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6 Etsy Alternatives Sellers Should Consider

By Tiffany Verbeck Reviewed By Mike Lucas
By Tiffany Verbeck Reviewed By Mike Lucas

If you’re an artisan and running your business from Etsy’s website, you might find you want to expand your reach by selling from other sites like Etsy, or maybe you want to completely shift away from Etsy. No matter your reason, here are 6 of the top Etsy competitors to give you an idea of where else to sell handmade items or other products.

Why Consider Etsy Competitors for Your Creative Business?

Etsy has, by far, the most extensive reach compared to its competitors; it’s a household name at this point, and it’s practically synonymous with unique, handmade items. The company generated about $1.7 billion in revenue in 2020, and its mobile app is in the top 10 most popular in the U.S., according to Statista. However, there are reasons artisans could want to explore Etsy alternatives.

Fees

Etsy introduced higher fees in 2018, which frustrated some sellers. The transaction fee rose from 3.5% to 5%, and now also applies to shipping costs. Plus, Etsy charges a 20-cent listing fee for each item listed in a seller’s store, which isn’t the case for many alternatives. So if a seller has 100 items for sale in their shop, they’ll pay $20 in listing fees.

Visibility

There are so many shops listed on Etsy that it can be difficult for a small craft maker to stand out.

Etsy’s algorithm draws traffic to active stores, which requires many new listings to qualify. But many small shop owners complain that they have a hard time pulling in buyers because of the crowded platform and the complete lack of control in how their products are marketed.

Customer Reach

If you like your Etsy shop, you could still look into similar companies to expand your customer base. While some are not the juggernaut that Etsy is, reports put the revenue for online outlets such as aftcra and ArtFire around $5 million to $10 million.

Third-Party Resellers

Although Etsy’s primary reputation is where to sell handmade items, some sellers and critics have expressed frustration at what they say is a proliferation of shops selling non-handmade stock sourced from companies such as AliExpress and its parent company Alibaba. Etsy’s rules allow people to sell non-vintage items they didn’t create from scratch as long as they’ve altered, embellished or otherwise upcycled them. However, some complaints note that items including clothing, jewelry or accessories haven’t been changed from their original condition. Sellers who buy items in bulk from overseas companies can offer more items at once, which means more listings, and can keep larger quantities of the same item on hand, which can satisfy more customer orders. It can be difficult for traditional artisans to compete against these stores. Some selling sites like Etsy, such as aftcra, more strictly enforce rules against reselling.

Etsy Alternatives for Artisan Sellers: How They Compare

If you’re hoping to find alternatives to selling on websites like Etsy and eBay, you’re in luck. Many Etsy competitors are cropping up that provide sellers with similar services.

1. aftcra

When you’re exploring websites to sell crafts, you’ll find aftcra offers a platform to artisans that strictly adheres to its American-made and handmade mandate.  To sell on aftcra, your products must be made in the U.S. and by U.S.-based artisans. The buyers who visit this site value locally produced, handmade items.

Listing is free on aftcra, but they charge a 7% fee once you sell an item.

A useful feature allows sellers to import products from Etsy directly into aftcra, so you could potentially put items up for sale in 2 places at once.

aftcra vs. Etsy

Both aftcra and Etsy are online marketplaces that manage web hosting and site-building for sellers who don’t want to deal with the technical end of things. On aftcra, your products will appear in their own marketplace that is similar to Etsy’s.

Etsy offers the potential for a seller to reach a segment of its millions of buyers with little marketing effort put in. Aftcra requires more independent marketing. If that’s something you wouldn’t mind, aftcra could be a good option for you. And although aftcra’s fees are lower, it’s only a 1% difference. However, you can list an unlimited number of products for no extra charge.

2. Indiemade®

Indiemade® was created by artists who know what small craft businesses need for success. The site offers sellers an easy option for creating a personalized website that includes an integrated shop, product image galleries, a blog and a calendar.

However, it’s a platform rather than a marketplace. That means customers don’t go to the Indiemade® website to view a list of products, like on Etsy, but rather each artist’s shop is an individual site.

Indiemade® vs. Etsy

On Indiemade®, the seller is responsible for all of their marketing. Like on Etsy, the site takes care of the web hosting side of things, but you don’t get automatic inclusion into a marketplace with Indiemade®. Indiemade® takes no cut of the sales like Etsy does, but there is a monthly fee. There are 4 tiers for memberships, priced from $4.95 per month to $19.95. The lowest level allows for a maximum of 10 items listed at once, while the highest tier permits up to 300 products.

Indiemade® is an excellent option for sellers who want more control over their marketing than Etsy offers.

