It's time to go back to basics with this blog post. When it comes to getting started with selling on Amazon Handmade or even thinking about selling there, there are a lot of things to think about and things you need to know. Welcome to the introduction guide to selling on Amazon Handmade!
Amazon introduced Handmade as a selling category in October 2015 on the US site, Amazon.com, and it’s been an amazing ride for so many handmade sellers, like myself. Amazon has a HUGE amount of built-in customers and traffic that we can take advantage of!
What is Amazon Handmade?
Amazon Handmade is a juried category on Amazon for handmade sellers. It is similar to Etsy as a platform for handmade, but also so different in so many ways. First of all, it is a juried platform, which means you need to be accepted to sell in the handmade category.
Who Can Sell on Amazon Handmade?
Anyone who sells their own handmade items and fits into any of the currently open handmade categories. Currently, these categories are open:
- Beauty & Personal Care
- Shoes & Handbags
- Outdoor & Home Care
- Jewelry & Watches
- Kitchen & Dining
- Pet Supplies
- Sporting Goods
- Stationery & Party Supplies
- Toys & Games
What are the Fees for Selling on Amazon Handmade?
There usually are 3 levels of fees for selling on Amazon Handmade, but for most handmade sellers, there is only 1.
Selling Commission - 15% when an item is sold
- This includes payment processing and NO listing fees!
- Monthly Seller Fees - Normally $39.99 but it is currently waived for handmade sellers
- FBA Fees - Only if you choose to do FBA (fulfillment by Amazon) where you send items into the warehouses for Prime delivery, there will be warehouse fees and possibly storage fees
If you don't do FBA, you aren't charged anything until you make some sales! That means you have nothing to lose by giving Amazon Handmade a shot except some time.
How Do I Apply to Join Amazon Handmade?
You can apply to sell on Amazon Handmade right here at Amazon's application link. If you aren't accepted right away, it might mean that your category is currently full, but don't worry! Some people have had to apply twice or more to get their application accepted. The juried process is a good thing, it keeps things somewhat clear in terms of items that aren't actually handmade, which is excellent for customers and sellers.
What Do I Do Once I'm Approved?
Once approved, there are a few setup things you'll want to do, which includes:
- Setting up your Artisan Profile
- Setting up your Tax Info
Setting up your Shipping Settings
- Make sure you do this because Amazon automatically turns on next day delivery on your shipping template. If an order is placed before you update your shipping settings, you might be responsible for shipping express within hours of the order coming in!
Get familiar with Seller Central, I’ve written a guide on navigating Amazon Seller Central because it can be overwhelming!
How Do Payments Work on Amazon Handmade?
Amazon payments go into your Amazon account balance. They are sent to your bank account on a 2-week schedule in most cases. Most times, new sellers will have an additional delay where the payment for an order isn't added to your account balance until the order has been marked delivered. This is normal and Amazon's way to avoid fraud and make sure any new seller is legit.
How Do Amazon Rules and Metrics Work?
READ THE RULES!!
Amazon rules, policies, and metrics are so important and are not taken lightly by Amazon. Make sure you really familiarize yourself with the metrics you need to meet, such as shipping guarantees, seller feedback, and how quickly you need to respond to any customer messages.
Amazon is a huge platform, and they expect their sellers to meet the metrics they've set. I can't stress enough to read over all of their metrics and guidelines, so you don't get yourself into any hot water.
How Does SEO Work on Amazon Handmade?
I've touched on Amazon SEO quite a bit in past posts which I'll share here for you:
Basically, Amazon SEO has 4 essential parts to it:
- Titles - most important, need to short, concise and filled with the most relevant keywords, no repeating words within the titles
- Style Keywords - some categories don't have a style keyword field. Still, if yours does, you'll want to enter applicable style terms like bold, modern, rustic, country, retro, etc.
- Search Terms - this is where you put all other search terms and keywords you want your item to be found for, under 249 characters and no repeating or punctuation, it’s unnecessary and takes up valuable character space!
- Keyword Research - always a MUST when you are adding or tweaking your listings, I’ve listed ways to find keywords and do some research in this blog post.
Is Amazon Handmade Worth It?
A big and enthusiastic YES!
Amazon does have it's quirks and additional challenges as a selling platform, but it is so worth it in the long run. You can't just throw a couple of items up and then give up. You need to follow my tips and advice, get your listings in order, and then tweak, adjust, and keep working on it! So many sellers give up before they give it a chance or put in the work necessary to really give it a shot to work!
If you do the work and keep at it, you WILL have results!
Want to be in a community of other sellers, watch how much they love Amazon, and be a fly on the wall as they grow? Check out our free community on Facebook: Handmade at Amazon - Dana Midkiff.
Ready to just take the plunge and sell on Handmade at Amazon? I've got just the resource for you! My Amazon Handmade 101 course starts at application and takes you on the whole journey of starting on your next platform. Learn more at www.amazonhandmade101.com