The Etsy Blog

What’s Missing on Etsy?

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Whenever I’m explaining Etsy to the uninitiated, they usually respond with something like, “Oh, it’s for crafts, like jewelry and pot holders?” “No,” I say. “It’s actually for anything handmade or vintage.” If the person has a sense of humor, I might tell them there’s everything from furniture to vintage clothing, from fine art to RearGear‘s Butt Covers for pets, and we’ll have a good laugh.

This is really one of the things I love the most about shopping on Etsy: You can find literally anything — even stuff you didn’t know existed.

Most of the time, that is.

Once in a while, I’ll have a moment when I realize that I’ve probed the outer limits of Etsy. My reaction? A little bit of shock, and then I mutter to myself, “You’d think there’d be someone filling that niche. (Harumph).” Things have gotten better as Etsy has grown over the past few years. I just saw a didgeridoo on the home page, a sign of the times. The era when an Etsy-outfitted man would go pantsless is swiftly closing. But still, weird gaps appear, and sometimes they don’t seem to make any sense. Recently, mydarklyng tweeted at me, “You work at Etsy right? Why is it so hard to find a unicorn object that’s not ‘ironic’? Or that’s, dare I say it: romantic.” And so I ask you, readers, why? Why this gap? Yet, if I need a goth burp cloth, I’m all set.

I knew I was pushing my luck when searching for a hospital scrub cap with kittens on it as a gift for my physician assistant sister. But there are also more “normal” items that hover out there in the pale blue yonder of the Internet, not yet brought under the sheltering sky of the Etsy marketplace. (This scrub hat is pretty great, but I need kittens!) My searching was stymied recently when looking for classic, white cotton, collared pajamas for my husband — a relatively bland and ubiquitous item. No luck.

What niches do you see gaping on Etsy? Which searches are leaving much to be desired? Are these weird products or relatively common? Tell me all about it in the comments!

More Posts About Etsy Addicts

  • craftscafe

    craftscafe says:

    bland IS hard to run into on etsy. i think it's a good thing!

    4 years ago

  • Sammis2shoes

    Sammis2shoes says:

    Great article Vanessa! I see new things every single day on etsy. Even as a seller, I am always looking for a great buy as well. I always start my first point of sale on etsy now, before even walking out the front door to browse anywhere else.

    4 years ago

  • KeyedUp

    KeyedUp says:

    Niches are really one of the main challenges we as artisans are trying to fill...sometimes they stare us in the face but we can't see them (refrigerator blindness comes to mind here). Often we find a niche but then second guess ourselves because we feel we aren't reaching a wide audience! Wouldn't it be great to have a link somewhere where people could put out what they are looking for that they couldn't find - or would that be fulfilled in part by the Alchemy area? Perhaps most people aren't ready to have something custom made and would rather stumble upon what they want. Then, if an artisan makes some items to fill that niche, they could link it back.

    4 years ago

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural says:

    so funny, Vanessa! I love how you explain what's on Etsy to people...

    4 years ago

  • Tumus

    Tumus says:

    This is a very interesting topic. We're getting starting to talk about starting a family and I have yet to find organic or at least natural baby snacks. Clothing, teether and toys I can find, even diapers, but baby snacks? Nowhere. It could also come down to tags. I do find it weird that there is a combined category for both Plants and Edibles. Truthfully I would think these two are different enough and BIG enough they deserve their own place.

    4 years ago

  • warmnfuzzies

    warmnfuzzies says:

    I am actually surprised that you couldn't find a scrub hat with kittens on it. When my son was a toddler, I made him a full set of scrubs, cap included, for a halloween costume that had kittens (his favorite at the time) on it. I was trying to find an outdoor landscaping light with a nautical theme for my mom at christmastime. I had to find it elsewhere. :(

    4 years ago

  • Krystyna81

    Krystyna81 says:

    I think the last time I searched and came up short it was for anything to do with "bunco" - we have a very fun group of bunco ladies and I'd love to find some unique qifts for them!

    4 years ago

  • ABoxForMyTreasure

    ABoxForMyTreasure says:

    I'm at the opposite end of the scale - I keep finding things that I wasn't looking for in the first place and which I (all of a sudden) must have!

    4 years ago

  • Tumus

    Tumus says:

    omg i wish i could edit my post, man, pardon my poor grammar and sentence structure!

    4 years ago

  • NovembersSecret

    NovembersSecret says:

    I was looking for pictures taken with polaroid instant cameras today.(ie the actually pictures with the little white borders.) I found lots of items with polaroid themed images on and even several actual cameras, but couldn't find pictuers. I guess this is a fairly obscure thing to want, made worse by the difficulty in getting hold of the film, since it's no longer being made, but still, I was a little suprised. Etsy usually has my little heart could desire!

    4 years ago

  • saintesmariesjewelry

    saintesmariesjewelry says:

    great article... gets me thinking! there must be a niche that has not been covered on Etsy... many of them! my niche: cool fashionable jewelry for men and women, mainly tibetan inspired, and buddhist.... check out my store: http://www.saintesmariesjewelry.etsy.com

    4 years ago

  • moosomething

    moosomething says:

    More RearGear please!! haha. That just cracked me up. I do understand what you are saying. Sometimes I look for an item and NOTHING matches what I want. I do, however, believe Etsy is the place for the unique and not everyday items we can buy at a mall. I would love to have a list, like KeyedUp said, where we can see what people want. That would be the ultimate resource!!

    4 years ago

  • helenaemmans

    helenaemmans says:

    Well there is a lot of jewellery out there but I hope mine is slightly niche as its hopefully a little different. I could spend a fortune on Etsy especially on the high-end arty stuff. Some pieces are so gorgeous!

    4 years ago

  • lovelygifts

    lovelygifts says:

    There are so many unique things being sold here on Etsy and growing every day!

    4 years ago

  • ponypaintings

    ponypaintings says:

    My little etsy shop DEFINITELY fits into the NICHE category - it might be safe to say that I run the only etsy shop that sells artwork/paintings MADE by HORSES (oh and a dachshund). But I find when I come up short searching for that seemingly generic item - I likely can still find SOMEONE to make me what I want if only I'm a little resourceful(alchemy)- sometimes it just never hurts to ask!

    4 years ago

  • BeelightfulCreations

    BeelightfulCreations says:

    Maybe some things that aren't out there aren't necessarily their own niche, but could be filled with an alchemy order.

    4 years ago

  • handmadepretties

    handmadepretties says:

    I have a hard time finding toys for my kids that are not stuffies, doll clothes, playfood or matching games. There are a few shops like Times3Toys that have some good older child toys, http://www.etsy.com/shop/Times3Toys But overall when I look for kids over 3, it is all the same stuff.

    4 years ago

  • penguinandfish

    penguinandfish says:

    Interesting article! My brain's a swirling.

    4 years ago

  • gufobardo

    gufobardo says:

    I want to learn? now I learn, thanks

    4 years ago

  • buttonsbyrobin

    buttonsbyrobin says:

    Yes. Finding that niche is so important!

    4 years ago

  • buttonsbyrobin

    buttonsbyrobin says:

    Yes finding that niche is so important.

    4 years ago

  • missindie

    missindie says:

    Haha I love this article. I have found so many crazy awesome unique items on Etsy. It's like a daily scavenger hunt of craftiness :] I heart Etsy!

    4 years ago

  • polkadotmagpie

    polkadotmagpie says:

    Spread the good word Vanessa! Did you know I make items out of recycled meteorite and super conductor? They sell out instantly. That's why I love Etsy.

    4 years ago

  • blindwolfspirit

    blindwolfspirit says:

    I'm sure there are niches still to be filled on Etsy, but for the most part I am still finding things I did not know existed and(like ABoxForMyTreasure so eloquently stated)I suddenly must have. I now have the cutest needle felted wool arctic fox on my desk (compliments of JaniceCordeiro). I had never heard of needle felted wool before I joined Etsy (I know, I don't get out much lol).

    4 years ago

  • dothetwist

    dothetwist says:

    Desperately want cute playsuits/rompers/jumpsuits for plus-sizes! They barely seem to exist

    4 years ago

  • Radness

    Radness says:

    Man, that's a tough one. I think etsy has everything. Music would be cool, maybe more multimedia type things like film makers, muscicians etc. It really is a wonderful place on the web, a place to meet like minded creative individuals. Maybe it would be cool to have local events such as ETSY LA or ETSY NY type meetings or buisnessy events.

    4 years ago

  • ElenaMary

    ElenaMary says:

    Vanessa...thanks for the opportunity of voicing my opinion once again..been lobbying about this issue for yrs. on etsy: "A search which leaves much to be desired": unique ooak handmade artists' books with content..not blank journals, not printed zines but one of a kind books/book objects with content and this should be a sub-category in the ART section....not in the Book/Zine section.There IS a collector base for unique book objects and NO one place to find them now on etsy!! Is anyone listening?

    4 years ago

  • corrnucopia

    corrnucopia says:

    I love all the wonderfully unique items that leave me from shocked speechless to smiling and everywhere in between. I have to admit though I was a little disappointed on not being able to find some Jackalope magnets this past holiday season. I must remember to put in an alchemy request in for some for next year!

    4 years ago

  • brianarose

    brianarose says:

    I've been relatively pleased; I can't think of anything off the top of my head as being a 'missing link'. I know I have had a couple of these thoughts in the past, but they were momentary and small in concern. Lovin' Etsy. :)

    4 years ago

  • fernfiddlehead

    fernfiddlehead says:

    I now know what a didgeridoo is. I'm not a good shopper. So whenever I can't find something, I assume it's my lame shopping skills. This article reassured me that it's not just me. But having said this, I cannot now remember anything that I couldn't find before.

    4 years ago

  • candacejean

    candacejean says:

    VERY interesting. I haven't noticed any holes? I HAVE noticed listings getting buried really quickly, no matter what you are searching for.. which I think means that sellers are coming up with all kinds of stuff in attempt to find their own niche. Etsy is full of surprises!

    4 years ago

  • BeadsInTheBelfry

    BeadsInTheBelfry says:

    I think if people focus on making what they want not on what is trendy you find more niche items. I hope a whole bunch of people don't start making kitten scrubs just because it was mentioned! lol. Follow your quirky hearts wherever they go artists and someone will find you!

    4 years ago

  • dsprings

    dsprings says:

    Money belts. I'm going to Italy in the spring and Rick Steves insists that under-clothing money belts are a must-have. Well, the nude and black money belts sold at REI make me so very sad. I don't wanna put one of those uglies under my clothes next to my skin. Please, Etsians, make a cute, comfortable money belt!

    4 years ago

  • BeadsInTheBelfry

    BeadsInTheBelfry says:

    And follow your non-quirky, non-ironic, romantic hearts as well!

    4 years ago

  • funkomavintage

    funkomavintage says:

    I have made sure that no etsy-dressed man has to go pantsless in my shop, unless he just really really wants to.

    4 years ago

  • dsprings

    dsprings says:

    Packable sun hats for adult women in styles other than the typical wide brimmed floppy. I looked for an hour at the options on Etsy and only found two sellers that had anything even remotely close. Sadly, I ended up buying a Kangol hat from Amazon.com because I couldn't find what I needed here.

    4 years ago

  • dsprings

    dsprings says:

    Aprons for men. Yes, there is a nice selection of camo aprons for men, but I want an elegant, understated look for the husband. Haven't found what I wanted here.

