Etsy was launched in 2005 to provide an online emporium for buying and selling hand-crafted products. It’s for buyers who have no interest in mass-manufactured items such as the kind sold at Walmart and other box stores, and for sellers who want a viable marketplace for their handmade creations.
Now over 170,000 sellers have opened Etsy “shops.” The vast majority of artisans are based in the U.S., with Europe and Australia modestly represented, and a smattering of other locations from around the globe. What are they making and selling?
Products are featured in 31 categories, a few of which are:
If you’re a buyer, one of the many ways you can shop is local -- just search for a specific location. A search on San Francisco, for example, dished up the 100 most recently updated shops in San Francisco, complete with the name of the store and its image/icon, and thumbnails of products offered (one store, selling items made of old keys and time pieces, shows up with 422 listings).
When you decide to make a purchase, you have to register first. It’s free. And once you do, you can take advantage of various Etsy offerings, such as Alchemy. Alchemy is where you “turn your ideas into reality.” Buyers can post requests for custom handmade items, and then sellers bid on the opportunity to make the goods.
If you’re a seller, you can sell:
Sellers list items on Etsy for a fee; Shoppers find items on Etsy and pay the Seller directly; the Seller ships the item to the Customer. This is, of course, the short version -- which is presented in a clear and friendly manner on the Etsy website.
There are lots of fun and trendy catchwords that guarantee lively community participation among Etsy’s buyers and sellers. One of these is the Time Machine. Click there and you go straight to all the newest listings, complete with pictures, short descriptions, the store’s name, and the item’s price. If you want to see other recent items, you simply use the Back in Time function. Another catchy destination is Pounce. You can use the Pounce page by selecting one of two views: Recently updated shops waiting for their first sale, or Shops that just had a sale.
And the adventure continues... If you haven’t discovered Etsy yet, it’s worth a visit! And bound to spark your imagination, too.
What type of remodeling job are you interested in?