With over 60 million products listed on Etsy as of 2019, Etsy sellers are facing more competition than ever for their handmade products. Despite being the largest online marketplace for craftspeople, Etsy’s high listing fees and saturated market means many sellers are looking for alternatives. Thankfully, there are dozens of websites like Etsy where business owners can sell handmade items.
In this article, we’ll look into the top eleven sites like Etsy, where small businesses can flourish. But first, let’s take a closer look at how Etsy works.
What is Etsy?
Etsy started in 2005 and is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York. It’s a leading global online marketplace where you can sell handmade items, vintage treasures, and everything in between. It has become a household name, and it isn’t slowing down any time soon.
How Does Etsy Work?
If you’ve never used Etsy, you’ll need to sign up for an account by clicking the “Sell on Etsy” button. The prompts will lead you through the initial process, at which point you can:
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Pros and Cons of Etsy
With recent changes, many sellers are looking for Etsy alternatives to supplement or replace their current shop. One such change, for example, is removing shop branding from listing pages. It’s crucial to examine the pros and cons of Etsy before making your choice. Here’s what you need to know:
Etsy has over 39.4 million active buyers as of 2018, which is a broad audience to market to.
Built-in analytics and invoicing software make credit card processing quick and straightforward.
Etsy makes it easy to set up and maintain your storefront.
A recent Etsy update increased fees and removed the “other items from this seller” bar at the top of a listing page. This change decreases visibility.
Etsy charges listing and transaction fees, which quickly eats away at earnings (similar to Shopify fees).
There are more than 2 million active sellers on Etsy as of 2018, which means that most markets are highly saturated.
The Best Etsy Alternatives for Sellers
Amazon Handmade has a broad market with a reputation as the reigning giant in retail. It will get your products in front of a wider audience of potential customers than most other such sites, but they appear on the Amazon storefront. Without your own seller portal, you will face intense competition from cheap, mass-produced products.
Amazon Handmade starts at $40/month plus 15% commission, but it’s a good choice for scaling past Etsy.
Aftcra is one of the smaller online selling platforms, but it’s leading among Etsy competitors for its focus on handmade items created exclusively in the United States. Despite no competition from mass-produced goods, you will have a smaller market than you would with some other Etsy alternatives.
Aftcra is free to use, but it does take a 7% commission.
IndieMade is a smaller platform designed for artists who want to list products and sell handmade items. It offers independence for the merchant while still connecting to Etsy’s marketplace for people who would like to be on both sides. It does, however, lack the involved community of other sites like Etsy.
IndieMade starts with a basic plan of $4.95/month for ten products with no transaction fees.
Storenvy focuses on hand-selected, handmade goods from indie retailers. Average price points tend to be higher here than on Etsy, so you face less market saturation. It does, however, cater primarily to a young, hip demographic, which can spell trouble for some sellers.
Storenvy fees are a 10% commission from each sale, but it is otherwise free to use.
Zibbet is a handmade goods marketplace that gives you the ability to make a standalone site and an Etsy-type marketplace shop, which is the best of both worlds. It also has excellent inventory management. It does, however, have a shorter reach and is still improving user experience.
Zibbet starts at $5/month if you need more than the ten listings available for the free account.
Bonanza functions somewhat like eBay, with a firm focus on artisan items. Automated listings put your products in front of users on eBay, Nextag, and Google Shopping, to name a few. It does, however, have limited customization and a reputation for being less user-friendly.
Bonanza membership starts at $25/month plus a 3.5% commission.
Artyah is one of many Etsy competitors focusing on crafts and artisan products. It’s small, independently run, and has steadily-increasing traffic. The site still needs work in the design department and has a smaller audience than Etsy, but is quickly gaining traction for merchants selling their products online.
Artyah doesn’t charge subscription fees, and you can list unlimited products, but it does take a 3.5% transaction fee.
Society6 is a marketplace and a digital art platform that allows artists to upload work and print it on a variety of mediums. If you haven’t set up an Etsy store yet, it can be a great alternative that builds a business in a new market for you. However, you, as the artist, will not have control over product quality before it reaches buyers.
Society6 charges a $1 verification fee. The platform handles all listing and manufacturing fees and pays 10-20% of each sale to the seller.
Folksy is one of the leading Etsy alternatives in the UK. It promotes small, handmade crafters and artisans, excluding the sale of vintage goods to maintain its niche. If you’re not in the UK, however, you can’t sell on the site.
Folksy has no signup costs, but they do charge fees for listing items, plus a 6% commission.
ArtFire is a global marketplace and one of the top Etsy competitors. It allows you to link pre-existing stores to your marketplace, and it can expand your reach. It has a similar fee structure to Etsy, but without as much market saturation.
ArtFire starts at $4.95/month, with a $0.23 listing fee and a 9% transaction fee.
Big Cartel is a user-friendly eCommerce platform that includes website building, means that you don’t have to worry about creating your WordPress site. This can, however, be frustrating for sellers who already have a website set up using WooCommerce, Magenta or other platforms, since you will have to list each item twice, once on your site and once on Big Cartel.
Big Cartel starts at $9.99/month for twenty-five listings with zero sales commission.
Choosing the Right Online Store Platform
You spend plenty of time picking the right checking account or the best credit card for your business, so why not the right sales platform? Explore your favorite options with more research and a browse of some of their top sellers to get a better idea of where you’d like to set up shop.
Look for a platform that inspires you and will attract your target audience, but also examine technical features and recent happenings within the company. For example, Etsy has acquired sites like DaWanda and Reverb in recent years.
Also consider which site will lend to effortless inventory management, sales tracking, and customer care. This can save your business valuable time and money, giving you more time to focus on what matters most.
You’ll also want to keep track of retail metrics between your physical store and your online store, to see where you can improve performance, or should focus most of your time. Need an easy way to track sales at your brick-and-mortar location? SumUp’s POS system makes it easy to track all your key performance indicators.
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