    4 years ago

  • gulliver62

    gulliver62 says:

    I adore the wild array of items I see daily on Etsy. It gladdens my heart to see so many creative folks out there in the universe! I'm stunned at how many talented people there are, and feel so fortunate to see their work. It's truly astonishing. Here's what I'd like NOT to see, though--stuff someone "designed," but seems to be made in multiples by other people (or disingenuously described as designed). It's totally cool to be a designer and to make a living doing that; I'd just like to know that ahead of time by putting those things in a separate category so I can make the choice. I'm more interested in the artisan who creates OOAK items--but I can't search on OOAK without wading through alot of things that definitely aren't. Maybe I need some lessons in searching! I'd also like to see less SHOUTING in descriptions that start with all the things the seller WILL NOT DO. Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest. Sorry to be a downer in this otherwise upbeat, celebratory blog. Long live Etsy!

    4 years ago

  • LiliesOValley

    LiliesOValley says:

    "Now I will believe that there are unicorns..." --William Shakespeare-- (The Tempest) Thank you, Vanessa. Lilies'

    4 years ago

  • urbanitejewelry

    urbanitejewelry says:

    three words: stuff for guys! there are indeed incredible crafters out there making great stuff for guys, but man-oh-man could there be more! we need to band together to make more manly wares!

    4 years ago

  • HardCandyGems

    HardCandyGems says:

    I had so much fun Christmas shopping on Etsy for this reason. I found exactly the things I wanted to buy that I never knew existed. From a set of Hot Wheels Shot Glasses for my Dad, to a refrigerator magnet that looks exactly like one of my Grandmom's paintings, for my Aunt.

    4 years ago

  • rjcharms

    rjcharms says:

    I have a hard time finding gifts for my husband... ordinary non-indie/metro guys is that a niche? *lol* And I'm glad to know I helping to fill that non-ironic, non-romantic unicorn niche! ;)

    4 years ago

  • mfmapparel

    mfmapparel says:

    As others have said, I have a tough time finding toys for older kids. I see lots of great things for those say 2 and under but 3-10 seems to be a bit lacking other than some great speciality items like rocking horses or play houses which are out of my price range for small birthday gifts.

    4 years ago

  • HoneysuckleLane

    HoneysuckleLane says:

    Unfortunately, I have to explain Etsy to 99% of the people that I tell where I sell my handmade goods. Perhaps Etsy could invest in more mainstream advertising? Not necessarily a niche to fill, but I'd like to see more traditional craft items and antiques featured on the front page and in articles such as early American, primitive, and folk art crafts.

    4 years ago

  • MinxesTrinkets

    MinxesTrinkets says:

    great article, and thanks for alerting me to the presence of RearGear, that made my day! I recently went searching for interesting cool "curling" related Etsy items for a birthday gift for a friend who is a curler. I figured in this curling-crazy post-Olympic state that some Etsians would have jumped on that bandwagon quickly, but I didn't find many items, and certainly not anything super exciting. Perhaps I'll have to look again in a week...

    4 years ago

  • tigersanddragons

    tigersanddragons says:

    Guys are always hard to buy for, especially older men. Don't know if Etsy can ever fill the gap as all the men in my family want: books, electronics,fishing gear, and dvds. One problem with niches is that people will not find you when searching. My stuff is kind of unique: antique mah jong necklaces, and copper chinese zodiac pendants and earrings, but I don't get a lot of hits. dsprings - breathable (silk) moneybelts are better than the nylon ones but either way you usually end up sweating in hot weather, and your money gets damp.

    4 years ago

  • jilldrapermakesstuff

    jilldrapermakesstuff says:

    I just wanted to chime in that I bought the theremin kit from theremanics and it is beyond cool! The hardest part is deciding what to put it in.

    4 years ago

  • KusudaKnives

    KusudaKnives says:

    I just started to sell knives today, I was excited to find out that there aren't too many knife sellers on Etsy! Etsy is surprising, I can't believe that people sell plants here!

    4 years ago

  • 3squares

    3squares says:

    the leather band on my husband's favorite watch broke and he would not get rid of it. he taped it and even used a plastic tie to hold it together. i was surprised i couldn't find a leather replacement band on etsy :(

    4 years ago

  • Vrogster

    Vrogster says:

    Notwithstanding my love for Etsy.. there is one thing: Sorting by crowdlove! An easy way to help the Etsy-cream rise to the top, by letting busy but interested buyers spend less time (..and more money). When I after much trawling I find something I adore, it usually turns out many others agree. While that's nice to learn, it's mostly annoying: obviously a lot of folks spend a lot a lot of time going through the same type of process. So why not tap into the collective whims and wisdom on Etsy? I would love to be able to sort by the number of hearts the products and sellers have. Recentness of listing and price are less relevant in my view. The connections tool is nice but less efficient, although it probably requires more IT hocus pocus and server capacity than a simple sort-by-hearts. Advanced search options would really make my day (and wreck my savings). For example - Select: vintage AND handmade Category: dresses Keywords: wiggle, black Sort by: No of item hearts - high to low Your size only: YES (private profile; allow a range) Item hearts: 5 or more Seller hearts: 0 or more Price range: 30-200 Time listed: any time Finally, and yet more advanced, something akin to the itunes 'genius' tool would be a great addition: 'Based on what you have bought/hearted, we predict you will adore these 100 items'. A nice goal for 2012 ?

    4 years ago

  • SunnyDayVintage

    SunnyDayVintage says:

    3squares, I completely agree - cool men's watchbands are tough to find! my husband also needs one...

    4 years ago

  • love4rocks

    love4rocks says:

    Great article. There is always space for a niche product. There are so many unique things sold on Etsy and it is growing day by day. If I tell people I am selling jewelry on Etsy, their normal reaction is: Etsy, what's that?

    4 years ago

  • OneClayBead

    OneClayBead says:

    Not having everything, and not including all tastes, may be a good thing.

    4 years ago

  • worksofwhimsy

    worksofwhimsy says:

    Hmmm, well I've never had much luck finding theater themed items for my daughter. Theater kids are right up Etsy's alley in their funky alternative style, but finding Comedy/Tragedy motifs has been difficult. There are more cribbage boards now than there used to be, but I'd love to find some untraditional cribbage pegs--maybe in silver with a jeweled top. Maybe there's a jeweler/cribbage player out there that could fill that nitch!

    4 years ago

  • MinceCo

    MinceCo says:

    my response... http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=41653390

    4 years ago

  • nowonder

    nowonder says:

    I too love that you ca find anything on Etsy, sometimes even thing you shouldn't find

    4 years ago

  • anycards

    anycards says:

    Threadbearer sign cracks me up!

    4 years ago

  • fosterbk

    fosterbk says:

    I have had to put out an alchemy request twice for customized matryoshka dolls on a theme, such as birthday or sports. With so many great Eastern European artisans on here, I'm shocked that there aren't more things available. Also can't believe there aren't more Aran knits, given the number of Irish craftspeople who make them.

    4 years ago

  • EASantangelo

    EASantangelo says:

    Even as a seller, I am always looking for great buys! And I like to see what other sellers are doing with their shops, and what they offer. There are so many amazing artists out there it is difficult for me to browse Etsy and not buy something! Lately I have had to close my browser as quickly as possible as to not buy the Etsy product! Yet, hours later, I came back, made the purchase and said "I'm happy to be supporting a fellow Etsian!"

    4 years ago

  • shannonbatescreates

    shannonbatescreates says:

    There are some great random items in this article. I'm more impressed by how many items are on Etsy that AREN'T in my search list. If there's something I'm seeking that's not here, it's probably a great opportunity for me to create something! :) I'm wondering if Threadbearer meant to misspell "disappointed." It's a pretty funny sign, though.

    4 years ago

  • MaryKateMcDevitt

    MaryKateMcDevitt says:

    I love the unique things I find on etsy. But as someone has stated before a more advanced search would be key. Say, if I were a collector of all things unicorn -ahem- I would want vintage and handmade unicorn items...perhaps. I also miss the gift guides on the home page, there was a lot more sifting through the depths of etsy when that was available. Cheers!

    4 years ago

  • stuffbyxtine

    stuffbyxtine says:

    I recently found myself looking for womens rainbow striped leg warmers. No such luck. My only options were for babies or faux fur ones for ravers. Very disappointing. I agree with Vrogster and would LOVE to see a "genius" tool on Etsy! That would be awesome/helpful/totally dangerous. :)

    4 years ago

  • AshleyPahl

    AshleyPahl says:

    I was surprised to find that no one was already making an idea I had a couple of weeks ago, and I plan to follow through with making it; however, there really is that nagging doubt that no one is making it because no one wants it.

    4 years ago

  • ParamiPanda

    ParamiPanda says:

    Knee-length yoga skirts (at about $30) with cute things printed on them!! Deadworry used to have some, but her clothing provider discontinued the skirts she was using, and I can't find any other good ones on Etsy.

    4 years ago

  • sacredsuds

    sacredsuds says:

    Peter Pan slippers! My 4 yo daughter has a Peter Pan costume, and she really wants Peter Pan shoes to go with her costume. She had $30 in Valentine money, but she ended up spending her $$ on Legos since we couldn't find her shoes :-( Also, fine art photos of artisan bread.

    4 years ago

  • tootsystreasures

    tootsystreasures says:

    The great thing about Etsy is that you CAN put out an alchemy request or request a custom item directly from many great crafters. You can also comment in the forums about things you're looking for....handmade or vintage! There may be "holes" in what is out there but there are ways to fill them, too!

    4 years ago

  • sacredsuds

    sacredsuds says:

    Peter Pan slippers! My 4 yo daughter has a Peter Pan costume, and she really wants Peter Pan shoes to go with it. She had $30 in Valentine money that she wanted to buy said slippers with, but we couldn't find any, so she spent her $$ on Legos instead. Also, fine art photos of artisan breads.

    4 years ago

  • BasilAndLola

    BasilAndLola says:

    Petaled swim caps! No treasury is complete w/o one and yet only 3 come up when searching.. more please :)

    4 years ago

  • RobotsAreAwesome

    RobotsAreAwesome says:

    I think Etsy search needs MORE geekery, in the form of robots... because ROBOTS ARE AWESOME!

    4 years ago

  • darkwaterimages

    darkwaterimages says:

    I sell Sea Shells in my shop. I live in Hawaii. But when I searched for other sea shells I was really shocked that there were barely any at all!! Makes me much more GRATEFUL for my sea shells!!! There is SO much Sea Glass! Where'd the shells go? They must be dying... /:

    4 years ago

  • KCamilleri

    KCamilleri says:

    For me, as I feel the cold, I can't often find good knitted jumpers. There tend to be a lot of scarves, shawls, gloves etc. but no so many pullovers. More shoes (not secondhand) would be nice. What about natural toothpaste?

    4 years ago

  • darkwaterimages

    darkwaterimages says:

    KeyedUp Niches are really one of the main challenges we as artisans are trying to fill...sometimes they stare us in the face but we can't see them (refrigerator blindness comes to mind here). Often we find a niche but then second guess ourselves because we feel we aren't reaching a wide audience! Wouldn't it be great to have a link somewhere where people could put out what they are looking for that they couldn't find - or would that be fulfilled in part by the Alchemy area? Perhaps most people aren't ready to have something custom made and would rather stumble upon what they want. Then, if an artisan makes some items to fill that niche, they could link it back. I agree. The other day I was trying to find some Gothic punk clothes... I went to the Alchemy and started typing all the description and then, BOOM. I couldn't send it out, cause i realized i was searching for stuff, not wanting something custom... ): BOO! I still want to know if anybody is interested in making the stuff I was interested in finding... how can we do this?

