There is a before and after in the life of an artist: when we only do it for fun and when we decide to take the step to turn our art into a source of income.
That’s when doubts assail you, how can I sell online? Can I check in without being autonomous? Where do I store my store?
The problem is that there are so many options that it is easy to feel overwhelmed and never finish deciding.
A store of your own? A MarketPlace? How much do they charge me? And if I want to sell outside of Spain?
Do not worry, because over all these years I have tried many different systems and I am going to save you the trauma of having to investigate one by one.
The first option to sell online is to create your own online store. Having your own store allows you to customize absolutely everything, but also increase expenses and headaches.
And, if you want a customized solution and you do not have technical knowledge, you will have to pay someone to do it.
Of course, there are platforms that facilitate the entire process based on templates and plugins with which you can have an absolutely professional online store.
There are many options, but these are the ones I consider best:
Fee: From $ 29 monthly. (It depends on the options you choose). Also, you have a discount if you pay one year in advance.
Commissions: Between 0.5 – 2% per sale (Varies depending on the monthly plan)
Accepted payments: Paypal (including credit cards), and an infinity of systems through plugins.
Free option: It does not have. But you can try for 14 days.
Support: 24 hours. Both by phone, email and chat.
Shopify is one of the most complete e-commerce in the market.
It is a platform suitable for all audiences since everything is optimized perfectly so that it is understandable. This allows you to develop common tasks such as publishing and managing ads in a very simple way.
What I like about Shopify
Here you have all the control of your store and you can mould it to your liking thanks to the infinity of templates and plugins of Shopify.
For example, customize the URL, the appearance, connect your store to numerous channels (such as Facebook), or insert buttons on your website that allow the user to buy the product you are talking about without having to redirect them to the store.
Also, something very important for me: it allows you to customize the taxes depending on the nationality of the buyer, which makes the work much easier for the farm.
What I do not like about Shopify
On the downside, the cost of setting up the online store can get out of hand quickly.
If we choose a payment template and add a couple of applications, together with the monthly fee, we can go for a peak.
[amazon_textlink asin=’1981616411′ text=’I recommend this amazing book about Shopify.’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’thestartupfou-21′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’921c458b-f499-11e8-8bfc-a9546eaa23d4′]
2. Big Cartel
Fee: From $ 9.99 to $ 29.99 per month.
Payments accepted: Stripe and PayPal.
Free option: Yes
Support: Email and telephone Monday-Friday 9 am-6pm EST.
Although it does not have as many possibilities as Shopify, Big Cartel is enough if you do not have much budget to start.
Interestingly, the monthly fee only influences the number of products you can include in your catalog.
What I like about Big Cartel
As for online stores, it is one of the cheapest of style, and for that reason, even with its shortcomings, I recommend it if you want to set up your store and you can not invest too much.
With any of the plans you can do common things, like customize the url, opt for free templates, and connect your store with other services.
In addition, the administration of the platform is simple, although you need to know a minimum of English.
What I do not like about Big Cartel
The biggest problem is that the platform is completely in English.
For the public, it allows you to manually customize texts and buttons. But only some, since other pages (like the cart) will be seen in English, or even worse, in Spanglish.
If you sell to an international audience, it may not affect the language too much. However, it can cause avalanches of emails with questions from buyers, who, being Spanish speaking, do not have to know what “back to cart” or “email address” means.
Also, it is a bit strange to see parts in Spanish and others in English. This gives little confidence when buying if they do not know you.
Finally, despite being able to include taxes in the store, you can not customize according to products and country. They are fixed. And this is a problem if, as in my case, you do not sell alone in the European Union.
Accepted payments: Virtually any through plugins.
Free option: It’s completely free.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create your online store. And with more than 7 million downloads, it’s clear that it works.
That if, not being a service like the previous ones, you need to hire a hosting where to install the applications.
If you do not want to complicate your life, my favorite hosting is Raiola. They are experts in WordPress and with their optimizations, the web goes like a shot.
What I like about WooCommerce
The best thing about WooCommerce is that it is an open source application. And the great advantage of this is that it has a gigantic community of users and programmers.
This makes solving any problem as easy as doing a Google search. In most cases you will find someone who has solved the same problem, or a plugin that gives you the function you need.
In addition, the customization is almost endless thanks to the WooCommerce store, although I recommend looking at Theme Forest, since the templates usually have a better price.
As a curiosity, WooCommerce has behind Automattic, the same company behind WordPress, so the future of the application is guaranteed.
What I do not like about WooCommerce
Here there are not many drawbacks, since the installation is extremely simple, but I can not let go of the fact that it is an application and not a service.
For many people with little technical knowledge, this can be a problem, although the reality is that each version is simpler than the previous one.
I do not forget other options like Prestashop, but I think that WooCommerce is superior and easier to configure.
On the other hand, I recommend you run away from any hosting company with “create online store” service.
And because? Two things:
- If they have their own system, 99 out of 100 are disastrous.
- If they do not have their own system, they install WooCommerce or Prestashop, usually with modified versions full of useless plugins.
In the end, you will end up desperate and look for other options, so save yourself the trauma in the first place.
Unlike your own store, in a MarketPlace you are part of a community of sellers and buyers.
