Big Cartel vs Etsy vs Storenvy

Big Cartel vs Etsy vs Storenvy

I have, as of the moment of this writing, an inactive Big Cartel shop, a Storenvy store, and one active Etsy shop. My first Etsy shop was started in 2006, my Big Cartel shop January 2010, and my Storenvy shop in June 2010. I feel like I know all these platforms well enough to be able to compare them thoughtfully; there are really benefits and drawbacks to all of them, so you should think of your needs and weigh them carefully when deciding where to set up shop. I’m coming at this from the perspective of both an artist and a crafter so I feel like I can gauge the needs of both fairly well. Also, of course, feel free to weigh in via comments and/or ask any questions you like.

If you are feeling impatient and need a snack-sized version of the voluminous text below here you are: crafts, vintage, and supplies belong on Etsy, higher-end art and design go on Big Cartel, and Storenvy can be used however you please. If you love details, like me, read on for a list of some major factors to keep in mind when choosing where to set up shop, and the reasoning behind them.

Cost and Fees

Etsy has a pay-as-you-go system of $0.20 per listing and 3.5% of the sale price fee (with unlimited listings), whereas Big Cartel has a plan system with tiered pricing (free for 5 listings, $9.99 per month for 25 listings, $19.99 per month for 100 listings), and Storenvy is completely free. With Etsy you get everything up front while, with Big Cartel, you get more frills as you pay (better stat tracking, shop editing, etc), and Storenvy is free. Listings on Etsy last 3 months, while listings on Big Cartel last for however long you keep up your monthly subscription to BC, and listings on Storenvy stay until you delete you shop. However, while you can tweak the css and html of your Big Cartel shop you can never, ever touch the layout of your Etsy shop or link to anything that isn’t an Etsy link. (Update: Two years after posting this article you can now link Facebook and Twitter.) Storenvy only has one basic template but you can edit the html and css really heavily to completely customize it. Have a blog, mailing list, portfolio site? Etsy doesn’t give a fart in the wind about it. Also, for small items (less than $2) $0.20 is a nice chunk of money you have to add to your material cost. On Etsy I had to price my zines for more than I was comfortable with asking for them just to compensate for the one-two punch of Etsy and Paypal fees. $3 for a zine and you know what my profit is? $1. To give you a practical example of fees, my average monthly Etsy bill for 2009 was $68 and I maintained a maximum of 250 listings; had I exclusively sold through Big Cartel last year and had the same amount of traffic I would have saved $580, no sum to sneeze at, but that brings us to … Storenvy, where my fee would have been $0.

Community

On the community front Etsy destroys Big Cartel; BC promotes a tiny number of shops and really only really showcases the big names and best sellers. It keeps the image legit, which I respect, because Big Cartel is supposed to be “for artists” while Etsy is for “all things handmade” (different demographics). Etsy promotes a limited number of their favorite sellers and you see the same people getting love over and love again, which has embittered a lot of Etsy sellers, but a larger number of people on the whole get a promo bump from Etsy. Etsy also takes out advertising in magazines, has a forum where sellers can embarrass themselves, and has a blog that posts a lot of very helpful business tips and craft news. Etsy also has something Big Cartel sadly does not, a way to mark items as your favorites so you can come back for them at a later date. Storenvy has a kind of watered down community, where you can search it, but it’s not that great. They are working on it though and also have a favorites system, they also have categories you can put your listing into and browse though, but I’ve never used it. People can favorite your shop on Etsy and Storenvy, but there’s no way they can mark it on Big Cartel. This also relates to …

Traffic

Since Etsy is more community-oriented (you search all of Etsy for items, for example) you get a lot of traffic from Etsy in general and Etsy is well-integrated with Google. You used to be featured momentarily on the Etsy front page when you listed a new items but now there’s a constant deluge of stuff so that isn’t going to happen anymore. Etsy also hosts member-curated Treasuries and pay-for-play Gift Guides, but they’re both useless traffic-wise (I’m being frank, they are, and I speak from experience). Big Cartel, on the other hand, is 100% bring-your-own traffic. Then again if you feel like you do BYO traffic then you certainly don’t need other people accidentally wandering off to the competition, now do you? Theoretically you can get walk through traffic from Storenvy, but it doesn’t feel that way to me. That being said Jon Crawford (the Storenvy founder) tweeted me to inform me that 12% of sales on Storenvy are via through traffic, how about them apples? I have to say I do get regular shop favorites and occasional sales on Storenvy without promoting it at all, they surely deserve credit for those sales. One thing worth noting: people search Etsy for items to use in their publications, since first writing this I had 2 magazine publications just from editors searching Etsy.

Mechanics

The way each shop looks from the inside is completely different. Etsy has a very detailed dashboard and a five-step listing process. Big Cartel keeps it simple with a one page listing process (which I love), but loses out on some features. Storenvy has a detailed dash but can be overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of listings (scroll, scroll, scroll). The major downside to the BC setup is your sales/shipping systems. Etsy and Storenvy allow you to store shipping profiles (I use about 6 regularly) whereas BC allows you to store all of 1. When items are sold Etsy puts them on a new page where you can check off if an item has been shipped, that way your customers can check up on their items on their own. With BC you get a link to the Paypal receipt and that’s it, and one of my major pet peeves is logging into Paypal 7,000,000 times (or even more than once) a day. Storenvy puts them on a new page, but the customers have no way of checking up on them. Also, with Etsy there is a “conversation” system that’s basically an Etsy-hosted inbox where you can easily communicate with buyers and other sellers, with BC you need to send an email directly, and hope it doesn’t get caught by a spam filter. Storenvy gives your customers a contact form, so it’s kind of in between, but your customers don’t need to register for Storenvy to talk to you, unlike Etsy, which I like. You can customize the html of your Storenvy store, but the statement that they offer “complete” customization is a flagrant lie. If you actually know anything about css and html, toying around with their customization pages will let you know that your access is actually rather limited.

Tone

Big Cartel, Storenvy, and Etsy all have completely different tones; on Etsy you’re going to find a lot of … well, trash quite frankly, mixed in with the gems. However, Etsy is so well known that there is a high comfort level associated with them. With Big Cartel you’re going to find exactly what you expected, the store you were linked to. Storenvy is in between, people can find competitors work if they look for it, but they probably won’t. For all the good it brings, on Etsy you will be always be mixed in with vintage, competitors, supply sellers, and Regretsy features, while on Big Cartel you are an island. Storenvy doesn’t attract enough attention for there to be a lot of junk on it, which is nice.

Big Cartel also understands that you sell things on not-BC at times, so you can easily mark something as “sold out” or “coming soon,” whereas on Etsy you have to deactivate/delete that listing and loose all the “favorites” on that item you worked so hard to get, along with your twenty cent listing fee, of course. You can’t mark things as “sold out,” “on sale,” or “coming soon,” on Storenvy, but you can make listings ahead of time and save them, something Etsy really needs to have. You can also mark things as “on sale” on BC and offer discount codes; Etsy sellers have been screaming for discount codes for ages but no dice. Edit! It’s been years but Etsy looks like it might be taking steps toward to “on sale” option. Edit again! Finally Etsy offers discount codes, about time! Storenvy also allows for discount codes to be programmed in, nice.

