CNET Editors' review
The Web is full of great online shops. eBay is the garage sale of the universe. Amazon is a giant department store. And there are tons of focused shopping sites selling everything from underwear to auto parts. But for the most part, they're all old-school. If you want a more contemporary shopping experience, try Etsy, a marketplace for handmade goods.
Like many of the items that Etsy artists sell on the site, Etsy itself has been crafted with care, love, and a whacked-out aesthetic. Heavily Flash-based, it has unique and fun views into the goods available. For example, there's a "shop by color" function that does just what you'd think (although not all that accurately). The cool thing is that the thumbnail images it displays can be dragged around the screen, which helps you compare items, or even thrown off the screen entirely. There's a similar Flash-based shop-by-location feature, a random item view, and also a hypnotic shop-by-time-added function.
The site pushes the current state of the art in commerce and interactivity. Soon to come on Etsy are social shopping features that will let you browse online in real time with your friends--you'll be able to see their cursors on your screen alongside yours. Useful? We don't know. But if the feature is as well crafted as the other lenses into the Etsy store, it will be a lot of fun. If you're looking for a unique, handcrafted, or vintage gift for yourself or someone else, don't miss out on this excellent boutique-like online retailer.
Etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling handmade goods where users can create their own virtual shopfronts to sell almost anything they want. Etsy has an integrated search tool that lets anyone search the site for goods and services out of a centralized directory. It is also lets userssell stuff without having to buy a special domain, write code, hire someone to build a Web site, or pay for hosting.
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"Avoid. Avoid. Avoid."
Good place to browse and gather inspiration.
Etsy does not look out for the buyer.
Twice I have been burned by dubious sellers on this site. The first time the seller cancelled my order the day before my wedding (for my wedding cake topper) with no communication or professionalism.
The second time, I paid a substantial amount for a handmade item and it was delivered the day of my wedding and was incorrect. The seller offered a "discount" (partial refund) due to the error, but never followed through on the partial refund. When I requested a full refund and to return the incorrect item, the seller ignored my requests then shut down their Etsy shop. After contacting Etsy, they said it is out of their hands and I can file a police report with my local police and try to get a refund through my bank or PayPal.
What a scam. I will NEVER buy anything from any seller on Etsy again. Based on other reviews, they treat their sellers bad and based on my experience, they treat their buyers bad. Don't waste your time or money like I did.
"Etsy is a class act"
Great vintage and handmade marketplace.
Items policed for accuracy, honesty.
Admin receptive to ideas, problems.
Team concept for seller help.
Low cost for selling.
Need better shipping software for sellers.
Not enough advertising for Vintage goods.
A constant influx of bulk sellers in spite of flagging.
I've been a seller on Etsy for more than two years and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I'm a former eBay seller now concentrating solely on Vintage goods. Etsy looks good and the listing is relatively easy. I've never been ignored when I've asked for help. Administration is very helpful and work hard at keeping the website both friendly and professional.
I have to wonder if complainers aren't people who violated the company rules and weren't happy with getting caught.
"Borderline criminally negligent management practices."
none come to mind
Horrible place for seller/vendors. Try Artfire instead.
Etsy is a poorly run online marketplace with arbitrary rules enforecement. No response is standard operating procedure from the Etsy support staff. They seem to have no business or marketing acumen whatsoever. Appears to be staffed entirely with wannabe hipsters and stoners. They can shut down a seller's store without warning or viable reason. No appeal process or inquiry. Thus, they can and do confiscate all the sellers product images and descriptions, costing the seller thousands of hours of labor and money. Don't forget that the seller has already paid for a contracted listing of a specified duration. Management behavior is borderline criminal. Class-action lawsuit being brought by sellers soon. Etsy allows unstable buyers to run amok who make multiple purchases with no intention of paying. Seller concerns are routinely ignored and as a result, Etsy has developed a reputation as a "seller-unfriendly" site.