Platform Reviews

9 Best Etsy Alternatives for Selling Digital Products (2024)

by Kelsey McLellan · Published May 9, 2024

Unless you’ve been living under a digital rock, you’re probably familiar with Etsy. The popular online marketplace offers makers of all kinds the opportunity to sell their creations to buyers across the globe — and that includes digital products.

While Etsy is a great platform for selling digital products online, it charges sellers a hefty 6.5% transaction fee. That means every time you make a sale, Etsy takes a large slice of your revenue. But here’s the good news: there are other online storefronts and marketplaces you can sell digital products on instead of Etsy.

In this article, we’re diving into 9 of the best Etsy alternatives with breakdowns of their key features, benefits, and pricing.

Click here to start creating and selling digital products with The Leap. It’s free!

Etsy alternatives at a glance

Best overallThe Leap
Designed to help creators kickstart their monetization journey, The Leap lets you create, market, and sell digital products all from one place, for free!
Best for customizationShopify
With tons of customizable themes, Shopify allows you to give your storefront the on-brand look and feel you want.
Best for designersCreative Market
Creative Market caters to the design niche, so if you’re a designer or creative looking to sell fonts, presets, brushes, and more, this is the platform for you.
Best no-frills optionPulley by Big Cartel
Don’t want to pay a premium for all the bells and whistles? Pulley lets you upload your products and sell them with just a link, no fancy email marketing tools needed.

Etsy is a popular online marketplace that offers makers of all kinds a place to sell their creations internationally. Back in 2005, Etsy began as a marketplace for handmade goods and vintage items. However, it has grown into a marketplace for digital products, too.

What’s great about Etsy is that its powerful search engine does half of your marketing for you, connecting your products with the buyers who want them. So, if you’re in the DIY or crafting niche, then Etsy might actually be the platform for you — if you’re willing to put up with the steep 6.5% transaction fees.

Etsy functions as a marketplace, allowing creators to set up an online store on the platform for free. While sellers can add a header to their store, Etsy offers creators little else by way of customization. If you’re looking to build a more personalized online store and customize your Etsy shop, Pattern allows you to build your own custom, Etsy-powered e-commerce website for $15/month.

Best Etsy alternatives

While Etsy is a popular platform for selling digital products, there are other alternatives out there that offer more advanced features, or take a smaller cut from your sales. Read on as we break down the 9 best Etsy alternatives.

Etsy alternatives comparison

PlatformPricingDigital product builderEmail list builder
EtsyFree, with 6.5% transaction fee
The LeapFree, with no transaction fee!AI-powered digital product builder 🪄
SellfyStarter plan: starting at $19/month

Business plan: starting at $49/month

Premium plan: starting at $99/month
StanCreator plan: $29/month

Creator Pro plan: $99/month
✅ Course builder✅ 
ShopifyBasic plan: starting at $29/month

Shopify plan: starting at $79/month

Advanced plan: starting at $298/month
ConvertKitFree plan: $0/month

Creator plan: $9/month

Pro plan: $25/month

All plans come with 3.5% + $0.30 transaction fee
Pulley by Big Cartel$6 – $49/month depending on file storage needs
Creative MarketFree, with commission rates starting at 50%
ShutterstockFree, with varied commission rates
RavelryFree, with 3.5% transaction fee

1. The Leap

Looking for the ultimate creator store to create, sell, and market your digital products all from one place — and for free? Then you’ll want to get in on The Leap.

This all-in-one platform functions as a link-in-bio storefront, an AI-powered digital product builder, and an email list builder. Designed with lead generation and sales in mind, The Leap helps creators transform their knowledge into digital products and their followers into paying customers, quickly and easily.

The Leap’s AI-powered digital product builder enables creators to create a range of the best and most engaging educational products, including mini-courses, tutorials, guides, and challenges. Because it’s powered by generative AI, The Leap’s product builder creates your products for you, saving you time and effort (which = money, right?). It also empowers creators to turn their products into lead magnets, which helps them grow their email list.

