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Buying and Selling Handmade Crafts Online

Reported by Erin Bassett
Most crafters spend their free time crafting just as a hobby, but there are more and more crafters deciding to sell their pieces online either as a new business or just to make a few extra buck in order to have a bit more crafty spending money. This may be due to the current world economy and job market, or maybe due to the increased popularity people wanting to purchase handcrafted items instead of those mass produced in foreign lands.
The first question anyone buying or selling handmade items has is: “Where?”
There are a number of online sites that allow crafters to set up shop such as the well known Etsy, Ebay, Art Fire, and some other venues like Craft is Art, Artsefest, Handmade Catalog, and Craft Mall. And if you’re outside the USA, you might also consider Folksy (UK) or DaWanda (which means “something extraordinary, unlike any other” and has sites for their German, British, and French buyers and sellers)
When I asked where people liked to buy and sell handmade products on Twitter the most common answer was Etsy.
Marfa Otano (@MarfaOtano on Twitter) said:
And Shimelle Laine (@glittershim on Twitter ) introduced me to Folksy and DaWanda said
For sellers, the next question is usually “How much in fees will this cost me?”
You definitely need to be mindful of the fees each site charges per item listed, any sales fees or commissions, credit fees, and currency conversion.

Here’s a handy list:

  • Etsy has a handy explanation of how their fees work here
  • Craft Is Art has one here
  • Folksy has one here
  • DaWanda has one here
  • Artfire Pro (there is a “basic” option as well) and has no fees on listings and does not take any commission on sales, but charges a monthly fee of $15.95
  • Handmade Catalog and Craft Mall both have a monthly charge as well

No matter where you decide to open your shop you need to also keep in mind that there will be shipping charges that you will most likely pass on to your customers.

For buyers the great news is that there are a multitude of places to shop! Most of the sites allow you to ask questions to the seller, add to lists, and tell others about what you’ve found. Some even allows you to look for sellers in certain geographical locations in case you want to save on shipping and keep your money local.
Remember to please use the shopping guidelines at On Guard Online when shopping online anywhere.
So, where to you buy or sell handmade items online? Leave us a comment, we’d love to see our readers’ links!
Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!

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9 Responses to Buying and Selling Handmade Crafts Online

  1. Avatar
    Jill Hayes July 14, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    I have just opened my party favors, decorations, and supplies shop called Paper Moments on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Scrapafrass and so far it has been a wonderful experience. I am amazed at how many other Etsy sellers have visited my store and featured my items in their treasury and provided helpful advice-it really is a community of crafters that try to lift each other up.

  2. Avatar
    Jen Archer July 14, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Hi, hope it’s OK to contact you with this comment. We’d like to offer you to be included on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout (http://www.giveawayscout.com). Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog (http://www.giveawayscout.com/addblog/ ). thanks, Jen

  3. Avatar
    rilojane July 14, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    I was _just_ thinking about opening up an etsy shop and was wondering what my other options are. I don’t have anything against etsy, other than the fear of getting lost in the masses. Thanks so much for the review and links. It was really helpful. (And you have impeccable timing!)

  4. Avatar
    AzulieSparks July 14, 2010 at 7:56 pm #

    Having done the rounds of a few online venues, including Etsy, Ruby lane and Dawanda, I’ve landed at Artfire and find this venue by far the best value. Unlike most online marketplaces, customers don’t have to join/register in order to make a purchase and Artfire provide sellers with great tools (inc. coupon codes, remote cart for offsite selling, Facebook shop kiosk…). This site is particularly geared towards getting sellers products seen ‘out there’ i.e. on Google, The Find, Amazon etc. and their SEO guides and tutorials are second to none. Well worth setting up a basic shop to try Artfire out (totally free, no listing fees, no commission), then go the Pro if you feel at home there.
    Oh, and you can find me at Sparks Artfire Studio

  5. Avatar
    Kim July 15, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    I opened my shop on http://www.shophandmade.com because they allow you to decide if you want to donate any of your proceeds to the website. There are ZERO costs to the seller for having their store on the site because your store is sponsor by an online craft supplier vendor. 🙂 Here is the linke to my store:
    http://www.shophandmade.com/store?store1=kimg
    Hugs~ Kim

  6. Avatar
    Julie July 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    I have 2 shops on Etsy.
    One is for handmade reasonably priced jewelry…
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/kattfiveCreations
    the other is for hand crafted greeting cards and altered items…
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/kattfive

    It has been alot of fun.

  7. Avatar
    Funky Finds July 17, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    The Shops @ Funky Finds is a great online marketplace! Sellers can sell for as low as $1.99 USD per month with no fee per upload or sale. Currently, new sellers that purchase one month will receive an additional SIX FREE MONTHS.

    http://funkyfinds.us/theshops/

  8. Avatar
    Scrappy Rat July 21, 2010 at 2:17 am #

    I chose etsy because it’s the one I shop at most often, but I am interested in taking a look at some of the others that were reviewed here.

    Here’s my shop, featuring pet themed stationery and gifts:
    http://scrappyrat.etsy.com
    I hope you’ll visit if you have a moment to spare. 🙂

  9. Avatar
    louisiana1966 July 26, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    I have a shop on Etsy (louisiana1966.etsy.com) that has been great for me. I also have an Artfire studio that I dropped down to Basic on because sales and visits there are stagnant right now. And I have a shop on ShopHandmade;which has also been pretty slow,but has great sponsorships and you can donate to the environment through it.My vote is for Etsy.