Whether it’s cards, furniture or jewellery, if you’re selling handmade goods, you might find stiff competition on the biggest names in ecommerce – but there are other options to explore.
When thinking about ecommerce platforms, big names like Amazon and eBay spring to mind. These online marketplaces give sellers a huge audience to market their products to. However, for creative entrepreneurs wanting to sell artisanal goods online, these massive platforms can be disadvantageous. If you make handmade goods you might often find that the product you've spent hours carefully crafting can be found on eBay for a fraction of the price, mass-produced by a factory assembly line.
To avoid this, you may want to move away from outlets like eBay and choose to sell your goods on bespoke handmade marketplaces like Etsy or Amazon Handmade. We also have Folksy here in the UK, which works on a much smaller scale.
Taking a cut
Although Etsy and Handmade still offer the huge viewership and customer base, with more than 40 million active buyers on Etsy, their dedication to handmade products ensures that carefully crafted goods can be sold for prices that reflect the amount of time, effort and hard work that went into creating them.
The only problem with these platforms is that whatever the price the products are sold for, Etsy and Handmade will take a cut of that revenue. Etsy charges 15p per product listing, and keeps a 5% transaction fee of the listed price. There is also a 'Plus' seller plan which provides extra tools for managing your shop, at a cost of £7.80 a month.
Handmade does not have a fee to list an item, but every sale comes with a 15% referral fee that Amazon keeps. Artisans do also get access to a free Professional selling plan subscription, which usually costs £25 a month for non-handmade sellers.
Folksy offer a basic plan which only allows you costs you £0.15 + VAT to list each item past the first 3, or you can pay £5 a month for their Plus plan which has no listing charges. Both plans take a 6% commission on sales.
While these platforms give you a huge audience, losing up to 15% of every sale of a handmade product is a significant financial drain on those wanting to run a lucrative business through their creative endeavours. The solution that many are turning to is to create their own ecommerce website, and use it to sell their goods either just through the website, or in conjunction with bigger marketplaces. This lets you keep 100% of the profit from the products you sell on your website.
We've talked about the impact having a separate website can have, and how important managing your online presence can be. To get started quickly, you can use a package such as Ecommerce Website Builder to quickly and easily create an online shopping platform. You don't need web design experience to make a professional website which can handle all of your online transactions, and you can try it free for up to three months. You can spend less time on your website, and more time crafting your handmade goods.