Etsy is the undisputed leader in the handmade products industry. Merchants and crafts people create and sell all kinds of products via the Etsy platform such as jewelry, furniture, clothing, accessories, shoes, toys… you name it, you can probably find unique, custom-made products to order.
What you probably don’t know is that Etsy isn’t the only game in town. There are several alternatives to Etsy you can also check out. Being in the home and garden niche with this site, we constantly keep our ears to the ground looking for great home decor and furniture merchants in the handmade space. Below is our list of online platforms very similar to Etsy.
FYI, just because we put this list together doesn’t mean we don’t like Etsy. We love Etsy, but we also like sharing options and ideas with you so that you can find exactly what you need… after all, Etsy doesn’t necessarily have what you’re looking for.
- You will get your own website and custom domain when you sign up for a monthly subscription. This means that you will have a much more professional appearance than simply directing people to the general website to find your items for sale.
- There is not nearly as much competition as there is on Etsy, making it much easier to find buyers for your crafts. This is especially important for people who are just starting out selling and need to build their buyer base.
- There are no commission or listing fees for the items that you are trying to sell.
- Zibbet makes it very easy to transfer over an existing Etsy store so you do not have to start fresh when opening your Zibbet store.
- There are very affordable starter plans if you are just starting out and want to set up an account without investing a lot of money.
- It’s easy for customers to find your items by searching through featured categories that you can use to tag your items.
- There’s no way to get unlimited photo uploads, even with the most expensive plans. This is very frustrating for users who want to be able to show their crafts from multiple angles and who feel as though they can’t capture them in just a few shots.
- There are limited themes that you can use on your website, which is frustrating for people who want to be able to have full control over their sites.
- Only by paying for the unlimited plan are you able to fully customize your website through Zibbet. If you do not do this, then you will still have their branding on your site.
Find it here.
- The basic plan is very affordable, making this a great option for people who are just starting out and trying to grow their new businesses.
- There are no transaction fees, resulting in the sellers being able to hold on to more of their money.
- It’s possible to set up a lot of different store sections to be able to separate items for sale.
- Because of the Etsy Connect ability, users can easily link their Etsy products to IndieMade.
- Sellers on IndieMade are able to sell digital products.
- Sellers can include embedded video and audio in their listings to further showcase the items that they are trying to sell.
- With the purchase of plans above Basic, users will get a custom domain name that is unique to them.
- Users have a lot of control over the appearance of their pages.
- There is a limit on the number of images that you can use for each product.
- The store is very basic and doesn’t have a lot of options.
- It requires a PayPal account so people who do not have one will have to set one up or choose another platform to sell their items.
- Sellers who are going to be selling a high number of items will suffer as they will have to pay a lot more in monthly fees.
Find it here.
- This website is perfect for the seller who wants to be able to have a lot of active listings without paying a high price as it’s possible to have up to 250. Each listing will only cost a few pennies, making it very affordable.
- It’s very easy to link up your existing Etsy page, which will give you double the exposure with half of the work. Of course, you will have to pay for each listing or pay a monthly fee.
- No visitors to your shop will see ads on either the item page or the shop page.
- There is a fee to be able to list more items and to enjoy premium features. While paying per listing is a very reasonable way to list items, the monthly plans are fairly expensive.
- There are very few ways to customize your site.
Find it here.
4. Big Cartel
- The free themes can be easily customized by users who are comfortable and knowledgeable with CSS or HTML.
- Visitors to your store can zoom in on images to get a better view of them.
- It is perfect for smaller artists who do not have a lot of items in their stores and for new artists as the setup and listing procedures are very simple and intuitive.
- For users who are going to be selling up to five products, there is an option for a free plan. Otherwise, it is possible to sell up to 300 products on this site.
- It’s possible to sell digital products on this website.
- There is an iPhone app available as well as the ability to apply discount codes, link to a Facebook store, and track inventory.
- There are no listing fees or commission fees as there are with Etsy.
- Big Cartel has limits on the numbers of images that you can upload for each product.
- The free site option is very limited and only allows for up to five items to be sold.
- There is not a great search button on the site, making it more difficult to find new stores to visit.
- There is not a great sense of community the way that there is on Etsy and many users miss this.
- While Big Cartel is a great place to sell once you have built up a customer base, it can be very difficult to get started and to find enough customers to make the switch worthwhile.
- The store does not have a lot of different options, making it a very bare-bones experience for users.
Find it here.
5. Amazon Handmade
- Since Amazon is a very big and well-known name all over the world, you are likely to get customers a little more easily than on other sites.
- There is potential for customers getting faster shipping on the items that they buy since Amazon will actually handle the shipping for their sellers.
- There are more customer accounts on this site than on any other, which means that sellers will automatically reach more people each time they list something on the site.
- There is no listing fee for the seller.
- With only a few product categories to choose from, it can be very difficult to decide exactly how to list the items you have for sale.
- Amazon is not the best at dealing with small businesses and artists.
- They take a much higher percentage of all of the sales than other sites do.
- Buyers aren’t able to easily communicate with sellers, which results in less personalized service and some unhappy customers.
- Some sellers worry about the fact that Amazon has access to their sales data and worry about Amazon trying to create their own version of their products for much less cost to the buyers.
Find it here.
- Users don’t have to pay to list their items or a monthly store fee.
- Bonanza makes it very easy to import listings that you have already made on Etsy, Amazon, and eBay.
- Certain levels of membership have access to live chat support instead of having to wait for a representative to email back.
- There are no limits to how many photographs a user can upload for each listing.
- Users with elite membership packages will also be able to see, via Google Analytics, how many people come to their stores and where they are visiting from. This can allow users to better optimize their stores for searches so that they can be more easily found by buyers.
- It is very easy for sellers to set up a store and it offers direct checkout, which means that sellers will get their money a lot more quickly.
- Direct checkout is only available for sellers who have already gotten ten or more positive feedback remarks from buyers.
- There aren’t nearly as many buyers and there is much lower traffic than is found on other sites. This can make it difficult to sell a lot of items and to make a good profit.
- If someone buys via a link from Google Shopping, then the seller will have to pay a higher commission than if the buyer had found the item through another avenue.
Find it here.
- There is generally a higher amount of traffic to eBay than to other sites due to how well known the website is. This makes it easier for sellers to reach new customers.
- After selling 10 items, sellers can access a Seller Dashboard that will keep track of items sold and the performance of the store. By tracking customer satisfaction and ratings, it’s possible to tweak the store for improvement.
- It offers ability to set up auctions on the pieces for sale, which can often result in getting more money. Many users find this important, especially if they are not sure how much the item is really worth.
- Since any kind of item is allowed for sale as long as it is not illegal, eBay doesn’t have the handcrafted boutique feel that other sites do.
- eBay stores have higher listing fees and the transaction fees will vary depending on the category of item that is sold. This makes Etsy and other websites much more cost-effective for sellers.
Find it here.
Should Product Sellers List on Multiple Platforms?
In other words, if you make and sell products, should you list your merchandise and services on Etsy plus other Etsy alternative platforms?
Yes, of course you should… but only if it makes financial sense. For each platform you’re on, there’s added work to manage your listings and promotions. However, you enjoy broader exposure. If you list one a few platforms, but find you’re generating the lion’s share of your sales on one platform, perhaps it makes more sense to focus on one platform.
Perhaps if it’s just you running the operation, you don’t have time to manage multiple platforms, but if you build up your business and can hire a person to manage your listings and orders, then it may be worth it.