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Remember when you opened your Etsy store and sold your first few items? For any entrepreneur, that’s a special kind of rush. But as Etsy continues to make changes with increasing fees and lowering standards, you might be looking into Etsy alternatives. You have company if you don’t want your handmade goods next to mass-produced products in the marketplace.
There are definitely alternatives to Etsy out there for entrepreneurs who rely on the marketplace to sell their handmade goods. We’ll look into how how the changing nature of the Etsy platform might be affecting your business’s bottom line, plus see which Etsy alternatives could be best for you if declining quality and increasing fees are pushing you to make a change.
For new online businesses, Etsy still offers one of the easiest options for starting an ecommerce site. In fact, the algorithms Etsy uses for steering traffic are actually engineered to drive more traffic to newer listings.
That’s great for new stores, but what about stores that have been in business for a while? Unfortunately, as new listings get added, stalwart stores and items get lost in the multitude of similar listings—even if you’ve been a loyal Etsy seller for years.
Though you may feel frustrated with Etsy right now and start seeking Etsy alternatives, there are some benefits to sticking with the platform. Let’s break down some pros and cons to determine whether moving away from Etsy is truly the best choice for your business:
Does this list have you convinced that expanding your creative business beyond Etsy and onto other online platforms could be the right approach for you? If so, have some good alternatives to Etsy to choose from for your creative business.
And even better—the number of available options for marketing your creative product business online is growing every day. That means you have lots of alternatives to Etsy that are probably worth at least exploring.
We’ve broken down this list to address the most common factors that could be influencing your platform decision.
Building and hosting your own website is one way to cut your ties with the Etsy platform. Although it can be time consuming to self-host your online shop, there are programs out there to make it easier. With platforms like Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix, you can be on your way to Etsy independence fairly quickly.
But if you’re not an expert in web development or coding and you’re not quite ready to go it completely alone with a brand new website from scratch, how about an Etsy alternative that offers a compromise? Here are a few ecommerce Etsy alternatives that offer entrepreneurs the best of both worlds: the freedom of designing unique websites, plus the support of a well-established online marketplace with solid analytics.
For any seller considering a move from Etsy to a self-hosted site, Shopify is the obvious starting point in your research journey. The most widely recognized ecommerce platform worldwide, Shopify is accepted as the gold standard for corporate brands and small business makers alike.
With Shopify, you can take advantage of an ecommerce platform that offers a website builder with hundreds of templates, all of which can be customized with your brand’s specific logos, images, videos, and text.
The Pros: With vast customization control and strong analytics, Shopify offers the most powerful ecommerce functionality on our list while also being user friendly enough for most beginners to manage.
The Cons: Shopify is truly an ecommerce platform—not a selling marketplace. This means that when it comes to attracting buyers for your products, you’re totally on your own.
The Cost: New users can start with Shopify Lite at just $9/month. However, most will quickly need an upgrade to the basic Shopify plan, which starts at $29 per month + 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction.
Along with the freedom to customize your store, the Shopify platform also provides a comprehensive marketing suite. SEO features like customizable headlines, titles, and meta tags will give your ranking in search results the boost it may need to make that jump to the first page or your dream customer’s Google search.
That said, with the total lack of a dedicated buyer’s marketplace, moving from Etsy to Shopify is a big decision that will drastically impact your business model and your marketing plan.
Like Shopify, Big Cartel is first and foremost and ecommerce site platform with no Etsy-style marketplace attached. However, whereas Shopify serves a wider audience reach, Big Cartel has tailored its community and resources to crafters, makers, and other sellers of unique or handmade goods.
The Pros: Big Cartel combines user-friendly website building with ecommerce functionality, so you won’t have to navigate setting up a WordPress website.
The Cons: Sellers who already have an informational website may be frustrated by the need to start from scratch on the Big Cartel platform.
The Cost: Plans start at $9.99/month for 25 listings with zero commission on sales.
Again, making the choice to fully abandon an Etsy-style, ready-to-purchase audience shouldn’t be taken lightly. That said, if you’ve built a dedicated independent customer base, Big Cartel is among the easiest and most affordable options for choosing to go it alone.
