You have your crafts ready. They are finished, packaged, and ready for sale. You have amazing pictures — ones with your adorable kids smiling and wearing (or using) your product, and all your i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Here comes the big question,”Where can I sell my crafts online?”
The easiest (and most popular) answer would be: Etsy. Etsy is easily one of the biggest craft markets online. With lots of users and buyers, it is a great place to set up shop. See Etsy’s Year in Review: 22 million members, $895 million in sales. In January 2013, Etsy had 800,000 active sellers, and probably has more now. Etsy sellers sell everything from crocheted goods to digital art to hard to find vintage items — Etsy shoppers are all over the map and even include celebrities like Jessica Alba. However, in order to get noticed, you’d better make sure your shop is ready. What does it take to get noticed? Great pictures, more inventory, and well-written product descriptions. Here’s a link for more Etsy tips: Etsy Mentors: Critique Your Own Shop.
As I researched Etsy, one of the biggest complaints I’ve seen is fees. The fees for Etsy are $0.20 USD per listing and 3.5% at the point of sale. Etsy’s Fee Policy
Well known in the WAHM cloth diaper circles, Hyena Cart seems to be gaining popularity in niche groups like cloth diapering, custom dolls, and knits. Hyena Cart is not just a sales platform, it is a community and has a pretty active forum. According to Hyena Cart, it “gives the seller the ability to set a specific stocking time, run auctions or lotteries, and fully customize the look and feel of the cart via style sheets and html coding, if desired.”
While researching Hyena Cart, I came up with some mixed reviews. Some people absolutely love it, while others feel it’s too difficult to use. As I’ve never used Hyena Cart, I am unable to comment, but here is an awesome post from Diaper Pattern Reviews about Hyena Cart and how to evaluate whether or not you’d be a good candidate: How to Succeed on Hyena Cart
WAHM’s seem to like Hyena Cart’s fee schedule more than Etsy’s. Hyena Cart’s set up fees are $10 to set up shop and $5 each month after. Seller Fees: Costs to Sell on Hyena Cart
Artfire is another platform with a marketplace and craft community. According to Artfire, they are “an e-commerce company and [they] focus on support of member’s needs by taking a service first approach.” Their mission is “More than Commerce, Community” and encourages interaction and engagement of their community.
After researching Artfire, I’ve learned that it is a lot like Etsy. There is a debate among sellers which platform to choose: Artfire or Etsy. Some sellers prefer Artfire because they say it is easier to customize where as others prefer Etsy because it has more traffic. Read more about Etsy vs. Artfire here: Etsy or Artfire?
Artfire has a set rate of $12.95 with no listing fees or commissions. Artfire’s Fees
After giving you all this information, I’m sure you are thinking,”Great, thanks. Now what?” Here are my thoughts on Etsy vs. Hyena Cart vs. Artfire. If you are a brand new seller, selling a one of a kind craft that stands out, but don’t have a lot of fans yet, try Etsy because it will give you the most audience. If you are a cloth diaper or custom doll maker, I’d suggest Hyena Cart, and if you are selling high ticket items and have an audience, you may want to try Artfire.
You could always sell your products on WordPress by turning it into an e-commerce platform, but this may open you up to a whole new world of headaches.
Please weigh in:
Etsy, Hyena Cart, and Artfire users (or any other type of craft sellers), please weigh in. Where do you sell online and what do you think about the experience?