The major difference in “tone” is also illustrated through the feedback system; Big Cartel and Storenvy don’t have one. If you go to, let’s say, Urban Outfitters online, do you see a feedback rating? No, but that’s because UO is a legitimate store and you expect when you order something from them that it will arrive at your home. Etsy, on the other hand, has a feedback system like ebay (positive, neutral, which is seen as negative, and negative). I prefer a lack of feedback system because I’ve been around for years, if I sell something to you it will show up, but for new shops feedback might assuage the fears of concerned potentially customers. I’ve also had a few customers leave neutrals just because they got what they expected, no more, no less. Also, remember that a feedback system in no way protects buyers, Paypal does, and you use Paypal to pay on all three sites.

Conclusion

In my opinion if you are selling supplies, crafts (be honest with yourself), or vintage you will find a happy home on Etsy, the traffic brought in by other shops and Etsy itself will ultimately benefit you if you have a nicely put together shop and a reasonable price point. If you are an artist and designer and do limited runs, one of a kind, or more unique items that generate traffic from your own fan base, Storenvy is probably where you will be happiest. Like BC, Storenvy now allows you to have a custom domain for $4.99 a month and has added something called “super discounts” for $2.99 a month which allows you to program buy-one-get-one free sales, which puts it apart from BC and Etsy. Though, finally, Etsy now allows you to change your username (which is also your store URL).

Follow Up

After about 6 months I’m posting a follow up. I have added in Storenvy to the review, which I’m really impressed with, and I must confess that my sales were abysmal with Big Cartel so I’ve shut it down. It was 100% not worth the money for me. I’m keeping an Etsy shop just because of the opportunities that it lends (see magazine publications above), but if you aren’t just starting out, if you bring in your own traffic, no matter what you make/sell, I’m going to recommend Storenvy. It’s FREE for christsakes and the options blow the other places out of the water. The major downside is that the stats tracking seems really jacked up, but if you aren’t just starting out you probably don’t need to know accurate view counts on individual items. It’s also missing Etsy’s community and BC’s domain option, but those are minor problems. I’ve also been told Storenvy is working on more accurate stats and on domain mapping, which I’m super excited about. In the end you need to figure out what works best for you, and best of luck to you all.

Okay, so since last updated (and yes, I actually update/reword this article every 6 months or so) I’ve started selling only on Etsy again. I love Storenvy, but I only have the energy to maintain one shop, and my Etsy shop has been set up the longest. It’s not ideal, in my opinion, but it’s the truth and in the interest of full disclosure I wanted to keep you all updated on what I’m doing.

Two years after the original post (say what?) I have added a few more updates just to keep in line with the progress of each of the store fronts. Thank you all for all your questions and comments!

Feel free to ask/leave questions/comments below!

~ Brigitte

210 thoughts on “Big Cartel vs Etsy vs Storenvy

  1. This is an excellent post with great information! Thanks for the run down! Now go open shops on Zibbet and Artfire and let me know how those are. LOL ;) j/k

    Thanks for posting this and for being so honest, it made a lot of sense! Good luck with the new BC shop!

    • LOL, I know, right? So many places to check out. There’s something about the layout on Artfire that I really don’t like, I won’t use sites unless they look really slick, I’m a snob – but how you present your product is a huge reflection on you, so it pays to be very selective.

  2. Great write up! I am an artist who also uses both Etsy and the free version Bigcartel. I link to both from my website, describing Etsy as the place to get all things and BigCartel as the ‘condensed’ version of what I have to offer.

    An addition to your post, and a reason I still use both, is that buyers have to register as a member to make a purchase on Etsy which can potentially detour people from making a purchase, and anyone can buy on BigCartel without setting up a username and whatnot. I guess that is the flip-side to your mention of the feedback situation. As an Etsy ‘member’ there is that feedback record. Like you stated very well, pros and cons to both.

    Thanks for posting this. It was an enjoyable read.

    ~Bryan

    • Thanks so much for your feedback! I thought of mentioning that too (about registration) but I couldn’t figure out where to work it in without it breaking up the flow. I use both for now as well, but I feel like there’s a value in being in only one place too. Still, I can’t toss the 2 years of marketing I’ve put into Etsy either. Only time will tell!

  3. Excellent article Brigitte, and a great perspective for people unsure of whether Big Cartel or Etsy (or both!) is the right fit for them.

    You mention this a bit, but one thing I’d like to reinforce is that Big Cartel is not attempting to be a community marketplace like Etsy or eBay. That’s why we don’t have community or feedback features that are typical with sites like that. Instead, Big Cartel is a tool for creating your own unique online storefront, where you can make it look or work anyway you’d like. Similar to having your own website vs having a MySpace profile.

    While this does put the responsibility of promotion and creating buzz and traffic in your hands, once you begin to develop your own customer base you are no longer sharing them with your competition. :)

    Great feedback on the shipping features as well. Shipping is something we’re hoping to improve in the near future. If you have any other feedback, or ever have any questions, feel free to contact us: http://bigcartel.com/contact

    • Thanks so much for weighting in, re: the community aspect I actually like that BC is more “hand’s off” than Etsy, I feel like it allows artists, even small ones, to present themselves as professionals, which is one of the main reasons I suggest BC for artists over Etsy. Shipping improvements would be amazing, it’s my one and only complaint about BC thus far!

  4. this article was informative and entertaining – thanks so much. i even read a few lines out loud to my fiance cause you’re funny ;) heh.

    i just hit my 2000th sale on etsy and my current etsy bill is about $300 dollars. so i was thinking, maybe i should open up a shopping cart site. a few of my friends use big cartel. i just dont know about the $20/month fee. your comparisons really helped. i’m still on the search but thanks!!

    - danni
    oh, hello friend.

    • Hello! I hope it was helpful! I suppose the major downside is getting people to move, they’re very comfortable with Etsy, but I agree, their fees are too much for anyone who has seen any kind of success.

  5. thanks for the great info – i have been doing commissioned artwork for a long time but am just getting started blogging and on etsy – i think i should look into BC for my original artwork and just do the prints on etsy after reading this…

  6. Thanks for the well laid out comparison. I am getting really tired of etsy but not sure how I would do on big cartel. A little overwhelmed by it all. Anyway, thanks for the post.

    • I totally hear you, at the moment I need both because people (even myself) are reluctant to move off to Etsy to buy. It’s a rough move over, I won’t lie! I put 2 years of networking into my Etsy shop too and it absolutely shows, plus they bring in a ton of traffic just from searches …

  7. Thanks for the well thought out comparison. I sell supplies currently on Etsy and am thinking ahead to the next best place to sell. I think Etsy is a great starting place or launching pad -but where to launch off too?! Thanks for the advice!

  8. Fantastic read, clears up a lot of the confusion I’m sure a lot of artists are faced with when deciding on a shopping cart solution. eCommerce and CMS are really coming into their own and will be exciting to see where the next couple of years takes us …

  9. I have both an Etsy site and a Big Cartel site but I don’t put much effort into Etsy.

    As a designer I’m really focused on building a brand. I find Etsy to be too noisy.

