Shop Etsy

We Swap: A Place to Trade What You Make for What You Want

Aug 5, 2010

by phlaznatch

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Jillian_bio.jpgJillian Moore, a.k.a. phlaznatch, currently maintains a home studio in Iowa City, IA, where she completed her MFA in Jewelry and Metal Arts at the University of Iowa in 2008. Her work combines mixed media techniques with traditional metalsmithing to create sculptural, wearable objects. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and she is a regular contributor to the Art Jewelry Forum.

For makers, collecting can be a dangerous addiction. It’s hard to justify buying another artist’s work if you’re barely making ends meet selling your own, and trading can be a great way to solve this problem when you can work out the logistics. The dance between two makers trying to arrange a trade can be many things — thrilling when someone you really admire contacts you for a trade, awkward when someone wants a piece that you’d really prefer to sell, and frustrating if the value of the pieces on the table feel out of balance. I’ve experienced all of the above scenarios, and I’d like to think I’ve navigated alright so far. I’ve come away with some amazing work from artists I really admire, and I’m proud of my fledgling collection.  

For those suffering from anxiety over “losing” merchandise in a trade, try to remember that a piece that finds a good home can become very good advertising. More importantly, you’ll get a piece in exchange that will connect you to another person forever. Of course, if you aren’t into the piece that’s been offered, don’t feel obligated to trade. Brush up on your etiquette and politely decline — or else the piece you end up with will just be a constant reminder of what a milquetoast you were.

Multiple avenues have been created through which to perform a trade. I’ve been part of two group exchanges organized through Flickr. The first was built around the “Secret Santa” model. (For those of you unfamiliar, names are cross-matched so that no one does a one-to-one trade and the person you will receive your “gift” from is a surprise.) I sent my piece to a jewelry maker in Turkey, and I was very lucky to receive a piece from a jeweler I had admired for some time, and the piece I received — a necklace made from disassembled colored pencils, resin, and wood — was amazing.

Before_After.jpg
Unfinished pieces by Liz Steiner, and the transformed results by Jillian

The second exchange was more akin to an exquisite corpse project, though with only one level of removal. Makers selected an unfinished piece from their studio and mailed it to their assigned artist, so each participant received an incomplete item. We all finished the elements in whatever fashion we saw fit, and mailed them back to the original maker. This swap was more challenging, but also more rewarding. I received several unfinished electroformed and enameled elements from Liz Steiner, along with a lovely note. She was familiar with my work and very excited, so the pressure was on! It took me a while to resolve the pieces I was sent, but was glad when they all came together and returned them to Liz. My unfinished piece was sent to Emily Watson, the Swap organizer, and I was thrilled with the result.

 

We_Swap_ScreenShot.jpg

Example lisitng from We Swap; earrings by Arina Antonova

It’s true that instigating such an arrangement can be as uncomfortable as a blind date, but now there’s a new site that makes it a little more like speed dating. We Swap was founded by Etsy members Uloni and JuliAni, who began their friendship with a trade after mutual Etsy admiration. They decided there must be other Etsy users and makers out there who would want the same opportunity, so they created We Swap, a universal swap hub for makers of all kinds. Though both founders are based in Hamburg, Germany, the swaps are open to artists around the world. I decided to try out this new site and see what the results were.

We_Swap_crocheted_necklace.jpg

Crocheted necklace by Uloni

I chose a brooch I made (pictured at the top) that I thought would make a good swap piece, and followed their listing procedure on the site. Swappers can stipulate what they’re looking for, so I said that I wanted another piece of art jewelry in return. When a piece is listed for a swap, others watching the site can propose what they have on offer with photos of their items. It’s particularly exciting to watch offers rack up, and I can see how the whole process could become addictive. I decided on swapping for a crocheted necklace by Uloni that I just happened to have had my eye on for a couple of months. We both covered the cost of shipping, which isn’t too much to ask when you’re getting a covetable piece of work from a maker who lives halfway across the globe!

 I hope the introduction to these forms of swapping will encourage others to try and see what happens.

**Please note: Etsy does not have any formal rules for trading in our marketplace, but we do have some basic guidelines that will help keep both sellers involved in a trade transaction within Etsy’s policies. Read them here.

Have you organized any swaps? Tell us about it in the comments below.

How to Throw Your Own Craft Night | Art Jewelry on Etsy

218 comments

  • jbeaudet

    jbeaudet said 7 years ago

    That's funny! I just had my first convo for a trade this morning. I would have liked to do it but really need the $ right now and am moving so I'm trying to get rid of a lot. It was very flattering though, and I hope to stay in touch with her!:)

  • grimmandgrete

    grimmandgrete said 7 years ago

    Something to think about!

  • buysomelove

    buysomelove said 7 years ago

    oh wow! thanks for sharing. LOOOOVE the kimono studs!

  • PreciousMeshes

    PreciousMeshes said 7 years ago

    I love to trade for awesome Etsy stuff! I've traded my jewelry pieces for art, bags, and more jewelry, of course. Soon: a stencil to decorate my front door!

  • SusanFaye

    SusanFaye said 7 years ago

    We Swap is a great idea! The hard part is always the dilemma of "politely declining" when needed...

  • cookoutsidethebox

    cookoutsidethebox said 7 years ago

    great! i love trading too!!

  • DanceLikeIts1492

    DanceLikeIts1492 said 7 years ago

    What a great idea for an Etsy shopaholic like myself! I can't wait to try it out! Thanks for sharing!

