Home Economics Just Got Interesting

Link: Etsy – Your place to buy and sell all things handmade.

Etsy_2I’ve been toying with the idea for a while now of developing a means through which people can sell what they make.  And ask for things for other, experts, to make for them.  A kind of eBay for products that are handmade.  It taps into lots of things I’m currently researching around the rise of craft based practices and community based politics and interest groups and the DIY movement generally.  And it harks back to markets and the vibrancy and fun of market stalls that I grew up with [a story for another time].

But I’ve just seen Etsy. [via wonderland] And it’s right royally pissed in my pint.  It’s fabulous and it serves fantastically well the growing abundance of people producing things in their own home, with their own fair hands and marries this enterprise with cutting edge navigation – location, materials, seller name, product name etc. which makes it really gratifying to browse around and shop ‘in’.

However, it’s not perfect – it doesn’t actually enable you to request something that suppliers could bid to provide – which i think is something that would work incredibly well for the home suppliers [don’t try and second guess your market – just make want they ask for!] because of the dynamics of the market they’ll able to do this – they’ll as flexible and JIT and responsive as any supplier could hope to be.   Individual producers don’t scale well and that’s why the service is great – you’re getting something quite unique at often less than high street prices.  The Long Tail rocks doesn’t it?


  1. I am a seller on Etsy, and what you mentioned is already in the works by Etsy staffers. They have plans for some sort of forum where buyers can request items that they want made, and sellers with the ability to make those items can haggle and sort out a deal. Exciting!

  2. Thanks Trisha,

    Having had a shufty at the Etsy blog it seems that things are moving on apace. They are implementing:

    # A wanted section where anyone can request to have anything made
    # Relist items directly from the Items Sold section (it’s about time!)
    # Special shop section showing all the items sold
    # Shop galleries for showing off stuff not for sale
    # 10×10 item browsers showing top 100 sellers, 100 most popular items, 100 random items and more

    We’ve also begun working with two marketing & PR mavens, which will inevitably lead to Etsy posters, ads, promo kits and a couple surprises.

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