  10. Thank you for this clear comparison. I thrived on Etsy when I was selling toys (more crafty, lower price point) but now that I’ve evolved into creating art I wonder if BC would be a better venue for that side of my business. I think I’ll give it a try, thanks for this post!

  11. AUTHENTIC AWAKENING says:

    This is a great article and I hadn’t heard of BC yet and am off now to take a look. As I am beginning my art career it is important to make decisions upfront that impact your overall goals. Thanks!

  12. This is a great post/comparison. Thanks so much for sharing. I have been using Big Cartel for about a month now and I love it. I feel it’s easier to update and it looks more pro then my Etsy shop :)

  13. Hi. Great information, thanks. I’m doing the same thing as you are–listing at both Etsy and BC trying to be more independent by only using BC. Most sales are still coming from Etsy though. I do miss not having a way to heart items from in the shop at BC.

  14. What a great comparison. I am going to be splitting myself between the 2 Using big cartel to replace my current web page as I will admit it is very amateur and does not have a shopping cart.

    My biggest issue with etsy is that Aussies which is where my main client base is at the moment will not pay in US dollars with big cartel I will be able to list in AU which will hopefully encourage buyers to buy online rather than wait for me to go to market.

    The fees won me over with big cartel I make ALOT of one of a kind infact my entire range is like that. So every time I go to market and sell then there is at least 20c wasted!!! So I am looking forward to using the “sold out” on BC Fingers crosed that BC will save me money!!!

  15. Tiaan says:

    I agree that Etsy is too busy…
    I love BC but am not able to use it as it does not support South African currency.
    Does anyone know of something similar to BC, but that supports more currencies?
    Even though there is a huge market for it, the guys at BC dont seem to be interested in adding South Africa to their list.
    Cheers!

  16. chris says:

    Etsy has gone too global and doesn’t care about their original community. And now it’s impossible to get traction – too many fake crafters in the marketplace that Etsy won’t shut down. Between the Nigerian scammers, the Chinese spammers and the “crafters” built on child-labor, there’s a lack of legitimacy to Etsy these days. Had been on Etsy since 2007 and it’s definitely a changed (and unfair) marketplace. Have kept one shop open on Etsy but only as a transition.

    I’m also on BC which looks and feels great but building you own client base isn’t easy. Maybe BC’s neutral approach to community is good since I’ve always disliked the unfair bias that the Etsy administration has shown toward certain shops. BC feels much more professional.

    • Brigitte says:

      Thank you for the comment! I very much agree. I suggest trying out storenvy.com, I’m new there but need to update this comparison to include them for sure.

  17. I have to agree with Etsy not cracking down on scammers. I recently found an item I had bought for $AU12 at a well known accessory store, as well as many other things from the same store. The item I had paid $12 for, was being sold for like US$28.

    I sent the seller and Etsy emails about it and have heard nothing in reply!

    • Brigitte says:

      The same type of thing happened to me! Also I feel like Etsy really doesn’t protect copyright very well, which bothers me a lot :D

    • Ive had the same experience and even provided the links. Hard to compete with Kohl’s and Marshal’s big box discount prices on “hand woven beaded bracelets”, and all the other cheap garbage that resellers dress up in nice photos then triple the price on…Isnt that what Ebay is for? (smiling here)

      • vintagelover says:

        I have the same experience. Saw this sweater being said as vintage while the exactly same one I was bought from TJ Max! No vintage at all!

  18. genelee says:

    like the blog. right now i am facing a big problem. i try to open an online store i looked at many website like bigcartel, etsy and many more but now i dont know where i should have my online store. i have to make a decision so any advice on others website or should i choose BC since it is my first online store.

  19. Thank you so much for this post. It was an enjoyable informative read. and it makes indeed a lot of sense. I’m a self taught photographer..from the Caribbean and base din amsterdam..and i am tbh struggling with paying my bills. luckily i have a good man at my side but i’m the independent stubborn woman who won’t let him pay for everything….
    Having said that…i own a ton of clothing..good clothing that i’d love to get rid of ..(that is after i’ve combed thru it to donate to charity) the rest of the stuff i’m attached to and i think i could get some cash for it. I once had a very different lifestyle before i was laid off ..and before i decided to go fulltime with my photography (being laid off does things in which u think hmmm..better just work for myself!!) anyways…

    i ramble way too much..what i wanted to say was..thank you for this post!!!!

    i know of BC and Etsy…and i like them both but unfortunately i cant risk paying more for the service than i make with my sales..if i make any sales at all..so store envy sounds like the better choice for me. I didn’t even know about it until i read this post.

    all in all..i’m now a subscribed reader. Thank u so much!!!!!!

  20. HI,

    thanks for taking the time to write this- it must’ve taken ages! Very helpful, and although I am a designer, and I sell on etsy and big cartel- even though you have suggested tht it may not be the best platform- it is great to read some one else’s opinion on what they think of these sites. I agree with a lot of what you have said.

    For now I am hoping that Big Cartel will work for me, but I have to admit, you have certainly made me curious about this storenvy site!

  21. hi again- I am a little confused… how does storenvy get money? I mean, they are doing it for a reason, right? if there are no transaction fees, no listing fees, then where do they get money? I just want to know what the fine print is I guess.

  22. Thanks so much for this great comparison. I’ve been toying with the idea of shifting over from Etsy for a while now but to be honest i’m just a bit nervous to take the leap! Same as you, i’ve put a lot into my couple of years on Etsy and have been doing well, I don’t want to move and have it go flat……..
    I think I’ll try running them alongside each other (but which one to point my .com to, that is the question ;)

    I have really got to get to grips with my marketing!

    Lots of food for thought here…..thanks again.
    asti

  23. JACC says:

    Hello Brigitte

    how are you?
    I’m realy impressed with your honest, thorough comparison of the online shops.

    Great read and extremly informative.

    I havn’t got an online shop yet I prefer Big Cartel anyhow, my question is
    Is it possible to have a BC paying system on my own website?

    I listed all my atwork and prices on my website and I wanted to viewers to select purchase and automaticly be sent straight to my BC buying page.

    I hope my question is not too confusing.

    Thank you for your article

    Blessings

    • Hello and thanks for you comment! I’m sure you could set up something simple without a problem, at least it seems pretty simple, but aside from image that takes people to the Big Cartel listing(s) I’m not sure what you can do. You can set each image up as a separate link and have a dummy shop on your site, which would work if you have few pieces, otherwise it will start adding up to lots of work! BC does offer the URL option so it can be shop.website.com which is great, but I’m not sure if that’s exactly what you’re looking for. Best of luck though! I hope it works out and you can get what you’re looking for out of it :D I hope that all made sense, I haven’t had my coffee yet ;3

  24. Thanks a lot for your posting and i am a online store owner for embroidery bag .
    Now i one store in etsy but not on BC.Now i am considering to start my business in BC too but i dont kown whether my products fits there.Hope all friends can give me some suggestions. http://www.fashionable88.com is my store.

  25. Excellent post, really helpful insight into the 3 – I’d never even heard of Storenvy so will be checking this out.

    I’m a web designer and on the lookout for some good alternatives to self hosted shopping carts (most of which are archaic) for creative types as they generally have very little money to throw around.

