Thursday, July 3, 2008

One Patron's Introduction to Etsy

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!

6 comments:

Tracy said...

What a great blog post! Way to encourage buyers and sellers to Etsy!

Dancing Monkey Jewelry said...

I'm a seller but I've been more of a buyer on Etsy lately. I wonder how many buyers are really sellers. ;)

Rosebud Collection said...

My daughter/myself, have a shop and we haven't sold that much..but it is fun..She has bought things from Etsy and very happy..Have to admit, haven't pushed ourselves either..Getting together this weekend and will get serious..

Julie D'Arcy said...

I just discovered this group when I found this beautiful treasury created by VintageEmbellishment. I am pleased to know that there are buyers out there who are willing to go the extra mile to find what they want, and buy handmade.
At the moment, I am hunting for a 'real job' so I am not much of a buyer... But if you would be interested, I would love to have you and your group come look at my artwork!
http://jvdarcy.etsy.com
Happy Patronage!
Julie D'Arcy

neile said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
neile said...

oops, that comment was an accidental cut and paste...

what i meant to say here was that I love your attitude. And that I think this blog and street team are a great idea.

Maybe you should try to have the Storque do an article on your street team. It is so great that you put the emphasis on SHOPPING>