Webby Wednesdays: Where Can I Sell My Crafts Online?

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?”

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My attempt at making my own dress, and why I depend on sites like Etsy, Hyena Cart, and Artfire for some homemade items.

Etsy

The easiest (and most popular) answer would be: EtsyEtsy 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

Hyena Cart

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

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

Conclusion

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.

Bonus

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?

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5 thoughts on “Webby Wednesdays: Where Can I Sell My Crafts Online?

  1. I’m also muddling through how to go about selling my crafts online. I’ve read numerous reviews comparing artfire to etsy – and it seems each reviewer has decided beforehand which one they like, because I see things mentioned in some reviews that are not mentioned in others. On every bullet point, each author comes out in favor of their golden child of online selling. No reviews that say, “if you value X, go with Etsy; if you value Y, go with Artfire.”

    I’ve been trying to get my own website up for years (with varying amounts of using a CMS like WordPress and a shopping cart module, or hand-coding plus a shared SSL certificate card like Malscart). Every time I’m at a convention, people ask me if I have a website, and I tell them, “No, because I don’t have time to do it myself, and I can’t afford to pay someone else to do it.” I have tried to barter with friends, but the two who have the know-how don’t have the time. After years of refusing to get on Etsy, I’m giving in.

    I think the thing that’s stopping me from going with Artfire is that I’m not sure it’s great for lower-end items like i’m offering (<$20), and that Artfire no longer has any kind of free account. And sure, they're offering a paid account for $13 / month, but how long is that going to last? They say on their website that the $13/month is a discount off the normal rate of $20/month, and I flat-out cannot afford $240 a year when they decide to drop the discount rate, if I'm not making at least $1500 off Artfire per year. And how will I know if I can? Will one free month of trial account really tell that to me, given Artfire's reputation for not having a lot of traffic? No idea. Not sure I'm willing to risk 4 or 8 or 12 hours needed to set up shop on Artfire.

    • Hi, Kat! Thanks so much for your reply! I tried to be as unbiased as possible, but I guess I might have come across as having a favorite. Honestly, I researched all three platforms and each has varying success rates. So, I’m not sure what to recommend. I have used a WordPress based cart system, and it does take a lot of time to get started and manage. It can also be quite pricey.

      Depending on what you are selling, I’d recommend one of these three but for smaller ticket items, I did read etsy was better.

      Hope this helped!

      Kat

      • Oh, yours was the first truly neutral review I found. I think the “where should I sell” question is indeed answered by asking, “what are you selling?” High-dollar items, Artfire. Low-cost items, Etsy. Baby stuff, HC.

        I did some research on Hyena Cart, and it really does seem to cater to a niche market of parents with babies. It was also not obvious to me how one sets up a store (as in I couldn’t tell if they had templates you could use, or if you had to hand-code the html, or what), and I wasn’t quite clear on the whole “stocking” concept – seems like a flat fee any time you want to add any number of items to your store. Weird way to do it from my perspective; as a jeweler I can make multiples of any given item, so I have no idea how HC would handle “I have 5 of these to sell.”

        • Thanks so much! I spent quite a bit of time on this post. There is a lot of info and forums, but I couldn’t find a direct answer.

          Hyena cart is a great idea for the diaper crowd or crafters who specialize in one of a kind because of their unique system, but I agree with you. I’m not sure how that would work for jewelry.

          Etsy is truly the best for small items because of their fee system. It seems to be the most reasonable. Artfire seemed a little pricey if you aren’t selling expensive, large items.

          I wish you the best of luck sorting through everything and please come back and post your store link when you are set up! I would love to see it!

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