What’s more, The Leap offers users email collection and built-in email marketing features, in addition to audience analytics that give you the insights you need to create digital products your audience will love.

The Leap is designed for creators looking to kickstart their monetization journey. And by leveraging all of its features at once, you’ll build yourself an income engine that’ll earn you more (and more) money over time.

The best part about The Leap? It’s free to use!

Key features

Pricing

Free! Try The Leap today to start creating and selling digital products.

Is The Leap right for you?

If you’re a creator looking to monetize your expertise, then The Leap is the platform for you. This free online store helps creators transform their knowledge into profitable digital products, quickly and easily. More specifically, this Etsy alternative is ideal for creator educators looking to increase their digital product revenue by growing their email list, generating leads, and expanding their offering fast.

image

Create and sell digital products in minutes using The Leap!


2. Sellfy

Sellfy is a lightweight platform geared towards selling digital products. Its user-friendly online store builder helps you get your store up and running in just a few minutes. Once it’s online, you can upload as many digital products as you want, and even sell subscriptions and on-demand video.

However, it’s important to note that Sellfy places a cap on just how much income you can earn per pricing tier. For example, if you plan on making more than $10,000/year, you’ll have to upgrade from Sellfy’s basic plan to a higher tier.

sellfy online store sell digital products

Sellfy doesn’t offer a digital product builder. However, it does have an array of marketing tools geared towards conversion. Email marketing and coupons are available on Sellfy’s most basic plan, but if you want more advanced features, like product upselling and cart abandonment automation, you’ll have to level up your plan.

Key features

  • Online storefront
  • Digital product hosting services
  • Email collection
  • Native email
  • Marketing tools like coupon codes, upselling, and cart abandonment
  • Audience and sales analytics
  • No listing or transaction fees

Pricing

Rather than charging users a transaction fee per sale, Sellfy offers three tiers of plans — Starter, Business, and Premium — which can be subscribed to on a monthly, yearly, or even bi-yearly basis. The platform’s Starter plan begins at $19/month, its Business plan starts at $49/month, and its Premium plan starts at $99/month.

Is Sellfy right for you?

Sellfy is an easy-to-use platform that allows you to set up shop and start selling almost instantaneously. It’s marketing features are designed to get those digital products flying off the shelves. So, if you’re new to selling digital products or you’re just looking for a quick and easy way to start selling your digital products, then this might be the platform for you.


3. Stan

Stan Store has grown in popularity as a creator store in the last few years. And that’s because it boasts many features that help creators start selling and marketing their digital products.

In addition to its online store feature, the platform provides a host of marketing features. Its basic plan enables users to build out their email list with opt-in forms, while its pro plan provides users with email marketing capabilities as well as pixel tracking to retarget followers.

stan store link in bio creator store sell digital products

Stan Store also arrives with a selection of customizable themes, so you can update your shop with your brand colors and preferred fonts. This means that, with Stan, you have more control over the look and feel of your store than with Etsy.

Key features

  • Mobile-optimized online storefront
  • Customize themes and adjust the colors and fonts of your store
  • Course builder allows you to create and sell courses from one place
  • Email marketing
  • Pixel tracking

Pricing

If you want to sell online using Stan Store, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee. There’s a 14-day free trial available. After that, a Creator plan is $29/month, and a Pro plan will run you $99/month.

Is Stan Store right for you?

Stan Store comes with tons of the bells and whistles you need to set up shop and sell your digital products. However, you’ll need to be prepared to pay a price for even the most basic features — and even more for advanced features like email marketing and pixel tracking.

In other words, if you’re looking for a free creator store, then Stan Store likely isn’t the one for you.


4. Shopify

Shopify is pretty much king when it comes to selling stuff online — and that includes digital products. In addition to physical merch, this Etsy alternative allows creators to sell virtually any kind of digital product, from from journal templates to Lightroom presets and everything in between. 

