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Folksy – NEW!

I have a question for everyone and I’d love your input but first I have to tell you about Folksy before I ask… I haven’t seen this site blogged about yet but I think that Etsy and DaWanda have a new kid on the block to play nice with called Folksy!

Currently in beta, Folksy is a brand new online marketplace for independent arts and crafts based in the UK. Like Etsy and DaWanda, you can set up a shop on Folksy and sell your wares… If you are not based in the UK you cannot sell right now, but they will soon roll out international sales in February 2009 which will include eighteen of the major world currencies currently supported by Paypal. If you haven’t heard of Folksy, I invite you to go check it out and see what you think.

About Folksy, “Folksy champions cool crafts and design talent. We marry up designers and crafters with buyers who want individual, quality stuff that’s made with love. Plus, we run design competitions and other fun stuff.”

About Etsy, “Your place to buy and sell all things handmade.”

About DaWanda, “Dawanda – Products With Love” and, “DaWanda is the place for unique and individual products and people. Buy handmade and hard to find goods, share your discoveries with your friends and create your own collections.”

Now for the question… What do you think of all of these similar online marketplaces? I’d love to hear your opinion so please… fire away! Do you think it can be compared to blogging — the more the merrier, or is it different? Do you think that having an Etsy, a DaWanda, now a Folksy… that it’s just too much? Do you think it benefits the sellers on these sites? If you sell on such sites, why do you choose to sell on them and not just one?

I personally wish someone would start a site like this in Japan but with an English version as well! Wouldn’t that be the BEST. THING. EVER?

(images from folksy)

Posted by decor8 in Arts + Crafts, real talk, shopping on October 30, 2008

Your comments...

  1. Ez commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 4:17pm

    Ohhhh…. a Japanese indie marketplace WOULD be the BEST . THING . EVER!!! I mean I would never leave that site… never!

    Here’s my take on the question you’ve posed:
    Firstly, I think it’s great that people are far more receptive to indie and handmade products than any time in recent history! This creates a lot of competition within the marketplace… and while this may be tough for some, I think that true innovation can come out of it!

    Secondly, I don’t personally see the harm of multiple indie markets, though it seems vital that these sites keep up to date in the world of blogging, consumer trends, etc… so that they can serve their indie sellers in the best possible way.

    I’m looking forward to seeing new talent through Folksy! Thanks for sharing this with us and involving us in this great discussion!
    xo
    Ez

    Ezs last blog post: Too Cool for Ghoul

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  2. annkent commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 5:06pm

    My thinking is that new marketplaces provide competition which will hopefully keep selling costs down for those of us that have shops; however, with that said, Ebay (which is similar in that it created a market) has, I believe, trounced all of the similar start ups and so … not sure what that means. Will one of these shops ultimately dominate and if so, which one?

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  3. Ann commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 5:10pm

    i love folksy even though i can’t buy anything on there. (well, even though it’s just the uk). I like it because most of the stuff is gorgeous. and most of the stuff on it is also on etsy, so it’s easier for me to search folksy and then head over to etsy to find the seller.

    i like dawanda, but i don’t search it as much as i do folksy and etsy.

    i think i go to etsy because it’s in $$$ and comfortable, but sometimes i feel like it’s just too much to go through. i do like the community feel that the other sites just don’t seem to have.

    i think the more the merrier. the longer people use the sites, the more they will really start to differentiate themselves. people will know that they tend to find good xxx here, and something else, somewhere else.

    Anns last blog post: This Weekend in Berlin

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  4. Nathan King commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 5:21pm

    We have a store in a town where there are a lot of other home decor businesses. Its about being different and doing something that hasn’t been done before. Quoting Marty Neumeier, “When everyone zigs, zag.” If the new site is the same as the others, they won’t last long.

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  5. naomi commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 6:14pm

    I sell on etsy and have been satisfied to a degree. I love the idea of it but I do dream of a great brick and mortar DIY movement happening “all over and in our little communities”. Nothing really beats walking into a shop and having both the personal real people to people service as well as the visual combined with the tactile experience of shopping brick and mortar. The down side of etsy for me right now is that it has gotten so big that it has lost some of its grass roots charm.
    I guess, with success come some trade offs, even in the indie, DIY movement.

