These 10 online marketplace platforms are great Etsy alternatives for sellers of handmade goods.
Credit: Handmade crafts image via Shutterstock
Are you thinking of joining the thousands of entrepreneurs who have established an online marketplace for their handcrafted goods? Most independent artists choose Etsy as the go-to site for their virtual storefront. While Etsy is arguably one of the most popular platforms, it's certainly not the only one out there. Before you jump on the Etsy bandwagon, check out these 10 alternative online marketplaces to help you decide which one is right for your business.
This Milwaukee-based site was launched in late 2012 and just announced its move out of beta on Oct. 15. Aftcra's focus is promoting exclusively handcrafted products made by American artists and artisans. Erica Riegelman, president of the company, told BusinessNewsDaily that her family-owned business promises great customer service and person-to-person responsiveness. Aftcra is also dedicated to listening to its buyers and sellers when implementing changes and promotions on the site. Website: aftcra.com
Artists from across the globe can gather on ArtFire, a community-oriented marketplace for a wide variety of handmade items. You can shop by category, occasion, colors or trends, and ArtFire even offers the option to post a "wanted" ad for a custom-made product if buyers can't find what they're looking for — which is great for sellers who can turn projects around quickly. Podcasts, forums and articles are frequently updated to keep buyers and sellers in the loop. Website: artfire.com
Though it lacks the social community aspect of sites like ArtFire, Big Cartel is a great place for sellers who want a lot of shop customization options. The site prides itself on being an "easy-to-use, customizable and awesome" way for artists of all kinds to sell their work. There are four different monthly pricing levels, which determines the number of products you can list, but no further fees are collected from sellers. Website: bigcartel.com
Formerly known as 1000 Markets, Bonanza offers comprehensive category searches, eBay and Etsy importing options, and a ton of features for its community members, like coupons and promotions. There are no membership or listing fees, but Bonanza collects commission based on the price of items sold: 3.5 percent on items up to $500, and $17.50 plus 1.5 percent on items sold for more than $500. Website: bonanza.com
DaWanda, a German handmade and vintage product marketplace, is populated primarily with European sellers, but with worldwide shipping and PayPal payment systems, U.S. sellers can (and do) get in on the action. Staff members monitor trends on the site, and compile lists and features for its members, and detailed search options ensure that you'll find what you want. A unique feature of DaWanda is its "Gift Detective" section, which allows buyers to ask other users for input on what to buy that special someone. Website: dawanda.com
Papernstitch may not be the most convenient seller platform, but it does guarantee high-quality work: The site's creators personally select artists, designers and crafters of handmade products to be featured. If selected, a new seller pays a $55 fee to have a personalized exhibition page that is promoted for one month. The site currently features less than 30 exhibitors, so an elusive spot on Papernstitch might be difficult to obtain. However, if you have an excellent product and an existing reputation, you just might snag one. Website: papernstitch.com
Storenvy provides 100 percent free listing and membership for store owners (although extras, like custom domain names and coupons/discounts, are each $5 a month). The site also takes advantage of the social shopping trend and promotes products that have been purchased or recommended by its community of buyers. Website: storenvy.com
Like Papernstitch, sellers need to apply to Supermarket in order to open their shop, so you'll need to have a great product. There are no membership or listing fees, but the site collects commission based on how many sales you make. There are only three very broad categories, but the keyword search bar will help buyers narrow down their options and find your product. Website: supermarkethq.com
Yokaboo is based in the U.K. and offers three membership levels. The free version only allows for six product listings, but the second level, which costs roughly equivalent to $25, bumps you up to 50. With an easy setup process and a wide variety of payment options, Yokaboo boasts that no technical experience is necessary to design and manage your store. Website: yokaboo.com
In light of Etsy's new policy change that allows outside manufacturers to contribute to shop owners' production operations, some sellers have sought an alternative platform that continues to abide by handmade-only guidelines. Many have turned to Zibbet, a site that eliminates listing and commission fees for its sellers and instead only charges a low monthly fee for premium accounts (basic is free). Zibbet co-founder Andrew Gray said that his site's customer-service philosophy — "If you ask a question, you deserve an answer" — has earned it an excellent reputation among sellers of handmade products. Website: zibbet.com
For in-depth reviews on these and other handmade marketplaces, visit our sister site, TopTenREVIEWS.
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.