A Window of Opportunity for Smaller Online Marketplaces
Artisans who have felt abandoned by Etsy have been exploring alternative marketplaces. Their artisanal goods have become crowded on Etsy by manufactured goods made overseas. However, with other handmade marketplaces like aftcra, DaWanda, Folksy and Zibbet, these artisans’ goods can stand out and be easily found by shoppers. Each of these Etsy-like marketplaces comes with its own regulations and policies, which vary from Etsy. For example, both Folksy and aftcra are country-centric, showcasing artisanal goods from Britain and the U.S., respectively.
As Etsy continues to morph into a corporate goliath, its products, policies and focus will steer away from what made the site so unique. Instead of being considered a hip startup, Etsy will be compared to the likes of Amazon.com or eBay. Etsy's initial mission to highlight talented makers across the globe will continue to live on however, as alternatives move in to claim that position and keep the focus on handmade goods.
Erica Riegelman is the co-founder and president of aftcra, an online marketplace where you can buy and sell American handmade products.