  • LuRuUniques

    LuRuUniques said 7 years ago

    Hmmmmmmm, Very interesting, will think about this. Thanks

  • PreciousMeshes

    PreciousMeshes said 7 years ago

    Ah yes, politely declining. I have usually been the one to initiate the idea of a swap when I see something I want. When someone contacts me and I'm not interested, I usually just say that I'm not in the market for something like that, although it is very nice. :)

  • dollybirdboutique

    dollybirdboutique said 7 years ago

    This sounds like a really good idea, I would be up for it. x x

  • tastesorangey

    tastesorangey said 7 years ago

    Thanks so much for sharing this...there are so many things I like and want to swap for, but am never sure of how to approach the situation, and it's so awesome that you guys have created a venue for it!!

  • paperholiday

    paperholiday said 7 years ago

    I haven't done a swap yet. I have really wanted to but don't want to get rejected by whoever I ask. Thanks for the advice and info in this article.

  • LittleMissDressUp

    LittleMissDressUp said 7 years ago

    Should be great for the Christmas season!!!!

  • 3squares

    3squares said 7 years ago

    great information! i'm off to check out the groups mentioned. thanks so much!

  • bylynnkrestel

    bylynnkrestel said 7 years ago

    we have had several swaps with our vancouver etsy meet ups...what a great way to get to know and understand other artists!!

  • HennessyHandbags

    HennessyHandbags said 7 years ago

    Yes .. WTFsupplies here on etsy organized a swap, I believe she was inspired by the Christmas in July idea and there are several people following her posts on the crit forums. She gives hilariously funny crits that everybody loves. I traded a special item like ones listed in my shop to trade with someone that will send me something. We're going to share about what we got on her blog http://www.wtfetsy.com/2010/07/wtf-christmas-in-july.html

  • jessjamesjake

    jessjamesjake said 7 years ago

    I love trading! What a fun Storque article!

  • eastbaycalifornia

    eastbaycalifornia said 7 years ago

    I want to trade all the time but its so rare that anyone feels the same way! Thank you for posting this article! Trade with me!!!

  • TiCi

    TiCi said 7 years ago

    i just traded for a beautiful cowl!

  • KettleConfections

    KettleConfections said 7 years ago

    Going to trade in some of my Nougat candies for succulent plants with another fellow Etsian in a few weeks- looking forward to that, and more trades in the future :)

  • SensoryFelteds

    SensoryFelteds said 7 years ago

    I had someone contact me and we did the swap. Worked out very well! I think it's a great idea!

  • KellysBath

    KellysBath said 7 years ago

    I just recently began getting contacted for swaps, interesting that I see this article soon after! We Swap sounds really neat. I do remember that sales come first though :) trading can definitely can get addicting!

  • nowonder

    nowonder said 7 years ago

    I love shopping and this sounds like a cool way to do it!! Would like some jwelery!

  • SimplyByBex

    SimplyByBex said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the interesting info :) certainly don't mind giving a swap a try.

  • blushingpixie

    blushingpixie said 7 years ago

    Thanks for this! I have never traded before but now find myself interested and even a little excited about what I could trade for! I think it is a great way to get a lovely hand crafted item and to know that someone is also appreciating something I made as well. I will definitely be open to trades in the future!

  • sweetjane

    sweetjane said 7 years ago

    Swapping is a great option! Thanks for the reminder!

  • DanaCastle

    DanaCastle said 7 years ago

    I've done some trades here on Etsy, and have been very happy with them. I saw a little blurb about this on the forums early this morning, and am so glad I saw this article! :)

  • GlassCube

    GlassCube said 7 years ago

    When I first started on etsy I used trading for a couple of reasons: One, to get my name out there and to boost my sale numbers, and two to see how other etsians were shipping their products. Just recently I initiated a trade with a complimentary product. We now use each other's pieces in our photos and put in a good word on our item descriptions for the other shop. It's a great promotional idea.

  • LuBluDesigns

    LuBluDesigns said 7 years ago

    I really never would have thought of that. Great idea!

  • graycat26

    graycat26 said 7 years ago

    I love trading too! Thanks for this article; very interesting!

  • juliani

    juliani said 7 years ago

    Thank you :) And everybody is more then welcome at We-Swap! JuliAni

  • emetalworks

    emetalworks said 7 years ago

    GREAT article!

  • poplovedesigns

    poplovedesigns said 7 years ago

    I LOVE the whole swap-concept, I used to not buy things because I'd always think "I could make that"... but then I never would. Happy swapping! <3 Andrea

  • CheekyVintageCloset

    CheekyVintageCloset said 7 years ago

    Great article, thanks:)

  • chettibeads

    chettibeads said 7 years ago

    Say, how do you swap on Etsy without committing fee avoidance? I've heard that you can mark down both items to a penny, for example, but . . . See what I mean?

  • dorkorama99

    dorkorama99 said 7 years ago

    What a great article, full of cool ideas. Several local artists, and I had a craft fair/swap at Christmas time and we all left with our Xmas shopping done, and loads of beautiful handmade items for gifts. Rock on with the trades!

  • JetWhitePonytail

    JetWhitePonytail said 7 years ago

    Always up for a good trade

  • LeafandInk

    LeafandInk said 7 years ago

    What a fantastic way to barter! Come check us out at LeafandInk and see what creative things we are up to here in Portland Oregon USA! Check out our new blog too at http://leafandink.wordpress.com/ SUBSCRIBE and become a part of our LeafandInk family!!! We cant wait to meet you!

