For retailers, there’s gold in them thar Etsy

Framed 22 x 50" subway art from Restoration Hardware, $495.

We’d heard that big retailers troll Etsy for crafsy-looking merch and now we know why: they can charge gigantaur mark-ups on the work the actual artists sell for a lot less on the handmade/vintage goods site.

In the new Restoration Hardware catalog, the framed vintage subway maps at left are $495. Behold, pretty much the same maps on Etsy for a tenth the price. (Minus framing).

Etsy subway art

The unframed 12" x 36" Etsy version, $49.

Here’s another example: Serena & Lily, a Westchester wife-ish home-furnishings catalog, has framed 8 x 10″ animal prints for $78 a piece. We happened to recognize them as the work of one Ryan Berkley, an artist from Portland, Oregon who has gotten rather trendy of late. Nevertheless, on Etsy, you can get the same prints, unframed, for $18 a piece (or $10 for the 5 x 7 size.)

Framed animal prints, $78.

At Serena & Lily, Ryan Berkley framed 8 x 10" prints, $78 each.

Ryan Berkley Meerkat print, $18 on Etsy.

On Etsy, the same 8 x 10" prints, sans frames, are $60 less.

So what’s the point, other than that you should never pay retail (which you already knew)? Buy your picture frames from Ikea — here’s one for $5. An next time you want to buy something quirky, artsy and giftish from an online retailer, double check Etsy first, or try find the artist him or herself on Google. Here’s another totally random example we pulled out of the air: the same level cufflinks that are $19.99 on Etsy (top) are $45 at a retailer called Cufflink Depot (bottom):

We’re still looking for an artist-direct deal on these aviator chairs, but does anyone know of any other fun examples?

Editor’s note: the high volume of Etsy coverage on Brokelyn lately is an entirely random event, possibly sparked by spending way too much time indoors lately. Brokelyn receives no  compensation, monetary or otherwise,  from the handmade-goods site. Cheapskates!

One Comment

  • Flying Junction has gotten off to a great start at Etsy with his Subway roll signs and Bus Scrolls. Of course, I am particularly excited because he is my son. I have seen the care he puts into his designs and products, customer service, etc. and it is gratifying to see him featured here on Brokelyn.

    Your other Etsy features have been great reads too!

    Best wishes,
    J. L. Fleckenstein