The word “handmade” evokes feelings of warmth, of comfort, of craftsmanship. Earlier this summer, I mentioned some cool niche sites serving the artisan community in my 19 new additions to a large ecommerce list. Amazon and eBay are certainly well known marketplaces among those looking to sell just about anything, but niche marketplaces and communities are growing quickly. These 29 Marketplaces offer a way to buy and sell handmade goods.
Etsy is probably one of the best-known marketplaces for artisans and craftpeople of all types. You’ll find new and vintage goods on Etsy. You will find curated lists by category or topic as well as a directory of local shops in your area. They have an excellent blog with deeper topics, such as The Value of Home Economics and other topics you might not expect to find in an online marketplace.
ArtFire is a well-known indie marketplace with a great community feel to it. Another feature that really stood out for me: you can place an item on your Amazon wishlist. The fact that ArtFire tied into Amazon’s Universal Wishlist technology is a brilliant move.
Supermarket offers an elegantly simple marketplace. They don’t offer every category under the sun, but four meta ones: everything, wear + carry, space + place, and paper + prints. You’ll see photos of items on the home page; clicking that item takes you into a designer’s store. It is a clean and simple structure including a directory of designers.
eCrater is both a free Web store builder and an online marketplace. If you are a seller, you can create your own free online store in minutes. You can also import an eBay store into eCrater. If you are a buyer, you can browse and search millions of products.
Craftly is one of those hot, new startups that earns points for online marketing savvy. It’s online marketplace meets Kickstarter (the crowdfunding site), but for artists and craftspeople. The site is just getting started, but holds promise as a great place to test the market before you start making your product on a bigger scale.
Free Craft Fair is less a marketplace and more of a Yahoo-type directory. Still, it serves a purpose for those looking to get in front of craft buyers.
Handmade Artists’ Shop is a combination of marketplace and community forum. If you are looking for a collection of artists and craftspeople learning from one another, this forum might provide some useful help.
Folksy is a U.K.-based handmade goods marketplace. With everything from books to jewelry to soap, Folksy has plenty for sale. But they also have a Make magazine-style do-it-yourself section.
ShopWindoz (a German site) is for creatives of all types who are turning exciting ideas into unique products outside the mainstream. ShopWindoz gives designers and artists the opportunity to become shop owners and sell their products online to a global audience.
Notmassproduced is a do-it-for-you type of model. You set up your store, pricing and shipping, but they handle everything else. They manage the sales process, you ship to the customer, they pay you from the Notmassproduced service. Each vendor is selected to be on the site, so it validates each artisan to assure a match. U.K. and Europe focus.
Misi is a U.K. online craft marketplace. Sellers get a “free for life” shop including a subdomain. They have a forum to help you get your business started or to advance your marketing skills, for example. There is a low commission on sold items.
Coriandr is a fun U.K.-based marketplace for buying and selling handmade gifts. It has an easy-to-set-up storefront and some enthusiastic marketing materials and badges to drive people to your store. I like their gifts under £20 section (conceptually because it drives people to a bargain area in this crazy economy). They even have a “mini shop” idea that lets you embed a store quickly into your own blog or website.
Dawanda takes an interesting approach that lets buyers create unique collections of products and share them with their friends. If you are a seller of handmade or unique products, this marketplace is well organized and looks seller-friendly.
SpoonFlower is one of my favorite discoveries for local, handmade products from artisans. They focus on fabric and make it possible for individuals to design, print and sell their own fabric designs. As many readers know, I love to find entrepreneurs who dig deep into a niche and do something no one else is doing. Spoonflower is precisely that. If you’re looking for fabrics or looking to sell them, try Spoonflower.
Zibbet looks pretty competitive with no listing fees, no commission fees and a free level account. What’s not to like about that? They have an Etsy importer, too, if you’re leaving that service.
I Made It Market is a nomadic indie crafts marketplace that provides opportunities for artists to bring their wares to market. They do it by partnering with community, arts and nonprofit organizations to raise funds and awareness to assist them in improving communities. Artists and craftspeople apply to be part of live events.
PoppyTalk Handmade is a monthly online street market curated by Poppytalk to showcase, buy and sell handmade goods of emerging design talent from around the world. The key word here is “curated” as PoppyTalk finds and accepts only certain merchants for its storefront. But the Buy button on this curated site drives the buyer back to your existing online storefront, whether it is your own, Etsy or another marketplace. They have won a number of awards for best blog and best site.
iCraft is for original handmade products, not vintage, not for resellers and not for food products. In fact, they are very, very specific about what they accept in their marketplace and it is actually refreshing to see such clarity. It may not be for everyone, but you will know if you fit or not. The pricing structure seems to resonate for lots of artisans.
Silk Fair allows you to have a free Market Booth on their marketplace or to build a full-fledged custom online store with their Web-based software. You can appear in the marketplace and as your own independent store.
Bonanza has been cited as the best alternative to eBay and Etsy. They have free listings and low fees. And something that caught my eye was their emphasis on having live humans available for sales consultations — to help you sell more — at no cost.
Made It Myself is a free marketplace where you can list your products for sale. It is still in beta and looks to be a rapidly growing community and handmade artisan service.
eBay has a special fair-trade marketplace that is worth mentioning. World of Good is a marketplace dedicated to socially and environmentally responsible shopping, featuring tens of thousands of stylish and unique products from around the world, and all backed by the eBay name.
Mymela is a marketplace for arts and crafts from India. It is a combination of ecommerce storefront and micro-finance in that buyers or consumers can also donate or make a small loan to an aspiring merchant. They call it Integrated Micro Advance Funding and it works slightly differently than traditional micro-finance.
Renegade Craft is not a directory or online marketplace, but a cool bunch of craft fairs around the world. Worth a look.
Of course, there are the Maker Faires, which are among the best known do-it-yourself events anywhere.
If you make or sell food items, check out the following:
Foodoro is a marketplace for artisanal food that connects passionate Foodmakers directly with consumers.. If you’re a food producer, this is an online storefront technology worth checking out.
Foodzie has a very cool model: They are not your traditional online marketplace and appear to take a commission on successful sales. So, if they are not successful in helping you sell more, it looks like you don’t pay anything. They help passionate small food producers and farmers across the U.S. reach new customers and connect directly to foodies searching for wonderful foods and gifts.
LocalHarvest is an organic and local food website. They offer a definitive and reliable directory of small farms, farmers markets and other local food sources around the nation.
Fooducopia is a marketplace for indie food producers and small scale farmers. You can open a store on their marketplace and they help do the heavy lifting, so to speak, of helping you sell and market your goods.
If you know of another online marketplaces that help independent artisans, craftspeople, makers, do-it-yourselfers, foodies, food producers and other creative types sell their wares, please drop it in the comments.