To start selling digital products, you’ll need to download and use Shopify’s free Digital Downloads app. From there, upload your product, disable shipping, and Shopify will deliver your digital product directly to your customers. If you’d like to sell memberships and subscriptions, you’ll also need to integrate another third-party app through the Shopify app store.

shopify sell digital products online store

If you don’t mind dealing with the platform’s multiple apps (and paying a premium for some of them), you’ll get to benefit from all of the platform’s robust features, including its powerful email marketing tool to boost your sales.

Key features

  • Online storefront
  • Email marketing (at additional cost depending on number of emails sent)
  • Email list builder
  • Advanced audience analytics

Pricing

Shopify recommends its Basic plan (starting at $29/month) for solo entrepreneurs, its Shopify plan (starting $79/month) for small teams, and its Advanced plan (starting at $298/month) if you really want to scale your business. You can choose to pay for your plan in monthly or yearly installments.

Shopify charges transaction fees when you sell using third-party payment gateways (2% for Basic plan, 1% for Shopify plan, and 0.5% for Advanced plan). However, it waives these fees if you sell using the Shopify Payments app, which you can find in the Shopify app store.

Is Shopify right for you?

Shopify is a robust platform that offers an assortment of premium features — at a premium, i.e. a monthly subscription fee. If you’re willing to splash out on tools like email marketing, then Spotify might be a great option for you.


5. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is a newsletter marketing platform that doubles as an online storefront catered to those wanting to sell digital products.

The platform enables you to sell virtually any kind of digital product, from ebooks and presets, to music and digital art. In addition to selling single-purchase digital products, ConvertKit offers users the opportunity to easily sell products on a recurring, subscription basis.

convertkit sell digital products online store

Where ConvertKit really excels is with its email marketing features, which enables you to grow your email list. The platform’s email marketing tool comes replete with list-building sign-up forms and landing pages, automated sales funnels, and customizable templates. What’s even better is that ConvertKit allows you to embed “buy now” buttons within your emails or your own website, so that your followers and subscribers can make a purchase easily.

Key features

  • Online storefront
  • Digital product-hosting services
  • Native email
  • Email list builder
  • Audience and sales analytics
  • Integrated payment processing with Stripe
  • Additional marketing tools like discount codes

Pricing

ConvertKit offers three tiers of plans — Free, Creator, and Creator Pro — with a yearly or monthly membership fee. Each plan places a cap on the number of email subscribers allowed, and paid plans are priced on a sliding scale according to the number of email subscribers.

ConvertKit’s Commerce feature is available to both paid and free plan users. On top of its plan pricing, ConvertKit charges a 3.5% + $0.30 transaction fee per sale. 

Is ConvertKit right for you?

ConvertKit is a good fit for creators looking to take advantage of the platform’s dual-pronged newsletter and e-commerce features. Because of this, it would be most useful for creators looking to sell digital products to email subscribers.

It’s also important to note that ConvertKit’s Commerce feature is only available in a limited number of countries.


6. Pulley by Big Cartel

Pulley is the digital arm of beloved e-commerce platform Big Cartel, catering specifically to those looking to sell digital products.

Selling your products on Pulley is easy: simply upload your products and share your “buy now” link through your own website, social media account, and anywhere else to sell directly to your followers.

Pulley by Big Cartel sell digital products

Pulley also allows users to track their sales by viewing real-time statistics as well as complete order and download history, so you can keep tabs on which products your audience loves.

Pulley doesn’t come with any extra bells and whistles, like an online storefront, marketing tools, or native email (if you’d like your own online store, you can integrate Pulley with your Big Cartel store for a premium.) That said, Pulley also doesn’t charge transaction fees, which can’t be said for Etsy.

Key features

  • Digital product-hosting services
  • Unlimited orders and bandwidth
  • Sales analytics
  • No listing or transaction fees
  • In-app payment processing through PayPal (or through Big Cartel)

Pricing

Pulley offers four tiers of monthly plans based on how many digital products you’re looking to host and sell. They range from 25-product plans at $6/month, to “infinite”-product plans for $199/month.

