Where to sell crafts online: Marketplace versus your own online store

Where to sell crafts online

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Are you a crafter who wants to turn your crafting hobby into a business you can run from home?

There are growing numbers people who find making and selling crafts a great way to earn money whilst staying at home to look after their children.

If you’d like to join them, I’ve put together a list of ways you can sell your crafts online.

Of course there are plenty of ‘bricks and mortar’ places to sell your crafts – craft fairs, farmers markets, independent retailers.

But growing an online business is an amazing way to create a flexible work / parenting balance.

Get it right and you can create a thriving online business selling craft that you make at home.

Plus you’ll have plenty of time to spend being a parent.

Where are the best places to sell crafts online?

So, where can you successfully sell your craft products online?

I’ve put together a list of places you can sell online and given a bit of an overview so you can make a considered decision.

The main ways to sell craft online

You’ve got a couple of main options.

Firstly, you can join an online marketplace like Etsy of Amazon Handmade.

Secondly, you can create your own online store via Shopify or SquareSpace.

There are also a few hybrid options that allow you to create a store and have your product featured in an online marketplace.

Build it and they won’t necessarily come

You won’t be guaranteed sales just by listing your products in an online marketplace or by creating your own online store.

Whichever route you go down you will need to have a strong online promotions and marketing game.

Things to consider when planning how you are going to promote your products and drive traffic to them include:

  • Social media – Instagram in particular – plays a huge part in driving traffic to online stores.
  • Content marketing – this is where you get blogging to drive traffic to your products
  • Plus you will need a strong SEO and Pinterest marketing strategy (don’t muddle Pinterest into social media, it’s a visual search engine.)

But you do need an online presence to get started

Clearly there is a lot to think about if you want to set up an online business selling craft products you’ve made.

But if you don’t get started, there won’t be anywhere to drive traffic to.

So, let’s get back to looking at what your options are for selling craft products online.

Great places to sell crafts online

Online marketplaces

Etsy

Who doesn’t love Etsy!

It is a brilliant place for crafters and makers to sell their homemade wares because it is adored by people who LOVE homemade craft, but either don’t have the time or the talent to make beautifully handcrafted products themselves.

Etsy has been around as an online marketplace since 2005.

It’s good a super strong brand identity as a great place to sell and buy handmade wares, vintage finds and craft supplies.

It’s also global, so the potential audience is massive – 33 million buyers and growing!

Of course this brings with it challenges.

There is a LOT of competition to get your product found and bought on Etsy.

So it’s worth doing your research and putting together an Etsy selling and marketing strategy.

There are even companies set up to help you sell on Etsy.

Like Marmalead that will help you create a successful keyword strategy to ensure you and your products get found on Etsy.

Selling on Etsy is a safe and easy way to sell online

Etsy has a simple, transparent and secure system for its sellers.

There’s no monthly fees

All transactions are secure through the Etsy site and there is seller protection in place

The listing fee is $0.20 (US) / £0.15 (UK)

The transaction fee is 5% per item sold (US and UK) and there’s a 3% + $0.25 (US) / 4% + £0.20  (UK) payment processing fee.

Etsy sellers overview, how to sell craft online from home

Get started selling on Etsy | Etsy

Etsy is a great place to start if you’ve never sold your craft products before.

There are many Etsy seller success stories of people who have successfully turned their craft side-hustle into a profitable work from home business.

If you’ve never sold your craft products before, Etsy is a great place to start.

But it’s not the only place to sell crafts online.

Amazon Handmade

Amazon jumped onto the handmade online selling bandwagon in 2015 with Amazon Handmade.

The platform is growing from strength-to-strength and is now a series rival to Etsy.

Amazon Handmade is invite only, to ensure that only artisans can sell on it. (There has been stuff said about companies outsourcing their production to sell on Etsy, which isn’t really very true to the ‘handmade’ ethos.

You will need to establish that you are eligible to sell on Amazon Handmade:

“Your products must be “made entirely by hand, hand-altered, or hand assembled (not from a kit)” and “handmade by you (the artisan), by one of your employees (if your company has 20 or fewer employees), or a member of your collective with less than 100 people,”

Plus…

 “Your product must fall into one of the following categories… jewellery, home products, beauty and personal care, pet supplies, party supplies, stationery, accessories, baby, sporting goods or toys and games.”

Once your application is approved you get invited to create your Artisan Profile, where you can share your story with Amazon Handmade buyers, and start listing your products.

Your products will be listed on the main Amazon site under the Handmade department.

That means there’s the potential to reach millions and millions of customers.

You’ll have the opportunity to list under Amazon Prime and you can choose from various promotional and shipping options.

Amazon Handmade fees

There continues to be a waiving of any account fees.

As with Amazon there are different sales territories. So if you’re UK based, you can choose to sell to the UK and Europe.

If you’re in the US, you get to sell across the USA.

Find out more and how to apply for an invitation: Amazon Handmade (UK and Europe) Amazon Handmade 

I’ve found this great 2018 review from artisan makers Hurd and Honey, on their experiences selling on Etsy and Amazon Handmade.

Aftcra

This one is for US residents only.

Aftcra is a marketplace for “buying and selling unique handmade goods crafted by American hands”.

