Etsy has revolutionized ecommerce for buyers and sellers of vintage and handmade crafts and supplies. Etsy is great for sellers of vintage and handmade goods but if you aren't a fan of Etsy's saturated marketplace and fees then here are good Etsy alternatives ⇣
Etsy is the leading marketplace for crafters, artists, and collectors to sell handmade creations, vintage goods, and both handmade and non-handmade crafting supplies.
- Best overall: Shopify is the leading all-in-one ecommerce platform that lets you to sell online. Shopify is cheap, feature-rich, comes with with unlimited products and file storage, and it comes with a huge selection of themes.
- Runner-up, Best overall: Squarespace is a drag-and-drop website builder and ecommerce platform with great looking templates and drag-and-drop design tools. Also with Squarespace you can import your Etsy products and sell them through Squarespace.
- Cheapest alternative to Etsy: Wix is a drag-and-drop website builder with excellent ecommerce cabilities and user-friendly templates that make it easy to build an online shop. Also with Wix you can use their Etsy app and easily integrate your Etsy shop with your Wix site.
Since 2005, Etsy has been a dedicated global, online marketplace community for the sale of vintage and handmade crafts. For the creative or vintage market owner who has never stepped into the world of e-commerce and is looking to be plugged into a niche market, Etsy is a sure-fire way to jumpstart an online business.
Not only can you sell your products, but you can also connect with millions of other artisans and vendors to scope out competitor prices, support other vendors, and take advantage of a large amount of daily web traffic the site receives.
What is Etsy?
Sellers on Etsy typically sell jewelry, artwork, pottery, and other handmade housewares. Sellers can also market a vintage store.
Etsy is straightforward to use and comes with a great number of benefits.
It only takes $0.20 for users to sign up to start selling their goods and provides educational support on how to build a successful business using Etsy.
To create your Etsy account, navigate to the bottom of the page and under Sell, select “Sell on Etsy.” Click on “Open Your Shop” and either register your email to open the shop or log in with Facebook, Google, or Apple. Once you’ve confirmed your email with Etsy, you can access your shop settings under the account menu and get to selling!
There are pros and cons to virtually everything out there and Etsy is no exception. If you are wary of Etsy, the following list may help confirm or debunk some of those hesitant feelings towards the platform. However, it should be noted that regardless of Etsy’s cons, it is the first choice for many creative vendors out there for a reason.
- Encourages and supports the sales of homemade crafts, housewares, and vintage items.
- Mobile application that allows you to both sell and manage from your phone.
- Marketing online community.
- Sellers can buy and print shipping labels at a discounted price.
- Analytics tell you how you can better interact with customers.
- Easy-to-use interface and quick website set up.
- Signing up to Etsy Plus ($10/month) can get you the following benefits:
- Shop customization
- Custom shop URL at 50% off
- Alert customers to refilled stock
- Listing and advertising credits
The online marketplace also manages a Journal and Editors' Picklist in order to showcase trends and ideas the Etsy team has discovered. This means that not only are curious customers looking at products, but team members of Etsy are as well. One of the biggest pros of Etsy is that you do not have to look for customers. Millions of people shop on Etsy regularly, and being part of those search results goes a long way for your business.
- Many sellers means bigger competition.
- You can only sell handmade and vintage items, or craft supplies.
- House Rules: Sellers must follow Etsy's rules and policies to a tee.
- Etsy does not integrate very well with email list services like MailChimp and there is no option for sellers to sign up for a newsletter from your store.
- The basic plan does not allow you to use your own URL.
Etsy comes with a list of fees, which is one of the main reasons people make the switch from Etsy to another platform. Whether you consider this money well-spent or not, it is still money spent, which lands it on the con list.
- Listing Fee: $0.20 for each listing, regardless of the sale. After 4 months, it will automatically renew the listing, charging you the fee again.
- Transaction Fee: 5% transaction fee. Etsy will charge you 5% of the total sale price.
- Etsy Ad fees. If you want to advertise on Etsy, you must pay.
- Offsite Ad fees. If you advertise through Etsy on one of their partner’s websites and someone clicks the ad and purchases your product within 30 days of that click, you will be charged a fee of either 12% or 15% depending on your yearly sales history.
