If you’ve been following my blog recently then you most likely saw the blog that I posted a few weeks ago about How to Sell Your Handmade Products on Amazon. I gave tips on opening up your first H@A (Handmade at Amazon) storefront as well as my opinions on the platform. Well, the other day I decided to delete all of my H@A listings and I am no longer going to list my products with Handmade at Amazon. Sadly, my venture on H@A didn’t last too long.
But, don’t get me wrong. selling on Amazon has definitely been a learning experience and i was able to venture into another world that I never knew existed. I’ll get to that part later.
But first, why did I quit selling on Handmade at Amazon? Right now Amazon has almost 250 million customers so I must be out of my mind, right? Well, I probably was out of my mind way before I started selling on Handmade at Amazon, but that’s besides the point 😊
ANYWAYS, let me hop to it. Here are the 5 reasons why I stopped selling on Handmade at Amazon.
Lack of Communication from Buyers
If you’re like me, a seller who crafts custom products for each customer, there’s a bit of communication required between you (the seller) and the buyer. Normally I handle all of my communication with Etsy through their messaging system. I rarely ever run into a situation which a buyer doesn’t respond to my messages.
But for some reason, communication on Amazon is a complete DISASTER.
See, I sell custom printed invitations. This requires names, dates, times, addresses, etc to be printed on the invitations. In order to avoid mistakes I always send a proof to a customer first before doing any printing. I require that they approve the proof before I print them, and this is where communication between me and the buyer is crucial.
For some unknown reason, I rarely ever get a response from my customers on Amazon. It drives me nuts! Does Amazon not notify them that they’ve received a message? I’m not sure. One of my customers said that the message went into their spam box. Big no-no.
Whatever reason it is, it sucks. So just as I do on Etsy, if I don’t get a response about the proof then I cancel the order. I don’t want to take the risk of sending out something with the possibility that the customer won’t be satisfied with.
My Account is ‘At Risk’ for Being Suspended
So one fine morning I woke up and realized that my account was “at risk” for being suspended. What the …..? As I investigated into the matter I realized that Amazon “grades” your sellers account based on orders shipping on time, your order tracking rate AND your cancellation rate. I had a total of 11 orders that month and 3 of them had to be cancelled due to no communication from the buyer.
Dear Amazon, that’s pretty F’d up. I totally get suspending an account when the seller is at fault, but it’s ridiculous to suspend a sellers account when they are not at fault, am I right?!
It’s Not Worth The Hassle
I’ll be straight up with you. Selling on H@A is nothing like selling on Etsy. Out of the 2 months that I was selling on H@A I only received 12 orders. I normally receive that many orders or more in 1 day on Etsy.
In all honesty I don’t think that buyers on Amazon are searching for Handmade things. Amazon customers are more interested in items that are available for Prime, meaning they will receive their item within 2 days.
So with that being said I didn’t think it was worth the hassle any longer. Why risk getting my account suspended for such little orders?
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone won’t have luck with selling on Amazon. Perhaps my customization process is too tedious for some people. It’s always worth the try, but it just didn’t work out for me.
Handmade at Amazon Fees Are Ridiculous
I thought it was so great that Amazon doesn’t make you pay a fee to list an item like Etsy does. But then I saw their “referral” fees, which are 15% of the sale. Say WHAT?!?!!!
Then, on top of the 15% referral fee you have to pay a sellers fee, which is $39.99 for a pro-merchant account (over 35 sales a month) or a fee of $.99 per item sale as an individual seller.
So in the end the fees weren’t really worth it for my business either.
Focusing More on Fulfillment By Amazon
At least something good came out of my entire experience with H@A. While selling on Handmade at Amazon I looked into selling with Fullfilment by Amazon.
Fulfillment by Amazon is where the gold is at, at least for me anyway. When you see items that are offered with “Prime” that’s done with Fulfillment by Amazon.
The way Fulfillment by Amazon works is you send in items to Amazons warehouse, and they are stored in the warehouse until the item is purchased. Amazon then handles the packaging, shipping, and all customer service for you.
Let me tell you, it’s magical. I do all the hard work up front and then Amazon takes care of the rest. I absolutely love it.
So if you create Handmade products that don’t involve customizations, I would highly recommend trying out Fulfillment By Amazon. Let me know if it works out for you!
Okay, I’m done with my ranting for today! Hopefully Handmade at Amazon works out better for you if you decide to try it.