The Business of Jewelry: Alternatives to Etsy

Dec 26, 2012

When you think about selling your handmade jewelry online, the first online marketplace that probably comes to mind is Etsy. But there are lots of great alternatives to Etsy for expanding your jewelry business into the realm of online sales.

Goodsmiths is a relatively new online marketplace for selling your handmade jewelry.

Big Cartel has a range of plans available at different price points for the serious handmade jewelry artisan.

If you're ready to set up an online shop for your jewelry business, before you dive head first into Etsy, take a look at four of my favorite online marketplaces for selling your handmade jewelry as an alternative to Etsy.

Four Online Marketplaces As Alternatives to Etsy

1. Goodsmiths The newest online marketplace for handmade goods, Goodsmiths is a clean, easy-to-use marketplace. There are no listing fees or shop set-up fees, and each sale is charged a 2% commission, which is lower than any other online marketplace.

Like Artfire, you can import your existing Etsy listings directly into your Goodsmiths shop using their utility.

While there are no direct phone numbers to contact for support, there is an easy way to contact the folks at Goodsmiths via email.

2. Made It Myself If you're looking to sell your handmade jewelry online,  Made It Myself is the place to showcase your handmade goods. Selling your work on Made It Myself looks like a combination of eBay and Etsy. Sellers can let buyers know that their prices are negotiable, and for an extra fee, can have products featured throughout the site on the category pages. Sales are subject to a 3% commission.

Finding out just how to sell on Made It Myself was a little bit of a chore. As far as I could see, there was no single page with all the listing fees and features available.

3. DaWanda  DaWanda has Engliish, French, and German platforms, for selling in multiple languages across multiple countries. Listing fees are charged only on the German DaWanda platform, and all sales made on DaWanda are charged a 5% commission. (This is because the German site has more features than the French and English sites.) If you are listing products on the DaWanda French and German sites, those listings must be written in French and German.

Similar to the new Etsy Gift Cards, there are Vouchers available for DaWanda.

Buyers on DaWanda can create wish lists that are easily shared on Facebook, and similar to the Treasury function on Etsy, members on DaWanda can create Pinboards with their favorite items.

4. Big Cartel Of all the online marketplaces I took a look at, Big Cartel was by far the most artistic, and truly geared for artists who sell one-of-a-kind and high end work.

Big Cartel doesn't charge a commission on sales, and their pricing plans run from no fees at all for a basic five item account all the way up to $29.99 a month for no more than 300 items with full functionality (analytics, discount codes, custom URL). Those kinds of fees and features are probably best for someone who isn't ready for their own website yet, but still wants to have control over the look of their online shop and access to useful metrics.

Remember To Take Great Pictures

Remember that no matter where you list your handmade jewelry for sale, having great photos is key to having great sales. That's where Jim Lawson, photographer for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine can help. In his new video, Shoot, Share, Sell, you can learn all about how to use your smartphone to take great pictures of your jewelry for listing in your online shop. You really don't need a lot of fancy equipment or expensive software -- just a couple of good lights and a smartphone is all you need to take professional-looking photographs!

Get your copy of Shoot, Share, Sell:  How to Get the Best Photographs From Your Smartphone on DVD today and see how you can improve your photographs (and your online jewelry business) in the New Year! (Or, if you can't wait to get started, Shoot, Share, Sell: How to Get the Best Photographs From Your Smartphone is also available as an instant download!)

Have you ever used a smartphone for taking photos of your handmade jewelry? Do you have any tips to share with us? Leave a comment here on the Beading Daily blog and tell us how you get the best pictures of your handmade jewelry using your smartphone!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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Comments

trusk4u wrote
on Dec 26, 2012 6:48 AM

The online places you mentioned are all good, but there is one more I feel you should have on your list. Have you visited  https://handmadeartists.com?

It is a rapidly growing venue for handmade goods only. One low monthly listing fee of $5 gets you your own shop, unlimited listing, loads of promotion, and a great community of like minded people in the forum. I can't think of a better place to be.

cogomo wrote
on Dec 26, 2012 9:00 AM

Thanks for your great tips. Another good site to check out is: http://www.mysupadupa.com  They have different selling options and you can build your own website with a choice of several different templates.

lyone wrote
on Dec 26, 2012 10:07 AM

One of the most difficult things about selling online, I find, is finding a site on which customers can take your work seriously.  What I mean is......oh, how to put this delicately?  What I mean is:  It is important to list one's work on a site that doesn't also sell crocheted Barbie doll toilet roll covers and beaded Mickey Mouse pins.  Do you know what I'm saying?  

This is a huge problem with both Etsy and Goodsmiths.  I haven't checked out the other sites listed in the article yet, but I am hopeful about Big Cartel.  

