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Etsy Alternatives for Crafty Entrepreneurs

Etsy Alternatives for Crafty Entrepreneurs
Credit: yingko/Shutterstock

Etsy has become a household name for crafters and shoppers alike. But it's not the only option. There are plenty of marketplaces out there to sell your precious handmade goods, antiques and art. And if you're currently an Etsy shop owner, you might be a bit miffed at the recent rise in transaction fees (from 3.5 to 5 percent). Check out these alternatives to see if there's one for you.

This marketplace is where crafters from all over the world can come together to buy, sell and interact. ArtFire offers a wide variety of handmade items and offers the option for buyers to post a "wanted" ad if they are looking for something specific to be made. The website also allows for easy searches by category, occasion colors, trends or boutique. There is a listing fee, but it can be as low as 23 cents per item. A Standard subscription will cost you $4.95 per month, plus the per-item fee for up to 250 items. ArtFire will take 9 percent of the final sale. A Popular subscription is $20 per month, but ArtFire only gets 3 percent of a sale, you can list up to 1,000 items, and there's no listing fee. The high-end Featured subscription is $40 per month with a 3 percent cut of sales on 2,500 items and no listing fees. That version will give you more visibility on the site.

Yup. That Amazon. Amazon Handmade is for artisans looking to sell their pieces to a mass audience – like 250 million people. All products available in your store must be made entirely by hand, hand-altered or hand-assembled. The products must be handmade by the artisan, an employee or a member of your collective. Once your application is approved, you can start selling in any of the many categories, such as jewelry, home decor, apparel and personal care. Listings are free, and there's no limit to how many you can post. But it will cost you $39.99 per month, and Amazon takes a 12 percent cut of every sale.

Big Cartel prides itself on being "made by artists, for artists." It promotes the creativity of the crafters and wants them to succeed in a world dominated by mass-produced goods. With this marketplace, you can easily customize one of the premade themes by changing images, colors, fonts and more. You can list items such as T-shirts, art, ceramics and stickers. There are four plan options, ranging from five products (the free option) to 300 products and resources such as Google Analytics and inventory tracking ($30 per month). It integrates with four payment processing services, each of which has its own per-transaction fee, but Big Cartel doesn't charge a transaction fee.

eCRATER is an online marketplace that brings buyers and sellers together. It's free to register, with customizable online stores. Users also have access to the community forum, where sellers can connect with buyers and fellow sellers can share their experiences. New users have to register an account and open their store, which is free. You get 100 percent of the sales that you bring to your store, and you only have to pay a 2.9 percent fee if eCRATER brings a sale through the main marketplace. 

Based out of Ontario, Cananda, iCraftGifts only allows sellers who hand-make art, crafts and fashion items. You can even let buyers know that you are accepting custom project requests. Setting up a store is easy, and once you do, you'll have access to marketing services, community blog articles, message boards, and arts and crafts events. iCraftGifts has no transaction or listing fees, but it does strictly review all submitted work to make sure it meets the site's mission and values. You can sign up for a Starter listing plan for $5 per month for up to 12 months with 50 listings. A Professional account is $10 per month for up to 100 items, and an Elite account is unlimited listings for $15 per month. There's also a one-time $25 registration fee.

IndieMade is one-stop store for artists. The site handles everything needed for marketing and managing a website, including photo galleries, web hosting, marketing tools and support. When you sign up for a 30-day free trial, you gain access to all those tools and much more. There are four options for listing products on IndieMade, from the basic option for $4.95 a month to the Plus option for $19.95 per month. Each level offers something different, with the highest one offering 300 products, 10 images per product, coupons and  much more. There are no listing fees. You can sign up for a free trial.

Misi is a U.K.-based marketplace for handmade and personalized creations. It works with the designers to help them create, build and expand their businesses from the ground up. The marketplace provides content to guide you in your business, and provides tips and tricks for using social media to boost your sales. Categories include wedding items, baby and child, and homeware accessories. Setting up a shop is free, but there are small listing fees (0.2 pounds) and 3 percent commission on each sale. 

With Shopify, you get more than just a marketplace. You can create an online store and get a custom domain and website design without any previous knowledge of designing a website. Shopify provides resources to help artisans create the best e-commerce site possible. The website are optimized for mobile and desktop, and there are more than 100 store themes to choose from. Shopify Payments allows you to accept credit cards immediately without going through a third party, but it will cost you 2.9 percent plus 30 cents for online transactions. If you opt for a third-party payment system, you'll still owe Shopify 2 percent of final sales. You can get shipping labels and estimated shipping costs right from Shopify and save money on postage. To see Shopify's full list of services and sign up for a 14-day free trial, visit its website. A Basic plan is $29 per month, a regular Shopify account is $79 per month, and an Advanced account is $299. There is a ShopifyPlus account for enterprise-level companies or Shopify Lite for $9 per month, but that only allows sales through Facebook.

If you fancy yourself an artist and want to try your hand at selling your work, Society6 is the perfect opportunity. You must be a verified member of Society6, because that is how artists get paid for their sales. With a Society6 page, you are in complete control of the rights to your work and can post artwork, set prices, and add other products with your art on them, such as T-shirts and laptop skins. Society6 does take a 10 percent fee for all sales.

The Volusion marketplace is similar to Shopify in that you can use its resources to build the perfect website with a custom domain, and the website is responsive so your customers can view you on any device. Volusion offers many resources for listing products, processing order, payment processing, shipping options and so much more. With a subscription, you gain 24/7 access to e-commerce experts who can assist you in any way possible. The Mini account is $15 per month for 100 product listings. A Plus account is $35 per month for 1,000 listings, a Pro account is $75 for 10,000 products, and a Premium account is $135 per month for unlimited products. There are no transaction fees. You can sign up for a free trial.

Home to more than 55,000 independent creatives, Zibbet prides itself on featuring individual handmade-only sellers who manage their own creation process from conception to packaging to shipping. The site does not require listing fees or take commission. In addition, it offers tons of tools and support opportunities for sellers, including a customizable stand-alone website, Etsy importing, order management and statistics. A Starter membership will cost you $4 per month for up to 50 items, a Pro account is $8 per month for unlimited items, and an Unlimited account is $16 per month, when billed annually, for unlimited items and full customization options.

 

Jennifer Post

Jennifer Post graduated from Rowan University in 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. Having worked in the food industry, print and online journalism, and marketing, she is now a freelance contributor for Business News Daily. When she's not working, you will find her exploring her current town of Cape May, NJ or binge watching Pretty Little Liars for the 700th time.