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Handmade, Vintage and Preloved: My problems with Etsy November 15, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Advice, Crafting, Inspiration, Life, Chatter & Politics, Rants, Vintage.
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You have probably gathered just how much I love vintage fashion. The quirky, the wierd, the classic and the wonderful – I am happier in my preloved belongings than in brand new items. It would make sense, therefore, for me to love Etsy. After all, unlike eBay (my usual haunt), you don’t have to compete and bid against other buyers, and the prices are fixed and obvious. Along the same lines, vintage clothes tend to be cheaper on Etsy than they are on online stores, and even often cheaper than they are on eBay.

Etsy Logo

Etsy Logo

With all these advantages, however, come a number of disadvantages that mean I only buy on Etsy if it really is a case of needs must. These little things make the overall buying experience a bit of a disappointment, and really are simple little things. I simply fail to understand why such a big and successful website won’t put in the effort to make their site that bit more user-friendly.

So why do I have problems with Etsy?

Firstly, they will piss a lot of people off by not having multiple currencies. I don’t mind this too much (I can roughly translate dollars to pounds in my head), but for those who don’t have it programmed into their brains this can be a right hassle. People will find that heading to a site such as XE.com in order to find out the cost is often time-consuming, and can persuade people away from buying at all.

Etsy Local Search - No Keywords Anywhere!

Etsy Local Search - No Keywords!

Next the search local tool. This is great if you don’t have something specific in mind. If you are just browsing, this tool allows you to enter a location, and see the first 100 shops that match those parameters. Of course, a brilliant shop may not have updated recently and will only come much further down the list than that initial 100, and there is no facility to extend the search and see the next bunch. Even worse, you can EITHER search by keyword, or by location, never by both. The closest you can get to this is to see who delivers to the UK, but if you are trying to keep postage costs down and only buy local this is quite a major pain in the ass.

Finally, I have an issue with the feedback method for Etsy. Like its more professional competitor, eBay, people are rated on selling accuracy – but unlike eBay, people don’t have to fill this in. That pressure to be a good and trustworthy seller isnt there, and whilst most people are good guys, there will always be scammers out there.  

The thing is, there is still a recession on. We should be encouraging people to buy vintage, and experience the quality and brilliance of a real quality item. Similarly, people are becoming more and more creative, and for the first time in years a real handmade force is out there, crafting and sewing away. eBay doesn’t care about these creatives, concentrating more on the big corporate brands – and Etsy is fatally flawed. There are few outlets for such wonderful talent, and I just wish the website would get off its lazy bottom and sort it out!! 

All that said, Etsy is home to the most wonderful and beautiful items. Definitely give it a visit, I am not trying to persuade you away from it! I just think that if they fixed these flaws, their website would be better than ever before, and so many more people would use it!

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Comments»

1. White Rabbit - November 15, 2009

Thanks for the post. I am relatively new to etsy and I am planning to sell my designs throught them as well. Your post was very helpful.

Yes, I hope they realise that it is about time now and develop the site asap.

2. Laura - November 16, 2009

It’s not directly related to this post but in the paper yesterday there was a list of the top 100 most useful websites (or something like that anyway), one of them being http://www.regretsy.com – these people really aren’t fans of etsy!

Also can I claim some sort of commission for you using my photo of you on your Dorothy Perkins article? :P

3. Eyeliah - November 17, 2009

It took me FOREVER to get used to Etsy, I couldn’t even get how to search, lol. Now that I understand it I love it but also dislike the local searching and lack of alternate currency (I’m Canadian so right now it is pretty comparable). I agree if they fixed these problems it would be so much better.
The things that make it a winner for me over ebay (I don’t even go there anymore) are the instant buy and the friendliness – but also the fact that your search words can be anywhere in the listing unlike ebay where you can only search the titles. It is so much easier to narrow down exactly what you are looking for.

4. Links à la Mode : Food for Thought | THE COVETED - November 19, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

5. Pursed Lips » Links a La Mode – Food for Thought - November 19, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

6. Sher - November 19, 2009

What is hard for me is the searching engine. I clearly can’t find what I’m looking for. Then if I do, I would like to narrow the search and can’t.

7. Links à la Mode | Fashion planet blog - November 20, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

8. Further Ado | - November 20, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

9. Crisis in Denim » Who Says I Never Win Anything? - November 20, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

10. IFB Presents: Links á la Mode | dramatis personae - November 20, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

11. Still Alive | - November 20, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

12. Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup | TheWorkingWardrobe.com - November 20, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

13. Links à la Mode – - November 22, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

14. White Rabbit is again in Links à la Mode! « White Rabbit - November 22, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

15. Idiosyncratic Style» Blog Archive » Links A La Mode: Food For Thought - November 23, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: Love vintage & handmade, but I don’t love Etsy… [...]

16. Diana - November 23, 2009

It seems to me that Etsy needs to work on creating a better experience for people shopping outside of the United States. The only problem I’ve really experienced is the lack of advanced searches, but I love browsing for hours on Etsy, so it doesn’t bother me too much.
Etsy is constantly working to improve itself, so hopefully it will resolve these issues for international buyers soon.

17. Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup | Independent Fashion Bloggers - November 24, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

18. Links à la Mode: Food for Thought : Awakened Aesthetic - November 25, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

19. Random Fashion Coolness » Blog Archive » Links à la Mode - November 25, 2009

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

20. IFB Links a la Mode for November 19, 2009 « Brunette and Pink - February 10, 2010

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

21. IFB Links a la Mode for November 19, 2009 | Brunette and Pink - February 18, 2010

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade… but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

22. » Food for Thought Style Bust - April 4, 2010

[...] Mystery Creature: – I love vintage, I love handmade� but I don’t love Etsy, as much as I want to. [...]

23. thecraftaholic - April 14, 2010

I love handmade, but i feel like people are going their own way these days. I think it’s best to open a shop with a domain name, so you can be your own manager, you know?
there are too many etsy names already taken by people who do nothing with it, and you can’t change your user name!
i love etsy, but it’snot the only way to sell your goods, you know?

24. Charlie - October 8, 2011

Thanks for the info. I’ve been thinking of selling on ETSY so I’m
things out.


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