Nowadays there are many online selling venues for handmade goodies, but back in 2005, when Rob Kalin, Chris Maguire, Haim Schoppik and Jared Tarbell founded Etsy, it was a completely new idea. Until then Ebay was the only Internet possibility for crafters, who could not afford (or did not have the knowledge) to build web sites of their own.
Es gibt mittlerweile mehrere Webseiten, wo Kunsthandwerker deren eigene Kreationen verkaufen können. In 2005 gab es aber noch keine - zumindest bis zum dem Tag, auf wem Rob Kalin, Chris Maguire, Haim Schoppik und Jared Tarbell Etsy eingeführt haben. Vorher gab es nur Ebay, der nicht umbedingt für handgemachtes gedacht ist. Etsy ist eine Amerikanische Webseite nur auf Englisch. In weitere blogpostings werde ich mehr über Deutsche Kunsthandwerker Seiten erzählen.
Etsy is great both for buyers and sellers. Buyers could choose from a variety of products in many categories, or have a look at the handpicked items in the Treasury or the Gift Guides. Multiple options for paying are allowed: credit card, money order, and PayPal. The purchased items tend to come nicely gift-wrapped. And most of all, Etsy is easy to use and navigate.
Sellers benefit from the popularity of the selling venue. Many people go directly to Etsy, whenever they need a gift for a loved one (or themselves). What is more, the site has great resources to help you establish your store and make it a success. The Storque (Etsy's blog) and the Forums are full of useful entries. Joining a session in the Virtual Labs is always good, as you can learn from the experience of others and ask questions in real time.
However, do not expect that money will automatically start rolling into your account the moment you register. You need good items, great pictures and perseverance. You need to be prepared to list and/or re-list a lot (which costs you 0.20 US Dollars each time). There are many sellers on Etsy, so you need to be active and list in order to show more often on the top of your category. Promoting outside Etsy is a must, as it brings people directly to your site.
I love Etsy, although having a store there did not work well for me. The reason? Being based in Europe, I could not offer any reasonable shipping fees. My products are relatively inexpensive and partly cheaper than the shipping itself! It costs 6 Euro (+ additional 2.05 Euro if you want to register it) to send some of my 5.95 /6.95 /7.95 Euro crystal angel (or fairy) pendants to the US, Australia and everywhere else outside the European Union. Being on DaWanda (another favourite selling venue of mine) proved to be better, especially as it is German/Europe-based.
I don't mean, that if you are in Europe, you should stay away from Etsy. On the contrary, there are many successful European sellers. I guess it depends on the type of your products, their prices and the realistic shipping fee. My Etsy store sold a few items too - even though I listed less then 40 times in total.
In order to buy or sell on Etsy, you need to register. You can do it by clicking on this link - it is free of charge. Setting up and maintaining a shop does not cost anything either. You pay 0.20 US Dollars per listing, as well as 3.5 percent of every sale (sellers only!).
Oh well, surely this is not all about Etsy. Etsy is about participating, experiencing and sharing the love to handmade products.