That does not mean, however, that I can't, and didn't, do a little research to determine the state of the field as it were. The last time I did any comprehensive poking around regarding other handmade selling venues and avenues for self-promotion was at least 2 years ago. Things have, understandably, changed. While Etsy is still the biggest fish in the big sea of online handmade goods, there are a number of other contenders out there. The following is a list of some of the "older", more established sites:
Artfire Zibbet Big Cartel Dawanda Bonanza Folksy RubyLane maiautumn
I have a storefront on the first two: Artfire and Zibbet. I spent some time in headless-chicken-mode after opening my Etsy shop and ran around reserving my name on a lot of sites in order to protect my brand. I've never sold anything on Zibbet, and eventually emptied out my shop because I couldn't devote the time to running three shops. I've sold a few things on Artfire, but it doesn't get anywhere near the traffic that Etsy does, so until recently my shop there was pretty much empty as well. Because I happened to get in on the $5.95 pro account deal several years back I decided that if I was to prepare a place to jump to, I should probably get reaquainted with Artfire. Therefore, I have started listing there again. Except I am going for an entirely different style there than on Etsy in order to avoid duplicate Google content. At the moment I am selling only glass tile pendants, such as these:
However, the field for venues to sell handmade has exploded in the past few years with sites popping up all over. Here are a few that have received attention recently:
icraftgifts shoply storenvy indiemade
Handmadeology Market craftinest TheCraftstar luulla Goodsmiths custommade Wish
RebelsMarket Opensky Abesmarket Madeitmyself Craftcafe HandmadeArtists lilyshop
You're not limited to venues that represent multiple shops, however. It's now quite easy to develop a standalone shop and website even if you haven't the foggiest idea how to code.
Many years back my husband purchased my domains on GoDaddy in order to reserve my shop name. For years, they just sat there, waiting for me to find the time to do something with them. This summer I finally bit the bullet and created a small, informational site for both which points to my Etsy shop. Although I do know how to code, I found it quicker to use one of their many free templates for the time being. You can see them here:
It's not difficult to add a cart function. I just don't have the time to manage multiple shops at the moment, so I haven't done it yet.
GoDaddy isn't the only option if you'd rather have a standalone store for your handmade items. You can make gorgeous websites using: supadupa, squarespace, craftlaunch, and Tictail. I set up a small storefront on Tictail the other day and was very impressed by the fresh, modern look of the site, as well as how easy it was to use.
So, there are certainly options out there for those of us looking to branch out. As they say, it's best not to put all your eggs in one basket. However, it's probably best not to put your eggs in ALL the baskets either. Pick a handful of online venues, or less, and work on making them the best you can by having excellent pictures, tags, titles, and descriptions. It's also best to spend some time on self-promotion using social media, which I will discuss further in my next post.