At one time a huge fan of Etsy, it’s now a website I will never shop at and many other ex-Etsy sellers and ex-Etsy shoppers say the same thing. Known as a site that allows its sellers to abuse other sellers in the forums, charges high rates to list and sell items but gives you little exposure, has an on-site search engine that’s worse than useless so your handmade products will never be found, and a whole host of other problems – many nowadays are boycotting Etsy. If you too are one of those thousands who are boycotting Etsy, don’t worry take heart. There are many more websites where you can buy, and sell, handmade products. Websites much better than Etsy.
Renegade Handmade – A natural off-shoot of the famous handmade products fair ‘Renegade Craft Fair’, the Renegade Handmade products site is lovely. Featuring handmade products from more than 300 artists, at Renegade Handmade you’ll find handmade plush toys, books, artwork, jewelry, pet items, bath and body products, clothing, accessories and lots more. Renegade’s website design too is funky and cool – a great change from the ho-humness of Etsy.
Renegade Handmade even has a store in Chicago, if you want to see some of their items close up.
Ten Thousand Villages – One of my favorite all-time handmade product websites, unlike most of the other handmade product websites, Ten Thousand Villages sells handmade items from artisan groups in 38 countries. It concentrates on selling items that are ‘fair trade’ – meaning the artisans they buy products from are treated with respect, dignity and given a fair payment for their items. On Ten Thousand Villages, you can buy items from Asia, Africa, South America and beyond and items as varied as bags, paintings, pottery and jewelry.
I do wonder a little about their ‘fair payment’ as, for example, products I see on their site are widely available in Thailand, where I live, and are selling here for one tenth of what Ten Thousand Villages sells them for. But prices are still much cheaper than other comparable handmade ethnic product sites. Just make sure you do some research before buying, to ensure you’re getting a fair price.
Supermarket – A relatively new website, but a great alternative to Etsy, is Supermarket. Unlike Etsy, where anyone can shove up a store and say it’s ‘handmade’ and there’s little monitoring, Supermarket is what’s called a ‘curated website’, meaning they sell handmade products that have been accepted by a panel of handmade product experts.
Supermarket sells items like t shirts, handmade books, bags, artwork, jewelry, even more unusual items like custom surfboards. Prices are higher here than at many other handmade websites, but their products are unique and guaranteed handmade, so you get what you pay for.
Dawanda – I love Dawanda, and have had a store up there for a couple of years now, with a much better experience than I had at Etsy. Dawanda is based in Germany, allows you to list items for free and then pay a commission when your item sells, and treats its sellers well. Many of Dawanda’s sellers are from Europe too, so you’ll find products here you won’t see on most other handmade sites, and the people who own Dawanda are lovely. Dawanda too is a fun selling experience for independent artists, as the site allows each seller to create a shop that works specifically for their type of handmade product, and setting up a shop is free.
At Dawanda, you’ll find jewelry, clothing, accessories, shoes, lamps, artwork, paper goods, leather handbags, tea towels, kitchen products, baby clothes, school supplies – so many wonderful handmade products, it’s hard to narrow down your must-have list.
With so many handmade item websites to choose from nowadays, for those who are boycotting Etsy, you don’t have to eschew buying handmade products online with so many other wonderful venues. Support independent artists and shop away!
Ten Thousand Villages