February '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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92 || P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 maintaining an individual website have developed. If a business is considering alternative options for selling, or has an e-commerce website and is simply looking for additional market penetration, there are a few other site options to consider. ETSY Founded in 2005, Etsy has arguably become the gold standard for crafters and artists who sell online. It started strictly as a site where people who created handmade goods could sell their work, and specialized in individual and one-of-a-kind pieces. Over the years, the standards of the site have changed, and there is now some criticism among small businesses and individual artists that the site has expanded to let in mass-produced work. Still, Etsy is one of the best known marketplaces for artistic work, and has a large share of the market. Users do pay listing fees and a percentage of each sale made through the platform goes to the site, so that is something to take into account when calculating costs and pricing mer- chandise on the site. ( EBAY For most people, eBay is the place to go when looking for something inexpensive or the place to sell when cleaning out their closet. It is true that eBay started out as an auction site, and is still probably best known as the place to buy collectibles or sell unwanted goods that you think are worth some money. For those who create decorated items, however, eBay can also be a decent marketplace. The site has several guides dedicated to selling crafts and offers help and direction for those who want to sell handmade or decorated items. (www. AMAZON AND AMAZON HANDMADE Amazon used to be the place where customers went to purchase books, games, or movies, but it offers so much more than those products. Through partner sellers and fulfillment services, customers can find almost any product on Amazon. The Amazon sites definitely have name recognition and extreme penetration into many markets. The site does charge a monthly subscription fee and referral and closing fees, so those will need to be considered when determining if selling there is a viable option. Amazon Handmade is a relatively recent addition to the Amazon brand, and is targeted at those sellers who make individual, one-of-a-kind goods. It is billed, by some, as an alterna- tive to Etsy. There may be advantages to selling on this platform, but make sure to read all user agreements and terms of service carefully. Some sellers have already pointed out that the sellers' agreements give an extensive list of rights to Amazon, including the right to use any pictures that are posted on the site. ( FACEBOOK For businesses that have a Facebook page, setting up a Facebook store may be a good op- tion. People who like a Facebook page have already expressed interest in the subject of the page which, in this case, would be the business that owns the page. It only makes sense to sell directly to these engaged followers. A Facebook store is generally set up with some sort of third party software, such as Shopify, Storefront Social, or Using the third party software, a store allows customers to shop right on the page instead of guiding them to another website. ( OTHER ONLINE OPTIONS While almost everyone knows Etsy and Amazon, there are also smaller sites which cater to arti- sans and decorators which may be good options for apparel decorators. AFTCRA—Based in Milwaukee, this site follows the same idea as the original Etsy. Products sold are considered handmade goods, although it does allow things like screen printed clothing. (www. ARTFIRE—This site is a com- munity of makers, designers, and decorators. It is a marketplace based around a creative commu- nity. ArtFire also offers the ability to post ads looking for custom- made products if it can't already be found on the site. (www.artfire. com) BONANZA—This site is mar- ketplace that bills itself as an eBay alternative. (www.bonanza. com) REBELSMARKET—For com- panies that specialize in fashion subcultures like steampunk, Goth, or streetwear, RebelsMar- ket may be the best place for your wares. While this site does not exclusively sell handmade, it does bill itself as "the world's largest alternative marketplace." ( E-COMMERCE OPTIONS

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