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Beyond craft fairs: Five websites to sell your artwork (+video)

Don't limit selling your arts and crafts to just your local craft fair: Consider selling your work online. 

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    Etsy's new no-witchcraft policy has some buyers and sellers upset, calling it discriminatory to wiccans and pagans.
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Maybe you create art or make crafts as a hobby. Or perhaps you've been dreaming of starting your own business using your homemade items as stock. Whatever the case, there are plenty of places online where you can list your wares and earn some pretty decent coin in return. Here's the lowdown on a few of the most popular marketplaces for crafters and artists.

1. Etsy

Over 30 million people from across the globe use Etsy to buy and sell anything from handmade jewelry to one-of-a-kind house decor. You can even sell craft supplies and rare vintage items, if that's more your speed. Overall, this is one of the most popular arts communities online and even offers the convenience of cool features like gift cards.

Another bonus is low costs: there are no membership fees on Etsy, and it costs just $0.20 to list an item until it sells. The site does collect a 3.5% fee on the total sale price (including shipping) of each item. All sales transaction are done through Direct Checkout, PayPal, check, or money order. To learn more, check out Etsy's comprehensive Seller Handbook with details on photography, shipping, growth strategies, and more.

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2. eBay

Marketplace giant eBay has been around since 1995. If you can dream it, you can likely find it somewhere on the site for a price. A few of the more prominent craft categories on eBay include woodworking, scrapbooking, ceramics and pottery, textile art, craft supplies, and even origami. One of eBay's most unique features is its different buying structures, including auctions. You can set a low auction starting price on your items and/or choose a set Buy-It-Now amount.

Whichever you choose, understand that there are various selling feesinvolved in all transactions. You'll likely encounter an insertion fee, final sale fee, and some upgrade fees, depending on how you choose to list. The amounts vary by item, but — for example — a $30 sewn doll with $5 shipping will cost you $3.15, according to the fee calculator. Read eBay's Crafts Selling Guide for more details on making listings, selling your stuff, and shipping.

3. Bonanza

"Find everything but the ordinary" is Bonanza's site motto, and for good reason. You can discover anything from crocheted potholders to beaded necklaces to original canvas paintings. Better yet, the site is well known as a good alternative to some of the bigger name marketplaces out there. Over 50,000 sellers have shared that they prefer the site to others like Etsy and eBay for the low fees, customer service, and profitability.

Like eBay, you'll find the craft items among many other things for sale like collectibles, women's retail fashion, makeup, and more. The difference? There are no fees unless your item sells. You'll encounter a 3.5% fee on final order values less than $500 — but that's minus a shipping fee exemption of up to $10 to keep some extra money in your pocket. Check out the Selling on Bonanza guide for more information.

4. Zibbet

How about no listing fees, no sale fees, and a free account? That's exactly what you'll get with Zibbet. The site stays true to its mission by selling only handmade items — and absolutely nothing that has been mass-produced.

If you currently sell goods on Etsy, you can use the site's handy import tool to automatically switch your listings to Zibbet. You'll also find some powerful promotional tools, like custom coupon codes and gift certificates that get buyers clicking again and again. Take advantage of your account's statistics to track your sales and progress. For more about selling with Zibbet, check out the site's selling page.

5. iCraft

If you're trying to avoid sites that are bogged down by too much unrelated merchandise, check out iCraft. The site features handmade items exclusively — nothing vintage, for resale, or food related — and is quite selective about what can go up for sale. Their guidelines may sound overly specific, but your audience will be greatly targeted by the time they reach your store to browse around.

There is a one-time registration fee of $25 to set up a store with iCraft. Instead of the standard listing fees included with other marketplaces, you choose between subscription rates ranging from $5 to $15 a month, depending on the number of items you'd like to list. That might all seem steep, but there are no commissions on sales. Plus, subscribers who pay their annual fees upfront get a 10% discount. Here's where you can learn more about iCraft's selling policies.

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best personal finance bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link in the blog description box above.

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