Amazon.com may be working on Etsy competitor

Artisan products could be a new category for the online retailer

Amazon.com may be planning to set up a marketplace for craftsmen, a questionnaire posted on the company's website suggests.

A marketplace focused on artisan products, which seems likely to be called Handmade, would put the online retailer directly in competition with the Etsy forum, where 1.4 million active sellers push 32 million handmade items, vintage goods and craft supplies.

Etsy sellers have received invites to sign up for the new section of the Amazon site, The Wall Street Journal reported.

On Etsy forums, some users said they had received emails from Amazon that discussed the new marketplace for handcrafted products. Some Etsy sellers are already selling through the online retailer. Others appeared interested in the new marketplace proposed.

Amazon did not immediately comment. On the form on its website, it asked users to fill out their details "to receive exclusive updates while we set up shop!" The company seemed to be particularly interested in products the artisans sold under the jewelry and home and kitchen categories, asking for information on those products at the sub-category level.

The company asked craftsmen who filled the form to forward the emails to other artisans who may also be interested in Handmade, or to list their colleagues' email addresses on the form.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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