Skip to Content

Etsy vs. Ravelry

Etsy vs. Ravelry

Etsy and Ravelry are two of the most popular online marketplaces for selling handmade crafts and patterns. While both platforms have a large user base, they have distinct differences and benefits. Etsy is a well-known e-commerce platform that allows sellers to create their own online store and sell a variety of handmade items, including knitting and crochet patterns. On the other hand, Ravelry is a niche platform that focuses specifically on knitting and crochet patterns, making it a great option for designers looking to sell their patterns to a targeted audience.

One of the biggest advantages of selling on Etsy is the platform’s large user base and established reputation. With over 81 million active buyers, Etsy provides sellers with a significant audience and potential for sales. Additionally, Etsy offers tools and resources to help sellers grow their business, such as marketing and advertising services, analytics, and customer support. Ravelry, on the other hand, has a smaller user base but is highly specialized in the knitting and crochet community. This makes it a great platform for designers looking to connect with a targeted audience and build a following within the community.

Related Posts:

Understanding Etsy

History of Etsy

Etsy was founded in 2005 by Rob Kalin, Chris Maguire, and Haim Schoppik. The company started as a marketplace for handmade and vintage goods, but has since expanded to include manufactured items as well. Etsy is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York and has over 4 million sellers and 81 million buyers worldwide.

Etsy’s Business Model

Etsy’s business model is based on charging fees to sellers for listing items, selling items, and payment processing. The company charges a $0.20 fee for each item listed on the site, a 5% commission fee on each sale, and a payment processing fee of 3% + $0.25 per transaction. Etsy also charges additional fees for optional services such as advertising and shipping labels.

Etsy’s User Interface

Etsy’s user interface is designed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate. The homepage features a search bar and categories for browsing items. Users can filter search results by price, location, and other criteria. Each item listing includes photos, a description, and seller information. Buyers can contact sellers directly through the site’s messaging system.

Selling on Etsy

Sellers on Etsy can create a shop and list items for sale. They can customize their shop with a banner, logo, and shop policies. Etsy provides tools for managing inventory, shipping, and customer communication. Sellers can also use Etsy’s advertising services to promote their listings.

Buying on Etsy

Buyers on Etsy can browse items by category or search for specific items. Each item listing includes photos, a description, and seller information. Buyers can contact sellers directly through the site’s messaging system. Etsy provides buyer protection policies, including a case resolution system and a money-back guarantee.

Related Posts:

Understanding Ravelry

History of Ravelry

Ravelry is a social networking site for people who love to knit, crochet, weave, and spin. It was founded in May 2007 by Jessica and Casey Forbes, who wanted to create a space where fiber enthusiasts could connect with each other, share ideas, and find inspiration. Today, Ravelry has over 9 million members from all over the world.

Ravelry’s Business Model

Ravelry’s business model is based on a combination of advertising, pattern sales, and membership fees. The site is free to join, but members can choose to pay a small fee to become “Ravelry Pro” members, which gives them access to additional features like advanced pattern searching and the ability to see who has viewed their projects. Ravelry also charges a small fee for pattern sales, which is split between the designer and the site.

Ravelry’s User Interface

Ravelry’s user interface is designed to be intuitive and easy to use. Members can create profiles, join groups, and participate in forums. They can also search for patterns, yarn, and other resources using a variety of filters. Ravelry’s database is incredibly comprehensive, with thousands of patterns and yarns from hundreds of designers and manufacturers.

Selling on Ravelry

Selling on Ravelry is relatively easy and straightforward. Designers can upload their patterns to the site, set their own prices, and receive payments directly from Ravelry. Ravelry charges a small fee for each pattern sale, but designers retain the rights to their work and can sell it elsewhere if they choose.

Buying on Ravelry

Buying on Ravelry is also easy and convenient. Members can search for patterns using a variety of filters, including yarn weight, skill level, and project type. They can also read reviews from other users, view photos of finished projects, and even contact the designer directly with questions or concerns. Payments are processed securely through Ravelry, and members can download their patterns instantly after purchase.

Comparing Etsy and Ravelry

User Experience Comparison

Etsy and Ravelry are both popular online marketplaces for buying and selling handmade goods, including knitting and crochet patterns. Both platforms offer a user-friendly experience, with easy navigation and search features to help users find what they are looking for. However, Ravelry is specifically designed for the knitting and crochet community, while Etsy caters to a broader range of handmade goods. This means that Ravelry may offer a more specialized experience for those interested in knitting and crochet patterns.

Seller Experience Comparison

Both Etsy and Ravelry offer a platform for sellers to showcase their products and reach a wide audience. However, there are some differences in the seller experience between the two platforms. Etsy charges a listing fee and takes a commission on each sale, while Ravelry does not charge a listing fee and only takes a small commission on sales made through their platform. Additionally, Ravelry allows sellers to upload their patterns directly to the platform, while Etsy requires sellers to host their patterns elsewhere and link to them from their Etsy shop.