  • alittlemomento

    alittlemomento said 7 years ago

    Barter, baby.

  • Texangypsy

    Texangypsy said 7 years ago

    i LOVE this idea...any sales from me basically go right back into other etsy items anyways. :)

  • VeronicaRStudio

    VeronicaRStudio said 7 years ago

    I have swapped with another lovely Etsy artist and it was a great experience. I have two paintings that hang beside my computer desk and she got some new jewelry.

  • Fnine

    Fnine said 7 years ago

    thank you for including my sunflower brooch...i am waiting to swap one of my bracelet on the site...go and take a look:)

  • classyladyjen

    classyladyjen said 7 years ago

    That is a great idea! I love it.

  • loisb49

    loisb49 said 7 years ago

    I always end up "swapping" at the close of a craft show. That is how I come up with a variety of hand crafted items to give as Christmas gifts. I think friends and family really enjoy their unique gifts!

  • RefinedRubbishLLC

    RefinedRubbishLLC said 7 years ago

    This is a really cool idea, I've considered it, just didn't really know if it was acceptable. I'm glad to have more info on the subject! I would love to try this idea out! Thank you!

  • GemmaBeads

    GemmaBeads said 7 years ago

    I've traded much on Etsy. It's wonderful for Christmas and birthday shopping. It's important not be offended if someone declines though. I wouldn't want to trade just for the sake of trading but if both of us can fill a need or desire. In rough economic times, sometimes our talents are our best currency.

  • chinmayo

    chinmayo said 7 years ago

    Barter Fair ?on line ... sounds good to me . Be sure to know what you are willing to barter while keeping in mind what you need.

  • AdventurousRabbit

    AdventurousRabbit said 7 years ago

    I love the idea of making swaps with other shops and didn't realize it was so popular! Thanks for the info.

  • sheilalikestoknit

    sheilalikestoknit said 7 years ago

    Great idea! Stop by my shop at take a look. Also, I just started a blog @ http://sheilazachariae.blogspot.com if anyone would like to be my first visitor, it would be appreciated! Sheila

  • TheClosetStudio

    TheClosetStudio said 7 years ago

    I've never done a trade before. But I'm interested and curious at the same time!!!

  • DEJAVUoldandnew

    DEJAVUoldandnew said 7 years ago

    I love swapping! What a great way to support each other and be able to enjoy others art at the same time! We need to do it more often! dejavuoldandnew.etsy.com

  • CatsJammies

    CatsJammies said 7 years ago

    Great idea, will try it!

  • Maulani

    Maulani said 7 years ago

    Swap yes! Craft swap is fuunnn! But haven't done craft swap before with etsy member. I'd like to have one someday! I'm very happy that i finally manage to open my shop here.

  • BellaPuzzles

    BellaPuzzles said 7 years ago

    I didn't know about these formal swap methods. Thank you so much for bringing them to my attention. I look forward to trying it!

  • wiltonartisans

    wiltonartisans said 7 years ago

    Loved this article! Can't wait to submit something for a swap!

  • akcArt

    akcArt said 7 years ago

    This has been one of my FAVORITE articles! I like the secret santa idea, but I also liked the last swap idea! Very interesting, thanks for sharing!

  • designlab443

    designlab443 said 7 years ago

    sounds like a great site... off to check it out now!

  • treasurebooth

    treasurebooth said 7 years ago

    How neat is that! We Swap sounds really cool. I wonder if people are interested in trading for supplies too? Or maybe it's only for handmade stuff. Either way, very neat :)

  • naiveglow

    naiveglow said 7 years ago

    I have done several trades and gotten some great friends out of it! Thanks for introducing We Swap, I will have to check it out!

  • AZdreamdolls

    AZdreamdolls said 7 years ago

    I've done one swap and I've got two more in progress. My first swap was a 18" doll dress in exchange for three doll sized crochet headbands and a card set. Not a bad trade at all. My newest trades I'm making dresses for two sweet young women, in exchange for a sweater (maybe two) from one girl and 2 dozen coffee filter roses from the other. So far I have really loved doing these trades and I'd love to continue to trade more in future!

  • aistheta

    aistheta said 7 years ago

    Trading is a great way to get something you want, but can’t justify buying. As a graphic designer I have used this to get beautiful stones for jewelry I made. The stones were much more than I would have been willing to pay... one was $150 and other $55. I was just learning metalsmithing and could not bring myself to spend that kind of money, but I just loved the stones. The owner of the store and I worked out a deal. I got the stones, plus a few less expensive stones to practice with and she got some design work done that she has been wanting to have done. It was a win-win situation. The idea of swapping unfinished projects sounds like a fun challenge. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  • LilacsAndGinger

    LilacsAndGinger said 7 years ago

    What a great idea--such a fun way to meet new artists and spread the word about your shop!

  • kaylovesvintage

    kaylovesvintage said 7 years ago

    I love swapping

  • localevintage

    localevintage said 7 years ago

    I have had great experiences with trades on etsy! I got goods and services that I would have not been able to afford and the other parties seem to be just as satisfied. i always consider a request for a trade, but if its not financially the right time to do one I think that people understand. It never hurts to ask and put it out there!