    I love the simplicity of Big Cartel, and get the social aspect of Etsy, but it seems too chaotic to me. Storenvy looks nicely put together and the design is spot on. I’d be interested in finding out about their future business model as it sounds too good to be true, and what developer features (if any) they plan on integrating.

    I’d be happy to hear anymore comments from you!

    • I’m actually really with you on this, Storenvy is close to being perfect for me, but I’m not sure what their 5 year plan is, so to speak. I’d like more customize-ability, or even the ability to export/imbed it into a website, but I don’t know where they’re taking the site. Etsy is great for crafts as a lot of publishers look through it for features, but it’s just not the right fit for legitimate artists, it’s really more crafty than arty, and a 3% cut is murder on an expensive sale’s bottom line. Big Cartel I don’t like at all, I have no idea why people use it, except for the custom URL feature. Too bad the other two are behind the times on that!

      • I actually emailed them and got a reply from Storenvy founder, Jon Crawford – thought you’d be interested to hear what he has to say!

        Apparently he’s hiring a team to work on their embeddable / API functionality and seems pretty keen to get this out soon. He’s also got ideas to extend to different currencies which is great for UK / European users. As for their business model:

        “Running a store on Storenvy will always be free, but we will begin providing paid extras for your store in the coming months”

        Judging from this, I would expect to see pro analytics, better product features as paid upgrades. You can already get pretty experimental with the CSS (there’s a advanced option to enter your own).

        So you have to go through Etsy for Payments? I assumed you could still use your own Paypal account, if that’s not the case how to you receive payments – direct to bank account or via Paypal (incurring more charges)? What turned you off Big Cartel – did you just find it hard to generate sales?

        So yeh, if you’re a serious artist, best to use your own merchant / Paypal account. Appreciate the feedback, always good to get an opinion from artists on the front-line!

  26. Wow, I loved reading your thorough review. Are you only looking for stores that have a connected marketplace or art-centric (e.g. BC, artfire)? Have you ever looked at standalone ecommerce websites? I’d love to get your thoughts on our multi-channel ecommerce offering. We have the ability to sell your products on your own website, eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and others. I would be happy to set you up with a free account.

    Best regards, Helen
    http://www.vendio.com
    @vendio

  27. Thank you for this wonderful entry. I like Etsy but am uncomfortable with the resellers, suppliers who use it as another catalog, and people selling just about anything but stamping a ‘handmade’ or ‘vintage’ label on it including pvc pipes, used spark plugs, cars, crotchless pantyhose, hats made from cat skulls and resin dog feces. On the surface, Etsy does seem to favor cute, Martha Stewart, and the kind of look one finds in the Sunday New York Times interior decorating and cooking sections. Great for people whose work fits the genre, but I feel a bit left out with my tribal jewelry and its upscale pricing. I have a few things that sell well here, but am looking for something a bit more…grown up? Thanks to your informative, insider review I’ve got a couple more choices to explore.

    • Thank you for your comment! I really appreciate it and I completely agree. I know that Etsy wants the cash but they’re trying hard to brand an image that doesn’t fit it’s contents. I would still love it to be curated, but that’s just not possible. I hope you find a better option for your work out there!

  28. Great post and the comments were also quite fascinating. Since I just went to an etsy pep rally in San Francisco a few days ago, I’m enjoying having the air cleared by what’s here. Food for thought & action…

  29. @Loulaharrison says:

    Thanks for this write up! I’m looking into setting up an online jewellery and fashion accessory store and this post has been extremely helpful!! There are so many options out there – it gets confusing at times. I’m just going to check out storenvy, now think its the only one i haven’t looked at yet :)

  30. My interest is locating selling platforms for working, serious artists and artisans selling hand made, unique items $75.00 to $500.00 and over. All the sites mentioned above have positive aspects, but with the exception of Etsy, are teaming with inexpensive and mass produced items like t-shirts and leather cord/macrame/ bead friendship bracelets, the average pricing is below $25.00. So far Etsy has been great in drawing customers who also commission pieces, and galleries ordering private label lines. Big Cartel, Storenvy & Artfire ( with a few exceptions in the clothing department) seem geared to the teen and young adult audiences. How about selling platforms for more mature (and lets face it, wealthier) clients interested in more than message t-shirts and a hemp bracelet?

  31. I signed up for etsy a year ago and just posted my first items because I had such a hard time figuring out shipping! So I took the plunge and have had 58 people come to my site, but no buyers yet. I am so thankful for hearing others with more experience talk of etsy and other sites. I’m going to have to check the other sites out and evaluate what would work better for me. I still have many other items to list on etsy but am not sure it is worth the monthly bill if nothing sells. I used to do craft shows but with the economy falling apart, sales there took a nose dive! Thanks all for your wisdom! :)

  32. Tonya says:

    I have a question I set up a shop on etsy but I dont have anyting listed as of yet stil working on getting a good amount to list first, I then seen an article in a magazine that mentioned both etsy and Big Cartel so I became interested in Big Cartel and I am curently checking out there site so this post has helped me. The one thing I have noticed about Etsy is when I go into the forums to post a question there is so much negative posts and people complaining about the way etsy does things which has kind of scared me away, so now I am weighing in on which site woudl be better I make a non traditional wedding bouquet I have never seen anything like what I make before so I am hoping it will do good but just dont know where to start considering I am a beginner at all of this.

    • Etsy is just such a huge site it’s inevitable for there to be a lot of complaints. If you’re looking to break into the DIY/wedding industry I think Etsy is the best fit for you and weddings are lucrative so excellent choice ;3

  33. “However, Storenvy does lack the ability to substitute a domain for the shop.storenvy.com address..”
    Storenvy does have that feature now, if its how I think you mean. Its $5/mo, and currently their only paid feature.

    I’m an artist and crafter, and had been for a long time looking for a good fit for a home shop, since I don’t have the coding knowledge to integrate one with my website, and some outside traffic is never a bad thing. I’ve been avoiding monthly pay sites (though I guess ultimately Etsy can end up being more depending on what you do.) I went at first with Etsy, though that hasn’t really been big for me and never truly got rolling. I’ve also done some Ebay here and there since a lot of listings are at least free with them.
    I came upon Storenvy though buying something from another artist, and as I looked around more there I realized it was pretty close to what I was looking for, and it was completely free! It still doesn’t make sense to me they’re making nothing off this, but I couldn’t pass it up. This is one of those places where you largely have to bring your own traffic, but honestly Etsy wasn’t bringing me that much anyway.
    Storenvy lets me do some of these stuff I really wanted- have listings up forever, check stock, and offer variants of the same thing under one listing- basically truly have a shop rather than a pseudo-auction. Now I can set up a way for people to get custom chokers with their choice of bells or charms, which was impossible on Etsy due to the variances in charm prices, plus having to list each separately and pay the .20.
    It also allows me to link to storenvy from my website, and focus on driving traffic to my website rather than trying to get folks on Etsy. It would be nice if I could integrate it more with my website, but so far I’m pretty happy. Also true it doesn’t seem to have a lot of customization for the storefront look, but honestly it doesn’t matter that much to me- I don’t have deep html or CSS knowledge anyway. The basics still look nice.
    I’m still starting out, but I’m optimistic about it long term. I want to get a bit more selection up (including some stuff that was never up on Etsy) before I start advertising it heavily.

