Thousands of people have used Etsy to start side — or even full time — work-from-home businesses. In fact, if you’re crafty, then we can’t think of a better place to get started working from home.
The big draw of Etsy is known as the network effect. It’s the same thing that makes eBay extremely popular.
The network effect goes like this: Sellers want to sell their stuff on Etsy because it’s the largest and most well-known marketplace for homemade goods. It sees the most potential customers. Buyers want to shop on Etsy because it has the most sellers, meaning there are tons of options to choose from. As the network of buyers and sellers grows, it becomes even more powerful.
So while Etsy is definitely the most popular marketplace for selling crafty or vintage goods, that doesn’t mean it is perfect. For access to its large customer base, you have to deal with fees. A quick search of Etsy’s site comes up with its fee structure, which includes listing fees, transaction fees, and payment processing fees.
Etsy’s Listing Fees:
Etsy’s Payment Processing Fees:
To be honest, these amounts aren’t that bad considering the access to Etsy’s customer base. But it’s shortsighted to think they won’t ever go up. Etsy’s stock recently went public, and you can bet that shareholders will want to see higher revenue over time.
With this in mind, we recently ran across a site that could end up being a big deal in the homemade craft marketplace. It’s called ShopHandmade.com.
The site is interesting because it charges no fees. Opening a store is free, and there are no listing or transaction fees.
Like Etsy, there are a wide variety items for sale, so no matter what sort of craft you specialize in, it will have a place on the site.
Now, don’t drop everything on Etsy and switch over to ShopHandmade. The audience is still much smaller compared to Etsy. We talked to one seller on the site, Simply Unique Handbags, who said she has “been selling for about two years on ShopHandmade, and sold three items” due to the low traffic.
Another user, who runs Breezy Bree’s Craft Creations on ShopHandmade, shared the following experience about the site:
I had opted to try ShopHandmade over Etsy because of the fees, and I had heard that Etsy was beginning to be flooded out with too many shops. I was very pleased to know that ShopHandmade was 100% free, the only downside is that you don’t get placed higher in the Google search like you do with Etsy. This just means that you have to do all of your advertising yourself.
Still, the key to earning the maximum amount of revenue is to be everywhere that your buyers are. And considering that there are no fees for listing and selling with ShopHandmade, there’s no reason not to be there.
Do you have firsthand experience with ShopHandmande? Tell us in the comments below.