women making candles

The Best Online Marketplaces for Handcrafted Goods

7 min read

From ceramic tiles to silver jewelry to wall art, we love handmade goods because they are unique, personalized items that you won’t find in mass retailers. In today’s era of conscious consumerism and supporting independent artisans, online marketplaces have become the go-to destinations for discovering these one-of-a-kind treasures. Let’s look into the best online platforms for handmade products and explore the benefits of choosing these outlets over big-box stores.

Why Shop Small & Handmade?

Unique Finds

Handmade products stand out for their uniqueness and artistic flair. Unlike mass-produced items found in chain stores, handmade goods reflect the personal touch and creativity of their makers. 

This not only makes each item unique but also caters to consumers looking for something different from the mainstream offerings. For instance, Etsy, a popular online marketplace for handmade products, reported having over 96 million active buyers in 2022, a testament to the growing consumer interest in unique, non-mass-produced goods.

Support Women Entrepreneurs

Handmade businesses significantly contribute to female entrepreneurship. According to data from Etsy’s 2021 Impact Report, 83% of sellers on the platform are women, illustrating the pivotal role handmade markets play in empowering women entrepreneurs. By purchasing from these businesses, consumers not only acquire unique products but also support the economic independence and growth of women across various sectors.

Quality & Craftsmanship

Handcrafted goods are celebrated for their quality and craftsmanship. These items are often made in smaller batches, allowing for greater control over production and attention to detail. This meticulous approach ensures higher durability and long-lasting enjoyment, which can often justify a higher price point.

Reports suggest that consumers are willing to pay more for handcrafted items that they perceive as having been made with greater care and higher quality materials (as they should). According to a survey conducted by the American Marketing Association and published by Science Daily, “many were willing to pay up to 17% more for handmade items in general.”

The Story Behind the Product

Each handmade item carries a story. When consumers choose handmade, they often gain access to the backstory of the item’s creation, learning about the artisan’s techniques, inspirations, and personal history. 

This connection adds emotional value to the purchase, transforming ordinary shopping into a more personal and meaningful experience. To that point, a 2021 survey conducted by Isabel Eichinger, Martin Schreier, and Stijn van Osselaer for Harvard Business Review found that “participants were willing to pay as much as 60% more for a bar of soap packaged as an independent artisanal brand than for a traditional industrial brand because it gave them a stronger feeling of connection to place, people, and past.”

Ethical & Eco-Friendly Impact

Handcrafted items typically have a smaller environmental footprint compared to their mass-produced counterparts. Artisans are more likely to use locally sourced materials and adopt sustainable practices, which contributes to lower carbon emissions and less waste. 

Moreover, these small-scale producers often uphold higher standards of labor fairness, ensuring that their practices benefit not just the environment but also the communities involved. According to a study by the Crafts Council, approximately 70% of craft businesses in the UK use sustainable practices in their production processes.

10 Top Online Marketplaces for Handmade Goods

Etsy

Etsy is widely regarded as the premier platform for handcrafted and vintage treasures, boasting millions of unique products crafted by individual creators and small businesses across the globe. It’s renowned for its diverse range of offerings, from handmade jewelry and clothing to vintage decor and art pieces. 

With Etsy, shoppers can explore a world of creativity and craftsmanship, supporting independent artisans and discovering one-of-a-kind gems that reflect personal style and storytelling. Whether you’re searching for a special gift or adding a unique touch to your home, Etsy is the go-to destination for finding beautifully crafted and meaningful items. If you are an artist or craftsman and are interested in selling on Etsy, check out our guide.

Amazon Handmade

Amazon Handmade is a dedicated category on Amazon’s platform that exclusively showcases handcrafted goods from artisans worldwide. It offers a seamless shopping experience where buyers can discover unique handmade products while enjoying the convenience and trust of Amazon’s extensive product range. From handmade jewelry and home decor to artisanal gifts and accessories, Amazon Handmade connects shoppers with skilled creators. 

eBay

For handmade goods, eBay offers a specific category, which helps buyers find unique and crafted items more easily. However, platforms like Etsy are typically more focused on handmade and artisan products, providing a more targeted audience and community for crafts and handmade goods. Sellers on eBay may face more competition from a broader range of products.

Big Cartel

Big Cartel is an e-commerce platform tailored specifically for artists and makers. It’s designed to help them set up an online store to sell their products directly to their audience. Founded in 2005, Big Cartel stands out due to its focus on providing a simple and user-friendly platform for small-scale creators, including those selling art, clothing, jewelry, and other handcrafted items.

The platform is appealing to independent artists and small businesses because of its ease of use and cost-effectiveness. Big Cartel offers several pricing tiers that cater to different levels of business needs, from a free plan that allows for a small number of products to be listed, to more advanced plans that provide greater listing capacity and additional features.