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  6. Andy Mathis commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 6:16pm

    How much time to do you have? lol

    there are pros and cons to each site.
    Etsy might be the largest at the moment, but it’s really about the artist, the product, how user friendly the site is, and their customer service.

    A lot of products on Etsy would never have seen the light of day, if it weren’t for the bloggers featuring them. So thanks for that.

    I think the sites that will do well, and buyers will grow to appreciate are the small juried niche sites that are popping up, like lollishops and handmade fuzion. You won’t find imported products masquerading as handmade. and you won’t find sellers undercutting each other for sales. And being small means better customer service for both sellers and buyers.

    In regards to handmade and indie, it is also true that buyers, and blog readers, might not care if something is handmade. If they like the product, and the price, they buy it.

    Andy Mathiss last blog post: Bone Cancer and Chemo- Would you consider it for your pet?

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  7. Roxanne commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 6:31pm

    I think there is always room for more sites promoting the whole “indie” or “diy” design community and allowing small designers to showcase their wares without the huge brick ‘n mortar costs.

    but as a shopper I have enough time spent trying to catch all the cool stuff on Etsy… Let alone on DaWanda and now Folksy. It’s a bit overwhelming in ways. That’s why I love blogs that feature their own finds! Gives me less work to do :P

    Roxannes last blog post: Tea and Gary Numan….

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  8. naomi commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 6:50pm

    Absolutely Andy ….. etsy/dawanda, etc. have been a great resource for those wanting and needing a vehicle to showcase their talent to the world. Unfortunately it is just so huge now that many artists are just disappearing within mins. of listing.

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  9. decor8 commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 7:03pm

    Interesting comments, I really am enjoying this discussion and hope more chime in.

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  10. Mariliyn commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 7:07pm

    I like the idea of Folksy. I think I read about them on Craftzine.com not too long ago but I don’t think they are ready for US sellers as of yet. Honestly, for it is challenging enough to manage two shops (Etsy & DaWanda). I tried to have one set up on Lov.li but that didn’t work out so well.

    In general I think it’s great, but as a seller, I’m coming to know my limitations. It can totally for someone to have several different storefronts. I hope Folksy does well. Maybe I will reconsider. :)

    Mariliyns last blog post: Indie Fixx Autumn Giveaway

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  11. paperNstitch commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 7:30pm

    Hi Holly!
    I love Folksy and am glad to see you posting about it. I happen to visit all three indie sites (Etsy, Dawanda, and Folksy) pretty frequently. I find that I visit Etsy most because I have a shop there and enjoy checking out treasuries and the forums. And I buy from Etsy, BUT when I am looking for something to post about or just trying to find fresh new work, I head to Folksy and Dawanda (love the new Dawanda front page). It seems much easier to find high quality and great style on those two sites from just browsing randomly. Etsy can be time-consuming to sort through, and I often have trouble finding what I am looking for unless I know the shop name.

    I agree with the other commenters in that more sites to shop is better for the consumer and the seller…. it keeps competing businesses on their toes AND gives sellers and buyers more options and opportunities.

    Brittni

    paperNstitchs last blog post: Shop of the Day?Modern Radar

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  12. elizabeth commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 7:51pm

    it is nice to see yet another venue online where artisans and crafters can connect and sell their wares.

    I also learned today that there is another site called “foodzie.com” – basically, similar to etsy, but rather edible products – available soon.

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  13. goshery commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 7:59pm

    I’m really only familiar with Etsy so can’t comment on the others, although I’m excited about the increased interest in handmade products so I think that having lots of choices is good for both the buyer and the seller.

    I became familiar with Etsy over the summer when it was mentioned on the Dooce website and I instantly became enamored with the site. It has so many cool features that I found myself spending way too much time there! Now that I’ve opened a shop I understand that it’s hard to get noticed since there are so many sellers, but I still think it’s a great place to find and meet people that have the same interests I do.