3. Cargoh

Cargoh is a curated marketplace, so sellers must apply before their products are added to  the site.

The site doesn’t require items to be handmade, but you must customize the item in some way. For example, a crafter can screen-print American Apparel T-shirts and sell them on Cargoh. 

Cargoh doesn’t charge setup or listing fees; it does have an 8% transaction fee.

Cargoh vs. Etsy

Cargoh does much of the marketing work for you, like Etsy. So this is a good option for folks who don’t have much time to devote to promoting your shop. Unlike Etsy, though, Cargoh sellers must apply to set up a shop. Cargoh could deny your application if they already have similar items in their marketplace. But the upside of this practice, and the edge over Etsy, is that it balances each category so no seller is crowded out.

4. ArtFire

ArtFire is an online marketplace made for global independent creators. You can sell handmade goods, craft supplies and vintage items that were made at least 20 years ago.

The site claims to have millions of online shoppers. It takes care of the coding side, so it could be a great option for sellers who don’t have that skill.

ArtFire vs. Etsy

ArtFire has 3 monthly plans available, and all cost money. The most affordable Standard Shop monthly plan costs $4.95 per month and 23 cents per listing, and you can have up to 250 listings. However, after an item sells, they charge a 12.75% fee on the sale.

The second tier, named “Popular Shop” is a bit more enticing. It costs $20 per month, but the sales fee drops to 4.5%, and the listing fee disappears. You can have up to 1,000 listings. The third tier — Featured Shop — offers the most site exposure but costs $40 per month, and you’re still stuck with the 4.5% fee per item that sells. You can have up to 2,500 listings in your shop. Every tier touts ad-free pages for your listings.

In contrast, Etsy’s Standard plan is free, although they offer 2 other paid programs that claim to help your shop grow.

5. Zibbet

Zibbet is a unique tool. It runs a marketplace and allows you to operate with multiple sales channels directly from your Zibbet profile. Etsy is one of the options, as well as the A.C. Moore handmade marketplace

This setup means you can sell your items on multiple platforms and manage it all from Zibbet. When you connect Etsy or another sales channel to your Zibbet platform, it syncs the inventory count and product updates across multiple channels.

Zibbet vs. Etsy

Unlike Etsy, Zibbet charges no listing or transaction fees. Instead, they charge a $5 monthly fee per sales channel. They require a minimum of 2 sales channels per profile, so it costs at least $10 per month to be a member. Note that if you simultaneously sell on the Zibbet Marketplace and Etsy, you’ll pay Etsy’s fees in addition to Zibbet’s fees. However, Zibbet offers a 14-day free trial, which can be helpful if you’re not sure which Etsy alternative you want to use.

There are no rules regarding what you can sell on the Zibbet platform. While that gives you the freedom to sell vintage items or products you’ve customized or upcycled, it potentially opens the door to competitors who resell mass-produced items.

6. Amazon Handmade 

Artisans must apply and be audited to ensure their products are genuinely handmade to sell on Handmade at Amazon. Amazon lists all Handmade items in its standard search, so your crafts can easily reach millions of buyers.

The $39.99-per-month professional seller fee is waived for approved Handmade creators.

Amazon Handmade vs. Etsy

Both Amazon and Etsy are free to join, but Handmade doesn’t charge to list items. However, Handmade does take a 15% transaction fee, which is one of the more expensive fees for Etsy competitors. 

Customer searches will yield handmade products along with mass-produced items, so you don’t have to worry about being overlooked even if a customer doesn’t specifically search for handmade products. 

Another benefit is that you can ship orders directly through Amazon Prime. You’ll still have to ship your items to Amazon, but then they’ll handle warehousing and dispatching items when they sell. 

Handmade also takes care of web hosting and marketing, so sellers don’t have to dedicate time to promotions.

Best Online Stores Like Etsy

When weighing which selling sites like Etsy you want to use for your web store, you might want to try aftcra or Zibbet if you’re not sure which Etsy alternative is best. Both aftcra and Zibbet allow you to simultaneously manage those respective stores along with your Etsy shop, which is helpful if you don’t want to close your Etsy shop (yet or ever). Zibbet also offers a free trial period, so you’re not stuck in a contract if you decide not to stay with that marketplace.

Tiffany Verbeck Contributing Writer at Fast Capital 360
Tiffany Verbeck is a personal finance expert. She uses her storytelling skills gained from a master’s degree in writing to run a writing business focused on helping people make and manage their money. She writes two blogs, one focused on personal finance and another that's a resource hub for rural creative types. She has been published in The Financial Diet, The Write Life, Matador Network and other online publications.
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