    4 years ago

  • PetitPoulailler

    PetitPoulailler says:

    Yes, indeedie ~ one can find anything at all on Etsy. Maybe someone should let Admin know that this fact isn't necessarily a good thing.

    4 years ago

  • laureljeansiler

    laureljeansiler says:

    I have 2 specific thoughts. 1 is that most people who make an item similar to what you're looking for can be approached for custom work. Like, for instance with the kitten stuff, find someone that makes the hat the same shape you want and ask if they could make it with kitten fabric or appliques of kitten. That's the best thing about Etsy, you're dealing with the artist, so if you want a slight variation on something they're already making, it's quite possible you can actually get exactly what you're looking for... I was surprised the other day that I found zero easter hats for Adult women. All the "easter" hats were knit caps for kids. I was thinking about building some bird nest facinators out of this really cool easter grass I found, and started looking around to see what other people were doing-- I think though that this is largely a problem of tagging-- a lot of people who make fabulous hats haven't thought of adding "easter" to their hat tags for the next six weeks or so. I also have found an appauling lack of plus size clothing, though many makers are willing to make custom pieces, they usually think of "plus" size as 12. Phah. I think a greater size range is always something I find challenging on etsy. Not just in clothing over a size 16, but in rings (I've got size 11 fingers) and shoes (size 11 feet too). I also have a huge head and very thick hair (Ironically i'm both fat AND big boned)... so a "normal" sized hat that goes all the way around the crown almost never fits my head. I've also found an appauling lack of interesting fiber art in the fine art catagory, which is why I started my art shop and have encouraged several friends from college to do the same!!

    4 years ago

  • xmoonbloom

    xmoonbloom says:

    will trade for didgeridoo hah

    4 years ago

  • JTay

    JTay says:

    Not so much for the sellers, but for the Etsy team: I would love an Etsy iPhone app!!

    4 years ago

  • 14icedbear

    14icedbear says:

    i'm always surprised that i don't see more creative pajamas and nightgowns. when i do see sleepwear it's mostly of the overtly sexy variety (nothing wrong with that, i just don't always want it). personally i'd like to see more interesting, maybe retroish nightgowns, but any greater variety would be great to see.

    4 years ago

  • KisforCalligraphy

    KisforCalligraphy says:

    I feel your frustration Vanessa. But I think the problem is not whether these items we search for are on Etsy. I think that they are! The problem remains to be how we as individuals search for these items. Took me three minutes to find a cat surgical scrub hat: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=34295994&ref=sr_gallery_22&&ga_search_query=doctor&ga_search_type=&ga_page=4&includes[]=tags&includes[]=title We all see things differently and search for things differently. And sure this may not be the exact hat you are looking for but I bet you it is here on Etsy and if not a simple convo with the fabric design you want may get you a custom made hat lickedty split. So the way I see it is how do we help each other find what one cannot find?

    4 years ago

  • archaicdesign

    archaicdesign says:

    I think you can find just about everything on Etsy, unfortunately.

    4 years ago

  • jackiecuccia

    jackiecuccia says:

    not really an item but I would love to see etsy put up a section for locals...like people in san diego can swap info about upcoming shows or venders etc.

    4 years ago

  • WhiteDragonPaper

    WhiteDragonPaper says:

    One niche I've noticed sorely lacking is the papermaking supplier. There are plenty of papermakers on Etsy, we even have a team (EPG Team) but when I needed a new mould and deckle, there were none to be found on Etsy and no one I've talked to so far has the skills or knowledge to make what I need. I still haven't exhausted the list of woodworkers on Etsy, but I would have thought I'd found something by now...

    4 years ago

  • iomiss

    iomiss says:

    I love etsy and I also love to find new things and designs every day!! Great article vanessa :) beat-niche by retro..... WOW, i couldn't like it more!!

    4 years ago

  • Vrogster

    Vrogster says:

    Etsy iPhone app! Yes! Hear hear!

    4 years ago

  • jennyhoople

    jennyhoople says:

    There really aren't a lot of functional umbrellas, I tried to search for some yesterday and came up w/ a photo prop/parasol. There must be more vintage umbrellas in the world? I remember a smashing turquoise one my gma had. I wonder if you could make an umbrella...or upcycle old broken ones into remade ones...

    4 years ago

  • claraclips

    claraclips says:

    Nice article! Now I want to intentionally go through search to find gaps. :)

    4 years ago

  • solsticehome

    solsticehome says:

    Such a good, good article!! and comments! I agree both as a buyer and a seller, better search design needed. Oh, and I loved the idea of an iphone app. Thank you

    4 years ago

  • joelnchristine

    joelnchristine says:

    Giant, oversized wood wall art buttons!!!

    4 years ago

  • jennyhoople

    jennyhoople says:

    Oh! I really agree w/ the sunhat comment...I searched the whole interweb over for a cute jane austen type sun hat and I ended up w/ an ok cloche. Def not handmade, not half as cute as it could be!

    4 years ago

  • daniellexo

    daniellexo says:

    Van, I just remembered something I want to find on Etsy. Bedding! Hand printed sheets and duvet covers. There's a few pages - but I'd love to see more.

    4 years ago

  • mischyfpaws

    mischyfpaws says:

    My problem is my stores are embroidery stores. I embroider items purse, totes, dog stuff etc. but the only listings I find for embroidery is machine embroidery to sell embroidery designs. While sceenprinted is listed everywhere. It would be nice to have embroidery listed under totes, messenger bags, tshirts, and other common things that are embroidered.

    4 years ago

  • RusticGoth

    RusticGoth says:

    After reading the comments I decided to look at Alchemy. Since this is not something I do frequently, I first went to the "Explore" Section..which is the spot that I thought would be the most 'obvious' place to look. I honestly didn't notice the 'custom' button at first..perhaps because I was looking for 'alchemy'. Maybe this feature could be enhanced a bit to make it more attractive for sellers and buyers alike. I'm not sure how it could be done..but if I want to buy a gift for someone who 'crochets' I'm pretty sure I don't want a silver necklace or beanie hat, but that's what come up when I type in my search terms.

    4 years ago

  • bethany18

    bethany18 says:

    WOW those handmade brown shoes would take a lot of skill and time to make...those are impressive!

    4 years ago

  • cherryandviolet

    cherryandviolet says:

    I think there is a real gap in toddler boys clothing. I was searching for a birthday gift for my friend's son this morning, and all I found were t-shirts and ties. Where are the cute shorts, overalls, and sweater vests? There are tons of pretty outfits for little girls, but the little boys need some cute duds too :)

    4 years ago

  • blythehopesvintage

    blythehopesvintage says:

    hmmmm - fans - I have a thing for hand fans right now, and last I checked, there really weren't that many.

    4 years ago

  • muse2323

    muse2323 says:

    I have been searching for an innovative toothbrush holder my husband and I can agree on. Though my most recent search turned up some new styles, I don't think they're quite right for us.

    4 years ago

  • underoakstudios

    underoakstudios says:

    I have a hell of a time finding men's fashions. T-shirts are great but I know there are awesome tailors out there... Search just can't find them.

    4 years ago

  • aminawolfe

    aminawolfe says:

    what Vrogster said about sorting and advance searching at 3:52 pm. Thanks, Vrogster!

    4 years ago

  • print2paint

    print2paint says:

    hummm well i went searching several times for white or off white resin bangles thick or thin NO they are not here...wanted to do some scrimshaw on them cant nopt find them anywhere

    4 years ago

  • scatterboxoriginals

    scatterboxoriginals says:

    I'm amazed that Etsy doesn't have more raincoats. I've been looking for a stylish, handmade, knee length raincoat with a hood...

    4 years ago

  • PenguinKaty

    PenguinKaty says:

    I turn to etsy first for gifts of all sorts, and I'm happy to say I've found some of the most unique and innovative items for loved ones (and myself!) But as one poster already commented, I find it hard to find theatre-themed items. My husband is a lighting designer and technical theatre teacher, and diving into etsy for some masculine theatrical decor or vintage backstage equipment always leaves me wanting more. Also, having recently found out that this penguin will lay an egg this fall, I was somewhat shocked at the lack of handmade maternity clothing to be had! There are some great finds for sure, but not many. Plus size, "roomy" and/or over-sized does not mean maternity... and while I'm at it, shapeless sacks don't mean plus size either, darn it.

    4 years ago

  • DJReigel

    DJReigel says:

    I have mentioned this in the past, but I would really like to see a separate listing for knives. I am of course thinking of my own shop, but Etsy has attracted some super custom knife makers, recently. There are some fantastic chef knives and other kitchen-use knives, hunting knives, and shelf display-type knives. Knives have a huge following, Etsy. It is a huge guy market... Thanks!

    4 years ago

  • KimsCraftyApple

    KimsCraftyApple says:

    I think someone needs to make an ash tray shaped like lungs (of course it should be black)...I looked once and couldn't find them...seems to be a perfect thing to sell... Ironically, I'm not a smoker...

    4 years ago

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts says:

    There is not a lot of what I sell(Electronic musical instruments) on Etsy, but I see more and more every day which is great. But best thing about Etsy is that a search almost always provides some kind of weirdness and the fact that every niche is yet to be filled is an opportunity for the smart seller.

    4 years ago

  • KimsCraftyApple

    KimsCraftyApple says:

    oh...and more petticoats for adults!

    4 years ago

  • snowsicle

    snowsicle says:

    I think there should be a digital product section. I design for websites and digital scrapbooking, but it doesn't fit into "paper goods". I think a lot of people don't know you can buy downloadable products on Etsy. I think if there were a graphic design section people would know we are here. :)

    4 years ago

  • foxpots

    foxpots says:

    I have searched several times over the past year for a desk top pen box made from exotic wood, to replace a handmade one I had given my DH a number of years ago. The original was destroyed when his office was flooded by a malfunction of the building's fire protection system. It had a section for pens, and a tray for business cards. Still haven't found anything close!

    4 years ago

  • SimplyInvitingCards

    SimplyInvitingCards says:

    Alas...I've had the darnedest time finding plus-size women's apparel that I like. It's hard for me to find true plus-size items apart from the garments that can be made to order from a smaller-sized pattern. If I could find them, then I would be spending some serious dough!

    4 years ago

  • tresbonloot

    tresbonloot says:

    I agree. There are some things missing. For instance plus size vintage clothes that aren't old ladyish or beaded? I need cool clothes, so I make my own. I also alter clothes and I like to alter stuff that I could wear if I want to. I also find that I home decor is bleak sometimes. I actually search for "red" to find things!

    4 years ago

  • lterrill9

    lterrill9 says:

    Definately mens and boys clothing and items are hard to come by.

    4 years ago

  • IdleFarrago

    IdleFarrago says:

    How true! You'd have thought it was as Etsy-as-it-gets, but I have been disappointed to not find any of those lovely vintage perfume bottles with the little puffer things... such a shame!

    4 years ago

  • abotslife

    abotslife says:

    I was looking for natural baby care items as a gift for my friend that is going to do cloth diapers- shockingly few out there! I too look for theater/musical theater themed stuff and don't see much out there...sad, that genre is really making a come back. Glee anyone??

    4 years ago

  • juror2

    juror2 says:

    It's funny how some things seem so obvious to the buyer and not to the seller. I would never come to etsy for "plain white" anything! I already know where I can get the plain stuff! I come to Etsy to find gifts that are unique and inspirational - and rarely shop here for my everyday stuff. Maybe the odd Tshirt or humorous gift, or something classy and special-occasion-worthy. I come here for the stuff I can't find anywhere else. It's nothing personal, but from a practical and financial standpoint I don't want to pay shipping and wait for something I can just pick up at the store.

