Online Venues for Selling Crafts and Handmade Goods

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http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=197201.0 Even before the current economic downturn, many Craftsters were looking for ways to sell their creations. Now more than ever, whether you need the extra income, an excuse to make more projects, or are just feeling entrepreneurial, it’s a good time to investigate options for selling.


Local and regional craft shows like Renegade, Bumbershoot, Maker Faire, Bazaar Bizarre, and others are one way to sell your goods in person. Some local boutiques, like Magpie in Boston (founded by our own Leah Kramer), also sell handmade goods from local or national artists.

Each store approaches the consignment terms differently. Some will pay crafters up front for their goods, some will offer your items up for consignment. A typical consignment ratio is 40% of the cost of the item going to the store and 60% going to the seller. Make sure you sign a contract with all the details so there are no surprises!

One of the most popular ways to promote and sell your creations is the internet. There are many ways to do this, but here I will focus on a few of the more popular sites for selling handmade goods (and also vintage and supplies).

1. Etsy Logo Etsy is probably the largest and most popular of the virtual markets. It opened in 2005 and has over 100,000 sellers. The challenge with a huge site like Etsy is to find ways to stand out in the crowd. On the positive side, however, there is already traffic built in, so you aren’t “lost in cyber-space” in the same way you could be if you ran your own site. Setting up shop on Etsy is easy, you just have to personalize your space, but marketing is still up to the individual seller, although there are lots of tools and forums where you can get help and ideas. Etsy only allows handmade items, craft supplies, and vintage (over 20 years old) items.

2. Silk Fair Logo Silk Fair opened in February 2008. It uses a similar model to Etsy, in fact they have a feature that allows you to upload your Etsy items into a Silk Fair shop. Unlike Etsy, they allow sales of items outside of the craft/supplies/vintage arena.

3.Artfire Logo Artfire is a newer site, still in beta, but available now. It also uses this same business model, and includes sections for Handmade/Fine Art, Design/Media, and Supplies/Vintage. Both Etsy and Artfire have a section to request custom made items (on Etsy it’s called Alchemy, and on Artfire it’s called The Forge). Unlike Etsy, they charge a monthly fee ($7 for a limited number of users, will be $20 when those are taken), rather than a per-item listing fee and percentage.

4. Made it Myself Logo Made It Myself is another new site strictly for handmade only. They are also still in beta, however, unlike Artfire, they are completely free for the duration of it. In the future, they will have a traditional pricing structure (similar to Etsy or Silkfair, with a small listing and sales fee), as well as a few new and unique pricing structures that we won’t see until beta is over. They’ll be beginning work on their second, and final, development phase, within the next couple months, and recommend that crafters take advantage of the free service.

5. DaWanda Logo DaWanda is based in Europe and has a more European focus, but like the rest can be used by anyone. It is more popular with European sellers, as listings are in Euros. At this time there is no listing fee, but a 5% commission is taken on sales. They plan to introduce listing fees at an unspecified future time.

6. Pink Doodle Logo Pinkdoodle is another European site, based in London. It allows for listing in multiple currencies. Pinkdoodle is also rather new, and uses it’s own system of credit points for listing fees, plus a 4% commission. 02/24/11 Update: This website no longer exists.

7.Lov.li Logo Lov.li is based in the US, but also has users worldwide. They do not charge listing fees, but do charge a 3.5% commission. They only allow sales of handmade items.

8. Wink Elf Wink Elf started in 2006 and is also US based. There is no listing fee, and a 2.5% commission. 02/24/11 Update: This website no longer exists.

Site Craft focus? Listing fee Commission Vintage/Supplies International Sales/Home Location
Etsy yes .20 USD 3.5% y/y Yes/US
Silk Fair no Free 3% y/y, as well as non-crafty goods Yes/US
Artfire yes Free $7/month special, $20/month normal USD y/y Yes/US
MadeItMyself yes free special, .5 and up USD after special 3% (free special for limited time) n/y Yes/US
Dawanda yes free 5% n/y Yes/Europe
PinkDoodle yes Uses own credit system 4% n/y Yes/UK
Lov.li yes free 3.5% n/n Yes/US
Wink Elf yes free 2.5% n/n Yes/US
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78 Comments

  1. Meri says:

    Thanks for this article!

