Etsy share price falls as Amazon comes over all hipster and launches Amazon Handmade

 
Emma Haslett
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Behold: the craft revolution (Source: Getty)

Amazon has just done the corporate equivalent of growing a beard and getting a tattoo sleeve, after it announced the launch of Handmade at Amazon, an online marketplace for "genuinely handmade items".

Sound familiar? That's because it's already been done - by Etsy, the US e-commerce site which launched a $3.5bn (£2.3bn) IPO in April.

Unfortunately, it's also been dubbed 2015's worst-performing flotation: shares finished yesterday at just over $14, well below its $16 IPO price - before diving 4.5 per cent to $13.54 in early morning trading in New York today on the news Amazon is trying to out-hipster it.

Whatever, as hipsters say. In a statement this morning, Amazon said the new marketplace will include jewellery, home decor, artwork, stationery and party supplies, as well as kitchen and dining and furniture. To qualify, all products must be factory-free and made by hand.

Peter Faricy, vice president for Amazon Marketplace, said the company had "designed a custom shopping experience for customers looking for handmade items by bringing together many of the best artisans in the world."

Etsy hit back:

"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 real question is whether Amazon Handmade can avoid spawning spin-off blogs such as Regretsy, the much-loved chronicle of the weird and wonderful designs sold on Etsy. Among the more publishable items that appeared on the blog before it was shut down were a set of false teeth set into a necklace, and a bird feeder made from a plastic bottle. Relive the good times here.

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