Novica vs. Etsy: Custom & Handmade Artisan Stores Comparison

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Novica lets people buy crafts from unique, remote areas, and help out the artisans living in near-poverty at the same time. It will appeal to people who love both art and philanthropy. Etsy is a place to buy from creative people, as well as easily set up

What’s the Best Site for Unique Crafts and Art?

The Internet is making it easier than ever before in history for artists to make a living. It’s also becoming much easier to find exactly the right custom and hand-made items that you want to buy. Regardless of which side of the spectrum you’re on, buyer or seller, you’ll want to find the website that meets your individual needs the best.



Novica specializes in selling custom and hand-made objects from remote and developing parts of the world. This makes them quite unique when compared to other comparable sites that tend to favor creators from post-industrial countries like the U.S.


-Art Curators-

Novica has a unique curator program that allows members to sign up to create collections of creations from artisans from all over the world. As a curator, you can go throughout the whole Novica website and find the works that you think are the best and most worthy of exposure and then arrange them. You can then share what you’ve done with others on Facebook and Twitter so they can see your creativity and what you love on Novica.


Another nice feature on Novica is the competitions they have for art curators. There are periodically prizes for the best curators, which can number as much as a few hundred dollars

-Artisan Loans- Another unique feature on Novica is their “Artisan Loan” program where you can help out artisans practicing ancient crafting techniques who need help. That means you can be personally responsible for preserving the continuing creation of pieces of art from ancient traditions!

The program charges zero interest to the artisan in question, but the lender gets a 15 percent bonus once they are repaid as long as they use that money on Novica. And with the curator program, you can share with all of your friends how you’re helping foreign artisans in disadvantaged regions.

-Novica Live- This program lets you have your own home parties with Novica products. This allows customers to set up live parties where the artisans can show off their products in an entertaining way. The site also offers people the chance to become a Live Global Stylist and earn extra money bringing Novica products directly into other people’s homes.



Those from the U.S. will find it not really possible to sell anything on Novica, making it a step behind some other sites in terms of being able to both buy and sell there.


Novica’s unique approach connecting people from the U.S. and other countries to those in the third world will appeal to people who are interested in both art and philanthropy. Those who want art that is one of a kind will likely be impressed as well. One review showed a bracelet from Thailand a customer got that had been hand-crafted and came with its own personal note from the artisan. This is quite a unique approach in a world of factory lines and mass cookie-cutter production.


Etsy is a site where creators of art and the people who buy them can interact to an unprecedented degree. The site specializes in hand-made and vintage crafts. There are at least 15 million buyers and creative businesses on the site.   The fee for selling on Etsy is usually around 3.5 percent, which is much lower than fees on other sites, in order to encourage active commerce for even the most small-time art creators.


-Wedding Registry

You can sign up with Etsy in the case of a wedding, making it easy for others to buy unique gifts for your new life.

-Social Networks

The site makes it easy for makers to connect both with other makers, and also with the people buying from them for a true community feel that is great for networking and expanding your business.

-Low Cost Start up

The fact that you can get started selling your art on Etsy with low fees, usually around just 20 cents per listing is a major selling point as well.


Although it costs extra, you can have Etsy take care of some of the selling part of any business you put up there all by itself. It will automatically keep track of what you’ve sold, and how many of each item you have left in case other customers are interested.



-Customer Service

The fact that buyers and sellers mostly interact independent from Etsy means that there isn’t a lot of recourse if something goes wrong in the transaction. Since sellers can cancel transactions and take away any possibility of leaving negative feedback, the feedback system isn’t full-proof either. As a result, many buyers will use the PayPal option to take advantage of their system for sorting out disputes.

Apparently, they don’t have a great reputation either for listening to sellers if anyone disagrees with their policies, according to a few reviews online.

-Data Mining

Many customers have advocated using safe email addresses to sign up, since using a Facebook account could result in Etsy getting access to your personal information for advertising purposes.


Etsy has a reputation for hosting many one of a kind finds that you will have little chance finding anywhere else. Many sites will offer product that everyone else has, but for personally hand-crafted items from all over America and elsewhere, Etsy is fairly unique.

Take Away Points

The best site for you will depend on what you want. If you want-

Philanthropy - Novica is the way to go. It’s a unique way to help out the disadvantaged throughout the world, while at the same time receiving unique foreign crafts.

A place to set up shop - Novica doesn’t really offer this to people in the U.S. as much, so Etsy is the way to go, and it’s one of the number one places to sell arts online.