SEATTLE- Etsy is in the cross-hairs of online retail behemoth Amazon, which formally launched Handmade at Amazon, a retail site for hand crafted goods. Amazon, which has been inviting woodworkers and other crafters to join, says items sold there are to be factory-free, handcrafted goods, and are supplied from more than 60 countries.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) says its Handmade at Amazon www.amazon.com/handmade store features "genuinely handmade items crafted and sold directly from artisans." This could be seen as a jab at Etsy's recent decision to allow its wood crafting and other retailers to hire factories. It also helps distinguish Amazon's crafted items from eBay and other online resellers.
Etsy is opening Etsy Manufacturing, a marketplace for its online sellers to find and connect directly with manufacturers. The move is a departure from its individual crafter-sales model.
Handmade at Amazon product categories include jewelry, home décor, artwork, stationery and party supplies, kitchen and dining, and furniture. Total offerings at today's launch include 80,000 handcrafted items - 9,000 from California, 2,700 from North Carolina, 12 from Albania, 3,700 from the U.K. - from 5,000 vendors.
In the Furniture category, there are 56 furnishings made of wood for sale (16 of them from Italy). Overall there are 166 furnishings priced above $200, including solid Yellow Pine wood table by Mark at Ekisma in Florida, retailing at $1,999.
“We have designed a custom shopping experience for customers looking for handmade items by bringing together many of the best artisans in the world, and they’re adding thousands of items daily,” said Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace.
“Knowing an item has a unique story behind it creates a personal experience that customers have told us makes owning handmade items special."
Handmade at Amazon has structural advantages over Etsy - given the 285 million Amazon shoppers who will be exposed to it. Etsy has 22 million regular shoppers. The numbers of wood products and dollar volume sold by Amazon will be significant. Competition for online custom wood sales has already marginalized Custommade.com, a once leading custom woodworking e-tailer.
Among companies at Handmade at Amazon are A&K Woodworking in Austin, Texas - featured in a promotional video - and Wood Ohio, operated by Eric Unangst - who also has a shop at Etsy.
Handmade at Amazon allows customers to shop by country, from more than 60 countries. International items cited by Amazon in the announcement include walnut cufflinks from Australia and handcrafted wooden lamps from Italy.
Similar to Etsy and Custommade.com, and different than the regular Amazon site, the Handmade at Amazon artisans have a profile page that describes how their products are made. Shop locally by finding artisans in all 50 states.
Amazon says more than 600 handmade items are Prime eligible with more being added each day. Every Handmade product page contains a location icon identifying where the artisan is based, along with a link to the artisan’s profile. From Amazon's main site, adding the word "handmade" to searches calls up the offerings at the Handmade by Amazon site.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.