  • jerseymaids

    jerseymaids said 7 years ago

    trading is a fabulous way to not only get items you want, but make great friends over the web! there are a few trade groups on etsy here, the biggest being the tradeaholics group: http://team.etsy.com/profilest/trades.shtml forums also have a lot of people looking for stuff. bartering is great! :)

  • ikabags

    ikabags said 7 years ago

    What a fun Storque article! And such a great idea !

  • Earthystyle

    Earthystyle said 7 years ago

    agreed...great idea!

  • amandajphotos

    amandajphotos said 7 years ago

    Great timing on this! I've recently begun to initiate trades for my Christmas shopping, and I find it opens up my possibilities a great deal. I can suddenly get a $40 item for the cost of printing and shipping my photography; which, though I don't bring home any cash, sure saves me some! As for politely declining, I would MUCH rather have someone say no than be left to wonder! I've heard things like, "I can't afford to right now," and, "You have some nice things, but nothing that screams 'me'". No matter the response, just don't take it personally, and be polite, and even if you don't get your trade, you may make a new friend! Those of you who've offered in your comments may be hearing from me soon!

  • SEOWebDesign

    SEOWebDesign said 7 years ago

    I love trade and barter - it has been a part if my business for the past four years. Trade and barter was crucial in the survival of my small business when the recession suddenly hit in October 2008. I recommend it highly.

  • MiniCyn

    MiniCyn said 7 years ago

    Oh dangerous grounds!! I wanna trade too :)

  • 2yellowbirds

    2yellowbirds said 7 years ago

    Love the idea. Come trade with me!!

  • Jusadreamin

    Jusadreamin said 7 years ago

    Something to think about THANKS

  • birdievalleyvintage

    birdievalleyvintage said 7 years ago

    I've traded several items here on Etsy, I love it. I hardly feel bad if I am turned down, cause it never hurts to ask!

  • BlueRibbonJewelry

    BlueRibbonJewelry said 7 years ago

    I would love to trade and barter on etsy....didn't know we could do that. I do some trading at the shows I attend. I love to support other struggling artists when my budget allows by buying their creations but times have been tough lately. Convo me if you want to trade. I try to give hearts to all the cool stuff I find but time does not allow me to peruse etsy like I would like to AND create my own stuff so talk to me.

  • wontonlove

    wontonlove said 7 years ago

    I waaaannaaaaaaaaaaa swap NOW !!! Will join when I wake... it is now 12:39am zzz zz z

  • teedle

    teedle said 7 years ago

    Swapping is wonderful!

  • KMalinka

    KMalinka said 7 years ago

    great article

  • BonitaBellita

    BonitaBellita said 7 years ago

    I've done a few trades on Etsy as well... I've always had a good experiance, and it is great to be able to barter instead of spend myself broke. I'm always open when people ask me!

  • opheliasapothecary

    opheliasapothecary said 7 years ago

    i've been a part of several fabulous trades.... i need practice though, at declining gracefully. i tend to have a hard time letting peeps down easy...:(

  • flashbackintime

    flashbackintime said 7 years ago

    My announcement states that I trade too. I have made several great swaps with other Etsy sellers. It does not hurt to ask to barter. There is nothing to lose, except the answer, "No." Trading adds to the fun on Etsy. It is wonderful to meet other sellers that way.

  • andiespecialtysweets

    andiespecialtysweets said 7 years ago

    I love trading/bartering! I appreciate the mindfulness of Etsy contributors in our currant economic climate.

  • kathecuervo

    kathecuervo said 7 years ago

    This is great!! I am already making something to trade!

  • SuePsales

    SuePsales said 7 years ago

    I can't wait to look into this, thank-you for writing about your swap adventures.

  • Emmamaha

    Emmamaha said 7 years ago

    Cool idea:) Glad that there's finally a more trade-friendly public forum we can go to. Thanks, ladies:)

  • slimdgm

    slimdgm said 7 years ago

    I love to trade. I trade with other artists all the time. It's such a great way to meet other sellers and even further the exposure for your own shop.

  • DStullsCreations

    DStullsCreations said 7 years ago

    marking

  • NGjewelry

    NGjewelry said 7 years ago

    amazing what we can find reading The Storque! have to check out this site! it sounds so interesting...

  • Nachokitty

    Nachokitty said 7 years ago

    I had another etsy user contact me to swap vintage items. It had never occurred to me. Glad I did it! Exchanged a vintage milk bottle for an old stencil set in a wooden box. Neat!

  • passingtimeandchimes

    passingtimeandchimes said 7 years ago

    Interesting! I've never thought about trading before but I'm certainly open to the possibility. Could be fun!

  • TandokunoGurl

    TandokunoGurl said 7 years ago

    I like this idea. I am gonna check it out and see how it pans out. Thanks for sharing.

  • StarRedesigns

    StarRedesigns said 7 years ago

    Love trading! So far, my trades have worked out, my most recent being a trade initiated by someone interested in one of my fishbowls! I picked out some vintage wooden bowls of theirs and to be honest, I think I got the better end of the deal. ;) I'm hoping my new product line will be more swapable than fishbowls and vases.. Haha.

  • owlbot

    owlbot said 7 years ago

    I've done some lovely swaps on Etsy, especially when I first opened my shop. Great way to meet new people and gain some fantastic items!

  • polkadotshop

    polkadotshop said 7 years ago

    Sounds like fun! I might have to do this.

