It seems like a distant memory, but there was a time when crafters had to sell their creations in person. Seemingly gone are the days of yard sales and flea markets, replaced now by a host of online shops where artisans can share—and sell—the fruits of their labor. Below, we have compiled a list of the xx best places to do so. And, good news if you’re not the craftiest: these are great places to shop, too.
It’s impossible to write a list about online crafting retail without mentioning Etsy, the website that kick-started the business in 2005. Since then, Etsy has made it super simple for its clients to use the site—they even take care of the search-ending marketing for your store so that it’s easier for other users to find it. It does cost a small fee to upload listings and they take a percentage of commission per sale that you make, but, considering how well-known it is, it’s a great place to start selling your creations.
Artfire offers a similarly easy-to-use marketplace, but there are a few perks to using this site. For one, there are tiered memberships—basic and advanced—that Etsy doesn’t offer. Clients can also post a help wanted ad of sorts in the site’s “Forge” section if they can’t find what they’re looking for, which is a good business opportunity for artisans linked to the site. Finally, Artfire offers podcasts, relevant articles and media, and discussion boards to its community, which includes crafters from around the globe.
Calling all masterpiece-makers: Artflock is focused solely on artwork. The easy-to-browse site helps users find the pieces they’re looking for by searching for specific color schemes, themes, and mediums. Artists will find some perks involved with this site, too. They’ll receive a personalized domain name for their storefront, where they not only can host images of the work they’re trying to sell, but also maintain a blog. This is representative of Artflock’s desire to cultivate a sense of community amongst the artists who use its site.
The good thing about Shoplocket for first-timers is that there are no upfront fees. Instead, the site charges you a small percentage of commission when you make your first sale, as well as any PayPal or Stripe fees. The site is also super user-friendly: it takes as little as two minutes to create your first listing.
Though based in Europe, Dawanda opens its virtual doors to sellers from the U.S. as well. The site often showcases its artisans in order to draw new business to their shops. Another interesting feature is the “Gift Detective” section, where users seek help finding the perfect gift for a special someone; perhaps someone will suggest a vintage or handmade item from your shop.
Interestingly enough, Ebay provides a good platform for crafters to sell their creations. Similar to Etsy, the site charges both a listing price and commission, but their large user base may just make up for it. And, although the site is famous for its actions, you can sell your crafts for a set price.
Your Own Website
For some sellers, the ease of use that many of the above websites offer may be overshadowed by the costs associated with using them. Therefore, another option for selling your creations is to make your own website. This option does incur some costs, though, as you will have to purchase a domain name for your site. This is an important step, too, since some buyers may be uncomfortable purchasing from a website that has a lengthy or illegitimate-sounding website domain like the ones that you can get for free. This option will also require more frequent online updates and maintenance. However, the benefits of having your own site—namely, complete control over each listing and sale—may just outweigh the monetary costs.
Alicia is a content coordinator for a tech company and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land and 12 Keys.