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Crafts, Places to sell your crafts online.
by Startacus Admin
Crafts have seen an incredible resurgence in popularity over the past few years. Hobbies that had, for many years, been resigned to the column headed ‘boring, old lady interests’, suddenly found themselves squarely within the realm ‘fun interesting pastimes’ or, dare we say it, even ‘Cool’.
Ceramics, quilting, pottery, embroidery, weaving, knitting, crocheting, floral design, beadwork, origami, calligraphy, carpentry, upholstery making, mosaics, metalworking, jewellery making…are just a few that have had a particularly great and unexpected rise to favour.
But what if you see crafts as more than just a fun and constructive way to spend some free time? What if you fancy converting some of your lovingly handmades into cold hard cash?
Not surprisingly, alongside the recent explosion in popularity of crafts as a hobby, there has also been a rapid expansion in the number of online marketplaces in which to sell them.
Rather than give you a laborious summary of each and every crafts marketplace on the WEB, we reckon selecting 4 which represent different areas of it, should help give you some selling inspiration.
Etsy (The All rounder)
From humble beginnings in 2005, Etsy has grown into an incredibly successful online marketplace for handmade goods, vintage items and craft supplies. Continuing to see an incredibly steep growth, Etsy recently surpassed the 30 million registered user mark and has over 1 million sellers across the world. What we like about Etsy is that they give sellers a very attractive, user friendly ‘virtual storefront’ and has a charging structure which is straightforward and easy to understand.
It also has a great ‘community’ vibe which fits in very well with the whole ‘craft ethos’ and can be a great source of inspiration for craft makers, as well as a good place to locate those essential supplies!
For customers, it offers an uncluttered and fluid shopping experience which makes it very easy to discover new products through social connections, recommendations and suggestions.
Etsy is an excellent all rounder site, and definitely a great place to begin selling your crafts online.
Folksy (The British Crafts)
In what has become a real coup and nod of appreciation for British craft goods, Folksy is a celebration of, and place to display / sell modern British craft products made right here in good old Blighty!
Folksy is the epitome of sense and simplicity being an easy to navigate, functional, no bells and whistles style selling and browsing platform. Whilst not quite as highly polished as its big brother Etsy, Folksy has a charming ‘handmade’ feel (for want of a better word)- the online embodiment of a place you would expect to find examples of british handmade goods for sale. As one member of the Startacus team observed “ If Etsy is the department store, then Folksy is the little craft village next door”
With 5855 British designers and makers selling on the site (at last count) you’ll be in excellent company at Folksy, and be able to soak up some fab creative inspiration.
Not Mass Produced (The Environmentally Sustainable)
This is one that will really appeal to makers and sellers of unique, environmentally sustainable and ethical goods. This is the site with the strongest ethos of the four we are discussing, an ethos that it places at the centre of its mission to create a space where makers can reap the benefits of their work and customers can appreciate the pleasure of being responsible consumers.
They are perhaps the most selective of marketplaces when it comes to screening sellers for their suitability, but as a payoff for the extra effort, you will have access to a consumer base which values ethical practices, sustainable / recycled materials as well as the quirky, unique and individual! Take a little look at 'Not Mass Produced'.
Bonanza (The Very Large Range)
Bonanza are online purveyors of the extraordinary. They pride themselves on being an extensive online marketplace, encompassing many different retail sectors, but bringing to each a sense of individuality. Crafts make up just a small part of their overall platform, but therein you will be able to display your goods to a large and well motivated customer base.
We are particularly impressed with a nifty little trick, that allows you to grab goods that you are selling on Amazon, Ebay, and Etsy and import them into your Bonanza Booth, ready to meet a whole new set of customers. Likewise creating and maintaining your Bonanza Booth is much simplified through a number of handy features.
As a customer, once you get into the innards of the site, it begins to feel a bit like a close relative of ebay or amazon- not that this is necessarily a bad thing. For the average person on the hunt for handmade / craft goods, the user interface might seem somewhat lacklustre, but we can't deny it is incredibly effective, with the ‘refine your search’ feature being very intuitive and useful for narrowing down on what you really want to see... Good job Bonanza!
Next week we will be taking a look at some of the best places to sell handmade jewellery online!
*Of course we must hasten to add that (in our book at least) the best place to sell your crafts / handmade goods online is on your very own website, Click here, for some reasons why a business could be beneficial to you.
Or why not take a look at some of these recent craft / handmade related posts.