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Etsy is easy… but worth it?

After hearing about Etsy.com from a couple fellow bloggers in class, I decided to check it out.

Etsy is a Web site dedicated to people for selling their hand-made or vintage items. It’s free to sign up and there are thousands of items to peruse and purchase.

So I looked up hand-knit scarves and was completely astonished at what I found: There were tons of scarves ranging in price of $15 to almost $200.

Who in their right mind would pay $200 for a scarf?! Hell, who in their right mind would pay more than $50 for a scarf?

I usually cap my purchase of yarn at $15 per skein and that’s only if it has nearing 200 yards on the hank. 200 yards makes a beautiful scarf and you don’t need to charge $75 for labor.

Knitting should be something you love to do that just so happens to give you a business… not something you do to make a profit.

Many of these scarves, while very pretty, are made of a generic Garter Stitch or Stockinette Stitch* but the yarn doesn’t seem to be the thing people are paying for. Many of these yarns can be bought for at most 15 or 20 dollars for a MASS amount of yarn. Then using a large needle, they create the simple scarf and charge an extreme amount of money for it. (see this item, for example. I don’t think I’d want to get rid of this honey. It’s beautiful and so simple- why is it so expensive then?!)

While it might take me a while to make a scarf of this type, why would you want to sell it? Even if you’re *attempting* to sell it for $80 when someone could easily sell it more successfully for $30. That’s more than half the price for a one-of-a-kind item.

If the goal is to sell your items, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there whom you know that will be willing to purchase a hand-made scarf, hat, pair of mittens-whatever off you. That way you don’t have to charge up to 10 dollars for shipping (Really? Is this item 5 lbs?) and you’ll be able to see your items in the real world and get the satisfaction of having it out there!

I don’t think I’ll be setting up an account with Etsy any time soon… Instead I think I’ll set up a PayPal account so that people (even internationally) can request scarves or hats and I’ll gladly create a one-of-a-kind item for them and they can go out with the satisfaction that NOTHING created by me will be anything like it.

Silver lining? I have a ton of ideas on Scarf designs to attempt!

*Stokinette stitch: Knit one row, purl the next. I don’t prefer to use this stitch on flat items because this stitch curls… a lot. It’s usually used for mittens or sweaters- even hats.

**DISCLAIMER** I do not mean to insult the person who is selling the scarf on Etsy. If it were cheaper, I might consider buying it.

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4 thoughts on “Etsy is easy… but worth it?

  1. Etsy is over-priced. Nice stuff, but with the typically ridiculous shipping… be wary of Paypal. My brother is out a Mac and $2500 because of a scam that happens frequently on PP. And Paypal Does Not protect sellers at all.

  2. Etsy is over-saturated.

    I don’t understand what you mean by this: “Knitting should be something you love to do that just so happens to give you a business… not something you do to make a profit. ”

    If you are doing it because you love it, and you are not trying to make a profit, then you are not a ‘business’.

    Anyway… good luck with creating your scarfs!

    1. What I meant by that was that knitting should be something you love to do- it just so happens to occasionally make you money.

      I do not think someone should make knitting a full-time endeavor based on how much money they can make on Web sites such as Etsy. It’s then that you stop loving it and do it just to make a profit…

  3. Thanks for your review of Etsy. Interesting take. I think that I would go there more for the inspiration than to actually purchase anything.

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