Is A.C. Moore Marketplace the new alternative to Etsy?

Is AC Moore Marketplace the new alternative to Etsy

On the 31st of July 2019 A.C. Moore launched their handmade marketplace in conjunction with Zibbet. Today on the podcast I want to look at the new A.C. Moore marketplace with you, to find out if it could be an Etsy alternative, or a secondary platform to sell your items through.

So, just who is A.C. Moore?

A.C. Moore is an American arts and craft supply company with more than 140 stores across eastern US. Founded in 1985 by Jack Parker, the chain has grown to become a well-known subsidiary of Nicole Crafts LLC, which now stocks hundreds of top name brands in a huge array of crafts and hobbies.

The company champion making and makers, and so when they hosted a survey among their customers that revealed that 30% had creative businesses, it seemed like the natural next step to create an online marketplace for those artists to sell their work.

image copyright A.C. Moore Marketplace

image copyright A.C. Moore Marketplace

Why would Zibbet partner with A.C. Moore on a project like this? Here’s what Zibbet founder Jonathan Peacock had to say;

A.C. Moore, it is the perfect win-win partnership. A Zibbet seller starts their journey by buying some arts and craft supplies and makes something incredible with it. They then sell this product, and at some point in time, they’ll want to buy more supplies to make their next incredible creation. The more they sell, the more supplies they’ll need to buy. We want them to think of A.C. Moore’s unbeatable range and price when they’re replenishing their supplies. With A.C. Moore’s huge reach into the arts and crafts community, the A.C. Moore Marketplace has the potential to quickly become one of the most popular destinations to buy and sell handmade.

Zibbet and A.C. Moore have a common goal, and we’re constantly asking ourselves… How can we help creative entrepreneurs sell more?
— Jonathan Peacock

It’s certainly true that A.C. Moore has a number of coupons available daily, so it makes sense that it is a great starting point for makers to build their business through this partnership.

What you need to know about the A.C. Moore marketplace

Watch the video here;

Or listen to the podcast here;

Launched at the end of July 2019, the A.C. Moore marketplace is a new way to shop for and sell handmade products. The platform was built by partnering with Zibbet who have been providing a space for indie makers to sell their products online since 2007 and to combat the changes happening on other ‘handmade’ platforms, that now allow resellers and vintage items to over populate their catalogues.

This has come at an interesting time for craft businesses who specialise in making their products by hand, who are already angry with platforms like Etsy for having drastically changed the playing fields among sellers and for pressuring new terms that seller’s feel are hindering their businesses.

Image copyright A.C. Moore Marketplace

Image copyright A.C. Moore Marketplace

What can you sell on the A.C. Moore Marketplace?

Their statement is clear;

Your items must be handmade, hand-altered, or hand assembled by you as the maker/s running your A.C. Moore Marketplace shop.

Mass-produced items or the re-selling of items that may be handmade, but you didn’t design or make yourself, are not allowed. Vintage items and craft supplies are also not eligible to be sold in the A.C. Moore Marketplace.
— A.C. Moore Marketplace

It is thought that this also includes digital stock, so if you are a pattern designer, or a craft book writer, then you may also use the new marketplace (I am not sure on how VAT is collected and if it is remitted for you though, so if you have EU customers you must check this out in order to abide by EU VAT Moss legislation).

 

Interested in selling on the platform?

In order to get started you will first need a Zibbet account, from which you can later connect to the A.C. Moore platform and synchronise your listings.

How it works is simple; firstly, you set up your Zibbet account and then you choose at least two channels you want to list your items on. So, you might choose to host your existing catalogue on Etsy and on A.C. Moore as a second option.

Each channel you choose is $5 per month ($6 if you pay per month, instead of the whole year up front), with no commission or transaction fees.

Zibbet has the facility to connect to an existing Etsy shop and draw your products through to your Zibbet account. Once you have your products synchronised you can choose whether you wish to stay on Etsy or not.

Most of my clients who have moved to Zibbet have chosen to go for a ‘Stitch’ website, which essentially is a stand-alone website where you get your own domain name and then a secondary platform choice, such as Etsy, or now A.C. Moore.

Remember – whist channels are $5 each with Zibbet, if you choose to host your items on Etsy as well, then you will be charged Etsy fees. The $5 Zibbet charge you for selecting Etsy as a channel goes to the admin and tech behind Zibbet’s service. Here’s more about Zibbet’s pricing.

The great thing about using a site like Zibbet to help build out your online presence is that you can synchronise your stock, meaning if you sell something in Etsy, it will reflect on your Stitch website, A.C. Moore platform, or the Zibbet marketplace depending on which you have chosen to use.

Zibbet are working towards expanding their channel offer too, so it could be in the future that you have a much wider choice to easily expand into, all at the click of a button. That’s so much easier than the old days where I spent a good month getting fully set up on new platforms, whilst working on my business!

 

How likely is it that you will get orders from day one?

As with all new sites, this new platform will take a while to rank on Google and so even if you are hot at delivering killer copy and SEO strategies for your listings, traffic will be a slow start, as will sales and that is true for anyone selling on the platform. What is interesting is that the site owning partners both have good links to the handmade market and from different angles. They also have some money behind them for marketing, so I would hope that platform brand awareness and in time your organic traffic will start to build.

This is super important though – wherever you have your products listed for sale, you MUST do your own marketing and advertising. You MUST drive your own traffic to your shop in order to get the right customers viewing your listings who will want to buy. This is true regardless of wherever you sell and is ultimately how you make your online shop known to customers. NEVER rely on anyone driving traffic for you!

 

Finally, here are some tips for considering a new platform to sell on;

  1. Do your due diligence – look at the financial aspects and establish if this marketplace is right for your business and product.

  2. Check out the competition – are there other people selling what you make already? Do they sell? If you join is there enough of a marketplace for your pieces to sell too?

  3. Platform feedback – what do sellers say about the service? And most importantly what do customers say about buying from the platform?

  4. What is the customer experience? – does it match what you want for your customers?

  5. What are the seller terms? – does it match how you want to do business?

  6. Is this a platform you can grow your business on?

 

Tell me; What do you think of the new A.C. Moore marketplace?

I’d love to hear from you – comment below 👇 or email me!


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