    Etsy, through a series of links, introduced me to decor8 and I’m thankful for that!

    gosherys last blog post: The World Series

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  14. Ursula commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 8:17pm

    And what about Supermarket (supermarkethq.com)? I found out about it from Rikkianne of Chakra Pennywhistle; it is a more curated online marketplace of beautiful handmade products. I’m liking that there are all sorts of options for buying and selling handmade online, but I’ve only ever purchased from (and sold on) Etsy so far.

    Ursulas last blog post:

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  15. Charlie commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 9:30pm

    The more the merrier, I think. Artists need as much exposure as possible. Maybe with a new kid on the block, so to speak, it will push the others to continue to strive for excellence.

    I still feel that Etsy has a down-to-earth feel, but then, I am not a seller just a buyer.

    Charlies last blog post: "Its The Editing and the Producers"

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  16. Sam commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 10:57pm

    I have a shop on etsy and just opened a shop on the new 1000markets site which looks promising. I decided to open a second shop for more exposure, plus the site only charges fees after you sell something and is promising to do outside advertising. I also like the layout of the site and it offers customers a new way to shop, through markets. I think there’s plenty of room for more sites and sellers will be choosing them based on what they offer. Here’s the link to my shop on 1000 markets in case you haven’t seen it. http://www.1000markets.com/users/inklore

    Sams last blog post: Sneak Peeking

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  17. erin commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 11:29pm

    as a buyer i love etsy- and will be excited to check out folksy when they sell to usa. in the area i live in there aren’t many little shops with handmade products like i see on etsy- its mainly chain/big box stores, so this is where i can find those type of things, and because of that my findings are extremely unique to my family and friends.

    i love how personal it can be, to converse with the actual maker of the products is great!

    also im fairly young (24) so i’m now trying to figure out my taste in art and start a collection, and etsy has helped so much with that! its a great way i can find unique and affordable art as opposed to the posters and generic art from big box stores that my friends all have- not that theres anything wrong with those though!

    i hope to do a chunk of my christmas shopping through etsy!

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  18. Melissa de la Fuente commented
    October 30th, 2008 at 11:41pm

    Oh boy! I am excited to check it out and think it is great!
    I say the more the merrier but, that’s just me! And I third or fourth the Japan site idea! That would be so awe-some! :)
    xo
    Melis

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  19. Andi-a commented
    October 31st, 2008 at 12:53am

    Wow this aids my research. I would hope that they would all hone thier own indie niche as they seek to become indie giants. Because their is so much to express stillthat is not made it mainstream. It would be nice also if eventually the giants made their categories way more specific but still clear like Pixie dust vintage clothing or gorgeous then gorgeous now high style vintage.

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  20. shay commented
    October 31st, 2008 at 1:09am

    I recently opened a store on Etsy, After spending way to many hours trying to discover “what is actually selling” My feel of Etsy is has a young following,,
    and price points are reflective.Most of the sales come from supplies, I would love to see stats on their sales and demographics.

    I have yet to check into DaWanda or Folksy.
    I feel there is plenty of room for all if they each have a unique approach and original ideas. And possibly attract different types of sellers/buyers.

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  21. Vicki commented
    October 31st, 2008 at 6:17am

    I think it’s just a bit of me-tooism really. There’s no need for more than one, apart from someone thinks they can make a bit of cash out of etsy’s concept because they couldn’t expand quick enough. I’m planning on setting up a store soon, and I will have a presence on all 3, but I doubt it will mean selling 3 times as much. If they were all marketed differently they would all be more successful, but at the moment it’s just reaching the same people 3 times.

    Vickis last blog post: Paul Catherall

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  22. Kate commented
    October 31st, 2008 at 7:49am

    I’m in the UK and have shops at all three sites – I’ve been on Etsy for around 6 months and the other two for just one month .. In fact I just wrote a blog post about my pros and cons – http://paperleafstudio.blogspot.com/2008/10/my-online-shops.html . I think having three shops definitely opens up new avenues in terms of exposure and the number of potential customers that will spot your products. The only major downside is the exchange rate and trying to keep prices consistent across three currencies that are all over the place right now!

    Kates last blog post: My online shops

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  23. Alisa commented
    October 31st, 2008 at 3:44pm

    I’m all about the Japanese site…I’d be all over that!

