A new crafts marketplace called Our Village, with a focus on the United States, has been promoting itself as an ethical alternative to Etsy and is encouraging merchants to join them in the face of Etsy fee increases that came into force last month.
Our Village (the name comes from an African proverb: “It takes a village”) has been founded by two sisters seeking to serve artisans, crafters, makers, and family-owned small shops. You can visit the marketplace here.
Our Village provides an additional benefit for makers and shoppers: we have a strong commitment to non-profit organizations that make a difference. We are in a David versus Goliath position, in that Our Village is an option now for Etsy shop owners who are tired of paying listing fees and commissions on every sale.
– Sara Miller Cross, Co-founder, Our Village
Our Village proudly notes that it is predominantly run by women and seeks to attract female merchants. And 20% of all revenues will be donated to female causes such as shelters. Transactions on Our Village are managed through PayPal but there are no transactional fees. A $5 store fee per month subscription, which includes unlimited product listings on the site, is the key source of income. The first 30 days are free.
For any marketplace trader on the likes of eBay or Amazon, the uproar that has greeted the Etsy fee increase can seem slightly overstated. Yes, 3.5% is a very tasty level for commissions but 5% doesn’t seem like the end of the world when compared to some of the eye watering fees you can see in some categories elsewhere.
And we have not yet been able to assess the extent to which Etsy has been impacted by the fee increase. The latest reported figures relate to the second quarter and new fees only landed in July. However, Q2 was strong for Etsy and saw accelerating growth. It doesn’t seem likely that Etsy will feel the impact of this new challenger just yet.
Have you encountered Our Village and what has been your experience?