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Online marketplaces have become increasingly popular over the years, with many people opting to buy and sell goods through the internet. One such that has gained immense popularity is Etsy; a marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of handmade, vintage, and unique items. Its success prompted many entrepreneurs and eCommerce evangelists to create a website like Etsy but it isn’t as easy as it sounds! 

It takes a lot of thought process, budget, creativity, business ingeniousness and strategy to build a website like Etsy. An eCommerce development company is sure to help you out whereas, the details below would serve as a professional guide when it comes to create a website like Etsy. Let’s learn a little about the marketplace first.

A Brief Overview of Etsy

Etsy is a popular online marketplace that has become a go-to destination for people looking to buy and sell handmade or vintage goods. It was founded in 2005 by Rob Kalin, Chris Maguire, and Haim Schoppik, and has since grown into a thriving community of over 81 million buyers and sellers worldwide.


Etsy’s origins can be traced back to 2005 when Rob Kalin, a painter, and furniture maker, was looking for an online marketplace to sell his handmade goods. Frustrated with the lack of options available, he decided to create his own website, which he called Etsy. The name Etsy is derived from the Italian word “etsi”, which means “oh, yes”.

Kalin’s vision for Etsy was to create a platform where artists and crafters could sell their unique, handmade creations to a global audience. He wanted to provide a space where artisans could connect with buyers directly, without the interference of middlemen or mass-produced goods.

History: A Timeline of Success & Achievements

Etsy’s early years were marked by slow growth and financial instability. In 2006, the company received a $50,000 investment from a group of angel investors, which helped them expand their team and improve the platform. However, it wasn’t until 2007 that Etsy really took off, thanks in part to a viral marketing campaign that spread the word about the site to a wider audience.

By 2008, Etsy had become profitable and had attracted a community of dedicated sellers who were committed to the platform’s ethos of handmade and vintage goods. In 2010, Etsy launched its mobile app, which allowed buyers and sellers to access the platform from their smartphones and tablets. This move helped Etsy reach a wider audience and cemented its position as a leader in the eCommerce industry.

Over the years, Etsy has continued to evolve and adapt to the changing needs of its community. In 2013, the company went public, raising $267 million in its initial public offering. Since then, Etsy has expanded its offerings to include custom-made items and digital downloads, and has launched several initiatives to support sustainability and social responsibility.

Today, Etsy is a global marketplace with over 4.4 million active sellers and 81.9 million active buyers in nearly every country in the world. The platform generates billions of dollars in annual sales and has become a go-to destination for people looking for unique, handmade, and vintage items.

What is an Etsy-like website?

etsy like website

Online selling sites like Etsy are digital marketplaces that connect buyers and sellers of handmade, vintage, and unique items. Like Etsy, an Etsy-like website would offer a platform for sellers to showcase their products and for buyers to purchase them. These websites typically allow sellers to set up a store, list their products, and manage orders, while buyers can browse and purchase products from multiple sellers.

Key Features of Etsy

Etsy has several features that have contributed to its success. These are:

  • User-friendly interface: Etsy’s user-friendly interface makes it easy for buyers to find what they’re looking for and for sellers to manage their stores.
  • Search functionality: Etsy’s search functionality makes it easy for buyers to find specific products and for sellers to be discovered by potential customers.
  • Product listings: Sellers can create listings for their products, including photos, descriptions, and pricing.
  • Seller tools: Etsy offers a range of tools for sellers to manage their stores, including order management, inventory tracking, and sales analytics.
  • Secure transactions: Etsy offers secure transactions to protect both buyers and sellers.

How to Create a Website Like Etsy – Brief Steps

Creating shopping sites like Etsy can be a complex process, but with the right tools and resources, it is achievable. Here are some steps you can follow to create an Etsy-like website:

Step 1: Choose a Platform

There are several eCommerce platforms available that can be used to create an online marketplace. Some popular options include WooCommerce, Magento, and Shopify. Choose a platform that suits your needs and budget.

Step 2: Set up Your Website

Once you’ve chosen a platform, you’ll need to set up your website. This will involve choosing a domain name, setting up hosting, and customizing your website’s design.

Step 3: Install a Marketplace Plugin

Most eCommerce platforms have marketplace plugins that can be installed to create an online marketplace. These plugins will allow you to set up seller accounts, product listings, and payment processing.

Step 4: Customize your Marketplace

Once you’ve installed the marketplace plugin, you can customize your marketplace to suit your needs. This may involve setting up categories, creating policies for sellers, and adjusting commission rates.

Step 5: Launch your Marketplace

Once your marketplace is set up, you can launch it and start promoting it to potential buyers and sellers.

