The (anti) Procrastination Diaries

Finding the ways to fill the time

Roadtesting Free Etsy Alternatives

Handmade is making a comeback. Perhaps in the cyclical manner of things, knitting and crochet just became cool again, or maybe, after decades of cheaply made, quickly discarded products, the inevitable backlash hit.

I first stumbled upon Etsy when looking for origami jewellery for my wedding and from there I was hooked. However, and I wonder if this happens a lot, Etsy became more of a springboard of inspiration, a showcase of beautiful handmade, ”I wonder if I could make that’ and ‘oh that’s what THAT’S called, let’s check tutorials on Youtube/Instructables” items.

What items I did buy tended to be either materials, like some lovely vintage glass beads, for making my own gear, or something like the ‘Tattoo socks’  to wear during the reception, something I could never make and only really bought because it was a special occasion.

After I spent months making origami kusudama flowers and embroidered felt flower wedding centrepieces I watched them walk off the tables as my cousins snapped them up after the ceremony was over. Despite my own thrifty (see cheapskate) example, I suddenly decided, “This is my calling! ” and opened my own Etsy shop.

Embroidered felt flowers in professional looking lightbox (if I do say so myself :P)

Handmade wedding decorations

Nothing sold.

I made a DIY lightbox (thank you Instructables) to give my products a professional finish, had friends posing happily draped in my necklaces. I was favourited, put into a few “Lists”, but nothing sold.

Etsy charges 20 cents per listing and a transaction fee of 3.5% on the item sold (not including shipping or taxes) and eventually, after sacrificing about $1.50 on fees, I decided to let the listings run out.

That’s it,  I thought.

After returning to Japan however,  I started getting a lot of positive comments about my origami necklaces. I got the itch to try again.

But not on Etsy this time. I found an article which lists 15 Great Alternatives to Etsy, which lists several which are completely and utterly free. I’ve decided to road test them and give a run down on each site’s user friendliness, what options and tools are available to free account holders and thoughts on the general community vibe.

Etsy Alternatives Roadtested

Zibbet
Yokaboo

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10 comments on “Roadtesting Free Etsy Alternatives

  1. tertiaryhep
    April 15, 2012

    Those necklaces are super cute. I have a kind of hard time believing that no one bought your flowers, though, because they are absolutely gorgeous. Hopefully the new sites will be better for you! Good luck. 😀

  2. wanderinggenie
    April 15, 2012

    Don’t give up. These are lovely! Look forward to your road-testing — best wishes!

  3. MrsPeas
    April 18, 2012

    Those necklaces are great! I’m curious to see how your experiences are on these other sites work out. I am on Etsy now too, and having a hard time selling. It’s a lot of work but I’ve learned bigger stores troll Etsy for talent. Always something to keep in mind.

    • Vividhunter
      April 18, 2012

      That is very true. Etsy does have a big following and more name recognition.

  4. zoeszengarden
    April 30, 2012

    I love the wedding decoration flowers- beautiful work!

  5. Sunfire
    April 30, 2012

    You’re going to love Zibbet, I’m sure of it 🙂

    • Vividhunter
      April 30, 2012

      Hey Sunfire, are you on Zibbet? I’ve been sending out a short questionnaire to some sellers but haven’t gotten many responses. If you have time, I’d love to hear what you think.

      • Sunfire
        May 3, 2012

        Yes, I am on Zibbet. I was on Etsy for 3 years (100 sales) before I made the switch. While the traffic isn’t on Zibbet yet like Etsy, the community is wonderful and the site has the best look of any selling site I’ve ever seen.
        I think a couple people mentioned that you were asking questions… I’d be honored to answer your questionnaire – just send an email to sunfire-at-breathofthedragon-dot-com and I’ll get back to you.

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This entry was posted on April 13, 2012 by in Critiques, Free Etsy Alternatives and tagged , , , , .
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