The advantage of these platforms is that they usually facilitate the discovery of your products as they promote the social component.
Here there is a lot of variety, but these are my recommendations:
Fee: Annual payment of € 19.95
Commissions: 3% per sale
Rate per ad: It has not.
Accepted payments: PayPal.
Free option: Yes
Support: Only email. No schedule is indicated.
Artesanio is a very basic and little known Spanish marketplace, oriented exclusively to artisans who want to sell online.
What I like about Artesanio
If we compare it with other platforms, the quota is quite cheap, and you have no cost or limit when putting products for sale.
In addition, it has forums where the interaction of the community is encouraged.
What I do not like about Artesanio
It is oriented to artisans. You can not sell digital products (downloadable illustrations, templates, etc.) or physical products in series no matter how much you designed them (pins, beads, washitape, etc.)
Although we already know that you accept cards, you can only use PayPal as a payment method.
They have support via email and take a long time to answer your questions (with me it took a while).
He is too amateur. It is very oriented to people who only seek to sell things sporadically and take out extra money.
Finally, although I have already said that you have a community, the reality is that it is terribly inactive.
Fee: It does not have.
Commissions: 0-10% per sale
Rate per ad: It has not.
Accepted payments: Stripe, PayPal and Klarna.
Support: Email and phone Monday-Saturday 12 am-9pm, Sunday 12 am-6pm EST) and in your physical store in New York.
This MarketPlace of Swedish origin does not stop growing in Europe since its launch in 2012.
They position themselves as a market for independent brands and artists, bringing together all kinds of disciplines, from designer clothes to paintings and sculptures.
What I like about Tictail
It has an intuitive and simple system to manage sales.
In addition to reviews, buyers can attach photos of the product, which gives additional confidence to other customers.
You have no product limit and it does not cost to place ads.
You can design your store to your liking with free templates.
Interestingly, in addition to selling online in your online store, you have the possibility that your products end up in your physical store in New York.
What I do not like about Tictail
It does not have forums, or anything similar to connect with other vendors.
It is indicated only if you already have followers that buy your products, since, if you want to appear in the global store feed, for each sale you make you will get 10%.
If you want to put a personalized URL to your store, you must pay € 1 per month.
Fee: It does not have.
Commissions: 5% per sale
Rate per ad: $ 0.20 per ad
Accepted payments: Virtually all through its payment platform.
Support: Email It is not specified (in my personal experience they are very fast).
Etsy is the platform most used by artists and artisans from around the world to sell online.
With nearly 30 million active buyers, any artist can reach an audience with which he could only dream before.
What I like about Etsy
It has such a large sales community that it is easy to find courses to improve your sales and optimize your business.
In addition, this great community makes it easier to get in touch with other artists and expand horizons.
Personally, I think they have the best FAQ section of all the marketplace. It is so clear and concise that in 90% of cases you will not have to contact them directly.
Etsy has the best management of all platforms. Both for the seller, as for the buyer. Comfortable, organized and intuitive.
It generates invoices automatically, both for the client and for yourself. This is ideal for legal businesses.
You can promote yourself on the platform itself through its advertising system.
They have a very active team. If you get in touch with them for a serious issue, you will receive an answer in less than 24 hours.
It has its own payment platform that accepts all kinds of methods, including PayPal even if you do not have an account.
Thanks to its popularity, you reach buyers from all corners of the world.
They have a system called Etsy Pattern that allows you to have a personalized store for € 13 per month.
We can not deny it: Etsy has a cache. It is a legit platform where many famous artists sell and that gives security to the buyers.
What I do not like about Etsy
If you charge in a currency other than dollars, Etsy charges you an additional commission of 2.5% for the conversion.
Although there is a lot of content translated into Spanish, you will always find the best information on English channels.
And if you do not know the latest updates, I recommend you read this article about the changes of Etsy in 2018.
But what online store should I use?
Surely, after reading this you are almost worse than when you started.
Now you have too much information and there are several options that catch your attention but, why choose?
After talking to many colleagues, we all come to the same conclusion: the best thing to start is a marketplace.
Why? Three things:
- The initial costs are minimal.
- It does not require technical knowledge.
- You have automatic access to a large community of potential customers.
Many people think that having a store of their own gives you caches, and above that you do not pay commissions to anyone.
The reality is that building a web from scratch takes a lot of time and effort. And if you do not have the technical knowledge, you have to invest a lot of money at once.
You will need to register a domain, pay for hosting, design, plugins, maintenance … and I assure you that none of this is cheap, neither in money nor in time.
Conclusion: Do not complicate your life.
Go to the comfortable and start selling as soon as possible and that your future self will solve problems on the fly.
If you need help to start selling, do not miss this post about marketing strategies.
And my personal recommendation is …
And now, after all this information, you’ll want to know which is my favorite store, right?
Well, after many years selling in several ecommerces and marketplaces …
I stay with Etsy.
And here I tell you why:
It is the most practical and easy to use.
I love your community
Clients from all over the world
And you, have you tried any of the options I’ve told you?
Have you tried others that you have not mentioned?
Tell me, I want to know your opinion!
Also published on Medium.