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Blog / Ecommerce platform guide / 9 Alternatives to Etsy for Print-on-Demand

Ecommerce platform guide

9 Alternatives to Etsy for Print-on-Demand

9 Alternatives to Etsy for Print-on-Demand
Paula Scerbinina

By Paula Scerbinina

12 min read

Etsy might be one of the most popular platforms for starting an online store. This well-known online marketplace is a common choice for selling handmade items. But is Etsy the best choice for selling your products? Let’s explore 9 alternatives to Etsy and find out. 

Why search for an alternative?

While Etsy attracts millions of buyers every year, it’s not the only solution to market your goods like custom clothing. There are multiple reasons why many Etsy sellers eventually search for Etsy alternatives. 

Fees

Etsy doesn’t charge a monthly subscription fee. Instead, Etsy charges various fees (like listing and selling fees), which can heavily impact profits, especially as your business grows. 

While these fees are still friendly for newbie online sellers, Etsy has increased them over the last few years, making more Etsy sellers seek an Etsy alternative. 

Competition

Because of the platform’s popularity, many Etsy sellers find it hard to stand out and get organic visibility on Etsy. If you don’t want to invest in Etsy ads or put a large amount of work into adjusting your SEO (which doesn’t guarantee you will get noticed), it may be time to look for an Etsy alternative.

Customization 

On Etsy, you have little control over your store design and brand image. You can add your brand logo, store name, and banner, but that’s it. 

Even if you customize these areas, you still don’t own your store’s page, and Etsy has full control over it. 

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Top 9 Etsy alternatives

If you want to make an informed decision and choose the right platform for your online business, here’s a list of 9 Etsy alternatives that might fit you better. 

Shopify is one of the leading online marketplaces and Etsy alternatives for sellers. This all-in-one ecommerce platform allows you to create a standalone, independent online store on Shopify. 

Main features

Shopify has many powerful built-in features for your online store and offers its sellers a collection of beautifully designed, mobile-friendly website templates (free and premium). 

a man looking to the sideSource: Shopify

It also provides merchants with a point-of-sale solution, local delivery and fulfillment options, and thousands of apps that expand Shopify’s functionality, like inventory management, promotional tools, and more.

Price

Shopify offers a wide variety of plans for different business needs. You can start with a 14-day free trial and purchase a monthly subscription for as little as $5 (Shopify Starter). 

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Shopify

Pros

The biggest advantage of Shopify is its complete list of powerful, hands-on ecommerce functions, making this platform a great choice for dropshipping

With Shopify’s user-friendly interface, beautiful templates, easy setup process, educational resources, and 24/7 customer support, you can launch your ecommerce store in no time. 

Cons

While it’s easy to migrate from Etsy to Shopify, it might be hard to exit Shopify. As the platform stores all the data, migration might be challenging.

Another con is its pricing. While Shopify subscription prices differ significantly, it might be costly for those looking for extensive features and capabilities. 

Another popular Etsy alternative is Squarespace. Squarespace is a hosting solution and a website builder that provides domain registration services and a suite of ecommerce features. 

Main features

Apart from gorgeous templates, Squarespace offers a one-year custom domain, basic SEO tools, analytics, online payments (via PayPal and Stripe), dozens of extensions, and more. While Squarespace’s commerce features might be more limited than other alternatives, they’re powerful enough to keep your shop running. 

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Squarespace

Price

Squarespace doesn’t have a free plan but offers a 14-day free trial. The cheapest plan (with no ecommerce functions) will cost you $23 monthly. 

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Squarespace

Pros

Squarespace is one of the most user-friendly platforms for building your online store. It comes with 140+ highly customizable themes, powerful integrations, rich blogging features, and an option to sell an unlimited number of products. 

Cons

Compared to other alternatives, Squarespace offers limited ecommerce functions and might not be the best choice for businesses that require a rich catalog structure. It comes with no multi-currency selling features and no option to switch to a new template. 

Webflow is a no-code web design, CMS (content management system), and hosting platform. Its powerful visual editor allows sellers to design, build, and launch their online stores with intuitive, code-free design tools.

Main features

Webflow has many integrations and apps, powerful yet easy-to-use features, helpful customer support, localization options, a fully customizable page structure, and a collaboration feature. 

a screenshot of a web pageSource: Webflow

Price

Webflow’s ecommerce site price starts at $42 monthly ($29 if billed yearly).

a screenshot of a computerSource: Webflow

Pros

Webflow is a great solution as it allows you to create your site without coding knowledge. Webflow also integrates with multiple powerful tools for marketing, analytics, automation, social media, payment processing, localization, and more. Another advantage is its pre-made, optimized templates. You get a professionally designed template where you can tweak nearly everything from text to spacing. 