Bonus Tips for Building a Successful Online Marketplace

Building successful sites like eBay and Etsy requires more than just setting up a website. Here are some tips to help you build a successful online marketplace:

  • Focus on user experience: Make sure your website is user-friendly and easy to navigate for both buyers and sellers.
  • Offer value: Provide value to both buyers and sellers through features such as secure transactions, seller tools, and customer support.
  • Promote your marketplace: Use social media, advertising, and other marketing tactics to promote your marketplace to potential buyers and sellers.
  • Build a community: Encourage buyers and sellers to interact with each other and build a sense of community around your marketplace.
  • Continuously improve: Monitor your marketplace’s performance and make adjustments to improve the user experience and increase engagement.
  • Provide excellent customer service: Make sure you have a system in place to handle customer inquiries and concerns, and be responsive to feedback from both buyers and sellers.
  • Maintain trust: Ensure that transactions are secure and that your marketplace has clear policies and procedures in place for resolving disputes.
  • Offer unique products: Encourage sellers to offer unique products that can’t be found elsewhere to differentiate your marketplace from competitors.
  • Stay up-to-date: Stay up-to-date with trends and technology to ensure that your marketplace remains relevant and competitive.
  • Stay legal: Make sure your marketplace complies with local laws and regulations, such as tax requirements and data protection laws.

Monetization Strategy

Etsy has over 81 million active users and is a great place for creative individuals to showcase their products and earn money. However, like any business venture, making money on Etsy requires effort, strategy, and dedication. Here’re a few tips and strategies on how to make money with a website like Etsy.

Choose a Profitable Niche

Choosing the right niche is crucial for success on Etsy. You need to identify a product or service that has high demand and low competition. Some popular niches on Etsy include handmade jewelry, home decor, wedding accessories, and personalized gifts. Do some research on Etsy and other selling sites like Etsy to find out what products are popular and in demand.

Create a Unique Brand and Style

To stand out from the competition, you need to create a unique brand and style. This involves developing a distinct voice, aesthetic, and personality for your brand. Make sure your brand identity is consistent across all your marketing channels, including your Etsy shop, social media, and website.

Optimize your Etsy Shop

Optimizing your Etsy shop is crucial to attract potential customers and increase sales. Here are some tips on how to optimize your shop:

  • Use high-quality photos: Use professional-quality photos that showcase your products in the best possible light. Make sure your photos are clear, well-lit, and show your product from different angles.
  • Write detailed descriptions: Your product descriptions should be clear, concise, and informative. Use keywords that potential customers may use to search for your products.
  • Use tags: Use relevant tags to help your products appear in search results. Use a mix of broad and specific tags to reach a wider audience.
  • Offer multiple payment options: Make it easy for customers to purchase your products by offering multiple payment options, including credit cards, PayPal, and Etsy gift cards.
  • Price your products correctly: This is crucial to making money on Etsy. You need to find the right balance between making a profit and staying competitive. Do some research on Etsy and other websites like Etsy to find out how much similar products are selling for. Consider the cost of materials, labor, and shipping when setting your prices.

Promote your Products

Promoting your products is essential to attracting potential customers and increasing sales. Here are some tips on how to promote your products:

  • Use social media: Use social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to showcase your products and reach a wider audience.
  • Offer discounts: Offer discounts or promotions to attract new customers and incentivize repeat purchases.
  • Collaborate with influencers: Collaborate with influencers in your niche to reach a wider audience and promote your products.
  • Participate in Etsy promotions: Participate in Etsy promotions like sales events and holiday promotions to increase visibility and sales.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

This step is also crucial in building a loyal customer base and growing your business. Here are some tips on how to provide excellent customer service:

  • Respond promptly to inquiries: Respond to customer inquiries promptly and professionally. Use a friendly and helpful tone to build a positive relationship with your customers.
  • Offer personalized service: Offer personalized service by adding a handwritten note or a small gift with each purchase.
  • Resolve issues quickly: If a customer has an issue with their purchase, resolve it quickly and professionally. Offer refunds or exchanges if necessary to ensure customer satisfaction.
  • Ask for feedback: Ask for feedback from your customers to improve your products and service.

Technology Stack to Make a Website like Etsy

If you’re looking to build a website like Etsy, you’ll need a technology stack that can handle the demands of a large online marketplace.

Front-end Development

The front-end of a website is what users see and interact with. The technologies that are commonly used for front-end development are:

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript:

HTML (HyperText Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and JavaScript are the basic building blocks of front-end development. The HTML is used for creating the structure of a webpage, CSS is used for styling it, and JavaScript is used for adding interactive features.


