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The Best Etsy Alternatives for Online Sellers

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Alternatives to Etsy

Once the go-to site for selling homemade and hand-crafted products, the online marketplace Etsy recently has alienated quite a few sellers by announcing unpopular changes. Those unhappy vendors are leading the search for sites like Etsy. Is there a way to keep selling, without having to abide by Etsy’s changing rulebook or put up with the site’s rising fees?

For some Etsy vendors, the last straw may be the site’s plans to push sellers’ products in the form of offsite ads. Etsy advertises sellers’ products on sites like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Bing. Vendors pay for this advertising only when a customer clicks an ad featuring one of their items and then purchases from the shop within 30 days. Then, the vendor will pay hefty advertising fees of 12% or 15% of the total sale. While the offsite ads likely will bring in sales that vendors would not have received otherwise, not everyone is happy that Etsy makes Offsite Ads mandatory for merchants who made over $10,000 in the past year.

And this isn’t the first time Etsy has made a large change that affected their user base. For example, in 2019, Etsy began giving priority to sellers who offered free shipping, and in 2018, Etsy raised transaction fees from 3.5% to 5%. Before that, Etsy changed its regulations to allow merchants to contract outside help with manufacturing, making leading sellers worry that factories would jump in and take over the marketplace. While Etsy maintains that these policies are intended to open up opportunities for sellers, quite a few customers have responded by jumping ship and seeking Etsy alternatives.

If you are one of the creators and artists looking for a new home for your store, or if you are searching for the best site to launch a new venture that lets you avoid paying Etsy’s fees, you may want to consider some Etsy alternatives. But before jumping into the comparisons, let’s get the low-down on some of the things that have made Etsy such a great platform for so many vendors.

Etsy Pros

  • Easy learning curve
  • Specialized for small vendors with handmade items
  • A community of artists all visible from the same site
  • Access to large customer base

Etsy Cons

  • Numerous fees
  • Limited themes and customizations
  • Manufactured products permitted
  • Mandatory off-site ads for some users

Don’t have time to read an entire article? Take a look at our top-rated eCommerce solutions for a few quick recommendations.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
Shopify

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Best for vendors who want an easy way to build and manage a robust independent store.
Best for vendors who want an easy way to build and manage a robust independent store.

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Square Online

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Best for vendors who already use Square POS.
Best for vendors who already use Square POS.

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Big Cartel

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Best for small merchants who plan to stay that way.
Best for small merchants who plan to stay that way.

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IndieMade

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Best for those who want to branch out without leaving Etsy entirely. 
Best for those who want to branch out without leaving Etsy entirely. 

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Zibbet

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Best for sellers with established sales channels.
Best for sellers with established sales channels.

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Other Featured Options:

  • Volusion: Best for small vendors with big plans for growth.

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Etsy is a top choice for online sellers and artists, but is it right for you? Leading Etsy alternatives like Shopify, Square, and Volusion can deliver the same benefits while allowing you to avoid Etsy’s oversaturated market and expensive fees.

Whether you prefer to showcase your handmade goods within a small community marketplace or feel ready to build your own independent store, read on to discover the Etsy alternative you’re looking for.

1. Shopify

Shopify



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Best for vendors who want an easy way to build and manage a robust independent store.

Shopify isn’t limited to small stores; anyone from the smallest to the largest of vendors can make use of Shopify’s features. Still, Shopify can be a particularly appealing Etsy alternative for small vendors looking to strike out on their own. As a fully hosted, cloud-based platform, it’s ideal for non-technical users who want their own eCommerce site without the hassle of learning to write code.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Mobile responsive
  • No listing fees
  • Free trial
  • Deep customization

Cons

  • Transaction fees
  • Monthly subscription required
  • Independent sites not on a marketplace

Shopify vs Etsy

Although Shopify stores exist independently, rather than in a marketplace environment like Etsy, because it’s a fully hosted platform you may not notice much difference. Here are some features that might appeal most to merchants who are ready for an alternative to Etsy:

  • Affordability: The Shopify Lite Plan ($9/month) allows you to access Buy buttons and sell on Facebook without creating an online store. If you want an online store, look at the Basic Shopify Plan ($29/month).
  • Fewer Fees: You won’t pay listing fees to Shopify, and although Shopify does charge transaction fees, those fees are significantly lower than Etsy’s, with a range of 2% to just 0.5% (aside from payment processing fees).  You can even avoid transaction fees altogether by using Shopify’s in-house payment processor.
  • No Limits: Shopify accounts come with unlimited product listings, bandwidth, and storage.
  • Individuality: Let’s face it, Etsy doesn’t make it easy to create a shop that stands out from the competition, at least visually. By contrast, customization is one of Shopify’s hallmarks. From the excellent, mobile responsive themes to marketing options like discount codes, you’ll have complete control over the look, feel, and function of your online store.
  • Robust Tools: From inventory management to marketing campaigns, your paid Shopify plan unlocks a wealth of tools you can use to develop a plan to build sales as high as you want. Check out our

On the downside, if you’re squeamish about competing with big companies that endorse manufacturing, Shopify may make you uncomfortable. It is one of the largest shopping carts out there and has none of the manufacturing guidelines that Etsy built its reputation on. Shopify merchants commonly include not only handmade items but also dropshipped products from the likes of AliExpress in their stores. Keep in mind that because Shopify is not a marketplace like Etsy, you won’t be sharing space with those vendors.

