If the ridiculous amount of stuff you can buy on Amazon still leaves you wanting more, now you can shop the Handmade at Amazon section. After some rumors earlier in the year, the new venture is live and poised to take on Etsy (which just went public with a $3.5 billion valuation.)
Amazon Handmade is divided into seven categories, including jewelry, home decor, artwork, and furniture. A solid gold Mobius ring, leather magnetic cuffs, a gothic dragon weathervane, and this conversation starting painting are just a taste of what's available.
Today Amazon already has 80,000 items in their handmade store, collected from about 5,000 artisans in more than 60 countries around the globe. Amazon told the New York Times that "you can think of it as a factory-free zone... we're going to launch with an experience that's very different." Amazon promises that everything for sale in the new section really is handmade. And to prove it each artisan has a profile on the site so prospective customers can see how and where the items are made.
Artisans started getting emails about Amazon Handmade in May and there has been a lot of discussion about using Etsy or Amazon Handmade (or both) since then. Some people think that the corporate identity of Amazon won’t work well with craft culture. Also, there are some differing opinions on the fees Amazon charges: 12 percent of sales and a $40 per month charge starting sometime next year. But no matter what your opinion is, Amazon has a customer base that's almost 10 times larger than Etsy's so they're bound to become a serious competitor.