Etsy Vs. Amazon: Who Really Cares About Entrepreneurs?

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The New York Times writes:

“Amazon has stepped into the handcrafted-goods ring on Thursday, opening an arts-and-crafts bazaar online that squarely takes aim at a niche but growing market dominated by the Brooklyn-based Etsy. The new marketplace, called Handmade at Amazon, went live at 3 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday with a lineup of over 80,000 items from about 5,000 sellers in 60 countries. The marketplace lets artisans peddle their handmade wares — think walnut cuff links and felt pennants — much as Etsy has done.”

Although the Times reports that Handmade at Amazon will feel totally different from the rest of the space, one can only wonder if either platform is the right fit anymore for entrepreneurs.

Shannon Whitehead, founder of Factory45 wrote on the subject: “As someone who is directly involved in the maker movement, I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I didn’t pay much attention when Etsy changed its policies last fall. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, CEO Chad Dickerson announced that Etsy sellers could use outside manufacturers to produce their designs. In other words, items sold on Etsy no longer had to be handmade.”

Seemingly seizing on the uncertainty that has loomed regarding Etsy “since the site made changes to vendor rules, allowing sellers to outsource some of their manufacturing. The changes have caused dismay among some sellers over what they see as a betrayal of Etsy’s artisanal roots,” says the New York Times.

But with large corporations like Etsy and Amazon attempting to go to bat for the little guys, is it the buyer or the seller who has to wonder how handmade the community is?

More here on the New York Times.