Unless you’ve been living under a digital rock, you’ve most certainly heard of Etsy. The popular online marketplace offers makers of all kinds the opportunity to sell their creations to buyers across the globe. Etsy is best known for its selection of handmade goods and crafts supplies. However, in recent years, the platform has also allowed creators to sell digital products, including ebooks, printable art, knitting patterns, and so much more.
So why should you look for an Etsy alternative?
Etsy is certainly a great platform for makers to sell physical goods and crafts. The needs of digital creators, however, are much different and continue to evolve along with the new and dynamic creator economy. What’s more is that, in 2022, Etsy increased its 5% transaction fee for sellers to 6.5%. That means each time you make a sale, Etsy is taking a larger cut from your earnings.
The good news is that there are other options out there. Read on for seven better alternatives to Etsy that make it easy to sell digital downloads and earn money online.
Need help making your first sale online? Download The Leap’s free checklist for selling your first digital product.
What are the best Etsy alternatives?
While Etsy can be used to sell digital products online, there are also a number of more specialized e-commerce platforms out there that are better tailored to the needs of creators selling digital downloads. Some of these platforms also take smaller cuts from users, helping digital creators earn even more.
With so many options to consider, making the leap to a new e-commerce platform can be overwhelming. But don’t worry — as always, we’re here to help. Below, we take a look at some of the best Etsy alternatives on the market right now, providing you with all the information you need to decide which platform is right for you. Let’s get started!
1. The Leap
Looking for the ultimate creator monetization tool — and one that’s free? Then you’ll want to get in on The Leap.
The Leap is the latest tool from the leading creator educator platform Thinkific. This all-in-one platform functions as a link-in-bio tool, an online storefront, and an easy-to-use digital product builder, allowing creators to create and sell digital products all from one place. 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 bring their product ideas to life, whether it’s a tutorial, a mini-course, or a guide. Because it’s so easy to use, The Leap’s zero-cost, user-friendly authoring tool empowers creators to turn their products into lead magnets, which helps them grow their email list — and their pile of cash.
The platform also offers creators an array of audience analytics, including sales and leads reports, that give them the insights they need to create the digital products that will fly off the (digital) shelves.
The Leap is designed for creators looking to jumpstart their monetization journey. And if you leverage all of its features in tandem, you’ll have yourself an income engine that’ll power your business and earn you even more money over time.
The best part about The Leap? It’s all free!
- Mobile-optimized link-in-bio storefront
- In-app payment processing
- AI-powered digital product builder for mini-courses, tutorials, guides, and challenges
- Email list builder
- Audience analytics
- It’s free!
Is The Leap right for you?
If you’re a creator educator looking to monetize your expertise, then The Leap is the link in bio tool for you. The Leap helps creators transform their knowledge into profitable digital products, quickly and easily. More specifically, the platform is ideal for creator educators looking to increase their digital product revenue by growing their email list, generating leads, and expanding their offering fast.
Ready to start earning? Create your link-in-bio storefront on The Leap today.
On its homepage, Sellfy promises users that they can “get their store up and running in 5 minutes.” That’s a tall order, but one that holds true once you take a closer look at the platform’s quick onboarding process and easy-to-use website builder.
Sellify is an e-commerce platform that allows users to sell virtually any digital product imaginable, from art print to e-books and beyond, and offers file-hosting services with an unlimited bandwidth on the amount of items you can sell at once. Sellfy allows users build their own e-commerce website, while also offering them the opportunity to sell from their social media accounts, blogs, and anywhere else using “buy now” embeds and widgets.
- Digital storefront/e-commerce website.
- Digital product-hosting services with unlimited storage and bandwidth.
- Built-in sales tracker.
- Sell anywhere, including through your social media accounts.
- Built-in marketing tools.
- No listing or transaction fees.
- High-level security including SSL encryption.
