8 Unique Places to Buy Handmade Goods Online

Etsy may be the best known website for homemade goods, but it's not alone. Here are the most shopper-friendly online marketplaces.

8 Unique Places to Buy Handmade Goods Online Photo (cc) by oldandsolo

Even in the digital age, consumers still love products made with love — enough to pay more for them, according to recent research.

A study by marketing professors from Cornell University, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, and Technische Universität München explains:

Handmade products might be perceived to contain and transmit the artisan’s “essence” in the form of his or her love for the product in a way that machine-made products cannot. … The customer then perceives the handmade product itself to be literally imbued with love.

Etsy, an online marketplace for all things handmade, perhaps provides proof of this phenomenon. After the company’s initial public offering last month, its stock nearly doubled in the first day.

Etsy might have been the first online marketplace for handmade goods, but it’s no longer the only one. And more competition for sellers means more choices for shoppers. So we’ve rounded up the most shopper-friendly online marketplaces.

1. Aftcra

Screenshot: aftcra.comScreenshot: aftcra.com

This Milwaukee-based company, whose name is an anagram for “a craft,” has been out of beta since October 2013.

Its marketplace clearly separates itself from Etsy’s by sticking strictly to American and handmade goods. So unlike on Etsy, there are no sellers based outside the U.S. and no crafting supplies or vintage items for sale.

Categories include:

  • Accessories
  • Arts and crafts
  • Celebrate
  • Clothing
  • Home and furnishings
  • Jewelry
  • Kids and baby
  • Paper goods

2. Craft Is Art

Screenshot: craftisart.comScreenshot: craftisart.com

This website is similar to Etsy but features an array of search options.

You can search by product category and by filter. For example, searching the “Accessories” subcategory with the “OOAK” (one of a kind) filter limits the search to one-of-a-kind accessories.

Sellers can also offer coupons and free shipping, and shoppers have the option to narrow their search to stores that offer these perks.

Categories include:

  • Art
  • Handmade, which has more than 30 subcategories
  • Supplies
  • Vintage

3. Etsy

Screenshot: etsy.comScreenshot: etsy.com

Etsy is the original online marketplace for all things handmade (plus vintage and supplies), connecting sellers and shoppers from around the world.

It was founded in a Brooklyn apartment in 2005 by Rob Kalin, with the help of two friends. Today, the company has 685 employees in offices in a half-dozen other countries. It also has 1.4 million active sellers.

Categories include:

  • Art
  • Craft supplies
  • Home and living
  • Jewelry
  • Kids
  • Men
  • Mobile accessories
  • Vintage
  • Weddings
  • Women

4. Folksy

Screenshot: folksy.comScreenshot: folksy.com

If you’re looking for something genuinely British, this is the marketplace.

Folksy is based in England and is open only to sellers in the United Kingdom. There are currently about 5,500 such sellers.

The marketplace was founded in 2008 and attracts buyers from beyond the U.K., with more than 250,000 shoppers visiting the site each month, according to Folksy. The company says that makes it “the most popular U.K. site for independently crafted and designed gifts and supplies.”

Categories include:

  • Art
  • Cards and stationery
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Housewares
  • Jewelry
  • Supplies
  • Weddings

5. iCraftGifts.com

Screenshot: icraftgifts.comScreenshot: icraftgifts.com

This Toronto-based marketplace is not only limited to handmade goods but strictly to “handmade art, crafts and fashion creations.”

Its search function also allows shoppers to browse by store type in addition to category. For example, you can limit a search to Canadian sellers, U.S. sellers or European sellers. Or, you can quickly find the top 20 stores, or the stores that currently have sales.

Categories include:

  • Accessories
  • Artwork
  • Bath and body
  • Clothing
  • Crafts
  • Home decor
  • Jewelry
  • Toys and games

6. Martha Stewart American Made Market

Screenshot: marthastewart.com/americanmade/shopScreenshot: marthastewart.com/americanmade/shop

This marketplace is the only one that can say its sellers and products are curated by Martha Stewart and the editors of Martha Stewart Living magazine.

It’s also unique — at least among the handmade marketplaces on this list — in that it’s powered by eBay.

Categories include:

  • Crafts and supplies
  • Food
  • Health and beauty
  • Home and decor
  • Kids
  • Outdoor and garden
  • Style

7. Storenvy

Screenshot: storenvy.comScreenshot: storenvy.com

This San Francisco-based marketplace is known for melding online shopping and social media.

For example, shoppers can “envy” items they like, “follow” their friends to see what they’ve envied, and “watch” shops to keep tabs on a particular seller’s new products.

Storenvy founder and chief executive Jon Crawford told Venture Beat in 2013 that he wanted to create a marketplace where shoppers can find cool sellers without thinking of the experience as e-commerce:

“We look for merchants with a story behind them, and we want consumers to find unique products that can help them better express themselves.”

Categories include:

  • Art
  • Health and beauty
  • Home
  • Jewelry
  • Kids
  • Men’s
  • Music
  • Specialty
  • Tech
  • Women’s

8. Ziibra

Screenshot: ziibra.comScreenshot: ziibra.com

This Seattle-based marketplace geared toward artists aims to use the Internet to make “the creative economy” sustainable.

Artists are encouraged to not just sell their work in the Ziibra e-shops but to share their stories via video and blog. They can also sell items by subscription.

Shoppers can browse by product type or artist type.

Artist categories include:

  • Culinary
  • Craft
  • Fashion
  • Health and beauty
  • Music
  • Photo
  • Visual
  • Writing

Product categories include:

  • Apparel
  • Art
  • Bags and purses
  • Food and drink
  • Health and beauty
  • Home
  • Jewelry and accessories
  • Music
  • Writing

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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