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A look at Etsy.com

Updated on October 2, 2011

I recently wrote a comparative article facing the online market giant of Ebay against the lesser known Etsy titled, Etsy vs. Ebay - Who has the edge?

It was through publishing this article that I realized that perhaps Etsy hasn't established itself as much as I thought it had. Therefore, I wish to share with you what Etsy is along with some of its features I think make being an Etsy buyer or seller worth it!

What is Etsy?

If you have yet to hear of Etsy, you are probably already making some deductions based on my mentioning Ebay. Like Ebay, Etsy is an online market. The focus of Etsy is geared more towards the ability to establish your own online boutique shop, empowering individuals with the ability to take part in the global economy. In fact, here is what is posted on their about page to give you a taste of the Etsy mentality.

Our mission is to empower people to change the way the global economy works. We see a world in which very-very small businesses have much-much more sway in shaping the economy, local living economies are thriving everywhere, and people value authorship and provenance as much as price and convenience. We are bringing heart to commerce and making the world more fair, more sustainable, and more fun.

Etsy has a small niche compared to Ebay in that the items found on Etsy are more in the realm of Martha Stewart. There are really three broad categories that Etsy has and they are:

  1. Handmade Items
  2. Materials to make handmade items
  3. Vintage items

A look at Etsy's awesome recently listed items on full screen, producing real time postings.
A look at Etsy's awesome recently listed items on full screen, producing real time postings.

Cool Features

  • Social Networking - Etsy has a cool feature where you can create circles, join groups and teams, and follow friends and what their interesting and cool finds on Etsy.
  • Activity Feed - this is where you can view what is happening in relation to you and your friends and what they are adding to their favorites. As a seller you can see who is favoriting your items, or when an item is sold, as well as view items you are selling that get placed in a treasury.
  • Treasuries - Etsy did it right with this feature. Here you can create a themed group of items to share with the Etsy community, or simply for your own liking.I find making treasuries fun and enjoy getting comments on what people think of my treasury idea. You might search other treasuries to get decorating or wardrobe ideas. Check out my treasury titled: Nostalgic for Atomic Town
  • Coupon codes - Such an easy feature to use, as a seller you can create coupon codes from free shipping to percentages off. These are awesome for marketing your shop. Once you create a coupon code you can turn it off and on with ease. Etsy saves all your coupon codes in the event of using the code in the future. You have the ability to completely delete a coupon code to ensure that it is no longer functional.
  • Blogs - Though this is not an ebay comparison (that is found here), Etsy features blogs, which is something Ebay did away with. I think it works for this artistic community as the blogs are more specific and relevant, as well as more aesthetically pleasing.
  • Clean look - Etsy feels clutter free and its simple design makes browsing for items much more pleasing and easier on the eyes.
  • Recently listed items - From what I understand so far about the nature of Etsy, this is where most buyers find items, by watching the continually updating recently listed items. This flash-based look at the recent items allows users to view full screen and get a real time look at posted items. Most Etsy shops try to post once or twice a day to get their items in the recently listed to drive traffic, but that is another article.
  • Cheaper - A sort of feature, Etsy is pretty dang cheap when it comes to posting/selling items. A $0.20 insertion fee and only 3.5% of bought item, which does not include any charge for cost of shipping. This makes posting way cheaper than other online markets.

Though it tends to be a female dominated market, I have enjoyed interacting with other Etsy users and have found this to be a great place to shop and sell. I hope you check out Etsy and make it a place where you shop and interact with others with similar craft and clothing interests.

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