As much as customers love Amazon, artisans hate it. You may find a lot of complains about big fees (15% + $ 39.99 monthly charge for Pro Account ) but this is not the main issue with Amazon Handmade. Amazon may become your business and your dream killer just because this is a wrong place to sell something unique.
Do you remember Banksy selling his artworks for $60 at Central Park?
Over the course of the day, only three people bought prints from the old man watching over the stall, subtly labelled “Spray Art.” One woman bought two small canvases and bargained her way into getting a 50 percent discount. A young woman bought a bigger canvas for regular price. Some lucky guy from Chicago bought four for his new house. He just wanted “something for the walls.”
All things told, The Guardian estimates, Banksy sold about $225,000 worth of art for just $420. (The entire stall was probably holding over $1 million with of canvases.)
Even though most of us are not Banksy this is exactly what happens when you sell on Amazon.
Let’s walk through all reasons why Amazon Handmade is a trap
1. Amazon will not let you create your customers database.
No links, No customer contacts, No marketing materials in your parcel… Amazon did everything in a such manner that you cannot convert their customers into your own.
So once you stop selling on Amazon you lose all customers you had there.
2. Low, middle, high price range products are sold equally bad but for different reasons.
It is clear that with 15% fees your low price products will bring nearly no income but this is not the biggest problem.
The biggest problem is a high return rate in this price range. Here is what happening. Amazon’s 1-Click Ordering provokes customers to make spontaneous purchases. At the same time Amazon customers are used to return products without any troubles. And finally, there is no chance to prove that your handmade product is exactly what customer ordered thus Amazon will take customer side in any dispute.
Return rate in this range is significantly lower since higher price makes customer pay more attention to what is ordered and the purchase is less spontaneous. But there is another issue. However unique is your product, there is a high chance that someone will sell nearly the same product but cheaper.
Amazon customers will always buy the cheapest option just because Amazon is prompting them to do so.
This is the least troubled category with only two issues.
- People who want to spend good amount of money on handcrafted products don’t search for them on Amazon. You will have sales but the rate of sales will be pretty low.
- High price handmade products usually require presale communication between seller and customer in a comfortable manner. Amazon made it possible but quite uncomfortable not to allow you making direct sales.
To sum up, selling on Amazon Handmade means:
- you lose 15% of your money and even more since you have to drop the price to compete,
- you don’t create your own customer database which is the core of any business,
- you don’t communicate with your customers.