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Etsy Home Page

A website to buy and sell handmade goods.

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A Handmade Hot-Spot!

  • Feb 27, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4

As a buyer looking for unique and interesting products, I love sites like Etsy. Etsy is an online market place where each artist/seller can essentially run their own store, detail their brand and products, and describe their passion and intention. Most sellers include photos of their merchandise and links to their blogs or original website. Etsy does a great job of connecting artisans with buyers in need of unique and interesting products.

I personally tend to search by featured sellers, category, shop local and showcase. The search options, though plentiful, are a nice way to sift through merchandise when you have a particular interest or need. 

Sellers are divided into the categories of handmade, vintage (20 years or older) and commercial and handmade crafting supplies. This is a great outlet for anyone who has a creative craft and wants an opportunity to increase buyer exposure. It costs 20 cents to list an item for four months. When your item sells, you pay a 3.5% transaction fee. Not a bad deal for a seller, especially when it means you can customize your own online space for no cost.

Etsy also has a special category called Alchemy. Alchemy allows buyers to request custom made items from sellers and then sellers bid on the opportunity to make these goods. I have never had a need to use this before, but the idea seems to be gaining momentum depending on the request.  Ex: A buyer wants a gift for their mother in the category of accessories or jewelry.  Five artists bid on the project based on price and idea. Buyer chooses the artist with the vision and price that matches their own.

Etsy also has a fantastic blog spot. It tends to gear towards topics that benefit the seller, but I find these are frequently applicable to buyers for a larger store front as well. Some of my favorite discussions have been on strategy for e-commerce and store displays, shop trends, and store makeover suggestions.

My only beef is that Etsy tends to be a bit more complicated than other wholesale sites. Even at its most simple, wholesale categories range from accessories to glass, needle point to woodworking. Each store takes time to sift through and it definitely can be overwhelming.  Many of the pages are also very dense with information and photos. Unfortunately, the website is geared towards the seller and not the buyer. There are hundreds of online resources for the community sellers and only a small fraction of these are specific to the purchaser.

Overall, I have had great success buying jewelry off of this site. Most of the vendors have been helpful, friendly and very customer service oriented. I have re-ordered a couple lines numerous times and you can definitely tell these artists appreciate your business more that the larger wholesale vendors and showrooms. I highly recommend this site for handmade sellers looking to market their products at a low cost and a buyers looking for unique products.

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March 03, 2009
@Friedpez I have used Etsy to connect with artists that I've bought product from, but I've never directly purchased through the site. Most sellers have a retail price listed for their products and for re-selling I have to work with the artist on wholesale quantity/price points. I've had a great experience thus far and found very creative products that my customers have enjoyed.
 
February 27, 2009
I remember first hearing about Etsy on TV and then immediately logging on. It's such a fantastic site, and the Alchemy feature seems like it could be very powerful as more people get the hang of it. But you're right, the site is a bit complicated, so it takes some getting used to. Have you ever used it to buy or sell anything? What was your experience?
 
1
More Etsy reviews
review by . March 24, 2009
I absolutely love Etsy. Not only is is a great place to find one of a kind handmade gifts, it's also a place that allows me to sell my handmade items. If it weren't for Etsy I would be lost.   I always buy presents for people from Etsy. I refuse to go to the mall, and everything just looks so generic when you go out shopping. With Etsy I know that I am supporting someone who makes these thigns that I am buying, and not some big corporation. I like the more personal experience, if I have …
Quick Tip by . June 28, 2010
I get lost in this site for hours...support talented starving artists! :o)
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
i adore etsy so much talent
Quick Tip by . September 19, 2009
Etsy is the best for unique items that can't be found at your local mall-esp. jewelry! support DIY!
Quick Tip by . August 20, 2009
this is one of my "happy places" online, to be sure. they do a great twitter and FB fan page too! sooo many guilty pleasures.
About the reviewer
Bethany ()
Ranked #3
Hello Lunchers!      I am a contributing writer foran onlinelife and style website that highlights hot-spots in Minneapolis and Chicago. As such, I frequent many new boutiques, restaurants, … more
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About this topic

Wiki

www.etsy.com

Is a website that gives people a way to buy and sell handmade items online. The site follows in the tradition of open craft fairs, giving sellers personal storefronts where they list their goods for a fee.

Etsy started in 2005 and now has over 10,000 sellers in their community. These sellers span the globe and it provides a great international community for cultural and artistic appreciation. In order to communicate with sellers, a buyer needs to create their own account (which is free).   As a buyer you can browse by category, treasury (items picked by members), pounce (seller awaiting their first sale, or those who have just sold something), gift guides, shop local (by location), showcase (sellers showing off a particular item), editors picks, time machine (recently viewed), colors, geolocator, connections (who likes what), birthdays, sellers and featured sellers.

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Tags

Websites, Retail, Crafts, Eshopping, Online Shopping, Retail Websites, Crafts Websites

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