Thursday, October 29, 2009

Etsy Gift Guides Explained

Hello Etsian Shoppers.

The season of shopping is nearly upon us so I thought I'd take a little time to explain something about everyone's much beloved (or occasionally tolerated) purveyor of (sometimes) handmade and (things from the 90's count, right?) vintage.

If you travel to Etsy you may see up in the top left corner what you think is all your answers to what to pick for Bobby, Joey and little T-rex (hippie parents) for the holidays: a gift guide.

But have you ever wondered just how those guides are picked? Was there a mass marketing experiment to decide just what is "hot" and "hip" this year. Maybe some surveys to see what people are looking for in this ever changing world? What's the most wanted toy of the season? Just who the hell needs a terrarium cowl?

I have a few theories that I'd like to test out as to how those gift guides are formed.

1. Some very bored high school interns type the dirtiest words into the search engine and just select the first 30 things they find hoping it'll get onto Regretsy.

2. Etsy is actually run by the keyboard playing cat and he has a major hankering for string beards, cowls to keep his little face warm, spats for the elegant cat trips to town and a chance to romp in a terrarium.

3. Gift Guides are actually formed from a time warp in the space time continuum. In 100 years we'll all be slightly beige creatures afraid of colors stumbling around without fingers for our fingerless gloves holding fake mustaches up to our lips while someone tells us to Keep Calm and Carry On.

It has to be one of those three options, because how else do you explain a HALLOWEEN DECOR guide where the front page looks like this:
In case you missed it. Here's a little close up. "One of these things is not like the other, one of these things doesn't belong."
A cake topper? For Halloween? A simple white beach destination nondescript cake topper mixed in with black pumpkins and wooden witch signs?

This is why I really hope it's the cat or bored teenager theories.

Because to think that someone just lazily selected random things from their handful of favorite shops for every single gift guide ensuring these select few shops get tons of free advertising while people who actually create things that would oh, I don't know, "FIT IN THE CATEGORY!" get jack shit for the same money they spend.

There's no way people could possibly be that lazy.

So unless you're purchasing for a moss eating cat or a fingerless alien from the future it might be for the best to just skip the Etsy Gift Guides for the Holidays and rely on some dull old Search Engineering.

No comments: