Friday, April 8, 2011

Etsyとは? What is Etsy?

さて先週の記事でEtsyのことを日本語で書いてみたい、と言いましたが まずEtsyとはどんなサイトなのか、どんな物を売れるのか知らないと話は進みません。
As I said last week, I want to write about Etsy in depth, but before we talk about anything else, you have to understand what Etsy is and what you can sell on Etsy.

Etsyは「手作り」専門のマーケットサイト。個人で物が売れるところはeBayまたはヤフオクに似ていますが、オークションサイトではないので売り手が自分で決めた価格で販売しています。Etsyが公開した「Weather Report」によると今年の2月だけでもサイト内合わせて1,850,525個の品物が売れたそうです。売り上げにするとなんと3440万ドル、1ドル=85円で約29億円ちょっとになります。
Etsy is an online marketplace with a focus on handmade. It is like eBay and Yahoo Japan auctions in that an individual can list items to sell, but Etsy is not an auction site, so the price is fixed according to what the seller finds appropriate. According to their "Weather Report," a total of 1,850,525 items were sold in February of this year alone. They sold for about 34.4 million U.S. dollars total, or about 2.9 billion Yen when calculated at $1=¥85.

Etsy is known for handmade, but not everything sold actually has to be handmade. So, let’s look at what you are allowed to sell on Etsy by category.

まずはこれがなければEtsyは語れないと思うカテゴリー「Handmade」。文字通り手作り、それも自分で作ったものでなければこのカテゴリーには出品してはいけません。いくら手作りでも 他人が作ったものを出品することは禁止されています。自分で作ったものであり、手で触ることができる(tangible)と言う条件を満たせば ボタンのような小物から家具などの大きなものまで何でも売ることができます。福岡からEtsyを使っていらっしゃるfromshinoさんは古い帯や帯締めをつかって上の写真のような素敵なバッグを作っていらっしゃいます。こういう風に古着などをを新しい物にリファッションすることはEtsyではUpcycleと呼ばれ、人気があります。
Etsy is not Etsy without the Handmade category. Everything listed here, obviously, must be handmade and must be made by you. You cannot list something made by someone else even if it is a handmade item. If it is handmade by you, and if it’s tangible, you can sell anything from a tiny button to giant furniture. Fromshino, who uses Etsy from Fukuoka, makes beautiful bags out of vintage obi sashes and obi cords, as seen in the photo above. In the Etsy community, you'll often hear the term "upcycle" in relation to items that have been repurposed like this, and they are rather popular.

Digital files that can be “touched” with a computer mouse are also considered tangible by Etsy. BirdieBrown from Shizuoka sells adorable digital stamps of her own illustration. Other popular digital files include istructional PDFs of your own amigurumi design and custom designed logo and banner services. I’ve even seen paper dolls that can be printed at home by the customer. Digital files are a great no-hassle option for overseas users as they are often affordable and require no shipping charges, since they can be emailed directly.

In the Supplies category, you can sell things such as craft supplies, fabric, stickers, and even kitchenware. Cute knick-knacks from Japan are especially popular, so much so that “Kawaii” has become a well known tag word. Many even purchase craft books written in Japanese if there are lots of pictures to guide them.

Along with Handmade and Supplies, there is one more category for Vintage items. Here, you can list anything that is at least 20-years-old, even if it’s not handmade or related to crafting. In addition to kimonos, pottery, and antiques, I’ve seen nostalgic items such as older Sanrio on Etsy. You might wonder if anyone outside of Japan would know them, but Sanrio and Anime characters are surprisingly well known. The seller of the Tetsuwan Atom badge shown, Sandshoevintage, is actually from Australia.

随分長くなってしまいましたがそれでもほんの少しの例を挙げただけ。とにかくまずEtsyに行ってどんなものが売れているのか自分で見てみてください。Shop Localと言うツールがありますのでそれを使って日本人のお店を見つけることもできますしPounceと言うツールの中でJust Soldを選択すると実際最近何が売れたのか見ることもできます。
This post has gotten rather long, but I still was only able to give you just a few examples. I urge you to go to Etsy and see what kind of items are selling with your own eyes. You can search for other Japanese sellers using the tool called Shop Local, or choose the Just Sold option in the Pounce tool, and see exactly what was purchased on Etsy recently.

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