Sell Crafts and Art Online

Make Extra Money by Selling Arts and Crafts Online

Whether you've been laid off from your job, or are just looking to bring in some extra cash each month, it is now easier than ever to sell crafts online. A number of new websites have cropped up recently that literally allow local artists and entrepreneurs to expand their marketing reach across the nation, or even world-wide. Work from home just got a lot easier.

If you have something worth selling, its time to think big! A decade ago, soap-makers, jewelers or seamstresses would either have to set up booths at local events, or spend hours trying to find buyers to take a chance on their products to sell at brick-and-mortar stores.

Today, like many other goods and services, the Internet has changed the way business is operated. Buyers who want to find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts or items, and sellers that wish to reach more, otherwise elusive buyers can now meet up with the simple click of a mouse.

Once you know how to use online marketplaces like the ones reviewed here, you may soon be able to bring in extra cash. If you have a talent in art and crafts, its an easy way to make extra money. And, while you probably won't get rich, at least you'll have a lot more fun and reach many more buyers!

Crochet purses and more at madeitmyself.com (image courtesy of normanack on Flickr)
Crochet purses and more at madeitmyself.com (image courtesy of normanack on Flickr)
You can now sell crafts and art online (image courtesy of jelene on Flickr)
You can now sell crafts and art online (image courtesy of jelene on Flickr)

List of Online Communities and Marketplaces

  • Madeitmyself.com
  • Etsy
  • Silkfair
  • Hyena Cart
  • eBay
  • Craigslist


Online Marketplace: Madeitmyself.com

Inspired by eBay, madeitmyself.com is an online marketplace where - you guessed it - people who created artistic goods or handmade items can post them for sale. If a willing buyer agrees to your price, the transaction is concluded via PayPal or other online payment options. The seller then ships the item directly to the buyer.

I am telling you.... there are some really fabulous looking items at this site. As of the date of this publication, I found adorable baby hats, a handmade wooden toy truck, a gorgeous turquoise necklace and so much more. The website is easy to navigate, with the different types of goods/services for sale in 28 categories listed on the left-hand side of the page. From accessories to woodworking, take your pick, browse and have fun!

It is free to register at madeitmyself.com. Get to know community members, earn a reputation and follow their straightforward rules of conduct. You do have to be 18 years old to have an account. However, if your children wish to sell their own wares, you could help them do so through your own profile.

As with eBay, you'll pay relatively small listing fee and sales fees to sell your wares. Choose between setting a price, or allowing buyers to negotiate with you. A feedback system, applicable to both buyers and sellers, helps maintain the integrity and safety of online marketplace dealings at madeitmyself.

Madeitmyself.com

Etsy.com

Etsy.com has been around three years longer than madeitmyself.com (founded in 2005, vs. 2008). Similarly, it offers a web platform on which to buy and sell handmade goods. There are a few different features, as well, including the option to find local handmade items through the "shop local" button, and a blog features editor's picks. You can filter your search based on type of goods (again, Accessories to Woodworking, as well as color).

Of course, there are rules of conduct at Etsy.com, as well. You need to sign up - again, for free - and are encouraged to create a profile. Feedback will be given to every seller and buyer for each transaction, and community members can also use the flagging feature, if necessary. You need to be 18 to use Etsy, or with parental supervision.

One of the best features, in my opinion, is "Facebook Connect." As explained in the FAQ section:

You can share select actions you take on Etsy with your friends on Facebook. These actions currently include adding an item to your Etsy Favorites ("hearting" an item) and listing an item on Etsy.

After hearting an item or listing an item, you will see an option to post the item to Facebook. Clicking that link activates a pop-up from Facebook where you can preview and annotate your post before publishing the item to your Facebook Profile and Facebook friends' Home pages.

Etsy also offers public forums, chat rooms, and a "Storque," which is described as a "superblog" that provides information and announcements for buyers and sellers about the site and the handmade lifestyle. Beyond that, take a look at the Alchemy feature which allows buyers to make requests for a specific good, and artisans/sellers to post special bid items.