    I’ll probably still keep some stuff on Etsy, but I’m going to relocate the bulk of my shop to Storenvy as well as introduce most of my new merchandise there.

    http://foxdream.storenvy.com

    Thanks for the insightful review!

    • Thank you for your comment! Yes, Etsy and Storenvy both added a lot of features since my last edit so I need to update it for sure. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and best of luck with everything!

  34. Wow, fantastic post, so detailed and with exactly the information I was looking for. I currently have an etsy shop and a big cartel store and was initially looking to compare big cartel with wazala (almost exactly the same price for exactly the same features but with added facebook and mobile integration). I had never even heard of storenvy before but it sounds like an even better option for me, so thanks for pointing me in that direction!

  35. Thank you for taking the time to share this valuable information with us. Not what I wanted to hear, though. With no visible feedback for buyers on Etsy, it’s become a free for all grifter’s paradise for unscrupulous buyers. What is an artist and a seller, to do?

  36. Thanks for the post B!
    It’s been very helpful.
    I had three listings for a while on Ets, but unfortunately nobody seem to care (hihihi). I’m working on a new project now, and I guess I might try Storenvy once I’m ready to go on the market ^_^

  37. thanks so much for this very informative post! i’m about to reopen a second etsy shop, but am looking to also branch out. i’ve been selling there since 2008 (http://henrihopper.etsy.com), and make a few sales each month, but i’d like to get more serious about it all. i had heard of BC but not storeenvy, which i’m going to check out now.

  38. Awesome article. So glad I found this on google when looking up the link to Big Cartel. You saved me a lot of time and I learned about storevy which I probably wouldn’t have discovered. Thanks!

  39. Thanks so much for the analysis!!! Still not exactly sure where to sell (art tee- shirts, not crafts) but may check closer into Storenvy. Appreciate all your tips!!!

  40. Thanks for this article! I’m still playing around with what the best route is for me. Side note for the domain problem at storenvy…. you can do domain forwarding and masking through the company you registered the domain with as a temporary fix. :) It’s free. I did it with my domain at big cartel since I have the freebie right now.

  41. Hi There!

    I am using both paid versions of bigcartel and storenvy. Both are really good. However, if you want more traffic to your store without doing anything, then choose storenvy.

  42. Caress Lepore says:

    If I’m setting up a store selling an edible good do you think big cartel or etsy is better. I am thinking of going to BC just because it isn’t so cluttered. What are your thoughts?

  43. Thanks heaps Brigitte! I have an Etsy store (which I love dearly) and just stumbled across Storenvy. I was super excited about it when I found it but I was thinking, “this is too good to be true. A FREE store front!! How can this be??” So your article has been extremely helpful.
    Jacinta xoxo
    PS. I am going to keep my Etsy store and open a Storenvy store just to see how it goes. Thanks again :-)

  44. What a wealth of information! I wish I came across this earlier- my web hosting is expiring soon and I just signed up for a paid BC account a few days ago. I have been working feverishly trying to make it pretty and perfect (and more like a finished website than a just a store front) for the last 48 hours. I’m pretty excited about it though. I plan to keep my etsy shop (etsy has a lot going for it and is pretty hard to break away from, after all) but Big Cartel will soon replace my own personal site. Anyway, thanks for the great breakdown- I’m now gonna check out storenvy to see what I’ll be missing…

  45. Thank you, Bridgitte! Great article and detailed breakdown of the 3 sites. You helped me make my decision to keep my Big Cartel shop and actually get it up and running using my own domain name. It turned out be pretty easy to set up once I got over my procrastination and sat down and did it. You also gave me some good reasons to reconsider Etsy and I re-opened my store there as well. I’d never heard of Storenvy, so thanks for that tip. I’ve not quite got my handmades going full-speed yet, so it’ll be awhile before I try that one out. Right now, I mostly sell vintage toys, so Etsy and Big Cartel are pretty good for that. But all 3 are great alternatives to just staying on eBay. By the way, you have a very nice collection of My Little Ponys! :o) Keep up the great articles – I’ll be back to read more!!

    Mish

  46. Danielle Torricelli says:

    I’m so glad I found this post, it was so helpful! I’d searched for opinions on various online shops, but hadn’t had much luck. Do you know much about Society 6? I see a majority of your Etsy shop is crafts, not art prints, but wondered if you’d ever looked into that site.

    • Thank you for your comment Danielle! I think I tried out Society 6 a while back but I didn’t stick around because it was really hard to figure out or navigate. I might have to give it another shot though!

  47. Thank a million Brigitte.!!!!.i am on Etsy and i will try Storenvy it is all a learning curve and you have made it an enjoyable one. i am an artist and have made my living for years as one ….the online and e-commerce is challenging…sa la vie!..thanks again for sharing and watching out for us!

  48. This was an amazing read!!!.. I’m MeLo-X… im an artist, creator, and sum what of a “Renaissance Man”. I feel like BC is the best for me because its the cleanest. Tho it doesnt have certain tracking and feedback options as the others.. I feel like its more clean.. and since I bring my own traffic its perfect. we shall see though..as i prepare to start my own shop.

    thanks for putting time into this.. I usually never write comments unless its something thats really interesting to me. and this was a good read.

    stay blessed and enjoy your year.

    also im googlable haha ,.. so look me up

    peace

  49. Brigette,

    I was so fortunate to find and read your blog entry about Big Cartel, Etsy and Storenvy.

    My hand painted rocks needed a marketplace and the tips I gleaned from your blog were just what I needed. Based on your analysis of the three marketplaces, I chose Storenvy for my painted rock crafts and I’ve been very pleased with it. Actually, I had never heard of Storenvy until I read your blog and it turned out to be just what I was looking for.

    Thanks again for your very informative, helpful and up-to-date insight into these three, viable marketplaces for handcrafted items.

    • Cindy, thank you for your reply! I’m so happy to hear that, it means so much to me! If there are any insights you’ve felt I’ve overlooked too always feel free to let me know. Take care!

    • Thanks so much for this article Brigitte. It really is so helpful!
      I had never heard of storenvy so I will have to check it out.
      I briefly signed on to Zibbet but so put off by their currency options, I did not stay long. There is basically only one currency available – US dollars, which is not the greatest if you are selling from Australia and have to make daily changes to your pricing…this is it’s only failing. Other than that it would be a terrific marketplace.
      Etsy are just way too expensive for the little guy as are Made It and Craftumi (both Australian marketplaces)
      Honestly, it does my head in just trying to figure out where to sell my stuff!
      Anyway, thanks again
      xoxo

  50. Thanks so much for the info! I’m on Etsy now, but have been thinking of moving or adding another venue – might give Storenvy a try.

  51. Thank you for your insight, thoughts and critiques. I have been wanting to look into online sales for awhile now and was just frustrated with the choices, features, fees etc.

    That said I noticed at the beginning you mentioned you were an artist. Currently working on establishing my web-presence and trying to jump start the dream of being an artist. Would love to possibly talk with ya a little more if that’s fine.

    Thanks again for the great read, along with the help,
    Ben

  52. Wonderful to read a comparison of the three – I’ve just found out about Storenvy so it’s great to know it’s pros and cons. Thank you for sharing!

