Alternatives to Etsy in 2022
So you want to get off of Etsy. You’ve been there, done that, time for greener pastures. Whatever reason you may have to abandon the biggest handmade marketplace in the world, you’re not the only one.
Complaints about Etsy’s fees, constant algorithm updates, and inconsistent customer support is rampant across the Internet. April 2022 even saw a two-week strike due to a fee increase.
Not everyone is complaining. Some sellers are perfectly happy tooting Etsy’s horn. So here you are wondering if there really are better alternatives to Etsy?
Let’s explore but before we do there are a few things to consider when choosing a platform for your handmade business:
-What kind of products do you sell?
-Who is your target audience?
-What is your budget?
Taking the time to answer these questions will help you narrow down your options and choose the best platform for your handmade business in 2022.
Before we check out Etsy’s competition, let’s have a look at Etsy itself.
Etsy is a large reputable company, easy to use, and has a lot of built-in customers. That means those customers can be yours without any additional marketing efforts.
Keep in mind that Etsy also has a hoard of sellers, making competition fierce. Even though their system makes it easy to get started, it usually takes longer to get noticed.
Etsy’s fees consist of a $0.20 listing fee, a 6.5% transaction fee, and a payment processing fee that varies based on your location. For US sellers, the payment processing fee is $0.25 + 3% of the price including shipping.
It’s optional to get on Etsy’s Plus plan, which costs $10/month. This will earn you a few extra options in your shop, listing and ad credits, and a few other perks.
Now, let’s take a look at what options the internet can offer in terms of marketplaces for handmade sellers.
Handmade at Amazon
Handmade at Amazon is a branch of Amazon, exclusively for artisans. You will have to apply to be able to sell here.
If you are approved as a seller you will sell on Amazon’s marketplace, which means there is a lot of customers to be had, but you will be competing with mass-produced products in the jungle that is Amazon.
To create a seller account on Amazon, you will have to pay $39.99/month for a Professional account. However, if you are approved as an artisan seller, the fee is waived.
With every sale, you pay a 15% referral fee deducted from the price of your product.
Bonanza is a marketplace, but it’s not focused on handmade per se. You will, once again, be competing against mass-produced items on the platform.
To sell here, you will have to pay a membership fee that starts at $25/month. There is also a 3.5% fee on every sale based on the final price of the item + shipping cost if those costs are more than $10.
Bonanza has quite a mixed bag of reviews.
Aftcra is family owned and based in Milwaukee which is awesome in it's own right... To sell here, you must be a US seller, and be hand-making products by yourself or with a small team. These are important values for Aftcra and might be for you too.
They also tout a community aspect on their platform, as well as a “clutter-free” experience that is easy to navigate for customers.
It’s free to list your items on Aftcra, but it seems you have to charge $10 or more for the items you list, which is a bit steep if you sell inexpensive items like stickers. There is a 7% commision fee on every item sold, and there are also transaction fees on sales through Paypal to keep in mind. As a smaller platform, it requires more independent marketing to sell here.
eBay hardly needs an introduction as one of the biggest selling platforms in the world.
This marketplace is (obviously) not created for handmade artists, so it may not be the best place for you, but it is still a place you can look into selling your items on. Unless you mind the gigantic crowds with customer support seeming to favor buyers over sellers.
Ebay’s image may suffer from trust-factor issues, and some buyers are wary of unauthentic items. This is a bit up to opinion, though. Some vintage sellers seem to be doing well here.
There are a number of fees that vary depending on where you are, what you sell, and how you sell it. It will vary from 3% to 15% of the final sale price.
While it’s true that a website or a Shopify store could replace your Etsy store, it’s important to note that having your own website with a shopping cart is entirely different than being on a marketplace with customers already on it, like Etsy.
There are enormous benefits to owning your own website, but there is also a learning curve, unless you have run websites before.
A website comes with costs, and you are putting all the eyes on your products by yourself. So marketing is a must. This is not to scare you off of getting your very own website. In fact, I recommend that you have your website and a marketplace!
Have your cake and eat it too, I give you permission.
You will be able to strengthen your branding, offer up-sells, and scale on a different level. And having your own internet real estate is quite nice in case your marketplace of choice decides to shut down, or play the algorithm not in your favor.
There are many eCommerce store builders that are easy to use. A few of the big ones include Wix, Weebly, and Shopify.
A Shopify basic plan will cost you $29/month. Transaction fees will be 0.5%-2.2% depending on your payment settings.
A Wordpress website will need hosting, with plans starting from around $4/month. You will also need a domain name for roughly $10/year. Upgrading to premium themes and features will cost you extra.
Honorable mentions of additional smaller marketplaces for handmade sellers: Just Artisan, Goimagine, indieCart, iCraft, Folksy (UK), Madeit (Australia). (Also, selling on social channels is the new trend, and it looks like it will continue to grow. Keep your eyes peeled.)
So there you have it. When you have a look at the alternatives, three things might have caught your attention.
1. Other marketplaces have either less traffic or lots of competition.
2. Most of them will have you pay fees of some sort.
3. Understanding marketing and building a brand strategy is necessary.
In the case of the first, consider how you can bring your own traffic to your store. In the case of the second, if fees are worrying you, you might already be under-charging for your products. And if you are considering the third, know that building a strategy for your creative business will take you to a whole new level of awesome. And no matter where you decide to set up your eCommerce store, you need to understand your business and create a plan.
Have you figured out what to do next? A bit unsure? Book a call with me to discover the strategy that is best for you and your products.
No worries friend, it’s free.