When it comes to selling crafts online, Etsy is ubiquitous, but let’s not forget the plethora of alternatives that you can choose from.
If you’re one of the growing number of people who are looking to earn some cash from selling your handmade crafts online, it’s probably too early to go through the hassle of setting up and running a full-blown online store. Instead, your energy should be spent on crafting amazing products that sell.
Fortunately, a wide array of solutions have popped up that handle the digital storefront for you, allowing you to focus on your goods. Etsy is by far the most popular, but with the site’s rapidly depreciating stock and Amazon’s plan to launch a competing marketplace, it may be wise to hedge your bets.
Etsy Is Not the Only Option
Many people believe that Etsy’s large visitor numbers will guarantee product sales, but this is jumping the gun.
Whichever platform you choose to sell through, the onus is largely on you to drive traffic to your product pages. This could be via blog posts, social media, YouTube videos, etc. Sure, one would hope to make some organic sales through your chosen marketplace, but relying on this as your sole source of traffic and revenue is a risky business.
Realizing that you’re responsible for generating your own traffic may be daunting, but it’s also liberating. You’re now free to choose the platform that offers the features that best suit your needs rather than being forced to pick a particular service because it’s the largest on offer.
So without further ado, here are six valuable Etsy alternatives to check out. Despite what we just said about driving your own traffic, we’ve included a couple of options where the marketplace does provide significant traffic. (In case that’s what you prefer.)
In their own words, Zibbet was launched to help you “buy unique handmade products, fine art, vintage and craft supplies”.
With a kitsch design and over 50,000 sellers, Zibbet is a haven for those who are disconcerted about Etsy’s recent allowance of manufacturers and resellers onto their site. In fact, if you’re already selling on Etsy, Zibbet can automatically copy all of your listings over to their store!
Within minutes, you can launch your own Zibbet store and start selling with no listing or selling fees, plus access to valuable store analytics. Accounts start from free (up to 10 simultaneous listings) up to $10 per month (unlimited listings, priority rankings on marketplace searches).
Everything on Handmade Artists must be— you guessed it— hand made. That means no mass produced craft materials or vintage stores are to be found. The site also purports to put a lot of effort into the promotion of listed items to ensure as much exposure as possible, and on my last check, many items had well over 300 views.
When browsing the various categories though, you’ll see ample room to stand out by uploading higher quality photos, item titles, and descriptions, meaning you won’t necessarily be washed out by the competition.
As with Zibbet, Handmade Artists does not charge a commission or listing fee, but rather a simple $5 per month subscription (for unlimited listings), which will also see your products listed on Google Shopping. An added bonus is a pretty active forum where you can chat crafts and business with other sellers and enthusiasts.
Just to throw a spanner in the works, UncommonGoods isn’t a place where you set up your own store. Rather, if your product is deemed good enough, they’ll sell it on their store and split the earnings.
If you’re an expert and pride yourself on making high quality products with a focus on design, consider submitting your handmade or recycled crafts to this site. Their buyers will review your submission and get back to you within a couple of weeks, after which they may be willing to put your product up to a “community vote” to see if it can be sold on the site.
Although not all products on the site are handmade, many are. So, before submitting, you must be able to create enough of your individual products to sell en masse. The fact that this unique gift store can essentially sell your product for you means that once it’s accepted, you can largely leave the marketing to someone else, without needing to worry about order fulfillments, postage, or keeping your store up to date.
The team behind aftcra are all about showcasing the skill and creativity that’s strewn across the US, with their tagline proudly boasting “Crafted by American Hands”. In general, the overall quality of the handmade listings on this site is extremely high — the listings have great photos and impressive descriptions.
Setting up a store on aftcra is free, but there is a 7% commission on each sale. Whether you splash out for this depends on your confidence that you can compete with the other sellers on the marketplace and make a good return on that investment!
With a heavy focus on design, Supermarket offers a whole world of beautiful products from a huge array of designers and craftspeople. The standard of craftsmanship here is immense, making it extremely easy to get lost in a sea of desire for almost every product for sale.
Unfortunately, not anyone can sell on the store. The products on offer are carefully curated to fit in with the overall theme of the site, but if you think your handmade crafts could be a fit here, pitch them to the site!
If your crafting has an eco dimension, Hyena Cart could be a fantastic place to sell your wares. They don’t have as much traffic as sites like Etsy or Supermarket, so the pressure will be on to drive your own traffic. The good news is the lack of listing fees and final-value fees, and the storefronts are easy to use.
A quick browse around the site suggests that the main buyer here will be moms shopping for their newborns, so if your products are more aimed at middle-aged goths, perhaps you may want to sell elsewhere.
Another potentially useful feature is the ability to sell as an auction rather than at a fixed price. And with the $5 per month subscription (plus a $10 one-time setup fee), you’re able to list as many items as you like. Finally, although Hyena Cart’s forums were recently closed, they do have a small Facebook group you can join if you wish to chat about selling and crafting.
Where Will You Sell Your Goods?
Once you’ve decided on the platform you’ll be using, make sure to research how best to use its features.
Ensure your photos are tantalizing and your descriptions titillating. Work on making every aspect of buying from you a unique experience that your customers will love, and learn to interpret your audience to help you make more informed decisions about the future of your business.
Which other craft platforms would you recommend? Where have you had the most success? Got any tips for newbies? Share with us in the comments!