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Insider Updates

Redefining the handmade marketplace as we know it


When you talk about handmade online you really can't get away from Etsy being inserted into the conversation. They have dominated as the go to handmade marketplace for the past 18 years. But with a litany of issues to contend with (most of their own making) and sellers getting ever more disgruntled, it begs the question - what comes next?

For many years now Etsy sellers have railed against the choices being made at Etsy HQ, outraged at the lack of seller support, the fee increases and the blind eye to products that are not supposed to even be on the site.

Having been a seller myself on Etsy for the past 16 years, one thing that has become very clear to me is that Etsy is not what sellers want or expect it to be. Etsy has chosen a different path for itself that does not align well with the very ethos of the handmade movement or the artistic community. Etsy instead has become a soulless corporate machine that doesn't value the people or the products that make up its site. Despite what they may say to the contrary (because actions speak louder than words).

Last year I listened to Kara Buntin interview Jon Lincoln, the co-founder of Goimagine, and something struck a cord that really stood out to me as an 'ah-ha' moment. Goimagine is attempting to create exactly the kind of space that handmade sellers actually need and want - a space that will be dedicated to actual handmade but that will also be community driven with the support that both beginner and experienced sellers need in order to thrive. And they are committed to staying private while also donating profits to charity. Can we get a round of applause please!

But will they succeed?

You really need to listen for yourself to Jon talk about the company and their vision for the marketplace. It's truly inspiring. But as he explains quite plainly, the site will only succeed if makers embrace it and promote it the same way they did back in 2006 when Etsy was just getting started. If you want a better platform, you have to be part of the team, because you don't have a marketplace if you don't have sellers. And if you don't have sellers you won't have buyers.

Personally, I'm on board. But it took listening to the goimagine team to get there. I didn't look at the site and think yeah, this is the place. The site actually needs a little bit of work still and as a shopping destination its still pretty small. But I love the idea of it and I want it to succeed. It's a risk and a long term project but I'm happy to have my own storefront already setup and ready to go. You can visit me here.

(yes, the shop name is different - long story, same products :)

Right now what I really need for my goimagine shop to be successful is more digital sellers to join the platform so that buyers have a new digital shopping venue to source from - did I mention, no AI allowed!

If you're on the fence or unsure of dedicating your time to a platform that still has some growing to do, please do go and listen to Jon Lincoln talk about the marketplace. You might not be ready yet but if you or someone you know would like to trial the platform you can use my special referral code for a free month, just use it at signup. You do pay a flat monthly rate to have a shop, and there is an application process to be accepted but it's all very easy and affordable. CODE: DQYSCZ

If you have questions feel free to ask here and I'll do my best to point you in the right direction, but also, drop an email direct to goimagine - a real human will happily assist. Imagine that!

Happy crafting

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