  2. julochka says:

    you’re missing Big Cartel, which must be the second best/biggest one behind etsy! :-) i love this list, tho’. :-) thanks for doing it!

  3. zenneedleart says:

    What about ‘CraftIsArt’…? Does anyone have anything to say about that place?

  4. Kay Moates says:

    I just joined a few days ago. Really useful tools and features–no listing fees, no listing expiration, no sales fees, account type options, Etsy importer, just to name a few. Also with five premium referrals a life time free premium account. Got a response in five minutes regarding a support issue–which was solved immediately. Pretty impressive.

    With four more referrals I’ll have a free premium account and you could too. If you are interested here’s my referral linkhttp://www.craftisart.com/OnSlenderThreads/sell

    Thanks!

  5. Susan Sylvia says:

    I sell my wool on eCRATER. There are absolutely no fees, and the only cost to me is the Paypal fee. I have been there 1 1/2 years and sales are good. This is not a ‘craft mall’ per se, but a platform to make a free store, and then you drive business to your site through SEO. Once I got my little store up and going, I spent a couple of months putting backlinks around the internet, and now I am on page one of a Google search, so it can be done!

    I can recommend eCRATER — it’s not perfect and has its limitations, but I pay nothing to use it. Even if you are already selling on other sites, you can always add listings to eCRATER with no extra expense, for greater exposure.

  6. Catherine says:

    check out the GLC Arts and Crafts Mall! Crafters can open a free shop and list 12 items free of any charges.

  7. Hot Tin Roof says:

    Thank you for this great article! It was very helpful indeed! I have been using Etsy and am very happy with it, particularly the sense of community. Since I quit my day job and am making handbags full time, I really appreciate the camaraderie. Will definitely check out these other sites!

  8. Thanks for the useful posting.

    I’ve got my own website at http://www.photoma.co.uk, but no marketing budget to direct traffic to it.

    I’ll look into using one of these craft sites. Are there any that will import a product database, I’ve got quite a few products and wouldnt want to hand-type each one in again!

    Regards, Scott

  9. Tana Peckham says:

    I am currently using http://www.shophandmade.com as my on-line store site. There are no listing fee’s and they offer to let you give them any percentage of your sale that you want even zero!. Sales have been a little slow, but I’m just now starting to market so we’ll see what happens. Thanks for this listing of other sites!

  10. Zoe says:

    Great list and it’s nice to be able to compare them like this. I suppose it all depends on what you sell as to which venue will suit best.

    You’ve also forgotten http://www.totalartsoul.com. It’s a moderated site and it’s more art/design lead. They charge $7 per month and 4% commission on sales. They’re shop section is quite new but the site has been going for about 15 months. I think they’re getting around 100000 unique visitors a month now.

  11. Alicia says:

    You have no idea how much I’ve searched to find the best place to sell my handmade bows. I have twitter, tumblr, wordpress, blogspot, I’ve used ebay, I’ve made a small website, and now I’m using bigcartel. My only problem though is trying to get people to see my bows. I have all those things but I can’t get anyone to see them to help promote them, buy, and spread the word. I’m hoping someone will see this and visit my store. I’ve put tons of time, money, and effort into them and money is really tight, so it’d help so much if I could get buyers and keep a steady income flowing. please help. thank you.

  12. sunny salby says:

    I just discovered this outlet and I am thrilled there is a place for us. Your comments by others impressed me; I will be here often. thanks for good information

  13. Hi All

    I am a co-founder of a new site called ToSouk. ToSouk.com is an online marketplace on which it is completely free to list and sell your handmade, vintage or collectable products.

