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Saturday Showcase May 7, 2011

Posted by J. in Sticks and String.

I missed Madhouse Wednesday but I promise I’ll make up for it next week.  I’m planning on tying together Monday’s post with Wednesday’s post which is actually two weeks combined because the topics all kind of fit nicely as a set.  In case you were setting your calendar by this blog or something equally weird.

And I’ve been busy this week.

I’m really getting to the point that I can’t stand Etsy much anymore.  It’s not what it was when I signed up, and now it’s become a corporate giant that’s pretending to be all grassroots and home-y.   I don’t dislike corporations on principle.  If you’re a business and you want to be big, good for you.  Etsy is a big business that keeps getting bigger, but it shows the world the face of a little Brooklyn website showing love and support for the handmade and the one of a kind, while collecting what I can only imagine is a fuckton of fees from resellers and saying that it’s not a problem and we’re working on it.

And for the love of all things mustachioed, please sit down, have a cupcake, and shut up.  It’s all glitter and rainbows.  All is well.  Pay no attention to the hipster behind the curtain.

Anyway.  I’ve flogged that horse to death, so no more ranting from me, but just a lot of thinking that it’s time to try selling in an environment where I feel more comfortable with what they’re really about.

I really only use Etsy as a glorified shopping cart anyway.  The fees I pay to them are smaller than the cost of having and maintaining my own website, and until I joined April’s Army I didn’t do much in the way of promoting the shop.

I don’t knit for a living.  It’s not my job.  I don’t want to grow my business.  I want to knit what I feel like knitting when I feel like knitting it, and I sell most of my stock at the few craft fairs I do in the fall and winter.  The rest of the time it’s nice having a place where people can see my stuff and buy something if they feel inclined.  I don’t want to get rich.  I just want a bit of cash for some more yarn.  My needs are simple.

Well, over on the Regretsy forums we’ve been talking about what a great handmade marketplace would really be like.   And bit by bit, a new independent handmade marketplace sprang up.

It’s called EvenBadgers and I joined this week.  The first thing I had to do was to defend my art to the membership.  That forum is called The Gauntlet and you have to run it to get in.  Anyone who is a member, whether you have a shop or not, can comment on whether the person qualifies for the site.

It’s not about how good your work is, but how legitimate.  It’s a handmade marketplace.  You cannot resell anything.  Your vintage must be 25 years old or older and you have to be able to back that up.

I ran the Gauntlet and got in.  I have my own shop there and I’m working on getting it set up.  I’m going to be putting my new listings up on EB and gradually moving my inventory on Etsy over as it expires over there.  By the time I’m doing my craft fairs I should be switched over completely.   I’ll keep my Etsy account and shop name so that I can participate in the forums, stay active with AA, and keep contributing to the charity shop.  And I figure if EB doesn’t work out for any reason, I won’t have shot myself in the foot.

Right now it’s in the beta testing stage and because those of us who got in early are really just guinea pigs, we won’t pay any fees for using the site.  Which certainly fits my budget.  And because it’s in beta and things are a still a pretty bit wonky it’s taking a fair bit of time to figure  it out and make it nice and user-friendly.  So I’ll have a shop-warming party when the kinks are worked out and I’m ready to roll.

In the meantime, since Mother’s Day is tomorrow and better already have your gift ready, how about getting a jump on Father’s Day?

1-eye Monster Bird Feeder by boosclaydays

Hand Crafted Shaving Soap Bar by LLFarms (Sanbornton NH!)

Barracuda LEGO Key Chain by boxhounds

WILL customized/personalized King of the Course Oxidized Brass Golf Ball Marker by E. Ria Designs

Set of Two 12-ounce Jamaican Red Stripe Recycled Beer Bottle Drinking Glasses by nickpaul

Really Big Cheeky Bastard Beer Stein Mug by PoFu



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