The Top 5 Apps for Crafting Businesses in 2021

Running a crafting business is a lot of work, and balancing the creative and business processes can leave you scrambling. We polled our readers to find out the best apps to make the crafting business a little easier. Here are the results.

Selling things you put the time and care into making yourself is a rewarding way to earn a living. But let’s face it—running a crafts business is time consuming. Not only do you have to spend time creating your own products, but you have to put in countless hours actually running the business.

Thankfully, there are plenty of incredible apps that can step in and shoulder some of that burden. From connecting you with eager customers to providing you a source of bulk crafting supplies, here are our readers’ picks for the best apps for crafting businesses in 2021.

And if you lean strongly toward one of these apps, be sure to vote for your favorite at the end!

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Used by over 187 million people, eBay is the among the largest online selling platforms in the world. For 25 years this virtual marketplace has given people a platform to sell just about anything and find plenty of willing buyers. While your success largely depends on learning the ins and outs of a complex listing system, using eBay to sell your crafts means tapping into a vast market. eBay isn’t strictly for artisan businesses, but it’s still the number one place to sell.

Pros:

  • Option to purchase and print shipping labels for easy shipping
  • eBay includes lots of resources to help sellers set up their store and attract buyers
  • Listing templates make creating multiple listings easier
  • Huge potential customer base

Cons:

  • eBay has a complicated fee structure and estimating selling fees can be difficult
  • It can be challenging to stand out and build a brand
  • It’s difficult to compete without offering free shipping
  • Lots of competition

Price: Free

App store rating: 4.8

Alibaba is a wholesale marketplace that allows you to buy products directly from suppliers all over the world (mostly East Asia). When you’re ready to seriously scale up your crafting business, you know taking a drive to Michael’s just isn’t going to cut it. With Alibaba, you place bulk orders from manufacturers—anything from blank apparel and canvas bags to textiles and materials.

Pros:

  • Alibaba can give you access to extremely low per-unit prices
  • Purchase directly from the manufacturer
  • Hundreds of thousands of sellers means price comparing can lead to finding great deals

Cons:

  • You typically have to make large orders, which could be prohibitive to crafters looking to do less volume
  • Using overseas products in your business may devalue it in the eyes of some customers
  • Long shipping times

Price: Free

App store rating: 4.7

In the world of global commerce, running a successful crafting business means you’re spending a lot of time shipping your products. Pirate Ship is a cloud-based shipping label app that lets users print domestic USPS shipping labels. Pirate Ship promises to save sellers up to 89% on postage costs, which is huge if you’re shipping hundreds of packages every year. As of right now, Pirate Ship is only available in desktop version.

Pros:

  • Easy to navigate and create shipping labels using package dimensions and weight
  • Software is free—you only have to pay for shipping labels
  • Integrates with eBay and Etsy
  • Allows users to print as many labels as they want

Cons:

  • Doesn’t integrate with Amazon
  • No function to store addresses for future use
  • Can have a steep learning curve for beginners
  • No mobile app version

Price: Free

App store rating: N/A

You don’t have to be a designer to make eye-popping designs. Canva is an app that makes the design process easy for anybody. With thousands of templates and an easy-to-use interface, Canva is perfect for folks looking to dive into the craft business and get their designs printed on some products to sell. If you’re interested in selling custom printed stationery, apparel, stickers or mugs, Canva is worth your time.

Pros:

  • Extremely easy to use on PC or mobile
  • Highly customizable
  • Create professional designs even if you’re not a designer
  • Users can get their designs printed on everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs

Cons:

  • Free version designs include a watermark
  • Many features are locked behind the premium version
  • Photo editing features could use some work
  • Lackluster file organization

Price: Free, $9.99 per month for PRO version

App store rating: 4.9

If you’ve been in business for a while and feel like you need to move on from selling on platforms like eBay or Etsy, it might be time to open up your own online store. Shopify allows you to launch an entire eCommerce store in just a few minutes. It’s designed to allow anyone to get up and running regardless of web design experience. Pick a custom design, fill out your product offerings, set up payment methods and you’re off to the races!

Pros:

  • Shopify is very beginner-friendly and easy to use
  • Sell anything from physical products to digital goods
  • Professional, modern and customizable store designs
  • Free 14-day trial
  • Perfect for dropshipping

Cons:

  • Lack of self-hosting means there’s always the risk of your store going down
  • The customer review function is a premium add-on
  • Subpar blogging functionality

Price: Starts at $29 per month

App store rating: 4.6

As a crafter, you put a lot of care and attention into the products you make. You want to give your customers something they can enjoy for many years to come. With Crafter’s Insurance, you can give your business that same kind of longevity. Business insurance is crucial to cover liability related to third party bodily injury or property damage.

Unlike most general liability offerings, Thimble’s Crafter’s Insurance includes product liability, which can protect your business from liability if one of your customers sustains bodily injury or property damage while using your products.

Our readers have chosen eBay as their number one app for crafting businesses, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t open to second opinions. Which app is your personal favorite?

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