Etsy Vs. Indiemade

I have been getting a lot of emails lately from people wondering what I think of Indiemade, why I have both shops, and if I think they should start an Indiemade site. I thought it might be a good time to lay it all out on the table and share my experiences here. These are only my opinions and of course, you should do your research completely before making a decision either way. 

Here's a screen shot of my Indiemade site.  It's pretty right? :)
I like the look of it, I like the big banner, I like the layout. Everything is easy to read and not confusing.  I can post links to my tutorials, ebooks, etsy shop, blog etc. 

Here's a screen shot of my Etsy shop. Yep. Looks like a typical Etsy shop. Looks pretty much like EVERY OTHER Etsy shop. 

Yep. It's boring. I can't include links to blog, Indiemade shop, ebooks and tutorials. Can't incorporate anything really other than my Etsy listings.

So why Do I Keep it? 

Well, one word. TRAFFIC.

Etsy is a marketplace.  It's like an online mall and a shopper can go there when they're looking for "handmade jewelry". They can peruse a bazillion shops, all selling "handmade jewelry". 

Indiemade is not a marketplace. It's a host for a personal website. There is no way to search "handmade jewelry" from a bazillion shops. As an Indiemade site owner, it's your job to link the store up in other places like social media sites, etc. 

My opinion is: It's great to have BOTH.  Especially if what you're selling is your job and NOT just your hobby. As an artist, you want to have a professional website and not just an Etsy shop.

As a seller, this is what I like about Indiemade:

Also- Indiemade rivals etsy when it comes to customer service. They actually respond to queries and are HELPFUL! I've received responses from customer service always within 24 hours!

A misconception about Indiemade- you need to be a member to purchase from an Indiemade store.  FALSE!! You don't need to login to purchase something from an Indiemade store! I just purchased something from a fellow indiemade store owner and all I had to do was fill in my name, address, phone number, email and then the site redirects me to Paypal to complete the transaction!

You also can pay using a credit card instead of a paypal account by merely clicking the link at the sign-in screen to says "pay with credit card"!

I think if you are new to selling, Etsy is a great option to get up and running.  Once you have maintained a following using your Etsy shop, blog and social media- it's a good idea to branch out with an Indiemade shop.  My thoughts are this-- if you are new to selling, don't start just an Indiemade store out of the blue and expect fantastic results- unless you are a social media guru who knows how to promote the heck out of your business.

Another thought....  Because Etsy is more of a marketplace, chances are high that shoppers will tend to "comparison" shop for items.  Therefore they tend to buy based on price and not quality.  Just another reason why it's good to have a website!

These are just things that were at the top of my head and is no way comprehensive but I just wanted to jot some things down in case you were wondering about  these topics.  Feel free to comment on this post if you have other thoughts or additional facts to share. 

Will I ever leave Etsy for good? Hells No.  Would never risk it, as I do get quite a few views on Etsy each day and each view is a step towards a possible sale in the future.

 Please check out some of these great examples of other Indiemade stores:

To read more about starting an Indiemade shop, click here.
To read more about starting an Etsy shop, click here.


  1. Anonymous11/22/2013

    Lots of very good information here! Thaks Lorelei.

  2. Love this post Lorelei!
    I love that there are so many options for artists to create a website, shopping cart, blog and so much more out there - so being able to read up on this and look at it from a business and marketing perspective is awesome (thank you!!!)
    I too am a firm believer that if you have an Etsy presence and market your work smart through them, and through social media - the customers are there to tap into (rather like getting a huge hammer and whacking your way into it these days over there). Versus a website presence where you have to really bring your customers to you.

    I agree - have a website and shopping cart outside of Etsy, try to keep things simple and clean and professional, but use that Etsy platform to really market your work as much as you can.

    Did you see the recent posts I've written up on Love My Art Jewelry Blog where I have been chatting up about the difficulties about handmade and Etsy and ways to try to market your work through them. Some days - especially recently - it seems like a lot of extra work than it was before. And if the economy weren't so bad - would it show better result in numbers of sales?

