Monday, January 17, 2011

Buying Mass Produced Items on Handmade Sites

I've been a seller on Ebay for about ten years. I do pretty well, on a bad month I usually make enough to pay for gas to get around, sometimes I do better than that. The items I sell on Ebay are more garage sale type items, nothing handmade. I've been trying to sell the items I make myself on Etsy. I've been using two different sites because I feel the customers on each site are looking for different things, if you are on Ebay you're probably looking for a really good deal, if you're on Etsy you're looking for something unique, maybe not so worried about price.

I love the look of Steampunk type jewelry and clothing, so that's mostly what I make, Steampunk style jewelry. I do searches on Etsy for Steampunk to see what the competition is offering. There are some very beautiful, unique handmade items out there, there is also a lot of mass produced junk. It's pretty obvious to me which is which. I seriously doubt a single mother of three children or whatever each story is can produce thousands or even hundreds of items. Then these same people have all the same pics over and over and over. Most of the items are pretty generic as well, the same charms and beads, etc. that are used over and over once a again. These sellers have a certain generic look to their site, maybe they're all made by the same company, I don't know.

My question is, why do people who shop on Etsy buy this stuff? These sellers have lots of sales, why promote something that obviously does not belong on the site? These sellers list hundreds of items and bury the legitimate handmade sellers. Why encourage them by purchasing their items? I don't get it. I would rather spend a little extra money and have something that is unique and handmade, if I didn't I would be shopping somewhere else.

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