Handmade Business

selling online: finding what works for you


Late last year, I made the decision to leave Etsy and open a Big Cartel store.   I loved the idea of building my own website, so after much thought I decided to give it a try.  After a month of using Big Cartel, I decided that Etsy was  better suited for my needs.  It was hard to “admit” that I made a mistake, but it is also worse to keep going down a path that does not seem right.  Many shops have had much success with Big Cartel, so this is a very personal decision.

Why did I go back to Esty?  For several reasons, but mainly the behind the scenes (back office) work was easier for me.  This is very important, because I’m a one woman show.  This means when an order is placed, I cut, sew, package and ship that order.  So, anything that makes something a little more complicated just doesn’t work for me.

The reasons I love Etsy are plenty, but here are a few:

  • Opening a shop has little risk.
  • Great behind the scenes order detail.
  • Easy to communicate with customers via their conversation system.
  • Built in advertising.
  • Built in SEO (search engine optimization).
  • Easily close your shop with “vacation mode”.  Customers can sign up to be notified when you are open again.  Great for catching up on orders or even taking a vacation!
  • Coupon codes can be used.
  • Buyers can read feedback from other buyers.  (I think this really helps to build trust).
  • A clear understanding that the item being purchased is handmade.
  • Many magazines are now looking at Etsy for features.  I was contacted by Pregnancy & Newborn magazine while selling nursing covers.
  • Newsletters and other great information provided by Etsy to their sellers.  Sign up even if you don’t have a seller account.

There are several other on-line venues for selling handmade, so I encourage you to find what works for you.

Please feel free to share your thoughts or experiences.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    February 25, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I totally know what you mean! I did the same thing… I was on etsy then switched to big cartel and realized that *for me* etsy was better :) Have a good weekend!! :)

    • Reply
      Lucy Jane
      February 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Glad to hear I’m not the only one…haha. Love your work btw!

  • Reply
    February 27, 2012 at 12:06 am

    I totally admire your courage to try something new and even greater courage to make the choice to do what really works for you and your business:) Cheering for you!
    Your work is lovely! I am super blessed and excited that I was one of the winners of your giveaway over at Gussy Sews and will soon be sporting one of your beautiful pieces. Best Wishes with your shop in 2012!:)

    • Reply
      Lucy Jane
      February 27, 2012 at 1:31 pm

      Congrats on winning! I just sent you a note. ;-)

  • Reply
    February 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    This was great info. I have been working on making the finishing touches to my etsy shop. I like to know that someone switched back to etsy because I have been wondering about the etsy vs. big cartel dilemma. You’ve helped tremendously! Love your totes by the way. :)

    • Reply
      Lucy Jane
      February 27, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      YAY, good luck!!!! I’ve been so happy with etsy. Let me know if you ever have any questions.

    Leave a Reply