Friday, 9 October 2015

My Amazon Handmade Store Is Now Open!


You may or may not be aware that Amazon have branched out into their own handmade department. Yes, Amazon is slowly taking over the world and their newest venture is Handmade at Amazon. Previously handmade items were available on Amazon but they were lumped in with everything else but now if your items have been approved they have a new home in Handmade.

Above is a screen shot of my shop on Handmade. The screen shot only captured the top half of the page but I like the way it looks. I'm trying my copper and bronze bangles on there to start with and only have eight listed so far. I'm planning on listing some more soon....

It's been a bit of a bumpy ride getting to the point where I'm ready with my shop and items. Never again will I grumble about Etsy and the tweaks they make! Using Etsy as a seller is a breeze compared to Amazon! Amazon is clunky to list on in some ways - no copy function, no paragraphs in descriptions and strictly no using html to create line breaks and paragraphs in descriptions resulting in one long block of text. Not easy to read and we creative souls do like to set out our item pages nicely and include important info which may be missed in one long ramble of words. Oh well.

Setting up shipping is not as easy as it is on Etsy either - for example you can't create shipping profiles for specific items as far as I know. There are also sections for your own shipping and returns policies and useful info like an FAQ page but when you fill them in and save them they don't appear anywhere in your shop.....

Not to mention some of Amazon's rules - the seller pays shipping cost for returns, the seller makes sure any possible additional costs to the buyer are paid for at time of purchase such as import fees. I've set up my shipping for the US, Canada and Asia so I shouldn't have a problem with customs fees as their goods value thresholds for any duty are set at a sensible level unlike the UK! As for paying shipping for an item to be returned - that's part of selling on Amazon so that's what I'll have to do.

Handmade at Amazon is just on the .com site at the moment which is fine but does create issues for anyone from the UK selling there. One issue being I can't set up UK shipping separate from Europe as the UK is part of Europe when listed on an American site. I get that and I'm not complaining! Maybe one day Handmade at Amazon will appear on the .uk site too.
Being an American site listing prices and shipping in dollars is easy enough but means I'll need to check my prices occasionally as the conversion rate obviously varies.

The main grumble I've had joining Amazon as a seller in the run up to launching is the inconsistency in the answers given to various questions lots of sellers have asked the Amazon admin {me included}. The main one being do we have to post everything with a tracking number. The answers from Seller Support pinged around the handmade forum like a ball in a pinball game - "Yes you do need to send things tracked", "No you don't need to send things tracked", "Yes, you do", "No you don't", "Yes", "No", "Yes", "No" and finally in the revised Handmade seller guide they issued 2 days before launch - No you don't.
Great news for me as tracking doubles my international postage cost but for God's sake! I had set up my shipping to include Tracked and Signed and have now changed it to normal International Standard.

There are a few other issues but I'm sure they will be ironed out eventually as it rolls along. I've no idea if my bangles will sell but I wanted to give it a go at least until the shop fees start in August 2016. Then it's $40 a month on top of the 12% fee for each transaction. Time will tell!
In the meantime look out for the Handmade banner and check it out next time you're on Amazon.com.

handmade at Amazon













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10 comments:

  1. Your shop looks good from your screenshot, but I couldn't find your "shopfront" even by typing in your shop name (just individual items)....and Handmade is at the very bottom of the listings, so I wonder how Amazon is marketing this new feature to the general public. Anyway, I already sent a request to Amazon to make access to individual sellers more easily available, as I want to find my favorite sellers, not a mish-mosh of items on my screen. It's probably a great idea that you listed very particular items there--bangles are popular and easily searchable. As for the main, welcome screen, I'm not terribly impressed with the very limited and conventional line-up of offerings (pearls, silver, tassel jewelry) being featured. Wishing everybody well on the new venue, in any case, and hope the truly original items manage to get featured eventually!

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    1. Thanks for your comment Gale. I tried searching my shop name too and it doesn't come up with my storefront just my items. Using the general search to find "handmade copper bangles" brings up a lot of mass produced stuff first then the odd bangle in Handmade but I think the number of sales a seller has may have a lot to do with how Amazon's search algorithm works.
      You're right, the handmade section isn't very obvious and if my own search patterns on Amazon are anything to go by I think most people use the search box rather than the department links to find what they are looking for. Some people on Handmade have had orders but there's a lot of improvements that could be made.

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  2. I wish you the best of luck Tracy. I feel your pain with Amazon since I have been through it! Considering Amazon's power I think their handmade site will take off.

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    1. Thanks Val. I think it will too but at the moment it feels that the handmade stuff is buried with everything else so is so hard to find!

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  3. Sounds like a right hassle. I think I'll let you early birds iron out the bugs before I join :oD Sounds like I would have steam coming out of my ears. I thought Folksy was awkward...
    I didn't realise Canada and the states have higher goods value thresholds. That's good to know.

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    1. Thanks for your coment Nana Louise. It makes Folksy seem like a warm, snuggly cardigan {slightly strange comparison but I hope you get what I mean!} in comparison :D

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  4. Yay on being on Amazon! You are very brave to do that. :D

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  5. I do admire you, being on Handmade at Amazon at the start, especially as, from your description it sounds like a real roller coaster... I do hope the glitches and kinks are all ironed out and it does well for you, especially before the fees kick in next year!

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Your comments and questions are very welcome!
If you would prefer to contact me directly you can email me at: spiralchick@gmail.com