One of the key benefits of Big Cartel is that it doesn’t charge listing fees, and the pricing structure is straightforward, making it easy for artists to understand and manage their costs. Additionally, the platform allows for a high degree of customization in how the stores look, enabling artists to maintain their unique brand identity.

Big Cartel also integrates various tools for online marketing and e-commerce functionalities, like inventory tracking and promotional discounts, which are valuable for artists looking to grow their business online.

Fuel your creative fire & be a part of a supportive community that values how you love to live.

subscribe to our newsletter

Zibbet

Zibbet is a platform that champions independent artists, crafters, and vintage collectors, offering a supportive environment for showcasing their creations. By purchasing on Zibbet, shoppers directly support small businesses and independent creators, which often leads to a more personal purchase experience. Many sellers on Zibbet also offer personalized products or custom orders, allowing shoppers to request specific features or customizations directly through the platform.

One standout feature of Zibbet is its ability to enable sellers to manage multiple sales channels seamlessly from a single centralized platform. This functionality streamlines the selling process for artisans, allowing them to grasp a larger audience and grow their businesses efficiently while maintaining a focus on creating exceptional handmade goods and vintage finds.

Bonanza

Bonanza is a thriving online marketplace renowned for its emphasis on unique and extraordinary items, including a robust selection of handcrafted goods. It caters to a wide array of products, from artisanal crafts and handmade jewelry to vintage collectibles and rare finds. In fact, Bonanza hosts over 30 million products. 

Bonanza is different from others because of its focus on offering a diverse array of one-of-a-kind gifts and distinctive items that appeal to discerning shoppers seeking something special and out of the ordinary. This platform provides a curated shopping experience that celebrates creativity and individuality while supporting independent artisans and small businesses. 

Aftcra

Aftcra is a unique online marketplace dedicated to showcasing and supporting American artisans and crafters. It exclusively features handmade products crafted in the USA, providing a platform for local talent to reach a broader audience. With a focus on quality, genuineness, and supporting local communities, Aftcra offers a curated selection of artisanal goods ranging from handmade jewelry and home decor to clothing and accessories. Shoppers on Aftcra can discover exceptional craftsmanship while directly supporting independent creators across the country. 

iCraft

iCraft is an online marketplace dedicated to handmade gifts, jewelry, crafts, and more, catering specifically to independent artists and crafters from around the globe. The platform is designed to support and promote handmade products, providing a unique shopping experience for customers looking for original items​ (iCraftGifts)​​ (iCraftGifts)​.

For shoppers, iCraft offers a wide array of categories ranging from jewelry and clothing to crafts and home decor, ensuring a variety of handmade goods that cater to different tastes and occasions. The site emphasizes quality and uniqueness, with all products being new and handcrafted by talented creators​ (iCraftGifts)​.

Sellers on iCraft benefit from a platform that allows them to keep all profits as there are no commissions on sales. They can directly manage their customer data and communications, adding a personal touch to their business operations. iCraft also provides powerful sales tools like coupon creation, promotional discounts, and the ability to connect social feeds to their store​.

Not on the High Street (NOTHS)

Not on the High Street is a UK-based online marketplace renowned for its curated collections of original items from over 5,000 independent small businesses. It offers a vast array of handcrafted goods, including unique home decor, personalized gifts, fashion accessories, and more. The platform emphasizes celebrating all of life’s moments, big and small, with carefully chosen gifts from over 5,000 small businesses.

With a focus on supporting small businesses and showcasing exceptional craftsmanship, Not on the High Street provides a platform for shoppers to discover distinctive and eloquent products while contributing to the success of autonomous creators.

Folksy

Folksy is a popular UK-centric online market place specializing in handmade and designed pieces. It caters to local crafters and shoppers seeking unique and artisanal goods. Folksy features a diverse range of products, including jewelry, clothing, home decor, and art, all crafted with care and creativity. With its focus on supporting independent creators and promoting British craftsmanship, Folksy offers a curated shopping experience where shoppers can find one-of-a-kind treasures while directly supporting the talented makers behind them.

Tips for Shopping Handmade Marketplaces

To find exactly what you’re looking for when you shop for handmade products, utilize specific keywords, browse through relevant categories, and use filters to narrow down your exploration and find exactly what you’re looking for. Before buying, get valuable insights from other buyers’ experiences with the product and the seller, helping you make informed purchasing decisions.

Understand shipping lead times, costs, and return choices to ensure a smooth shopping experience and avoid any surprises. Don’t hesitate to reach out directly to the maker if you have questions or need additional information about a product. Effective communication can enhance your shopping experience and ensure you get exactly what you want.

By Anila Hasnain.

POST COMMENT