Etsy.com, an eBay for hipsters and quirky customers

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

If you’re looking for interesting ways to spruce up your wardrobe, look no further than your home computer.

Etsy.com is a network for independent creators, crafty entrepreneurs and street fashionistas looking to buy and sell their handmade treasures.

Everything from themed jewellery to frilled polka dot skirts to crocheted pieces is available for purchase.

Each seller has their own unique brand and style appealing to a variety of buyers.

Categories include Geekery, featuring items like fuse earrings, Fantasy Island pins and robot fare. Search through the Plants and Edibles category and buy sweets like Green Tea Marshmallow squares and Mexican Wedding Cakes. The Vintage section displays items like old milk caps, silver unicorn pendants and antique typewriters.

Browsing through the different categories and subcategories may seem overwhelming at first but the interface is easier than eBay’s and geared more towards the hip, urban crowd.

The jewellery section alone lists thousands of items from different sellers, like the Hello Kitty guitar pick earrings. Simply click on the image and the next page reveals the seller’s info and rating, other related items for sale, item descriptions, pictures and payment options.

There are other ways to shop aside from selecting from categories. From the side menu you can choose Colors to find items that match your clothing, Showcase items; Connections between buyers and sellers; Time Machine for previously listed items, and even Geolocator, where you can pick a location on a map to find nearby sellers.

The website’s user-friendly navigation is bright and animated, making the site a playground for those looking for expressive styles outside of the mall look.

All fees are in US dollars but have automatic currency conversion once processed by credit card.

Many of the items are inexpensive, ranging from cute $1 pendants to $100 abstract paintings.

Favourites include Dog Bone Art, original cartoon creations printed on t-shirts, plushies and bags with cool kiddie characters like Banana Split Boy and Metallic Nervous Robot. Itsyourlife is another favourite if you’re looking for Japanese-style pendants and flower accessories, and the featured seller, Mixed Species, displays odd graphics like zombie heads and bright-coloured elks on tees, ties and napkins.

These are just some of the online shops that can help bump up your style for the summer. Put Etsy.com on your favourites list and you’ll be addicted.

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