Etsy offers outlet to sell homemade arts, crafts

Campus Editor and Campus Editor

For Lacy Hoening, shopping on Etsy.com allows her to shop without going anywhere.

“I don’t usually shop at all, but when I do, I shop online,” Hoening said.

Etsy is an online shopping site, which allows artists and others to sell vintage things or things they’ve made, said Douglas Ewing, assistant professor of marketing.

Hoening, a junior, also uses sites such as Wanelo and Forever21.com to do her shopping, but discovered Etsy after receiving a gift she got at a friend’s wedding. Hoening said it is quicker and easier.

“I got started on it because one of my best friends used it to buy gifts for her bridal party,” Hoening said. “They were tumblers with our initials and wedding dresses.”

Etsy also allows buyers to buy items they may otherwise not have access to, Ewing said

“You can buy stuff you might have to go to a craft show or an art gallery to buy,” he said.

While Etsy is an online shopping site, Ewing said it’s different than any of its kind.

“In a way, Etsy is a little bit of Pinterest, Amazon and Facebook all in one,” he said. “It’s very different, it’s more about the engagement between the buyer and seller.”

Hoening hasn’t ever engaged with someone she bought something from, but she said she knew the feature was available.

“I think you can buy very self-expressive stuff for relatively small outlays if you’re willing to hunt around for them,” Ewing said. “A lot of times it’s relatively accessible, you don’t have to go to an art gallery, and you can do it on a modest income.”

Rachael Conner, a sophomore, said she likes Etsy because the items are cheap and cute.

She bought a ring before because she likes that the site offers homemade items, but said it fell apart and was cheaply made.

“I definitely think there are better shopping sites,” Conner said. “I have recommended it before, but you just kind of have to be aware of who you’re buying something from.”

One of Conner’s friends was scammed through the site, Conner said.

“Some of the people who sell stuff on there seem kind of sketchy,” she said.

Artists can use Etsy if they don’t want to or don’t have time to manage the business side of selling items they make, Ewing said.

“It allows people to sell what they couldn’t before,” he said. “[They] don’t have to deal with all the annoyances of running the back end of a business,” Ewing said.

Hoening has bought a ring on Etsy so far and is planning to buy a necklace.

Compared to sites like Wanelo, which features items but links the buyer to another website, Hoening likes the immediacy of Etsy.

“It’s just straight to the point,” Hoening said. “You know where you’re buying it from and you’re only going to that website, it’s quicker.”

On Etsy, shoppers can buy the item directly from the site.

“It’s really sort of an unbranded provider that tries to get out of the way,” Ewing said.