Friday, March 9, 2012

Hand Painted Rocks - Choosing an Online Marketplace

Choosing an online marketplace to showcase my hand painted rocks seemed like a no brainer because of Etsy's popularity for handmade items.

Fortunately, I came across this helpful blog entry -- "Big Cartel vs. Etsy vs. Storenvy" -- which compared those three online selling platforms.

Here's a quick summary of the three marketplaces and their features.

Marketplace Specialty

  • Big Cartel - higher-end art and design  
  • Etsy - crafts, vintage, and supplies 
  • Storenvy - used for whatever you desire 


Big Cartel has tiered pricing plans:

  • Free = 5 listings/1 image each product 
  • $9.99/month = 25 listings, 3 images each product 
  • $19.99/month = 100 listings/5 images each product
  • $29.99/month = 300 listings/5 images each product

Etsy is a pay-as-you-go system:

  • $0.20 per listing & item quantity (for 4 months) and 3.5% of the sale price fee (with unlimited listings)

    • Completely free to list unlimited items with 5 images for each product


    • Big Cartel promotes a small number of shops, showcasing the big names and best sellers. 
    • Etsy promotes a limited number of their favorite sellers but a larger number of people on the whole get a promo bump from Etsy. 
    • Storenvy has a watered down community you can search


    • Big Cartel - Bring your own traffic
    • Etsy - A lot of traffic from Etsy and Etsy is well-integrated with Google
    • Storenvy - Some through traffic 


    • Big Cartel - One page listing process but limited features
    • Etsy - Detailed dashboard and a five-step listing process
    • Storenvy - Detailed dashboard that can be overwhelming


    • Big Cartel - You’re going to find exactly what you expected: the store you were linked to. You are an island
    • Etsy -Trash can be mixed in with the gems. However, Etsy is so well known that there is a high comfort level associated with them. You'll always be mixed in with vintage, competitors, supply sellers
    • Storenvy - In between Big Cartel and Etsy: people can find competitors work if they look for it. Storenvy doesn’t attract enough attention for there to be a lot of junk on it yet

    Based on the tips I learned, I chose Storenvy for my hand painted rocks online marketplace.

    I found the Storenvy user interface to be very intuitive, clean and simple. The Storenvy staff answered my questions quickly and it cost me nothing to set up my customized store and add products.

    If you're looking for a marketplace to showcase your handcrafted items, I suggest reading the "Big Cartel vs. Etsy vs. Storenvy" blog mentioned above as a starting point.

    For me, Storenvy rocks for my hand painted rocks. See me hand painted rocks for sale at:

    Visit my store on Storenvy

    Update: August 1, 2012

    I'm very happy with my choice of Storenvy for my painted rocks marketplace. Since I joined Storenvy, they've added an app so that I can also bring my store right into my Painted Rocks by Cindy Thomas FB fan page

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