When a buyer views a product, they can choose to view the positive percentage feedback of each seller to determine the reliability of the shop. Once a buyer finds a product they would like to buy, they click "Add to Cart", and that product is added to their virtual "Shopping Cart". The buyer may then either continue shopping, or purchase the selected item. In order to purchase items, buyers do not have to have an account with Etsy, and can instead register with a Facebook or Google account.
In March 2011, Etsy "introduced a Facebook-style social networking system called People Search...to help buyers and sellers connect with each other and become friends". By doing so, Etsy made any past purchase with feedback easily searchable, which caused many complaints. Etsy then made changes to the site to better guard information regarding users' purchases.[68]
In April 2012, a newspaper article about Etsy covered its fraud detection efforts;[78] Etsy had been criticized in the past for inconsistently applying its rules about items having to be handmade.[79] Later in April 2012, the writer of Regretsy, a popular blog, did independent research into a specific featured vendor, Ecologica Malibu, and found evidence to accuse the vendor of being a reseller, which would be against the Etsy Terms of Service.[80] The vendor asserted that it was in line with the Terms of Service, stating that the shop had simply failed to identify itself as a "collective" that included the work of several individuals, and many Etsy community members posted on the Etsy forum expressing unhappiness with the action (or lack of action) taken by Etsy.[81] As of June 2012, the vendor's account is no longer active on Etsy.[82]
Making and selling handmade greeting cards provides the opportunity to simply earn a few extra dollars or to build a significant income. Most small card businesses fall halfway between these two extremes. Handmade cards remain popular and many people like to give handmade cards to mark birthdays and other special occasions. The greeting cards market is a $7.5 billion annual industry.
The presentation of the cards—the packaging—helps make a successful handmade card business. A card that is neatly presented in a cellophane envelope looks more professional and can command a higher price than one that is unpackaged. Presenting cards in some form of packaging stops cards from becoming dirty or dog-eared and it also gives the ideal opportunity for further marketing. A label on the back with your phone number or website address could help you solicit further orders. Remember to consider shipping and packaging when factoring the costs per unit in your pricing formula.
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