The other major problem is getting traffic to the site.  Which of these sites has actually gotten any Mainstream press other than Etsy?

on Dec 26, 2012 3:54 PM

I would like to add my comments to "Shoot, Share, Sell" aspects of producing great photographic shots.  As an amateur photographer, artisan, writer and jewellery designer.  Photography is crucial is marketing your product, I would argue that a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera will give you the best resolution, sharpness and quality.  Smart phones (IMO) are fine provided they are compare is quality). The DSRL has the benefit of macro setting and adjusting to white light balance.  Jewellery is one of the most difficult photograph, even professional photographers have remarked on this in articles I have read.   Vanessa

KatherineH wrote
on Dec 27, 2012 1:03 PM

Etsy's always left a bad taste in my mouth for some reason, so it was great to hear about some alternatives. I've just started selling jewlery this past year, and so far it's always been word-of-mouth. Thank you for the review of these venues! And thanks to the commenters who have added to the list. It feels good to know there are choices out there.

padali30 wrote
on Dec 28, 2012 4:52 PM

Thank goodness. Etsy's getting old. I haven't sold much on there and I feel it's because I don't have a fancy log cabin studio in the woods and one of those hairdo's that's all fringe cut with bangs. At least that's what the girls who are top sellers on Etsy look like. Oh well, guess it's not meant for everybody. This article was a great resource for Etsy alternatives. Thanks.

BreitWerk wrote
on Dec 28, 2012 7:18 PM

Another great place to consider is Zibbet.com - No listing fees, no sales or commission fees!  You can have a totally FREE site if you list less than 50 items.  For more features and to list more items there are options for premium accounts.

khrystallee wrote
on Dec 29, 2012 8:02 AM

I have to say, I agree with the Etsy thing.  It is getting old and I always thought it was all handmade items only.  Not so true anymore.  

I was on there for a few years and what I was finding out is that people get on there and look at your ideas and steal them, make what you made and list it on their site.  I fould out when all these people where "hearting" me, putting me in their favorites, so I would go and see who, why, and the what they were selling.  Well, I am glad I did.  I seen my Jewelry in their site but in different colored Swarovski's and Gemstones.  I write a short story about each piece I make and well, so did this lady.  she started doing that 3 days after she "hearted" me.  Etsy said there is nothing they can do.

Very unethical!  I find most sites people are doing this so it is getting to be very discouraging.

Ziraleet wrote
on Dec 29, 2012 9:35 AM

Thank you all for sharing your experiences and observations-especially about having others take your own unique ideas and tweak a bit to call it their own. I've wondered about that. Not on Etsy yet, but was planning on doing it exclusively. This is a great time for me to discover the reality before I jump in with both feet. Now I have lots of other options to consider.

on Dec 30, 2012 11:37 PM

Hi Jennifer,  I have a question. Do you keep an inventory of all your beads? I was wondering if you could give me some ideas.

Thanks Mia

on Dec 30, 2012 11:37 PM

Hi Jennifer,  I have a question. Do you keep an inventory of all your beads? I was wondering if you could give me some ideas.

Thanks Mia

on Dec 30, 2012 11:37 PM

Hi Jennifer,  I have a question. Do you keep an inventory of all your beads? I was wondering if you could give me some ideas.

Thanks Mia

AnnaYoakum wrote
on Jan 10, 2013 3:00 PM

Mia - I do not know about Jennifer but I keep an inventory of all my beads and findings.  I find that JDM (Jewelry Designer Manager)  is a great program for doing this.

I too feel that etsy has lost its sparkle.  It is no longer a place for someone who is trying to start up a serious online business but has devolved into  a site for the home hobbyist to sell the items they make at bargain basement prices.  I will be checking out the other sites listed here and in the comments left by others as I am beginning to realize that etsy is no longer the place for me.

SwatiGogu wrote
on Apr 10, 2013 1:13 AM

You may want to check-out Storemate.com and artfire.com as good alternatives.

If you want something different try out storemate.com, I registered on storemate.com and seen some sharp increase in the traffice directed to my website.

Unlike easy and artfire they are not restricted to handmade, I get to promote to a bigger audience (all design buffs).

The best about storemate is, I get to help out my customers in real-time using their 'Talk-About' feature. Helping out with questions on custom options, shipping queries etc in realtime.

I even passed on exclusive discounts to them during these help-out sessions, which turned casual enquiries into quick sales and followers for me.

I have been Storemate's "Featured Designer" for 3 weeks, straight! ( My proud moment!) :D

SwatiGogu wrote
on Apr 10, 2013 1:17 AM

You may want to check-out Storemate.com and artfire.com as good alternatives.

If you want something different try out storemate.com, I registered on storemate.com and seen some sharp increase in the traffice directed to my website.

Unlike easy and artfire they are not restricted to handmade, I get to promote to a bigger audience (all design buffs).

The best about storemate is, I get to help out my customers in real-time using their 'Talk-About' feature. Helping out with questions on custom options, shipping queries etc in realtime.

I even passed on exclusive discounts to them during these help-out sessions, which turned casual enquiries into quick sales and followers for me.

I have been Storemate's "Featured Designer" for 3 weeks, straight! ( My proud moment!) :D

ramonbarros wrote
on Jul 11, 2013 12:06 AM

You can also sell on your own online store, it is the best way to be found on Google and by more potential customers. You can find the best alternative to Etsy and also eBay on this webpage:

alternative-to-ebay.weebly.com

Bead Rock wrote
on Feb 10, 2014 10:24 AM

Great advice.   Thank you for this information.  Beth Bianchi - www.beadrock.ca

Johnny83 wrote
on Mar 1, 2014 5:02 PM

I have been a seller on etsy for over two years. In my own opinion, It is really good online venue for selling handmade, vintage and supplies. I’m also using ListingDock.com on other hand, they also getting me good sales..