Shopify has a few other issues as well, especially the transaction fees you’ll have to pay if you are not using the in-house option, Shopify Payments. These fees are nothing new to Etsy users, but when you are already paying a monthly fee for a subscription, they can be pretty obnoxious. There’s a lot more to consider, however, so check out our Shopify VS Etsy comparison page to see for yourself.

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2. Square Online

Square Online



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Best for vendors who already use Square POS.

You may know Square for its ubiquitous point of sale services, which you can find in coffee shops and small businesses wherever you shop. However, you should know that Square offers much more than just register services. One of these additional services is Square Online. This service allows you to quickly and easily build a simple online store. You won’t pay any site hosting fees, and you’ll get a free domain name for your store.

The best part of Square Online Store is the price. With the available free plan, the only expense comes in the form of credit card processing fees at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction. It’s important to note that no matter what eCommerce platform you choose, you will have to pay similar fees to your credit card processor. Square’s only requirement is that you use their payment processing services to accept credit card payments.

Pros

  • Free plan available
  • Easy to use
  • No transaction fees
  • Ideal for low-volume sellers
  • No technical skills required

Cons

  • Limited payment options
  • Limited customization and features
  • No marketplace

Square Online Store vs Etsy

Though it’s not a marketplace like Etsy, Square Online offers opportunities to vendors who are ready to branch out on their own. In fact, Square Online lets you list and sell your products for nothing but the price of credit card processing. You can also choose among paid plans that offer more advanced features. Square Online is a very simple solution that offers the basic features you’ll need to list products and fulfill orders, but that’s all. No bells and whistles here!

Here’s a bit of what Square Online Store offers:

  • Affordability: With the Free Plan, you’ll pay only standard credit card processing fees of 2.9% + $0.30. You can choose an affordable paid plan to unlock more advanced features.
  • Variety: Your sales focus now may be on your handcrafted products. Eventually, you may want to branch out, and Square Online gives you opportunities, with the ability to sell goods, tickets, and services as well. You can even accept donations.
  • Tools: Square Online’s website builder is made for people who don’t have a lot of technical expertise and don’t want to bother learning, and features easy-to-use tools, like the drag-and-drop visual editor. Most users can quickly create a visually appealing online storefront. As a bonus, all the templates are mobile-responsive.

You’ll also find tools for inventory management and fulfillment options. You can choose direct delivery, electronic delivery, or even curbside pickup.

However, Etsy merchants may not like the fact that Square Online Store does not function within a marketplace. You will have to work to bring traffic to your site, and you’ll have to maintain your site’s design, marketing, and SEO. This may be a huge change for some sellers.

Perhaps one of Square Online Store‘s strongest features is its seamless integration with Square’s additional services. You can easily sync inventory between Square Register and your online store, and you can use Square’s customer engagement services to expand your reach, too.

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3. Big Cartel

Big Cartel



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Best for small merchants who plan to stay that way.

Big Cartel stands out as an excellent Etsy alternative because it focuses on smaller, more artistic stores. Big Cartel may not be a great choice for a large vendor with extensive growth plans. However, it has some truly excellent options aimed at small, independent, artistic merchants — in other words, just the type who are likely to gravitate toward Etsy. The low monthly cost (and yes, there is a free plan) and ease of use make Big Cartel worthy of a closer look if you’re considering moving your store from Etsy.

Pros

  • Made for artists and creators
  • Easy to use
  • Free plan available
  • Fully hosted
  • No transaction fees

Cons

  • Limited listings
  • Not suitable for large-scale businesses
  • Features limited

Big Cartel vs Etsy

Of the traditional shopping carts listed here, Big Cartel is the most similar to Etsy in mission and scope. If you were drawn to Etsy’s smaller size, free plans, and appeal to artists, Big Cartel is a natural next choice. In fact, Big Cartel may even be a cheaper option for some merchants, because you won’t have to pay any additional transaction fees or listing fees (apart from the typical payment processing fees).

Big Cartel also offers more features than Etsy can provide. For example, you can expand your business to a Facebook Store, and you can sell in person thanks to a partnership with Stripe. You can find an abbreviated list of features on the Big Cartel pricing page. Notice it’s a shorter list than some of the other Etsy alternatives offer, but it might be just right for you. In addition to all these features, you’ll also benefit from a similar community and artistic culture.