A great middle-ground between Etsy-only selling and a self-hosted site, Zibbet offers sellers of handmade-only products both the flexibility and control of a stand-alone, customizable website and the availability of a ready-to-purchase audience in the Zibbet marketplace.
The Pros: The ability to create and manage both a stand-alone website and an Etsy-style marketplace shop gives you the best of both worlds, and an amazing admin panel lets you control all your inventory from a single portal.
The Cons: Because Zibbet is a newer and growing platform, it has a much smaller total reach than Etsy and is still in progress on improving the buyer experience.
The Cost: New users can start with a free account for up to 10 listings. From there, sellers pay $5/month for a starter account with basic features and up to 50 listings.
Sellers on Zibbet benefit from robust tools to assist with packaging, shipping, order management, data tracking and analytics, and even importing information from an existing Etsy website. There are no listing fees and the site does not take a commission, so there’s little to lose in trying out this Etsy alternative.
Despite the market saturation many sellers experience on Etsy, you might be reluctant to go through the hassle of entirely shutting down your Etsy store and moving onto another platform.
The good news? This doesn’t need to be an either/or decision. You obviously receive some business through this store, so why not use it to your advantage?
Drive that same business to an outside website, such as a site built on WordPress or Squarespace. Keep in mind that Etsy terms of service prohibit directly linking to a product shop on your own website from your Etsy store, but there are subtle ways you can accomplish this without violating your Etsy agreement, such as by linking to the blog section of your website.
Once you have your own site and store up and running, you’re ready to begin the transition through subtle changes, such as attracting repeat customers back to your self-hosted site instead of your Etsy storefront. For example, each time you ship an order from your Etsy store, enclose a business card with your website address and some small incentive to visit.
Now you have business coming from both sources, and you’re not paying those Etsy transaction fees for the business done on your independently hosted website.
Etsy has a tight hold over the way they optimize their search—and, as an Etsy seller, you don’t have control over where your listings show up in their results (or Google at all, for that matter). That’s not the case with your own site, though. And that’s nice!
If you’d like to explore an Etsy alternative that gives you both an ecommerce community similar to the Etsy platform while also offering more flexibility in how you market your products, take a peek at these:
As the reigning retail giant that has totally transformed the consumer goods marketplace, Amazon is decidedly the opposite of what most creative entrepreneurs think of when they imagine selling their products and services. After all, most of us associate Amazon with all things fast and cheap.
And yet, in the time since the Handmade at Amazon marketplace first launch, watchdogs among the makers movement can’t help ranking the platform as a genuinely viable Etsy alternative.
The Pros: If we’re honest, we all know that Amazon is the first-stop option for buyers almost everywhere. Selling on Amazon gets you in front of more potential customers before they settle on a lower quality option.
The Cons: Listings through Handmade at Amazon appear along with the full Amazon storefront, not as a stand-alone site—so you’ll face strong competition from cheaply mass-produced alternatives.
The Cost: Amazon Handmade sellers pay a $40/month membership fee plus 15% commission per transaction.
Yes, selling through Handmade at Amazon comes with a significant expense, making it mostly inaccessible to part-time creative entrepreneurs with a low volume of product sales. That said, if you’re ready to scale your creative business beyond the limitations of Etsy, Handmade at Amazon may be the ideal choice.
Offering similar form and functionality to eBay with a greater focus on unique items, Bonanza is an Etsy alternative that offers both a mass marketplace with wide reach and the opportunity to build a stand-alone webstore.
The Pros: Though it comes with a cost, sellers on Bonanza can enjoy exponential reach through automated listings on Google Shopping, eBay, Nextag, and more.
The Cons: Design tools for customizing your standalone webstore are more limited and less user-friendly than either Shopify or Zibbet.
The Cost: Tiered membership fees start $25/month plus 3.5% of Bonanza sales and scale depending upon your chosen advertising reach.
Sellers who move to Bonanza tend to cite exposure as a primary driving factor. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll pay for that exposure in fees as well as high market saturation—so it will be important to track your return on this investment.
