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Amazon opens online shop for handmade goods

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This September 28, 2011 file photo shows the Amazon logo during a press conference in New York.

[SAN FRANCISCO] Online retail colossus Amazon on Thursday opened a shop showcasing handmade goods sold directly by artisans.

Handmade at Amazon came as a challenge to New York City-based Etsy, an e-commerce website devoted to personally crafted and vintage items.

All items in the store, launched at amazon.com/handmade, must be "factory-free" and made by hand, according to the Seattle-based firm.

"We have designed a custom shopping experience for customers looking for handmade items by bringing together many of the best artisans in the world, and they're adding thousands of items daily," Amazon marketplace vice president Peter Faricy said in a release.

"Knowing an item has a unique story behind it creates a personal experience that customers have told us makes owning handmade items special." The virutal store opened with more than 80,000 items, according to Amazon.

Categories include jewelry, art, furniture, and home decor, with each product page showing the location of the artisan and linking to their personal profile.

AFP