After Tictail merged with Shopify, a lot of marketplace artists were left wanting. While there are a number of solid options for self-hosted stores like Big Cartel or Ecwid, many artists who were reliant on Tictail’s marketplace traffic have been left out in the cold.
Enter Zibbet, a new online store service that promises to help creatives sell their goods in a convenient, consistent, and affordable way, and also offer an online marketplace. But can they deliver? After trying out their platform, I think the resounding answer is yes.
Full disclosure: I was provided early access to the platform in exchange for a fair review.
One of Zibbet’s top touted features is that you can sell the same item across multiple “sales channels” (which are basically different sites, like Etsy is a sales channel, Zibbet Marketplace is a sales channel, and a self-hosted site is a sales channel). Even if you post the same item across these multiple sales channels, it will track the sales and keep your inventory completely in sync. Basically, if you want to sell the same item on both Etsy and the Zibbet Marketplace, your orders and stock will be updated accordingly.
This is a pretty cool feature, but in my opinion, it’s nowhere near their top selling point: the robust features at an affordable price.
Price - $10/month
Good things cost money, but Zibbet is affordable. They charge no transaction fees, no listing fees, and no commission fees. Rather, you pay $5 per month per “sales channel.” They do require you to have a minimum of 2 sales channels, so the minimum is $10 per month. Even so, you are allowed unlimited listings and features with that flat $10 per month.
Similar to popular services like Etsy, Zibbet offers their own online marketplace for creative works and handicrafts.
Biggest upside: there are no commissions and no listing fees. You keep 100% of the profits. While you have to pay $5 per month for the subscription to sell on this channel, it’s an exceptional offer for anyone who’s used to listing sites like Storenvy or Etsy, although that does depend on your sales volume.
In terms of customization options, there currently isn’t much available; you can change your store banner, various text content, and the primary theme color. There currently isn’t any control over typography or layout. You can’t change the pages in the header or even the store title. That being said, I’m pretty sure the developers will be rolling out more features as the product develops.
You also cannot tie the store to a custom domain. It’s more like a marketplace landing page with a different layout. As of this writing, you’re stuck with the Zibbet subdomain.
Product listing in Zibbet is robust. They allow:
Physical products AND instant digital downloads
Lots of product images
Multiple kinds of variations
Product categories and tags
Many of these features gives them a leg up on Big Cartel, which only allows physical products, 5 product images, and a single kind of variation.
Order management has less features than other sites, but still offers basic functionality.
You can create different shipping profiles to assign shipping costs to your items. For example, I can make a shipping profile called “USPS First Class” and charge the customer $3.50 for one item plus $0.10 for each additional item, but $10.00 flat for worldwide. This means you can easily create item classes such as “lightweight” or “heavyweight” and price shipping accordingly.
Zibbet does not handle shipping, so you will have to use the USPS website or an external service to pay for and print shipping labels.
You can mark products as shipped, but this is for internal use only to keep track of your orders. It does not notify the customer or send them a tracking code. You do get access to a link to “message the buyer.”
You can run a solid variety of discounts.
Free shipping - global or domestic. Yes. There’s finally a website that allows you to run promotions on free shipping for domestic regions only! I swear, this shouldn’t be that rare, but it really is. You can run this with or without a minimum purchase amount.
Percentage discounts. You can offer a percent discount, with or without a minimum purchase amount.
Flat discount. You can offer a flat amount discount, with or without a minimum purchase amount.
Note that Zibbet does not currently offer category-based discounts or BOGOs.
I would recommend this product if you:
Are looking for an affordable marketplace to sell your creations.
Have a lot of products. (Save on those listing fees!)
Sync your products between multiple channels and have difficulty tracking them.
I would NOT recommend this product if you:
Are looking for a customizable hosted store service.
Want control over the look or branding of your shop.
Want to feature products in special ways, such as in collections, sub-categories, or a featured product carousel