One of my beach bridal bouquets.
I started an Etsy shop in 2009 and I was really inspired by all the vendors and how everyone upheld this attention to detail and quality. I felt like I was entering a little boutique every time I went shopping on Etsy. I fear that Etsy is peaking in quality. It seems now when I do a search for “alternative bouquet” or “beach bouquet” (the space that I am working in), I have to sift through a bunch of tacky items to get to that boutique feel that makes me inspired when shopping. Granted the price points are more varied, but is that good for Etsy when quality is varied too?
Is it like Ebay, when people were becoming Ebay millionaires and everyone wanted in the game so they posted their junk. Now everyone’s junk has been taken over from Direct from China, which is even cheaper, but Ebay lost it’s garage sale charms long ago. That’s where Etsy came in and insisted it is handmade, and it was totally charming. We are on a new wave of sellers, and I see them popping up in my space all the time. Now Sellers see quality selling at a good price and introduce less quality at less price (okay that’s the market at work) but somehow it detracts from that boutique feel that I love about Etsy.
I don’t know that there is anything to do necessarily. I am still competitive, and not worried about the customer not seeing the quality difference in my product, because they do. However, I worry about the shopping experience and if a customer will find me at all on Etsy because you have to sift through so much stuff! Secondly, those customers with taste for quality will be turned away at some point because the shopping is becoming overwhelmed with tacky and bad. Maybe the next progression in the future is to have an Etsy couture website where there is some exclusivity in what is allowed to be sold.