Thinking about selling your handmade goods? Thanks to third-party online marketplaces, it's easier than ever for crafters and artists to turn their hobbies into businesses. While many of these entrepreneurs choose the popular Etsy as their primary virtual storefront, it's certainly not the only one out there. In fact, many sellers operate on multiple platforms to maximize their visibility and sales. Check out these alternative marketplaces to help you decide which one is right for your business.
This Milwaukee-based site officially launched out of beta in October 2013. Aftcra's focus is promoting exclusively handcrafted products made by American artists and artisans. Erica Riegelman, president of the company, told Business News Daily 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. 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 determine 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
Craft Is Art
When Craft Is Art started in 2009, the site only sold retail jewelry and accessories. After receiving numerous requests from crafters looking to list their products within the site's first year, Craft Is Art transformed into the handmade marketplace it is today. In addition to offering handcrafted items in a wide range of categories, the site also sells fine art pieces, vintage products and wholesale craft supplies. Website: craftisart.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
RebelsMarket serves as both an online community and an e-commerce platform for people interested in fashion subcultures like steampunk, goth and pinup. While it doesn't exclusively sell handmade items, the "world's largest alternative marketplace" does offer free online stores for sellers, who are screened by RebelsMarket to ensure only the best in "unique and edgy" products. Website: rebelsmarket.com
This site has a unique business model: The profits from the company's screen printing service (Threadbird) keep Storenvy running, which allows the business to provide 100-percent free listing and membership for store owners (although extras, like custom domain names and coupons/discounts, are each $5 a month). Storenvy takes advantage of the social shopping trend and promotes products that its community of buyers have purchased and recommended. Website: storenvy.com
Sellers need to apply to Supermarket in order to open their shops, 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 of products, but the keyword search bar will help buyers narrow down their options and find your product. Website: supermarkethq.com
Yokaboo is based in the United Kingdom 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 listings. 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
Following Etsy's 2013 policy change that allows outside manufacturers to contribute to shop owners' production operations, some sellers sought out 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
As a direct-to-buyer marketplace featuring exclusive items from artists, Ziibra prides itself on telling the stories behind the crafts. Each Ziibra seller has his or her own profile, complete with a portfolio, a "journal" and even video content to help artists share their creative process with potential buyers. The site is dedicated to helping artists make a steady living from their work while giving them the tools to engage with their community of fans. Website: ziibra.com
For in-depth reviews on these and other handmade marketplaces, visit our sister site, Top Ten Reviews.
Originally published on Oct. 16, 2013. Updated March 5, 2015.