Where to sell your work online if you’re an artist, designer or maker
Are you looking for a platform where you can sell your artwork and hand-crafted designs, dedicated to the UK craft scene, with an incredible community of artists and makers, run by people passionate about handmade? A UK site like Etsy, maybe? That’s what Folksy is. We’re all about British craft and we’re here to help you grow your creative business and to promote British artists and makers to customers around the world.
The UK alternative to Etsy
Choosing where to sell your work involves lots of decisions, and we’ve heard from so many designers and makers in our community that recent changes at Etsy have left sellers feeling frustrated, alienated and looking for alternatives. As the US-based site has expanded, many creatives tell us they’re finding it difficult to get their work seen on Etsy – that their handmade items are getting swamped among the millions of listings. They often feel that as independent artists or makers, hand-crafting each item, it’s increasingly hard to compete with the vast number of mass-produced and vintage items on Etsy – especially if they’re just starting out.
Pretty soon Etsy will be for the big sellers only (that is where they make their money anyway). They are changing course… maybe we should follow their lead and head in a different direction.” – Etsy seller, Netherlands
Folksy is the biggest UK site for handmade but we are still much smaller than Etsy. Around 9,000 artists and makers sell their work through Folksy every year, with between 3,000 and 6,000 sellers at any one time. That makes it easier for you to get seen. Our niche is British craft and you have to be based in the UK to sell on Folksy, but you don’t have to be based in the UK to buy on Folksy – we have customers all across the world, from North America to Australia, Europe and even Peru. As part of our emphasis on craftsmanship, handmade and original art, we don’t allow vintage or reselling on Folksy, so our team regularly review items and shops to ensure they meet our terms, helped by our eagle-eyed community.
A marketplace made for makers
There is also a sense among the maker community that the ethos of Etsy is different now from when it started – that the original concept of creating a marketplace to serve the needs of designers and makers has become lost as Etsy has grown, launched on the stockmarket and now has the profit-driven needs of shareholders to serve.
I love the atmosphere on Folksy. I enjoy listing, visiting the forum, and also browsing everyone’s shops. I always check Folksy first if I need a gift. I consider other crafters who sell here as friends in a community really. This continues through to social media platforms, where we tend to look out for each other, using the folksy hashtags and pinning to Folksy boards. Folksy feels genuine, the interactions between sellers and customers stem from a love of handmade, and I feel valued rather than like a tiny cog in a huge corporate machine.” – Sarah Bell, SarahDesignsUK
Folksy is a limited business based in Sheffield, Yorkshire, in the north of England. We haven’t floated on the stockmarket and we don’t have the profit interests of shareholders to please. Instead we are a team of six people (three of us come from designer/maker backgrounds) dedicated to making the biggest impact we can and giving UK artists and designers the tools and skills they need to grow their businesses, and a friendly, simple-to-use place to sell their work. We always aim to put the needs of our community first.
No fees on postage
Etsy’s statement this June that sellers would now need to pay commission on shipping costs, became the final straw for lots of artists, designers and makers who saw it as “greedy” and “unfair”. One of the reasons sellers were so upset is because many of them already take the hit on postage and packing, either only charging their customers postage at cost price or in some cases charging less than it costs them because customers often expect cheap or free postage. Margins can be tight when you run your own business, so changes like this can have a pretty dramatic impact.
At Folksy we don’t (and won’t) charge commission on postage. We always try to keep our fees and commission as low as possible because we understand that your margins are small. That’s one of the reasons we introduced the Folksy Plus account over six years ago, to give sellers the option of only paying commission and being able to list as many items as they need for only £5 a month or £45 a year (plus VAT). That’s not to say we don’t make mistakes because we do, but we always listen to our sellers, and their feedback is critical to any decisions we take.
Why Folksy is different
- We have been supporting craft in the UK, spearheading the British handmade movement, for over 10 years. That’s a decade of experience, knowledge and helping small creative businesses blossom. We are no ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ start-up. Every one of those 10 years, we have learned more about the handmade sector and what it takes to be successful in a rapidly changing world, and every year we take steps to improve Folksy and what we can do to help you more.
- We are a team of people who believe in handmade, not a corporate beast with thousands of shareholders to please.
- We are based in the UK and pay UK taxes, so your fees and commission stay in the UK, contributing to the local economy.
- Folksy isn’t just a platform, it’s a community. This is at the heart of what we do.
- We might be small but we are mighty – and part of our might is in the incredible group of artists and makers we have supporting each other (and us). There is strength in numbers.
- Folksy is used by over 185k shoppers a month. That’s a lot of people looking to buy craft who you could reach if you sold on Folksy. But we’re not stopping there – we want to get Folksy in front of even more people, so we can help your work get seen across the globe!
- Our weekly newsletter goes out to over 50,000 engaged shoppers, which is a brilliant opportunity to get your work in front of new customers.
- We have a very loyal customer base of people looking to buy something unique, personal and handmade in Britain, as well as an incredibly strong (and large) fanbase across social media – Folksy pins reach over 5 million people on Pinterest every month!
- Unlike some other marketplaces, no vintage or reselling is allowed on Folksy. We do allow craft supplies though – because what is an artist and maker without tools and materials?
- We want to keep Folksy about art and handmade, so we rely on our amazing community to help us flag any items that do not meet our terms and conditions, and regularly review all reported items and shops. See what you can and can’t sell on Folksy here >
- We have a brilliant, fast and friendly support team who are always there to help and answer your questions, as well as a very extensive knowledge base you can refer to whenever you need help.
- As a Folksy seller you have full access to Talk Folksy forum, where you can chat to other sellers, make connections and get advice.
- You also get access to our blog and Folksy Seller Handbook, which is filled with tips on how to sell online and features posts and advice from experts on everything you need to know when you run your own handmade business.
- When you join Folksy you get 3 free listings to help start you on your way, learn the ropes and get selling as quickly and easily as possible.
- Every new Folksy shop owner also gets access to our free ‘Make It Sell’ ecourse, which is followed by regular Seller Tips emails (but you can unsubscribe from either at any time.)
- You can customise your shop with your own banner and avatar – or you can choose from one of our readymade designs.
- We are currently working on variations for our sellers, so you will be able to give your customers options for each product. This will be going live soon.
- We are the home of British craft. If you’d like to join us, we’d love to have you.
Etsy throws the big bucks at advertising, but they can afford to do so. They do so by allowing sellers on that Folksy doesn’t – the resellers, the assemblers and from all countries. They’re a massive site, with a massive income to match, and on there, you’re just a drop in the ocean. I left Etsy a number of years ago… I felt that the focus had moved from representing hand-makers to simply raking in the cash from resellers. – Lois Bell, Bees And Blossoms