You filled out an application to sell on Handmade at Amazon by answering a long list of questions. You don’t know if your answers are what they are specifically looking for. You don’t know if you will be accepted or not.
You are in a land of the unknown…a land of the “in between”. A land of both optimism and skepticism.
You have no certainty if you will be accepted – but you do have opportunities.
Many that have applied have been told that they will be hearing back in about 4 weeks.
Is it really wise to invest your time & work in a selling platform before you’ve even been accepted or declined?
For some of you, a little preparation will go a long way . . .
If you get accepted, you will be selling on a new platform with no history among sellers. Amazon doesn’t know which products are the best or worst, who has killer or mediocre customer service, or the products that have a high view to sale conversion rate.
Sales history will be made where there is no online sales history.
Early adapters that prepare can form competitive advantages by playing within the rules of Amazon’s system and standing out compared to the other early adapters that merely give it the “ole mediocre try”.
Sure…this list is simply educated guesses until the site is live based upon careful observation of their intro page and video, but I still think it has value for those that are the most serious about making it BIG when Handmade at Amazon launches.
My new Facebook page, Ama-preneurship is all about helping you make it BIG on Handmade at Amazon.
Ama-preneurship’s 16 H@A Pre-Launch Tips:
- Have your artisan profile page written up, edited and ready to go. Have shop photos that look like Etsy’s Quit Your Day Job Series. Amazon appears to like that photo style too based on their video. They kept stressing the profile page in the video…
- Have your product listings more or less lined up and ready to go. They didn’t say that there was going to be some auto converter for existing Etsy listings . . . so be prepared to manually list away upon launch. I saw 5 product photos in the video. I hope there would be some automated way to transfer listings from Etsy to Amazon, but that might not be the case.
- Double check the fees. At the beginning the fees will be 12% or a 50 cent minimum per item. In about a year, the monthly fee will go up to $39.99. Fees look to jump up to 20%/$2.00 for jewelry and 15%/$1.00 for home after that year. You can review their fee details so you don’t have any surprises. Does this work for your profit margin or the opportunity you expect to receive in sales from H@A long term? Remember Amazon’s fees include your PayPal or Direct Checkout fees from Etsy. Do the increased sales potential and diversity of your revenue stream with H@A outweigh the costs?
- H@A mentioned paying $ for sponsored product ads. Their platform – their rules and methods. Are you ready to spend some money so your products are found more easily? Do you need to do some research about the sponsored product ads?
- Are your product photos on a non-distracting simple background? Make your product the sole “hero” in the shot.
- H@A mentioned FBA (Fullfilled By Amazon) for Amazon Prime. Will you be ready to submit some of your best sellers in this manner? Do you need to do some more research about FBA? Having the word “Prime” next to a few of your products might be helpful for a quicker start.
- Amazon likes quick shipping. They mention a 30 day window of time, but my gut says that fast and consistent shipping is going to be favored by their search algorithms… Do you have shipping homework you need to do? What’s the fastest you can consistently deliver without default?
- The storefront page on the video appears to be a big photo where you will be able to tag products for sale. People will like interacting with this. Do you need to get a photo ready or at least planned so you can implement quickly? A collage? A table or display of products? A shot of your studio with works in process, but when they hover over them, they see the finished version? This might be a huge advantage to prepare for… Is it possible that profile pages will be highlighted more than individual products? We don’t know.
- When Amazon showed the storefronts in the video, there was a focus on people’s faces. Is your headshot photo ready to go?
- I saw a 2 line quote from the seller on the video and a signature. Do you have a 2 line quote that sums up your business, makes you look clever, builds trust, and encourages shopping goodwill? Does your signature fit your brand?
- Shipping and store policies appear to be part of H@A as well…do you have these edited short/concise yet complete?
- If you are accepted and launched, do you have a special and promotion that you can run for your diehard fans for quick sales? Get those diehards to write stellar reviews. There will be no feedback on H@A – GAIN THE MOMENTUM!!!
- I saw Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest buttons on H@A’s video. Are you ready to promote using these buttons from your H@A products and shop? Are you ready to mobilize your diehard fans to start sharing using these buttons too? GAIN THE MOMENTUM!!! Opportunity.
- Can you get your diehard fans to add your products to their wishlists? Again, the button showed up within the video . . . not sure if this will be similar to Etsy favorites/hearts or just Amazon’s normal “wishlist”, but it might be something to keep your eyes on.
- I saw images of states featuring the location of the artist. This looks like it might be a feature of the site that will be slightly different than the current location for Etsy sellers.
- In the video I saw star ratings for the products as well as a comments icon box. I’m not sure if that is one and the same thing or if Amazon will allow people to comment on product’s even if they don’t buy it. Keep an eye out for this and any possible advantages or disadvantages it might create.
Half of these comments could be changed as it appears Amazon is still working on the site, but I’d rather bring them to your attention now rather than to just let these observations from the video and intro page only sit in my head.
You might not get accepted to the platform…in that case, none of these observations matter!
But if you do get accepted, I want you to have every advantage over other sellers. I’ve been in the business of helping your Etsy shop thrive for almost 8 years, and I know this is of high interest for many Etsy sellers.
H@A could be horrible…or Awesome!
We just don’t know enough, yet. Hopefully this list show you some things you didn’t spot on your first review of the information H@A has shared.
If you want the best tips, tools, and know-how to help your Handmade at Amazon shop thrive, follow me at Ama-preneurship on Facebook, join the Ama-preneurship email list, and I’ll keep you up to date with whatever news I have to give your Handmade at Amazon business an EDGE by sharing the best tips!
Seize the handmade opportunity!
Hopeful for your success on Etsy and Amazon,
Jason Malinak CPA of Etsy-preneurship and Ama-preneurship
Final Thoughts From Jason
Are the higher fees a sign of a larger customer base and more services/opportunities for your business? We’ll see what happens with H@A together…thanks for your trust! Regards, Jason