It’s free to set up an Aftcra shop and you pay a 7% fee when your item sells.

You will need a PayPal account.

iCraft Gifts

iCraft Gifts is a global marketplace for gifts, with a big focus on hand knitted products, home decor and jewellery.

You have to pay a set up fee of $25 (you can sign up from anywhere in the world).

Then you have to choose a monthly subscription plan.

Find out more about selling on iCraft Gifts: Selling on iCraft Gifts

Online marketplaces where you also get your own store website

Now these online selling options are kind of hybrid marketplaces with store website.

So you get to create your own store website, but also have your product inventory on the main marketplace.

Zibbet

Zibbet is a creative global marketplace for artists, crafters and vintage sellers.

You can create a stand-alone website through Zibbet as well as having your products in the Zibbet marketplace.

Your store inventory on your stand-alone website is integrated seemlessly with the inventory on the Zibbet marketplace.

Everything is managed from one centralised admin panel.

There is also an ‘Etsy importer’ tool to allow you to quickly transfer details of all your stock inventory from Etsy to Zibbit.

There are monthly fees, but there’s a free option if you want to give Zibbit a test-run.

There’s a really good Zibbit review pitting it against Etsy over on Etsy Alternatives.

eCrater

eCrater brings buyers and sellers together in one marketplace.

It is free to register and open a store with eCrater.

Sellers keep 100% of the sales revenue that they earn through their eCrater store website, but have to pay 2.9% for sales through the main eCrater marketplace.

Find out more about selling with eCrater: Selling on eCrater

Set up Your Own Shop to Sell Crafts Online

If you don’t fancy Etsy or Amazon Handmade and in fact don’t really want to be part of an online marketplace, you can simply set up your own online store.

You will be even more reliant on marketing and promoting your online store via social media, SEO and Pinterest marketing than you would be if you go down the marketplace route.

On the flipside, you get to do things your way and the seller fees are potentially less.

eCommerce can be a daunting place

Diving into eCommerce as a retailer can be a daunting task.

But there are a few really straight forward ways to do it.

These are the online selling platforms.

Shopify

There are over 600,000 Shopify stores online.

It is now the leading eCommerce platform.

Shopify is a safe and trustworthy sales platform that is SEO optimised, allows social media integration, has a full fraud prevention system and incorporates a full blogging platform for content marketing.

The platform provides literally everything you need to get your online store up and running in a super professional way.

There are store templates and business tools to track sales and traffic.

Plus customer support to help you whenever you get stuck or need advice.

Shopify offers 14 days for free, which gives you enough time to set up a store, have a look at how it all works and establish if it’s the eCommerce platform for you.

Here’s a look at the Shopify fees:

Shopify Pricing, how to sell crafts online from home

You don’t have to opt for creating a Shopify store, there are other Shopify solutions as well.

You can create a Shopify button to sit on your blog or website or you can create a Facebook Shop.

Find out more about Shopify: Get started with Shopify

Squarespace

Squarespace offers all-in-one website solutions for people who aren’t techy.

You also get a domain, eCommerce functionality, hosting, picture galleries, analytics and 24/7 support within each package.

Squarespace templates are really easy to style and get live.

You can choose eCommerce specific templates to create your own online store or you can create more of a blog or magazine style site and have eCommerce functionality on it.

There are two online store pricing plans, both of which mean there are no transaction fees.

Find out more about Squarespace pricing here: Squarespace pricing

One final online selling option

WordPress

WordPress self-hosted

You can set up a WordPress site in a couple of hours and then add eCommerce functionality with Shopify or WooCommerce.

There are a few steps you need to go through to get set up, you will need to choose a domain name, find hosting, install WordPress and select a theme.

But it’s a super cost-effective and super quick way to get an online business up and running.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the worlds largest hosted blogging platform. Which means your website / blog is hosted by WordPress.com rather than you having to buy hosting.

This does mean you don’t get as much flexibility with design for your website / blog, but it does make it super duper cheap and easy to get going.

WordPress.com now offers its own eCommerce solution so you can launch your own store on the platform.

Find out more about launching a store on WordPress.com: eCommerce on WordPress.com

 

I’ve created this post to give you a starting point for deciding how and where you can launch your online store to sell your own craft products.

Of course there is a lot to getting an online craft business launched and successfully generating revenue.

I will be creating a whole series of posts to help you on your way.

In the meantime, do check out the new Mother Your Business section on Mums Make Lists.

Mother Your Business is the newest section of the site and I’m building a series of posts to offer tips and support for mothers working from home.

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Sell crafts from home and turn your craft hobby into money-making online business! Crafting is more popular now than ever and a great way to make money working from home. Turn your hobby into a money-making home business. Here's 9 places you can sell your homemade crafts working from home #WorkFromHomeMother #WorkFromHomeMum #WorkFromHome #Entrepreneur #Etsy #Craft #MotherYourBusiness #MumBoss #Mumpreneur #SellOnline

 

Featured Photo by Cassidy Phillips on Unsplash

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Luci

Luci

Hello, I'm Luci, Editor of Mums Make Lists. MML is full of creative tips I’ve put together to bring calm and balance to the lives of busy mums and their families.
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