If you choose Big Cartel as your shopping cart platform, here are some of the benefits you’ll see:

  • Affordability: Big Cartel’s free Gold plan allows you to list up to five products, with one image per page. If your catalog is deeper than that, upgrade to the Platinum plan ($9.99 per month) and you’ll be able to list up to 50 products, with five images per product. Two other plans, with gradually increasing prices, will allow you to list up to 500 products.
  • No Fees: If you use Big Cartel’s Gold plan ($0 per month), you can operate a small store with zero overhead. Big Cartel does not charge listing or transaction fees, so the only expenses you’ll have will be the unavoidable fees charged by your payment provider.
  • Visual Appeal: Aimed squarely at artists and creators, Big Cartel offers a selection of mobile-responsive themes to choose from. While they’re not the most sophisticated themes you’ll ever see, they look great when filled with beautiful, high-resolution photographs. Most importantly, the themes offer clean lines and the ability to customize them to suit your own style and taste.
  • Adaptability: Want to sell on Facebook? How about in person, instead of just online? When you set up your store with Big Cartel, you’ll gain those options.
  • Tools: One thing you have to say about Etsy: it makes selling easy. From shipping to collecting taxes, Etsy takes care of it all. So when you’re looking for an Etsy alternative, it’s important to choose one that will make that administrative work easier, so you can focus on creating. Big Cartel includes useful tools, from inventory tracking to automatic tax calculations and easy-to-create discount codes.

While Big Cartel has numerous positives, keep in mind that the free Gold plan is pretty limited; you can only list up to five products. So if you had a large selection of products available on Etsy, you may be turned off by the increased cost at Big Cartel. Still, keep in mind that Big Cartel’s prices are lower than those of most of the other more traditional shopping carts — and when you switch from Etsy to Big Cartel, you can say goodbye to listing fees, transaction fees, and the cost of mandatory offsite advertising.

As nice as it might be to have your very own hosted site, Etsy emigrants may miss the Etsy-specific community and the chance for customers to stumble across your store after a simple search.

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4. IndieMade

IndieMade



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Best for those who want to branch out without leaving Etsy entirely.

Like Etsy, IndieMade is geared toward artists wanting to sell their products or handmade items. However, it offers much more independence for the merchant. While it doesn’t have as extensive or involved a community as Etsy, IndieMade is a great choice for vendors who are moving away from Etsy but still would like a shopping cart that focuses on the needs of artists. IndieMade is not a marketplace, but it is a shopping cart software that connects easily with your Etsy account.

Pros

  • Affordable plans
  • 30-day free trial
  • Focused on artists and creators
  • Connection to Etsy available
  • Fully hosted

Cons

  • Limited product listings
  • Limited pages and images
  • Few advanced features

IndieMade vs Etsy

For those seeking Etsy alternatives, IndieMade provides a nice transition from the community marketplace of Etsy to a more independent but still artist-centered environment. Even better, IndieMade makes it possible to link your new store to your existing Etsy store. That’s an especially appealing feature for those who might not be ready to let go of the Etsy community completely. Be aware, however, that you’ll need to sign up at the Pro level ($14.95 per month) or higher if you want to link to Etsy. That price might be worth paying, especially since you can import products directly from Etsy to populate your IndieMade store.

With IndieMade on your side, here are a few of the features you can start to enjoy:

  • No Fees: Beyond the monthly subscription plan, IndieMade does not charge any fees for listing or selling products. You won’t even have to pay for site security or a domain name, unless you want to.
  • Affordability: While IndieMade does not offer a free plan, you can test the platform with a free 30-day trial. If you decide to sign up for a plan, you can choose the Basic plan ($4.95 per month) and list 10 products on your store, with images per product and two extra pages on your store. The top plan, the Plus ($19.95 per month) lets you list 300 products with up to 10 images each, product options such as color and size, and up to 15 extra pages, including unlimited image galleries.
  • Downloads: Want to offer tutorials, patterns, ebooks, and more? IndieMade allows users at the Standard level ($12.95 per month) and above to offer downloads to customers.
  • Reports & Analytics: Track sales and analyze your marketing and advertising efforts, using the free Google Analytics tool. Sites are SEO optimized, too, and automatically generate metadata for your site.
  • Communication: All IndieMade plans include the option of unlimited blogging, so you can post as often as you like and your customers and fans can comment. You’ll also find a News section, so you can highlight press coverage and important updates. There’s also an event calendar you can use to list in-person sales events, classes, and online events.

The biggest concern we have with IndieMade is its limits on product listings. The Basic plan may work for small vendors, and the jump to the next highest plan (Standard:$12.95 per month) bumps the number of listings up to 100. The highest plan offers 300 products at $19.95/month, but if you need to list more than 300 items, IndieMade will work with you to increase your limits.

IndieMade has a lot of advantages for many crafters, especially the ability to continue selling seamlessly on Etsy. However, it isn’t a perfect solution. In particular, you might consider a different shopping cart if you need access to advanced features or if you tend to sell many different products, customizations, or product variations that might force you into a higher pricing plan. While IndieMade can facilitate the transition to independence as a merchant, you should definitely take these factors into consideration as well.

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5. Zibbet

Zibbet



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Best for sellers with established sales channels.

Zibbet started out as a marketplace just like Etsy, a place for makers to list and sell their products. While Zibbet still offers that same marketplace, it has since evolved to include much more. Zibbet now serves as both a marketplace and an inventory management system. The platform allows users to connect multiple marketplaces (Etsy, eBay, Facebook Shop, Stitch, and more) to the Zibbet Marketplace. And Zibbet makes it easy to sell and manage your inventory and sales across all those platforms.

