9 Online Marketplaces for Creative Entrepreneurs
Whether you produce photographs, artwork, crafts or some other product of your creativity for sale, you are not limited to Etsy, eBay and Amazon to sell your wares. There are, in fact, an abundance of other marketplaces online where you can find customers for your creative goods without all the competition and restrictions of the dominant three.
When comparing various online marketplaces for your creative goods, note what each one charges for what services and features, including any transaction fees or commissions on sales. Possible features offered may include website development support, payment processing and marketing tools and guides. It can also be worth checking what categories each marketplace offers for you to list your products in to make sure there is a suitable fit.
Note as well the audience size of prospective buyers that price grants you access. In addition, be aware many creative digital marketplaces only allow you to list certain types of products, such as handmade items.
Crafters worldwide created this digital marketplace for meeting, selling and buying their handmade creations. Buyers searching for specific items to be made can post “Wanted” ads. Search functions allow refining by boutique, trends, colors, occasion or category. It’s a great resource for people who want to work from home and explore their creative side.
Listing fees start for less than a dollar. You can also purchase subscriptions, with the standard one costing less than five dollars a month although you still must pay per-item listing fees for the first 250 items within that period. You can list 1,000 items with no listing fee with a monthly popular subscription, but the site takes three percent of every sale. The plans increase in price and benefits from there.
2. Amazon Handmade
If you want to reach the Internet’s largest marketplace without getting your handmade products lost in a sea of other products, sell them on Amazon’s exclusively handmade extension of its marketplace. At Amazon Handmade, you can reach an audience of around 250 million.
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To sell here, your products must be exclusively hand-assembled, hand-altered or handmade. Moreover, this work must have been done by you, an employee of yours or a member of your artisan’s collective.
Once you are approved to sell on Amazon Handmade, you list in any of an abundance of categories, including personal care, apparel, home decor and jewelry. You can post as many products as you like for a monthly fee and 12 percent of all sales.
3. Big Cartel
With the slogan, “Made by artists, for artists”, Big Cartel makes online selling simple for artisans who know little about technology and sales and would rather focus on their art. To do this, Big Cartel lets you choose from a selection of themes and customize them with your own choice of fonts, colors, images and so on. You can list stickers, ceramics, art and t-shirts for sale, among other categories.
The site offers four different plans, including a free one, ranging in what you can list from five to 300 products per month. You can also add inventory tracking and Google Analytics for an extra monthly fee. Four payment processors are integrated with Big Cartel, each with its own fee structure per transaction, though Big Cartel charges no transaction fees.
You can register at eCrater for free and set up a customizable store, which is beneficial if you do not have a web design experience. You also gain access to a community forum where you can hook up with more buyers and share experiences with fellow sellers. eCrater lets you keep 100 percent of the sales you generate. You only pay a fee, 2.9 percent, if the sale comes to you through eCrater’s own main marketplace.
iCraftGifts is based in Ontario, Canada, and restricts its marketplace to handmade fashion items, crafts and art. In addition to selling items you have already made, you can inform buyers you accept requests for custom projects. By registering to set up a store, you also gain access to arts and craft events, message boards, community blog articles and marketing services.
There are no listing or transaction fees at iCraftGifts, but all work submitted is carefully reviewed to ensure it complies with the site’s rules. There is a one-time registration fee and listing plans start at $5 per month for 50 listings and work their way up to unlimited listings for $15 per month.
With a choice of four plans to sign up for after your 30-day free trial finishes, IndieMade offers web hosting, photo galleries, marketing tools and technical support. As plans increase per month, they also increase in the number of products you can list, images you can post per product and coupons you can offer. IndieMade has no listing fees.
Based in the U.K., Misi lets you sell personalized and handmade products. The site works with product designers to help them build their creative pursuits into businesses, with guides on a variety of pertinent small business topics, like making profitable use of social media. You can set up a free shop and list products in categories like homewares, child and baby products and wedding items. Listing fees are 0.2 pounds and commissions are three percent on every sale.
On Shopify, not only can you create your online store, but you can also get your own custom domain name and custom web design with no prior knowledge of web design required. You get an abundance of e-commerce resources on Shopify including desktop and mobile-optimized websites and over 100 themes to pick from. Shopify also provides estimated shipping costs and shipping labels.
You can accept credit card payments right away with Shopify Payments for a fee or use a third-party payment method, although, even then, Shopify still gets a two percent commission on every sale. After a two-week free trial, there is a monthly fee. Also available is the enterprise-level account, ShopifyPlus, and Shopify Lite for sales exclusively through Facebook.
After becoming a verified Society6 member, you can set up a webpage on the site for a 10 percent commission on all sales. You can post any artwork you want, set your own prices and even add products containing your artwork, like laptop skins and t-shirts.
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