Lately, I’ve seen a lot of Etsy sellers starting a second shop, outside of Etsy, not always with great results. I think Etsy is the best marketplace to start selling your handmade products but when you gain more popularity, you have to think about other alternatives.
There is a bit of confusion about what is the best alternatives, so I decided to list here the most popular and used, so you’ll pick what is the best, based on what you’re looking for.
In this first post, I just listed the marketplace and not the website like BigCartel and Shopify.
A marketplace is a website which allows merchants and individual traders to sell their products through their system for either a percentage of the sale or for a listing fee.
There are, on Etsy, more than 25 millions of registered users (the sellers are about 850k). In April 2013, more than 4 millions of items were sold on the marketplace. Those numbers explain why Etsy it’s the best place to start your handmade shop. Of course, they means also more competition but it’s your duty as a shop owner to deal with it.
Keep in mind:
- On Etsy you can just sell handmade and vintage products or supplies, else they can close your shop (related post).
- Etsy offers a lot of resources for marketing and handling your shop
- Etsy is translated into more than 7 languages
- Etsy offers the possibility to create coupon codes and gift cards
- Etsy gets volume discounts from the US Postal Service
- On Etsy you can only customize a little banner at the top of the page and your about page
- You can get a lot of sales on Etsy just from people finding you through the search bar
- Etsy has a local feature that makes it easy to connect with vendors in your area.
- They offer the possibility to create Treasuries. They’re groups of items that share something similar such as color, theme or use. Shop owners can create treasury lists featuring their products along with products from other sellers. This creates a lot of exposure
- Customers have to create an Etsy account to purchase from your store
- You can put your store in “Vacation mode”, when you are you vacation or you have problems with your shop.
- They provide powerful analytics on visitors of your shop
- There are hundred of apps integrated with Etsy
Each listing on Etsy costs $0.20 USD when the listing is published. A listing lasts for four months or until the item is sold. When you make a sale on Etsy, you will be charged a transaction fee of 3.5% of the item price.
Ebay is the most popular marketplace on the web. Everybody knows it but it’s not specific for the handmade sellers that can be a good thing, bad thing. I personally don’t like to buy on Ebay because it’s a bit confusing and it’s hard to find great products in the mass. For those reasons, I prefer Etsy.
Searching on the web I read, from a seller, that on Ebay there’s more traffic than Etsy and the search engine is better too.
Keep in mind:
- Ebay has a tons of traffic and they do advertise on Google AdWords
- The fees are bigger than the Etsy ones
- It allows up to 12 photos free
- There’s not communication between the sellers
- You can sell whatever you want
- They also calculated the fee on the shipping cost
- On Ebay your a seller not a shop, so your page isn’t nice as the one on the other marketplace
Take a look at this conversation on the Etsy Team about selling on Ebay
The pricing is a bit complicated, the transaction fee change depending the category of your products, so the best thing is use this calculator to find out the exact price. I tried, for example, putting a pair of pants for kids with the price of $23, the estimated fee was $2.70. About the listing, 50 are free, but after that you will be charged $0.30 per listing, every month. There are also other special features you can purchase, see more in details here.
Some seller told me they put their items on Ebay at a higher price compared to the Etsy one, so they can continue to have the same earn. So, before starting selling on Ebay, be sure to know first the fee, they will put on your products.
It’s a marketplace, but also a stand alone shop. If you start to sell on Storenvy you will have your custom shop, where you can choose theme, put it on your domain etc.., but you will also have a shop in the Storenvy.com marketplace that is similar to the others. Every user that comes to your shop on Storenvy.com can visit your custom shop by clicking on the button visible at the center.
Keep in mind:
- You can have unlimited products with free listings
- The buyers don’t have to be registered on Storenvy to finish the purchase
- The website is simple to use and the setup is really fast
- You can activate the “Maintenance Mode” when you’re on vacation
- You can offer discounts
- The user of the marketplace can “Follow” your shop so they get instant updates when you add new things to your store.
- You have the possibility to easily put your store on your Facebook Page
- They provide you analytics on the visits to your shop
Right now, Storenvy is free, you have to pay $4.99 just if you want to put your store on your domain name. The next year they will be introducing a Marketplace Revenue Share, a percentage of share on the product that the buyers purchase from the Storenvy.com marketplace. The sales you drive to your custom store are all your own, you will always keep 100% of those orders.
