Friday 21 October 2016

Amazon to compete with Esty as it launches artisan marketplace

Sarah-Jane Murphy

Published 08/10/2015 | 15:44

Jeff Bezos of Amazon
Credit: AFP/Getty Images
Jeff Bezos of Amazon Credit: AFP/Getty Images
An empty cart stands in the distribution zone on the opening day of the new Amazon.Com Inc. fulfillment center in the Czech Republic Photographer: Martin Divisek/Bloomberg

Amazon took a step into the unknown this week, launching an online 'arts and crafts bazzar'.

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Their latest venture, called 'Handmade at Amazon' has been described by industry insiders as specifically targeting Brooklyn based Etsy.

The e-commerce giant's new offering features over 80,000 items crafted by over 5,000 sellers who hail from 60 countries worldwide.

Amazon racks up $75 billion in annually in sales and has been steadily building a seller base for Handmade the past few months.

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Peter Faricy, Amazon vice president, said that Handmade is a 'factory-free zone' and will not purchase items from mass-producers.

“For the first time on Amazon, we’re going to have a picture of the artist, a little icon of what state they’re from, what country they’re from.

“We’re going to launch with an experience that’s very different.

"Customers are going to see the difference," he said.

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The move signals an effort by the company to penetrate another distinct area of the online market.

Its main competitor, Etsy has sold hand-crafted goods online since 2005 and rakes in $2billion a year in sales.

Their best selling products include knitted socks and luxury pet furniture.

Handmade presents provides a serious challenge for Etsy.

Uncertainty has loomed since the site amended their vendor rules, permitting sellers to out source some of their manufacturing.

The changes angered some sellers over what they refer to as a betrayal of Etsy’s artisan roots.

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