Buying (and Trading) on Etsy

by Maggie Wells on 25 May 2008 6 comments
Photo: Etsy

Positively one of my favorite places to shop online when I need a present is www.etsy.com. And I have to say, most of the time when I go to buy a present from this site, I have no idea beforehand what I'm actually going to buy. I just browse endlessly by random criteria. My favorite is by color. I want to see something blue and voila! Everything from buttons to yarn to pillows and barrettes in blue.

Etsy only lets vendors who are selling handmade items post their wares on Etsy. They are pretty strict about this. If a vendor even tries to post something not created , other shoppers and artisans will flag it immediately. When they say handmade they mean it---but there's such a broad interpretation of that. The t-shirts a friend of mine silk screens are on there, my old zines are on there, and restrung jewelry made with vintage beads are there too.

If you want to set up shop, etsy boasts some of the lowest cost fees around and the percentage cut is tiny. It doesn't have the traffic of eBay yet, but it doesn't have the high cost either and stuff can sit in your store for three months straight from one posting. A girlfriend of mine who dyes her own yarn has sold about $500 worth so far with not that much effort put into it. You can go in with a few artists in your area and have one store between you.

On the flip side, since artisans and artists make up this site and ususally can't help themselves when they see something fun, clever or beautiful, you can bet that other artists and artisans are looking around their fellow etsy sites. You can totally work out trades of merchandise and can post on your site that you are up for such things (there I go again with the trading). I traded a few books for some earrings.

 

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Linda P

Thank you for mentioning etsy in your blog. I am one of the craftspeople on etsy and really appreciate the opportunity to sell my items on such an artistic-minded website.

craftsfromtheheart

Guest's picture

I adore Etsy. I started out as a buyer several years ago. I love that everything is unique and that the money goes directly to the creator of the object. It made me feel good about buying presents again. Then I decided to start selling my stuff and I'm having a lot of fun designing and creating.

I think the potential for profit depends on what you are selling however. I sell baby accessories like diaper bags and baby blankets; I'm certainly not the only one either. I have to market my shop considerably. It's not without efforet, but it is enjoyable.

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Kate

I had never heard of this website before and so i went and had a look for myself as i liked the idea that the goods were not the usual run of the mill mass produced items.
I really liked it and think that i will put it on my favourite list. Thanks for letting us know about it.

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Guest

I appreciate you blogging about etsy. I like to make my gifts but sometimes have trouble finding unique material. Thanks to you I found Leslie's Store and the buttons and yarns that were perfect.

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Guest's picture

I've been selling on Etsy for only a few months but since then I've had several sales and the other artists are very nice and helpful. Its also very creative and inspiring to me and I too enjoy the fact that items I'm purchasing is going directly to the artist. I sell a little bit of everything from polymer clay items, baby blankets, decorations, hand painted items.