Apr 252016

The best places to sell crafts are Craft shows and Flea markets. But this article is all about how to sell crafts online.However, you do need to be present in person to handle your booth and the dates and times when you can sell are limited.

So many retirees have thought about setting up their retirement business to sell crafts online with the Internet.

sell crafts onlineHere is a list of the

22 most popular online places to sell crafts online

My suggestion is to start out are:

  • Get a PayPal account so you can accept online payments.
  • Sell a few items on EBay at a fixed price.
  • Then setup a shop on Etsy
  • As volume grows consider these other options below.

You do not need to know anything about designing web pages or accepting payments with these sites. You get off to a fast start with very minimal expense and usually only pay a commission when you sell something. Later you can consider getting your own domain name and web site with a shopping cart.

The first step is to sign up with PayPal as all these sites offer this payment method. With a PayPal account your customer can pay you with their PayPal account or with any major credit card. You no longer need to setup a merchant account with a bank as you do for a store front. Now if you sell crafts online you can accept payments.

Suggested sites

  1. EBay (Ebay.com)

The best way to immediately get some sales and sell crafts online while learning is to setup an EBay seller’s account for free. You can sell your crafts in an auction or for a fixed price or both. I suggest selling a fixed price as there is less work. On EBay many customers are looking for a cheap price so you will be competing with cheap Chinese imports. Therefore make sure that your products unique and of better quality. Always check out the competition before listing your craft item. It cost $0.30 to list an item on EBay. You also pay a commission upon sale of about 10%. If you list more than 50 products at a time look into getting your own store on EBay. Electronics, fashion, and collectables are the hottest sellers. Customers pay with PayPal which is owned by EBay.

2. Etsy (etsy.com )

This site specializes making it easy for you to sell crafts online. You cannot sell brand name or manufactured product there. Etsy only allows handmade products to be sold which you have either made yourself or have had specifically made for you by another company from your own designs. You can also sell vintage items and supplies for craftspeople. You get your own shop at Etsy; however it will display competing products. Sign up for the premium site and you can use your own domain name and it will be free of competing or similar products. With the basic plan fees are a low $0.20 per product listing for 3 months and 3.5% commission on sales. It is easy to setup a shop. Millions of people around the world shop at Etsy. They promote your products too on sites like Bing, Google, and Yahoo. A unique feature is the ability to check out the sales of competing stores and find out which of their products are selling best. You can customize your shop in other languages like French, German, and Spanish. You can add color options to your products and variable shipping terms to different areas of the world. Payments are with PayPal or any major credit card.

3. WordPress (wordpress.org)

If you want to be able to sell crafts online from your own web site with your own domain name and have complete control over how it looks and what it does then ask you current web hosting company to install the free WordPress application. WordPress is a very popular way to build web site and add a shopping cart. It is totally free with thousands of plugins. With WordPress you can have your own articles, forum, blog, and other web pages. There are thousands of free add-ons and WordPress. If you already know how to use Microsoft Word you can learn to use WordPress. Note that there are TWO WordPress solutions. WordPress.org is software that is setup at your hosting company and uses your domain name. WordPress.com only offers free web hosting and has no shopping cart and you don’t get your own domain name.

Now here is the list of other sites to consider after you have had some success with EBay and Etsy.

Selling sites

4. 1and 1 (1and1.com) is a web site hosting company that offers an easy to setup store front called e-commerce with Website builder. You pay a monthly fee and there are no sales commissions. You can also use your own domain name. The disadvantage is that you will be restricted to their templates that they offer and cannot make additional pages of your own. Shipping charges are also hard to work with unless you opt for the premium package. You need to generate all your own traffic. Payment is with PayPal.

