Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Trade and Stay, aka, Why my Eyes Burn

I tend to jump into things and get started before I fully understand what I have gotten into. Like Etsy. I started an account in October of 2008, but didn't put anything in my shop till the next June. But I did it because a friend told me I should be selling on Etsy. So even though I didn't have time then, I opened my account and made sure to get my shop name.
Then, about a month after I started filling up my shop, I discovered there were forums on Etsy. I wish I had noticed them a little earlier on - I could have gotten a LOT of my questions answered by some of the helpful people who hang out there.

So as it was getting closer to holiday shopping season, I noticed some people talking about trading in the forums. Apparently there are sellers on Etsy who are willing to barter and trade with other shops for things they want. Sounds like fun, right? So, I found this list of Etsy sellers who love to trade; I contacted the administrator, and got myself added. I barely knew what I had gotten into. It turns out, I had gotten myself into the Trade-a-holics group on Etsy.

A message came through one day, saying that an event was coming up. They called it a "trade and stay". I didn't pay much attention, even when I got another message saying that it had begun. But at the end of the first day of this three day event, I got curious. I looked at the link in my email. It took me to a post on the forums. 10 shops had been picked at random and placed on a list. Anyone who wanted to play had to try and strike a deal with someone on that list and make a trade. Once one of those shops traded with you, you got put on the list. So, basically, it's a fevered weekend of shops sending messages back and forth, asking each other to trade.

The list had already gotten pretty long by the time I looked at it, but I noticed a familiar name. A shop that I had traded with before. This was before I knew about the group - I got a message asking me if I wanted to trade one day. She had a really cool shop, so I went for it. It was Mireille's shop. So I sent her a convo, we eventually made a trade, and I got added to the list.

{some of the crazy-cool things Mireille can do with a process called wet felting}

What follows is a weekend of blurred vision as I stare at a computer screen, scanning small print and wildly thinking about what I need for Christmas presents. I hadn't planned on this, but I got swept up in the event and had so much fun. I even got crazy, deciding that I should try to photograph and list two necklaces that I had made the previous week. Thus, two new items appeared in my shop:
After the first day, I had a hard time sleeping. First I couldn't fall asleep. Then, I woke up at 6am after having a dream that I had 3 convos waiting for me. Well, how can I stay in bed when I'm ignoring messages?!? That would be rude, right? So I got up, only to find that I had 2 convos waiting for me. I never did find out what happened to that third one...

By the time the weekend was over, I had made a total of 10 trades. Not only did I get to know a bunch of other shops, but they got to know me. I had never realized what a great way this would be to get exposure for my shop. What I did know was that I would find other shops, which I did. Friendly shops. And some of them like what I do! Which is a bonus.

Now, I have to be careful about what I say here. Because some of the trades that I made will be used for Christmas presents. And some of the {future} recipients of those presents look at this blog from time to time. So, it will remain a mystery for now. Perhaps I'll share more about my trades in the new year.
So, now the event is over and my brain is starting to slow down. The next part, though, might even be more fun. That's the part where I come home from work each day and run to the front door to see if there are any packages waiting for me...
Ok, yeah, this might be the best part!


  1. Wow, thats a serious stack of mail, you must have done a LOT of online shopping! You're not kidding about Mirelle's being able to do some miraculous things with wet felting. OMG, it's amazing.

    Happy holidays, and happy shopping!

  2. Thank You so much Jenny! You are so nice to add me to your wonderful blog and for your lovely comments. I had fun with the trade and stay this time - but it sure gets crazy!! I can't wait to get my jewellery from you - I didn't need anymore but I can't resist your AMAZING pieces!! I am not giving it away it's all MINE!!

  3. Ann Martin - I wish I could say that was my mail today, but alas, it was a stock photo!

    Mireille - I'm looking forward to getting my new shawls and brooches from you, myself. I figure if I get enough of your things, I will be able to give at least one thing to someone as a gift. We'll see how I do with that!


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