  53. Jan Michael says:

    Great REVIEW!!! Very informative with someone REAL who experienced and tried out shops that personally benefited to their own! =)

    • Thank you so much for your comment Jan! I appreciate that you know all the time that it takes to really get to know these sites! I’ll probably be updating the review again soon too.

  54. If you are considering StoreEnvy vs Big Cartel, you might want to do a free trial on our site, IndieMade. Not only do you get a shopping cart, but you also get a full blown blog (like blogger), image gallery (like flickr), micro blog (like tumblr or twitter), calendar, social network integration and it is your own website (custom domains welcome). You can also import your Etsy items into IndieMade. When you have all of your content on your own website, it helps with SEO too!

    http://www.indiemade.com/content/examples
    https://www.indiemade.com/pricing

    • Wow, that’s an impressive list! I will definitely check it out. Thank you for the info. Are you a rep for the site or just a happy customer?

      • She’s the company founder. (And I am her happy employee, in IndieMade customer service.)

        Incidentally, since she wrote that comment we now have integration with Etsy, so you get the benefit of your own site and your own shopping cart, plus the ability to list products on Etsy. (Say what you like about them, it is a huge marketplace with lots of buyers.) We think it’s pretty cool. Hope you check it out.

  55. Cheryl says:

    Wow thank you for the info! i’d just like to know if there are any other commonly used online platforms for a mixture? (i.e clothes and handmade accessories), and would you still reccommend etsy for the audience?

    • I may need to research some others, but at the moment I would recommend Etsy if you want it all together, and Storenvy if you want to keep your clothing and accessories more separated since they can have their own pages there.

  56. Thank you for the article and all the updates. l find that my traffic on Etsy is very low even though l am constantly creating backlinks, blogs and other opportunities to display my work. l have to admit l am getting sick of Etsy due to the views and their constant tweeking of this and that. l found storeenvy through a Tumblr blog and l just wanted to see other people’s experiences of it. l might give it a go nearer Christmas or even just start up my own independent store.

  57. very thorough review & great you added the updates. I’ve been on etsy since 08 but have seen a major drop in traffic and sales over the last couple of years -so checking out other venues. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  58. Well…. you didn’t mention that Etsy is run by a bunch of ankle-biting wankers who will shut your store down without warning, and give you no explanation or chance to fix whatever they think is wrong. Years of hard work, photography, writing ads… all down the proverbial drain in one second. It’s happened to me, it’s happened to hundreds of people. Just Google “Etsy shut my store down” and see. There are entire blogs created by people who’ve been mistreated by Etsy. They are not nice people, they aren’t even who they say they are (they call their administrators by fake female names that sound all granola, but they’re actually NOT).

    I spent a lot of time, effort, and expense with my Etsy store. I had followers, and 100% good feedback. Last week I tried to sign in, and got the message “your store has been deactivated”.

    Do a little looking around before you spend all your energies on an Etsy shop, which is vulnerable to the whims of the clique that runs it.

    As for me, I’m taking my stuff over to Storenvy.

    • Thank you for your comment! This is absolutely a very valuable thing to keep in mind and I’m glad you brought it up. I can only speak to my own experience which has been fairly good, but Etsy does have a reputation of doing things like this and it is concerning. They also are very sketchy about protecting copyright, a while back I reported a shop using my photos to sell products and Etsy did absolutely nothing about it.

  59. As a business owner I totally agree big cartel is geared towards the big sellers. im currently getting towards that goal so my shop can be promoted more. But for Now I will stick with them beauty products, Jewelry and Other items isnt really allowed on etsy unless it is handmade or looks to be.

    But now that I have a cafe inside this business my plan was to use big cartel (free version) for the samples and to use etsy for the main dishes. But anywho great article :)

    if anyone is interested in finding out more about my businesses check out:
    The Upscale Beauty Bar Salon/Store or should I say Storlon at:
    http://www.theupscalebeauty.com/#!
    http://theupscalebeautybar.bigcartel.com/
    http://www.facebook.com/theupscalebeautybar (like us on fb, over 5,000 likes in three months)
    and
    that cafe that I speak of can be found at:
    http://www.facebook.com/DeliciousAppetites

    Other Credits:
    All Graphic Design, Web Desig, Photography and Marketing is done by me and my team at:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Creative-Juice-Graphic-Designs-Photography-and-Advertisement/249505518435793?ref=hl
    (one stop shop for business)

  60. Elisa says:

    Nice article. I used BC for a while but found it was too expensive and to really customize it you need to to know a bit of coding. I just signed up to a new site http://gouniq.com where I was able to build my own store which sits with other in a searchable marketplace…a bit like a shopping mall. We will see how it goes.

    I also have a Etsy account which has always been fantastic for us.

  61. G Glasspie says:

    Omg! You are my She-ro this morning! Great information thank you! I am in the process of starting an Etsy shop and was not aware of the other sites. See what a little research will do for ya’

  62. I opened a storenvy account first, loved it! Still love it over etsy. Every time I pay a fee on etsy I cringe! I sold better on storenvy actually. If storenvy had a few more pages tabs it would be a no brain-er, perfect store, website, etc. If I knew more about HTML and CSS that would help! Recently looked into to opening a bigcommerce or volusion store and do not want to pay the monthly fee for something I dont know how to navigate! Glad to see that Storenvy was included because I feel like it is really user friendly!

  63. Excellent read! I barely opened a BC, (free version), and Store Envy today and then I found this blog post. I also appreciate the update at the end. I closed down my Etsy recently because I was sick of the re-list fee and bill. I want to sell for free! Well, besides PayPal fees. I quit my job years ago because I was tired of ‘working for the man’! Etsy still made me feel that way.
    Looks like Store Envy will be right for me. Thank you. :-)
    Rachel

  64. Nicola eve says:

    I’m now looking to start selling my handmade jewellery online, I looked at etsy but you need a credit card. I also looked at big cartel but I don’t know if I can sell in £’s. any tips for a new starter ? X

  65. Thanks for the details! I’ve been looking into adding my shop to another website and I think I will try out envy after reading this post. I do want my very own website and maybe I’ll try BC a little later… Right now I have a Shopify store that I’ve been working on and losing money on for the last 3 month. I hate it. Its very annoying putting up listings and I dislike the free themes. It is time for me to move on !

    :)

  66. teresa says:

    hello! appreciate you sharing your personal experiences and knowledge- i sold on etsy years back successfully then bailed when all that consumer protection stuff hit the fan- anyways, i understand etsy has changed since then- what happened to the time machine!?! did it go away or am i not looking in the right place? also, i was wondering if etsy maybe now addresses this situation: let’s say i’ve items, each of which are different listings, but all of which fall into pricing category, for example, if you buy 1 of said items you pay 3 dollars, buy two and pay 5, buy 5 and pay 10- don’t know if i’m explaining this clearly! do you get what i’m saying? i’m considering opening a new shop on etsy but prior to doing so was wondering what all is new or no longer- i recall getting email notifications regarding the ability to change your shop name and another pertaining to copyright issue(s)- i think there was another about cart features but don’t remember what it was!

