By Janet Dodrill
A web site design client of mine who is a glass artist told me about Etsy.com about a year ago and asked me if I thought it was a viable place to sell handmade art pieces online. I checked it out and said why reinvent the wheel when Etsy seemed an advanced professional site with all the ecommerce amenities that an artist could want, made easy through PayPal integration. The Etsy and PayPal fees are minimal so there is little risk in getting started selling.
Since then, I have observed the site becoming more popular, and at a recent holiday art sale, I noticed that a large percentage of artists had their Etsy web address on their business cards and that some of them are using it for their sole web presence.
In addition to a vast variety of handmade artist items on Etsy, one can also buy or sell vintage items, and supplies for arts and crafts. This may be an ideal place for me to sell some of the items I have previously tried to sell on Craigslist, however would require shipping, whereas on Craigslist I could sell local only and arrange pick-up.
I recently created an Etsy store and posted some of my artwork at janetdodrill.etsy.com, and sold an item in my first week. I hope to add to and enhance my store and turn it into a source of extra income and self promotion.
Another of my web site clients sells unique healthy dog biscuits, and I noticed there is a large variety of gourmet dog biscuits and handmade treats on Etsy, and I have encouraged them to create a store there.
I enjoy browsing through Etsy and seeing the tasteful art goods for sale, and still have many sections to discover and explore. It is a great way to purchase a one-of-a-kind item, or to begin to sell in your own customizable online store, without the big investment in a custom ecommerce site of your own.