Cons

One of the main disadvantages of Webflow is the learning curve. Because of its complex interface and many design options, this platform might not be suitable for beginners. Also, Webflow’s advanced plans are more expensive than the ones offered by similar platforms.  

eBay is one of the oldest online marketplaces. It allows a few different dropshipping and pricing strategy choices (you can sell products immediately or to the highest bidder).

Main features

While eBay customization options are limited, the platform offers powerful built-in marketing tools for selling and promoting your listings. Plus, it offers two types of advertising—as an ad banner or as a featured item on the top of the products list. 

a screenshot of a websiteSource: eBay

Price

You have to pay an eBay store subscription fee between $7.95 and $2,999.95 per month to sell on eBay. Plus, there are two main fees: insertion fees (or listing fees) and final value fees (charged after you sell the product). 

Pros

eBay is simple to set up and manage. Plus, it has extensive traffic and a broad customer base, allowing sellers to appeal to different niches and audiences. In addition, eBay’s bidding system allows sellers to increase profits from single listings.   

Cons

eBay offers very limited customization. You can personalize the description, logo, banner, and picture of your online store and add photos, titles, and descriptions to your listings, but that’s it. Because of its massive appeal, eBay is highly competitive. Plus, its complex policies, incredibly complicated fee structure, and strict rules make it uncomfortable for some sellers. 

Read also: Etsy vs. eBay: Which One is Best for Your Online Business?

Big Cartel is another platform for building your own online store. Like Etsy, its goal is to promote individual artists and create a space for handmade goods. 

Main features

This solution comes with free, SEO-friendly, and mobile-optimized store templates you can customize to reflect your branding. In addition, all templates include a high-quality product image display, an adjustable product grid, consistent design across devices, and featured item settings. 

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Big Cartel

With paid plans, you can offer discounts, run promotions, track inventory and shipment, use a custom domain name, access Google Analytics, get ads support, and more. 

Price

One of the best things about Big Cartel is that it offers an unlimited free plan with no expiration date. It limits the number of products you can sell online (up to 5), as well as your ability to edit your site’s code, add Google Analytics, and track inventory. 

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Big Cartel

Next, there are Platinum ($9.99 per month) and Diamond ($19.99 per month) plans. These plans allow you to sell more products (up to 500) and give access to additional features. 

Pros

Pros of Big Cartel include its generous Free plan and generally low prices compared to other solutions. Plus, the platform offers great templates at no additional cost. 

Cons

One of the main disadvantages of the platform is that it only allows you to sell 500 products, no more. Plus, you can’t sell unlimited products in multiple currencies or offer weight-based shipping.

Gumroad is a multipurpose solution for selling both digital and physical products. 

Main features

Gumroad offers a simple purchase flow, smooth payment processing, fast support, in-depth analytics, different currencies, and more powerful features.

a woman with flowers in her hairSource: Gumroad

Price

Gumroad has no monthly charges and only takes 10% off every sale.

Pros

Gumorad is super straightforward and takes no extra learning. You can set up your store with its flexible page editor or embed Gumroad on your site. 

a cartoon character with a pink faceSource: Gumroad

Cons

If you sell many products, organizing them might be hard. Also, Gumroad’s customization options are quite limited. You can upload your logo, specify the name of your store, and change font styles, accents, and background colors, but that’s it.

In September 2023, TikTok announced the launch of TikTok Shop, which allows users to sell products directly through in-feed videos, livestreams, and the Showcase tab, enabling product discovery, checkout, and post-payment activities without leaving the app.

Main features

TikTok Shop has features to track performance analytics, collaborate with content creators, and launch promotional campaigns. It includes numerous integrations with commerce platforms and multi-channel partners via the TikTok Shop App & Service Store.  

a screenshot of a social media appSource: TikTok Shop

Price

You can register your business on TikTok Shop for free. However, once you start selling, you’ll be charged multiple fees. For instance, TikTok charges a fee for every transaction (referral fee). From July 1, 2024, TikTok Shop’s referral fee will increase to 8% per order. 

This fee applies to each order except for canceled, returned, and refunded orders. In addition, TikTok Shop charges shipping fees and sales taxes. 