Buyer Experience Comparison

When it comes to the buyer experience, both Etsy and Ravelry offer a variety of payment options and a secure checkout process. However, Ravelry may offer a more streamlined experience for those specifically looking for knitting and crochet patterns. Ravelry allows buyers to easily add patterns to their library and keep track of their purchases, while Etsy does not offer this feature.

Business Model Comparison

Overall, the business models of Etsy and Ravelry are quite different. Etsy is a general marketplace for handmade goods, while Ravelry is a specialized platform for the knitting and crochet community. This means that sellers on Ravelry may have a more targeted audience, while sellers on Etsy may have a broader reach. Additionally, the fees and commission structures on each platform differ, which may impact the profitability of selling on each platform.

Pros and Cons of Etsy

Etsy is a popular online marketplace that allows creators to sell their handmade, vintage, or unique items to customers all over the world. While Etsy has many advantages for sellers, it also has some drawbacks that sellers must consider.


  • Easy to set up and maintain: Etsy is known for its user-friendly interface, which makes it easy for sellers to set up their shop and manage their listings.

  • Built-in customer base: With over 90 million active buyers, Etsy has a large and loyal customer base that is always looking for unique and handmade items.

  • Trusted platform: Etsy has a reputation for being a safe and trustworthy platform for both buyers and sellers, which helps to build trust and credibility with customers.

  • Affordable listing fees: Etsy charges a small fee for each item listed, making it an affordable option for sellers who are just starting out.


  • Increased competition: With so many sellers on Etsy, it can be challenging to stand out and get noticed by potential customers. This means that sellers must work hard to promote their shop and listings.

  • High fees: While Etsy’s listing fees are affordable, the platform also charges transaction fees, payment processing fees, and other fees that can add up quickly.

  • Limited customization options: Etsy’s templates and design options are limited, which can make it difficult for sellers to create a unique and professional-looking shop.

  • Strict policies: Etsy has strict policies regarding what can and cannot be sold on the platform, which can be frustrating for sellers who want to sell certain types of items.

Overall, Etsy is a great platform for sellers who are looking to sell handmade, vintage, or unique items. However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if it’s the right platform for your business.

Related Posts:

Pros and Cons of Ravelry

Ravelry is a popular online community for knitters and crocheters, offering a platform for pattern sales, yarn shopping, and social networking. Here are some pros and cons of using Ravelry:


  • Large User Base: Ravelry has a vast community of users, including designers, yarn companies, and hobbyists. This makes it a great platform for networking, finding inspiration, and getting feedback on your projects.

  • Free to Join: Unlike Etsy, Ravelry is free to join and use. This makes it an excellent option for new designers or those who want to test the waters before investing in a paid platform.

  • Easy Pattern Sales: Ravelry makes it easy to sell digital patterns directly to customers. Designers can upload their patterns, set their own prices, and receive payments directly through the platform.

  • Great Search Functionality: Ravelry’s search functionality is excellent, allowing users to filter by category, yarn weight, needle size, and more. This makes it easy to find the perfect pattern for your next project.


  • Limited Customization: While Ravelry offers a lot of functionality, it can be challenging to customize your shop or profile. Designers are limited to a few pre-made templates, and there is no option to add custom branding.

  • Limited Marketing Opportunities: Unlike Etsy, Ravelry does not offer any built-in marketing tools. Designers are responsible for driving traffic to their shops and promoting their patterns on their own.

  • Limited Payment Options: Ravelry only accepts payments through PayPal, which can be a drawback for users who prefer other payment methods.

Overall, Ravelry is an excellent platform for knitters and crocheters looking to sell patterns and connect with like-minded individuals. While it may not offer the same level of customization or marketing opportunities as Etsy, its large user base and easy pattern sales make it a great option for designers of all experience levels.

Choosing Between Etsy and Ravelry

When deciding between Etsy and Ravelry, there are a few things to consider. First, it’s important to think about the audience you’re trying to reach. Ravelry is a platform specifically for knitters and crocheters, so if your patterns are geared towards this niche market, it may be the better choice. On the other hand, Etsy has a wider audience and may be a better choice if your patterns are more general or if you’re trying to reach a broader market.

Another consideration is the fees associated with each platform. Etsy charges a 5% commission on every sale, while Ravelry charges a 2% commission plus a 20 cent transaction fee. It’s important to factor these fees into your pricing strategy to ensure you’re still making a profit.

One advantage of Ravelry is that it’s a community-driven platform, with users able to interact with each other and share their projects. This can be a great way to build a following and get your patterns in front of potential customers. Etsy, on the other hand, is more of a traditional marketplace, with less of a focus on community.

Ultimately, the decision between Etsy and Ravelry will depend on your specific needs and goals as a pattern seller. Consider your target audience, pricing strategy, and desire for community interaction when making your choice.