11/18/2008

Other Options On-line

When I first discovered Etsy there was definitely a honeymoon period where I could see nothing wrong with my new beloved. When people talked about looking for other selling venues I thought I would never cheat on Etsy like that. I realize now that it just doesn't make sense to put all of my scarves in one basket. I know that Etsy is the biggest handmade market out there but I've decided that I am going to pick another to pursue as well. It will make for more work but I really like the idea of reaching another market. I want my other venue to reach people that I'm not necessarily reaching at Etsy so that is my main criteria for narrowing down my options. It is amazing how many Etsy knockoffs there are out there right now. I've spent the last week doing my own research and reading a few of the threads on Etsy about the competition. These are entirely my own observations and if you are looking into other options I would encourage you to explore on your own. It really comes down to what you feel comfortable with and like the feel of.

Next to Etsy the next biggest venue would have to be DeWanda. This is a European based website so they list the prices in Euros. This is the one big negative that I can see at this point. I'm not good at math and I can't find a conversion tool on the site but I was quickly able to find one on google. I really like the look and feel of DeWanda, which is similar but yet distinct from Etsy. Sign up was easy and searching was relatively intuitive. I like how you can narrow down the search not only by color but also pattern and style with just a click of the mouse. The good thing about DeWanda is that it really will open me up to a whole new market with much more of Europe using it than Etsy at this point. If I can get my brother to translate my listings to French than that will open me up even further since they have the option to list in English, French and German. It is currently free to list and they charge a 5% commission fee. They use Paypal and it is not juried so anyone can sell.

The next one that I really liked was a fairly new one called 1000 Markets. From what I read they are still getting some of the bugs worked out but I really like the concept and look of their site. It is not just handmade but all about the small independent business owner, mostly artisans and they are really working to build a community. I have read that a lot of Etsy sellers are joining 1000 markets and I'm afraid that it would mostly reach the same group of buyers that I'm reaching on Etsy so it doesn't have the same appeal to me as DeWanda. It is juried so you have to go through a process to get approved. They charge 5.5% and a .50 cent listing fee when the item sells and they use Amazon checkout which charges no fees so that is nice. This one is definitely on my list of places to watch and I'm interested to see how it develops. Of the ones I looked at closely it is the one most in line to take over Etsy's dominance in my opinion.

Another very new site jumping on the handmade bandwagon is Shop Handmade. This one is the most reminiscent in just about every way to Etsy. They do have a much better search but than doesn't everyone. They have a very do-gooder vibe and a complicated system for planting trees for every item listed and sold. I honestly didn't get their fee structure and it appears you can actually choose how much of a commission you would like to pay. I really don't see how listing items here would be of any advantage to me and I have a feeling they may be gone before too long.

I signed up for Lov.li a long time ago and still get weekly e-mails from them. I really don't like the look of their site. As I said it is a personal thing but I find their site cluttered and pretty messy looking. I'm not crazy about their search either so it really isn't a site I feel like investing any time into.

A few months ago there was quite a commotion on the Etsy forums about Handmade Fusion. I believe it was actually started by a few disgruntled Etsy sellers. Along with every other seller I rushed over and applied and was very quickly rejected. I tried not to let this affect my opinion of the site but I have to say their really just isn't much listed there yet. I searched for scarves and got less than one full page. It has a very clean look and the people that made it in obviously take good pictures but it is very limited right now. It is definitely not someplace I will be pursuing or shopping with right now.

Handmade Catalog has a very different look and feel and has a much more homey and craft show vibe to it. I could see primitive and other rustic items doing really well there but I don't think it is the market that I'm looking for. They have a more complicated membership process and don't charge on a commission basis that I'm used to.

Lollishop is marketing itself as the frou-frou friendly marketplace and I like the idea of it, but not for myself. They actually haven't opened their doors yet but it should be a nice alternative for the whimsical and playful sellers out there.

Update: I had a chance to check out ArtFire, which a few commentors recommended. I do like the look of it and they appear to be committed to making a go of it. I don't like that it is in Beta and using Acrobat Reader but I'm sure that is all temporary. They have a healthy approach to helping the environment without confusing me with mumbo jumbo. I am intrigued by their fee structure and membership plan but I am not ready to make any commitments. I really like their plans for stats which we all know is Etsy's big downfall. I would put them in the category of one to watch with 1000 markets at this point.

This is certainly not a complete list but these are the ones that I found the time and inclination to research. Right now I'm leaning towards DeWanda but I would love to hear other people's experiences. If you have positive or negative feedback on these or other sites please let me know.

7 comments:

MySweetThree said...

I am researching this as well. I am really digging deep to find what type of venue will be best for me. I am even *thinking* about going out all on my own, but it is a little daunting. Supplies is such a huge category, that my little handmade beads get buried, which, really is a problem for everyone..anyway..I go on..
Good post!

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

You're better at math than I am.
I found my old scrapbooks in the basement and was thinking about you.
My god we had big hair.

alfcreations said...

I have also been looking for new venues and recently signed up with ArtFire.com. They are currently in beta, and it is a free account, unless you opt for a verified account which is a $7/mo fee right now. I've only been there a couple of days, so can't really judge, yet. I listed a couple of things and we'll see how it goes. :)

TiLT said...

Wow - I am so glad I found this...I am looking into the same thing myself...peek at Art Fire (like alf said) and WinkElf and Trunkt maybe.

storybeader said...

very interesting. Love the idea that people are looking into handmade products!

Flor Larios Art said...

Love your work and your etsy shop.

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Thanks for all the info!

 

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