Over the course of history, handmade crafts have gone from necessity to hobby to booming business opportunity. Take your creative goods and set up an online shop to start making money today.
General Online Stores For Handmade Crafts
While Etsy may be one of the most recognizable names in the online craft selling game, they certainly aren't the only option for sellers. Check out these other options.
ArtFire describes itself as a marketplace for people around the world and boasts thousands of monthly shoppers buying handmade goods, vintage crafts, or craft supplies. Fees start at just under five dollars per month for a standard package plus a 23-cent listing fee per item and a nine percent final valuation fee. Other packages run from $20 to $40 dollars per month with no listing fee and only a three percent final valuation fee.
Featuring only new handmade items, iCraft includes shops for true art, craft, and fashion items with no erotic or adult content. You pay a $25 registration fee and then choose a package for $5, $10, or $15 per month. The site is based out of Canada and features sellers from the U.S., U.K., and other countries.
GLC Arts and Crafts Mall
The GLC Arts and Crafts Mall is a small marketplace where each seller owns his or her own shop with no setup or commission fees. For under five dollars, you can list 300 items, and for under eight dollars, you get 1,000 listings. $12 allows you to post 3,000 items. The only fee you pay is a five percent processing fee, no matter which package you choose.
Handmade at Amazon
Handmade at Amazon gets you great distribution and visibility in selling goods that are made by hand, hand-altered, or hand-assembled in specific categories - from jewelry to pet supplies and apparel. Each seller is reviewed by an Amazon employee before being invited to sell. The site takes 15 percent commission and a one dollar minimum referral fee but promises you'll show up in searches for their more than 250 million worldwide customers.
Handmade Artists' Shop
Items sold in the Handmade Artists' Shop must be truly made by hand and include upcycled vintage goods or handmade craft supplies, but no commercial products are allowed. You simply pay five dollars per month or $50 for the year. Sellers can expect anywhere from 400 to 2,000 page views annually.
One of the only truly free places to sell crafts online is Shop Handmade. Your store is linked directly to your PayPal account, so you have to handle all your own transactions. Sellers can sell handmade items, new or used craft supplies, or crafting services on the site.
Specialized Handmade Craft Stores Online
Market your unique goods in specialty or niche online marketplaces for a better chance at reaching customers looking for specific items. Try one of the following.
At Spoonflower, artists can print any original design on fabrics, wallpaper, or gift wrap. There are no fees to sign up, but you are required to purchase a proof of your design. Artists keep all the rights to their work and earn about 10 percent of every sale. Expect a large customer base as the site boasts over 600,000 monthly customers.
Sell original artwork in traditional framed prints or on a wide variety of other decorative household items through Society6. You retain all the rights to your work and earn the profit you choose for framed art prints, art prints, and stretched canvas prints. If you allow your designs to be reproduced on other products like iPad skins or t-shirts, you earn a base 10 percent of the product cost.
Rebels Market is the counterculture answer to selling handmade goods online with over seven million customers. Everything apparel, accessories, and home goods is fair game as long as you've had previous online selling experience and make unique items that fit styles like punk, metal, and goth. You'll need to get approval to set up a free shop, and the site takes 15 percent on the final sale price of each item.
Makers of eco-friendly family goods can sell on Hyena Cart where they have over a quarter of a million registered shoppers. You can open your own store, open a shared store, or sell used items for a fee of $10. A shared store then costs just over $35 per month, while an individual store costs only $7.50 per month.
You Can Make This
If you can create original patterns for sewing, crochet, jewelry, quilting, and other craft products, the You Can Make This Team will review your ideas to see if they're a good fit for the site. After creating a free author account, submit your ideas and wait for approval. If they decide to sell your pattern, you'll get 50 percent of the sales price each time it sells.
At Cafe Press you can design over 250 different items from stickers to bags and housewares to baby clothes. You upload the designs; they print the designs on products selected by customers. With the no-fee option, you pay 10 percent or up to $10 off your monthly royalties, or you can pay a monthly fee of five to six dollars and collect full royalties each month.
Open a Virtual Business
Selling your goods online is like owning your own store without all the overhead costs. Choose a site that doesn't have many other items similar to yours for the best chance of getting noticed.