Etsy and Others, Explained
New online sale’s platforms targeting independent artists pop up all the time, some better than others. With so many options, it can be difficult to try to pick the one that is the best to reach an audience that will appreciate your individual artwork and, won’t eat into your profits. None of us want to be starving artists, burning or eating out art no matter how many times we’ve watched La Bohème. This is a breakdown of some other available platforms with the major statistics outlined to help you make an educated decision.
Etsy is the independent artist selling website with the most traffic and is well known amongst buyers both in the United States and abroad. There is no monthly fee to join as a buyer or a seller but each listing costs $.20 and they also skim 3.5% off the top of every sale. That 3.5% is calculated without the inclusion of shipping or sales tax. With over 60 million unique visitors a week, Etsy seems the easy choice but artists should also know that there are nearly a million active shops on the site as well which makes for a saturated market and lots of competition. Be ready to dedicate some time to marketing and branding if you want to make sure your work is seen and purchased.
Bonanza is the love child of 1000 Markets and Bonanzle, both of which now automatically redirect to this website. The import from Ebay and Esty tool makes it easy to have make Bonanza an additional platform for more visibility. While some of the items for sale are not handmade, the vast majority are and their goal to supply consumers with “everything but the ordinary” is definitely appropriate for artists creating one of a kind pieces. Their cost of selling structure is a little bewildering. For items less than $14 and have a shipping price of less than $10, you essentially pay a flat fee of $.50 per transaction. For items over $14 but under $500 you pay 3.5% including the cost of shipping minus $10. Items over $500 are charged 3.5% for the first $500 and then 1.5% for the remainder of the sale price plus shipping minus their $10 shipping allotment. Confused? Me too. Figuring out the price of your overhead on Bonanza is the most confusing of all the indie selling sites but their lovely layout and exclusive tools make up for the extra time you will spend getting acquainted with Excel.
Inspired by the potential for a community made for artisans by artisans, Artfire is one of the lesser known platforms but that site has been going strong since 2008. One major perk unique to Artfire is the monthly flat fee cost of $12.95 a month instead of a commission based pay scale and/or listing fees. That flat fee includes unlimited listing with up to 10 pictures on each listing, a menagerie of marketing tools, and your own storefront with a customized URL. This site could be good for artists with high turnover or a large number of individual items who would suffer from high commission rates and per item listing cots.
The best feature of Shop Handmade is that fact that it’s actually completely free. Their goal is to be the fee-free Etsy alternative so that artists actually retain all of their profits. While their idealism is noteworthy, the lack of a marketing budget supported by fee collection means that this platform is made up of artists and is not well known outside of artist’s circles. With the right social media marketing strategy this could be a good move for someone who really can’t afford to pay to a listing fee or a commission rate.
Especially For International Artists:
If you are outside of the United State and looking for sale platforms in your region check out the following websites which are based outside of the US. Check their ABOUT and FAQ pages for more information about their fees and policies.
- Folksy (United Kingdom)
- iCraft (Canada)
- Dawanda (Europe)
These are of course just a small portion of the options available. If you’ve had success on one of the aforementioned platforms share your story. And if we missed your favorite art sale site, tell us about it.
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