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Let’s talk about Amazon today. Amazon is the largest online retailer, and it seems that they are growing by the day. Amazon has changed many things about online shopping and aims to be “Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company.”
I’m sure you’ve heard a number of Amazon success stories floating around the internet of sellers making millions through the platform. Personally, I am an experienced Amazon seller with hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales in the last few years. Today, I wanted to take some time to tell you different ways you can sell handmade goods through Amazon.
5 Ways to Sell Handmade Products on Amazon
- Amazon Marketplace – Selling through Amazon’s catalog is the first way to sell handmade goods. This option is best for ready to ship products that aren’t customized. You simply create a new product, add pictures, a description, and a UPC number. (Tip: You can buy UPC numbers through Ebay.)
- Costs to sell on Amazon Marketplace: There are two plans available: Individual or Professional. The Individual plan is best for those selling less than 40 items per month and costs $0.99 per item sold plus a referral fee and a closing fee. These fees vary per category and are listed at this link. On the Professional Plan, you pay $39.99 per month (instead of $0.99 per item) plus a referral fee and a closing fee.
- Fulfillment by Amazon – Fulfillment by Amazon is a selling program where you list your products in the Amazon Marketplace and then ship your inventory to Amazon. Amazon handles packing and shipping to your customer. This program works best for sellers of handmade items who make and sell only a small number of designs. For example, a tee shirt with a specific design that sells well.
- Costs to sell through FBA: Fees vary greatly and are listed at this link.
- Amazon Handmade – Amazon Handmade is Amazon’s answer to Etsy. This program is only open to sellers of handmade products. This is a juried program. Much like a juried craft show; you first request access to the program then submit photos of your work and details about your existing business. This program is best for sellers with moderately and higher priced handmade products due to higher selling fees.
- Costs to sell through Amazon Handmade: $39.99 per month plus 15% of item sold cost. (To attract new sellers, Amazon frequently waives the $39.99 fee. Currently, the fee is being waived for new sellers for a period of time.)
- Merch by Amazon – Merch by Amazon is a print on demand service for shirts. In this program, you create the design for a shirt and list it on Amazon. After Amazon receives an order, they print the shirt for the customer and ship it. This program is invite only and the turnaround time is six to eight weeks to get a response. Request an invitation at this link.
- Costs to sell through Merch by Amazon: Free. You set the price for your shirts and receive a royalty for each shirt you sell. Here is an example: If you price your short sleeve shirt at $15.99, you’d receive $2.36. For a shirt that sells at $25.99, you’d receive $9.92. While the royalties may seem low, you have no inventory to stock, no shirts to create, and no shipping or customers to deal with. If you have popular designs, it can add up fast.
- Amazon Custom – Amazon Custom is a program for sellers who sell things that can be customized with a name or image. These things aren’t necessarily handmade – but can be. For example, if you sell cutting boards, wine glasses, or customized mouse pads this program might be for you. This is another program that you apply to join, but applications are approved or denied within an hour.
- Costs to sell through Amazon Custom: You are required to be on the Professional selling plan for $39.99 per month, plus standard referral and closing fees.
Okay, so you’ve read about the programs and are ready to start selling on Amazon? The first step is to get a seller account and start listing! I’d recommend starting out in the Marketplace and fulfilling your own orders to get a good feel for the platform. Tomorrow, I will walk you step by step through how to create your first catalog listing in Amazon’s Marketplace.
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Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.