We want to start this series by getting something out of the way. When we say “Etsy Alternatives,” we don’t mean financially viable alternatives to selling on Etsy.
Etsy is a monopoly. When the average person wants to shop from an indie seller, Etsy is likely to be the first thing on their mind. If you need to reach those people to earn a living, you have no choice but to sell on Etsy. We all know this. It’s a large portion of the reason why we need an Etsy seller’s union!
The word “Alternative” is still accurate though – what we mean is something you can set up in addition to Etsy to offer an “alternative” to shoppers.
Let’s get started.
Has setting up a store been on your coulda-woulda-shoulda list for quite a while now? And you haven’t been able to because “free” and “time” are both 4 letter words that you can’t really say anymore without catching your pants on fire?
Square Marketplace is the first thing we’re showcasing in this series – for good reason! It’s the easiest and quickest-to-set-up option of everything we’ve found so far. For current Etsy sellers, at least.
You can sync your Etsy inventory with Square, and then you can disconnect your shops (Etsy will charge you fees on your Square sales if you don’t do this!) and at the end of the process, you’ll have a working shop, for free, while taking advantage of all the time you’ve already spent building your store on Etsy.
A couple things to note about Square Marketplace. The name is a little confusing! It isn’t actually a marketplace with a search-all-sellers function – it’s an online store builder. Also – if you’ve seen those ubiquitous “Square” website builder ads, this isn’t the same thing! This is a store-builder service put out by squareup.com – the payment processor we’ve all been using at shows for so long.
Thanks to Trace Elements Art for this review of Square Marketplace! You can see her Square Marketplace shop at https://trace-elements-art.square.site/shop/11.
Square Marketplace is designed for small businesses, mobile locations, and independent sellers of any kind. Trace Elements Art has been using the service for a year and a half now. We asked the following questions:
In comparison to Etsy, what’s your favorite feature or aspect?
I’m able to take gift cards, sell at bazaars from my phone, and run both this and a tutoring business from the same platform.
In comparison to Etsy, what’s your least favorite feature or aspect?
There is no file storage so my customers who buy digital products can’t download their products immediately. I have to send them a link to the product that I store elsewhere (Google Drive, mostly) for them to be able to download it.
How much does it cost monthly or per item to sell things?
Square charges no monthly fees or transaction fees or listing fees. All you pay to use it is a payment processing fee of 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
Anything else you would like to tell us about it?
My store landing page (the “main” directory, not the sub-page I shared as my store link) can’t be easily sorted, so it looks like a jumble to potential customers. I always share my sub-page as my “main” storefront page.
Square Marketplace Rating
We think Square Marketplace is a great option for anyone who needs to get a store online ASAP, but doesn’t have much time to spare. It’s even a good option for a temporary online store – to have a low-fee spot to send shoppers while you’re working on setting up a store at your own .com domain.
We will have more specifics on Square Marketplace available in our Etsy Alternatives database, which is coming soon to the members-only section of this site.
If you haven’t already, please join the guild!