Alchemy Is Back!

My favorite feature of Etsy, the online marketplace for all things handmade and a Union Square Ventures portfolio company, is Alchemy. The first thing I ever bought on Etsy was via Alchemy.

What is Alchemy? It’s a request for proposal system. Let’s say your mom gave you a beautiful bracelet that you loved but it was damaged, or lost, or stolen. Let’s say you have a photo of it. Post the photo on Alchemy and let Etsy’s jewelry makers send you proposals to remake it. If you like the jewler and the price, you can say yes and have it remade for you.

That’s one use case, but there are plenty of them. Anything you can conceive of being handmade, you can submit via Alchemy and get bids back. It’s rent a coder for handmade stuff.

When Etsy rolled out V2 back in the fall of 2006, they had to scrap Alchemy. And it’s been gone from Etsy for about 18 months. Everyone wanted it back, most of all the Etsy team.

It’s back as of today. Yay.

Go check it out.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. charlie crystle

    fantastic idea–really exciting and fun.

  2. VM

    Good Stuff. This is close to heart as I had this similar idea a few years back, albeit to be implemented in a slightly different manner.My second comment here, altough I visit your blog regularly…mostly for inspiration !

  3. Maggy Young

    I can think of a good use I have for that already, instantly. I’m thinking that’s the keynote of an app. which is going to be really huge – when you just tell someone/anyone about it & they say hey that’s great, that really solves one problem for me, I’ve got a use for that right now. Something that solves a problem & is really useful to a lot of people.

  4. david cushman

    Why only for handmade stuff? I tried shouting into the web that I wanted to buy a car.So far just echoes.If vendors were more clued-up they’d set up feeds to know when people posted that they wanted stuff anywhere they posted it. Something like this makes that association easier (hope there’s a widget I can place on a my desktop or blog etc) but this should be only part of a solution.

  5. Vegan

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well. It’s too bad, really, it’s a good idea.

    1. fredwilson

      What improvements would you like to see?Fred