  • NoFrump

    NoFrump said 7 years ago

    I love trading! I have a beautiful necklace from my last swap! :)

  • TheJewelBox1

    TheJewelBox1 said 7 years ago

    Tradng is very interesting, but money is sweet.

  • KiKiBowns

    KiKiBowns said 7 years ago

    What a cool idea! Thank you for sharing.

  • JessOlejniczak

    JessOlejniczak said 7 years ago

    I do make-up & beauty product reviews on my very well known YOUTUBE page. I have roughly 39,000 subscriber's that watch my reviews. Also write Blogs on my Myspace. I usually review "brand name" products. But, I wanna start getting people who need iit & stand by their products. Anyone interested in sendings testers or items and dont mind basicly me promoting your products. I'll stick to 1 person per a week. I used to be a make-up/ beauty representative. But PROMOTION is a key factor... Message me back here or serious business inquires email JessOlejniczak@gmail.com. Thanks for your time & anxious to get promoting your work..... -Jess

  • StudioCybele

    StudioCybele said 7 years ago

    Very interesting

  • OpulentOddities

    OpulentOddities said 7 years ago

    I take payment in form of antiques, handmade awesomeness, MO, Paypal, and neck rubs.

  • trinketsandbeaus

    trinketsandbeaus said 7 years ago

    Honestly, I never thought about it...but I will now!

  • ArtistBeingHuman

    ArtistBeingHuman said 7 years ago

    Tee hee, you said milquetoast. Hadn't heard that one in a while.

  • Alaroycreature

    Alaroycreature said 7 years ago

    HAHA i wanna do a trade sooo baad!!!!

  • cobaltbluedragon

    cobaltbluedragon said 7 years ago

    What a great idea, anyone is welcome to come and have a look see. Trading is fun!

  • SoPreshDesigns

    SoPreshDesigns said 7 years ago

    Such a great idea - I have to try it!!

  • Ottoman

    Ottoman said 7 years ago

    Oooooh! Clever! And, oh the potential!

  • VirgoDesigns

    VirgoDesigns said 7 years ago

    I've never even considered the idea of swapping. What a great idea!

  • PhantomNayru

    PhantomNayru said 7 years ago

    Trading is a great way to make new friends and make connections-- ask questions and get advice. I love doing it (: Working on a couple as I type this!

  • whiletheyplay

    whiletheyplay said 7 years ago

    trading + etsy = FUN!!!! :)

  • EllenKatherine

    EllenKatherine said 7 years ago

    I've never traded before, but I would really love to! I think I'm going to check this out...

  • Beadymonkey

    Beadymonkey said 7 years ago

    I have been trading for a while now and have always enjoyed it! I am so happy to see this and I hope more feel encouraged to give trading a try.

  • jenni4k

    jenni4k said 7 years ago

    thats such a great idea! I'm always hearting objects by artists that I would love to purchase...if I only had the money :) I love the idea of a trade

  • appleblossomfl

    appleblossomfl said 7 years ago

    Yay for trading! I've gotten so much wonderful stuff!!!

  • michellesthisandthat

    michellesthisandthat said 7 years ago

    be careful who you trade with there are a few shops on here that do not actually send anything. I was burned on a trade after she got her package from me she stoped answering convos or emails. I did come to find that she has done this many many times before under different shop names. After she gets called out for not sending what was promised she closes up shop and starts another one to do the same thing

  • whimhandmadejewelry

    whimhandmadejewelry said 7 years ago

    I never knew it was possible to trade on Etsy! This is brilliant; I admire pieces that I see in so many artists' shops, but I feel as if I can't afford to purchase them directly! I love this idea -- I may have to see if I could trade some of my own jewelry for other artists' jewelry! On a side note, I am from the same city as this author -- Iowa City, Iowa! It's a very crafty little city!

  • AveryLane

    AveryLane said 7 years ago

    I have had such positive experiences from trading! I cannot knit hats for my daughter who just LOVES knitted hats, so I am always so happy to trade for wonderful knitted goods.

  • bottlehood

    bottlehood said 7 years ago

    In May, I approached an etsy artist for three of her illustrations in return for a set of any tumblers of her choosing... she selected the one time posting of mixed cervezas! It was a great switcheroo experience. And a couple of years ago with another repurposed account that I have, I was approached by an etsy ceramic artist for some of my goods! I absolutely love trading with other creative artists!

  • frenchtoastfriday

    frenchtoastfriday said 7 years ago

    this sounds like a lot of fun. i'd love to trade :)

  • ThingsUnseen

    ThingsUnseen said 7 years ago

    I am glad that so many people agreed that swapping is a good idea. My personal opinion will be that most of the time, I feel that swapping is better than buying. Win win situation as long as you communicate. Great Post!!!

  • RedBracelet

    RedBracelet said 7 years ago

    lovely projects and lovely admins curated it!

  • Essentialtoyourown

    Essentialtoyourown said 7 years ago

    Ooooo...anyone want to trade? It is like PIF a bit but you are getting something in return right away!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 7 years ago

    Doing a swap is a great idea I've met so many artisans I love on etsy! I'd only hope they'd enjoy my pieces as much as I like theirs.

  • Nishale

    Nishale said 7 years ago

    I love trading! Love this place for finding other lovely artists with common loves!

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 7 years ago

    Sounds like a great idea! I make bridal veils and fascinators, but my photogtaphy skills need help! I think I'll check out the trading right now, thanks for this article, I didn't know something like this even existed!

