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What is Folksy? How do I sell on Folksy?

Folksy is an online marketplace for UK makers of handmade items, artwork and craft supplies. Folksy was opened in 2008 and focuses on championing British crafters. Folksy is one of the most popular sites in the UK for handmade crafts. The site is run from Sheffield with a team of six people. The main categories on Folksy’s website include: jewellery, clothing and accessories, homeware, art, cards and stationary, weddings and craft supplies. If you are based in the UK and make handmade items Folksy may be an avenue that you want to look into.

Is Folksy the UK version of Etsy?

Folksy describe themselves as the UK version of Etsy. Both sites have a lot of similarities in their structure. Both Etsy and Folksy enable you to set up your own shop front and the layout is similar. Folksy also has a seller forum section called Talk Folksy where sellers can socialise with each other about the latest news. This is similar to the community section of Etsy which features Etsy Teams and Forums. Folksy differs from Etsy in the fact that you are unable to sell vintage items and reselling is not allowed. The site focuses its energy on hand crafted items and supporting UK independent makers.

Etsy was founded in New York and has been around since 2005. Etsy describe themselves as a site to sell handmade items, craft supplies and vintage. It caters to more of an international customer base, with a large proportion of buyers coming from the US. Folksy caters to the UK market and therefore is much smaller in size with around 13,000 sellers. In contrast Etsy had 2.5 million sellers and 60 million products for sale in 2019.

Etsy has gone through many changes in the last couple of years which has made UK sellers more open to looking at alternative selling sites such as Folksy. One of the most recent Etsy changes have been to the shipping policies which has affected sellers on Etsy UK the most, forcing UK sellers to offer free US shipping or be downgraded in the Etsy search results. There have also been changes to the Etsy customer service standards for sellers with the new Etsy ODR policy which has struck fear into the hearts of many Etsy sellers.

What are the benefits to Folksy?

If you want to focus on the UK market and would like an easy way to set up your own E Commerce shop, Folksy is a good choice. In terms of usability Folksy is very easy to use and you can have your shop set up without any hassle. Folksy supports payment processing through Stripe and Paypal and it is all integrated into your shop once it is set up. Folksy sends all payments instantly unlike sites such as Etsy where it can take a couple of days for your payment to clear.

Folksy has several active social media pages and an extensive blog with help and advice about how to get started selling your products. They regularly promote sellers and different products through these channels. As of 2020 they have:

· 155,000 followers on Pinterest

· 62,000 Facebook likes

· 41,200 followers on Instagram

· 54,400 followers on Twitter

What are Folksy’s fees?

The fees on Folksy are very low in comparison to other marketplace sites. Folksy offers the option to list your items individually or to sign up to a monthly shop subscription known as a Folksy Plus account. Folksy has two types of fees, listing fees which you pay to put your items on the site and a commission fee which you pay if your item sells.

Listing fees: 15p + VAT to list an individual item

Or if you sign up to a Folksy Plus account for £5 a month you get unlimited free listings

Commission fees: 6% + VAT

**UK VAT is currently set at 20%**

Who are the top sellers on Folksy?

Claire Gent Design

Claire is located in Dartmoor and has been on Folksy since 2011. She sells handmade jewellery made from sterling silver and aluminium. Her designs are very unique and inspired by nature. She has made 3357 sales on Folksy to date.

Charlie’s Hand

Charlie’s Hand is run by Charlotte Trim who is located in South Wales. She has a degree in fine art and sells original hand paper cut artwork. All her work is hand crafted with intricate details. She has had 5627 sales on Folksy to date.

Susie West

Artist Susie West sells travel poster style prints of British cities. Prints are taken from her original acrylic paintings. She has had 1547 sales on Folksy to date.

Joys of Glass

Joy sells handmade sun catchers made from stained glass. She has had 3030 sales on Folksy to date.

Little Black Heart

Little Black Heart sells unique illustrated prints, pebbles and cards. The owner is a self-taught illustrator. She has had 5203 sales on Folksy to date.

It is worth noting that several of the Folksy top sellers also have Etsy stores but have had more sales on Folksy. This may be partly due to the fact that the Etsy marketplace is overcrowded which makes it more difficult for their products to get seen. Many of the top sellers have very active social media accounts which will also help to drive traffic to their Folksy stores.

Concluding thoughts

As with every E Commerce product you have to consider your target customer and how best to get your products in front of them. In general with an E Commerce business it is a good idea to spread your risk. This means not relying on one marketplace platform. Getting sales from multiple different sources will safeguard your business. That way if a marketplace platform goes down or makes major changes you will not end up out of business. With the fees so low on Folksy, it is low cost to try it and you have very little to lose. You may decide you want to sell on Folksy as well as other platforms.

It is certainly an easy and low cost way to set up your first E Commerce site without having to go through the hassle of creating your own website. This can be time consuming and it requires a lot of work to drive traffic to the site. Folksy already has a traffic base of visitors coming to the site which could potentially help your products get seen faster.

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