  67. Thanks so much for taking the time to share this info with us. I was slogging through the sea of ecommerce not knowing what reviews to believe and your clear, concise analysis has really helped me. Wishing you much happiness and success!

  68. india says:

    This was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only article i could find about the comparisons, Thank God for you!! Ok, so what if i am just starting out? BC should be the option for me?

    • Thank you so much for your comment! It was very sweet of you!! If you’re just starting out I would use Storenvy and use it in conjunction with a blog/facebook to build a community for your shop. You can even embed your Storenvy shop on your Facebook fan page so it’s quite handy. Hope that helps!

  69. Hi this is a great article. I just opened up and etsy shop and then came upon big cartel. You have mentioned that you’ve used all three. Have you used 2 or more simultaneously for the same products? If so, how was that experience?

    • I have indeed. Once I used Storenvy x Etsy the other was Big Cartel x Etsy. It wasn’t too difficult if the sale was through Etsy, if it isn’t you loose money in the form of fees when you delete a listing there. The other two allow you to manage your inventory a bit better. Thank you for you comment! If you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

  70. Thk u, exactly the type of detailed research We needed. Our biz is new and small and our next online steps seem so daunting due to the vast amount of information and online stores avail to us. Thx Andrea and Sammi

  71. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  72. cr says:

    Super great article! I’ve been reading different reviews contemplating between the three myself. Yours seems to be the only review I have found so far the compares just those three. By the way, do you know if any of them have “instant download” so that when a customer purchases an item they can download it directly… say for a digital download? Or is that something the store owner has to e-mail to the buyer directly?
    Thank you!

    • If I remember correctly Big Cartel has a service you go through and it emails the items to them. I think Storenvy was working on something like this as well so I’ll have to check into it. Thank you for your comment!

  73. Thank you so much for this! I just stumbled across this blog when I did a search. I’ve been with Art Fire (went with them when I didn’t like the nickel and dime fee system that Etsy had and also saw the reviews of favoritism), but it’s just not been that beneficial to me. I’m really losing money on there as it’s not as well known so the traffic isn’t that great. Example when I sell at conventions: ‘Do you have an Etsy?’, ‘No, but I am on Art Fire’, customer smiles and nods and takes a card, but has no idea what I’m talking about. You also have pretty much ZERO control over how it looks other than a banner and profile image. I want to brand my store a lot more than they allow. I’m in the process of getting my site rebuilt and we are now onto the shop portion so I’ve been trying to figure out what would be the best option. This article really helps me narrow it down. Thanks again!

    Btw, what have you heard about Shopify?

  74. I have read the whole article, I am a new photographer and wish to open an online shop, I looked into storenvy as an option as I prefer to start off fresh and cost free, until I can make money and purchase a bigger shop and space etc…I am a blogger at WordPress and stumbled upon you review, any thoughts, suggestions or advice? Storenvy looks to be my top choice at this time.
    Feel free to visit my blog to see the types of photos I would be selling, any feed back would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you in advance!

    • Thank you for your comment! I would go with Storenvy at this moment, I think they’re more flexible and are really investing in their community. Let me know what you decide and how you’re liking your new shop!

  75. I have been WRACKING my brain and my eyes are crossed from staring at the computer so much lately trying to find a great “store” for my goodies…. this is an EXCELLENT review of the three different sites I was considering! One thing you didn’t cover was wether or not storenvy will connect to FB? I have a humble following on FB that keeps asking me “how to buy” my goods… and seriously with the “leave a comment below a pic” … MY ORDERS ARE ALL JUMBLED! Anyhoo – THANKS FOR THE GREAT REVIEW! If ya get a minute and you feel up to it, look us up: Recycled Denims – where we make new things out of old jeans. We placed 2nd place in a world wide cometitiion hosted by Gap and Ecouterre!

    • Storenvy absolutely has a Facebook app! I love it. The app shows up as a tab for your store on your FB page. I highly recommend them, I’m a bit biased honestly!

  76. Andrea says:

    Wow! Awesome review! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I just recently learned of storenvy and am now more confused than ever about what is the best fit for me and my handbags;-) I have put lots of time into developing shops policies and learning all the ins and outs of Etsy so I guess that is what is making it tough to just up and abandon what I have done thus far (even though I had yet to list any items). Lots of think about. Thanks again this is such a clear and fair comparison!

    • I totally understand, I hesitate about leaving/returning to Etsy all the time, but I just don’t believe in their policies. (They’re very comfortable with copyright infringement for example. Plus they mostly promote “Quit Your Day Job” about people whose husbands helped/”let” them work “full time” which supplying a second income which to me is NOT being financially independent. The list goes on …) I hope my article helped out! Thank you so much for commenting.

  77. Great information there!
    I’ve been thinking on integrate a shop into my domain because I think I am losing sales because the registration need on Etsy just to shop.
    Storenvy seems nice, 4.99$/mo + 20$ once to import more than 20 items from etsy.
    A regular ecommerce system has no cost at all, but it works somewhat like a island…

    I make handmade designer toys, many OOAK, some are resin collectibles, some are plush and digital illustrations, at the time the slogan “sell handmade” was the trigger for me to sell there, but I never felt like my items fit in there.
    A quick search on storenvy shows me that there are similar items but they are already stablished as a popular products in the market, they are serialized and not handmade. I’m afraid that can be an issue for me.

    I’m not turning down my etsy store, at least for now, but what are your thoughts based on my items? Do you feel like the sales pays back the monthly fee on storenvy (I already pay hosting fees). Or maybe just a simple ecommerce system will be just enough?

    Keep up the nice work!
    http://www.kriture.com
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/kritureart

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I’m about to pop out but I will give your shop/site a look over when I get back and leave you a longer comment. Just wanted to let you know I wasn’t forgetting you!

    • Good morning! I looked over your site and shop, your Kritures are very neat and fun. I think they would work on Storenvy for sure. Do you have a lot of people saying that they aren’t sure where they can buy? Or a ton of hits on the site and few on Etsy stats? If that’s the case I would recommend having an e-commerce page right on the site. I think your designs are charming so I say stick with it until your find the perfect fit and best of luck! Hope this helps a bit!

  78. Have you tried Storenvy since they rebranded? Their site is entirely new now and sales have increased over 1000%! I have been on there since 2010 and am celebrating my third year April 10th!

  79. Thanks for the review. I’ve been having some issues with Etsy lately and was looking into Storenvy to restart my shop. Hopefully storenvy helps me maintain my customer base from Etsy, because I had a huge following before Etsy kinda shut me down :0(.

  80. Thank you for such a detailed review! I haven’t managed to sell anything on Etsy and I’ve sold one thing on Folksy so was considering moving to Big Cartel. Might try Storenvy now though. The only place I’ve sold anything is redbubble and I get about 10% of the profits!

  81. This review was great! I have been toying with which site to use. I had a site on flyingcart.com wasn’t getting any any traffic so I shut it down. I got more traffice from posting my items on instagram and facebook. I started an etsy page…I haven’t completed it because I’m still weighing my options. I came upon storenvy while purchasing supplies and the supplier uses it. I then came upon wix. They offer free webpages as well as a custom package (not sure of the cost). I like that storeny is free & unlimited where as etsy is community, not free but limited. Wix has nice layouts as well. Storenvy allows links to facebook, instagram & I think pinterest. I also rec’d shipping & tracking confirmation of my purchase as well. I think I’m leaning toward storenvy…at least to try it out. Thanks again for your reviews…they were VERY helpful!

