If you’re an eBay junkie (like me in my previous life before I had my own blog:-), then you may want to cruise around Etsy, your place to buy and sell all things handmade. Thanks to my Smarty friend, Nikki, I was introduced to Etsy a few months ago when she started selling her presh monogrammed items under The Freckled Thread, a la Etsy. Since I’m very green to Etsy but think the concept is brilliant, I turned to Nikki to educate our Smarty readers on this savvy handmade marketplace.
Here’s Nikki (with a few of Jen P’s random comments, you’ll know which ones they are;-)
Etsy only allows handmade items. Etsy first launched their site in June 2005. The sheer diversity and quality of all the handmade items on Etsy might surprise you. You can find cheesy items that look thrown together and you can also find high quality goods. Some of the things you can find are: glass pendants, pottery, furniture, sculptures, paintings, clothing, keychains, baby items, purses and handbags, greeting cards, hats, buttons, dolls, masks, beads, soap, blankets, toys, and the list goes on. Unlike eBay, Etsy is not an auction site. There is no bidding involved, the price you see is the price you get. One thing that eBay and Etsy have in common is the feedback system. Etsy sellers take the feedback system just as seriously as eBay sellers. Etsy sellers rely on good feedback for their reputation. I have found that Etsy sellers are more eager to establish a friendly and personal experience with their customers. All items are hand-crafted by the shop owner, so there is a true sense of pride with every item.
With Etsy, you receive 5 large high quality images, description space and 4 months of exposure for any item you list for a fee of 20 cents. Etsy gets 3.5% of your selling price. You can list roughly 9 items for the same listing fee that it costs you on eBay to list 1 time for 7 days. So for example: a $10 item cost $1.30 to list for 3-7 days on eBay. A $10 item cost 20 cents to list for 4 months on Etsy. eBay gets 88 cents of the final value of a $10 item where Etsy only takes 35 cents of the final value of a $10 item. Etsy’s prices are awesome for the seller!
How to search Etsy:
There are several fun features to help you search through the hundreds of items on Etsy. The treasuries are themed galleries compiled by Etsy members. “Pounce” shows recently sold items and other items available from that seller. “The Time Machine” shows items as they are listed. “Shop Local” allows you to support local artists or crafters in your area (very Smarty – we LOVE local!). Etsy also has the basic categories that can be very helpful. If you know of a shop that you want to look at, you go under Sellers:usernames and type in the shop name or you can access a specific shop by www.theshopname.etsy.com. For example my address would be www.FreckledThread.etsy.com (hint, hint!).
My personal Etsy story:
I decided to open a shop on Etsy after many friends and family members had been encouraging me to start my own website. Well, to a working mom and mother of 3 that started like a big undertaking. So, after hearing about Etsy from a good friend this sounded like a leap I was willing to take. It was SO easy to set up my own shop on Etsy. I bought my shop banner from another “Etsian” and the steps to list and item are so simple and easy to follow – especially for one who is not too computer savvy. All you have to do to start is click on the “SELL” icon and it is laid out for you to have a successful experience. What I like best about Etsy is the family community you feel. Whenever, I have had a question and I had to contact their support, I always received a very friendly, cheerful, prompt and personal email. Another thing I like is the personal and friendly feeling when you contact any other seller. You can really feel the pride they feel in their handcrafted item and they really want you to enjoy it.
Freckled Thread (The goods!)
My shop is all custom monogramming. I have a lot of baby and children’s items. But I also have fun gifts for friends, co-workers, teachers, and coaches. I pride my shop in excellent quality, good prices and very quick turn around. I usually sew out my orders that day or the next. Check me out: www.FreckledThread.etsy.com
Thanks, Nikki! For all you Smarties who are dreaming of becoming “mompreneurs”, you may want to seriously consider Etsy. This is the ticket for sure!