Handmade, Vintage and Preloved: My problems with Etsy November 15, 2009Posted by Lauren Cooke in Advice, Crafting, Inspiration, Life, Chatter & Politics, Rants, Vintage.
Tags: Crafting, eBay, etsy, handmade, online shopping, Shopping, vintage fashion
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.
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.
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!