Pros

  • Low cost
  • No transaction or listing fees
  • No mass-produced items
  • Free 14-day trial
  • Month-to-month commitment

Cons

  • Low exposure
  • Limited themes
  • Limited customization

Zibbet vs Etsy

Zibbet is very similar to Etsy in that it offers a community marketplace where buyers can browse a variety of artisan stores. Vendors seeking a similar experience to Etsy are likely to appreciate Zibbet’s easily browsable setup. If you’re interested in joining the 50,000+ merchants selling on Zibbet, here are some of the features you’ll benefit from:

  • Simple Pricing: You’ll pay just $6/month per sales channel ($5/month when billed annually). In return for that membership fee, you’ll gain inclusion in a large, varied marketplace and the ability to link to your other sales channels, including Etsy if you like.
  • No Fees: You won’t pay any transaction or listing fees on Zibbet. You’ll keep 100% of your sales dollars, outside the inescapable credit card processing fees. Stores on Zibbet can accept credit card payments in addition to PayPal.
  • Fair Competition: Zibbet allows a range of products on its site, with one limitation: All items must be in the categories of handmade, vintage, craft, or fine art. That means your handmade items won’t be competing with mass-produced goods.
  • Connect Multiple Sale Channels: In addition to a storefront on the Zibbet Marketplace, you can connect stores on other sites, including Etsy, AC Moore, Stitch, Facebook Shop, and more. Even better, Zibbet’s inventory management tools allow you to track inventory and sales across all those channels. And any updates to your Zibbet listings — price, title, photos, and so on — will update everywhere at once, automatically.
  • No Limits: Add as many products to your shop as you’d like. You can include digital downloads, too.
  • Marketing: You can run sales, offer coupon codes, or create a loyalty program to reward return customers. It’s up to you.
  • Multiple Currencies: If you’re aiming for international sales, you’ll appreciate the 21 major currencies that are supported on the Zibbet Marketplace.

While Zibbet offers some improvements in comparison to Etsy, especially in terms of fees and its emphasis on handmade items, it does not have the same name recognition as Etsy. So users will have to work harder to drive traffic to their stores. However, because it’s easy to connect a Zibbet storefront to other sales channels, users with strong sales on other sites may not find that much of an obstacle.

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6. Volusion

Volusion



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Best for small vendors with big plans for growth.

Volusion is a widely used and popular cloud-based shopping cart software that offers users a wide range of features at a reasonable price. If you’re considering Volusion as an Etsy alternative, understand that it’s a tool for creating and running a standalone store. That means your store won’t be part of a marketplace, as it is on Etsy. The tradeoff? Potential savings and increased profit in addition to more control over your brand and your sales. Read on to find out if Volusion might be a good option for you.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Competitive pricing
  • Free trial

Cons

  • Limited features
  • Additional fees
  • Sales limits on plans

Volusion vs Etsy

Volusion offers far more options for prospective vendors than Etsy is able to. High-quality customer service and an extensive knowledgebase make it easy to navigate this cart’s many attractive features. Want to showcase your online store on Facebook? Volusion is the place to go. Have some complicated customizations for your handmade products? Volusion’s got your back. The platform also supports growing vendors, so if your sales are increasing at a fast pace, Volusion might be for you. Some of the features you’ll have access to if you choose Volusion include:

  • Tiered Pricing: Volusion’s pricing plans start at just $29 per month ($26 per month with three months prepaid. That’s obviously higher than Etsy’s prices. But if you have been doing good business on Etsy, your accumulating Etsy fees may make $29 seem like a bargain. And of course, you won’t pay any listing, transaction, or other fees to Volusion, no matter how much you list or sell.
  • Room To Grow: Volusion’s plans do include sales limits. The good news is those limits are extremely generous, so you don’t need to worry about them. The Personal plan allows up to $50,000 in gross merchandise volume per year. When your total sales processed exceed that limit, you’ll automatically bump up to the Professional plan ($79 per month), which accommodates sellers of up to $100,000 per year.
  • No Limits: All Volusion plans include unlimited products, bandwidth, and storage.
  • Sales & Marketing Tools: Unlike on Etsy, where policies like those requiring offside ads put you outside the driver’s seat, you’ll be in control of your Volusion store. But you won’t be on your own; you’ll have lots of support. Every plan includes synced inventory, coupons and discounts, automatic tax calculations, and more. So you’ll be able to decide on your own goals and drive your store’s success.

When it comes down to it, as an Etsy alternative, Volusion is a vastly different option. Most important, it’s not a marketplace; a Volusion store stands alone, and you’ll need to drive traffic to your store. Volusion does not place restrictions on manufactured goods, but that’s not a factor since you’re not competing directly in a marketplace setting with those sellers.

And of course, the monthly cost is higher than with Etsy. However, for sellers who are looking for growth potential and control over their options, Volusion offers a satisfying set of tools at a reasonable fixed cost.

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Honorable Mentions

We love finding excellent software solutions for our readers. We have high standards for software and services, and sometimes an app will come close to ending up on a “Best of” list, only to ultimately miss the mark. Here are two of those near misses:

Amazon Handmade

When global behemoth Amazon carved out a special marketplace for handmade goods, many Etsy sellers paid attention. Was this going to be the next big thing?

