Etsy has been around since 2005. In its early years, Etsy promoted itself as a unique marketplace for handmade goods. Over the years, it has grown to become one of the most popular online store for craft buyers and sellers to do business.
Today, Etsy is home to more than 30 million products. It also attracts 42 million visitors each month.
Why Not Etsy?
Etsy can be a great place to sell your unique, handmade creations. From unicorn cake toppers to glue gun crafts made with hot melt, there are endless options for buyers to choose from. The variety of items are great for craft shoppers and Etsy itself, of course, but it can be a nightmare for new sellers who are starting out and dream of turning a profit with their handmade products.
As a pricing strategy, new sellers often price their items very low to stand out and attract potential buyers. This strategy results in new sellers barely turning a profit on their products. Some even settle for just covering the cost of their materials, but not for their time. With the continuous influx of new sellers entering Etsy, it can be hard to compete, even for experienced sellers.
Etsy also charges a 20-cent listing fee to sellers who post on the site. And if any of your items sell, you must give Etsy a 3.5 percent transaction fee, as well as cover the additional payment processing fees.
As a seller, this can eat into your profits and make profitability an impossible dream. You are also contributing to Etsy’s ever-increasing profits, as the company racked up more than $47 million in profits from transaction fees alone in 2013.
Etsy has also lost its indie vibe when it started allowing manufacturing partners in 2013 to open shop. As a result, sellers who stood by Etsy’s original code of handmade-only goods have left Etsy for other platforms. Below are some alternatives to Etsy that are still true to the handmade craft scene.
Aftcra is a new website that officially launched in 2013. It only features handcrafted products made by American artists. The site’s mission is to support local artists by connecting them with buyers across the world. Erica Riegelman, the president of Aftcra, promises excellent customer service, factoring in the buyers’ and sellers’ suggestions when implementing changes on the site.
Since it is a newer company, Aftcra does not charge any listing fees, meaning new sellers can quickly set up shop for free. However, there is a transaction fee of 7% on every listing sold through Aftcra. All listings are placed on the website for six months and must have a minimum selling price of $10.
Craft Is Art
Even though Craft Is Art began in 2009 as an online retail store selling manufactured items, the site quickly jumped into the handmade scene after receiving inquiries from artisans wanting to sell their handmade products on the site. Craft Is Art quickly grew to offer buyers a wide range of items, from fine art pieces to vintage products.
Craft Is Art is still a relatively new venue. It is also a smaller marketplace but has the potential to grow into something bigger. It asks for no listing fees and allows sellers to post unlimited items, making it an attractive option for first-time sellers.
Also, the site operates on a premium-based model, allowing experienced sellers to pay for their own web address to start their customizable shop. What’s more, the site also features instant payments, making it faster for sellers to receive payment for their hard work.
DaWanda is a popular marketplace for vintage and handmade items. The website is based in Germany and is quite popular with European sellers. U.S. sellers can also list their handmade items on DaWanda, since the site allows worldwide shipping and sends payments via PayPal.
DaWanda also has a unique feature called Giftfinder. The Giftfinder works by asking the buyer to enter information on the gift recipient and their budget price. Then, it finds the listings that meet the buyers’ requirements, making the gift shopping process less stressful.
For those who are multilingual, DaWanda also has versions of the website in German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Polish so you can reach even more buyers speaking different languages. All you must do is translate your listing in your targeted language, and it can be posted on the different versions of the site.
DaWanda has changed its pricing structure to charge a listing fee of 0.1 Euros for items priced in the 0.1 to 10 Euros range, 0.2 Euros for listings priced in the 10.01 to 20.00 Euros range, and 0.2 Euros for listings with a price greater than 20 Euros. A sales commission of 9.5% also applies on all transactions.
Storenvy is a website that connects potential buyers with indie sellers. It also offers sellers the choice to create their own customizable store, complete with their own domain name for free. The site also promotes products based on social shopping trends and aims to create a story behind each indie brand.
What also makes Storenvy an attractive place for sellers is the fact that it charges no listing fees, no monthly fees and no fees for a custom domain name for your store. Instead, Storenvy makes a 10% commission fee for every sale made through the Storenvy website.
Yokaboo is a U.K. based online store for artwork, prints and t-shirts. The site operates on a monthly plan model, where sellers can choose from three different plans, with the most basic plan being free.
This diversity makes Yokaboo a great option for sellers who are just starting out, as using the free basic monthly plan can minimize your startup costs. With the free Ready Plan, sellers are allowed a maximum of six product listings with one image per product, as well as a maximum of 40 Mb of storage.
For experienced sellers, Yokaboo has a Steady Plan for 14.99 pounds per month, which allows sellers to post up to 50 listings with three images per product. Sellers who run larger stores can also pay 24.99 pounds per month for Yokaboo’s Go! Plan, which allows for 500 listings and five images per listing.
Since 2005, Etsy has grown to become one of the largest marketplaces for homemade goods. Due to its growing popularity, Etsy’s ever-changing business model has alienated sellers within the indie craft scene. For indie craft sellers looking for a better platform, sites such as Aftcra, DaWanda and Yokaboo all offer similar services as alternatives to Etsy.