- In-Person Selling fees. If you sell an item through Square, whether you sync your products or not, you will be charged a $0.20 listing fee.
- Etsy Payments. If you choose to do transactions using Etsy Payments, you will be subject to a fee determined by where your bank account is.
- Pattern. Pattern allows users to create a customizable website. After a free 30-day trial, you will be charged $15/month.
- Currency Conversion Fee. If you decide to list a product in a different currency than your default one, you will be charged a 2.5% currency conversion fee.
If you do not pay your fees or take steps towards fee avoidance, it can mean trouble for you and your store.
Best Etsy alternatives
If Etsy is not for you, then perhaps one of these other ecommerce platforms would work better for your needs. Fortunately, all of the following are still very crafter-friendly and will assist in the expansion of your business should you choose to go in a different direction.
Shopify is for online businesses, both big and small, no matter what you’re selling. It is an easy-to-use and a popular alternative to Etsy. Shopify offers multiple themes to choose from, Buy Buttons that can be embedded into other websites, like WordPress, and a number of add ons that can be downloaded to further customize your store.
Pros and cons
- You don’t need to be tech savvy to manage your store
- Wide selection of storefront themes
- App store
- 24/7 support
- Marketing tools & SEO
- List unlimited products
- Free SSL certificate
- See my Shopify review for more information
- Only 10 free themes available
- Gets a little pricy, with plans ranging from $29-$299/month.
- Limited customization
Why Shopify is Better Than Etsy
When it comes to an all-inclusive e-commerce platform, Shopify is better and a more convenient solution. You are not limited to just handmade or vintage items, you can sell digital products, event tickets, lessons and workshops, memberships, and even take donations. Overall, Shopify isn’t as restrictive as Etsy in terms of product sales and site ownership (you can use your own domain name). You also don’t have to deal with the massive competition that comes with a marketplace community like Etsy.
Squarespace is a website builder complete with top-notch, stylish and sleek mobile responsive themes. Its e-commerce platform allows you to sell unlimited products of any kind, automatically manage your inventory, and customize your store’s appearance.
Pros and cons
- Great selection of themes, both free and paid
- Minimal fees and affordable plans ($18-$40/month with 3% transaction fee for Business plan)
- Unlimited listings
- Can accept donations
- Analytics tools
- Professional features and tools
- No built-in audience
- Self-advertised and promoted
Why Squarespace is Better Than Etsy
In terms of themes and beauty, Squarespace beats Etsy. The changes users may make on the Squarespace themes are pretty much limited to colors, typeface, and some layout, but they are so well-designed that there is little need to go through a major customization process. For $18/month, the Business plan will allow you to create a fully integrable e-commerce site. Even better, if you upgrade to one of the two top plans, you will not be charged the 3% transaction fee.
Another user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder Wix, holds the promise of easy website building for the user who knows nothing about web design. It will even generate a webpage layout for you just by answering a few questions. However, more than that, it allows you to grow your business without having to give up Etsy entirely.
Pros and Cons
- Wix drag-and-drop editor
- Artificial Design Intelligence
- Independent App Market
- Email Lists
- Fully integrates with Etsy
- Basic plan includes free domain for 1 year
- Once you choose a template, you cannot change it without changing your website’s content
- A bit pricier than other commerce options ($23-$500/month)
Why Wix is Better Than Etsy
In this case, it’s not a matter of what makes Wix better than Etsy, but rather why you should create a Wix site in addition to Etsy. Because Wix understands Etsy’s success as a marketplace community, it doesn’t want its users to have to give up those benefits. Simply download the Wix Etsy App and you can connect to your Etsy store instantly. Combined with Wix’s email list creator app, you can better connect to your Etsy customers and not have to give up all that built-in traffic.
4. SquareUp (Square eCommerce)
You may know Square as the payment platform that brought in-store transactions into the future, with tablet credit card swipes and smartphone attachments. However, Square is capable of much more, including an online store. SquareUp is free to use and comes with unlimited listings, you only pay a transaction fee plus $0.30 when you make a sale.