This is just the tip of the iceberg with respect to Etsy.  Take a look around the site.  If you're an artist or craftsperson, or someone looking for a really unique item, this may be your place to buy and sell online.


How to Use Etsy

Silkfair.com and Hyena Cart

Silkfair.com is another option for buying and selling handmade items. However, this site also includes vintage, antiques, personalized items and collectibles. So, its not strictly a crafts marketplace. Registration is free, restricted to those over 18, and there is a strong community in which you can participate. I love the custom shops option, which provides you the appearance of your own website! You can follow Silkfair on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

For those with a "green" bent, Hyena Cart is a "collection of earth-friendly shops." As a seller, you end up setting up your own "shop," which is powered by the Hyena Cart shopping code. You don't pay commissions, but you do invest in a small monthly fee ($10 to set up, then $5 a month). Once you sign up, you'll reach nearly 50,000 registered Hyena Cart shoppers. From cloth diapers to paper crafts, home décor and bath/body items, you'll find a wide range of goods for sale at HC. Sellers can either set a price, or put their wares up for auction. You choose!

Selling crafts online is easy and fun (image courtesy of lady locket on Flickr)
Selling crafts online is easy and fun (image courtesy of lady locket on Flickr)

EBay and Craigslist

Of course, you can always sell your homemade items on eBay and/or Craigslist.  These communities have been established for many years, and most people are familiar with their operation and rules of conduct.  Both sites are free to use, however, on eBay you'll pay listing fees and other costs are associated with premium features including additional photos, featuring your product, etc.

The value of using one of the other online marketplaces is that they are focused solely or largely on handmade crafts and art.  However, until they are better known, you may reach a wider market through using eBay or Craigslist.

If you can afford the time and energy to do so, try experimenting to see where you get the best sales, and which platform is best for you as far as investment (considering listing and sales fees, online support, etc.)

© 2009 Stephanie Hicks

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Comments 51 comments

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

This is a very informative hub; had not heard of madeitmyself.com. I agree, that we have plenty of opportunities to make some income online and progress to a full time business, but it takes persistence. Its good to be resourceful, especially with the state of our economy. I wrote a hub about reinventing oneself after a job loss, would like to add your hub to a list I have of helpful hubs, if its okay with you.

Thumbs up!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi VioletSun - thank you! All it takes is a bit of persistence and patience. Its so wonderful that there are many places to market homemade goods on the Internet. I would love to be added to your list of helpful hubs. I'm going to check your hub out right now. Steph


wmd profile image

wmd 7 years ago from South Jersey

I am not extremely artistic, but every now and again I can come up with a craft that knocks my socks off.... maybe I can come up with some things that will knock other peoples socks off too.

I have heard of etsy before, but after watching the video on them I am now very interested in them. The video not only promoted the site well, but spoke the truth regarding handmade goods and creating micro economies... it looks like it is doing a good job using technology to go back in time and create communities based on hand made goods.


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Great, thank you! Will be traveling over to my hub to add yours

----------------> :)


eonsaway profile image

eonsaway 7 years ago from New Mexico, USA

I have an account on etsy but have not posed any photos of art-work yet. Etsy looks like they have a nice variety of one-of-a-kind items. The other places I will check-out, thanks for info.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Glad to help you, wmd and eonsaway. I too, am inspired to try my hand at some other crafts that could sell on these sites. I do have an artistic bone in there!

VioletSun - thank you again!


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

This is really great info! I think it's about time I look into these things.

Thanks for sharing.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Jill - I agree! With sites like these, just about anyone can sell crafts online. Good luck, Steph


masmasika 7 years ago

Great and informative although I think as a non-US citizen I couldn't join the sites.