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 bi-yearly basis. Starter Plans begin at $19/month and Premium Plans at $99/month. You can check out a more detailed overview of each plan’s pricing on Sellfy’s website.
Is Sellfy right for you?
With its vast digital product-hosting services, easy-to-use interface, and all-in-one tools, Sellfy is a great option for creators looking to sell any kind of digital product. Because it’s so intuitive and easy to use, this platform is especially useful for creators who are new to selling digital downloads
ConvertKit is a newsletter marketing platform that also allows creators to sell digital products to their audience. This platform allows you to sell any product that can be delivered as a digital download, that includes ebooks, albums, artworks, coaching sessions, courses, and more. In addition to selling single-purchase digital products, ConvertKit offers users the opportunity to easily sell products on a recurring, subscription basis.
- Digital storefront/e-commerce website.
- Digital product-hosting services.
- Built-in sales tracker.
- Integrated payment processing with Stripe.
- Easily sell digital products on a subscriptions basis.
- Built-in discount code feature.
ConvertKit offers three tiers of plans — Free, Creator, and Creator Pro — which you can subscribe to on a yearly or monthly basis. 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, or looking to sell digital products — including online courses, coaching sessions, and more — on a subscription basis. You can check out an overview of ConvertKit’s plans and pricing on its website.
It’s also important to note that ConvertKit’s Commerce feature is only available in a limited number of countries.
4. Pulley by Big Cartel
Pulley is the digital arm of beloved e-commerce platform Big Cartel. This e-commerce platform specifically caters to creators selling digital products, from digital art and music, to e-books and software. If it’s downloadable, you can sell it on Pulley.
Selling your products on Pulley is easy: simply upload your products and share your “buy now” link through your website, social media account, and anywhere else to sell directly to your followers.
- Digital product-hosting services.
- Unlimited orders and bandwidth.
- Built-in sales tracker.
- No transaction fees.
- Secure download links.
- Payment processing through PayPal or Big Cartel.
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’s a great place to host and sell digital products, it doesn’t have the website-hosting capacities for users to set up their own e-commerce. Pulley is ideal for creators who aren’t interested in having a digital storefront, and would rather sell their digital products through third-party platforms like their social media accounts, blog, or website.
5. Creative Market
Creative Market is a design marketplace that connects creators with a community of over 9 million potential customers. This platform is specifically caters to design-focused creators, letting them sell digital design resources — including graphics, fonts, photos, illustrations, templates, and mockups — quickly and easily to clients across the globe.
Potential users must submit an application to begin selling on Creative Market. Once their application is accepted, they can simply set up their store front, upload their digital products, and let this platform’s powerful search engine do its thing.
- Sell in a digital marketplace with over 9 million customers.
- Integrated storefront.
- Built-in sales and traffic trackers.
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.
Shutterstock is a digital marketplace that allows photographers and videographers to sell digital images and video 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.
Signing up for Shutterstock is fast, easy, and free, allowing creators to submit their work to sell on the platform without any hassle. Once each image or video clip is approved, contributors begin earning money every time their content is downloaded.
- Sell in a global digital marketplace.
- Mobile app to upload images on-the-go.
- Dashboard with smart features including auto-keyword suggestions.
- Referral program that allows you to earn more.
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. Check out Shutterstock’s website to learn more about its earnings schedules and commission rates.
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 powerful search engine, Shutterstock provides these creators with all the tools and exposure they need to start earning fast.
Ravelry is an online marketplace, social media platform, and forum for knitters, crocheters, and fiber artists. This platform 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.
- Sell in a specialized digital marketplace.
- Integrated digital storefront.
- No listing fees.
- Built-in forum feature to connect with customers.
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 free, 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.
Consider your Etsy alternatives
Whether you’re looking to sell sewing patterns, wedding invite templates, or an online course about painting, there’s an Etsy alternative that might better suit your needs. Explore our list of recommendations above to compare different platforms’ pricing and features, and choose one that works best for you.