  • pompomdesign

    pompomdesign said 7 years ago

    Superclever idea!I'm going to try it soon!

  • ItzliDesigns

    ItzliDesigns said 7 years ago

    Huh, to think I never of doing a trade before, what a great idea for those of us who covet other Etsy sellers and their goods =) Anyone want to trade? Come by my shop and check it out.

  • EastwoodArt

    EastwoodArt said 7 years ago

    What a fantastic idea! I admire so many works done by the talented artists on Etsy. I liked the idea of swapping for gifts & .... Jillian .... you did such beautiful work on the unfinished jewellery.

  • UmmaThreads

    UmmaThreads said 7 years ago

    I love swapping/bartering/trading whatever name you may use for it. That's how I get a good amount of my own notions, even my banner was a swap. It's an excellent way to get your shop off the ground for little to nothing.... now just to pull in some sales, humm. Thanks for the WE SWAP link, I'll be signing up to that pretty soon.

  • LoveandLust

    LoveandLust said 7 years ago

    As if I needed another addiction...

  • bittersweetdesign

    bittersweetdesign said 7 years ago

    I buy from other Etsians - so why not trade? What a great way to get other artists' work - through our oldest form of commerce - bartering! Thanks for the info.

  • VelveteenHabbit

    VelveteenHabbit said 7 years ago

    One of my first sales was a trade and I loved what I got!!! Now I state that if you find my prices too high, consider a best offer, a multi sale discount or trade!! It is fun!!!!

  • myhobbyshop

    myhobbyshop said 7 years ago

    I did several trades this past weekend & I got some really awesome things. I love it. Its a wonderful way to meet some really awesome people and get to shop :-)

  • BayMoonDesign

    BayMoonDesign said 7 years ago

    I love the idea of trading. I also think that the idea of using each other's pieces in photos and putting in a good word on an item descriptions for the other shop is a great promotional idea. Check out my shop. Perhaps you have a trade in mind.

  • BeesAndTrees

    BeesAndTrees said 7 years ago

    I've done some trades (as melissakate) and it's really fun. I also love the exquisite corpse idea. Trees and I were trying to work up a plan like that over the summer for some art trades, but we moved and it never got off the ground. Maybe this article will spur me in the right direction!

  • battysbath

    battysbath said 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your swapping story :) I swap every now and then on swap-bot and usually sign up for the handmade surprise swaps.... it's like Christmas morning when your goodies arrive :)

  • LaughingMoonCreation

    LaughingMoonCreation said 7 years ago

    Great article. I trade/swap all the time. In fact I traded yesterday for a beautiful pottery piece for a necklace. It is exactly like the article says. You might not be able to afford to or justify buying something for yourself but a trade is a great way to get amazing creations from other artists in the same position. I've traded for all sorts of things including my local salon traded me for some custom creations and I received beauty treatments. It's a guilty pleasure and so fun. Thanks for the article. Nice to know I am not alone.

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 7 years ago

    Interesting Great read

  • patsdesign

    patsdesign said 7 years ago

    thanks.. for sharing I also swap and have met some great people from all over..

  • perebags

    perebags said 7 years ago

    really great article

  • DefiantCreations

    DefiantCreations said 7 years ago

    I LOVE the idea of trading items! Most of my money, especially this time I year when I'm trying to get ready for craft show season & the holidays, goes back into creating products, but I see so many amazing things that I bookmark for when I will (hopefully) have extra cash. Trading is a great solution!!!! Anyone out there want to trade?

  • waterfordbaglady

    waterfordbaglady said 7 years ago

    I had someone contact me for a swap, and I looovveee my new necklace!!! I would definately do it again!

  • thecupcakecoalition

    thecupcakecoalition said 7 years ago

    we swap free advertisement to promote you for a product to review! http://thecupcakecoalition.blogspot.com <3

  • tweal

    tweal said 7 years ago

    Very cool, I had not even thought of swapping products, but I love the idea!

  • Chandeluse

    Chandeluse said 7 years ago

    It's a good idea. I had an offer the other day, but did not want anything from their store, that's a complication. P.s. there is a small doughnut on your shirt.

  • megscreations

    megscreations said 7 years ago

    Love this idea!

  • TheVenusCollection

    TheVenusCollection said 7 years ago

    I love trading! I used to have a client who would trade art supplies for paintings that she then sold in her shop.

  • RomanceCatsAndWhimsy

    RomanceCatsAndWhimsy said 7 years ago

    Fun article! :)

  • discomedusa

    discomedusa said 7 years ago

    oh, yes- etsy has been a great swapping ground! (in-person shows, as well!) great jewelry picks!

  • quiteclever

    quiteclever said 7 years ago

    This is a fabulous idea! Another fab idea: http://www.craftybookclub.com

  • Twinsjewels

    Twinsjewels said 7 years ago

    Hi, I would love to trade. I am afraid of rejections, so I don't usually ask. I have jewelry pieces that are not on my shop.

  • MoniCandles

    MoniCandles said 7 years ago

    great info! :)

  • pasin

    pasin said 7 years ago

    Great information and great idea Thank you for sharing.

  • BeckLeeCottage

    BeckLeeCottage said 7 years ago

    Love IT! I used to be massage therapist and I traded for everything from ballet lessons for my daughter to car repairs. great idea. I am ready to trade

  • GemsandDolls

    GemsandDolls said 7 years ago

    Tradeaholic here! I do all of my gifting this way!