BirteEdwards profile image

BirteEdwards 7 years ago

Don't do crafts myself, but have several friends who do. They should all know about these various sites, so thanks for concentrating them in one place


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi masmisika, As long as you have a valid credit card, you can join Etsy (I'll look into the other sites too) even if you are outside US or Canada. Of course, eBay is international as well. Best to you, Steph


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi Birte, Do pass the information along. Anyone who wants to craft for a living should compare and contrast the various online marketing platforms out there. I have a friend that could benefit, as well. :) Steph


izettl profile image

izettl 7 years ago from The Great Northwest

THanks for a short yet very informative list- I hate brief, but overwhelmingly long lists of sites. This is great info!!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Just keeping my readers' attention span in mind! Thanks for the compliment!


amy jane profile image

amy jane 7 years ago from Connecticut

This is a terrific hub! I love handmade knits and have considered selling some of my own scarf dessigns just for fun. Now I know where to sell them! :)


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Amy - you really should! I know how you love knitting. :) Steph


notepanya profile image

notepanya 7 years ago

I have also started my own business and its very hard with no money. i understand all to well.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

steph, isn't it great that the computer is making it possible for crafts people and artists to get their work out there - that through this modern electronic medium, small cottage industry is possible again.


sophwall97 7 years ago

I like this hub


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

great information. There are many people made crafts around me. I'll suggest them to sell their craft to this online store. thanks for share,


originalsample profile image

originalsample 7 years ago

Hello,i found your hub really interesting.i have started my own etsy shop called www.originalsample.etsy.com selling soft accessories and finding it a useful form of income as i am a full time mum.Howevwer I used to run my own business before i had my daughter.These sites allow people to show there handcrafted products without costs that are too high.

I had an e-bay shop but found it too expensive and the prices achieved where too low to make a profit.


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 6 years ago from Michigan

Steph, I haven't checked in on you for quite awhile. Get so busy writing - forget to visit my hub friends. I didn't even know these sites existed. I have some ideas in mind - I think would go over BIG. Thanks for the info. HUGS


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hey Mekenzie,

Appreciate the visit, and I sure know how business can keep you from checking in on Hub Friends. Great to reconnect with you, and hope you enjoy the sites on selling crafts and art online! Best to you - Stephanie


Sharif Ishnin profile image

Sharif Ishnin 6 years ago from Singapore

Really great and informative hub.I did not know about the alternative ways to sell online. Thanks.


Entourage_007 profile image

Entourage_007 6 years ago from Santa Barbara, CA

Great hub!!! Packed with tons of great information for artists and people that sell art related products. Thanks!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Glad you loved it - hope it helps those in the arts and crafts industry! :)


nifty@50 profile image

nifty@50 6 years ago

Great information, we do craft shows but selling online is pretty low key!


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

What fantastic ideas to make extra money, I'll have to find my knitting needles.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Most definitely MPG Narratives - knit goods and more are perfect to sell online!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

I've heard of Etsy but not the others. Thanks for this information. I love the idea of handmade one of a kind items. While I enjoy writing online and earning money I do have the need to do something creative.

Thanks I will bookmark this. Looks like a long winter ahead - maybe I can start creating. Hmmmmm.

Rated up!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thank you BK! I was watching the Today Show yesterday and they were reviewing sites like the ones that I discussed in this hub. I think selling arts and crafts online is a great outlet for many people. Good luck - let me know how it goes, Steph


cadef3 profile image

cadef3 6 years ago from ismaaciil

ok i am newperson so i went to tel you plese tel me ow to use tis web


festivals schedule 6 years ago

- Business is a very desirable way to earn. Also, for me, this is the best way that you can invest your money and make sure that there is a greater return. When I read this, I was amazed for the idea that you can definitely earn from the crafts that you have and even start the business in home. Another thing is the idea that you can sell them online. It really is awesome. Anyways, thank you for sharing this one. This is very helpful especially to those who are planning to create a business using art works.


High Flight Designs 5 years ago

I am new at selling my decorative birdhouses on line. I am very happy with a website called Artfire. There is no cost to list as many items as you want. You pay a small fee when you sell. You not only can list handmade items but also vintage items. I have also tried Etsy but like Artfire much better as it is easy to use and no upfront fees. Check it out at www.artfire.com


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Hi High Flight Designs,

Thanks for the tip on Artfire. I'll go check it out - great that there is no upfront fees. Cheers, Steph


Mony 5 years ago

Really great and informative hub.I did not know about the alternative ways to sell online. Thanks. Great writeup..


