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Michaels Launches Handmade Marketplace with Some Unique Revenue Opportunities

Michaels Launches Handmade Marketplace in Beta

Retail chain Michaels launched its new online marketplace called MakerPlace in beta on August 3rd, and it will give discounts on crafts supplies to artisans and crafters who sell there, while also allowing them to earn revenue through affiliate sales and by teaching classes on Zoom.

Note that Michaels MakerPlace is not to be confused with Michaels Marketplace launched in March, which allows sellers to offer “arts & crafts components, home décor, seasonal items, and other components in Michaels categories” that appear side-by-side with Michaels products on Michaels.com.

In addition to making money on Michaels MakerPlace through the sale of handmade goods, sellers can also publish “how-to” posts that include lists of supplies necessary to make the item. If customers make purchases from the supply list, Michaels will give the seller an affiliate commission. (Sellers on the Basic plan earn 3% of the price of the supplies, and sellers on the Professional Seller Plan earn 6% of the sales price for such items – sellers must wait at least 69 days for affiliate commission payouts, according to the terms.)

Sellers can also receive compensation for teaching online courses. The fees and other pertinent information are spelled out on Michaels.com/makerplace/sell.

MakerPlace Basic plans are free – members incur a 4% referral fee and a 3% plus 20-cent transaction fee on the sale of their items.

MakerPlace Professional plans cost $9.98/month (or $110/year) – members incur a 2% referral fee plus 3% plus 20-cent transaction fee.

Professional members earn a 6% commission from how-to posts and classes, while Basic members earn 3%. And both Basic and Professional members who teach classes receive 80% of the class registration revenue.

As always, reviewing the complete terms and conditions is critical – such as the arbitration and indemnity clauses, and the section titled “Michaels In Store Returns.” An excerpt of the latter policy states: “Where customers seek to return Products sold via the MakerPlace Sites in Michaels stores, we may (in our sole discretion) assist the Customer with such returns by helping them to create a return shipping label to you if you have not responded to the Customer within the 72 hour period required as your service level for customers, and the Customer is making such a request within your return policy timeframe for the Product.” The Seller Agreement can be found on this page of the Michaels.com MakerPlace website with links to all of its selling policies listed on the left side of the page, including its Handmade Policy (which states in part, “Reselling is prohibited, including unaltered vintage items and mass-produced goods”).

In an email to prospective sellers forwarded to EcommerceBytes by a reader, Michaels wrote in part:

“Meet MakerPlace, a new online store for authentically handmade goods, live online classes and helpful how-to’s.

“MakerPlace is now open as a beta experience. By using the site, you’ll be helping us learn about and enhance the experience in real time. Thanks in advance!

“Interested in becoming a seller? Be among the first to set up a store on MakerPlace to enjoy lower fees, clear pricing, and MORE ways to earn!

After browsing the site and finding a crochet raccoon for sale, we went to the MakerPlace homepage and tested the search engine by searching for “crochet raccoon.” It returned 4 results, including the item we had viewed. You can browse or search the site at Michaels.com/makerplace and can read Craft Industry Alliance’s indepth look from July.

Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She’s a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of “Turn eBay Data Into Dollars” (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, “Blogging Heroes” (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 – present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 – present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

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