Folksy, Etsy ….what’s the difference?
First, a little explanation of each shop and why they are different.
Folksy is a UK based online marketplace, based in Sheffield and all sellers need to be based in the UK. It’s solely a handmade website with supplies too- so most things are made by the artists themselves. It’s been around since 2008, a relatively small operation ran by around 10 staff, all lovely and chatty and it’s really quick to get answers to any queries because it’s still relatively small. I love that you can really connect with folksy staff and they’ve been really supportive in promoting my work so far, which is good! There really is a great range available on folksy and I find the best way to use the site is either to head straight to the category you’re looking for or click into one of the gift guides to really explore the site. With regards to buying on folksy, it’s Paypal only (which takes credit/debit cards anyway!) normally with a Folksy account- but they also have a guest checkout facility which is great if you don’t want to sign up for yet another website. (Edit to add – Folksy now take cards via Stripe – so no need to use Paypal, you can choose what suits you best!)
Next to Folksy, Etsy seems like a mega store. Based in the USA, it’s the biggest craft selling website, so as you’d expect, it’s got lots of engineers making the buying process super easy. As well as Paypal, you can use Direct Checkout- ie pay Etsy directly by Debit or Credit card, which is great for those that don’t like using Paypal. It’s got three categories for selling – Handmade, Supplies and Vintage, and sellers are throughout the world so you can buy something from Portugal or Portland and many places in between. The only thing I’d mention to an Etsy new shopper is to watch out for customs charges if you’re buying from abroad as they can be pretty hefty, so factor them into the price when you’re buying (Royal mail charges an £8 handling charge as well as the tax…), but as long as you’re aware then shop away! Alternatively, you can set the filters to the UK or Europe to find products that won’t attract this extra charge.
Which one do you prefer? Are there any other marketplaces you think I should sell on? Get in touch or leave a comment as I’d love to know your thoughts!