BUNNY TEE 5 years ago

This is GREAT information and a must read and this will help me with my online business. Great article.


Martian 5 years ago

Really good blog

I use Craftgo.com.Its new but with no set up fees its really a risk free way to sell Crafts.

I like the way they let you use the local websites so you can use your local currency


Az Craze 5 years ago

If your looking for a place to sell crafts online you should also check us out. http://www.azcraze.com

We encourage community growth and believe that every small business deserves a fair chance. We only allow sellers from the US and our model is setup similar to craigslist.. visitors are shown products from the states they live in first with the option to shop other states if they wish.

Our fees are simple just $5 a month or $50 a year to list up to 250 products with no listing or product commission fees. You pay the monthly or yearly fee and keep 100% of your profits.

Need help marketing your products?

We offer an affiliate program that sellers can choose to participate in, you can even create your own banners that affiliates participating in your program can use.

Any questions email us support@azcraze.com, hope to see you soon!


ENOCH 5 years ago

Hi mine is not a comment but i come from Uganda and i have good handmade crafts which you might like and so am finding market for those international buyers who can buy my goods,please let me have your email and mine is this mbrenoch@yahoo.com


Rosie writes profile image

Rosie writes 4 years ago from Virginia

I did not really understand what Etsy was all about before reading your article. Thanks for the informative hub!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks Rosie - glad you found it helpful! Hope you are inspired to sell some crafts or art online.


Marty 4 years ago

Have your tried www.artulis.com for selling craft? Seems simpler than some of the others.


UniSquare 4 years ago

Another place to sell crafts online is at UniSquare's Crafts Marketplace:

http://www.unisquare.com/buy/12753/crafts/

There are no listing fees and only a low, flat 2% final value fee, only if an item sells. There are no registration fees and you can list unlimited items for free. You can also accept PayPal and Google Checkout. Sellers can build free web stores similar to ebay, with custom categories, upload store logo, change color scheme and have a store search feature.

We have leading-edge targeted marketing that uses advanced search engine optimization (SEO). This draws in targeted visitors and traffic. As a brand new site, we have already brought in visitors and produced sales. So if you're thinking about selling crafts, don't forget about UniSquare as an alternative or supplement to ebay or etsy!

Kind regards

UniSquare


Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 4 years ago from trailer in the country

Great article...I know you wrote it a few years ago, but I just found it today.


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon Author

Thanks! Its still applicable for people who want to sell their crafts to make some money. Cheers, Steph


Catherine 4 years ago

Another great Craft Mall that you have not mentioned is the GLC Arts and Crafts Mall. Your store won't get lost because they have a store directory on the home page which lists all the stores in the mall in alphabetical order.


How-to-crafts profile image

How-to-crafts 4 years ago from Ireland

A very well written article with invaluable information for those who are thinking of selling their crafts online.

I have been selling lots of art and crafts at Fairs for a few years now. I have been thinking of taking up the challenge of selling online but have not had time to do much research.

I am delighted that I found your hub because all the information is here

Shared on Twitter and voted up and useful


Arthur 4 years ago

This is a very useful page but I was wondering if you had any specific information on selling craft in the UK/EU? I'm thinking of trying www.artulis.com as they seem to be in the UK.


Mariam Sheraz 3 years ago

I have been looking for years to find out something where i can sell my hand made crafts, painting and poetry. This is very informative page. At last I found your website through research.


Emigré 3 years ago

There is a new platform in Europe: www.artisanart.com

This market place has beautiful high value products from about 100 artisans at the moment. Professionnals only are admitted and carefully selected, which means high quality.

At the moment, it is in French, but I have benn said they will go to english speaking later this year. But it does not prevent any professional from America to sign up now and they will be translated into French.

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