  • MothHouse

    MothHouse said 7 years ago

    I've had a bunch of amazing trading experiences on Etsy. It's so fun and exciting (not to mention economical!)

  • PaperPicker

    PaperPicker said 7 years ago

    unusual and unique items

  • ArtisticIntentions

    ArtisticIntentions said 7 years ago

    This is great! Thanks for the info!!

  • aynart

    aynart said 7 years ago

    hooray for trades!

  • Hepstyles

    Hepstyles said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the article! I'm glad someone has organized something for those of us who are a bit shy about trades. You make it seem much less scary!

  • isewcute

    isewcute said 7 years ago

    Trading is great & the fun mail is always a good thing!

  • sixthandmain

    sixthandmain said 7 years ago

    really interesting idea and article! thanks for sharing! :)

  • themarketintheglen

    themarketintheglen said 7 years ago

    Thanks for reassuring me that it is ok to decline a trade. I wonder if there are more articles or if someone could write an article about Etsy etiquette when trading. This isn't a topic I came across in the Seller's Handbook, so I was caught off guard during my first proposal. Thanks for the website link!

  • FromMyAttic

    FromMyAttic said 7 years ago

    I did trade before with great outcomes. Perfect for when you want something but No MULA is around, LOL

  • hebo Admin

    hebo said 7 years ago

    Glad to hear everyone's excited about trading! Etsy does not have any formal rules for trading in our marketplace, but we do have some basic guidelines that will help keep both sellers involved in a trade transaction within Etsy's policies. Read them here: http://help.etsy.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/295

  • doxallodesigns

    doxallodesigns said 7 years ago

    Yes! I've done swaps! Mostly with the Jewelry Artists Network - maybe its time to suggest another one! Love the Let's Swap blog, look forward to following that and joining in the fun!

  • oneofakindbbeth116

    oneofakindbbeth116 said 7 years ago

    I thought we were not aloud to trade, this was really helpful!

  • RustyNutStudio

    RustyNutStudio said 7 years ago

    I am definitely up for potential trades. I cannot promise that I will trade with everyone, but feel free to contact me if you're interested.

  • mialareine

    mialareine said 7 years ago

    Such an interesting idea!! I'd love to try that sometime.

  • DiademJewels

    DiademJewels said 7 years ago

    I swapped a custom piece for a set of custom textile cuffs. I was very pleased. :)

  • MrsCraftyRVing

    MrsCraftyRVing said 7 years ago

    unusual and unique items but love the idea of such a swap! Smart....

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers said 7 years ago

    Awesome! I love to trade!

  • TheCuriosityClub

    TheCuriosityClub said 7 years ago

    I'd love to attempt some swaps. My only complaint about the article is that besides mentioning Flikr in general and the one site in specific, it wasn't very helpful with directing people to places where swapping happens.

  • thenewblackmarket

    thenewblackmarket said 7 years ago

    THESE ARE AWESOME!!! :DD

  • bhangtiez

    bhangtiez said 7 years ago

    Sounds like a great idea....way to go!

  • ilovehearts

    ilovehearts said 7 years ago

    Would love to trade. Please have a browse in my shop. I like all sorts of things: cute stuff, stationery, jewellery, buttons and cabochons x

  • SweetiePieCaketopper

    SweetiePieCaketopper said 7 years ago

    The authentic America

  • eartoear

    eartoear said 7 years ago

    Im doing this so much these days... but more for some work people can do for me i.e. my logos (coming soon) and some new website work. Personally, i would give my work away for free and just dress people and design things for them. But a woman HAS to make a living

  • SpinSpanSpun

    SpinSpanSpun said 7 years ago

    open to trade !

  • PoisonGarden

    PoisonGarden said 7 years ago

    Haven't traded yet but maybe I should try it!

  • anadiazarte

    anadiazarte said 7 years ago

    Nice article.

  • ZacharyPryor

    ZacharyPryor said 7 years ago

    I'm happy to do tradesies... Hit me up if you so desire.

  • jewellerytreasures

    jewellerytreasures said 7 years ago

    i have never traded but it was an interesting read love the items selected

  • crazyartdolls

    crazyartdolls said 7 years ago

    I love to swap, even though money is tight you can still get great items when swapping. I have not had a problem or disappointments with any thing that I ever received as a swap. You can find some wonderful things for trading, wonderful article.

  • Laniec1

    Laniec1 said 7 years ago

    I would love to swap, but finding someone who wants my stuff, while I want theirs has been hard. I have been trying to find a medium ground, and always offer a discount to those that I buy from, if they then buy from me in return, no matter how far into the future it is.... I would love some chunky western jewelry, so if you have it, and want some kids t's, let me know and we will get busy!

  • DebraTACrafts

    DebraTACrafts said 7 years ago

    I have never traded, but now I am really interested! ohhhh.....

  • TandRHandweaving

    TandRHandweaving said 7 years ago

    Being new to Etsy I had no idea people could trade or barter with each other, how cool is that!

  • CrazyAngelArt

    CrazyAngelArt said 7 years ago

    what a great idea....I'll have to keep this in mind for future use...as always...PeaCe.

