OpenSky review 2017

Reviews

OpenSky review 2017

What is OpenSky?

OpenSky is the opposite of boutique shopping. It's like Amazon, but with "crazy" deals everywhere you look, flash sales and time pressure tactics. 🤑

OpenSky sales

P.S. the price didn't change once the time ran out! 🤥

I almost wasn't going to include OpenSky in the top 10 Etsy alternatives, but I have heard of people making good sales on there. There are pricing tactics you'll need to keep in mind though, and it's not for everyone.

OpenSky review summary

  • There is huge opportunity for exposure on OpenSky if you sell the right kind of products and have high profit margins.
  • OpenSky's fees are extremely high and can be up to 50% of your sale.
  • OpenSky owns Storenvy, another one of our Etsy alternatives. You may have also heard of 11 Main in the past – Alibaba's boutique style e-commerce site. This was folded into OpenSky in June, 2015 and Alibaba now owns a 37% stake in OpenSky.

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OpenSky review scores

  • Competitiveness: 6/10
  • Exposure: 10/10
  • Fees: 4/10
  • Flexibility: 1/10
  • Handmade ethos: 0/10

Total score: 21/50

OpenSky review


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OpenSky review

This review is written for those wanting an alternative to selling on Etsy. So, I'll be reviewing OpenSky based on the top 5 reasons people are looking for an Etsy alternative:

1. Competitiveness – Do your products have a chance of standing out from the crowd?

2. Exposure – Is there a good chance of increasing your traffic and getting more exposure?

3. Fees – How much does it cost? Is the pricing simple and predictable? More than that, are the fees fair for what's on offer?

4. Flexibility – How professional does it look, and how flexible is it to change?

5. Handmade ethos – Are they strictly for handmade, or can you sell anything there? Will you be competing against manufacturers of mass produced goods, that can easily beat you on price?

I'll give each of these elements a score out of 10, to arrive at a total score out of 50. I'll then use this score to arrive at the top 10 Etsy alternatives.

Competitiveness

OpenSky is quite competitive. There are a lot of products on the platform – over 1.6 Million. In addition to a lot of products on the platform, you're also competing on price with products that are manufactured, not handmade.

OpenSky is all about "deals", so with credits and sitewide events the total price of your items will be lower than your original price. Mark them up to account for this! 20% will always come off the top – Former Etsy seller

Because there is an abundance of mass produced products on the site, you do have a chance to stand out from the crowd as a handmade seller. You'll need professional photos of your products, plus good brand positioning. You'll want to position your products as exclusive because they are handmade and therefore are higher quality. You'll then be able to charge more too.

Score: 6/10

Exposure

There is LOTS of potential for getting exposure on OpenSky. It's pretty much the only reason they made the top 10 Etsy alternatives list.

They have a lot of shoppers browsing the site and have great marketing campaigns to consistently bring people back to the site.

If you list on OpenSky, chances are you'll make sales. But, as I keep saying, you need to be the right kind of seller – I'll cover that in the next section.

Score: 10/10

Fees

OpenSky's fees are very expensive. Before I get into the specifics, lets identify if you're the right seller for OpenSky.

OpenSky is NOT a site for low profit margin handmade products. You MUST be making healthy profits if you are to sustain OpenSky in the long term. Here's an example of someone that tried OpenSky, but has low profit margins:

OMG, I wish that I had listened to what people here said about the high fees for OpenSky. I opened a shop just to see how it would do and I did end up getting sales, but they were for ridiculously low rates due to credits and sales discounts that I had no control over. I ended up having to ship out my items at a big loss, which made getting the sales not even worth it at all. I'm going to close shop there today - SkinnyPigDesigns from Etsy's forums

Not everyone can sell handmade products with high profit margins. It depends on the type of product you're selling, who you're selling it to etc. There's many factors to consider.


Here's an overview of OpenSky's fee structure:

  • Monthly fees starting at $10/month and goes right up to $2,500/month. As the plans go up, so does your opportunity to get more exposure.
  • 15% commission fee. This applies to all monthly plans, including the $2,500/month plan.
  • OpenSky also offers enhanced marketing solutions that cost an additional 35%. If you do this, you'll be paying OpenSky 50% of your sales!

Click-through to see more information about OpenSky's fees.


I want to hammer home the profit margins point I was making earlier, so here's one more review from someone that has sold on OpenSky. It's really important that you understand this.

My sales (prints & jewelry) were outstanding in the 4th quarter there last year. I didn’t sleep for two months (at least that’s what it felt like) because I was so busy. Very exciting, until you actually chart out what the profit is after all their fees & numerous and varied member discounts. I wound up practically at wholesale – which is great if you’re selling/shipping in bulk. But when you’re shipping individual orders, it’s not worth it. In my opinion, it’s not a place for handcrafted. Manufacturers and distributors, however, probably have the potential to make a bundle there - AnneGarrisonStudio on Etsy's forums

Although OpenSky's fees are very expensive, if you have high profit margins you can really make it work. So, I'm taking that into account when scoring this one.

Score: 4/10

Flexibility

OpenSky storefront

You can upload a store banner, plus add some information about yourself. Beyond that, there's not a whole lot of flexibility on OpenSky. Plus, the actual storefront is quite ugly. You certainly wouldn't want to drive any of your own traffic to it.

Score: 1/10

Handmade ethos

There's no handmade ethos whatsoever. It's a free-for-all, without any creative vibe. You need to decide for yourself how important that is to you or not.

Score: 0/10


In conclusion, OpenSky can work for you, but only if you have a product with high profit margins as the fees are extremely high. If you're going to test OpenSky out, I'd encourage you to start slowly as you don't want to be in the same position as some of the Etsy sellers that I posted about above. Prepare for a steep learning curve as OpenSky operates very differently than what you're likely used to.


OpenSky has finished up with a score of 21/50, which ranks them 10th in the top 10 Etsy alternatives list.

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Etsy Alternative

Etsy Alternative

This is the guide I wish I had when I was in your position. I hope this little side project helps you to make a more informed decision in your hunt for an Etsy alternative.