June 30, 2016

Artsy Central Shows Trend Toward Etsy Alternatives


artsy central 2

Katie De Valle’s passion is cookies. The owner of Yummy-Yummy Sugar Shop, De Valle has been selling cookies on Etsy for a few years now.

But a negative experience with the site recently inspired her to start a new venture.

In short, De Valle had a customer, who also happened to be a seller on Etsy, complain about an order. Though she says that she didn’t include gift tags in the item listings or promise them, the customer filed a claim with the site over not receiving any gift tags. And De Valle’s shop was shut down until she offered a full refund.

Though upset by this incident, it inspired her to start Artsy Central.

The site isn’t meant to be a direct competitor of Etsy. Instead, De Valle is focusing on her main passion: cookies. Users can sell any kind of baked goods or baking supplies on the site.

De Valle said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, “I was initially thinking that I’d like to do something similar to Etsy. But my thing has always been all about food. So I thought it would be better to focus on things like cookies and all sorts of baked goods.”

Its not the first site to offer this type of platform for bakers and foodies. But De Valle plans to set hers apart by really focusing on creating a fair experience for both buyers and sellers. In fact, she’s already hired a team of 50 to oversee any issues that may arise.

In addition, Artsy Central only takes a 3 percent fee when users make a sale, but no listing or monthly fees on top of that.

Artsy Central also isn’t the first site to pop up offering an alternative to at least some of the sellers who would normally flock to Etsy. And De Valle doesn’t just attribute that trend to order disputes like the one she experienced.

There’s been some frustration in the handmade community as of late over some of Etsy’s changes in policy. The site that once focused exclusively on items that were completely handcrafted by artisans, or vintage or supply items, now has a bit more of an open structure.

That focus on really unique items from artists who love their work isn’t as strong. And instead, sellers can outsource production of their items or even sell products they’ve bought in a wholesale capacity.

The site isn’t exactly struggling to find shoppers or sellers, even with the changes. But it does create a new opportunity for competitors to woo those who are a bit disillusioned over the whole Etsy experience.

De Valle’s niche makes Artsy Central unique. But it’s still part of a growing trend that could see even more companies trying to get a share of the handmade marketplace.

And for now, De Valle is keeping her Etsy shop open, since she is still in the process of getting the new Artsy Central platform up and running. But she says once the site takes off, she plans to focus all of her efforts on that.

Cupcake Image via Shutterstock

12 Comments ▼
Advertise Here

Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

12 Reactions

  1. Her cookie store must be doing well if she can afford a team of 50 without the platform being ready to go. Dang!

    As for Etsy, this is the usual maturation of a platform. Initially they are very niche, but to maintain growth they have to loosen rules or expand the focus, which causes some to become disillusioned with the platform. Ebay had the same issue.

    • Annie Pilon

      Yeah, that’s the vibe I get from a lot of people about Etsy too. It’s obviously still very popular and has a lot of users. But some of the people who used it early on are looking for other sites to more closely emulate that early experience.

  2. At least she did not do it to get back. She simply wanted to help people like her who is having a hard time selling on Etsy. I have to say that I love Etsy because it provides an avenue for sellers to showcase their stuff. But this shows that sellers can have a hard time on it too.

    • Annie Pilon

      People can have issues on pretty much any online platform like this. But yes, this site has a more specific niche so it’s not like it’s just trying to take down etsy altogether.

  3. If a site is selling homemade cookies and baked goods I question if their kitchens are inspected by local health departments or if they are licensed by either local or State health departments. I would never buy food from someone I do not know who bakes in their home. Have you ever known of someone who lets their cats walk on their kitchen tables and counters or seen the way some people take care of their kitchens? You wouldn’t even know if they are using expired ingredients. I would never purchase from a home bakery without knowing that they are inspected and licensed.

  4. Artsy Central does not allow shops to open that make cookies and baked goods from home unless they have been issued a license, and are expected to provide the proper documents for our review.

    We are a curated marketplace with businesses that make sweet and tasty foods, or baking supplies and tools.

  5. Katie,
    Good for You!! That was a very unprofessional way for that customer/Etsy employee to handle the situation. Wishing you the best, I know you’ll do great. I’ll be following your success.

  6. After numerous DM on Twitter, I am proud to announce that Artsycentral.com has become your one stop shop for all things Handmade. All crafters are invited to sell their creations with us.

  7. The article claims “The site isn’t meant to be a direct competitor of Etsy. Instead, De Valle is focusing on her main passion: cookies.”

    I went there with excitement and see basically a clone of Etsy but with only 100 products (60 of which are metal cookie cutters). And I found candles and pillows, but that’s all. When I tried to add something to the cart I got an error.

    Why anyone would go there when there’s Etsy is a mystery to me!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*



Looking for templates, checklists or guides? The Small Business Resource Center has them!