    I think on the one hand, it’s good that so many crafters and artists have a place (or three) to sell their creations and reach people they might not have reached before. But on the flip side, it could start getting competitive and corporate and icky if these sites start popping up evvvvverywhere. Maybe let’s just add the Japanese one and that’ll be good;0)

    Alisas last blog post: Happy Friday!!!

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  24. PandaBaby commented
    October 31st, 2008 at 10:53pm

    My personal take on Etsy is that it’s a fabulous resource for affordable art (and the like), but I wish they’d never included the vintage section. As much as I love vintage, I feel that it takes away from the homemade concept.

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  25. Charlotte Tollst commented
    November 1st, 2008 at 10:13am

    At the moment I sell only at DaWanda and a Swedish site called signerat.se But I been thinking of starting a shop at Etsy as well. I think it’s nice with a few more shops, but to many can be confuising. I have no idea how many is to many though : )

    A Japanes one would be great! Please someone start one!

    Charlotte Tollst?ns last blog post: Visiting my parents, Part Three

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  26. gemheaven commented
    November 1st, 2008 at 12:18pm

    I sell on all three ~ I love Etsy but Folksy is a very close second ~ the admin so far are very quick to answer queries and the forum is really friendly.

    I love not only buying handmade and boy there is some fabulous artists out there!!

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  27. Half an Acre commented
    November 1st, 2008 at 12:20pm

    I have shops on etsy, dawanda and Folksy. I think these three will be the defining ones – etsy for the $, dawanda for the Euro and Folksy for the ?. I keep discovering new UK handmade market places popping up – myehive.com, coriandr.com, notmassproduced.com, pinkdoodle, misi-me etc etc – they can’t all survive – I think the ‘Big Three’ so to speak will dominate and all the others will fail. Sounds dramatic but people in the UK haven’t even heard of Etsy yet … so its hard for all these other places to survive. I think only one will be sustainable – I think Folksy will see it out although it is slightly dead at the moment, I have to say!
    Etsy is about so much more than simpy selling – its is through there that I have learnt almost everything I have about selling online – and come in contact with so many great people – my online pals – people in the UK will buy through Etsy due to the exchange rate – I certainly do!

    Half an Acres last blog post: Half an Acre proves something …..

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  28. becky commented
    November 1st, 2008 at 4:11pm

    well to add to the three mentioned I could give you a list – yey long, with more popping up on a regular basis. I have stores on the three named, I have also had stores on others or tried to have stores on others but have given up when the procedure was more complicated than fun, e.g. trying to upload a banner daily and always being booted out unsuccessfully. So that is one thing i opt for – ease of use as a seller and a buyer. The three listed are pretty easy to navgate around but also to set up shop on.

    I make soap (and tiaras) but the soap thing is getting bigger (although my tiaras are lush) but online is not really the best place to sell – don’t you just want to smell these things? For that reason I figure a spread is best to pick up customers and hopefully direct them to my main website – having said that with all my repeat customers they always seem to buy again through the site they originally purchased from – even though it’s cheaper from my main site, so something must draw them back!

    I find that these sites have a few advantages:
    Community. When nothing you make seems successful therev are other likeminded people to support you
    When you’re rushed off your feet juggling other people can give you a bit of TLC
    Education. In general on all these sites people are supportive – if you don’t know how to market? Someone is sure to help or point you in the right direction.
    Customers – it’s always nice to sell somthing to someone who wants to buy handmade. otherwise they wouldn’t be there.
    Cons:
    Cost – listing and commission on top of the ever present paypal.
    Keeping on top of all the sites is hard.
    Little visibility on the sites – but then they advertise their site not yours – it is just another avenue.
    Many of the same sellers, but as far as I can see the buyers are different and find you in different ways so there is variety in these storefronts.

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  29. Zee commented
    November 1st, 2008 at 9:17pm

    Have your heard about Coriandr.com? It’s very new and it’s based in UK, they just started this month. I like Etsy, I don’t see wherelse to go. I do like Big Cartel, I’ve tried for 2 months and I really loved it (off topic) but we have to market ourselves. The statistics are great, we can customize the pages the way we want, but we need css knowledgement plus money to advertise. I would like to see more options in The US.

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  30. nice-etc commented
    November 2nd, 2008 at 11:55am

    A Japanese site would be sooo popular! It would attract people with so many styles and tastes!

