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Amazon Goes Etsy: New 'Handmade' Storefront Sells Artisan Goods

by Julianne Pepitone /

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Amazon is getting crafty. The online retail giant is launching Handmade at Amazon, an Etsy-like virtual storefront where artisans can sell their handcrafted wares.

The Handmade at Amazon page launched Thursday morning, and the storefront is a photo-heavy page hawking jewelry, home decor, art and other goods as well as highlighted "Editor's Picks." Handmade looks a lot like the giant of homemade crafts, Etsy (whose shares were down more than 6 percent Thursday morning after Amazon's announcement).

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Amazon "set a high bar" for its definition of handmade, the company said in a press release. The items can't be made in a factory or be re-sold products, and the artisan must have made them by hand. Only artisans who make who "unique, one-of-a-kind items" are invited to be part of the program, Amazon said.

The Handmade storefront also pushes the personal connection between the artisan and the customer. Each product in the Handmade section includes a photo of the artisan and a link to his or her profile "describing their workspace, process, and inspiration."

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Would-be buyers can filter products by location to find crafts from more than 85 countries. As with other Amazon products, customers can also search by price range or for only products that offer free two-day shipping with an Amazon Prime subscription.

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