13 May 2015

Online Shopping Experiences: a comparison

I thought I'd open a conversation.

I've had experience now purchasing from Craftsy, Etsy, Payhip, Big Cartel and then individual sites. Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly about my experiences thus far.

Craftsy: I buy, and sell, here a lot. The good: instant downloads, a library of your patterns, and I can use PayPal. The bad: so difficult to search for specific things on Craftsy, and you can't pay with a credit card. The ugly: none, really.

Etsy: I just opened my Etsy shop. I have to say, as a seller, I prefer Craftsy, as I make more money and I don't have to list my items over and over again. Or pay a fee just to list it (and hope it sells before the listing expires). As a buyer, the good: easy to search, create favorites and lists, and you can pay several different ways (depending on the seller. The bad: no library of digital patterns. You have to go through all your purchases to find the digital patterns. The ugly: none so far.

Payhip: I have to say, I liked the one experience I had. I know it's preferred for the international crowd as it helps with the tax stuff. The good: pretty site, great layout for individual designers, fast, easy, I can use PayPal, and the e-mail (with attached file) is instant. The bad: nothing bad to say so far, which means there's no ugly either. This is like Big Cartel, in that it's an individual storefront rather than something like Etsy or Craftsy. You do have to pay for the service, but it might be worth it as a seller.

Individual sites: I just had a really annoying experience with an individual site. At this site they sell paper and PDF patterns. However, rather than let me bypass the whole shipping address headache (as I'm just getting a PDF), as well as a billing address (as I've already indicated I'm paying with PayPal), I had to go through that whole rigamoral. Once I'd completed the purchase, I received two e-mails: a receipt from PayPal, as usual, and an auto-generated thank you from the designer that also informed me I would have to wait for a second e-mail with the "password" to unlock my PDF file. Fifteen hours later and the password is still not in my inbox. Seriously? I need a special password to unlock the file that I have paid for, but I have to wait for it for several hours? I can assure you, I will NEVER buy another pattern from this designer again. It's not my first run-in with them either, but it was for a special project and so I sorta had to do it. Nevermore!

*ETA: I finally received my password. Even though I saved it to my computer, I still need the password each time I open the pattern. I know this is to prevent file sharing, I suppose, but if you're even slightly computer savvy, you can bypass this is about five seconds, which I did. 

So how about you? What are your thoughts on the different ways to buy and sell patterns?

p.s. I won't name names on the blog, but if you'd like to know who, I'll answer questions. :)


  1. The pattern I tried to download from Payhip would not work because I used a tablet. It popped up a message telling me to use a PC. I can't complain as it was a free pattern. I'm not sure if this applies to all Payhip downloads.

  2. I've only bought one pattern on crafts (your flower!) and it was easy and quick. I have had a hard drive crash before, so I like it that I have that pattern saved on the website to refer to if I ever need it (since I don't always print it out right away). I've bought patterns on etsy before that we also instant downloads and never an issue. Sorry you had a bad experience and of course, it was when you needed a pattern quickly for something specific!!

  3. I prefer buying on Craftsy too and I totally agree that it is much too hard to search!

  4. Hi Jennie - this has been a really interesting read!
    I live in Australia & am a fan of buying PDF for craft/quilt patterns - on the whole, the transaction goes smoothly.
    I can totally identify with your description of an annoying transaction with the 'individual site' - I have had the same thing happen when purchasing PDF quilt patterns from one particular (& highly popular) US designer - when I finally get through all the gumph, I just print the pattern so I don't have to trouble with the silly password again!

  5. I had a problem receiving an emailed pattern once. For whatever reason, it was rejected each time she sent it to me. It finally had to be sent to my husband's email and I printed it from there. I don't remember who it was, it was through Etsy a few years ago.

  6. Thanks for your review. I've bought a few patterns from Craftsy and it works really well. So far I've only bought one pattern from Etsy but it's great to find out how it works from the seller's point of view. I've never heard of Payhip but when looking at their site, I guess you have to have your own website to promote your product because it doesn't look like you can search them like Etsy (or am I missing something?).

  7. Yup the bad about payhip (like someone else said) is that you can't access the pattern on a phone or tablet (or at least an iPhone and iPad- I'm not sure if android is different??) I love craftsy's pattern library, and you can pay with a credit card through paypal can't you? Whichever credit card you want if you just use paypal without logging in?

  8. Oh my gosh... waiting for a password is one of my pet peeves!! UGH. How annoying.


"The more things you do, the more you can do."

Lucille Ball