website, on Etsy and at more than 80 brick-and-mortar retailers—and Beane credits Amazon Handmade with much of the company’s growth. “When we were just starting out, Handmade at Amazon used to make up 30% to 40% of our sales revenue,” she notes. As a result of the exposure Amazon provides, sales have grown to where Amazon Handmade sales account for about 10% of revenue.
“Amazon Handmade has been such an important revenue stream to building the long-term security we need in order to continue operating full time,” Beane says. “There is no better platform for artisans on the Internet.”