Online marketplace ‘ETSY’ sell-ebrates artist’s effort

If you thought craft sales died with the dinosaurs, you may be wrong.

They relocated.

Like most operations these days, craft sales have gone digital. One website in particular has come out ahead in both sales and opportunities.

Etsy, the e-commerce website specializing in handmade, homemade, and vintage items, has given “crafting” and antiquing a modern spin. On Etsy, you’ll find much more than clothespin dolls, Christmas ornaments, knitted hats and wind chimes.

The online marketplace offers originals in almost any category you can think of: artwork and prints, home and garden décor, women’s and men’s fashions, collectables, bath and beauty, craft supplies and jewelry to name just a few. It’s a one-stop-shop.

Etsy helps the average crafter or antique collector sustain their own small business online, by allowing them to register their businesses for free. It costs only twenty cents to list an item for 40 days or until the product sells. Etsy keeps 3.5% of the sale price.

While most online sellers wont realistically make enough money to fully support themselves on their crafts alone, every little bit helps. Supplemental cash can enhance the lives of those who may not be making enough on just their paychecks, or for those who are having trouble getting a job.

According to fastcompany.com, only eighteen percent of sellers said that their Etsy shops were a full-time job. However, thirty six percent said the profits made in their stores went towards paying bills, and twenty percent put their profits towards saving.

But not everyone can be an entrepreneur, you say. Not everyone has the necessary business background to run a successful shop.

That’s why Etsy is hosting their own craft entrepreneurship program classes in several large cities order to educate people on how to sell their products online efficiently, without having to fund an actual building or staff. The education focuses on marketing, photography and promotional strategies. It’s not enough to just make the product; you need to know how to sell it too.

Many crafters do not think about how much time or effort is put into their work, they only think about the price that people will buy at. But consumers are becoming more aware of product worth. Crafters learn how to calculate a price that is fair for the amount of time, skill and materials it took to make it.

On Etsy, it seems somewhat understood that the items are well put together and constructed with care. They are made by real people- not factory machines. Consumers are sometimes willing to pay more for items that are unique; for example if they are engraved, one-of-a-kind, rare or custom made.

If you are struggling to find a Mother’s Day gift or an Easter present this year, look no further than Etsy. Handcrafted gifts are much more thoughtful than your typical store-boughts. Why not purchase a hand drawn card, a spring wreath, or a vintage floral scarf for mom? Don’t even have to move from the couch.

You will feel good knowing that you are helping to support real people, who in turn, are realizing their own skills and potential for growth. Check out Etsy.com to support small business owners and crafters, or go open your own online store!

No folding table necessary.