Etsy was one of the first platforms that enabled people to sell their craft goods and handmade wares over the internet. It was a revolution of sorts, allowing cottage industry producers to sell more. A lot of people made good money, and so really hit the jackpot.
But over time, Etsy’s prices have trended up, and the quality of service from the platform is in sharp decline. Surely there are alternatives? The good news is that there are. Take a look at these five options.
Spreadshop is a baby brand of Spreadshirt, Inc. They’ve been around for over 16 years in the print on demand merchandising industry. If you’ve got a bunch of merch ideas that you want to try and launch faster, then Spreadshop might be the solution that you’ve been looking for. The way it works is simple and, more importantly free. All you have to do is register with the site, upload your merch designs to Spreadshop’s customizable products, use digital marketing tools to promote your company, and then wait for the money to roll in. The benefit of Spreadshop is that you don’t pay fees, and you don’t have to worry about complexities, like fulfillment and shipping. Did we mention it’s free?
If you want to move off Etsy and start a self-hosted site, then Shopify might be the ideal tool. Shopify is essentially a catalog of assistive software and servers that enable you to do all the things that you need to be able to do to run an online store. Shopify gives you templates for websites, the ability to take payments, and assistance marketing your shop. It’s a kind of all-in-one platform for setting up by yourself. You won’t appear on any marketplace, and Shopify doesn’t offer in-house fulfillment – you’ll have to go through a third-party provider if you want this. Only other downside to Shopify is the monthly costs to get all the features there.
Zibbet is a kind of halfway house between Shopify and Etsy. On the one hand, the platform gives you the ability to host an independent site, and on the other, the option to flog your products to Zibbet’s captive marketplace audience. The ability to operate a standalone website is a good thing, but because Zibbet is relatively, it’s market is still small.
Big Cartel is similar to Shopify. It’s a platform that enables vendors to set up e-commerce stores and comes with a large support community, ready and waiting in the wings to step in if you run into trouble.
There is no marketplace like there is on Etsy, so you won’t have a ready-made audience. And you have to pay a monthly fee to use the service, although the cost is small for your first 25 listings.
Store Envy is setup as a direct competitor of Etsy, promising to provide artisans with a ready-made marketplace that they can use to sell their wares. The most significant advantage of Store Envy is the international appeal: the platform is set up to facilitate cross-border transactions, increasing the size of the available market. The downside is that the primary audience for DaWanda is European, so people in other parts of the world may struggle to find buyers.
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