    My brain seems to be spinning on this all the time...
    Again - thanks for the post (and to Karen Totten for sharing it via Facebook).

  3. Thanks for the informative review!

  4. A really good and informative review. I've just started an IndieMade website about a month back because I heard really good things from Heather and Erin, and I like how easy it is to set up and navigate - not like the website I had previously. I also totally agree with maintaining an etsy shop/presence - not least because it is so familiar to so many handmade buyers, and sometimes (even though anyone and their dog can start up an etsy shop!) it feels like a more 'trustworthy' format for them, I think anyway. Website and etsy shop is definitely a good plan!

  5. Thank you Lorelei, very informative.

  6. Hey Miss Lorelei! Your blog posts are always great. Thank you for the nice shout out to my site... you are my 'something good' today! This is something that has been top of my mind this month in particular. I am actually setting up a site for my Pop-a-Dot Jewelry fundraising site on another platform. In fact, from my initial experience with this other platform, I might even like it better than Indiemade. ;-) I do like Indiemade, and although I have only had a few sales from it, I agree with you that you need a way to drive traffic to your website. It started out for me as a way to have a gallery, a calling card of sorts. I agree also that it is wise to keep a presence on Etsy for the sheer volume of that marketplace. I am slowly revamping Etsy to be the one-offs and samples that are ready to ship and the custom made to order (and eventually the jewelry that I haven't been selling outside of local galleries and boutiques - and a special jewelry line that I am working on to go with my Simple Truths pendants) items will be at the Indiemade website. One thing I have been frustrated with is the lack of themes. I just can't seem to find the right one for me. I want to grab one thing from each and merge them into my own. I tweak it several times a week! But you are right, they are extremely responsive and I appreciate that so much! I will hopefully debut the new Pop-a-Dot website soon for a fundraiser that I have planned for typhoon aid and will let you know what I think of it! Enjoy the day! Erin

  7. debra freeland11/24/2013

    Hi Lorelei
    As a customer and not a person who sells, I have nothing but great things to say about etsy. I ALWAYS use Paypal because of the security. I have had problems with designer's website's that my credit card has been frauded right after a purchase. This has never happened on Etsy. Sometimes, when I have tried to put in people's websites, that were printed in magazines, I have had trouble even finding them. This may give you a new insight. Love your blog and your designs!

  8. Thanks for taking the time to write this. My sentiments exactly! :)

  9. Great post, Lorelei! I created my website on Shopify this fall and wish I had investigated Indiemade more before doing so. I also have an Etsy shop, so being able to link up the two shops would be ideal. Thanks for all the info, and the other comments have also been helpful.

  10. I am a newbie to the handmade world:) I just started making bracelets this year. At first it was so fun and I considered it as a hobby due to the fact that I never made anything in my life. I received an overwhelming response so I created a Facebook profile page. I really didn't make any sales because I do not have a page to drive the Facebook traffic. I came across ESTY while searching for products to purchase my items to make the jewelry. After reading several blogs, attending bead shows, and reading articles I realized that I must get started to turn my hobby into a business. I came across Indiemade after researching Storenvy, Shopify, Volusion, and Retailr.. By far Indiemade seems to be affordable for someone like me. However from a marketing perspective, how do I link ESTY and the Indiemade site to Facebook without confusing my customers where to make a purchase? Esty they will need to create a profile and also they will discover a million other store owners. If I solely drive traffic to Indiemade I can retain my customers correct? Please advise how I can maximize results from both sites.

  11. Thanks for the great review! This is just the kind of info I was looking for, and I was even considering sending a message to you asking for your personal experiences!

  12. I'm looking at both of these options right now and so this is especially helpful! Many thanks!

  13. I totally agree with this blog post.

    I recently started an IndieMade shop after ProStores dumped the small business shops from their program.

    I love IndieMade so far.

    BTW, I couldn't get your third example link to work (


  14. Thank you for a concise article between the two venue, right not my store on etsy just started and I'm am looking to branch out ward as the comparison syndromes you mentioned is so strong there. i feel likely to be price out verses gauge on the quality of my custom doormats or the personalized designs of my doormats.


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