For creative entrepreneurs, inventing and making a new product is often one of the easier parts of the starting a new business process. Marketing and selling those goods can be the hard part. While your online store should be the home of your business, alternative avenues can help you get the word out about your business. Here are the top twelve places to get your product in front of potential customers.
1. Amazon Handmade
Etsy and eBay are the best known online marketplaces for the creative artist and entrepreneur, but did you know that Amazon started a specific portal aimed at the individual and small companies making unique products and low-production runs. It is called Amazon Handmade, and it is still an invite-only type of endeavor, but worth looking into since it is the trusted Amazon platform with 250-plus million customers.
SpoonFlower is for creators who specialize in fabrics and textiles. It is a community of 16,000-plus designers with 600,000 monthly shoppers visiting their marketplace. If you're looking for fabrics or looking to sell them, try Spoonflower.
Dawanda has an active Facebook page with over one million followers and a well-organized website. They curate new sellers and products as well as give you the ability to search by category or keyword. You can read about their listing and selling fees here.
4. The Handmade Artists Shop
The Handmade Artists Shop is a combination of marketplace and community forum. Artists help one another in the forum and the blog has plenty of advice. They only have an annual membership fee to set up an online shop – no listing or commission fees, which is practically unheard of.
5. Renegade Craft
Renegade Craft is like a roving craft fair. Each year they pick locations where they create a festival/fair type event. The 2018 series starts in San Francisco and ends in Austin, Texas in May.
PoppyTalk is not a marketplace, but a curated gallery, a visual blog of sorts, to showcase, buy and sell handmade goods designers from around the world. They grew in popularity due, in part, to their IKEA Hacks section that highlights how to build innovative, unique items at home. After eleven plus years online, Poppytalk has a reach of 9+ Million.
iCraft offers another low-cost fee structure that seems to resonate for many artisans. They only charge a low monthly fee with no listing or commission fees. They have strict rules on what constitutes a handmade product. Seller details here.
ArtFire offers “ArtFire Boutiques" and they resemble Etsy (as do many marketplace platforms today) featuring one of kind creations by independent artists, small businesses. Many sellers appears to love that they offer Live U.S.-Based Tech Support. They charge a listing fee and a monthly fee for the standard shop, but the premium plans can save you money.
Bonanza has been cited as the best alternative to eBay and Etsy. They have free listings and low fees. With over 12,000 sellers, they are doing something right. As you go through the setup process, the site asks you if you have a storefront on another platform (for example, Etsy) and then appears to able to import your products from another shop.
10. Ruby Lane
The name of this platform sounds elegant just on its own: Ruby Lane. This online shop platform specializes in vintage products. It is a bit more costly than many of the sites on this list, but their higher end approach seems well suited for shop owners looking to sell a more upscale product. Fee info here.
LocalHarvest is an organic and food website that strives to help local farmers get in front of online customers. This service sells products for you, but you ship it. It is more of an online directory than a marketplace.
Small business entrepreneurs have to try many avenues to get their products to in front of potential customers. Don't let marketing and selling become the tougher part of growing your business. Use these resources to get your profits flowing.