Amazon Handmade offers many advantages to sellers in search of eager buyers — including the 112 million Amazon Prime members — and strict regulations ensure fidelity to the platform’s handmade ideals. Still, there’s a downside that keeps us from recommending this option to the majority of Etsy users

For one thing, Amazon Handmade is not open to all vendors. In addition to meeting strict guidelines for creating your products, you’ll also have to ensure that those items fall within one of the 12 product categories allowed on Amazon Handmade.

Selling on Amazon Handmade isn’t cheap, either. So if cost savings are your prime motivator, you may want to look elsewhere. Amazon charges a monthly fee of $39.99 for its Professional Seller account; currently, that fee is waived for Handmade accounts. Although you won’t pay listing fees, expect to pay transaction fees of 15% of the total sale, including options like gift-wrapping and shipping.

Most important, when you join Amazon Handmade, you agree to Amazon’s terms and conditions. That can crimp your plans to market your products and stores, and Amazon can even dictate your pricing, under certain conditions. You’ll be expected to provide free, fast shipping if you want to be included in Prime.

In theory, Amazon Handmade vendors gain access to Amazon’s vast customer base. In reality, at the moment Amazon does not actively promote its Handmade category, so if your store comes up in customer searches, your volume of sales will place you below common household names in the search results. And your price won’t seem competitive to most casual buyers

For these reasons, while Amazon Handmade certainly merits attention, we hope to see some improvements before giving it a full-throated recommendation as an Etsy alternative.

ArtFire

ArtFire is similar to Etsy in many ways. It is another global marketplace that allows users to sell their products with ease. ArtFire is smaller than Etsy, but it has many of the same features, including coupon codes, automatic shipping notifications, and mobile-friendly shops.

One thing we like? ArtFire has a filter that allows shoppers to sort merchants by size and browse accordingly. That lets buyers select and support small sellers, and can give those who are selling truly handcrafted good an edge. Unfortunately for sellers, ArtFire is also similar to Etsy in its heavy fee structure.

Sellers pay a flat rate of $5-$40/month to operate an ArtFire shop, and then there are listing fees of $0.23 (only on the lowest level plan; higher plans eliminate the listing fee) and a final valuation fee between 4.5% and 12.75%. And ArtFire charges all of this on top of the payment processing fee that you’ll be paying to your credit card processor of choice.

We’ve also noticed that many aspects of the ArtFire website seem to be out of date. While it’s certain that ArtFire is still an active marketplace, we worry that there is a lack of product development, which could put ArtFire behind the industry.

Choosing The Right Etsy Alternative For Your Business

If you’re becoming leery of Etsy’s policies, you’re tired of giving up a portion of each sale you make, or you’re simply looking for something new, you can find some fantastic alternatives out there! Your choice ultimately depends on your own situation, but hopefully one of these options can meet your store’s needs.

For those seeking a community-based craft marketplace, check out Zibbet or IndieMade as great alternatives to Etsy. Although IndieMade does not offer a marketplace, you can connect it to Etsy, sign up for a cheap plan, and use a custom domain.

As far as shopping cart software, for those interested in setting up shop on their own, Big Cartel is perfect for smaller merchants, especially artists. It maintains more of a community feel than other Etsy alternatives, and it even has a free plan. On the other hand, Volusion and Shopify both provide higher levels of customization, while still being relatively affordable and easy to use.

If you’re looking for a basic store builder and want to start selling your products and handmade goods from a custom-made online store, check out our comparison of shopping cart solutions.

Whichever platform you choose, best of luck in your store’s journey. Please let us know if you have any relevant experience with any of these carts or know of another online marketplace that ex-Etsy merchants may find useful. Enjoy your next phase as a vendor!

FAQs About Etsy Alternatives

What can I use instead of Etsy?

You have many options if you’re looking for a way to sell handmade goods without paying high fees to Etsy. You can join an alternate marketplace, like Zibbet, Amazon Handmade, or ArtFire, or link your Etsy site to IndieMade as part of a gradual separation from Etsy. If you’re ready to set up and manage a standalone store, look into using free or affordable software from providers like Shopify, Square Online, Big Cartel, or Volusion.

Is there are more affordable option than Etsy?

Yes! Etsy’s listing and transaction fees make the cost of doing business on Etsy higher than average. Look at your Etsy seller account to discover how much you’re paying for sales each month. That number may compare favorably to the cost of operating a store on Shopify (starting at $29/month with no listing fees; transaction fees apply) or Square Online (free plan available). If you want to remain in a marketplace setting but find lower fees, check out Zibbet. After a free 14-day trial, you’ll pay $5 to $6 per sales channel, with no listing or transaction fees, and you can link your Zibbet store to other sales channels, including Etsy.

Is Amazon Handmade good for selling handmade products?

While there’s a lot to like about Amazon Handmade — especially its vast global customer base — it can be hard for small vendors to gain a foothold. Amazon Handmade transaction fees are similar to Etsy’s, although you won’t pay any listing fees. One good thing about Amazon Handmade is that the marketplace is limited strictly to handmade goods. However, on the larger Amazon platform, Handmade vendors may find themselves in competition with mass-produced items and household names that leave you not competitive in terms of pricing.

