As I detailed in my post, Best Online Marketplaces for Artisans and Crafters, to be most profitable, artisans and crafters need a unique marketplace to display their wares…one that values the time and materials invested into the handmade item.
Many online marketplaces and auction sites, such as eBay, may have a large clientele base, but they are a poor place to sell handcrafted items. Artists and craftsmen need a platform with a large number of potential customers visiting, but also one in which “the lowest price” is not the main prerogative of those customers.
So, my recommended websites include the following:
- Etsy: Each seller creates his or her own online store on Etsy, and lists products available for sale. Setup is easy, via filling out online forms and uploading photos. The site has great traffic, and is a more cost-effective method for online selling, than having one’s own website store. Etsy submits products to search engine shopping indexes for greater visibility. The fees are very reasonable, and Etsy handles the payment processing, which includes a PayPal option. As art is individual, it is rare to see any two products exactly alike, so competition is not focused on having to price-compete…a great benefit for artisans and crafters.
- Zazzle: Great market for graphic and photography artists. Zazzle provides hundreds of blank apparel, accessory and home items, on which items can be digitally printed. Artists create an online marketplace on Zazzle, and upload custom designs, choosing which blank items on which to place the design. Very cost effective, as there is no inventory or equipment to purchase. Utilizes search engine shopping indexing. Unlike Etsy, there are no fees. Rather, the seller sets a markup percentage, which gets added to the cost of the blank item. Zazzle handles all the payment processing, printing and shipping. Again, the profitability in this market is based on creativity.
- iStockPhoto: Professional marketplace for stock photographers or graphic artists. Each artist has his or her own online “studio.” Artists are vetted, to ensure high quality products. Recommends subjects that are in high demand. Submits watermarked designs images to search engine indexes, for greater visibility. iStockPhoto pays a royalty fee to contributing artists, handles all payment processing and delivery.