5. Amazon (Amazon.com) Amazon is the world’s largest seller of products online. Not only can you buy craft items but you can sell them too. However, they do not make it easy as selling books. First you need to sign up for a sellers account. Then for every craft item you will need a unique Universal Product Code (UPC).You will need a different UPC code for each size and variation including different colors. You can buy them from an online company such as www.easyupc.com. I paid $45 for 100 codes which comes to only 45 cents each. Without these codes you cannot post your products on Amazon. However, Amazon might not be the best market for craft items because most Amazon buyers will be searching for new brand name products and not craft items. However, on Amazon you can post for free, so it is worth a try. The disadvantage is that Amazon takes a hefty commission upon sale. Additionally Amazon offers a fulfillment program where you can send your craft items to their warehouse and they take care of packing and shipping for you – at a small fee, of course. Amazon has a huge customer base and they are trusted by their customers. There is no email capture as all customers are Amazon customers, not yours. There are no links allowed to your other sites. You can only sell one item at a time as there is no store. PayPal and Amazon Payments are the accepted methods of payment.

6. ArtFire (ArtFire.com) specializes in selling handmade craft items, collectables, and vintage items. It is the main alternative to Etsy. Like Amazon and Etsy customers come here to search for items to buy. You have your own shop but competitive product links are shown. They have various plans ranging from FREE with a limit of 24 items and a 9% commission, and they put third party ads on your pages. Or you can pay $20 per month with a 3% commission and have up to 1,000 listings with no outside ads. You can also use another manufacture to make crafts from your designs like Etsy. ArtFire will promote your items on Bing, Google, and Yahoo too. This site has buyers who are specifically looking for handmade craft items. Buyers pay with Amazon Payments. PayPal, and ProPay.

7. Bonanza (bonanza.com) is a website that can help you import your items from Amazon, EBay or Etsy. Listings are always free with a 3.5% fee (same as Etsy). They promote on Bing and Google. Checkout is with Amazon or PayPal. It is a strong competitor to Etsy. They have an option for you to advertise on EBay, Craigslist, and Google with paying an advertising fee but only an increased commission to them. You have your own store. The downside is the many negative comments on the internet about Bonanza not being well known and forums dead. You can also chat with your visitors.

8. eCrater (ecrater.com ) eCRATER is an online marketplace and an e-commerce website builder based in Irvine, California. It was launched in the early fall of 2004 by Dimitar Slavov. By October 2008, it reached 1,500,000 items for sale in the marketplace and, as of January 2009, eCRATER has 65,242 active stores, and 95,773 stores have been created since its launch. It lets you setup a free store and pay only about 3% on sales. You can import products from EBay. If you are a seller, you can create your own free online store in minutes. You can also import an EBay store into eCrater. If you are a buyer, you can browse and search millions of products.

9. HyenaCart (HyenaCart.com) is not as well-known but does get a lot of visitors. You can setup a store for about $5 per month if you know how to host your images on another site or $7.50 if you just want to upload images to Hyena. There are no commissions on sales either. A unique feature is that you can join with other sellers to make a larger store. Most customers are looking for handmade items. You pay monthly. If you stop paying for a month the store shuts down until you resume payment. There is no automatic billing PayPal is used. You can fully customize your store if you know basic web technologies like CSS and HTML.

10. LilyShop (LilyShop.com) is a small site that sells handmade, vintage and crafts supply items like Etsy. They only charge a 5% commission fee on sales. They accept PayPal. It is a very new site that doesn’t seem to have their act together. There is a simple search and only a few categories. Go to the help section to learn about selling. They will be opening soon http://www.lilyshop.com/shop

11. Shop Handmade (ShopHandmade.com) is a new site trying to build traffic. That is why opening a store is totally free. No setup, no monthly fee, no commissions. I suspect once it gets bigger this will change. It is a great place to get your feet web in selling your crafts online without any risk. All payments are through PayPal. They promote your store on Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

12. Silk Fair (SilkFair.com) is another new site. They allow you to setup a basic account for free with only a 3% commission on sales. Buyers pay with PayPal or Google. You can also have a customizable store for $7.99 per month. There is also a plan whereby you use your own domain name. They offer a unique chat feature so you can talk to customers while online. Items from EBay or Etsy can be imported. You can have a blog and forum or even add your own videos.

