Like many new Etsians, I had been a buyer and seller on ebay for years when I came across Etsy in a newspaper article. I loved the concept immediately; typed in the url, and was impressed by the selection on the front page. I totally didn't get any of the "ways to shop", so I went straight to the search bar and typed in whatever it was I wanted at the time. The page appeared, lots of stuff completely unrelated to my original search, which I gaped at until I realized there were actually 992 such pages. I assumed I had done something wrong. Bewildered, I didn't buy anything. I didn't even sign up.
Not one to give up easily, I eventually found the forum and formed a connection to Etsy. I made my first purchase, and thankfully the seller was very patient as I navigated actually buying something off of Etsy for the first time. The piece turned out to be wonderful, and I bought a few more odds and ends as I poked around the site. I wanted to get more involved in the community as a buyer, but there didn't seem to be many opportunities for that. It finally occurred to me that in order to become more involved I would need to open a shop.
I got pushed into it one day when I searched in vain for an item I wanted. There weren't any, so I decided to try and make it myself. It came out pretty well, and a shop was born. But here's the thing: I am actually not all that interested in selling. The thrill for me is that someone actually likes something I made enough to pay money for it. I don't renew to get more visibility, and now that I've got a page or so of stuff listed I'm happy to have it just sit there while I'm off shopping. As a seller, I think I've spent under $10 on listing fees, including commissions on the few things I've sold.
I greatly respect the "serious" sellers, and many Patrons in fact are serious sellers, but I don't really want to be one. I am a Patron. I want to pour myself a glass of wine, admire interesting creative work, help a great undiscovered artist get some exposure, buy something occasionally and talk about it with a like-minded group.
I often wonder how many other sellers there are like me, really just buyers with a few listings who wanted to be more involved. And how many buyers are there who would love to "hang with the artists" but don't have the time or inclination to open a shop. If that sounds like you, now there's an alternative. Become a Patron. Pour yourself a glass of wine and join us in our pursuit of supporting Etsy Artists. It really is fun hanging with these talented artisans!