Why I Used Etsy to Decorate My Apartment Instead of Amazon
- When decorating my first apartment in New York, I struggled to find affordable, high-quality interior design.
- I ordered products from Amazon and Etsy e-commerce sites and compared the experience.
- Despite the longer delivery times, Etsy quickly became my go-to for vintage and one-of-a-kind pieces.
Growing up, my art teacher mom was a pro at finding unique pieces to fill our blank walls. The centerpiece of his dining room is a wooden slab on which his students have thrown paint-soaked cotton balls.
So when it came to decorating my own apartment, I knew I wanted something other than Urban Outfitters posters and Ikea furniture, but I didn’t have the budget to go crazy. And unlike my mother, I lacked serious DIY nerves.
For the first month, I searched for affordable home decor the old fashioned way – at flea markets and thrift stores. I was surprised at the flea market price, with price tags for artwork ranging from $100 to $500 each. While thrift store prints were cheaper, I didn’t fall in love with anything I found.
It left me in the crushing abyss that is buying art on the internet. I ended up Googling “Georgia O’Keefe prints”, one of my favorite artists, and landed on an Etsy seller page called ChristinaArtsDesigns.
Unlike other e-commerce sites like Amazon, Etsy’s design highlights the people behind their products. Under the “About” tab, I could see that Christina is a freelance graphic designer with a passion for Japanese culture and anime. Its manufacturer, Printful, was located in North Carolina.
Compared to Amazon’s mechanical design, the humanized layout has made me more confident in the quality of Etsy’s products and the working conditions of the people who make them. I could also contact the store directly if I had any questions and get an answer right away.
ChristinaArtsDesigns had a total of 75 Georgia O’Keefe prints that were available in nine different sizes, priced at $25 to $45 each. After reading dozens of five-star reviews testifying to the high color quality of the prints, I was sold.
Why Etsy is Worth the Wait
Etsy describes itself as “a global online marketplace, where people come together to make, sell, buy, and collect unique items,” with a focus on “creative” buyers and sellers. In June, Etsy announced plans to buy second-hand fashion app Depop for $1.62 billion.
The company beat Wall Street estimates for its latest quarter, continuing to benefit from the boom in home renovations and face masks during the pandemic.
“What this shows is that people have had to turn to Etsy over the past year, they’re choosing to come back even more as we move forward, and we think that’s frankly remarkable,” said CEO Josh Silverman told CNBC in November.
The company charges sellers 20 cents for each product listed and focuses on vintage and handmade products. Home & Living and Art & Collectibles are the site’s two most popular categories, according to Statista.
After my positive experience with the O’Keefe print, I went to Etsy for everything from lamps to brass cabinet knobs.
The only downside was that delivery times varied from a few days to a few weeks. I ordered my prints on November 30 and received them on December 16, which seems like a lifetime if you’re used to Amazon’s one-day shipping.
As I waited for my order to arrive, I knew wall art could make or break a space. If I was going to watch them every day, I could skip the two-day shipping and take comfort in supporting a small-batch independent store.
In comparison, I ordered the inexpensive desk I’m currently writing this article about from Amazon. I rushed the purchase so I could start working from home and immediately regretted it. While it looks good, it’s flimsy and the wrong size for the space.
Despite Amazon’s market dominance, I found the tech giant to be sorely lacking in the home decor department — perhaps one of the few remaining product categories where shoppers aren’t willing to sacrifice. convenience to quality.