    4 years ago

  • onegreatthing

    onegreatthing says:

    I'm a niche seller- and I have to say I loove it! Sure, my audience is more limited than most, but I am happy with it that way :) The only gaps I have ever noticed have been when looking for something really specific- like, "Funny Bachelor Shirt" or "Mickey Mouse Wedding". But, like most of you guys, I shop Etsy before I even think about heading to a mass retailer! You never know what you may find!

    4 years ago

  • BarefootGreenie

    BarefootGreenie says:

    A new boyfriend :)

    4 years ago

  • bellacruz

    bellacruz says:

    In the article, the comment "anything handmade"...is what's leading etsy awry. That could mean anything handmade in a third world country, anything handmade and mass produced even in developed countries lands on etsy. Thus drowning out the individually thought out and designed items by individual artists on etsy. That said, there is SO much to love on etsy, why doesn't etsy advertise it?

    4 years ago

  • HikariKokoro

    HikariKokoro says:

    KITES!!! I remember searching for kites expecting to find many of them and found only paintings and little sculptures or earrings . . kite objects but no kites. Kites are relatively easy to create and there's so much room to play with! I'm off to search for them again now that I'm thinking about it!

    4 years ago

  • HikariKokoro

    HikariKokoro says:

    hmm . . . still no kites . . . I think they'd even be pretty easy on shipping too Guess I'm going to have to open a kite shop!

    4 years ago

  • lifeofcolors

    lifeofcolors says:

    The other day I was looking for knives... not jewelry or fine art knives, but actual knives. Only found a few...

    4 years ago

  • missprettypretty

    missprettypretty says:

    Ooooh.........kites!! What a FABULOUS IDEA!! Okay, somebody, open a shop! I think finding a niche here on Etsy that hasn't been filled is very difficult, but if you are lucky and find one, you can be very successful! I think my shop is a great example of that. The kite shop could be next!!!

    4 years ago

  • adVintagous

    adVintagous says:

    I spent awhile looking for falconry gloves in both Handmade and Vintage. No luck though. There are some awesome falconry supply makers out there, they need to get on Etsy!

    4 years ago

  • spongetta

    spongetta says:

    Gloves with fingers! Or maybe I have just not figured out how to search for them!

    4 years ago

  • goldminetrash

    goldminetrash says:

    Etsy needs a Vintage VINYL RECORDS category! Music and fashion go hand in hand, so having vintage record sellers would compliment the vintage clothing/decor/accessories market. There are so many great record sellers who are scrambling to find a place other than EvilBay to sell on. Trust me on this, guys. We need a records section!!

    4 years ago

  • wordium

    wordium says:

    One thing I find very difficult to search for on Etsy is petite-sized clothing. This isn't a niche, it should be a category!

    4 years ago

  • yazberryfashion

    yazberryfashion says:

    I was surprised this winter to find very few non-wool sweater options and very few sweaters at all. I wanted a cowl neck sweater out of acrylic or acrylic wool blend (sadly allergic to heavy wool) and actually ended up having to place an order via alchemy and wait a few months (as expected) to have it made. I was surprised at how few sweaters etsians are making.

    4 years ago

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm says:

    Great article vanessa, enjoyed how you spun the story. Now we all must put on our thinkin caps to come up with a niche product. I love Etsy so happy I found it.

    4 years ago

  • mentalembellisher

    mentalembellisher says:

    Never be afraid to convo a seller and ask for a custom order, you'll have kitten scrubs and manly aprons galore! 50% of my sales are tailored-for-the-client items, giving the buyer exactly what they want immediately. And try the trick of mispelling the search word too, you'll come up with some great finds ;-D

    4 years ago

  • FarrenSquare

    FarrenSquare says:

    I've never found any sex toys! hahaha, is that a bad thing, though?

    4 years ago

  • electricbluebird

    electricbluebird says:

    I am fixing to open a new shop that will offer kids items that no one else is offering. I am doing product testing right now. They will be offered in my snickle snackle shop. Sadly, I think it will be a very short time before I am copied.

    4 years ago

  • PleasantPeasantry

    PleasantPeasantry says:

    I haven't been able to find a long, simple, elegant black dress. Maybe I am looking in the wrong places?

    4 years ago

  • GalleriaDiGiani

    GalleriaDiGiani says:

    There isn't a lot of male-themed erotic art on here. I am going to change that, as soon as we get the ability to run more than one store from the same account!

    4 years ago

  • miltonandmargies

    miltonandmargies says:

    I love buying all my gifts on Etsy, but I have a really hard time finding things for "dudely dudes," like my dad and brother. My dad collects vintage beer items, and I haven't had much luck finding that here on Etsy. And I think there could be much more stuff for dudes on Etsy, says a gal who sells things most geared toward women:)

    4 years ago

  • KreatedbyKarina

    KreatedbyKarina says:

    Thinking about what I make in my own shop...I would love to see a supplier selling soap colorants. I think there's only one or two on here---most sell fragrance oils and molds and such, but I'd love to find a "smaller" supplier for micas and oxides instead of having to place a larger wholesale order sometimes.

    4 years ago

  • kbruyea

    kbruyea says:

    I've been looking for a funky sewing basket, but only see ones that remind me of something a Grandmother would use. Something modern and portable! That's what I'm looking for.

    4 years ago

  • AnYo

    AnYo says:

    I've been dying to get my hands on a beautiful leather art portfolio. I came to Etsy first hoping to find something unique and spicier than the plain black ones I found. No luck though.

    4 years ago

  • mentalembellisher

    mentalembellisher says:

    miltonandmargies, I have a vintage beer item in my shop....

    4 years ago

  • worksandfinds

    worksandfinds says:

    Great article, Vanessa. I love Etsy.

    4 years ago

  • MandyBesek

    MandyBesek says:

    I'll tell you what's missing on Etsy: Lace Tapestries I'm the only one that makes them!

    4 years ago

  • BotanicalBead

    BotanicalBead says:

    I come to "work" here at my etsy shop each day, and end up finding the most wonderful and unique things each day. Browsing has become my new pastime.

    4 years ago

  • princessdoodlebeans

    princessdoodlebeans says:

    I too am a browse-a-holic...love to try and stump etsy, but am usually pleased to see such diversity!

    4 years ago

  • RoughMagicCreations

    RoughMagicCreations says:

    Interesting topic, Vanessa. I know there have been occasions when I couldn't find what I was searching for on Etsy, but I don't remember what those items were. Guess I figured if I couldn't buy it on Etsy (and pay with PayPal) I didn't much need it anyway ...

    4 years ago

  • TheShabbyChicCottage

    TheShabbyChicCottage says:

    More STYLISH plus size clothes! I've scoured Etsy and found very, very few shops that offer them. It's maddening!

    4 years ago

  • monocotoleydon

    monocotoleydon says:

    The unicorn niche is an interesting one ... I like the right sort of unicorn. And I've actually spent hours on etsy searching for all the right unicorns. There're there! You've just got to look! I'd provide a list of my favorite Etsy unicorns, but I'd have to do some serious digging through my favorites.

    4 years ago

  • theivorymagnolia

    theivorymagnolia says:

    This a great article, really made me think and then laugh.

    4 years ago

  • ultimateaccessories

    ultimateaccessories says:

    Love the article. IDk i think that if i were to look for something really great it would have to be soemthing made from old used cell phones....isk i m still looking for my niche and need help with that!!! ultimateaccessorie.blogspot.com ultimateaccessories.etsy.com

    4 years ago

  • halpal28

    halpal28 says:

    i don't think there are enough local-pride...type...products.... alright, i don't know how to describe that, but i'd love to see even more chicago themed items! i think city specific goodies make great gifts.

    4 years ago

  • Meganhead

    Meganhead says:

    It must have been fate that this blog went up today because there are 3 things I would lovvve to see on Etsy. The first being able to change our username. I hate my username so I'd love to be able to change it to something else. The second thing I'd love to see is some sort of gift card to use in any of the shops on Etsy. I don't know how easy this would be to make happen, but I'd love to see this. And lastly, I would love to be able to have gift registries on the site. When my boyfriend and I get married, it would be amazing to put a registry from Etsy of our favorite shops with unique items we want in our invites as opposed to the typical Crate & Barrel registry. Sorry for writing a book. lol

    4 years ago

  • dkmfirecracker

    dkmfirecracker says:

    Indian tapestry..hand-beaded, from India (not Native American) and various crafts made from Sari cloth (like drapes, table runners, table cloths) and the like. I love Indian decor, and I've found some pretty stuff online, just not on Etsy :-(

    4 years ago

  • evelynnsalcove

    evelynnsalcove says:

    I love your topic Vanessa, it got me thinking. One etsy seller made the comment about music. I think that would be a great idea if undiscovered groups or musicians could make a CD and sell it here on etsy. A post would be nice too so we know what our buyers are looking for. I am a little confused as to what you Vanessa would like to see more of on etsy. A pair of white pajamas is a common article. I think you are saying making the shopping experience more open to everyone not just to artists or vintage shoppers. That would be cool. We need more hits on etsy. Right now I thing the average person thinks etsy is all about artists and keeps the average buyer away.

    4 years ago

  • mwgregory

    mwgregory says:

    The one thing I love the most about etsy is you can find WHATEVER you want that is handmade. I love etsy.

    4 years ago

  • 2TrickPony

    2TrickPony says:

    I second that cute clothes for boys is non existent here, or hard to find, at least; and I'd love to put handmade sweaters, hats etc on my 7 year old! also musical instruments are in short supply. At least the last time I looked. great question, though:)

    4 years ago

  • LiseWinne

    LiseWinne says:

    Good idea!! One art category that doesn't have much going on in it is relief sculpture. Lots of other on-line art selling sites have that, but they don't seem to be drawn to Etsy.

    4 years ago

  • LiseWinne

    LiseWinne says:

    And by the way, I have some unicorns on my site that are more like the Renaissance style unicorns.

    4 years ago

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 says:

    Important business topic, food for thought, Vanessa! One problem with exploring the niche market is that is can consume a disproportionate amount of time and money spent on materials vs. actual demand & amount buyers will pay resulting in little net profit.

    4 years ago

  • anothertimeantiques

    anothertimeantiques says:

    The biggest gap I still see is well structured categories.

    4 years ago

  • Ebrown2503

    Ebrown2503 says:

    My son has a rockin' collection of Blue Santas. I get him at least one every holiday. This year I found one naturally here on Etsy. Last year I had to go to the Alchemy area to take requests. I found two very cool sellers willing to work up their craft in Blue :o)

    4 years ago

  • Ebrown2503

    Ebrown2503 says:

    Also, I started a forum asking about crafts seller do but don't sell here on Etsy. The answers were surprising and involved 2 impediments. Shipping for heavy items and the time it takes to make an item (concerns for not being paid for the time it takes to make something>) It was an interesting and fun thread. 2/28/10 was the date, I think.

    4 years ago

  • shecological

    shecological says:

    I like the idea of welcoming all kinds of shoppers. I think, in order to encourage a wider audience (and a wider range of beautiful handmade items) you have to create a welcoming image of etsy overall. I love all the creative and weird items to be found on etsy, but they don't need to have a PRIMARY place in the etsy identity. In other words - people making lovely white pajamas are not going to sell on etsy unless they see that type of thing being promoted.