    • Thank you for your comment Alicia! I’m glad you found my review helpful. I haven’t heard of Wix before, I’ll have to look into it.

  82. Great article! I’m currently using storenvy, instagram, & ebay to sell handmade high waisted shorts & new/gently used clothing I no longer have use for. I’m considering opening up an etsy, but the fees & not caring too much about copyright kind of scare me off. My best selling high waisted shorts so far are my lace bow shorts (someone offered to pay $50 for it on ebay just the other day!) and I wouldn’t want anyone to steal the design on etsy. My question is: do you think I should open up an etsy?

    • Thank you for your comment Starr! It’s a bit tricky, because for fashion design, there are no copyright laws. Here is one article about it. Your photos are copyright though and Etsy will not protect you at all if someone else uses them, they honestly do not care, so watermarking is best. That way if someone steals them they will also be posting an advert for your shop. You will get good exposure on Etsy though, so since your items are not subject to copyright protection anyway, I wouldn’t worry too much about how they won’t protect you. Congrats on your business! I hope things continue to go well for you!

  83. What about shipping? I have stayed on etsy just for the ease of shipping – creating and printing 50 + labels at a time through etsy is so easy! Can you do that on big cartel or store envy? I bring my own fan base, so BC seems like the best for me – except I haven’t seen that I can print the shipping from the site. And going into PayPal to print one at a time does not sound enjoyable to me at all!

    • Thank you for your comment Lauren. I’m not sure about that, I wrote the article about small, handmade, artist type businesses. If you are successful enough to need to print 50 labels at a time you should probably look into putting a shopping cart system onto your site.

      • Oh I’m a very small business, I only list items once or twice a month. It’s small items – but they sell out real fast. So I make them all at the same time and then ship them all once completed. And then list more once sold. I dont really even make a profit, its more a hobby. It’s been so easy with etsys label printing though, so Ill probably stay there.

  84. Maria says:

    Thank you for this! I just opened an etsy store.. my mom makes hand made hair bows and I am helping her out. It’s our first time trying to sell online and I am looking into opening a storenvy. I just don’t know if we’re off to a good start or not.
    Can you please view our store and tell me what you think? :) I’d appreciate it
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/AdelasBowtique

  85. Tiffany N. says:

    Thank you for writing this great read! I am looking into starting off with a Storenvy store rather than an Etsy or BC shop. I think that I`ll start off with Storenvy since it`ll be my first online store and I don`t know how I`ll do. If I don`t do very well, and I delete my store, I won`t have a profit loss, it being free without paying monthly for other additional features. Although, if my store sells well, I think I`ll look into making a BC shop or Etsy (:

    You have made so many different points while comparing all three websites which I like because it gives variety. Stating pros and cons for each instead of being biased to one (or two) is very much enjoyable and professional.

    I hope Etsy is benefiting you after all these years! (:

    - Tiffany.

    p.s., if I do go through with my store/shop, I`m thinking of selling handmade items such as fabric hair bows, crocheted items, etc. What do you think?

  86. Hello, I really enjoyed your article and found it very helpful. So, thank you!!

    I was running a successful etsy shop until recently when etsy shut down my store for no reason, and has not answered any of my emails about how to resolve it and reopen my shop. So I basically lost my entire business, hundreds of dollars in fees, all my customers and listings…. I know they do this to A LOT of people, so I just wanted sellers to beware. When you sell on etsy, you do NOT own your store or business. THEY do, and they can take it away at any given moment, for no reason and still charge you the fees.

    I was wondering if you have any updated info on the community features for Storenvy…? The ONLY reason I used etsy was for the amount of traffic that they have through the community, which did result in sales for me… Is Storenvy comparable? Which do you use?

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Elaine, that sounds just awful. While you’re checking out StoreEnvy and BigCartel, I hope you’ll give IndieMade a look, too (full disclosure: I work there, and I love it).

      But I strongly recommend that you register your own custom URL, no matter what hosting platform you choose for it. If you control your domain, then you control your destiny — if you don’t care for the host that you’re on you can just switch over to another one. If you’re giving out your Etsy store URL to customers, what you’re really doing is giving your customer to Etsy! Give ‘em your custom URL instead.

  87. Rex says:

    Thanks for all the info…very helpful. I’ve been primarily selling on eBay over the last few years. My business is estate and liquidation buyouts. Being that I come across a huge range of products-antiques, collectibles, electronics, industrial machinery, art work etc.-I’ve always felt that eBay was the best place for me to flip my products because of the diverse nature of the site. No matter what someones looking for, chances are it can be found on eBay. Of course, I certainly appreciate the major traffic eBay offers. That’s probably why I’ve put up with there ridiculous fees and buyer oriented requirements. Its interesting to read your info on Storenvy because I’m seriously considering developing my own store on the site. I wouldn’t completely leave eBay but I’d develop a store in the hopes of selling items as well as creating a brand. I really like Storenvy’s use of social media as a means for creating traffic. Ebay offers the option to use SM but I don’t think people see it that way. What concerns me about Storenvy is that I don’t think they offer all the types of categories for listings that I would need. For example, I see other stores selling antiques, vintage toys etc but Storenvy doesn’t offer categories for these items and many more. The categories available are simply to broad. Hopefully that’s something that will change soon. Looking forward to hearing more of your input.

  88. This is very helpful, but you should probably update the part where you say that storenvy doesn’t let you mark things as sold out, on sale, or coming soon, as it actually does allow you to mark all of those things. I’m not sure when you last updated, but I’ve been using storenvy since early 2013 and those features have been in place as long as I’ve been using it. It might also be helpful to mention tagging options for each site. Storenvy’s seem pretty decent (except that I wish they were counted by number of words rather than characters, as adding my own brands to the tags takes up quite a bit of space for only a couple words), but I’m not sure what those options are for either etsy or bc, or if tagging things really has an impact on bringing new traffic to your shop.

  89. I just like the helpful information you provide in your
    articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and test once more right here frequently.
    I’m relatively sure I will be told plenty of new stuff right right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  90. Belinda says:

    Thank you so much for your reviews of etsy, bc, and shopenvy. I have been selling on etsy for a few years but am getting frustrated because there are now so many “hobbyist” that give away their product that I can’t price and make a profit. I was just told about shopenvy but unsure whether to make the leap. I have my own url but don’t use on etsy. It’s difficult to generate traffic to your website and was looking forward to promoting with customers from etsy. It have finally sunk into my brain that I’m not promoting for my website but etsy’s. Your review has been very insightful.
    Thanks!

  91. Thanks for this!

    Just a note on Storenvy: You can mark things as “on sale” and “preorder” (it automatically marks itself “sold out” when you have zero in stock, but I don’t think that fits with what you were saying).

  92. Thank you so much for this. I have an etsy store I may have to add to it again. Hated the fees and having to charge so much. I have been selling only on Facebook in groups for now. I just opened a store envy and want to know how to get my own traffic to the site. Do ad words do that for you? I thought that it was integrated with Google so that your tag words brought traffic?

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