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A few reasons why Etsy is great

Shopping, Social software

I’ve been writing this blog for almost six months now, and I’ve yet to write a full post on Etsy (though the volume of awesomeness was dedicated to it this week).  It’s about time I do that, so here it is.

I’m sure most of you have heard of Etsy, and probably many of you shop for or sell things there. If you don’t know what Etsy is, you should hurry over and check it out (their FAQ will explain a lot).  Etsy is an online marketplace where people sell and buy handmade goods.  It’s been around since 2005, but has become very popular in the past year or so. It’s so popular, in fact, that there was an article in this week’s Time discussing how Etsy and similar sites will do likely very well this holiday shopping season, even though physical retail stores are not expected to do well at all. There’s even a Ning site for people who love Etsy.

Sure, Etsy has a few technical problems and kinks to work out, but overall it’s a useful, fun and innovative shopping site. So let’s talk about a few of Etsy’s merits.

One-of-a-kind goods.

I’ve talked before how important uniqueness is to style, and on Etsy, you can find completely unique (or at least very small run) items.  I love this part of Etsy; I take great pride in wearing a pair of earrings only a few other people in the world own.  Why would you buy mass-produced jewelry at Target when you can get awesome stuff on Etsy for the same price?

So many ways to search.

My favorite way to find products is the color search, where visitors can find products that are a particular color.  Sometimes I just run my cursor over all the pretty colored bubbles.  But you can search for items in lots of different ways. You can find newly listed products, items from a brand new and undiscovered store, look at featured or favorite items, search through categories and locations and more. There are so many ways to find what you’re looking for. I can’t think of another shopping site that has so many cool ways to discover new things.

Supporting local and individual artisans.

There are no corporate chain stores on Etsy. Everything is made by an individual person. In my head, Etsy sellers are all crafty artisans toiling away in their basements.  Even if that’s not quite true, I feel good supporting people who take the time to create something. If I had more creative tendencies, I would be selling my own stuff on Etsy, so buying from others is the next best thing.

Community.

I follow a number of Etsy sellers on Twitter and there’s something really cool (dare I say authentic?) about talking to someone on Twitter about the items I just purchased from them on Etsy. It’s so traditional, like the social media answer to the cottage industry.  If I post a link to an Etsy item here on my blog, I’ll often get a new Twitter follower with the same name later that day.

Links.

An Etsy post wouldn’t be complete without sharing some link love. There are so many great Etsy shops; I can’t possibly list them all. But here are a few that have attracted my attention lately. If you’ve got a favorite I haven’t listed, please add it in the comments!

Always Amy – jewelry

AnitaCraftyCreations – bath and body products

Celisa – jewelry, crocheted items, hair accessories

Chaotic Curios – buttons and badges

Debris Design – clothing

Duece Goods – yarn items, bottle cap art

Emily Gray – jewelry

LouLouBell – bags

Katie Blair Designs – cards

Kim Westad – pottery

mimipea – bags, cloth items

Ocean Avenue Silks – scarves

polishedtwo – jewelry, hair accessories

stOOpidgErL – jewelry, photograph, art

thedreamygiraffe – paintings

The Glass Onion – jewelry

Jenn @ November 13, 2008

17 Comments

  1. grechen November 13, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

    what a great post!! i am always so overwhelmed by etsy that i have to quit looking after about 10 minutes…but i love supporting independent designers and this is a great place to do it!! there are so many great sellers at etsy, i tend to rely on recommendations from fellow bloggers to find good ones, so i’m bookmarking this post right now :-)

  2. samantha bird November 13, 2008 @ 1:34 pm

    Yay! Etsy Love!

  3. Kate November 13, 2008 @ 2:48 pm

    Thanks for the shout out! I love etsy, too, as both a buyer and a seller. The best thing about it, I think, is the fact that you really get to communicate with real people – sellers are always including sweet notes and little freebies in packages, and buyers are some of the kindest and most supportive I have ever met.

    Thanks for this post. :)

  4. Arctida November 13, 2008 @ 4:56 pm

    Oh Etsy! Ever since I found it I fell in love :) Great post!

  5. krystyna81 November 13, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

    Etsy has opened up the world to my art…I have had many great sales of my original art, had people from all around the world see my work, have traded some amazing work with fellow Etsians, learned so much from others about how to run a successful business, and found too many great items to mention!

    I am so excited that this Christmas I can proudly say “your gift was handmade by….”. How awesome is that?!

  6. Wendy November 13, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

    Etsy love is good.

  7. Barbra November 13, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

    What a great shout out for etsy. It’s become a way of life in this house!

  8. Frucci November 13, 2008 @ 5:09 pm

    I own a lot to Etsy, and to its many features!

    Thanx for the shout out!

  9. Mrs. Kwitty November 13, 2008 @ 5:09 pm

    Yeah—great shout out for Etsy. I don’t think you are too far off with that “artisans in the basement” comment, lol–that’s where my studio is! Thanks for the post and for helping to spread the word.
    Smiles,
    Karen aka Mrs. Kwitty

  10. Melissa of {craftgasm} November 13, 2008 @ 5:31 pm

    Thanks for shouting out the Etsy love! I’ve been shopping there for a couple years now, and selling for a few months, and it’s been fabulous. Getting a package from an Etsy seller is way more fun than an Amazon box; and you’re right, people will usually toss a little something free in there, too! (I know I do.) What I don’t make as gifts for the holiday season, I’m trying to buy on Etsy. It’s nice to be able to tell people who made their stuff, and where to go if they want more of it.

    Enjoy the continuing love affair!

  11. Heather November 13, 2008 @ 5:45 pm

    Even though I’m not on your etsy list, when I read your blog regarding etsy I felt like I was by proxy. I’m not only one of those crafty people but I’m a fellow Texan. Woohoo! I live in Missouri City which is in the greater Houston area but have family that live in Austin and visit regularly. Just wanted to say thanks for supporting the artisan community. As an artist, I can honestly say the money we receive from our sales is secondary to the positive reenforcement (and natural high) we get from seeing someone enjoy our creations. Go Texas!

  12. Oceana November 13, 2008 @ 7:53 pm

    Thank you so much for mentioning my shop! Wonderful article! I am so happy to have found Etsy for both buying and selling. See you on twitter!

  13. Ann Kvittum November 13, 2008 @ 10:10 pm

    Please check out oceanavenuesilks shop. She makes the most gorgeous silk scarves!

  14. Gina November 25, 2008 @ 1:24 am

    I love hearing a shoppers perspective of Etsy. It’s people like you who appreciate handmade, that make creating so worth while. Thank you kindly for including my shop link in your list.

    Any readers who visit my shop can receive free shipping if they mention code: appoziteFREE now through Dec. 31st 2008.

  15. celisa December 14, 2008 @ 12:06 pm

    i happened across your blog doing a search to see what images pop up…thanks for the link to my shop!! :)

  16. Dosmildoce December 19, 2015 @ 3:35 pm

    I loved the look into your kitchen! It’s alywas so fun to see someone in their element. I’m a little embarrassed of my kitchen, myself! It’s small and dark and too narrow for two people to comfortably work in it, but we make due with what we have! I keep reminding myself that one day, I’ll look back at the years I’ve lived in this apartment, and the meals I’ve made in my kitchen, and smile from ear to ear.

  17. http://topinsurers.dynddns.us/direct_auto_insurance_portland_tx.xml July 20, 2016 @ 9:29 am

    Quando estiveres realmente magro, depois só tens que tentar ser bonito. Mas um passo de cada vez. Não vamos pedir o impossível logo.Abraços,Fernando

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