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Etsy Sellers Prepare For Craft War As Amazon Enters The Handmade Market

The crafter community isn’t viewing Handmade at Amazon as an “Etsy killer” just yet.

BuzzFeed News / Via

Etsy forums are abuzz over the idea that a ruthless e-commerce behemoth is making its move into the crafted whimsy and charm market.

Amazon's new "Handmade" section looks and feels like Etsy, but the crafters and makers that keep Etsy in business don't seem to be buying into the idea that it's an Etsy killer. But many hope a big new competitor will acts as a kick in the pants to an online marketplace they believe has drifted far from its core vision.

Amazon's new platform, which launched Thursday, is trying to out-Etsy Etsy by saying it will only admit items made "entirely by hand, hand-altered, or hand assembled." The guidelines are a clear rebuke to Etsy, which angered and confused many in the DIY community in the past two years by allowing vendors to use outside manufacturers and by introducing Etsy Wholesale.

Critics say such moves dilute Etsy's integrity and create an uneven playing field, while Etsy contends it's a way to support its most popular sellers and a means of helping the site scale. Recently, it launched a platform to help sellers connect with approved, responsible manufacturers, which some viewed as the ultimate slap in the face to its handmade product roots.

But loyal sellers on Etsy's forums aren't abandoning ship for Handmade, or H@A just yet. Even those who have added items to Amazon's new platform view its launch as an opportunity for Etsy to refocus on handmade items and product standards, especially amid allegations that more than 5% of its goods are counterfeit or in violation of trademarks. They're also hoping Etsy will ramp up advertising so it can garner more name recognition.

"For the last two years, we have been begging Etsy to bring the old Etsy back — so many people, including customers — and they're not listening," Dorota Sularczyk of Gainesville, Virginia, who sells jewelry on Etsy, told BuzzFeed News in an interview. "Maybe this Amazon Handmade will give them a little kick in the behind."


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