Hand Made website
Back in 2005, Etsy changed the online market for small-scale artisans, offering a new place on the web to showcase and sell handcrafted goods, with more upmarket and boutique-style options than eBay.
Fast forward to 2010, and while we're happy to report that Etsy is still thriving, a wealth of similar social commerce sites have sprung up around it.
If you just love homemade and handcrafted treasures, or if you're a seller looking to get your goods out there, here's a list of 10 great sites (in alphabetical order) that you might want to take some time to check out.
Some of the goodies on these sites are tempting, however, so be sure to mind your wallet as you explore!
Currently boasting over 90, 000 specialty items, good-looking U.S.-only website 1000 Markets has trademarked the term "The Artisan Experience" and claims to offer a "boutique, art-filled, authentic shopping experience."
Those 90, 000 items are varied and range from art, ceramics, food, health & beauty, jewelery, musical instruments, toys and children's clothing, among others.
In addition to category, you can browse by shop, staff picks, or by market themes like "Just Hats, " "Boardwalk Artisans, " "Earthborn Jewelry, " "Bohemia Esprit" and even "Day of the Dead, " celebrating the style of Dia de los Muertos with "humorous festival art."
Social options include the ability to e-mail items to friends, post to Facebook, to Twitter, and the "Shop with a Friend" beta function, which lets you invite someone from your social network to view the retail page and comment on items in real-time.
Tagline: Buy artisan goods. Direct from the maker.
Info for Sellers: It's free to open a shop, while commission is charged at 5.5% plus 55 cents per transaction via Amazon Payments.
Tuscon, Arizona-based ArtFire offers handmade items of all kinds — fine art, design, media, vintage, antiques and supplies — from over 66, 000 artisans from across the globe.
As far as browsing the goods goes, there are options to look at categories, shop by occasion, by color, and by trends. And if you can't find what you're looking for, you can post a wanted ad in the "Forge" section.
What the site lacks in contemporary design it seems to more than make up for in services offered to its artisan community. There's a weekly podcast, forums, info on guilds, as well as relevant articles and features.
Those based outside the States will be happy to note ArtFire supports worldwide shipping and accepts payment via PayPal, Google Checkout and Amazon Payments.
Tagline: Sell without fees. Create without limits.
Info for Sellers: With no fees or commissions for those who choose to sell via ArtFire with a "basic" account, there's a .95 per month charge for "Pro" accounts, which offer what appears to be a wealth of extras including blog hosting and the ability to create a Facebook "Kiosk."
From two dollar postcards to major masterpieces costing thousands, ArtFlock is an online marketplace for artists of all disciplines to both showcase and sell their work.
The search functionality is comprehensive, allowing you to find artwork by medium, style, theme or color, after which you can narrow results down further by price or date added.
In addition to a storefront, artists get a professional online portfolio with a personalized domain name and the option to create a blog, so there is a strong community aspect to the service as well as commercial aims.
Tagline: Created by artists, uniquely yours.
Info for Sellers: It's free to join ArtFlock and use the website publisher tool. Commission comes in at 3.5% for items sold through personal websites and 5% for items sold through ArtFlock.
With nearly 1, 000, 000 products for sale, DaWanda is a European powerhouse in the handmade arena. There are only a few U.S. sellers to be found on the site, but many purchasable items can be shipped to the States.
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