Made In The U.S.A.

Etsy: A Craft Fair on the Internet

In Retailers on January 14, 2009 at 10:04 pm

12.31.08

I bought some post-Christmas gifts today, and decided that Etsy would be the perfect place to shop. Not for any altruistic homegrown reason, but because I was looking for unique handmade gifts. Sure enough, I found the perfect wallet and coin purse that I was looking for (not for me, I should point out. Remember: they’re gifts. Shhh.) and the price was right and I’m buying local. Chicago, to be exact, which I’d say is pretty darn local.

Etsy is like a craft fair on the Internet. It’s the Amazon of indy handyfolks. Makers of stuff—clothes, crafts, photographs, painting, whatever—sign up with the site and list their items for sale. Whether they make one or one thousand, Etsy simply offers one place in the virtual world where simple sellers can sell simply to buyers. Etsy of course takes a cut from the seller, but for the buyer it’s like making any other online purchase.

Not all of Etsy’s vendors are local; some more than others. But still, to have access to even the option of  buying locally produced stuff… Great! (A complaint about Etsy on Wikipedia actually cites the site for being “too United States centric.” That might stink for the rest of the world, but for us in the US who can’t seem to get anything homemade, it’s excellent.)

Vaguely interesting postscript: Nobody seems to know why the site is called “Etsy” or what exactly the name might mean. There’s an interesting article here at The Name Inspector.

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