    4 years ago

  • BobbiThisnThat

    BobbiThisnThat says:

    "No," I say. "It's actually for anything handmade or vintage." And supplies. AND SUPPLIES.......... geezzzzzz

    4 years ago

  • glasylassy

    glasylassy says:

    I kind of found a niche with handmade yarn pom poms. I started making them for my birthday hats and I got requests for custom orders. Now I list groups of appealing color combinations. I do see why not many sellers make them though, they are very time consuming, but still fun!

    4 years ago

  • BobbiThisnThat

    BobbiThisnThat says:

    Ok, since my last comment was deleted, how about this? It would be nice if Etsy would acknowledge that supply sellers are actually allowed here (and I'm sure my three digit, close to four, bill each month is accepted with no identity crisis). Comments like this: "No," I say. "It's actually for anything handmade or vintage." are quite disappointing, especially from an Etsy employee. The tag line change promised to happen in January.....would be a good start to this acknowledgment.

    4 years ago

  • RubyStudios

    RubyStudios says:

    I always have a hard time conveying what Etsy is in a nutshell. They can hardly get past the name, first of all! "Itsy?" "Essty?" No, it's E-t-s-y, and I have no idea what it means! It's the place for everything handmade--anything you can think of! But it's hard to get a non-crafty person to think of what the handmade possibilities actually are! Goth baby burp cloth? Check. Robots doing karaoke? Check.

    4 years ago

  • kylieparry

    kylieparry says:

    The only thing I have ever had problems finding on etsy was stuff for the men in my life. There are lots of cool guys tees...but they are "arty" (and I love them!)- but I would like to see more variety. Example: this christmas I couldnt find a snowboarding shirt for my brother...

    4 years ago

  • glasylassy

    glasylassy says:

    @Kylieparry I agree there are not a lot of options for my macho, tough guy, not into etsy at all Husband, but I actually found something he liked, a t-shirt inspired by Call of Duty his fav game, with his tag name on it. By Gamergeek. He wears it all the time!

    4 years ago

  • ValerieTyler

    ValerieTyler says:

    I'm a seller, but as a buyer I'd love more...... organic cleaning supplies organic *anything* functional handmade household items linens that are really minimal and earthy(napkins, runners, tablecloths, you name it) Anything decor that is minimal japanese garden style....think bonsai, pagodas, rock garden ***oooh, really if you could somehow do homemade wine and beer, yum! (but legally, that's a mess isn't it?) Now that I've seen other posts, I LOVE the other idea of more original movies and dvd's/music/magazines/books.....neat!!!! And it sounds silly but anything related to autcrossing cars for my hubby (versus nascar) I also spent all of christmas trying to find traditional tartan christmas tree skirts in a sturdy fabric at a reasonable price (and by reasonable I was willing to pay up to $75-$80) to no avail.(hint hint anyone) This was fun...now I need to go poking through categories shopping!

    4 years ago

  • biosphere

    biosphere says:

    ValerieTyler- I agree more organic! I tend to end up making my own cleaning supplies, which saves on the shipping anyway. You know you can do a lot with some grapefruit seed extract, baking soda and vinegar. The book thing as well would be great!

    4 years ago

  • JaimeNicole

    JaimeNicole says:

    Mens slim fit dress pants. I found some that were actually for ladies under that search. I don't think my brother wants to wear something named "kim fit" lol

    4 years ago

  • SewSassyHeirlooms

    SewSassyHeirlooms says:

    Curtains. Yeah, I know everyone has different sized windows but everyone has different sized EVERYTHING and we still manage to create custom and personalized items that fit via special order. I'd like to see some kitchen curtains, bedroom curtains, bathroom curtains, sink curtains, shower curtains. Where are the curtain makers?

    4 years ago

  • cokiepopaper

    cokiepopaper says:

    Yes, organic would be great. I'm always looking for more eco-friendly products.

    4 years ago

  • LaughingFridge

    LaughingFridge says:

    Lots of ideas being tossed around here, Vanessa; hope you can pull it all together for the Etsy brains to work on! A search by number of shop or item hearts sounds great at first, but when you consider brand new shops that may have superb merchandise they would be left in the cold, cold basement..a very unfair advantage for "seasoned" shops, not matter how well liked they are. And a thank you to HardCandyGems for you comment. We were tickled to be the fridge magnet you didn't know existed!

    4 years ago

  • Myhaleygirl

    Myhaleygirl says:

    Such a great article! I use this to my advantage sometimes. For instance my butterfly bouquet was nowhere to be seen on etsy so I knew it was something different. I usually check to see if my idea has already been done, and if it has I can tweak mine to make it different or stand out.

    4 years ago

  • patspottery

    patspottery says:

    Very thought provoking!

    4 years ago

  • gabeadz

    gabeadz says:

    Nice article Vanessa! Thanks Gaby

    4 years ago

  • greenhotmama

    greenhotmama says:

    This is very helpful as a new(ish) seller. It is great to see where the gaps are. I also agree with the other posts that say the search options could be improved. Ways to narrow a search by size, price and other factors would be helpful. This would be of particular use if you could narrow a search you had already started. Is there a way to create a search and have a "not" in it. For instance if you were allergic to wool and wanted to search for knitted hats that are "not wool". I don't know if this is possible, but it would have helped me a number of times. Also, wouldn't an eco friendly category (not just a tag) be great?!

    4 years ago

  • LittleGreenSquirrel

    LittleGreenSquirrel says:

    I have played a little game here on Etsy where I try to think of a search that will come up with NO results - it's hard to win! For instance, I just searched "eyebrow" in the handmade category and got 204 results! ( "knitted eyebrow" did come up empty though, so somebody should get to work on that!) Thanks for the interesting post!

    4 years ago

  • EchidnaDesigns

    EchidnaDesigns says:

    Unused niches? On Etsy? No WAY!! :) Great post, though, thanks!

    4 years ago

  • remarket

    remarket says:

    Love the topic! A few thoughts: I went to look for the gift guides the other day and they were gone. Those were really great and helped me discover new things. I think that adding more ways to search and sort would be really helpful in finding things that are buried in there deep. I like the idea of the local search, but then I just get most recent and no way to sift through it. Is there a way to do a combined search by category, keyword, AND local area? It would be great to find more items for tween-aged boys (7-12). Many childrens items are too cutesy for this demographic. It's gotta be cool. :-)

    4 years ago

  • HeyChica

    HeyChica says:

    It's hard to believe that there are uncharted waters here in Etsyland. I think the only times my searches have come up empty I was looking for a very specific supply or design idea and 9 times out of 10 you can find someone willing to do custom work which is great!

    4 years ago

  • uncljohn

    uncljohn says:

    Some where easy to find, clear instructions on how to formulate a search that is actually functional AND why! Stressing! The need to use more than two words for a search which is by far the most ineffective, inefficient method of creating a search. And why. The search procedures used in the Category Section are neither explained nor effective. They are sadly lacking in any kind of a satisfactory result. They need to be re-written. Also when there is either questions about or experiments performed on searching something that approaches an in-depth explanation of the objectives to be achieved or understood would be helpful. In laymen’s language. Other than that, I personally find searching through the use of the search bar highly successful if not a bit awkward to use due to the dated technology employed. An expanded Local Search capability would be a very nice feature.

    4 years ago

  • lifeofwiley

    lifeofwiley says:

    maccha tea. surprised not to find it.

    4 years ago

  • CoolTricks

    CoolTricks says:

    Most times I can find what I searched for but wading through lots of mistagged items is irritating.

    4 years ago

  • Serrelynda

    Serrelynda says:

    I, too, have been looking for plain resin (or acrylic) cuff bracelets to embellish, and haven't had any luck at all......

    4 years ago

  • Furiousdreams

    Furiousdreams says:

    Vanessa, you asked: 'Which searches are leaving much to be desired?' I might suggest that fine art has some issues with being found in searches. I know your taxonomist has been working on this, but it still seems a little tricky for a buyer to seek out an original painting and not be inundated with *copies* or reproduction prints. So if someone could work on that, all of us who produce mainly original art would much appreciate it. That said, I love the fact that you reach out to your constituents for ideas!

    4 years ago

  • Furiousdreams

    Furiousdreams says:

    Oh, another thing- art supplies would be a great niche market to cover. Right now I buy mine elsewhere....

    4 years ago

  • parasolproject

    parasolproject says:

    hmmm... well, i was thinking it would be a great idea to have marketing/networking teams on etsy. I'm fairly new, and maybe this already exists, but i'm also referring to no boundaries... local is great, i support local, no doubt about it, but i'm thinking, what about 'getting the show on the road,' musicians travel, they don't just play to the same crowd, and I could, as i'm sure many others, really use the support and information that a large body of dispersed persons could offer each other... i'd love to have my clothes in a bizaar in new york, have a booth at a festival in Santa Fe and who knows, a fashion show in Montreal... or even just to sell on consignment in other towns that are hard to travel to very often... maybe i'm out on a limb here, but i guess i've always been a dreamer!

    4 years ago

  • JeansVintageCloset

    JeansVintageCloset says:

    Womens Pirate Costume hats in my size, there are some but I am looking for some just like the vintage hat I have that has beautiful white feathers, white trim and a perfect shape for re~enactments historical pirate costumes supplies, books for art reference and/or how to make pirate costumes, costume reference for theater, Vintage pirate items, there are already lots of boots and items for babies and pets

    4 years ago

  • ravenwren

    ravenwren says:

    Jewelry! There just doesn't seem to be enough. =P No, seriously though I'd like to see some better vintage categories and handmade clothing separated by size a little bit better. It's hard to weed out what I don't want in clothing and see what I do.

    4 years ago

  • go2girl

    go2girl says:

    Site wide gift certificates! I'd love to introduce someone to Etsy with a gift certificate they could use at the shops of their choice, shop site wide.

    4 years ago

  • Chylde

    Chylde says:

    Oh how I love those buttcovers lol!

    4 years ago

  • lazydayz

    lazydayz says:

    I actually gave up looking on alchemy, even though I had sold an item I bid on there once. It has no categories, if I make metalwork, I dont want to page through requests for everything under the sun, maybe public alchemy could be categorized, then maybe more would place a bid to fill a desire. I do however think etsy is amazing and pass the word on whenever given the opportunity.

    4 years ago

  • ronal63p

    ronal63p says:

    I wish Etsy had a category for antiques. They have "vintage" but there is a definite difference between an item that is vintage and antique.

    4 years ago

  • Karolija

    Karolija says:

    Etsy definetly needs more categories, for example, "pottery" and "polimer clay" should be separated! "Eco-friendly" or "recycled" probably also deserve it (with their own sub-categories).

    4 years ago

  • NiuTaller

    NiuTaller says:

    It is true! Definetely you can find every kind of thing in Etsy!! there is always somethig that comes to surprise you! ...love the beat-niche from retroattack!

    4 years ago

  • BHBKidstyle

    BHBKidstyle says:

    I think part of the problem is tagging and lack of categories. As for finding a niche. When I opened my shop, I was sure I would have if not lots of customers but quite a few because there are not many or any doing what I do. Yes, there are lots of etsyans selling t-shirts, but NOT hand-painted ones in kids style, and not for the age group I do. I have more success selling my items in the real world, in one county, than on etsy. I´m still trying to figure out why.

    4 years ago

  • grandmamarievintage

    grandmamarievintage says:

    Etsy is so amazing in that way. Literally ANYTHING can be found. I think regretsy proves that!