    I’ve been tempted to move to other sites just because I’m a sucker for new things! I stick with Etsy because I’ve been there for a while, I like it, the community is great, they are always advertising and active, and various other reasons. But I’ve often wondered if it would benefit my business to expand into other sites along with my Etsy shop. However, it seems that if you know about online handmade places, you for sure know about Etsy – though perhaps it would be easier for people to find/stumble upon your shop in the newer, smaller, places? Also I don’t want to confuse my customers.

    Right now, the biggest thing that attracts me to other sites is the ability to customize your shop a bit more. But I also love Etsy for it’s cleanness. i am confident that Etsy is always trying to adapt and give sellers and buyers what they need..I feel like if any new sites come up with a great new something, Etsy will be able to provide as well.

    nice-etcs last blog post:

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  31. CeeGee commented
    November 3rd, 2008 at 4:24am

    I’m really pleased to see Folksy gaining in popularity and would love to see it have the same success in the UK as Etsy has in the US. The big challenge is for them/us to connect with the broader public, ie, customers who are outside the sellers network and just appreciate the quality and individuality of handmade.

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  32. alpinweiss commented
    November 3rd, 2008 at 8:41am

    I’m all in favour of more handmade goods sites, especially if they are coming from Europe. While I love browsing Etsy, I have made most of my purchases on DaWanda?s German version. But that?s not based on the loveliness of the products, it?s just because the postage is lower and in the best case the package arrives in two days. Another strong point for DaWanda.de: I like to support local artists. And if some of them have real-life shops to visit, which I wouldn’t have known if not for aimlessly wandering around the DaWanda marketplace, I can plan my next city trip to include a visit of said shops.

    alpinweisss last blog post: nej!

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  33. Fiona commented
    November 3rd, 2008 at 11:41am

    I’ve just opened a Folksy store today and already have an etsy store as well as my own website. I figure that the more exposure the better my chances of success. I’m pleased to join folksy with it being a UK site as I sometimes worry that etsy doesn’t work so well for UK sellers because so many of the buyers are US based and what with the crazy exchange rates and postage costs….. ? Really looking forward to seeing how folksy works. Its definitely good to know that all these sites are getting more exposure. My Mother-in-law to be called me last night to tell me there was an article in The Sunday Times by India Knight, who’s just written a book on thrift, saying how great Etsy is. I think this is definitely great for those of us in the UK where Etsy perhaps isn’t so widely known apart from in the blogging community.

    Fionas last blog post: A new start

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  34. Simone Walsh commented
    November 5th, 2008 at 9:26am

    A monopoly in almost any area is a bad thing, so I think that the more of these venues there are, the better. Etsy has had a lot of problems which have left a lot of people feeling pretty jaded about the place. There are signs that things are starting to improve, but I think with healthy competition there will be more motivation for this and particularly to keep sellers and buyers on side.

    I also think it’s great that there are different venues which either allow access to different audiences around the world and/or allow selling and buying in different currencies. As a seller this is a good thing!

    So, in short, I think the more the merrier as far as buyers and sellers go! The ones that get it right and keep their customers happy should flourish.

    Simone Walshs last blog post: Yes, you did!

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  35. Autumn commented
    November 6th, 2008 at 5:09am

    I agree that etsy and other sites are getting quite large and it can be so difficult and time consuming to sift thru all of the listings to find items that are truly unique.

    That’s why I founded a curated site for designers – wefew.net. Our goal is not to amass a huge collection of products but rather to focus on fewer, quality products. And because community is so important, it’s the designers who are selling that review new applications.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on WeFew either here in our forum – and hopefully so to see your WeFew shop too one day soon!

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  36. pouch commented
    November 6th, 2008 at 9:28am

    I have to agree with many of the above comments, competition is no bad thing.

    I also agree with Simone that many sellers feel a bit jaded towards etsy Having said that, there have been some promising signs that things will improve on Etsy, with search changing to find items that are relevant and not most recently listed. This will hopefully stop the need to keep relisting and relisting just to be seen.