DaWanda is European-based, internationally-focused online marketplace for sellers of handmade, artisan, and unique vintage goods from all over the world. Averaging 20 million site visitors per month, DaWanda is quickly becoming Etsy’s closest rival in worldwide market share.
Members of the DaWanda sellers community have a suite of tools available to help their products, including personalization options for your DaWanda storefront, comprehensive shop statistics, and a strong suite of search engine marketing tools.
The Pros: Sellers enjoy DaWanda as an Etsy alternative or supplement due to the massive international reach along with user-friendly SEO resources and tools.
The Cons: As a German company, DaWanda has a primarily European buying audience and offers geographically based search filtering—meaning US-based sellers might have a harder time gaining traction on this platform.
The Cost: DaWanda charges sellers a tiered listing fee based on the price of the item, plus a 9.5% transaction fee on each sale.
However—and this is important—payment processing fees are included within DaWanda’s transaction fee; so, for example, if you’re processing payments via PayPal (which charges around 3% per transaction), DaWanda receives an approximately 6.5% commission per sale.
Maybe when you opened your Etsy store, you didn’t have fierce competition. Now, you can find hundreds—maybe even thousands—of similar products, many of them copycatting your images and creative product descriptions.
If you’re seeing a dip in your sales because of the influx of rivals—whether other handmade independent shops or because of mass-produced goods—you might want to explore some Etsy alternatives with less market saturation that will give your products the spotlight.
If you’re still looking for a small platform that values handmade items, Aftcra is worth exploring. A family-owned-and-operated online marketplace, Aftcra specializes in items handmade in the United States and sold across the globe.
The Pros: Because Aftcra doesn’t allow internationally made or mass-produced goods on their platform, you won’t have to worry about competing with the pricing of cheaply made factory products.
The Cons: With a smaller total number of buyers frequenting the platform from day to day, your success as a seller on Aftcra will depend more heavily on your independent marketing efforts outside the platform.
The Cost: Aftcra collects no monthly or listing fees, but does charge 7% commission on each transaction.
As an Etsy alternative, Aftcra focuses on offering handcrafted items that support both the Made-in-America and “Buy Local” movements. Because of this, the marketplace tends to attract buyers with a keen interest in quality, handmade products, making it a great choice for US-based sellers that fit this niche.
Focusing on hand-selected as well as handmade good, the Storenvy marketplace features small, indie retailers with a focus on high-quality, unique products. Catering specifically to a younger demographic, Storenvy is a great choice for sellers in the jewelry, vintage fashion, or kids products niche.
The Pros: The starting price point of most goods on Storenvy tends to be higher than on Etsy, so you’re less likely to face market saturation from cheaply made copycats.
The Cons: The demographic of Storenvy buyers has a decidedly young, hip vibe. If your products don’t cater to this demographic, you’re better off elsewhere.
The Cost: Storenvy takes a 10% commission on the price (including shipping cost) of goods sold through their marketplace.
Like Storenvy, Tictail is a marketplace that caters to a more niche demographic, making it a great alternative to Etsy for attracting like-minded buyers without the heavy market saturation. Plus, Tictail combines its beautiful, highly-curated marketplace with the option to stand out independently through a stand-alone, personalized website.
The Pros: The product and audience demographic is decidedly modern, and minimalist, so sellers who fit this niche will enjoy a ready-made audience of buyers..
The Cons: Though the Tictail marketplace is beautiful, some sellers complain of outdated design and limited customization options for the stand-alone webstores.
The Cost: No monthly hosting fee. However, commissions on sales are high, averaging 10% per transaction.
As you apply, keep in mind that the Tictail marketplace is heavily curated to feature only polished, professional-quality goods. As a result, hobbyist sellers with a more handmade aesthetic may struggle to find footing with Tictail buyers.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Etsy your business, take your time! The decision will as individual as the products you create.
Or is it something else? Figure out what you’re looking for, and experiment. You might find that maintaining your Etsy store is still the smart way to go on top of a new solution, too.