    4 years ago

  • EverydayDiamonds

    EverydayDiamonds says:

    Recently, I was looking for a blank recipe book. I was going to get a bunch of people to write in it and give it as a wedding gift but I couldn't find one on Etsy. I did though find lots of related items (and ended up buying a really snazzy customized recipe box). Another niche that needs filling out is men's items. I would love to give more handmade gifts to my guy, but find the selection quite limited (at least compared to the selection of gifts for women!) I have purchased a really awesome belt buckle made from a recycled skateboard for him though.

    4 years ago

  • KarensMonsters

    KarensMonsters says:

    I just want to add another vote for Raincoats. I was horribly disappointed looking for a raincoat on etsy last year. But hope there will be more in the future. Having vintage stuff helps though. Also re polaroids. I love this shop that sells original polaroids + other stuff made from the images. http://www.etsy.com/shop/jerseymaids But it's one of those things that gets lost in all the other things tagged "polaroid". I know I tag things with all the tags I can think of, and while they do help describe my items, I can see how they might be making the search more difficult. But I'm not sure what else to do with the way things are now.

    4 years ago

  • lesthings

    lesthings says:

    Really interesting...as a seller I think there always are market niches but I agree once you find one of them you start thinking if the customer that would buy that superspecific item will find you...I think custom orders can be very helpful for buyers to get exactly what they want. Btw,I'm a big fan of the retroattack beatniche,I have one badge myself and always get compliments on it.A great example of something different you can get on etsy!

    4 years ago

  • hellome

    hellome says:

    After reading through all the comments I'm thinking maybe one thing we could use is a shoppers assistant program. It could be anything from a section in the forum where buyers could post what they are looking for and anyone interested could help them find it. Or it could be actual designated people who sign up with Etsy, who could be paid by Etsy some sort of percentage on whatever sale is made. Anyway, lots of good info and even a few reminders of things I've been wanting to do for my own shop but just haven't gotten around to yet. Thanks!

    4 years ago

  • LabSpace

    LabSpace says:

    What's good about Etsy is that if you see something you like but not quite what you're looking for, well, you can custom order one through alchemy or convo!

    4 years ago

  • uknowuneedanother

    uknowuneedanother says:

    Cool article! I'll probably start searching to discover other items that you cannot find. :)

    4 years ago

  • sugarraindrops

    sugarraindrops says:

    I'd like to believe my little etsy shop fits into the NICHE category :]

    4 years ago

  • steinschmuckdesign

    steinschmuckdesign says:

    oh yes indeed, I already found so fantastic rar Items on Etsy, that I never thought I could!!!

    4 years ago

  • CraftsbyCayleigh

    CraftsbyCayleigh says:

    Great article! I've found so many interesting (and strange) things on etsy...but I have yet to see a single duvet cover or couch cover. You'd think they would be common since they are relatively simple to make. Looks like I'll just have to make my own...and maybe I'll list them here with no competition :)

    4 years ago

  • SYHOcustoms

    SYHOcustoms says:

    I almost never turn up with an empty search. And when I do, it's usually because I need to use different Keywords. I think a lot of times, artist must consider the cost passed on to customers when deciding to create and sell. I make things that I wouldn't sell, because it would cost the buyer to much money. Most of us take great pride in our items and creative process. For example, I could make a very elegant Duvet cover. I would use Egyptian cotton and hand embroider it with ribbon. By the time I was done with it, I would be under selling if I didn't charge 300-400 dollars for it. Yeah it would last a lifetime. Your friends would never be able to say "Oh I have that same cover" But are you willing to pay that much for it? I also think many artist are not trying to fill a niche. More likely they create what makes them happy. You have to do this because you love it, not because your trying to get rich. Missy

    4 years ago

  • FabricDestashSale

    FabricDestashSale says:

    But if you find scrub caps or pajamas in the wrong fabric, you can just send the shopkeeper a Private Alchemy request for the item in your fabric choice!

    4 years ago

  • SYHOcustoms

    SYHOcustoms says:

    Oh and one more thing... I noticed that when searching for things, "Most Recently Listed" items is the default sort. I think that is a little wacky. Shouldn't it be "Most Relevant"? When I don't see what I am looking for, I have learned to go change to Most Relevant. But what about buyers who don't often frequent Etsy?

    4 years ago

  • lovahandmade

    lovahandmade says:

    My boyfriend makes custom arcade style machines for game consoles, I keep telling him that people on Etsy need them! Definitely don't see any listed!

    4 years ago

  • terrabellaaccents

    terrabellaaccents says:

    Great article. I think that by keeping the "relevancy searches" this can be improved. I don't believe there are "niches" missing I just think that finding what you are looking for is sometimes difficult due to the way etsy displays their results.

    4 years ago

  • robinzebley

    robinzebley says:

    I think what's missing is a relevancy to a search. I searched for "original cat painting" and got flowers, dogs, pet portrait commission offerings, inkjet printout "prints" all on the first page. So it seems that NEW trumps BEST MATCH.

    4 years ago

  • HoldTheWire

    HoldTheWire says:

    Thanks to everyone for the comments! Hellome, that buyer's assistance program would be a great idea. It really is hard to search for what you want. Maybe Etsy could hire a few sellers to help weed out mistagged items. I know we report them. Hire someone on the other side of the world, like Australia, so that they could delete the middle-of-the-night resellers! That said, I truly love Etsy and it has been a way for me to make some money and still be home with my kids. (I have 2 shops). xoxo Etsy!

    4 years ago

  • thetnpreacherswife

    thetnpreacherswife says:

    Agreed that there is way more irony and snark than unicorns and rainbows... I know there are a few sellers on etsy who make stoles and clergy-ware but i think that's definitely a niche that is underrepresented. Lots of clergy want to purchase from small businesses or design their own stuff...etsy seems like the perfect venue for that.

    4 years ago

  • thesunnysidebiz

    thesunnysidebiz says:

    DISSAPPOINTED? You do realize that the word is spelled wrong, right? It should be DISAPPOINTED. I am so disappointed in you.

    4 years ago

  • riricreations

    riricreations says:

    1. Please bring back the GIFT GUIDES! Why did they go away to begin with?!!! I'm constantly telling people about etsy...and I'm still, after 16 months of having my shop here, I'm just flat out amazed daily at all the creativity and talent gathered here. My customers who want a custom design that they don't see listed contact me via alchemy or more often in a convo, and I'll work extra hard to accommodate a repeat customer's request, if I'm able to do it. 2. Could we PLEASE have a shipping feature that allows the buyer to put in their zip code? Shipping prices vary so much even in the U.S. that I'm constantly taking a hit when I go to ship heavier items. Having one price for all the U.S. zones just isn't feasible. Even if the zipcode thing was too complicated, having the U.S. shipping price broken down by postal zones would ROCK! Please consider this.

    4 years ago

  • BlueKimonoStudio

    BlueKimonoStudio says:

    It's too bad that "disappointed" is spelled wrong. I love that hand-embroidered picture.

    4 years ago

  • millerfamilytree

    millerfamilytree says:

    Children's stools for a children's table that are shaped like toad stools.

    4 years ago

  • LadyAurora

    LadyAurora says:

    I've bought a couple things from Etsy from my wedding and loved them. My husband and I are now putting together a reception for my friends and family back home and I was shocked to not find two things. First, the polaroid guestbook. I found one but it wasn't really what I was looking for. Second, Comic speech bubbles with congratulatory phrases on them people can hold while they take photos for the guestbook. I felt a little crazy looking through all the comic book stuff and coming up empty handed. This might be the first time I use the Alchemy area. I really want those comic speech bubbles. :D

    4 years ago

  • CraftyWings

    CraftyWings says:

    What’s missing on Etsy? After days of frustrating shopping experience, I realized Etsy needs a GIFT SEARCH feature. Don’t we often go out shopping without knowing exactly what it is we’re looking for, other than occasion and recipient? “For a sister’s birthday, I would like to give a pair of dangle earrings with crystal beads and silver chain.” Or “For a sister’s birthday, I would like to give her something nice and different for around $50.” ? Etsy offers no way to shop in the latter style. I think it hurts both the shoppers and the sellers and am passionately advocating for the change! More detailed idea is in this forum. http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6450351&page=1 Etsy Admin, please do give this a consideration! Thank you!

    4 years ago

  • speckless

    speckless says:

    I was looking for a bright yellow necklace (or one with yellow elements) the other day. I couldn't find one (my search did return some potential candidates, but not many), so I ended up making one.

    4 years ago

  • RockinMamaBG

    RockinMamaBG says:

    WOW! Thanks for featuring my burp cloths :-) I agree with terrabellaaccents: "I think that by keeping the "relevancy searches" this can be improved. I don't believe there are "niches" missing I just think that finding what you are looking for is sometimes difficult due to the way etsy displays their results." Especially when searching for a specific seller. It should pop up all possible matches for me to search through. Instead you have to have the name exactly right to find who you are looking for. This is especially difficult for someone who may be trying to find me because my customers know me as "Rockin Mama Baby Gear" but this name was too long for Etsy so i had to shorten it to RockinMamaBG. Thanks again for featuring my burp cloths

    4 years ago

  • rainadelmagick

    rainadelmagick says:

    I can honestly say that it is a bit frustrating for me when I have crystal wands or handmade crafts that fall outside the descriptions that are offered in tags. I am a member of both the paganteam and the metaphysicalteam. We are large groups and we participate in chats, treasuries and blogs consistently. Yet for most of us we have to list any of our items as everything else. This limits potential customers from finding us when they look for magickal items, pagan, ritual tools or metaphysical items. It would be beneficial for both sellers and buyers if etsy would broaden their tag terms to include this untapped area. We are bringing customers to etsy, help those customers reach our shops. Thanks very much for creating this forum vanessa.

    4 years ago

  • neulanen

    neulanen says:

    matcha tea has been my no-such-luck item, too. and what an interesting topic this has turned out to be! at first i thought "come on, this is not a real problem" but it's been refreshing to see so many points of view. mis-tagged items can get to my nerves but that is up to the sellers, nothing much etsy can do about that, i suppose. or is there? i also agree that it's a pain to weed out the printouts when looking for 'original' art. using the minus sign seems to work only so far. i have nothing against making artwork more widely available by printing copies, and have bought many such items, but i just wish it was easier to find what i want when i want it. maybe there should be a competition to find a new, catchy search terms for specific items or product types?

    4 years ago

  • IslaNewYork

    IslaNewYork says:

    Wow! So many interesting comments! I'm like a few people above - I don't usually think of something, until I see it. Only then am I impressed that its on Etsy! The other day in a storque article, there was seller selling all handmade organic cleaning supplies - like a whole set! The blew me away....

    4 years ago

  • That70sShoppe

    That70sShoppe says:

    Wow, great article and posts for missing items. I second the curtains and valance request someone made.

    4 years ago

  • NoMoreTwistHandmade

    NoMoreTwistHandmade says:

    i agree with rockinmama about searching for specific sellers--i sometimes worry that people who know my name but have misplaced my url may be thwarted in their attempts to find me since you can't add any spaces, punctuation or any sort of typo when searching for sellers. as far as an untapped category, i was surprised several months ago to find that hardly anyone is making nice pajamas. it's pretty easy to find stuff on the kinkier end, but there was only one seller i found who made nice pj's or nightgowns (i just wanted something similar to anthropologie's sleepwear--attractive, comfortable and well-made, but not over-the-top sexy).

