Etsy was founded in 2005 and has been a well-known place for unique, handcrafted items by a variety of creators. Over the past few years, this rosy reputation has been a little tarnished. Buyers have noticed an increase in mass-market goods that are not handmade. Sellers have been dissatisfied online due to both the increased supply of mass-market goods and increased costs such as mandatory market plans. Etsy’s announcement in April that it would raise seller transaction fees from 5% to 6.5% may have been the final straw.
Many Etsy sellers have decided to strike between April 11th-18th. They are asking for support from buyers and requesting a boycott of the site. Many of these sellers are wondering if there’s another way to sell their products on the site, which is becoming increasingly difficult.
It can be difficult, especially for small vendors trying to get their handmade product noticed in a crowded market.
It takes time and resources to sell products online or offline. This is something that every retailer knows well, especially if you don’t have a full-time job. A professional-looking website is essential to showcase your products and allow potential customers to find them. It is important to keep track of your inventory so that you don’t accept sales you can’t fulfill. This is especially true if you sell on more than one website. You must be able to accept credit cards, PayPal, and other financial institutions. You will need to pack your items or arrange for them to be packed and sent out. You must deal with returns and refunds if you accept them.
This means that even if your shop is small, it can be very complicated, especially if it’s all done by you.
Etsy makes it easy to sell your products. It provides a single place where crafty items can be found. It also serves as a sales page and interface with customers. Etsy allows for additional privacy between seller and buyer since all transactions are done through the checkout system and platform of Etsy. What do you do if Etsy becomes a problem for its sellers?
If you are a buyer
If you are a buyer and want to support your favorite Etsy artisans, you can find other ways to contact them and/or buy from them. Ask them. Your search engine will be your friend here. You might find a vendor with a website that is the same name as their Etsy shop. Do some online research.
You can reach them via Etsy if you have any problems.
You can access the site, presumably before the strike, by clicking on the heart icon at top right, or your Esty Favorites icon if you haven’t been keeping one. Click on your personal icon to go to Purchases & Reviews.
Select the name of the vendor. This will take you to the main vendor page.
Scroll down to the Contact shop owner (usually at the left of the page). Send them a request for information about where else they can be found. (You can also ask them if you support the strike. Some messages on Twitter indicate that there are vendors who don’t and are concerned about losing customers.
You can reach a favorite seller through their Etsy listing.
Etsy, even in its current form, seems to be unique. There are many other places where craftpeople can get help marketing their wares but few offer the full-service plans or the reach that Etsy offers.
You can sell your products online for a start. It takes time, knowledge, skill, and patience to create a retail website. This could be an option if you have the skills or the resources to hire someone with those skills. There are other options. These may not be the best solution for everyone like Etsy, but they could work for you if you are looking for other markets.
These are just a few of many options available. There are many e-commerce websites and services that are available. Other sites may be more suitable for smaller retail shops. This will hopefully give you an idea of where to start.
EtsyIf we are going to compare multiple services to Etsy, it makes good sense to first look at what Etsy offers its sellers.
Etsy is a well-known place for handmade and craft items. As I mentioned, this reputation is beginning to fade a bit. I spoke to friends whose handmade purchases they claimed were not handmade. Etsy allows you to have your own shop, which can be used to display your items and get paid. There are also a variety other services.
Etsy charges a list of fees, which includes:
A 20-cent listing fee for a 4-month listing
A transaction fee of 6.5 percent (as of April 11th, 2018)
A 3 percent plus 25 cent payment processing fee
There is a 15% offsite ads fee, which is charged only when a purchase is made via an offsite ad. The offsite ads program is optional for those who have made less than $10,000 in the past 365 days. However, you must manually opt out.
Etsy Plus costs $10 per month, which allows you to have your own website address and additional customization options.
Trial period: An Etsy shop is not available for trial.
Amazon HandmadeRetail giant Amazon offers a special shop called Amazon Handmade where customers can find handmade goods and crafts. This is Amazon, so it’s easy to find things there. Amazon Handmade isn’t as well-known as Etsy (I only discovered it after I started researching this article).
