There is money to be made in handicrafts.
In 2021, the global market for handmade goods amounted to $680 billion - and it’s still growing.
The handicraft industry is flourishing with an expected growth of $ 1.2 billion by 2027.
If you’re a maker or artisan, this globalization of the marketplaces is an opportunity to sell your handmade items to a broader audience.
Several online marketplaces focus on selling handmade items, and this article will take a look at the top five of these platforms.
We will also provide an overview of each online "handmade" marketplace, including what kind of items they sell and their fees.
The top of the list goes to Etsy.
It is the go-to online artisanal marketplace known for selling and buying handmade goods.
The platform started in 2005 as a small startup in a Brooklyn apartment.
Etzy since then, has grown to be a company worth several billion and has over 45 million items for sale.
Even while the pandemic hit, the company continued its success with increased revenue of $1.72 billion in 2020 compared to $818 million in 2019.
Etsy defines handmade as items that are made or designed by the seller.
If the seller works with a production partner, it must be disclosed that there is a production partner in relevant listings.
Moreover, reselling is not allowed in the handmade category on Etsy.
Specifically, one is not allowed to refer to an item as handmade when the seller is not involved in designing or making that item.
There are things that Etsy doesn’t allow to be sold on its website.
They have the same prohibited items as many other general online marketplaces.
These items include alcohol, tobacco, drug paraphernalia, animal products, dangerous and illegal goods, products that promote and glorify hatred, nudity, mature content, and others.
Fees for selling at Etsy are pretty straightforward.
Listing an item on the platform costs $0.20, and a transaction fee of 6.5% will be charged once there’s a sale.
Etsy also charges a processing fee depending on the seller’s location.
Etsy's created a model that works by guaranteeing sellers unique and authentic items.
What else can Amazon do?
Launched in 2015, Amazon Handmade also has a division of the Amazon marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of handmade and artisan goods.
One of the benefits of selling under the Amazon Handmade category is a high-profit margin, a reported average of 26%.
Businesses and entrepreneurs can sell their products on Amazon Handmade and more easily reach a broad audience of potential buyers from the 300 million customers shopping in Amazon stores worldwide.
Additionally, Amazon Handmade has makers from more than 80 countries around the globe, including India and Ukraine.
To sell on Amazon Handmade, businesses and entrepreneurs need to create an account and submit their products for approval.
This application process is selective since Amazon works to ensure that all sellers approved under Amazon Handmade are actual artisans.
Once approved, businesses and entrepreneurs can start selling their products on the marketplace.
Products listed on Amazon Handmade will appear in the handmade category as well as in general Amazon search results.
When it comes to fees, Amazon has a monthly Professional selling fee of $39.99, but this fee is waived for all Handmade-approved applicants.
The platform also charges a Referral Fee of 15% of the sale price per listing, with a minimum amount of $1 per listing.
Amazon is chasing the Etsy online marketplace.
Too soon to say who will be the market leader in the future.
Founded in 2008 by James Boardwell, Folksy is an online marketplace focused on British handicraft makers and their crafts.
The marketplace is managed by a team based in Sheffield who is passionate about crafts.
The idea of Folksy was inspired by the vibrant craft communities in the United Kingdom, North America, and Australia in the early 2000s.
Dubbed the UK’s biggest craft fair, Folksy has been rated a 4.6 on TrustPilot.
Since its inception, Folksy has had more than £1 million in sales and has grown its community to around 10,000 sellers and handicraft makers.
Folksy's categories include jewelry, embroidery, ceramics, art, gift cards, and clothing.
The website also features profiles of its sellers and crafters through an interview with them.
Unlike its biggest competitors, Etsy and Amazon, Folksy doesn’t allow vintage items on its platform.
The same rule applies to resellers, assembled items, handmade items that the seller has not made, and illegal and hazardous items.
When it comes to selling, sellers on Folksy can choose between two types of plans: Basic and Folksy Plus.
For the Basic Plan, the platform charges £0.15 + VAT listing fee per item after the first three items.
The Folksy Plus account costs £7.50 a month for unlimited listings.
Aside from those, the platform also takes a 6% + VAT commission on sold items, regardless of whether it’s a Basic or Folksy Plus account.
Are you British? Check out how Folksy does it!
Not On the High Street is a UK-based online marketplace started in 2006 by HOlly Tucket and Sophie Cornish.
The company was formed as a solution to the difficulty of finding venues where crafters could sell their items.
The platform is considered one of the United Kingdom’s biggest marketplaces, with 39 million unique visitors annually and an average seller revenue of £29,000 per year!
While Not On The High Street has many handmade products sold on its platform, it’s not exclusively for handmade products like Amazon Handmade or Folksy.
Business owners who want to sell on "NOTHS" (Not on the High Street) can apply online to become partners.
Details like the category of the product and the nature of the business, as well as a small introduction to the company, will be asked during the application process.
However, since NOTHS is discerning, not everyone who sends an application gets accepted!
Moreover, NOTHS only accepts sellers within the UK.
When it comes to fees for selling on the website, businesses are charged £199 to sell on Not On The High Street.
Aside from that, the platform will also take a 25% commission when an item is sold.
Not too shabby for NOTHS, but a bit steep for sellers!
Goimagine is a fairly new online handmade marketplace that is committed to donating 100% of its profits to charity.
Founded in 2020 by entrepreneur Jon Lincoln, the platform has since grown the number of artisans and makers on its website to 3,000.
There are plenty of categories on offer at Goimagine, including jewelry, home and living, bath and beauty, art and collectibles, games, and more.
To begin selling on the platform, interested artisans and makers can submit an application for approval.
Once approved, they have three packages to choose from: Basic, Starter, and All-Star.
Starter costs $2.50, Growth at $5, and All-Star at $10.
Each package will be charged a corresponding Transaction Fee - 5% for Starter, 4.5% for Growth, and 3.5% for All Star.
These transaction fees are what the companies donate to charity.
Interested in donating to charity while supporting online marketplaces - consider GoImagine!
Or maybe start a charity online marketplace yourself?
Founded in 2007, MadeIt is the largest online marketplace in Australia, focussing on handmade and independently created items from all over the country.
Madeit has 80,000 unique monthly visitors and more than 120,000 registered users.
Some handmade items sold on the website include homewares, artwork, accessories, toys, and clothes.
Items listed on the website have to be handmade!
MadeIt also accepts listings for craft supplies.
Makers who want to sell on the website have to sign up for an account.
Once registered, they will be able to set up their store.
Madeit offers three annual subscription plans: Micro Biz, Small Biz, and Professional.
These plans cost $80, $176, and $505, respectively.
Depending on the plan bought, sellers can list from 50 to an unlimited number of products on their Madeit storefront.
The company also has quarterly plans available: Hobby, Micro Biz, Small Biz, and Professional.
These charge $17, $25, $55, and $158 every quarter.
Take a peek!
The globalization of the handmade online marketplace has been a boon for small businesses and artisans around the world.
By giving crafters a platform to sell their wares, these online marketplaces manage to grow their businesses.
This globalization has also had an impact on the way we think about handmade goods.
They are no longer seen as niche items or curiosities but are now viewed as legitimate products that can compete with mass-produced goods.
This shift in perception has been great for the handmade movement, and we will likely see even more growth in this area in the years to come.
Are you looking to build a handmade marketplace of your own?
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