React.js is a JavaScript library that is commonly used for building user interfaces. It’s known for fast rendering speed, efficient performance, and modular architecture. React.js can be used to build reusable UI components that can be easily integrated into different parts of a website.


Redux is a predictable state container for JavaScript apps. It can be used with React.js to manage the state of a complex application. Redux makes it easier to debug and test an application by keeping the state in one place.


Back-end Development

The back-end of a website is responsible for handling the server-side logic and database management. The technologies that are commonly used for back-end development are:


Node.js is a JavaScript runtime that allows developers to build scalable and fast back-end applications. It’s known for its event-driven architecture and non-blocking I/O operations. Node.js is commonly used with the Express.js framework for building APIs and server-side applications.


MongoDB is a popular NoSQL database that is commonly used for storing unstructured data. It’s known for its scalability, flexibility, and ease of use. MongoDB can be used with Node.js to build fast and responsive back-end applications.


GraphQL is a query language that allows developers to define the structure of the data they need from an API. It provides a more efficient and flexible alternative to REST APIs. GraphQL can be used with Node.js and MongoDB to build a scalable and flexible back-end architecture.


DevOps is the practice of combining software development and IT operations to ensure faster and more reliable software delivery. The technologies that are commonly used for DevOps are:


Docker is a containerization platform that allows developers to package their applications and dependencies into a single container. Containers provide a lightweight and portable way to run applications across different environments.


Kubernetes is a container orchestration platform that allows developers to automate the deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It provides a flexible and scalable way to manage containers across different environments.


Jenkins is an open-source automation server that allows developers to automate the software delivery process. It provides a powerful set of plugins and integrations that can be used to automate building, testing, and deploying applications.

Website Like Etsy: Core Features

So what are the core features of Etsy like marketplaces that make them so successful? Let’s find out!

  • Easy Registration Process

The registration process of an Etsy-like website should be simple and user-friendly, making it easy for sellers to sign up and start selling their products without any technical knowledge. The registration process should ask for only essential information such as name, email, and address. After registration, the seller should be able to set up their store and start uploading their products.

  • Storefront Customization

Customization is one of the essential features of an online marketplace. A seller should be able to create a unique storefront that represents their brand and products. The storefront should allow sellers to upload their logo, banner images, product images, and descriptions. It should also let sellers add categories, tags, and pricing options.

  • Product Listings

Product listing is the backbone of an online marketplace which means that the page should be easy to navigate, and the products displayed in a clear and organized manner. The product listing should include high-quality images, short product descriptions, pricing, and shipping information.

  • Payment Gateway Integration

A website like Etsy should have a payment gateway integration that allows sellers to receive payments easily. The payment gateway should be secure, reliable, and fast. Etsy uses a payment system called Etsy Payments that accepts credit cards, PayPal, and other payment options. This allows sellers to receive payments from buyers anywhere, conveniently.

  • Order Management System

An order management system allows sellers to manage their orders, process payments, and keep track of their inventory. It also lets buyers track their orders and receive updates on the status of their orders. Etsy has an order management system that allows sellers to manage their orders and communicate with buyers through the platform.

  • Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are buyers’ reviews, ratings and experiences they’ve had with their order, all the way from landing on the website to finding the product, placing an order, buying and receiving.  Their experiences and feedback are shared with the sellers to help them improve their service. Etsy has a robust review system that allows buyers to leave feedback on products and sellers.

  • Community Features

A sense of community is crucial which interlinks buyers, allows sharing ideas, and collaborate on projects. Community features can include forums, blogs, social media integration, and messaging systems. Etsy has a vibrant community of sellers and buyers who share ideas and support each other.

  • Mobile Compatibility

Mobile compatibility is a must for any online marketplace as more and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to shop online. A website like Etsy should have a responsive design that’s optimized for mobile devices, making it easier for buyers to shop on the go and for sellers to manage their stores from anywhere, anytime.


Etsy-like Sites: A Look into Competitors

  1. Amazon Handmade: Amazon’s handmade marketplace allows artisans to sell their handcrafted goods online.
  2. ArtFire: Artisans can sell handmade and vintage items over the internet.
  3. Zibbet: Sellers can list their handmade, vintage, and craft supplies items.
  4. Bonanza: Like Zibbet, sellers can list handmade, vintage, and collectible items.
  5. Redbubble: Lets artists sell their designs on a variety of products.
  6. Society6: Works exactly like Redbubble, artists can sell their designs on various products.
  7. Folksy: A UK-based online marketplace that allows artisans to sell handmade and vintage items.
  8. Ruby Lane: Another online marketplace that specializes in vintage and antique items.

