For those of you who have never been on Etsy, you are really missing out. Whether you’re desperately searching the internet for your best friend’s birthday gift, a Christmas present for mom, or just a little surprise for yourself, Etsy is the place to go.
Etsy is an online marketplace limited to all things crafty and vintage. The items sold must fall under one of three categories: handmade, twenty years old or older, or craft supplies. There are a wide range of items sold from jewelry to bath products and dresses to phone cases. On this site, there’s definitely something for everyone.
The selling and buying sides of Etsy go hand in hand, but I personally find buying to be the most exciting. Searching for a specific product is as simple as typing the item’s name into the search bar and narrowing to specific categories. In a way, the site is an artsy Amazon. While viewing a product, you can see the seller’s ratings to determine how reliable the shop is, and alternative similar items are also suggested to you. From there, all you have to do is “Add to Cart” and pay. The registration process is quick, and the account can even be tied with your Facebook to make it faster.
I’ve ordered handmade jewelry for multiple friends, a vase for my mother, and I even know someone who ordered a custom-made flask off of Etsy. Each time, the order has been a great experience and the products turned out to be both well made and good-looking. Each time I’ve ordered, the seller has included a little thank you note, so I was sure to give their shop a good rating.
The other side of Etsy, the selling aspect, is a great opportunity for artists and crafters to get their work on the market. Creating an Etsy shop is free, though each item listed costs the shop $0.20. The listings will stay up for 4 months, and Etsy claims 3.5% of the sale price. Sellers can let their brands grow and converse with a variety of other sellers, buyers, and curators.
Whether playing the role of a buyer or seller, Etsy is a great site to discover and share crafty or vintage products. Browsing the site leads to a lot of temptation, so be careful not to get carried away, but don’t let that stop you from buying yourself something nice!
Screenshots by Katie Carsky, courtesy of Etsy.