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Amazon this morning launched a new online marketplace featuring handmade items from artisans around the world, beginning a long-awaited challenge to the popular Etsy online marketplace.

The new Amazon marketplace, dubbed “Handmade,” is launching with more than 80,000 items, all made by hand — everything from jewelry and stationery to party supplies and furniture. Customers can filter by location to shop for items made in their communities or other parts of the world. Sellers have their own profile pages where they can tell the story of their handmade items.

handmade-ig1080-v02“We have designed a custom shopping experience for customers looking for handmade items by bringing together many of the best artisans in the world, and they’re adding thousands of items daily,” said Peter Faricy, vice president for Amazon Marketplace, in a news release announcing the store.

At launch, about 600 of the items on Handmade are eligible for Amazon Prime free two-day shipping, a relatively small portion of the overall catalog, but Amazon says that will increase over time.

Etsy, based in New York, suddenly has a giant new competitor on its hands. Gil Luria, an analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, tells USA Today: “This is going to be a very challenging time for Etsy. Shares of Etsy are down nearly 7 percent in pre-market trading this morning.

Etsy released this statement from CEO Chad Dickerson.

“We believe we are the best platform for creative entrepreneurs, empowering them to succeed on their own terms. Etsy has a decade of experience understanding the needs of artists and sellers and supporting them in ways that no other marketplace can. Our platform attracts 21+ million thoughtful consumers seeking to discover unique goods, and build relationships with the people who make and sell them.”

The Wall Street Journal broke the news about Amazon’s plans in May, saying that the Seattle-based company was actively courting Etsy sellers to join the new Handmade program.

Update: Here are Amazon’s answers to our questions about how this works for sellers.

Can you provide details on how this works for artisans?

Handmade at Amazon is a separate category on Amazon so all products will appear alongside other handmade items for customers to browse, discover, and shop.

To get started, Artisans can follow the below steps:

  1. Register to sell on Amazon: Invited artisans will receive an invitation email with a link to start the registration process.
  2. Create your Artisan Profile: Build your storefront with a custom URL to share your story, showcase your work, and connect with customers.
  3. Set up your products: Use our simple listing tool to add your products to your store. Listings are free and never expire.
  4. Start selling: Reach hundreds of millions of Amazon customers across the world, all in one place. 

Can anyone apply to sell their items on Handmade? Where do they apply? 

Anyone can apply to sell their items on Handmade at Amazon, but all products available in their Handmade at Amazon store must be made entirely by hand, hand-altered, or hand assembled (not from a kit). Products must be handmade by the Artisan, by one of their employees (if your company has 20 or fewer employees), or a member of their collective with less than 100 people. Mass-produced products or products handmade by a different Artisan are not eligible to sell in Handmade.

Artisans fill out an application form where we ask them about their products, production methods, workspace and their business. Each application is reviewed by a member of our team to ensure that the Artisan and their products meet our definition of handmade. Artisans can apply here.

How much does Amazon keep from each sale?

We only make money when the Artisans make sales. We are offering a promotion for 12% revenue share for all Handmade products until 8/1/2016.  After that, the revenue share will be in line with existing category averages.

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