    ToSouk was established as a venture between six volunteer founders of which I am extremely proud to be one. We run ToSouk not for profit but to be part of something that is greater than ourselves.

    I hope you give us a try.

    Dave D

  14. Nicola says:

    I’ve been making hand-made pottery for about 20 years and in past 5 years listed it on folksy and etsy. Sold a piece to a guy in Las vegas which was fantastic but not sold much on there at all. Would love to promote my work more to create more sales as I lost my job on fri. If anyone has any advice it would be great.

  15. Pam says:

    Thanks for the info. I’m having trouble setting up my shop on both Etsy and Artfire, so I’m looking for other sites. I’ll be trying out all
    of the above.

  16. Terrance says:

    Etsy is now allowing resellers. it is also expanding and should soon allow Wholesale.

  17. Marty says:

    For people who are selling in the UK and Europe, I’d recommend trying out http://www.artulis.com as its free and actually uses the local currency by default, unlike a lot of others that use US dollars.

  18. Jim Juris says:

    I see that your information about Artfire monthly membership fee is way out of date. Artfire currently charges $12.95 for selling without a listing, relisting, or final value fee.

    Artfire has made many improvements over the past several years. The site was basically overhauled over the last year or so.

  19. sweets4ever says:

    Yepper, this information was accurate to the date of publication in February 2009. Perhaps we’ll do a refresher blog in the future! :)

  20. Arthur says:

    Well http://www.artulis.com is a new one you should add to the list, and its got free listings.

  21. Tom says:

    This is a great list! Thanks for the info! There is a new and unique site I found called Eclectic Artisans http://www.eartisans.net It is one of the first demographic specific marketplaces I have ever seen. They allow people to buy and sell handmade & artisanal items that appeal to people of the Pagan, Wiccan, New Age & Metaphysical communities.

    They don’t charge a listing fee, no membership fees, listings don’t expire, and you can list as many items as you wish. When an item sells, they take their portion of their commission out and pay you the remainder + shipping.

    Because it is demographic specific, people that make items that appeal to this particular audience have a better chance of selling their items since the people visiting this site are there because they are searching for what Eclectic Artisans has to sell AND people know that Eclectic Artisans sells wholesale products that cater to this demographic too. It may be demographic specific, but they sell many regular day to day items like bath and body products, home decor etc. that would appeal to many people, not just their main audience.

    Check it out, you may have success with your items there and never knew it would appeal to this type of crowd

  22. May Sandra says:

    I think this one is quite old, any updates from other websites?

  23. beverly says:

    I think building your own website is the way to go. With Etsy, your store is lumped in with all your competitors like Ebay. Yeah, it takes longer to rank but with any venue you’re going to have to do your marketing. Might as well promote your own site and reap the benefits.

  24. Leslie says:

    I just launched a new online marketplace for crafters and artists called e craft and share. It’s absolutely free to join and the sales commission is 6%.
    We encourage digital download sales of your original craft instructions, templates and patterns in addition to handmade products for sale.
    we offer a lot of support on how to create digital downloadable products, how to set up your store and post products. We have a forum with selling tips, a newsletter and a member page where you can send us a graphic advertisement and we will post it with a link to your store. There are no outside advertisements on the site so it is clean, cute and all about the store owners. Visit when you get a chance. I’d love to help you make a success with selling your crafts. ecraftandshare.com

  25. QuirkyGirlz says:

    There is much great information here, but I have a new website I just launched and I am looking for other sites to link and list my site on, not sell individual items on. Any suggestions? Thank you.

  26. Erin says:

    There are so many to choose from now. Etsy is a great venue however I always found my products got lost on there minutes after I listed them :(

  27. Deb says:

    I am in the midst of creating an extensive list of online sites to sell, promote, and advertise crafts for sale. I’m constantly researching new sites, so if there’s any that you feel should be included, please let me know!

  28. joanna says:

    You should definetely add MISI to your list! A great handmade marketplace and a beautiful crafters network with heaps of fun on the forums! misi.co.uk

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