Saturday, April 16, 2011
Etsy.com is a website that allows people to sell their handmade items. People can choose to sell everything from clothes, housewares, jewelry, to digitally illustrated art prints! It is pretty much an Ebay for handmade items. It costs 20 cents to list an item and anything that is sold, Etsy.com gets 3.5% of the selling price. It is a great site for artists of all types who want to get their pieces shown to a very large amount of people and actually get some cash for it and at least get the money that the artist used to make the product. You get to choose the price of your item and everything. What is really great is that some artists allow you to ask for personalized items. People can request for things like specific colors used in a particular necklace or painting. What's really awesome is that people can tweet or Facebook about your "store" or a specific piece right from the site, so there is opportunity to gain an even bigger audience than just the Etsy.com shoppers. Some artists have giant stores with pages and pages of items. Many artists have tons of fans and have made names for themselves through this site.
I wouldn't say it's a great replacement for a job but at least you can make a store made from your design work that isn't made for a client. You could even gain some fans. I think as design students we are always looking for ways to make a name for ourselves in this very competitive field. At the end of the day it is yet another avenue that we have to get out work shown to the public with the added bonus of some possible money.
I looked up reviews on the site and as I expected people complained about poor customer service from sellers. It is a site that is pretty much an Ebay for handmade goods. These handmade goods are sold by sellers with Paypal accounts to manage their transactions so of course you run the risk of dealing with a seller who doesn't really know how to run a proper store but as a seller, buyers can write positive or negative comments on about your customer service/product(s). I haven't read about the site itself cheating artists in anyway but we should always approach sites with caution anyway. All of us should practice safe shopping on sites like this so it is best to read reviews of the artist and make sure that you see that the seller has a good track record.
I don't know about you all but something like Etsy.com would help me keep creating pieces after we come out of college and don't have the structure of a class to finalize pieces. I worry about it sometimes. I know I will always keep doing art but I know that I am always used to a class structure which offers me the encouragement to get things done in a timely fashion. I feel like I will get out of college and be consumed with doing work for clients that I may or may not like. With no projects that are graded I worry I might have trouble finalizing pieces made for my own satisfaction. Hopefully not but it is something I think about.