I looked into this briefly when amazon announced its plans to have artists sell their handmade items on their platform. That interest died VERY quickly after finding out a few massive negatives about that platform.

First, ideally, you want customers to buy from you directly. Through your own website, a platform that YOU control. Now I know first hand that is easier said than done. Even if you can build an amazing shop on your site for your paintings or drawings, getting people to the site can be difficult, to say the least. This is where Ebay and Etsy are far better choices. You can brand your listings on those platforms. You can have your logo on the image. Even if you can’t link directly to your website (I believe you can now on Etsy but still not on Ebay, someone correct me if I’m wrong), you’re still getting your name out there. I’ve had people buy from me on ebay then come purchase directly from me or contact me about making other special listings just for them on ebay  for paintings they wanted. While this may not be as great as them buying from your website directly, it’s a step in building that customer base who knows you, knows your name and your brand.

With amazon, you can’t do ANY of that. You can’t communicate with your customers outside of the amazon platform. If you get caught asking for their email address…your amazon sellers account can be terminated. If you include a business card in the box…terminated again. You are not going to build a customer base off of amazon’s platform. Amazon is very clear that they are THEIR customers and they are not sharing. With amazon, you are no more than a drop shipment seller.

Amazon costs MUCH more in fees to sell on than ebay or etsy. While I have no problem with paying fees for help in selling a painting I couldn’t sell myself, amazon’s are a LOT higher.

Amazon wants to control the prices you set. I have read several articles where amazon decided that a seller’s price of their OWN one of a kind item was too high and insisted that they either lower it to the amount amazon wanted… or be removed. Now you may be thinking “well that makes sense, I’ve seen people try to sell a $10 item on ebay for $2000”. That isn’t what is happening here. They are forcing people who have been doing great on their sales to lower prices. So you may want $500 for a painting but amazon can decide that it is too high and you need to lower it to their amount. How does that make sense if that seller had a great history of selling them through amazon at the $500 price?!

You have to remember amazon has a reputation for having items at low prices and the fastest delivery…and free shipping of course. Fast and cheap is not really the reputation we want as artists. Art is a luxury item so it doesn’t really fit in on that platform anyway unless it’s the mass-produced work coming out of China.  I love amazon but even I expect anything I buy there to be the lowest price possible and to get to me in 1-2 days max. This is just not practical for art.

Given these major negatives I think it makes much more sense to focus selling on platforms like Ebay and Etsy. Amazon handmade just has too many negatives.