Sell handmade goods, buy cheap handmade goodies.
In these days of mass-production and Wal-Mart's low prices and lower standards, it's great to see handmade artifacts making a comeback. Today, my wife introduced me to a site that is a meeting-place for buying and selling wonderful handmade items. Everything from jewelry and ties to paintings and teddy bears. And it's all 100% hand crafted.
ETSY.COM - your place to buy and sell all things handmade
This place is a treasure-trove of beautiful, lovingly-made goods. When I first heard about ETSY, I thought it would be more for my wife than me. But although it does seem to cater more for the ladies, there's so0me great stuff for the guys. If you want to be individual and get noticed, check out the selection of metallic silk-screened neckties. The green silkscreened tie with the black raven is awesome. I also loved Bombs Away . And the price...just $30. For a handmade silkscreened tie, well, I think that's rather good.
Something for everyone.
Form gifts for your mom and dad, to cool gear for the kids and babies, there is literally something to suit every taste here. I'm having a lot of trouble keeping myself from buying all of my upcoming gifts from this site. Check out the Sunday-best onesies . There are great purses, stuffed animals and all sorts of other cool things. You can also use the TIME MACHINE to see what other folks have been buying, updated every minute.
But hang on....there's also some quality fine art, too.
My wife has put me straight on this one. She's not happy with the cheap part of the headline (hey, I'm a Wisebread blogger) but she's absolutely right. There are some stupendous pieces of original art on ETSY, hand-painted oils on canvas, some as much as $6000. I like this one below , a steal at $500 (as an artist myself, $500 for a piece of original work is a crying shame actually, considering how much love and time goes into a piece of fine art). The word CHEAP should not be applied here. Or, in fact, to any of the items on ETSY. I'm sorry ETSY folks. I certainly didn't mean to imply that anything you offer is cheap...it's all just amazing value for money.
How are the other prices?
I would say reasonable, but sometimes that's an understatment. Considering everything is lovingly made by hand, these prices are surprisingly low. $60 for a hand-dyed indigo cardigan, knitted with love, seems to me to be a bargain. You'd pay way more for something produced fresh from a slave-labor factory in Taiwan.
Selling your own creations.
ETSY has made it really easy to do your own selling . Similar to EBAY but without a lot of the hassle, you can create your own store on ETSY and the whole process is very reasonable, with exceptional rates...
Sign Up. It's free and easy. Choose your username and password, then confirm an email address. There's an extra step of signing up to be a seller (after choosing your username). To prevent against fraud we require that you keep a valid credit card on file.
Set up your shop. Every seller on Etsy gets their own shop (for free), located at username.etsy.com. For example, if my username is rokali, my shop is at rokali.etsy.com. You can customize your shop by adding a banner, bio etc.
List an item. Listing an item is done in five simple steps. We recommend that you've got your photos and description ready before jumping in. Listing an item costs 20 cents per quantity.
Selling an item. As a seller you get to choose what payment methods you accept. We recommend PayPal, as it facilitates instant payment and offers anti-fraud protection. When an item sells both the buyer and seller are sent emails with the transaction details in it. There's a 3.5% sales fee.
Fees. Sign up - free, your own shop - free, listing an item - 20 cents, selling - 3.5% fee. That's it. All listings include up to 5 images. Listings stay up for 4 months.
So there you have it. ETSY. A great way to support local artists and craftsmen/women, plus a great way to turn your own hobby into something a little bit profitable. And best of all, you now have a place to get unique, creative gifts for your friends and family. Life is sweet.
Main photo from ETSY.COM, the Geisha Stamp Notecards . Wonderful item.