  • Szeya

    Szeya said 7 years ago

    love to make a few trades, is another good way to shop :)

  • kendrasworld

    kendrasworld said 7 years ago

    My Sister got me hooked on swapping on the site Swap Mama's. http://www.swapmamas.com/ You can advertise your ETSY store on your swap page. I do not post often so I hope it is OK for me to put that link here. My Sister had some gift cards she just swapped for a Yo Gabba Gabba handmade top and birthday hat from someone who sells on ETSY. The gals who have handmade skills always have people wanting to swap!!!! I have gotten some really nice things including an IPOD for my Son, I swapped GYMBUCKS for that and my Daughter's outgrown custom clothing for 3 diamond and 14K gold rings and two really nice Vera Bradley purses with wallets. It is alot of fun and a great way to get free advertisement to alot of people by posting your direct link to your store.

  • keeleybehling

    keeleybehling said 7 years ago

    Have traded locally before but this is so cool to see how trading can happen globally!

  • SzetoBaby

    SzetoBaby said 7 years ago

    I love to trade too! I've done three and all were wonderful trades, smooth, easy and quality products! ;o)

  • MonkeyTots

    MonkeyTots said 7 years ago

    I have done some trades too :-) Always welcome!

  • DestinyAccessory

    DestinyAccessory said 7 years ago

    great idea!

  • petalbelles

    petalbelles said 7 years ago

    I'm part of the Etsy Trade-o-holics and I'm hoping to make my first swap soon!

  • archaicdesign

    archaicdesign said 7 years ago

    cool, great article.

  • roaritsally

    roaritsally said 7 years ago

    Thats really cool. Ive never done any trades. but it sounds way fun!

  • AnRocaid

    AnRocaid said 7 years ago

    Cool idea!

  • TGBeads

    TGBeads said 7 years ago

    Swaps are great. I am currently in the middle of my first one, I'm really looking forward to seeing what I get back.

  • LollyBopBaby

    LollyBopBaby said 7 years ago

    I'll have to find Momma's that have little fashionistas to trade with! Sounds fun!

  • cocokato

    cocokato said 7 years ago

    unusual pieces!

  • cooksie

    cooksie said 7 years ago

    reminds me of 3rd grade girl scout camp :P love it!

  • HeadpinWear

    HeadpinWear said 7 years ago

    Ive traded before, and both times it worked out great. With Christmas approaching, I am very up to "Trading"!

  • NorthwykeCreations

    NorthwykeCreations said 7 years ago

    I just finished my first trade, and it was fantastic! I could tell that they really wanted a pair of my cufflinks, and since they didn't have anything in the shop I was interested in, I asked for a custom scarf. It worked out beautifully, and I'm definitely up for trading/bartering again!

  • Vamperstein

    Vamperstein said 7 years ago

    This article reminded me of the one year creative writing class I entered at college a couple of years ago. At the dorm, when we weren't studying, heaps of trades happened, as there were heaps of crafters around. If anyone's up for a trade with me, feel free to let me know. :-)

  • bellaDdesign

    bellaDdesign said 7 years ago

    What a great idea! Why didnt i think of it? Its an awesome way to get knew stuff!

  • GalleonGal

    GalleonGal said 7 years ago

    Tactile yet fascinating art articles One of my art students collaborated with me on a lovley sketch I still have the original. the art instructor purchased a print Trades may spark creative influences from artist to artist creating is what drives/fuels artists they see/appreciate beauty everywhere they travel

  • IsadoraArtJewelry

    IsadoraArtJewelry said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the interesting article. I had no idea that I could trade on Etsy. I think having a few convos before the trade could help with my confidence on whether the other person would follow through. I have traded at art shows but it is different because you are both there. I have traded for some really nice art work. It helps us budget conscious artists to have an art piece and not have to pay with cash.

  • IsadoraArtJewelry

    IsadoraArtJewelry said 7 years ago

    Thanks for the article. It was very informative. I have learned a new way of communicating on Etsy. I have traded at art shows and have gotten some really special treasures that I normally would not have been able to afford. This always works well during the holidays. Thanks again ...

  • HandmadeByKat

    HandmadeByKat said 7 years ago

    This is a wonderful idea. Allows us to "meet" other Etsy sellers and get wonderful things we wouldn't neccessarily be able to buy otherwise. Great idea for gifts too.

  • HornCatCreations

    HornCatCreations said 7 years ago

    Trading is so much fun! Thanks for sharing this!

  • doingitherself

    doingitherself said 7 years ago

    Great idea, thanks!

  • TKIDesigns

    TKIDesigns said 7 years ago

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE trading:)

  • LittleCutieCakes

    LittleCutieCakes said 7 years ago

    Interesting idea, thanks for sharing!

  • DancingLotusDesigns

    DancingLotusDesigns said 7 years ago

    Trading is wonderful... Our shop has been set up on a trading system completely... trade...it's the way to go ;-) x

  • planetstudio

    planetstudio said 7 years ago

    It's good idea, thanks for the worthful experience sharing !!

  • barncatstudio

    barncatstudio said 7 years ago

    My friend and family are tired of getting all stained glass and pottery for gifts so it is fun to trade for things I can give them that is still handmade, but not something they are tired of getting!!!

  • Roshanah

    Roshanah said 7 years ago

    I cant believe i stumbled upon this treasure trove! Love. Love. Love. I've put up one of babies (lovingly crafted hand-painted mirror) up for sale! So excited!

  • SisterCat

    SisterCat said 6 years ago

    I am always up for trades! anyone?

  • janetpowers1

    Janet Powers from janetpowers1 said 5 years ago

    Thank you for the article! I am open to trade as well. Everything Beautiful Jewelry by Janet Powers

Sign in to add your own