13. Supermarket (supermarkethq.com ) is a limited market in only a few categories such as accessories, apparel, art, jewelry, and paper items. Only individual items are sold. There is no shop. Commissions are 15% which is rather especially when the competition has a lot more traffic. Checkout is actually handled by Shopify. You must be approved to sell on Supermarket so customers know that the products are really made by designers.

Shopping Carts

When you have your own storefront it is up to you to drive traffic to your store. The advantages are that you have more control and keep more of the profit too.

If you want a combination hosting plus shopping cart solution and don’t want to learn anything about HTML, these sites are simple to set up.

14. Big Cartel (bigcartel.com) is a store front hosting site. Customers do not come here to find products. You need to direct customers to your store. Big Cartel does not do any promotion such as with Bing, Google, or Yahoo. You can have your own customer domain name. You can fully customize your store with CSS and HTML but not backend or JavaScript. However, customizing is not easy. This is a good cheap option if you have the means to send traffic to your store. It is also restricted to artists, musicians, and craftspeople. You can start off with the free plan which allows you to sell 5 items. Or chose another plan from a $9.995 plan for 25 items, $19.99 for 100 items, to $29.99 for 300 items. The site has huge graphics and a very confusing navigation system. It lacks a lot of features found on Etsy like United Parcel Service integration, or shipping options. The monthly fee is good in that you are not charged a percentage. Listing a product is easy and quick. They handle color options better than Etsy with a drop-down box. If you run out of a color, then the product is no longer offered in that color. Customer can pay with PayPal or a credit card.

15. BigCommerce (BigCommerce.com) is another hosted shopping cart. They offer a 15-day free trial which, frankly, is inadequate for you to learn the system, setup the store, and promote it. The next level is $29.95 per month for up to $50,000 per year in sales. Customization is more powerful with CSS, HTML, and code libraries. This is a solution for larger crafts people who might already have even a store front and want to get online. Customer can use PayPal or your own merchant account. You can incorporate BigCommece as a subdomain of your website.

16. Miva Merchant (Miva Merchant) This is THE premium expensive shopping cart solution ($80 per month) for implementing on your own web site. When you are making thousands of dollars a month you should look into Miva Merchant for your web site.

17. ZenCart (zen-cart.com) This is another shopping cart implementation available from hosting companies without any addition charge. It is highly recommended if you want to integrate a shopping cart into your existing web site. Not for a WordPress site which has its own shopping carts.

Sites that will sell your crafts

CafePress is the leader in making products (t-shirts, mugs, prints) with your design but they are difficult to work with and might cancel you without notice if your products are not selling with much volume. I suggest trying Zazzle instead.

18. CafePress (CafePress.com) is where you can make a design and resell it on premade banners, bibs, caps, mugs, pajamas, pillows, tank tops, t-shirts, and underwear. Be aware that they take a high percentage and seem to constantly change the rules. And if your sales are low you can be dropped without any notice. They get a lot of traffic but I think that Zazzle is better.

19. Facebook (Facebook.com) is not really thought of as a place to sell crafts. However, it you have a Facebook account you can link to your selling website or even add a Facebook store. You will need to send them a PayPal invoice after you are notified of a sale. Of course you need to do all the marketing yourself.

21. Fiverr Fiverr.com) is where people make offers to do small jobs for $5. However, you will find many people selling craft items for $5 like art prints, charms, soaps, and other small items. Some are offering to make cartoons from submitted photos too It is a great place to sell a small sample, get an email, and then market higher priced items from your website or store.

22. Zazzle (Zazzle.com) is a better alternative to CafePress. Just make a graphic or photo of your design. Select the product that you would like to sell and setup a no cost store and choose the royalty payment that you want. For example, select a $10 mouse pad and resell it for $15 making $5 per pad. Or if you are an artist take a photo of your oil painting and sell reprints or posters. Or if you can make a craft item in bulk contact them to become a supplier.

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