You know, you should sell the stuff you make!
And you're delighted with what they said because it's been your secret wish all this while - to sell the stuff you made.
So what's the point of this post? Ah, no. It's not a lecture on the pitfalls of selling handmade. (I'll leave it to you to experience first hand) Although I sell my handmade items at craft markets, I've been selling online (mostly my bag patterns) at various online marketplaces. I'm sharing with you my experience with these sites. I'm not including the fees charged because you can easily find out for yourself. Please know that this is just based on my own experience and my experience can be tainted by my own inexperience/inpatience/stupidity. Lastly I DO NOT benefit in any way if you sign up with any of the marketplaces I've listed.
The first online marketplace I signed up with. Etsy has changed a lot since I joined in 2009. I like the interface (very easy to navigate) and although the past 1.5 years it introduced a lot of changes which I didn't always like, it's still my favourite. Mainly because it gets its own massive traffic and I feel, technically it's the best. Needless to say, I've been most successful here. I have read a lot of negative comments about Etsy from forums and one day I decided I would stop reading them because in the end, I just want to sell my items. And if Etsy can do the job, then I will continue keeping my shop here.
The 2nd online marketplace I signed up with. I hated it. Hated, hated, hated it. That was the old Artfire. In the old days, the interface was stupid. One day, I think I triggered a massive muscle pain because I was so frustrated with the navigation. I was very unsuccessful here because I could barely understand how to put in my items. Also, it required you to participate in stuff in order to gain points? I forgot all the terms they used. But it wasn't just a marketplace. One day I was informed that I had to pay rent for my empty shop so I deleted my account. Recently I went back to it and to my delight, it looks less scary - almost like this century. I might just give it another chance.
I joined Zibbet when it was just starting out and when a site is just starting out, it has a lot of technical problems. I gave it a chance as I loved the interface. It's almost an Etsy copycat and I have to say I think, at first, technically, it felt superior to Etsy. But later, changes were made to the categories and for me, it went downhill from then on. I still have a shop on Zibbet here. But I've sold ZERO items. My views are practically non-existent. Yet many sellers managed to sell plenty on Zibbet. So don't know what I'm doing wrong. Perhaps it's because I have a basic (not premium) shop which is free?
4. Made It Myself
I joined this site in 2009 but forgot about it. My shop is here. This year I remembered I was a member and decided to sell my bag patterns. The interface is horrid. Horrid. I get into a very bad mood whenever I list my items on this site. It takes a very long time too. This marketplace is still new to me so I don't know how successful I will be. I can't equate the technical difficulties with the sales because it's all about the traffic.
I joined Craftsy last year and started selling my bag patterns here. I have to say Craftsy has surprised me the most because I managed to make a few sales every month. The best thing though is Craftsy doesn't charge any commission! If you don't sell patterns, you could also promote your handmade items via projects. What you do is add a project (of what you made) and you link to the marketplace that sells your handmade item.
Someone recommended Luulla to me and I went and opened a shop right away here. It is really another Etsy copycat with small differences here and there. Unfortunately, I think the interface needs more tweaking. Sometimes I want to navigate to where I want to go and I could feel myself screaming inside my head because I can't SEE IT. I have made a grand total of 1 sale since I opened a few months ago. One day I was googling something and almost fainted when I saw that it pointed to my Luulla item. This has never happened to me for my Etsy listings before. So I feel a little hopeful that Luulla is doing something right.
I have a shop here but I kinda forgot about it. I think I joined it a long time ago when there were no English versions. Now that an English version of the marketplace is available, I shoudn't have any excuses for not listing my items.
8. Pattern Spot
This marketplace sells instant download PDF patterns only. I need to be high on morphine (just kidding) in order to list an item for sale. There's something I'm not understanding about how the HTML works because my listing always comes out funny. So I have to manually adjust and it still doesn't come out perfect, the way I want it. My shop's here. This site charges a ransom for sales commission so please don't buy from me here. I have made a grand total of 2 sales since I listed a few months ago.
The following are marketplaces I tried to join but was rejected.
This is a New Zealand online marketplace and I was informed that at the present moment, it is closed to non-residents. I'm curious why it used such a generic name. Google "felt" and see how many hits you get.
This one's UK and only open to residents as well.
The following are marketplaces I have joined but have not listed any items yet.
1. Handbag Lessons
This marketplace sells instant download pdf patterns. A reader, Amy, recommended this site to me. Unfortunately it has a policy against links to other marketplaces so I'm going to have to remove them before I can list my patterns here.
Someone suggested I try this handmade marketplace and I'm going to wait till it rains one night before I sit down and explore this site further. So far I haven't seen any restrictions to non-residents so I'm hopeful. Again, I'm curious why such a generic name is chosen.
If you know of any other online marketplaces, please drop me a comment? I will only blame you just a little if it turns out horrid.