In the days before the internet, artisans had limited venues to sell their arts and crafts. We now live in a world where billions of people connect online at the click of a button. Artists are moving beyond trade shows and local art fairs to sell their products online. With more than 62 million Americans participating in crafting activities each year, it’s the perfect time to create an online presence and build your brand. Whether you are looking to expand your business or turn your hobby into a money-maker, here are some of the top sites to help you sell your arts and crafts.
Top Sites for Arts and Crafts
Since its launch in 2005, Etsy has become the industry standard for online artisan marketplaces. Shoppers can browse through multitudes of handmade and vintage items ranging from décor, jewelry, apparel, toys, art, and craft supplies. With reported sales topping $3 billion, it is definitely one of the top sites to sell your arts and crafts.
Etsy is ideal for first-time venders since the name draws a lot of internet traffic. The website hosted 2.1 million sellers and more than 39 million buyers in 2018, growing more each year. Their platform exposes you to potential clients from around the world in ways that were not possible before. This lets artists focus on their work instead of marketing and promotion.
The site operates like a traditional craft fair where vendors setup a personal storefront to sell their goods. The seller pays a $0.20 listing fee per item and 5% commission on all sales. There is also another small payment processing fee, but it does guarantee secure online transactions. Many sellers agree that these fees are a small price to pay for access to Etsy’s user-friendly marketplace.
2. Handmade at Amazon
You know you are in the right marketplace if Amazon is involved. The world’s largest web retailer is now venturing into arts and crafts. Vendors must submit their application to Handmade at Amazon and receive approval. If you get approved, you will receive an invitation to create your Artisan Profile where you can sell your arts and crafts. The process ensures all the items are handmade and enforces strict bans on anything that violates intellectual property rights.
Advertising through Amazon grants you access to the largest online shopping platform, but it does come at a cost. They deduct 15% from each sale in addition to shipping costs. This means you will have to give greater thought to how you package, price and promote your work. However, there is unlimited earning potential if you can claim a slice of the Amazon pie.
If marketplaces aren’t for you, consider hosting your own site through Shopify. The site is great for small businesses and established brands, boasting more than $82 billion in sales. With more than a million businesses in 175, it truly is a global presence.
Shopify allows you to build your own store makes the initial setup a breeze with professional templates, business tools, and support. The app store also offers a ton of options to customize your page. The simple interface connects to other social media platforms to help promote your work.
Maintaining your own online store gives you more creative control and direct customer contact. There are no marketplace rules about what you can sell or commission and processing fees. However, it’s up to the seller to attract web traffic. Shopify requires more daily updates, but it also puts you in the driver’s seat.
Choosing a Site That’s Right for You
Launching a website and sharing your work with the world can be both frightening and exhilarating. With the endless online marketplaces to choose from, you can easily become overwhelmed or discouraged. Before joining a community, take time to consider what it is you hope to achieve and which platform is the best vehicle to get you there.
If you feel lost, seek out other artisans to discuss their first hand experiences with these sites. There are many online messaging boards and communities of artists facing the same questions and concerns. Once you have chosen which site to use to sell your arts and crafts, you are only clicks away from becoming a legitimate online retailer.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.