If you’re a creative soul who isn’t cut out for the rigid structure of the 9-5 workday, then you’ve probably daydreamed more than once about starting your own online business.
There’s a world of art-lovers out there willing to pay for your creations. The question is, how do you reach them?
A quick Google search will reveal dozens (if not hundreds) of sites claiming to be the best platform for your creative business. However, not all of them are able to live up to their boastful proclamations.
To help you out, we’ve collected seven websites your fellow creatives rate highly for selling homemade goods online.
Let’s get this craft party started with the industry’s most famous platform – Etsy.
Etsy sellers enjoy a beautifully designed platform, plenty of store design options, and low listing costs. You also get to launch your brand from a site that has a solid reputation for quality craftsmanship.
The benefits of selling on Etsy:
With more than 47 million active shoppers spending $5 billion a year on Etsy (and counting), you’re tapping into a massive market of motivated customers.
You will pay a listing fee and a commission on every item sold. However, these are surprisingly low, and you won’t be charged any monthly fees for maintaining your online store. Etsy has introduced an Etsy Plus plan; however, this subscription is entirely optional.
The challenges of selling on Etsy:
Though there may be a lot of customers, there’s also a whole lot of sellers (2.7 million at last count). This means you’ll be up against fierce competition from some incredibly talented creators.
Some of these sellers are also skirting the edges of Etsy’s homemade ethos by mass-producing products. These big companies can make it hard for smaller sole-traders to compete for attention. On top of this, their mass-production allows them to offer lower prices than you may be able to afford.
2. Amazon Handmade
Like Etsy, Amazon Handmade allows you to sell almost any kind of homemade good you can think of, from personal care items to clothing and jewelry. The website stands out among other art and craft marketplaces because of how selective it is. You have to apply before you’re allowed to list anything, meaning your work won’t be lost in a sea of mediocre offerings.
The benefits of selling on Amazon Handmade:
Most people have an established, trusting relationship with Amazon, and with the stringent quality controls in place on Amazon Handmade, you’re guaranteed to gain a sense of quality and exclusivity simply by having your products represented on the platform.
Handmade artisans also enjoy lower fees than regular Amazon sellers.
The drawbacks of selling on Amazon Handmade:
Not all applications will be accepted, so you may be in for disappointment if you apply.
If you don’t follow SEO practices with each of your listings, you may find it difficult to get traffic and make sales.
Amazon takes a larger commission from sales than other arts and crafts sites (at the time of posting, their cut was sitting at 15% of the sale price).
Of course, we have to cover the original marketplace for home-based sellers – eBay. This website is another major player for creators of homemade goods, with some key advantages, but some drawbacks too.
The benefits of selling on eBay:
You’re able to list as many as 50 items on eBay without paying a listing fee. The site will only take a commission when you make a sale.
Like Amazon and Etsy, eBay is an established platform that people know and trust, with buyers from all over the world.
The drawbacks of selling on eBay:
Though people do have a certain amount of trust in eBay, the site doesn’t have the same quality controls as Amazon Handmade or Etsy. Many people have been burned by dodgy items that don’t look a thing like the pictures, so you may find buyers are a bit more wary.
eBay customers also tend to be out for cheap deals. Compared to Etsy buyers, who are primed to pay more for the quality of handmade items, eBay’s target market is made up in large part by people who want to brag to their friends about the super-low price they paid. For this reason, you may not get much action in your ideal price range.
Finally, with more than 1.3 billion eBay listings created in 2019 alone, you’re up for a lot of competition.
Artfire is happy for you to list vintage goods as well as handmade items, and you can even sell craft supplies and digital art.
The benefits of selling on ArtFire:
ArtFire allows you to create up to 250 listings with ultra-low fees. You’ll also enjoy a clean online shop with no ads distracting customers from your listings.
The drawbacks of selling on ArtFire:
ArtFire does charge a monthly fee in exchange for their ad-free experience. The best features also come with an upgraded subscription which, of course, comes at a price.
IndieCart is about as close as you’ll get to the feeling of being at a local arts and crafts market. Though it has definite community vibes, IndieCart will put you in front of a global market of motivated buyers.
The benefits of selling on IndieCart:
IndieCart does not charge listing fees or commissions on sales.
The quality levels are high, so fans of the platform tend to be willing to pay more for goods.
The drawbacks of selling on IndieCart:
This is one of the smaller marketplaces on our list, attracting less attention than its big competitors.
You will have to pay a monthly fee for running your store. However, you can take a break any time you want, with no fees to pay while you’re not active.
Zibbet offers a little something more than the other platforms on this list. It gives sellers a standalone website along with stores on as many of the other marketplaces as you wish.
The benefits of working with Zibbet:
From one dashboard, you can control your own website and stores on all of the platforms we’ve listed above. You can even add social media into the mix, all with Zibbet’s guidance.
Sitting at around 50,000 sellers as of 2020, you’ll be facing far less competition than you will with the other websites. Though you will get to list on those platforms too.
The drawbacks of working with Zibbet:
You do have to pay Zibbet a monthly fee in exchange for all those benefits, and the price will go up for each new marketplace you add to your dashboard.
You’ll still get charged the fees from all the marketplaces you add to your Zibbet subscription. Let’s say you add eBay – not only will you be charged an extra monthly fee by Zibbet, but you’ll also have to pay eBay’s usual commissions and listing fees.
7. Create your own website
Though you can get your own website via Zibbet, you’re also free to create one for yourself if you’re not keen on Zibbet’s fee structure. Of course, this will mean figuring out a whole bunch of stuff for yourself, but if you have the motivation, it can be a lot of fun building an online space for your art.
The benefits of creating your own website:
The major reason why artists choose to create their own website is the fact that they don’t have to pay any fees or commissions.
You also get complete creative control over the design, and you can run your website alongside an Etsy or eBay store. Many artists do this as a way to boost their chances of reaching a wider audience.
The drawbacks of creating your own website:
The biggest challenges revolve around the fact that you have to build an audience from scratch and handle all your own marketing. This will take a lot of time and effort, so you have to be as patient as you are persistent.
Bonus tip: social media
Social media is the best way to develop a fan following, reach new buyers, and keep in touch with past customers. It also gives you another channel on which to work your SEO magic.
Facebook and Instagram are the two networks best suited to artists and crafters, with selling tools and plenty of great design options for your business accounts.
Selling homemade goods online: final thoughts
There are plenty of other marketplaces out there in the wilds of the internet, but we’ve only listed the ones we can vouch for, either through personal experience or positive reviews from friends. If you’d like to learn more about how to have success with these platforms, check out our complete guide to selling homemade goods online.
Have you had success with a platform that’s not on this list? Please feel free to share your experience in the comments below. Otherwise, we wish you all the best with your online selling adventures!