    4 years ago

  • amoronia

    amoronia says:

    Hi! And thanks for the question you are addressing. I can't help noticing that Etsy gives the impression of extremes; meaning, there's too much of moustaches, birds and cages (and I'm not trying to 'attack' these, I'm just saying they are examples of Etsy's 'things that sell', no matter what the medium or the form of art, because they have become 'Etsy fashionable'), and too much of weird stuff (which is being highlighted, with the view to sell), but all the creativity that falls in between these two extremes often goes unnoticed. I hope that helped.

    4 years ago

  • StudioCherie

    StudioCherie says:

    I think this has been said a few times, clothing for the man who would not be caught dead in a cowl. Vanessa's plain pajamas guy, my polo shirt man. As soon as I find the right fabric, I will be doing duffles that those men would carry too. Maybe that's why I've been eyeing the ticking stripe...

    4 years ago

  • twoknit

    twoknit says:

    Great article !!! Vanessa. Thank you !!!!

    4 years ago

  • BohemiaJewellery

    BohemiaJewellery says:

    I wish there was more stone craft - last time I searched (Christmas time) I could barely find anything.

    4 years ago

  • che4u

    che4u says:

    I *make* unicorn horns, (that are not ironic). :) I have from small to BIG, (12"). They can be worn by humans or animals. I usually try to keep realistic colors as well as slightly "fantasy" colors in stock. If you look in my sold items you'll see even more options! Hope this helps, Shannon aka Gypsy~Rose Costuming: che4u.etsy.com Fine Jewelry: che4udesigns.etsy.com

    4 years ago

  • mizdarlin

    mizdarlin says:

    My biggest beef with Search on Etsy is more about mistagging than a lack of anything else...when I do a search for plus sized dresses I always get tons of T-shirts- something I'm not interested in at all...but so many sellers mistag plus sized anyway, then proceed to mistag items like any kind of tops or T-shirts with the tag 'dress' for no reason that I can fathom....I have pretty much given up looking at anything but custom sites now, because i have to wade through hundreds of mistagged items to find what i want...and sleeveless as opposed to sleeves (which i want!) - don't ask...

    4 years ago

  • che4u

    che4u says:

    I agree with what Rainadelmagick said above. I make talismans and runescripts, as well as wands etc. and have had to either go the the "everything else" category, "geekery" or "toys" routes... none of those really fit. There ARE place within them that kind of fit but they are tricky to find. Having a Spiritual or "New Age" category etc. might help. Thanks for the neat discussion! Shannon

    4 years ago

  • paulajeansgarden

    paulajeansgarden says:

    I don't see anyone selling the fragrance of Montana in the Spring yet. I always love the search but I don't expect instant answers from the Universe. Sometimes the serendipitous takes a little moment or two. I almost always find that perfect thing I was looking for on the way to somewhere else.

    4 years ago

  • gossamersong

    gossamersong says:

    There are definitely a lot of adult costume niches empty--the goth tutus and corsets abound (and with GREAT photography) but it seems like cosplay is under-represented. As a geekery crafter I'm all about notching up the nerd-wear! Maybe February is the wrong time to be searching for character costumes, but I was amazed at how few there were just the other day...

    4 years ago

  • hodgepodgefarm

    hodgepodgefarm says:

    occasionally i search for 'leather dog harness' because i would love a little hand-tooled harness for my dog, but i've never seen a single one! it always amazes me!

    4 years ago

  • Pizpireta

    Pizpireta says:

    Great article vanessa, I too love that you can find anything on Etsy I'm a fan of retro's mirror!

    4 years ago

  • sharonclancydesigns

    sharonclancydesigns says:

    I love the mix on etsy, and I am happy that vintage has been successful for all the vintage sellers. Is it just me, or is etsy heavily promoting vintage in place of handmade? I do recognize that handmade is promoted and appreciated by admin. but it seems like lately, that it is a bit out of balance. Maybe I'm just extra sensitive because I don't sell vintage.

    4 years ago

  • julieandco

    julieandco says:

    Absolutely fascinating article and responses. Lots of food for thought (and crafting!). I have a hard time fitting my items in proper categories as well -- hand embroidered decorative balls. Could be fiber art, could be needlecraft, could be housewares. Hmmmm....where would you place me?

    4 years ago

  • 2RavenChicks

    2RavenChicks says:

    One of the most exciting aspects of Etsy is many of the Sellers will make custom items! It is so exciting to have a product made just for you! If I don't see what I want, I ask!

    4 years ago

  • jkldesign

    jkldesign says:

    Etsy is such an amazing place that always amazes me with finding items I did not even realize I wanted and needed. I just bought 2 fashion journals yesterday as a matter of fact that are exactly what I needed but could not find anything like it anywhere else.. LOVE it here for buying and selling!!

    4 years ago

  • artrageousclay

    artrageousclay says:

    I was looking for a leather fanny pack with 2 pockets and was unable to find one. I wear a fanny pack at art shows to hold my money so it is always with me. I had to finally go to Walmart and find one instead of having a great handmade one like I wanted.

    4 years ago

  • LavenderField

    LavenderField says:

    Yep, there's just about anything under the sun that I would need right here on Etsy!

    4 years ago

  • kadlubik

    kadlubik says:

    so much to see so little time!

    4 years ago

  • bonecalinda

    bonecalinda says:

    Great posts! It's hard for me to find my niche and stick with it. I'm constantly thinking of new ideas that I would love to make. I just don't think I can categorize my shop. I'm hoping to add new creations very soon. Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences and what you've been looking for! As for Etsy's site.. I personally hope that Relevancy comes back as a permanent default. As a buyer and a seller it's frustrating to search for a specific item and be bombarded with listings that are not relevant. I also would prefer to see Shipping as Shipping and Handling. I think some buyers assume that shipping represents postage alone. Lucilia

    4 years ago

  • happywhosits

    happywhosits says:

    Great article Vanessa! And what interesting comments! There was a great unicorn themed treasury a few weeks ago, which included our unicorn finger puppet! Handmadepretties and mfmapparel, I guess I would be interested the type of older child's toy you are looking for and can't find? We have hand puppets and finger puppets, both of which are great imagination toys for older kids. And there are other shops that have puppets too. What other kinds of toys are looking for? I think one reason you may not be seeing as many toys is due to CPSIA. Many artists/crafters just don't want to have to deal with the rules and regulations and possibility of legal hassles if deemed non-compliant. Eileen...

    4 years ago

  • GypsyIntent

    GypsyIntent says:

    If you want it and can't find it the contact someone who's work you like and ask them to do it. Easy. I believe Etsy has it and sometimes you just don't find it. Someone above was looking for peter pan shoes and said they couldn't find them, I know for a fact that there is a seller making the cutest felt elf shoes in a range of colors (sorry I can't remember your name, because I smurfing love your elf shoes) and Peter Pan wore elf shoes. We just have to be more creative in our searches and maybe a bit more patient if we have to use alchemy. Most people don't want plain white pj's for men or 'Peter Pan shoes' so we don't make them...but we would if you asked us to. I'll be laughing all day about the unicorn without irony concept. Does this even exist?

    4 years ago

  • SleyTheDent

    SleyTheDent says:

    What I see missing from Etsy is a category for handwovens. There are categories for knitting, quilting, crochet, embroidery, felting, pottery, and woodworking, but not handwovens. There are over 300 weavers with shops on Etsy. Where's the parity?

    4 years ago

  • ednabelle

    ednabelle says:

    Fun reading........but I have to assume it you didn't find it on Etsy you didn't try Custom Requests! :) Etsy has absolutely everything..........somewhere.

    4 years ago

  • CricketsCreations

    CricketsCreations says:

    I came up dry looking for throw pillows that have fabric sewn on one side to resemble 3-D rose petals! Celeste (Crickets)

    4 years ago

  • ItsBella

    ItsBella says:

    etsy is the most inspirational site...I am blown away by the talent showcased here.

    4 years ago

  • miniaturecrochet

    miniaturecrochet says:

    I took a nap whilist I was scrolling down to post my thought...lol..anywho1 etsy has made it possible for many of us to bestow upon the world our givin talents that maybe the world will in turn show their joy and help us achieve our goal as a successful business revolution...

    4 years ago

  • MorninGlorias

    MorninGlorias says:

    Can someone please make a "honey stick and tea bag" wallet? I'd love to carry my flavored honey sticks and MY CHOICE of tea to my college cafe, then just get a cup of hot water!

    4 years ago

  • MorninGlorias

    MorninGlorias says:

    NEVERMIND! hahaha...I just found one! Of course Etsy would have this! Well, maybe some more variety?

    4 years ago

  • TipsyTimeMachine

    TipsyTimeMachine says:

    Glad to see many requests for plus sized clothes, I am always looking as well. Plus sized vintage clothes are hard to find even at second hand stores, that's the way it's always been, which is why I often mix vintage men's clothes into my wardrobe. If more sellers were willing to make sizes 14-22 I think they would be surprised by the amount of customers they receive. Plus sized clothing can be more challenging to make and fit, which is probably why many sewers are not making these items. When I try on commercial made clothing the armholes are often to large, and what fits me in the waist and hips does not fit me in the chest. From reading the comments I realize that many people here don't realize that they can cut items(and even categories) out of their search, by putting a space and negative sign after the words they want to disclude. I do it all the time, and it really does cut down on the amount of listings you have to wade through. ex. SEARCH sweater -wool -silk -cardigan -supplies -jewelry -bags ex. SEARCH dress -tshirt -tee -sleeveless

    4 years ago

  • NaturalAmber

    NaturalAmber says:

    I have yet to be able to find one unusual thing I put into the Search Bar. I am amazed what people can create. Makes me love ETSY that much more, and all the wonderful sellers who are ETSY.

    4 years ago

  • Persiflage

    Persiflage says:

    Just ran across a romantical unicorn necktie on Toybreaker: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=39949625. Etsy rules.

    4 years ago

  • HibouCards

    HibouCards says:

    It's hard to believe that you actually cannot find everything you'd want on Etsy... Unicorns may be a new trend to catch up on though.... maybe I should make a plush unicorn! Thanks for all your sharing, it's always great to read the articles on the Storque! Cheers Hibou (an owl and recently sheep maker ;)

    4 years ago

  • Biologie

    Biologie says:

    Vanessa, Scrub Cap / SURGICAL Someone may have already mentioned this shop but just in case - here's a shop that takes custom orders and makes scrub hats for ladies. She's in my Favorites because I like the Perfect Fit Tie Back Caps (was going to get one a while back so thanks for reminding me!): THE HAT COTTAGE: http://www.etsy.com/shop/thehatcottage I've never ordered from here but seems like a great shop!

    4 years ago

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions says:

    Etsy is awesome!!

    4 years ago

  • greenTdesigns

    greenTdesigns says:

    There have been a few things that I was sure I could find and when I searched and searched and searched I came up with nothing. Then I either created an Alchemy and had the product made or contacted a seller who made a similar item and asked it they could make what I was needing. The sellers I've contacted said they enjoyed making my custome item. And hopefully they've gotten other sales from it as well.

    4 years ago

  • modernlogic

    modernlogic says:

    Great article! Thank you for sharing and everyone else for adding to it! I do believe adding a selection button of handmade/vintage is an excellent idea!

    4 years ago

  • Extacuy

    Extacuy says:

    Etsy is a great site to find a lot of hand crafted items, however I havent seen a lot of kites????

    4 years ago

  • magickalrealism

    magickalrealism says:

    Isn't alchemy around specifically to cover those gaps?

    4 years ago

  • TeaandSquirrels

    TeaandSquirrels says:

    I love buying birthday presents for people on Etsy because I know I am giving them something they aren't going to find just anywhere--I do ALL of my gift shopping on here!!! And I can find wierd things to suit my wierd friends, heehee!!!