Is Amazon Handmade better than Etsy?

Vendors looking for better terms than Etsy offers may not like what they see with Amazon Handmade. On Amazon Handmade, you’ll pay transaction fees of 15%. That’s three times Etsy’s rate. As with Etsy, Amazon Handmade’s fees include a percentage of the cost of shipping. That means Amazon Handmade is no bargain for those seeking an Etsy alternative that lets you keep a bigger portion of each sale.

Is Shopify better than Etsy?

While there’s a lot to like about Shopify, it’s not the same as Etsy, so it’s hard to say definitively which is better. Shopify is a shopping cart platform that vendors use to build and run a standalone store. You can set up a Shopify store for an affordable monthly cost (starting at $29/month), but you’ll still pay transaction fees (ranging from 2% to 0.5%, depending on your plan level) unless you use the in-house payment processor, Shopify Payments, to eliminate transaction fees altogether.

Shopify compares favorably to Etsy in terms of use. And you can take advantage of a 14-day free trial to test the software out and see if you can generate sales through an independent store. There’s no credit card required.

What is the best eCommerce site for artists?

The best eCommerce sites for artists offer stylish templates, low cost of doing business, the option of digital downloads, and good marketing tools. For these reasons, we recommend Squarespace as a starting point. Sign up for a free 14-day trial, choose one of the visually arresting templates, and join the many musicians, photographers, artists, designers, and other creative types who build their eCommerce ventures on Squarespace. If you like what you see, you can sign up for a paid plan. Although there’s no free plan available, at just $16/month, the Personal plan includes unlimited bandwidth and storage and a free custom domain for one year.

Is Etsy secure?

All sellers and buyers on Etsy are protected by site-wide security measures. Etsy uses TLS (transportation layer security) technology to encrypt credit card information. For sellers, Etsy offers two-factor authentication and notifications when someone accesses your account from a new device or browser.

In Summary: The Top 6 Etsy Alternatives

  1. Shopify: Best for vendors who want an easy way to build and manage a robust independent store.
  2. Square Online: Best for vendors who already use Square POS.
  3. Big Cartel: Best for small merchants who plan to stay that way.
  4. IndieMade: Best for those who want to branch out without leaving Etsy entirely. 
  5. Zibbet: Best for sellers with established sales channels.
  6. Volusion: Best for small vendors with big plans for growth.
Kate Hoots

Kate Hoots

Writer
Kate Hoots is a writer for Merchant Maverick, taking on the topic of eCommerce. She brings a background in journalism as well as in business leadership and communication training. Kate has a degree in English Literature from Lewis & Clark College.
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24 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Chris

    Thanks for the article, but it’s not useful to be suggesting selling independently versus selling to a community. That’s where the article fails. I’m sure someone who just wants to list on a website can easily find out about bigcartel, shopify etc. But where would the audience be? To be collected thru instagram thru lods of ad fees? All comes to the same end in a whatever way.

      Lisa

      These are not true alternatives to Etsy.

      Etsy is a marketplace that brings you traffic.

      None of these bring traffic to you. You start from zero and your store will never thrive if you are not a big social media influencer with traffic in hand or well known.

        Daisy J Kozuch

        LOVEEEEEEEE YOUR ARTICLE, A WEALTH OF INFORMATION!!!

        THANK YOU,
        DAISY JEAN KOZUCH

          Ulrike

          Hi, I sell on etsy (digital products only) for one reason – the fact that they handle all the payments, the VAT etc. VAT is calculated based on country of residence of the buyer for digital products, which just makes it so darn complicated. It’s much simpler to do it through etsy and then only handle the two transactions every month (etsy > me and me > etsy) instead of invoicing every single customer one by one (and then reporting all those receipts to my country’s legal offices). That said, I dislike some of the features on etsy and would LOVE to switch, but I haven’t found any other platform that would handle the payments with the end customer and only pay the earnings (and invoice the fees) once a month. Do you know of any? I do all the marketing myself through my blog, and I wouldn’t mind setting up my own site for the shop.. Thanks a lot.

            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

            Jessica Dinsmore

            Hi Ulrike,

            Managing payments really is one of the big advantages of Etsy, and it’s unlikely that you’ll find such a simple payment process anywhere else. In exchange for managing your payments, though, Etsy certainly charges a lot of fees!
            If you have an active blog already, it might be worth trying out your own online store. There are a few eCommerce software that work well for digital products.

            Content Shelf is designed for selling digital products, and they have a partnership with Taxamo to handle sales and VAT tax calculations. However, we haven’t reviewed this software in a few years, and the website is looking a bit out of date. We tried calling support and didn’t get an answer (potentially because people are working from home right now). One of the big advantages of Content Shelf is that you can add it into the blog you’ve already built!

            You could also look into Shopify, which works well for digital products and also offers tax and VAT calculation features.

              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

              lauren

              I agree. Can someone PLEASE develop another platform! Etsy closes 22k stores each year, so there are 22k people looking to sell!