    I did set up a shop on folksy, but had my doubts about how many actual buyers are being attracted to the site. There are alot of sellers taking a keen interest in Folksy, but it’s all for nothing if buyers aren’t being drawn there. Plus the front page of Folksy needs to be curated in my opinion, I know some people may no agree with that, but this is something etsy does very well.

    Having said all that, I have decided to give big cartel a try alongside my etsy store. I want to see how much difference it makes to direct traffic to a site where the buyer can’t wander off to look at 100s of other bags sellers like they can on etsy and folksy!!

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  37. Rikkianne commented
    November 6th, 2008 at 9:22pm

    Oh WOW! I just found this post. Fantastic post and amazing responses. I really agree with the statement by Half an Acre…
    “Etsy is about so much more than simpy selling – its is through there that I have learnt almost everything I have about selling online – and come in contact with so many great people.”

    Etsy is my love and I will always be thankful for it. However, I do not see the harm in more online market places. I did recently list on SupermarketHQ and have been very happy with it. The site is very new, refreshing, and exciting! The creators behind it also seem to be extremely motivated in promoting the site as a whole. They are also very welcoming folks that don’t hesitate to answer emails:)

    Thank you so much for posting this topic! I have learned so much!
    Heading over to Foksy right now!

    Rikkiannes last blog post: Thank you Thursday: Eco Etsy

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  38. Hana commented
    November 9th, 2008 at 5:44pm

    Thank you, Holly. every comments here are really interesting. Personally, I have account on Etsy and Dawanda, just as a shopper. I have no shop in Japan now, sometimes I sell my mother-in-law’s homemade crafts on her site, but it’s just a personal shop. In Japan, individual webshops are more general (e.g. http://www.ocnk.biz) But I think Japanese craft market already have a interesting website. For example, oc-i.jp (joint investment by clover.co.jp and http://www.open-clothes.org.) In there, manufacturers, dress makers, and training schools are cooperating. They have linked with other craft communities or local small crafting suppliers. Or, many of craft makers or publisher companies have their own communities, like tezukuritown.com of NIHON-Vogue-Sha. And a site something like Craftzine, atelier.woman.excite.co.jp (note:The upper right of that site is an non-craft advertisements space so be careful) or crafters.jp etc. etc… and you can check the designfesta.com, tokyoartbeat.com, or shift.jp.org etc…many website are exist here. Although it not means all of them have a global site, there are already many international website, anyway.

    Frankly, I, as a pessimist, doubt that Japanese local markets like oc-i will be able to become interesting as an worldwide indie market. Because, the commission fee of oc-i is now ten or more percent. And, the biggest trouble is Paypal. a lot of Japanese have not Paypal account. Their localization is not completed yet. commission fee of sekaimon.com(Ebay+Yahoojapan) is 15 percent, so Ebay has not succeeded in Japan yet… And, next is Etsy. Of course I love Etsy. However, I just feel that they do not show us clearly what the standard of ‘Ready-made goods’ or ‘indie’ is, especially when I see the Sanrio products are proliferating there too much. I feel there is already something big contradiction for each of us. I think I don’t wanna see Japanese goods in there, but, on the other hand, people there seems maybe getting bored of their traditional crafts. Our happy trading is approved there when our demand is corresponding. However, when it is one-sided, we just invent a meaningless competition with quite a lot of resellers…

    So, I still keep thinking about your idea about anthro, because I’m feeling that my comment was nothing but negative… I have to say sorry. However… I just felt sad when you say ‘Made in China’ as a ‘Mass production’ joke on your other post. Holly… you could know many of plastic parts which we can find on Etsy were made in Japan or in Taiwan or in Germany etc. once, and those companies do not exist now or are just struggling… when we know a cost and how to make, sometimes we can’t stop thinking even in Etsy’s individual shop they have nothing but ready-made goods. if you deny mass-producing, why can so many indie accessories artist get such parts or beads or stones…? How can you solve such a thought…?

    I hope Dawanda or Folky or other site find something new way to solve such my negative thought, if etsy never care about real globalization.

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Further editions available include: Portuguese, Danish, Czech, Slovak, French

Courses:

Next dates

Blogging Your Way for Beginners
e-course, April 17 – May 15, 2014
Find out more and sign up now.

Styling With Holly Becker
London, May 2014 (Date TBD)