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The Best Etsy Alternatives for Online Sellers

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Liz Hull

Liz Hull

Liz Hull is a writer for Merchant Maverick. In her three years with Merchant Maverick, she has tested and reviewed over 40 eCommerce platforms and published two ebooks on the topic of online selling. Liz has also been published in Startup Nation and Home Business Magazine Online. Liz has a BA in English and Spanish from George Fox University.

We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.

We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.

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17 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.

    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.

      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.

        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.

            We've done in-depth research on each and confidently recommend them.

            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.

                        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.

                                We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.

                                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.

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