Thursday, September 16, 2010

Etsy Confuses Me Deep Down in My Soul

One of my friends from college, a super talented boy, works for Etsy. And I have a few friends who make beautiful, intricate, unique crafts, and most of them have Etsy shops that I hope are doing well...


Can I just say that I'm a *weensy* baby bit confused by how prolific the possession of an Etsy shop is? Because, a lot of times it's not to sell reasonably priced crafts of the caliber I've referenced above, but to sell...kind of lame-o stuff that I could make in about 30 minutes by sewing/gluing together a grand total of two pre-made items purchased from Hobby Lobby. And a lot of it is the same stuff, over and over and over again, the only difference is that different people are making it.

I know, I know, art is relative, yadda yadda yadda. But it's kind of silly to me to charge (sometimes a lot of) money to sell things on Etsy that you didn't, actually, truly, *make*, when so many other people are hardcore awesome at their respective crafts. I mean, sure, maybe you put it together, but just because I can put together a bike from Wal-Mart doesn't really mean I should then call myself a bike maker and try and sell it for triple digits... especially if every. other. chick. on. the. block. is *also* buying bikes from Wal-Mart, putting them together, calling themselves bike makers, and then trying to sell them for triple digits...

So, I'm feeling the way I described in this post title. I love handmade, homemade, crafty little things made by creative people, and a ton of the stuff on Etsy blows me away. But some of the stuff on Etsy makes me shake my head and furrow my brow in confusion, often followed quickly by shock at how expensive said "craft" is, and then I think "well, I gotta hand it to 'em, they have a lot of gumption to put this out there and then unflinchingly charge THAT MUCH for it..."

Maybe I just don't get it, but sewing a few buttons on a onesie purchased in a 3 pack from Target, or stitching a pre-made flower to a piece of elastic, or wrapping ribbon around a pre-made box just don't meet my expectations of things that should cost more than $30. *Shrugs* I guess I'm weird like that.


  1. Yeah, it just depends on what I'm looking for when it comes to etsy. Once I saw an awesome felt iPod cover that looked just like a lime green gameboy, just like my husband used to have, but it was like $15. So I just went to the store, bought my own felt, and sewed my own for his Christmas gift. He loved it, and especially that it was made by moi! Plus, it only cost me around $5 instead!

  2. Yes, Etsy is a great place to find inspiration- I often browse around, see something cute, and then figure out a way to make it myself :)

  3. I have a friend who is using Etsy in exactly the way you just described. It's really sad because she's actually really talented. I kind of feel like Etsy is dumbing her down a little bit? She sees the crap others are producing and forgets that she doesn't have to compete with them by making the same things as them.

    I did just buy the MOST ADORABLE shoes for P on Etsy though. Handmade, leather, and so not like anything you can buy in stores. That's why I love that site :)

  4. Jenna-

    Yes, it's the gorgeous one of a kind items that keep me coming back to window shop every once in a while at Etsy.

    There was a hilarious link on Huff Post about the most terrible Etsy crafts, I read it about a week after I posted this. One of them was a re-usable Ronald McDonald print. Another was a person selling drawings of you and Justin Beiber... on a unicorn. The last one though, was totally rad- the Golden Girls as zombies :)