Like Big Cartel, Pulley charges no transaction or listing fees. However, since both platforms process payments via PayPal, users are subjected to PayPal’s standard processing fees.

Is Pulley right for you?

Pulley offers creators a streamlined way to sell their digital products directly to their followers. While Pulley is a great place to host and sell digital products, it doesn’t have the online storefront functionality of other Etsy alternatives.

This means Pulley is ideal for creators who aren’t interested in having an online storefront, and would rather sell their digital products through other venues like their social media accounts, blog, or website.


7. Creative Market

Creative Market is a design marketplace that connects creators with a community of over 10 million potential customers. This Etsy alternative specifically caters to design-focused creators, letting them sell digital design resource like graphics, fonts, and illustrations.

creative market sell digital products

Like Etsy, Creative Market functions as a marketplace. You’ll set up your online storefront within the platform, while its search engine puts in the work to get your digital products in front of the people who want to buy them. Creative Market also makes it easy to keep in touch with your customers through in-app messaging.

If you want to use Creative Market, you’ll need to submit an application. Once your application is accepted, you can set up your storefront and upload your digital products.

Key features

  • Online marketplace with over 10 million customers
  • Marketplace-integrated online store
  • Audience and sales analytics
  • In-app messaging to connect with customers

Pricing

Once your membership has been accepted, it’s free to open a shop and list items on Creative Market. Rather than being charged transaction fees, Creative Market users are paid a commission of the revenue from each sale. While commission rates vary per shop and product, by default, each shop earns 50% of the list price for each sale.

Is Creative Market right for you?

It almost goes without saying that Creative Market is the best option for designed-focused creators looking to sell digital design resources. This platform’s massive community and integrated user storefronts make it quick and easy for designers to sell their products to clients across the globe.

If you’re looking to apply to sell on Creative Market, be sure to have an online portfolio of your work or a link to your existing digital products at the ready.


8. Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a digital marketplace that allows photographers and videographers to sell digital images and videos to clients all over the world. Becoming a Shutterstock contributor means joining a global community of creatives who have been paid out over $1 billion dollars over the last 15 years.

shutterstock sell digital photos videos

Signing up for Shutterstock is fast, easy, and free. Once an image or video clip is approved, contributors begin earning money every time their content is downloaded.

Key features

  • Online marketplace for images and videos
  • Marketplace-integrated online store for images and videos
  • Mobile app to upload files on-the-go
  • Dashboard with smart features including auto keyword suggestions
  • Referral program that allows you to earn more

Pricing

Becoming a Shutterstock contributor is free, and there’s no fee to submit your images for sale in the marketplace. Commission rates vary depending on a contributor’s “level.” Contributors “level up” when their content is licensed by customers, and with each level begin earning an increased percentage in commission.

Is Shutterstock right for you?

Shutterstock is a great option for photographers and videographers looking to monetize their digital content. With its massive marketplace community and search engine, Shutterstock provides these creators with the tools and exposure they need to start earning fast.


9. Ravelry

Ravelry is an online marketplace and forum for knitters, crocheters, and fiber artists. This Etsy alternative allows creators to sell their digital knitting and crocheting patterns directly to a massive community of other yarn enthusiasts.

It’s quick and easy to start selling on Ravelry. Simply sign up (for free!), list your pattern, and upload its corresponding PDF file to begin making cash off your creations.

Key features

  • Niche online marketplace for knitters and crocheters
  • Marketplace-integrated online store
  • No listing fees
  • In-app forum to connect with customers

Pricing

Ravelry is free to join, and the platform doesn’t charge users to upload their digital products. That being said, Ravelry charges a 3.5% sales fee, in addition to a fixed PayPal transaction fee of $0.30 for each sale made.

Is Ravelry right for you?

