July 24, 2010 the Arkansas Democrat Gazette printed this article in the newspaper about artist in Arkansas that used Etsy to sell their work. It includes a few interviews with local artist.
Etsy.com is easing artists’ sales tasksLITTLE ROCK — Craftsmen, artists and collectors from around Arkansas have flocked to the website Etsy.com to sell their wares. Buyers, in turn, can go there to find artwork and handicrafts like photos, paintings, ironwork, woodwork, candles, soap, fabrics, hand-spun wool and yarn, scrapbooking supplies - even vintage dinnerware and decor- all from Arkansas vendors.
Etsy.com was conceived in early 2005 by painter, carpenter and photographer Rob Kalin as a venue for creative folks to sell their oneof-a-kind designs. The site went live June 18, 2005, and has been featured on shows like CBS Sunday Morning, Good Morning America and The Rachael Ray Show as well as in numerous print publications.Today, the site has more than 5million members and generates about $200 million in annual sales.
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Chandler says he first turned to eBay.com to sell his metal lawn sculptures and decor, but soon found that the online marketplacewas inundated with cheap, often mass-produced goods that overshadowed his unique designs.After a few months, Chandler closed his eBay shop and resigned himself to selling locally. That changed, however, when a coworker recommended Etsy.Chandler now averages from 10 to 30 sales each month on thewebsite. “The first and foremost benefit [of Etsy] is the ability to display and offer my artwork to anyone in the world with a click of their mouse,” he says.
Worldwide exposure is a benefit many Arkansans are enjoying. Some vendors, like Rogers painter Jan Ironside and Hot Springs glassworker Jordan Kudabeck, get inquiries about their work from as far away as Australia and Europe.
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“I don’t have to load my stuff up in my car and drive somewhere, set it up, sit all day - usually outdoors - or worry about the weather,” she says.
The keys to Etsy’s success, according to many Arkansas sellers, are its user-friendly web design, inexpensive listing fees and the site’s more than 724 million monthly page views.
“Etsy simplifies online selling,” says Bentonville artist Dave Clark. “They provide shopping cart and PayPal integration, not to mention intuitive drag-and-drop storefront creation software. No HTML knowledge is required.” “It’s nice to be able to point potential customers to a professional-looking online storefront,” he adds.
Cheap listing prices and lengthy auctions keep Kate Matthews of Little Rock coming back to Etsy.“It costs only 20 cents to list an item, and the listing is for four months,” she says.
Compared to eBay’s 10- to 35-cent insertion fees for seven day listings, that’s a bargain. Etsy’s commission fees are also negligible, meaning most of the profit from sales go directly to the artist.
“If it weren’t for Etsy, I wouldn’t have been able to indulge myself in the creative process at the level I currently enjoy,” says Susan McSherry, a mosaic artist from Marble Falls. “It has basically bankrolled my adventure in the arts.”
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“One of the best things I’ve gotten into on Etsy is the Dirt-Road Artists Team,” says potter Liz Gamelin of Mountain Home. “We chat in the forums daily, sharing our day-to-day lives, our Etsy successes and troubles.”That sense of community extends to buyers, who can choose the “shop local” option on Etsy’s homepage to find sellers near them. A simple click typically produces hundreds of search results.
“Etsy is like the farmers market of the Internet,” says craftsman Eddie Robinett of Jonesboro, who sells handcrafted birdhouses and signs. “Etsy is for people who want something other than an item mass-produced overseas.”