                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                Shirley

                There IS another handmade platform. It’s called Goimagine. They had their official public launch in 2020, they are quickly joining the spotlight. Goimagine is the world’s first online handmade marketplace which donates 100% profits to charity. Handmade only. No vintage, no buy sell. They are now and always will be handmade only. I’ve been with them for more than a year and they truly are the best to work with; responsive, ethical, they follow up on their promises, they actually ask our opinions when making changes to the site. (I’ve had an Etsy store for 6 years, btw.) Goimagine has no contracts, just a monthly fee and you may stop at any time (highest plan is only $10/month +3.5% transaction fee for 1,000 listings!). One of the many things I really like is that I can create my own custom categories, and I can put a single item in as many of my custom categories as I want. Also, their top two plans offer a semi-private site at no extra charge. Semi-private means that there is no marketplace advertisement on your site, no encouragement to steer a customer from your page. If you are a maker, Lauren, check out goimagine. Good luck!

                  luca

                  Hello,

                  Thanks for the article, it’s full of useful info. I wonder how it is for a small group of artisans located in Bolivia, which means cut out the normal circuit for payments and orders processing, what do you suggest as best alternative to pick up the challenge of selling online to foreign clients?

                  Thank you in advance for your kind attention, hope to read you soon!
                  Regards,
                  Luca

                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                    Emily Hale

                    Hi Luca,

                    Hi and thanks for your question. To address some of your specific challenges of selling online to foreign countries, I recommend checking out our Durango Merchant Services Review. Hope this helps and best of luck!

                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                      Avril

                      The problem I have with the alternatives to Etsy is that they promote selling but not buying. I couldn’t figure out how to buy anything from a Zibbet, or Big Cartel store. With Etsy it’s clear where to click to BUY something, but when I googled Zibbet iI mostly saw information for people who want to sell. I got tired of looking for the products sold on Zibbet, Big Cartel and was just about to give up when I saw the teeny weeny spot that leads to the marketplace. That’s a BIG MINUS. Zibbet needs to make it CLEAR AND EASY FOR PEOPLE TO BUY.

                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                        Hans Brough

                        Good article but I believe the Square information is outdated or inaccurate. Square online stores are provided through services such as Weebly or BigCommerce which do charge monthly fees for their template based sites.

                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                          Jessica Dinsmore

                          Hi there Hans!

                          As far as we know, Square does still offer a free online store, or you can also integrate with alternative eCommerce providers. That said, if you have a source of differing information, we’d be happy to take a look. Thanks for reading!

                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                            Shelly

                            This is true. I have a Square site myself.

                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                              Sprayartworldwide

                              I am an entrepreneur and am going to fix this problem. I’m going to take the art and home decor market by storm. Without costing anyone a thing. I will only charge artist’s based off of what is sold,how it should be.

                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                Vince Mansfield

                                i love your spirit! do it!!!

                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                  S.L.C.

                                  Please DO!

                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                    Ana

                                    Etsy has given me reason to be much disheartened.
                                    As a seller and a buyer on Etsy, I feel they have possibly much succumbed to greed.
                                    They offered no buyer protection for me after a case with an insanely abusive seller.
                                    I also wonder if their buyer ratings can be trusted as I received far less than five star service from one of their five star sellers.
                                    Etsy ruled a case in favour of a seller, with absolutely no grounds. The seller was much larger on Etsy than my new shop, and the seller had a five star rating.
                                    I was sent wrong colour item, pink! Also damaged and heavily marked up cheap fabric sold as “haute couture” I was scammed. I have no doubt about it.
                                    The seller was abusive, irate and a bit of a nutter really!
                                    They ruled case in favour of seller.
                                    I left a negative review,

                                    Then this seller on my instagram artists account:
                                    – stalked me
                                    – Posted my private info from the Etsy sale, and my address on the internet and on my instagram artists account.
                                    – abused me
                                    – Threatened to ruin me

                                    I complained to Etsy and request them review the case decision.

                                    I have not yet had a reply.
                                    I believe they supported this seller over myself, due to her being a larger seller than me, also having a good buyer rating mostly thus far.

                                    I hope that there will be a down to earth alternative to Etsy which has more buyer protection. An alternative for artists like me. I offer a refund to any of my buyers who are not happy with the purchase for any reason. I believe this should be a requirement, not an exception. For any purchase.

                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                      JayEngrave

                                      Im getting sick to death of Etsy and there constant greed!
                                      When I 1st joined its was perfect, then all of a sudden Etsy entered a cul-de-sac of MORON!

                                      I heard someone from ebay had got in Etsy and that makes sense since the ridiculous charging and fees on postage costs – Just like ebay!

                                      The next thing that really annoyed me is: Etsy will be penalizing sellers who charge shipping in search results! Basically if you charge shipping your items will appear after all those who offer free postage
                                      Again this is fast turning into an ebay thing.. The only people that will benefit here will be Etsy and china who can afford to offer free worldwide shipping.

                                      That being said NON of these above are suitable alternatives to etsy.
                                      The only sites that even came close are nuMonday (which only allow UK sellers – which sucks) and Folksy (again only allow UK sellers) while they are very good alternatives in platform, they extremely lack the traffic!

