In my previous post, I outlined the process for becoming a merchant on 1000 Markets. If you're an artist reading this blog, you may think that sounds like way too much work. Why go through that much trouble to sell on 1000 Markets when you can just sell on Etsy, which is bigger and has been around longer? Are those people in charge at 1000 Markets just a bunch of snobs?
Yes, they are.
But I'm here to explain why being a snob is a good thing.
If you've looked around at their site, you know that 1000 Markets is beautiful. It's laid out in a very visually appealing way, with awesome photos from amazing artists. They keep to a very high standard. On Etsy, you may occasionally stumble upon a shop that has no items in it at all, and you will unfortunately quite often find low quality merchandise and really lousy pictures. You'll never see anything like that on 1000 Markets.
Other things that aren't allowed on 1000 Markets: supplies, commercial items and vintage.
Etsy is full of these items, and I personally feel that cheapens their offerings considerably. "Vintage" is very open to interpretation and not very strictly regulated. Commercial items also abound on Etsy. Not just in the form of supplies, but "how-tos" and other gimmicks. I respect the right of these shop owners to list these items but frankly, sometimes it's nice to visit 1000 Markets just to get a break from all that junk.
Aspiring to be a merchant on 1000 Markets -- even though I got in on the first try-- made me take a long hard look at my jewelry and decide what was good enough. And looking at yourself with an honest, critical eye is a real growing experience for anyone, especially an artisan.
The bottom line is, I think both Etsy and 1000 Markets are great. I'm happy to be a part of both venues since they both have their pros and cons.