Pros

If you want to reach a particular audience like Gen Z, TikTok Shop might be a good solution. Other pros include the TikTok Shop interface: users can buy your goods in just a few clicks without leaving the platform. 

a screenshot of a websiteSource: TikTok Shop

Cons

Many consumers already complain about fatigue from the volume of cheap or fake goods and affiliate links that make TikTok less like an entertainment app and more like a catalog. Also, there are concerns about TikTok Shop’s reliability with phantom orders, shipping, and payment privacy. 

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8. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free, open-source Etsy alternative tied to WordPress—one of the most popular content management systems (CMS). It works as a plugin that turns your WordPress site into an SEO-friendly ecommerce marketplace. 

Main features

WooCommerce has an intuitive, easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor and a super straightforward interface. Apart from options to add bestsellers, top-rated, new, on-sale, and hand-picked products to any page or post on your site, WooCommerce offers hundreds of free and paid extensions to enrich your store with additional functionality.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: WooCommerce

Price

While WooCommerce and WordPress are free software, some costs are still involved. The main difference between WooCommerce and other Etsy alternatives is that you have much more control over your spending. To use WooCommerce, you must invest in hosting and buy a domain or site name. You can purchase a domain name from your web hosting provider or even WordPress.

Hosting and domain prices vary widely—it can be as little as a few dollars or as much as a thousand dollars.  

Pros

WooCommerce is a highly customizable platform, even for non-tech-savvy individuals. It allows you to turn your site into a custom solution. Moreover, it comes with thousands of available plug-ins and extensions to take the feel and functionality of your own site to the next level. 

a screenshot of a websiteSource: WooCommerce

Cons

WooCommerce has some downsides as well. First, you need to find a separate hosting provider and domain name because it doesn’t work on its own—it must be used with WordPress. Its reliance on WordPress means there’s a bit of a learning curve to understand how to use it effectively.

9. Amazon Handmade 

The next Etsy alternative is Amazon. While Amazon isn’t the first choice that comes to mind for selling crafts, it does offer a solution for this purpose—Amazon Handmade. It’s an online marketplace within Amazon, tailored specifically for craft and artisan goods like custom t-shirts or custom hoodies.  

Main features

When you join Amazon Handmade, you get access to all Amazon selling tools. Additionally, you can outsource order fulfillment to Amazon through its Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) program.

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Amazon Handmade

Price

You can create your online shop without additional charges. However, you need to have a Professional selling account. It will cost you $39.99/month, but this monthly fee will be waived after your application is approved. In addition, Amazon takes a 15% fee on every sale (there are no additional listing or payment processing fees). 

Pros

Apart from a global reach and enormous exposure, some pros of selling on Amazon Handmade include no product listing fees. Plus, there is no limit to how many items you can post. Another benefit is Amazon’s advanced marketing tools (unlike Etsy’s), shipping through the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) option, and the Amazon-sponsored ads feature. 

a screenshot of a websiteSource: Amazon Handmade

Cons

The main con of Amazon Handmade is the high fees. While sellers have to pay Amazon monthly membership fees, they’re also charged a 15% selling fee on each sale (higher than on other marketplaces). 

Another drawback might be the application process for new merchants. It usually takes some time, and the seller undergoes a strict review process. Amazon states that all products must be made or modified entirely by hand. While many Amazon Handmade listings represent products sourced with print-on-demand, there is no guarantee Amazon will allow you to sell it on Handmade. In that case, you can list your products on the regular Amazon site. 

How to choose the best Etsy alternative?

Choosing the best Etsy alternatives depends on various factors. Here are some critical factors to keep in mind:

  • The platform’s fees and pricing structure

  • Ease of setup and management

  • Design tools and store customization options

  • Integration with print-on-demand services

  • Audience reach (traffic and exposure) 

  • Available customer support

  • Policies and terms of the platform 

Conclusion

While Etsy is one of the most well-known ecommerce platforms for your print-on-demand business, plenty of Etsy alternatives can suit you better. Consider your current and future needs, budget, platform features, and whether you can integrate your print-on-demand service and want your own website.

If you choose Printful as your trusted print-on-demand partner for starting your clothing brand, it can be easily integrated with each of the above-mentioned alternatives in just a few clicks. 

author

By Paula Scerbinina on Apr 5, 2024

Paula Scerbinina

Guest author

A free-spirited creative with a psychology and marketing background, Paula spends her days creating stories for brands and individuals. Her heart belongs to writing, mental health advocacy, and beach volleyball.

A free-spirited creative with a psychology and marketing background, Paula spends her days creating stories for brands and individuals. Her heart belongs to writing, mental health advocacy, and beach volleyball.