Saturday, June 19, 2010

For those who were wondering - What Etsy is for

This is one time I am going to bounce on Etsy.  But it's in a good cause - so please.. big girls' panties time if you don't like it.

It has come to my attention that Mr Brian Leahy, author of  (hang on, let me go and check) "The Groom Says" has tapped a blog post on Aisle Dash, explaining "Why Men Don't Get Etsy".

First of all, Brian, men don't get a lot of things - such as why remembering birthdays are important but you have failed to understand two certain principles that etsy lives and (well.. let's hope not) dies by:

a) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and

b) one person's trash may be another's treasure.

Yes, etsy may seem to be the hippie younger sister of eBay and tell me you havent considered going there for a hit - just when you felt you had to get away from the polished bright older sister, and indulge in something a little less organised, the one without the filofax and the Prada handbag.  However, Etsy is there because sometimes you make something so wonderful, you need to tell more people about it than just the cat.

Etsy exists as The Worlds Largest Crafty Trash & Treasure Sale, a ginormous hall full of trestle tables with wares oh so artfully displayed.  But there is a sense of communion (not the grape/wine/bread/flesh thing) but people creating displaying and yes, in a rather understated way, because no one likes to imply that they do it for the money as we're not those kind of hookers.

Are there items on etsy that I just dont understand? 

Yes, and I take comfort in the fact that I'm not the only one who is bemused by a pile of crocheted elephants that appear to be fornicating.

That's one scene from Dumbo they didnt show you...

But etsy is the place that you can set your own terms for your work -

whether you should be surprised that your $500 Amigurumi Crochet Rabbit keyring doesnt sell

is another question.

But etsy is there so the makers can say that "hey I did THIS" - unlike the drill  or chainsaw spruiked at Homecentre, anonymous and only gains a personality or purpose if it's lucky and gets taken home.

Etsy doesnt expect everyone to understand her, she's grateful for the attention, but would really prefer the attention of someone who does call her back in the morning.


  1. Meg P. aka ColorJunkieJune 19, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    I couldn't agree more with everything in the post. Usually the tone is a bit snarky (but ALWAYS funny!), but this deserves to be said once in a while, to give credit to those who put hard work into even ugly things. Now we can all go back to ROFL.

  2. Clearly I've struck a chord. And funny, too, cause I haven't the faintest musical bone in my body.

    Women really do love this site -- this post and the hate comments on the Aisledash site are sure proof of that. My writing humor does tend to be dry. In this case, it may have been arid.

    To soothe your hatred of me, I thought I should let you know that I purchased a gift for my 2E's from Etsy just last week and surprised her with them this afternoon. My cat enjoyed them as well.

    So no hard feelings, from one blogger to another.


  3. Wow... Methinks my WNTC girl isn't the touchy one. I read a very reserved comment/explanation and didn't feel the slightest hint of 'hatred'. I visited Etsy once. I haven't felt the want, need or inclination to go back so not all women love that site. But I do love this one :-)

  4. Ooo touchy touchy Brian! I also read no hatred here, just a reply to your blog posting & a well considered one at that! Perhaps if you don't want people to comment or reply then you shouldn't be blogging!

  5. Sorry but I have to side with Brian on this one. Although I do "get" Etsy, (I think), I can't see paying the prices for the stuff on there that I can make myself for much less money.

  6. Well I do have a fondness for rabbit. I run a rabbit rescue, so I better be fond of them. I do liske the keyring, but not for $500. Where did they come up with $500!?!?!!?
    the other day I went on there and saw a cartoon drawn on a styrofoam cup for $160.00. they must be out of their mind.

  7. Good post. Fortunately, there are a lot more people who get Etsy than don't. There are more good, well-priced items than over-priced oddities. As for the comment about being able to make things yourself for less, more power to you if you're that talented - you should join Etsy and start selling:-)

    There's basically something for everyone if you take the time to look (and sometimes, it does take some effort, I'll admit, due to search issues). Even the "ugly" items often find homes - beauty being in the eye of the beholder and all that;-)

  8. LOL! I totally agree with the crazy pricing of some items but there are some great deals too. Good for you doing a rabbit rescue... I always wondered if anyone ever took care of those cute buggers when people stopped being good pet parents to them.

    I am so glad I found this blog... it is so funny. ;)

  9. Well said. There's just as much wonderful on Etsy as bizarre. As far as the comment about making it yourself for cheaper. In theory, you are paying an artist/crafter for both their materials and their time, so, seeing as you don't pay yourself for time, you should always be able to make it for cheaper. $500 for amirguri is a bit over the top, but when we start to assume that crafters shouldn't be paid for time, we are really undervaluing everything that isn't mass produced.

  10. I like the rabbit keychain (he's delightfully psycho!), but I have to conclude that they meant $5.00 and not $500.00, and were having some issues with decimal points.

    Sometimes prices are great at Etsy, but many people don't seem willing to pay for homemade things, not even unique, well-crafted homemade things. They are used to buying mass-produced junk from Walmart. Amazingly, they think they are getting a great deal when they shop there, completely ignoring that most of it was made in Asia by workers who were paid a pittance. If you were to compare what it costs to actually make a product, and what you pay for it in the store, you'd realize that Walmart is making far more of a profit on their stuff than most of the Etsy sellers are making on theirs. Yet I don't hear anyone complaining that Walmart is too expensive, and they could make stuff cheaper themselves, or get a better bargain elsewhere.

  11. I think it's more that men don't get shopping, period, no matter where it's done. They're fine buying "man things," like power tools, lawn mowers, TVs, and cars, but probably have no clue why women are so enamored of little frou-frou decorative things that serve no purpose. I notice that more women go to yard sales, craft fairs, and thrift stores than men, as well--and really, Etsy is just one big craft fair!

  12. I was thinking exactly along these lines, Lois, thank you! And to paraphrase Jessi - it IS a bazaar - a bizarre bazaar, but interesting all the same.