Amazon offers two types of general plans: Professional and Individual.
Individual is 99 cents per sold item and is for beginners. It’s for those who expect to sell less than 40 units per month and don’t plan on advertising. If you are on the Individual plan, you can’t be part of Amazon Handmade. You must be on a Professional plan.
Professional costs $39.99 per month and includes advertising, top placement on site pages, as well as other features. There is an option for those who are truly craftspeople and want to be part Handmade. After you have created an Amazon seller account for Professionals, you can apply for an Artisan account to get the fee waived.
Add the referral fees. Amazon states that for every item sold, sellers pay Amazon a portion of the total price. This includes item price, shipping cost and any gift-wrapping costs. Referral fees are added to the selling plan fees. The percentage will vary depending on the product you are selling. If you sell jewelry and create it yourself, Amazon will take 20% of the total price up to $250, and 5 percent for any additional portion. Amazon will only deduct a 15% referral fee if you are eligible for Handmade.
Amazon will also charge shipping fees, but will refund the amount or a portion thereof. Professional users can determine the shipping cost and Amazon will credit them for that amount. Amazon charges a fixed shipping fee to each user. If their shipping costs exceed Amazon’s refund they will have to pay the difference (or raise their product price).
Amazon Handmade does not offer a trial period.
ShopifyShopify does not function as a marketplace like Etsy, Amazon, or even eBay. It is an e-commerce platform that allows sellers to sell their products online. You can choose from a wide range of services, including those for small and large retailers. The Basic plan includes an ecommerce website with a variety themes and blog, accessing various sales channels depending on where you are located, and the ability to sell gift certificates. Shipping discounts are available and you can use the point-of-sale app to make in-person sales. Shopify offers several reporting services and staff accounts; Advanced plans include international sales.
Shopify appears to offer a number of small-shop services that can be helpful if you are thinking about selling your website.
The Basic plan starts from $29 per month. Shopify’s payment services will charge credit card fees of 2.9 percent plus 30c per transaction for online sales. In-person sales fees are 2.7 per transaction. Shopify charges 2 percent per transaction if you don’t use their payment services.
Shopify plans start at $79 per month. Shopify’s payment options will charge credit card fees of 2.6 percent plus 30c per transaction for online sales. In-person sales fees are 2.5 percent per transaction. You will be charged 1 percent per transaction if you don’t use Shopify payment services.
The Advanced plan starts from $299 per month. Shopify’s payment services will charge credit card fees of 2.4 percent plus 30c per transaction for online sales. In-person sales fees are 2.4 per cent per transaction. You will be charged 0.5 percent per transaction if you don’t use Shopify payment services.
Shopify Lite is a great option if you just need to process credit card payments. It allows you to add a button or process in-person payments to your website for $9 a month.
14-day trial period
Big CartelBig Cartel caters to creatives and offers a limited, but useful, free plan. Although it doesn’t provide a central marketplace like Etsy, it does offer services to help crafters create an online store. It doesn’t offer arrangements for credit cards or other payments. You will need to make these arrangements via Stripe, PayPal, or Venmo. Separate fees will apply for retail sales. Big Cartel does not charge additional fees for their service.
The Gold plan is free and allows you to market up to five products, with one photo per product. You can also sell online and in-person using a custom domain. Tax calculation is available. You can also run discounts and track shipments.
The Platinum plan ($9.99/month) allows you to list up 50 products with five images per item and includes Google statistics, inventory tracking, other services, and Google statistics.
The Diamond plan allows you to list up 500 products and five images per product for $19.99/month.
Trial period: The Gold Plan is essentially a trial plan. There is no time limit.
BonanzaLike Etsy’s, Bonanza provides a central place where you can sell your stuff. But unlike Etsy it doesn’t focus on handmade crafts. It’s a more general marketplace that includes clothing, jewelry, cosmetics and furniture.
