In this continuing series, we bring you a review of alternative selling venues, website hosting services, shopping carts, and basically anything else that you can use to sell your lovely handcrafted goods. Next up - ShopHandmade.
Tagline: Rewarding creativity
Company information: Big on environmentalism, the site was started as an off-shoot of a large craft retailer (though they don’t specify who). Founded by Dave Kovanen, a character a lot like a red-headed fellow we all know. See their own description.
Storefront: Not very customizable, mostly ads to other sites crowding out the items and store description, no policy pages (all information is squished on the sidebar between the items and the ads)
Cost: Free but with company sponsorship on your listing pages (you choose which company), no monthly fee or commission (unless you choose to pay a commission)
Features: Galleries (like Etsy showcases) and “Top-up listings” can be purchased, donate to rainforest protection when an item sells (optional), remove company sponsorship of listings by paying to list, edit directly from the listing page, relevance-based search similar to Google, News/blog (hasn’t been updated in a year)
Payment: Paypal integrated for purchases from shops (any promotion-based charges can be paid by Paypal)
Community: None other than seller feedback system and “high-fives” (short product reviews), no feedback left about buyers
Customer service: email, snail mail address, limited hours phone line
Items that can be sold: Handmade only, but you can destash used but still usable supplies in “re-supplies”, services specific to the crafting process
General impressions: Somewhat difficult to navigate tabs depending on the browser used, and the choose a commission aspect is a bit passive-aggressive. The buying options are a bit confusing for new buyers also.
In addition, the seller panel to view currently listed items is buggy and not easy to use, and the listing process is not any better than Etsy (actually, it’s worse). Overall, the site doesn’t come across as very professional, though they touted increased traffic (in 2008!) and have stuck to their mission since their inception (environment = good, handmade = good, listing fees = optional).
Not a good review, I know, but it’s a free alternative to mind games.