All in all, Ravelry is the ideal marketplace for yarn enthusiasts to buy and sell. With its large and highly specialized marketplace and its built-in networking capacities, Ravelry is a great way for creators to monetize digital knitting and crocheting patterns online.

What to look for in an Etsy alternative

Lower (or zero) transaction and listing fees

Although Etsy is a very popular marketplace for digital products, it does have its downsides. Number one? Its high transaction fees.

While Etsy does offer a free plan, the platform charges a 6.5% transaction fee on each sale made, which is much higher than most Etsy alternatives on the market. What’s more is that, on top of platform fees, Etsy also charges a $0.20 listing fee for each digital product you upload to your online store. As we just unpacked above, there are many Etsy alternatives on the market that are free and have no listing or platform fees, like The Leap.

Build your link-in-bio creator store with The Leap today. It’s free!

More customization options

Etsy offers limited customization features for sellers’ storefronts. If you want a fully customized online store, you might want to check out a platform like Shopify that offers a plethora of customizable website templates. But, be warned: these features usually come with a premium (read: a monthly fee.)

Ability to build and sell digital products from one spot

While Etsy provides creators with a way to sell their products, it doesn’t provide creators with a way to build them. If you want to create, sell, and promote your products all from a single platform, you might want to check out an all-in-one creator store like The Leap.

image

Build, market, and sell digital products all in one spot with The Leap!

Consider your niche

Finally, you’ll want to consider your niche. If you’re not big into the arts-and-crafts or organizational products game, then Etsy’s niche market might not provide you with the cashflow you’re looking for. If that’s the case, you might want to look into broader platforms like The Leap.

However, if you’re creating content in a highly specific niche, like photography or knitting, then you might want to check out one of the more specialized Etsy alternatives like Creative Market, Shutterstock, or Ravelry.

Build and sell digital products with The Leap

It turns out that if you’re looking for a free platform to create and sell your digital products, Etsy might not be your best bet. However, if you’re looking for an all-in-one creator store, you’ll want to check out The Leap.

The Leap provides you with everything you need to start selling your digital products and earning money now — and it’s free!

In addition to being a link-in-bio storefront, The Leap provides you with lots of other essential creator tools, including an AI-powered digital product builder, an email list builder, and built-in email marketing features. Basically everything you need to create, sell, and promote your digital products.

The Leap’s AI-powered digital product builder helps you build mini-courses, guides, and more in minutes.

The Leap’s user-friendly store builder allows you to set up your link-in-bio store in just a few minutes, so you can start selling your digital products ASAP. Its AI-powered authoring tool also makes creating digital products and lead magnets a cinch. Because it’s powered by generative AI, The Leap saves you time and brain power, enabling you to create engaging digital products fast.

Also, did we mention The Leap is free to use? Once you sign up for your free account, you gain access to all features, from its supercharged digital product builder to email marketing. Try The Leap for free now.

image

Create and sell digital products in minutes using The Leap!

Etsy alternatives FAQ

What are the best Etsy alternatives for selling digital products?

While Etsy is a popular online marketplace for selling digital products, there are lots of alternatives available. Whether these Etsy alternatives are “better” really depends on your specific needs as a creator, including whether you’d like to create and sell your digital products in one platform, along with your budget, your niche, and your long-term goals.

With these factors taken into consideration, there are many creator stores that are better or more well-suited to your needs than Etsy, like The Leap, Shopify, or Creative Market.

What can I use instead of Etsy for free?

There are many Etsy alternatives that provide creators with the same or similar features for free and without transaction fees. One of these is The Leap.

The Leap provides users with a free online store builder, as well as a fully functional AI-powered digital product builder, and features like an email list builder and built-in email marketing tools. Try it free now!

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Start monetizing your audience with The Leap, your all-in-one creator store.

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Further reading

This article was originally published in February 2023, and updated in May 2024 with additional information.

kelsey mclellan
About the author

Kelsey McLellan

Kelsey McLellan is a writer and editor based in Toronto.
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