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



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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