Complete Cost of Making Online Selling Site like Etsy

If you are planning to create a website like Etsy, the first thing you will need to consider is the cost of building and running such a platform. This includes the expenses associated with website development, hosting, maintenance, marketing, and more.

Website Development:

Depending on your preferences, you can either build your own platform from scratch or use an existing eCommerce platform to get started. If you decide to build your marketplace from scratch, the cost could range from $10,000 to $50,000, depending on the complexity of the platform and the experience of the developers. However, using a ready-made eCommerce platform like Magento, WooCommerce or Shopify could cost you between $5,000 to $20,000.

Website Design:

Once you have decided on the development platform, you will need to create a design that can be done either by hiring an eCommerce design and development company or a professional web designer to create a custom design, or you can use a pre-made template. A custom design could cost you anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000, while a pre-made template may cost anywhere between $100 to $300.

Hosting and Domain:

The cost of hosting and domain name registration can vary significantly based on the traffic and size of your marketplace. A basic shared hosting plan could cost anywhere between $3 to $10 per month, while a VPS or dedicated server could cost upwards of $100 per month. The cost of domain name registration typically ranges from $10 to $15 per year.

Payment Gateway Integration:

To facilitate transactions on your marketplace, you will need to integrate a payment gateway into your platform. The cost of integrating a payment gateway can vary depending on the provider you choose. Some popular payment gateway providers include PayPal, Stripe, and Braintree. The integration cost for a payment gateway can range from $500 to $2,000.

Marketplace Features:

The cost of integrating various features into your marketplace will depend on the complexity of the features you wish to include. Some common features of an online marketplace include product search, browsing, filtering, and sorting; user profiles, reviews and ratings; and messaging systems. The cost of integrating these features can range from $5,000 to $10,000.

Marketing and Advertising:

Marketing and advertising are essential to attract customers to your marketplace. Depending on your budget and marketing strategy, the cost of marketing and advertising can vary. Paid advertising through Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, or other platforms could cost you anywhere from $500 to $10,000 per month. Other marketing strategies such as content marketing, social media marketing, and influencer marketing may also add up to your marketing expenses.

Maintenance and Support:

Once your marketplace is up and running, you will need to maintain and support it. This includes regular updates, bug fixes, and server maintenance. The cost of maintenance and support can vary based on the complexity of your platform and the level of support you require. A basic support package could cost you anywhere from $50 to $500 per month.

Detailed Steps to Create a Website like Etsy

There are a few key steps you’ll need to take to create a successful online website like Etsy.


Identify your Niche:

The first step in creating a marketplace like Etsy is to identify the niche you want to target. Etsy has become famous for its focus on handmade, vintage, and unique items. Still, there are many other potential niches that you could target, such as artisanal foods, custom-made clothing, or home goods. Whatever niche you choose, it’s essential to ensure that there is enough demand for your products to support a thriving marketplace.

Develop a Business Plan:

Creating a successful marketplace requires a well-thought-out business plan. Yours should include a detailed overview of your marketplace, including its target audience, business operational model, revenue streams, and marketing strategy. Consider factors such as website design, user experience, and seller fees when developing your business plan.

Build Your Marketplace:

Once you have a solid business plan in place, it’s time to build your marketplace. You will need to create a website that is user-friendly, visually appealing, and secure. You’ll also need to consider how users will buy and sell products on your marketplace. Choose a platform that has the features you need to support your business model, such as inventory management, payment processing, and shipping tracking.

Find Sellers:

A successful marketplace relies on a steady supply of quality products from sellers. To attract sellers to your marketplace, you’ll need to create a compelling value proposition that includes benefits such as low seller fees, access to a large audience, and marketing support. You may also consider targeting specific sellers that align with your niche or offering incentives for sellers to join your marketplace.

Establish Trust and Safety:

Trust and safety are critical to the success of any marketplace. You’ll need to establish policies and procedures to ensure that buyers and sellers feel safe when using your platform. This may include verifying seller identities, providing secure payment processing, and offering buyer protection policies. Make sure to communicate your safety and trust policies clearly to both buyers and sellers.

Promote Your Marketplace:

Once your marketplace is up and running, it’s time to start promoting it. Use social media, email marketing, and advertising to reach potential buyers and sellers. You may also consider offering incentives for buyers to purchase products or referring new sellers to your platform. As your marketplace grows, you can also explore partnership opportunities with other businesses or influencers in your niche.

Creating a website like Etsy takes time, effort, and dedication. However, with the right business plan, platform, and marketing strategy, you can build a successful online marketplace that connects buyers and sellers around the world. Let the details above serve you as a guide to create an online marketplace like Etsy. Good luck!

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