Folksy is a UK-based online shop that started up in 2008 and focuses on buying and selling handmade crafts only, so no vintage is allowed. Their focus on developing a sense of community among their sellers is outstanding, and beginning sellers have everything from forums to a Folksy magazine to refer to for selling tips and tricks. Setting up a shop is super easy, and you can choose from their Basic account (which is a pay-as-you-go model), or their Plus account (at £30 per year) depending on the size of your shop.
iCraft is another handmade-only online shop that has a wide following and brings in sellers from all over the world! They’ve got great community support going on for new sellers, and even have a Sellers’ Bootcamp program to help new sellers learn how to most effectively market your business. They very clearly and concisely lay out their guidelines for what can and can’t be sold through their shops, and once you register your store, there are no listing fees and no commissions on your products. Definitely worth a look.
Made It Myself
My favorite feature of Made It Myself’s site is the ability of buyers to make custom requests that they can then post for sellers to peruse and see if it’d be up their alley to make and sell. Made It Myself caters to artists and buyers worldwide, and registration is 100% free for both buyers and sellers, making this another great shop to consider when you’re starting out. Keep in mind, this site’s still in beta, so there may be a few kinks to work out along the way.
Big Cartel is an extremely user-friendly site for the beginning seller. It gives you the option of choosing a pre-made theme, or if you’re a web design wizard, they give you the freedom to create your very own custom seller page. Setting up a shop is quick and easy, and I love the fact that they offer custom domain names as well. The look of the site is very aesthetically pleasing and professional, and because it’s designed for smaller shops (300 items or less), the features available to sellers are of high quality.
Artfire has been known as a very seller-oriented online marketplace for some time, and they are extremely welcoming to sellers who are just starting out! Setting up a shop couldn’t be any easier, and their adherence to a Community Directed Development (CDD) philosophy means members like you are in control of the development of functions and features of the site. How cool is that? They have a fantastic reputation for customer service, and their features for sellers are excellent – everything from CSV import (an easy way to import your items from other online shops) to site stats to multiple payment methods is waiting for you there. Their flat $12.95/month price, with zero fees whatsoever, make them a no-brainer when you consider everything it gets you!
I Made It Market
Beginning in 2007, this “nomadic indie crafts marketplace” would be a great choice for those of you who’d like some real world exposure to your online shop! This organization regularly participates in indie craft events across the country, and they have a great calendar on their site explaining where they’ll pop up next. You can apply to be one of their artists, and they offer services ranging from creative entrepreneurship start-up packages to social media consultation.
Shop Handmade is a great online marketplace for beginners because it’s 100% free to join, there are no commissions taken from sold items, and it has a lot of great community support. They have a Gallery feature that allows artists to showcase their favorite few products, and you can also group together with other artists to create a Market!
Goodsmiths is awesome when it comes to starting off right, since they also don’t have any start-up fees or hidden listing costs – everything is free to set up. They’ve got a great import tool, so if you have items on a bigger site like Etsy already, it’s a piece of cake to get things migrated over, and I really like their social media integration with Facebook. They’ve also got a great community going on, and their forums are really helpful if you have any questions!