It’s a relativity new marketplace, they launched the website on August 2012 so there’s not the amount of traffic of Etsy but there aren’t listing fees so can be good to try. I think they’re a promising company because they have a great team and they’re adding innovative features.
Keep in mind:
They permit you to create a “Group Deal”. For example: you offer a 15% off if 5 or more people join the group. The purchase doesn’t close until all 5 people have signed up.
Good Smith’s is currently only available for U.S.- and Canada-based shop owners.
You can only sell handmade products or supplies, more info here
They created an iPhone app, Swipe, that permits you to accept credit card payments on the go, for example during a craft fair. It’s completely integrated with their marketplace and with your inventory. Check out the app here
You can easily import your Etsy listing but you still have to individually hand list each item and change the shipping cost because they put “free shipping” as default
Starting with the ‘Classic’ plan you have the possibility to enable a live chat on your shop
Good Smith’s has a neat blogging function that allows you to blog from your shop and feature a published listing in each blog post.
There is a free plan where you will pay just a transaction fee of 2.5%. With the Rockstar plan, you have a fee of $12 a month without any transaction fee.
DaWanda is a marketplace of handmade products created in Germany in 2006. It’s populated primarily of European sellers. There are more than 205k sellers and a total of 2.7 million members. The functionality and the home page is pretty similar to Etsy, however the shop page on DeWanda is a little bit more personal than the Etsy one, but the overall graphic of the website is worst.
Keep in mind:
- You can only sell handmade or vintage products and supplies.
- The banner of your shop is bigger than the Etsy one
- DeWanda is provided in 7 languages, to sell in all the countries, all you need to do is to include your product descriptions in those languages
- To sell internationally, you should also include a translation of your shop description, shop categories and shop window in the languages that you list your products in
- You will need to create an account regardless of whether you are a buyer or a seller.
- Dewanda’s system automatically saves a template for every item you list, so listing a new product takes just 2 minutes
- DeWanda created a tool called “Style Lab” where you can offer your customers made to measure items.
- You can easily link you shop with your Facebook Page
DaWanda pricing is a little be complex. There aren’t monthly fees, but there is a 5% transaction fee. If you give a customer a discount on an order, the 5% commission is calculated on the basis of the original price of the order.
There are no listing fees for listing an item on the English platform, but they’re planning to launch them at some point this year.
To list an item in an additional second category costs €0.40 (incl. VAT) per listing.
It’s an Australian marketplace of handmade products created in 2007. I listed it because I highly suggest to the Australian sellers to open an account on it because I’ve read different, good reviews about it.
Keep in mind:
- You cannot sell vintage products or supplies
- Whether you are a Buyer or Seller, you’ll have to be a registered user on MadeIt
- You can sell on this marketplace only if you’re physically in Australia
- You can advertise your shop on the website and on the weekly newsletter they send to the users. Read plans and pricing here
If you decide to open a store on Madeit, I suggest you to read this post from “The Crafty Mummy” with tips on selling on Madeit.
- MadeIt charges a flat fee of $0.35 per listing. If your item is sold, you will be charged 4.5% on the sale price.
- When creating your listing, there are additional features available that incur extra costs.
- To have your listing featured in the gift guide for up to 15 days (or until sold) is an additional cost of $2.00 per listing.
- To include extra images above the free limit of 4 images will cost $0.20 per additional image
- To list your item in a second category will cost an additional $0.25
Papernstich is an online exhibition space that was created to promote talented artists, designers, and makers selling handmade goods.The site was created by Jeff and Brittni, she’s also in charge of the blog, that I highly recommend because it is super interesting and well designed. (link to the blog)
So, it’s not a classical marketplace, you cannot just register your shop and enter, you have to send your work and be chose to be featured there. If you want to submit your work, go to this page.
Keep in mind:
- The exhibition will be live for one month, you’ll have an entire page with all your products.
- Not everybody can enter, the creators pick just the best shops
- The website has great exposure (over 120,000 unique views per month)
Currently, the fee for new sellers is $55 for one exhibition
I know there are more marketplaces out there, but because I didn’t find too much information about them, about the traffic, etc.. I decided not to add them.
If you are using another one with great results and you want to suggest it to the other sellers, please send me a mail or leave a comment.