Bonanza, on the other hand is very open about their terms. According to Bonanza’s FAQ, listing your product(s), or uploading photos, is free. You do this on what Bonanza calls “booth,” which is very similar in concept to Etsy’s shop. Bonanza describes vendors as being charged on what Bonanza calls the Final Offer Value (FOV). This is the amount the buyer paid you for the item, plus any portion of the $10 shipping fee. The company claims that it will sync your products to any other marketplace.
You pay 3.5 percent if the FOV is less than $1,000
You pay the same 3.5% plus 1.5 percent for any amount above $1,000.
Bonanza also offers advertising services, which can be charged an additional fee of anywhere from 9 to 30 percent of the FOV.
Trial period: Bonanza does not charge until you make a purchase, so there is no trial period.
IndieMadeIndieMade is similar to Shopify but it’s an e-commerce platform. It helps you create a website where you can sell your products. It is not like Shopify and is geared towards craftspeople.
IndieMade offers four levels of membership. Each level includes a custom IndieMade domain with SSL certification, the ability for customers to select product attributes (size, color, etc.) and the ability generate coupons. A blog. There are only two things that differ between the levels: how many products you can sell, and how many photos per product.
The basic price is $4.95 per month and allows you to sell up to 10 products, with five photos per product.
Standard prices $12.95 per month for up 250 products and 10 photos
Pro costs $14.95 per month for up 500 products and 20 photos
Unlimited products and unlimited photos are available at an additional $19.95
IndieMade offers a 30-day free trial.
GoimagineGoimagine is a marketplace for artists and craftspeople who want to sell handmade goods. Goimagine is not like Etsy. Anyone who wants to sell their goods on Goimagine must follow a strict list of guidelines to ensure they are handmade. Goimagine’s website states that all profits are donated to Horizons for Homeless Children (HBO) and Relief Nursery (RH).
Goimagine offers four levels of membership: All Star, Growth, Professional, Professional, and Starter. All levels include a shop, a mobile app, and the ability import from Etsy. The All Star and Professional levels include a private ecommerce website and domain integration. The fees do NOT include any charges from the payment processor used by the seller.
Starter cost $2.50 per month plus a $5 transaction fee for a catalog up to 25 items.
For a catalogue of up to 100 items, growth costs $5 per month plus a transaction fee of 4.5 percent.
For a catalog of up 250 items, the professional costs $7.50 per month plus a 4 % transaction fee.
All Star costs $10 per month plus a transaction fee of 3.5 percent for a catalog up to 1,000 items.
Trial period: None
eBayAnd then there’s eBay. Although the sheer number of products on eBay can seem overwhelming, it could be a place where someone looking for a particular product could find it. Although eBay was initially known for reselling used goods, it can now be used to sell almost any item you can find. You can also set up email reminders so that your customers are notified whenever you add new items.
eBay charges two types fees: a listing fee (also known as an insertion fee) or a final value charge.
You can list up 250 items per month, without paying an insertion fee. After that, you will be charged 35 cents per month for each listing.
The final value fee is a percentage of your final sales price plus 30 cents per purchase. It can vary depending on the product you are selling. You can find the price of your product on eBay’s chart.
You can start your own eBay shop by purchasing a Store subscription. The price of your subscription depends on how much you sell per month, as well as the type and quantity of promotional tools and sales tools you need.
These subscriptions provide a storefront as well as a large number fixed-price or auction listings per month, customer service, and many other features.
Starter Store costs $4.95 per month and offers up 250 auction listings or fixed-price listings.
Basic Store costs $21.95 per month and offers up 1,000 fixed-price listings, 250 auction listings, and lower final value fees. It also includes $25 worth of eBay-branded shipping supplies.
Premium Store costs $59.95 per month and offers up 10,000 fixed-price listings, 500 auction listings, lower final values fees, and $50 worth eBay branded shipping supplies.
There are also additional levels available for larger retailers.
Trial period: eBay does not offer free trials.
Updated May 4, 2022, 3:10 PM ET: This article was originally published April 7, 2022. It was updated on April 8th, 2022 to clarify Etsy’s policies regarding offsite ads and its ability provide privacy between buyer/seller. Zibbet was removed as it is no more active, and Goimagine was added.