Pros and cons
- Free online store
- Zero monthly fees
- Instagram, Pinterest, Square POS integrations
- In-store pick-up option
- Inventory Management
- Coupons and Gift Cards
- Contact Forms
- Not ideal for larger businesses
- Poor customer support
- Add-ons can get expensive
Why SquareUp is Better Than Etsy
If you are a small business who handles a lot of in-person sales, switch to Square! Etsy comes with its own mobile app, but Square is online e-commerce, POS, and an inventory management system all in one. It also allows users to bounce between online and physical transactions with ease, making it great for the DIY crafter who makes frequent appearances at vendor events. It’s also good for the seller who needs an efficient, bare-bones solution who doesn’t prioritize store design customization.
Like Etsy, Storenvy is a social marketplace for independent sellers to sell art, crafts, and housewares. It also allows for the sale of health and beauty, tech, and other specialized products. This global e-commerce outlet may allow manufactured goods, but it still provides a space for shoppers to find unique items and connect with the small-business seller. Sellers may also customize their storefront and use their own domain name.
Pros and cons
- Promotes and supports the sales of unique, handcrafted items
- Sellers can send discounts to interested customers
- No monthly or listing fees
- Analytics Tools
- Customizable storefront using CSS templates
- Item variation
- Cart Abandonments
- Individual crafters do “compete” against manufactured goods
- Commission fees are higher than other e-commerce platforms at 10%
- Minimal customer support
Why Storenvy is Better Than Etsy
What separates Storenvy from Etsy is that Storenvy will allow your store to grow as much as you want and need it to grow. Should your business take off and start manufacturing items, you won’t have to worry about not fitting into the strict handmade category Etsy requires.
6. Amazon Handmade
Good, ol’ Amazon. It seems to be taking over the e-commerce world in any way it can! In this case, however, it’s helping artisans take over the e-commerce world in any way they can. Amazon Handmade is an artisan only e-commerce community and platform. Though its commission fee is higher than most, it does not charge anything to sign up, create a store, or list products.
Pros and cons
- Professional selling plan fee is waived for Handmade artisans
- Wide variety of categories artisans can sell under
- Huge customer base
- Friendly seller customer service
- No digital downloads or digital product sales
- 15% referral fee plus shipping costs
- Payment is not reflected in seller’s account until the item is shipped
- Limited analytics
Why Amazon Handmade is Better Than Etsy
Make the switch to Amazon Handmade if you find that you’re ready to graduate from Etsy or make enough sales to justify adding another sales outlet. Unless you already have a pre-established and successful online business, I wouldn’t recommend using Amazon Handmade right away. It is not for beginners. However, if you are ready for more visibility, switching to Amazon Handmade from Etsy is the difference between 40 million buyers to 103 million Amazon Prime subscribers. And you thought Etsy had a lot of traffic!
WooCommerce, developed by WordPress, is a reliable name in e-commerce and one of the most integrative and customizable platforms with which to sell your products. The difference between WooCommerce and the other options on this list is that WooCommerce is an e-commerce plugin. With WooCommerce, you can build an entire online store, independently owned by you, and following your rules.
Pros and cons
- You make the rules for your store
- No extra transaction fees
- List any type of product
- Large selection of add ons and extensions
- Import Etsy listings
- Includes WordPress blogging software
- Integrates easily with MailChimp, Google Analytics, Facebook, etc.
- A lot of updates
- Plugins can weigh down performance
- You need a hosting provider
Why WooCommerce is Better Than Etsy
If you want to start selling your product and already maintain a WordPress or other website through a hosting service like Bluehost, downloading the free version of WooCommerce is an easy way to get started. Although at some point you may want to consider upgrading to a more professional plan, the free version will save you from having to rebuild an online community and the extra transaction fees implemented by third-party platforms. WooCommerce also gives you complete control over your online store.
There is nothing wrong with selling on Etsy. Far from it. It is a reliable service with a lot of traffic and a fabulous marketplace. Yet there may come a time when you feel it is time to expand your store. When this happens, look to the options on this list.
For overall flexibility, choose Shopify. Squarespace can give you professional storefront customization while Wix offers great supplemental storefront and beginner support. (Check out this Wix vs Squarespace comparison).
SquareUp offers fewer fees and better in-person transactions and Storenvy features flexible store growth from handmade to manufactured items. Amazon Handmade provides a professional-level marketplace and web traffic upgrade. And if you want total store control, check out WooCommerce.
All of these choices are fantastic alternatives to Etsy, just make sure you are looking for the best fit for your online store.