Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Where to sell your crafts online

Many crafters end up not selling their work because they just don’t know where to go. Online venues can be the perfect solution! However, in case you aren’t sure exactly how to find websites that will let you sell your handicrafts, I’ve decided to do a review of several places. Please feel free to let me know of any I’ve missed or your experiences with the craft websites listed here.

Etsy
This is a fairly new venue for crafters, but it looks good. Most of the products seem to be of very high quality and the prices are decent, so you won’t be forced to lowball your products. The layout is quite professional and sign up is free. You will need a credit card to confirm identity, they are very strict about security policies.

Fees: Free to sign up, 20 cents per item, plus 3.5% upon sale
Arts Efest
This site is fairly large, so you’ll have plenty of competition. It bills itself as an online craft show. The list of categories in the sidebar is almost too extensive, but will help people find exactly what they are looking for. Some items seem to be a bit on the cheap side, so you might need to drop your prices a little. Payment is through PayPal.

This site offers two options. You can sign up to be listed in their crafters´ directory if you already have a website, or you can sign up to get a webpage on efest.

Fees: Between $14-18 per month if you build a site through them, $8 monthly if you already have a website (discounts are available if you pay for the year)
Handmade Catalog
A nice, clean looking website that offers a very extensive variety. The prices here seem to be very decent, shipping can be included or you can charge separately. Payment is by check or PayPal.

Handmade offers three different memberships. The Basic package lets you try things out, where you can list up to 50 items. The Standard package allows up to 250 products, plus 3 listings per year on the main page. The Professional package is the most expensive and lets you have a special URL, features your business name on their Crafter’s List, plus you can list up to 1,200 products and have up to 5 products per year on the main page.

Fees: Basic is $4.95 per month, plus a 15% commission, Standard charges 7.95 per month, plus a 10% commission, and Professional is $12.95 per month with a 5% commission on top. Each package has a discount if you pay annually.

Craft Mall
This online mall is professionally designed and lets you design your own home page, complete with your own business logo. The nice thing about Craft Mall is that they also allow you to use your own domain name, if you wish.

Selling features are more advanced on this website. You can create your own coupons with expiration dates, set up sales that start and end automatically and sell in bulk or offer special discounts. Using these features can also get you a spot in their newsletter. Payment is through PayPal or your own merchant account.

Fees: Basic accounts range from $7.95-47.95 per month for 15-500 products, Premium accounts range from $14.95-54.95 a month for 25-650 products and include several benefits.

Kinfolk Crafts
This website offers fully customizable webpages where you can upload 10 products to sell. They maintain your site for you and payment is through PayPal. You can add your own domain name if you wish. You can also do an upgrade from a webpage to a website, but they don’t specify how many products this includes or how much it costs.

Kinfolk Crafts seems to lean more toward country style crafting and clothing, so if that is your niche, this may be a good website for you. However, if you are into Goth art, Kinfolk Crafts is not the place to sell your bat pins!

Fees: $75 set-up, $10 per month with a minimum of 6 months required.

Lilly’s Craft Mall
This website is run by a work at home mom who knows what it is like to have all your profits eaten up by auction fees. So, the website is free for listing your crafts. You get a website where you can upload 15 products to start off with (you can add more after 30 days). It is all customizable. Payment is through PayPal.

The only problem I saw with Lilly’s Craft Mall is that it’s not exactly well designed. There are errors on the main page and for some reason the categories are microscopic. If you are looking for a no-cost way to get started, this might be worth a try, though.

Fees: Free

Spsell
Spsell has more of an amateur look to it than the other sites reviewed here, but it is a bit different as well. Instead of categories, it has shops, so the name of your e-store has a lot to do with whether or not people will click on it. Within the shop, you have categories if necessary. Payment through PayPal.

Fees: Appears to be free

As you can see, you have a wide variety of options for selling your crafts online. And of course, you could always set up your own website as well. The advantage of going with an online craft market is that you can capitalize on their popularity.

Have you had any experience selling your crafts online? If so, please share in the comments. Feel free to include a link to your site, too, so we can see your products and website.

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