    4 years ago

  • Biologie

    Biologie says:

    Oh! There can never be enough solar powered gadgets - I did a search and a lot of cool things and shops came up but not nearly enough in my humble opinion. :)

    4 years ago

  • MetroGypsy

    MetroGypsy says:

    EXACTLY! Me too! : ) ABoxForMyTreasure said: I'm at the opposite end of the scale - I keep finding things that I wasn't looking for in the first place and which I (all of a sudden) must have!

    4 years ago

  • Echoesofstars

    Echoesofstars says:

    Nursing bras. Especially CUTE nursing bras. There are a few listed, but the sizes and styles are limited.

    4 years ago

  • ambette

    ambette says:

    I was looking for some unique fish tank ornaments for my brother around Christmas. Couldn't find any on Etsy, and didn't want any of the lame tacky ones you find in pet stores. I think there's a real gap in the market for artistic and quirky fish-tank ornaments! I'd make them myself if I knew how!

    4 years ago

  • EOEjewelry

    EOEjewelry says:

    i was looking for button pearls. undrilled at 10mm.... :( couldnt find it, i guess i typed the wrong thing?

    4 years ago

  • nniki

    nniki says:

    handmade wallets (not vintage/upcycled) which have all the necessary pockets: coin purse, large pocket for bills, a clear pocket for photos, and at least 5 card pockets. i realise this may be a difficult thing to make... but shouldnt such a simple object be on etsy??

    4 years ago

  • BuggyD

    BuggyD says:

    I have been able to find everything that I was looking for as a buyer with the exception of a few gifts during the holidays for men, and teen boys. I know both can be hard to buy for, but trying to find unique gifts for them is tough!

    4 years ago

  • OkieJess

    OkieJess says:

    Two recent searches turned up next-to-nothing: the first was an engraved yellow gold necklace, like the little round discs you put your kiddos names on--result? zilch/nada. I found more than a few in silver/copper/gold fill *and the gold fill was few and far between too. The second search was for window valances or balloon valances for a child's bedroom or nursery...quite a few panels but nothing as far as the boutique style, layered with tassels? What gives?

    4 years ago

  • LastChantsStudio

    LastChantsStudio says:

    Would be really great to have a catagory for Spiritual? Sub. cats could be: Pagan/Wiccan, religeous, ceremonial, Tribal. I'm sure I left some out. I use ceramics, home decor for my basic tags and just doesn't fit. (BTW Ambette, some people use my fairy castles in their aquariums)

    4 years ago

  • Iammie

    Iammie says:

    Love this article ^^

    4 years ago

  • sighfoo

    sighfoo says:

    this has been mentioned several times, but i also have trouble finding dude stuff.

    4 years ago

  • billymac

    billymac says:

    the only thing I haven't been able to find on etsy (and it was a long stretch) was one of the original 'Cool Hand Luke' movie posters with Paul Newman - I was hoping to find it in the Vintage items. I ended up buying it from ebay and when it arrived it was (of course) a reproduction EEEK!!

    4 years ago

  • LizsWares

    LizsWares says:

    in response to darkwaterimages post on sea shells: I have a lot of shells that were picked up at Michigan lake. varying sizes. would there be any interest?

    4 years ago

  • petitefish

    petitefish says:

    I'm amazed at the unique children's items available on Etsy and Etsykids.com - forget Babies R'Us when you can get skull booties or felt owl mobiles or a necktie onesie. As unique as each kid on the planet.

    4 years ago

  • sisterbutterfly

    sisterbutterfly says:

    Etsy does have everything ; )

    4 years ago

  • eastendgirl1

    eastendgirl1 says:

    What I find is difficult to find on Etsy are the shops run by artisans internationally. Okay we have the globe thing but there are limited shops. I know there are more than what is listed because I accidentally found a shop in Turkey. What I would like is a section in sellers that addresses other countries so I don't have to type in the country name each time. Sometimes I don't have a particular item in mind but when I see it I want it!

    4 years ago

  • threepeats

    threepeats says:

    I don't think I've ever serached for anything on etsy where I didn't get at least one "hit"...provided I spelled my search terms correctly;)!

    4 years ago

  • threepeats

    threepeats says:

    BTW I did that misspelling in my last post on purpose!

    4 years ago

  • PhineasandLou

    PhineasandLou says:

    This was a tough questtion since Etsy has like EVERYTHING! I'm shopping today though and 2 things hit hit me...1) I would love more unique stuff for boys my sons age (7/8) and this sounds crazy but natural bath and body products in boys/kids packaging that isn't called/doesn't smell like berrytastic...a nice lavendar mint scent, for instance, but in a cool kid-friendly package.

    4 years ago

  • JulieKim

    JulieKim says:

    My sister and I do RAGBRAI every year (Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa.) We were looking for bike "jewelry." Not jewelry for us, but for our bikes (i.e. ribbons, flowers, festive what-not to attach to our bikes). Found lots of interesting bike items, but nothing like what we were looking for.

    4 years ago

  • punkytoedesigns

    punkytoedesigns says:

    I actually am looking for something I cannot find on Etsy!!! I am in need of a leather arm guard and archery glove. There are no archery accessories on Etsy!!! Help!

    4 years ago

  • damenandroscoe

    damenandroscoe says:

    I feel like there is an overabundance of jewelry, felted things, and art prints on etsy. Of course, everyone's items are a little different, so they all have a chance to do well. I've actually had trouble looking for clothing on etsy, once a bridesmaid dress and once a shirt. I find there are a lot of "statement pieces" which are over the top, and many many screen printed t-shirts, but not a lot of shirts and dresses that are just classic, basically simple with only a little bit of detail to make it special. Maybe I'm just too picky.

    4 years ago

  • alorinna

    alorinna says:

    I would like to see more clothes for very tall women - the only places to buy nice shirts/pajamas/ etc use crappy paper thin material that falls apart. Also, custom shoe makers - there is actually an decent audience for large size (like 14/15) casual flats. Women with Marfan's syndrome are very tall and thin with large hands and feet. It's almost impossible to find stuff for her. As for guy stuff - I sell stuff for geeky guys, but I don't know if I tag it right - what do you search for? I'd love to know what the search terms being used are. Cate

    4 years ago

  • NattyKnits

    NattyKnits says:

    I read the post and a lot of the comments then went away and had a good long think. I think what's missing is simple things. I know that as a maker I'm often so excited about the techniques and choice of just the right materials that I forget to keep designs simple. And like many others who have commented here I have spotted a niche, but find myself worrying that it exists only because no-one wants it. So do people shop on Etsy for simple things or are they looking for something wild, crazy, statement, interesting, ooak etc?

    4 years ago

  • LilianEveDesigns

    LilianEveDesigns says:

    I saw that some other people have commented on SPELL CHECK:)...I feel so bad when I see spelling errors in listings...it makes me cringe! If you're talking about actual items included in Etsy listings...I think there are so many things here it unfathomable:)! Love, LilianEveDesigns http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vl_other_2&listing_id=41112183

    4 years ago

  • rokidd

    rokidd says:

    I am new to this so I may not be aware, if it already exists. Could there be a section on Etsy where crafts people list supplies that they are having trouble finding? I am currently looking for 28mm acrylic beads in the primary colours. I want them BIG, ROUND AND SHINY and I don't seem to be able to find them anywhere.

    4 years ago

  • rayela

    rayela says:

    I would like to be able to represent 3rd world artists. I sell ethnic textiles and have to stick to vintage or supplies because Etsy's rules don't allow me to re-sell new work made by other people that I don't know personally (even though I see similar things being sold by other people all the time who are breaking the rules...). It just really bothers me that if someone sews a button on to something it's considered craft, but that those of us who would like to support people who don't have computer skills or access to larger markets can't do that here on Etsy.

    4 years ago

  • merz4u

    merz4u says:

    I have been amazed and continually will be with the etsy community and their crafty ideas. I have not seen any niche unturned... however i am only new and may one day... i did the other day search for skulls on etsy and the results were fairly limited most images were related to day of the dead and sugar skulls, where i was looking for particularly skate street inspired work here... i think those areas are a bit limited but will try to look further... if anyone knows of a great shop that features skate, street work please let me know... Cheers

    4 years ago

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice says:

    couldn't find: ---->a warm weather vintage winter jacket (chicago is COLD) ---->a wedding dress (only a few options and most pushing 1K) ---->ugly/cute troll doll (don't ask, it was a gift)

    4 years ago

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice says:

    rjcharms said: I have a hard time finding gifts for my husband... ordinary non-indie/metro guys is that a niche? *lol* ----------- hahahaha! i know what you mean

    4 years ago

  • vintagemaison

    vintagemaison says:

    DON'T do bland - other sites cover bland very well.

    4 years ago

  • ToppaTheLine

    ToppaTheLine says:

    I'd like to see the ability to know what a sold item sold for on Etsy. This may not be a big thing for sellers of original creative goods where there is nothing to compare them with but for those of us who are selling similar items like a needlework booklet for example, it would be a tremendous help to know the ballpark price others like it have sold for so I know what to charge. I don't really know what these are inherently worth and I don't want to overcharge but I don't want to give it away either.

    4 years ago

  • blainedesign

    blainedesign says:

    The only thing that's "missing" for me on Etsy is a solid, industrial-strength SEARCH feature (think Amazon). I think Etsy is a miracle, but I often feel I don't have a good way of finding what I'm looking for, and that therefore I might be "missing" something wonderful. To be very honest with you, I think SEARCH is strategic for Etsy. If you got the very best people to work on it and the very best technology, it would pay for itself right away. Sellers and buyers really want it. Other than that, Etsy transcends anything I could have ever imagined.

    4 years ago

  • gogobadger

    gogobadger says:

    One of the great things about etsy sellers is that many of them welcome custom order inquiries. So far, I've had good buying experiences by asking to have something customized for me when I'm looking for something just a bit different than what I see listed. I love etsy :)

    4 years ago

  • Kongsmom

    Kongsmom says:

    I guess being disappointed at a purchase I made not long ago, that basically advertised as vintage shoes, but really was a pair of worn out yard sale shoes. I thought Etsy was "handmade" or "vintage?"

    4 years ago

  • jalinde

    jalinde says:

    I'm going to the burningman festival in September and did a search for burningman. I didn't think I would find anything, but I did! Etsy has everything. I do mean every-thing.

    4 years ago

  • delightfuldaisy

    delightfuldaisy says:

    Yes, etsy is quite unique!

    4 years ago

  • merinette

    merinette says:

    She knows it's spelled 'disappointed', right?... is that the point?... I don't get it.

    4 years ago

  • julessabjewelry

    julessabjewelry says:

    I have to agree with MissIndie - I find so many unique and original things here on Etsy, it's hard to imagine it's missing anything. Believe me, I'm searching all the time and seem to find exactly what I'm looking for.

    4 years ago

  • cheever

    cheever says:

    Don't get me wrong, I love Etsy, but I just wish there were more Etsy Finds that feature male sellers/crafters/stores and male items. There have to be some men who are members, sellers on here--why aren't they spotlighted as much as the women? And of course some are husband and wife teams. Yes, there are occasionally items for men in the Etsy Finds, but I don't think I've ever seen an entire email dedicated to just men (except for on Father's Day). Certainly there are more women on this site, but it would be cool to see men represented a little more. Ok, off my soapbox now. Etsy, I still love you.

    4 years ago

  • oyster

    oyster says:

    One of the most insightful (while managing to be short-but-sweet) Storque entries!

    4 years ago