Etsy: An Affordable Holiday Gift Option

This may come off as a shameless plug for one of our portfolio companies but I hope not because it isn’t intended as such. With the tough economic times we find ourselves in, many people will be tightening the hatches this holiday season and will be looking for a way to buy gifts that are nice but also affordable.

Etsy is well known as a place to find handmade, one of a kind, artistic and "crafty" items. It has great appeal to a certain sensibility but has not really caught on yet with the mainstream user. Etsy’s CEO, Maria Thomas, mentioned in her web 2.0 talk that Etsy is doing about $100mm in annual sales right now. It’s a big business, but not yet a mainstream business. That might change when people find out that you can get lovingly made, beautful, one of a kind gift items for way less than you’ll pay for something equivalent (if that’s even possible) at Wal-Mart.

Here are some examples:

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A wood train set for $89.95 that includes six cars. Handmade in the seller’s wood shop.

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A cute pinafore dress for a little girl that costs $24.

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A plush dog toy for $16.

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A necklace for $34

These are just four items I found in about ten minutes of poking around Etsy.

They are one of a kind and if someone buys them between now and when I post this on Monday morning, they might be sold out.

But my point is not to try to sell these four items, it’s to point out that there are wonderful gift items for really great prices on Etsy. I hope that more people learn about Etsy this holiday season because it will help people save some money and put some great gifts under the christmas tree or hanukkah bush at the same time.

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