Thursday, January 27, 2011

Etsy's Alchemy is Being Rennovated

For those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile, you already know my feelings about the Alchemy feature on Etsy.  An update from Etsy this week claims over 80,000 custom items were made by connecting buyers with sellers to work on ideas.  At first I was worried that Etsy was giving up on the idea altogether.  Alchemy had some serious problems, but I liked the idea of having a forum for people who had ideas to find someone willing to take on the project.  Etsy has set some phase out dates over the month of February for the current Alchemy area and then it will be completely gone while they figure out the changes they're going to make.  No target completion date has been set.
I have some suggestions for improvements that can be made to Alchemy:
  • Create categories so listings can be searched more easily.
  • Have a "let's negotiate" or "not sure" option for the target price.
  • Instead of a completion date on the bid proposal, have it be the amount of time from when the bid is accepted to when the item is completed.
  • Let the person indicate whether they're looking for a professional, amateur, or hobbyist to make the item.
  • Create a framework for the entire process of proposals, bids, bid acceptance, project progress, completion, acceptance, and payment/delivery.
Alchemy got me started with some of my design work (outside of my day job), so I'm excited to see what improvements are made.  What would you like to see changed?

3 mad comments:

Howdy said...

I'm an etsy customer.

I went to post my first Alchemy request today. Aaand it's gone. Almost. Just a notice that surprise, they're taking it down, and also there will be *some* new version of it *sometime*.

As someone who works in e-commerce development, I am in awe at that (complete lack of) procedure. Is the site being run by high schoolers?

If I were a seller who relied heavily on this, I would be enraged.

Pabkins said...

I didn't realize etsy alchemy was gone until today. It makes me sad I hope they bring it back soon - that's how I originally found etsy about 3 years ago - was because I was wanting to have something made and that's how I found the person to do it.

Seth said...

One great alternative to etsy's alchemy is http://www.CustomMade.com, which helps customers get linked up with custom makers of all kinds (like jewelers, woodworkers, metal workers, etc)

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