The Best Etsy Alternatives for Online Sellers
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
Table of Contents
Shopify is giving Merchant Maverick users a 14 day free trial + pay only $1 for your first month.
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.
- Easy to use
- Mobile responsive
- No listing fees
- Free trial
- Deep customization
- 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.
2. Square Online
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.
- Free plan available
- Easy to use
- No transaction fees
- Ideal for low-volume sellers
- No technical skills required
- 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.
3. Big Cartel
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.
- Made for artists and creators
- Easy to use
- Free plan available
- Fully hosted
- No transaction fees
- 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.
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.
- Affordable plans
- 30-day free trial
- Focused on artists and creators
- Connection to Etsy available
- Fully hosted
- 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.
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.
- Low cost
- No transaction or listing fees
- No mass-produced items
- Free 14-day trial
- Month-to-month commitment
- 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.
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.
- Easy to use
- Competitive pricing
- Free trial
- 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.
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:
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 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
In Summary: The Top 6 Etsy Alternatives
- Shopify: Best for vendors who want an easy way to build and manage a robust independent store.
- Square Online: Best for vendors who already use Square POS.
- Big Cartel: Best for small merchants who plan to stay that way.
- IndieMade: Best for those who want to branch out without leaving Etsy entirely.
- Zibbet: Best for sellers with established sales channels.
- Volusion: Best for small vendors with big plans for growth.