                                      I hope someone throws down the gauntlet and really puts etsy in their place.. Im so tempted to boycott it specially over the Christmas period.

                                      The owners / directors of Etsy clearly dont give a damn or even listen to their sellers… and this could be their down fall!

                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                        Mark Hileman

                                        I have been selling my jewelry on Etsy since 2009 with some success. Over the past few years my sales and traffic have decreased as Etsy has allowed more resellers of mass produced jewelry (dinosaur bone rings in particular) to over populate the site with identical items that compete with my original handmade pieces. I have tried other marketplaces like Artfire, ZIbbet, Bonanza, Amazon Handmade, Big Cartel, etc. but none of them seem to have the traffic that Etsy has, even with lowers sales and views recently. I feel like Etsy is getting greedy by letting these resellers set up shop even though they are in violation of their policies. If this continues Etsy will drive away all the small vendors that have supported it from the beginning and it will turn into something similar to Amazon with no artists able to survive there. My hope is that Etsy will purge some of these resellers and get back to its roots because they deliver more traffic than all the other options for me.

                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                          Karen

                                          Etsy will never go back tot eh way it was. The are traded at the Stock market and the new CEO is all about the investors and growing profit for Etsy. Etsy DON’T care about the small artist anymore. Unfortunately, there is no good alternative to Etsy at this point (I’ll be the first one to leave). I wish a new website for small Artists in the U.S. will be created soon. There is a big need for that.

                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                            Jonathan @Zibbet.com

                                            Thanks so much for the Zibbet mention Rachel! We really appreciate it.

                                            I’d also like to point out that you can now build a beautiful stand-alone website with Zibbet too. You can see how easy it is to do so, by watching this video: https://vimeo.com/146883281

                                            If anyone has any questions about Zibbet, feel free to email me at any time: jonathan @ zibbet . com

                                            Cheers,
                                            Jonathan (Founder of Zibbet)

                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                              Paul Lund

                                              HI,
                                              As a woodworker considering selling hand-made items, I am considering Zibbet. The questions I have are…”Is a Zibbet listing exclusive or can I list with other sites as well? If I sell through another site can I just identify the item as sold without penalty or payment to Zibbet?
                                              Thanks,
                                              Paul Lund – Woodworking PAL

                                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                Vince Mansfield

                                                Please crush Etsy and be uber successful as an alternative marketplace! Spend the money to drive traffic to your site. Do some radio and TV ads. Get your name out there! Call out Etsy if thats what it takes! Im so sick of Etsy’s monopoly,

                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                  Hodge Podge Cottage

                                                  This is an Excellent article~Thank you so much for the very indepth and helpful information regarding all.
                                                  I have been a long time seller on etsy and have since departed that platform. In the beginning, etsy reeled us in as the terms seemed reasonable and a Win/Win/Win across the board for Etsy, Sellers and Buyers. Sellers and Buyers were responsible for the growth of etsy’s platform. In reality, they did very little but sit back and collect their fees. Years passed, the More Successful Their platform Due to Our Hard Work and Efforts, the more expensive it became for the Very Folks who built it! They felt like they had us over a barrel as we worked hard to build our shops, grew a customer base and a following. Then came their Rediculous Fees. A Listing fee, offsite ad fees, transaction fees, their profit from shipping fees…If you charge Anything for shipping, they make a profit on that also! Though they offer a supposed discounted rate for purchasing a shipping label through them, we have No Idea what they’re offered as an Actual rate through these shipping companies. Fee upon fee upon fee! The last item I sold on etsy, I went to check my balance. It said that my sales covered my fees. What fees? My fees were paid to date. I didn’t owe Anything on my monthly bill prior to the sale. In the end, I didn’t receive one penny from the sale of a $48 item?? Preposterous!
                                                  I am a long time seller/buyer on ebay~25 years, and on Mercari since 2016.
                                                  In the beginning, Mercari charged a flat rate of10% on sales, no listing or monthly fees. Beginning in October of 2020, and after their site was also built by sellers and buyers, here come their Increased rates. 10% fee upon sale + 20 Cents of total sale price + 3.5% cc processing fees?? I read ALL of the fine print that reads like an Entire Websters Encloypodia Collection! They now require that Everyone Accepts their New Terms a Month Prior to their New Rate Rollout. I will be Deleting All of my listings. Again, If considering this platform, Read and Pay Close Attention to Every Single Word of All of their policies. It’s Quite Shocking! To say that they’re covering their behinds is an Understatement.
                                                  I have researched Many platforms, haven’t decided which path in the road to take.
                                                  Wix is an option, though the add on fees can get expensive.
                                                  Through my hours of researching All of this, WordPress and Woo Commerce, hosted by Bluehost are supposedly better for a Store than Wix according to articles I’ve researched.
                                                  An option I’m considering is starting a Utube Channel to connect directly with my customers and pairing that with my own site. My time and effort has gone into building other platforms~If I had devoted All of these Years to my own site, Imagine where I could be today!
                                                  We Can’t roll back the time, But We Can Start Anew, Blaze Our Own Trail and Succeed!

                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

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