Where did the summer go? It’s officially fall, and here in Seoul the raging summer heat suddenly vanished. I had a wonderful, lazy summer, but I suppose it is time to get back into action.

Back in May, I was pondering the possibility of switching venues in the fall, as announced in this post. Well, the cool new season is here and it seems that my shop will be continuing on Etsy.

Etsy is not without faults, but it is still the best vehicle around for me and my jewelry. Of all the flaws and foibles Etsy boasts, I find its saturation problem most troubling. Back on August 10th, the jewelry category passed the 200,000 listing mark. (I made a rather excited post in the forums with a wrong title.) Today, the count is at 214,701. In just 3 weeks, the number of listings increased by 7.35%. According to my quick and dirty calculation, the jewelry category will reach another monumental number of 300,000 in about 15 weeks from now, just in time for Christmas. 400,000 will come even more swiftly: just another 11 weeks down the road.

In a way, Etsy is hardwired towards the saturation problem. Etsy as a marketplace institutes virtually no barriers to entry, i.e., start-up costs or jury process, which I suspect comes from the philosophy of the site creators. Plus, it made internet selling hip and fun. I am no marketing major, but it seems only natural: when there is money to be grabbed in a marketplace and there is no market access barrier, undesirable goods will come flooding in, resulting in saturation. Underpricing is one manifestation of saturation, which is by far the hottest-button-ed topic in the Forums. Some will say “Etsy is an online market with unlimited space; there is room for everybody!”. This is not so. Exposure is limited commodity at Etsy (as front page ticker, Time Machines, Treasury and Category pages all attest), and so are buyer’s precious time and attention. Stunted search capabilities of Etsy, a widely criticized problem, only confounds the quandary.

Well, enough about Etsy’s saturation problem. I now return to the initial point, which is that I will continue my shop on Etsy, all the while trying hard not to think about the frenzied congestion that the site will become around the busy fall-winter season of 2007. :-) From this point on, I will be listing new designs on a regular basis. In fact, I will try and list them on this blog first, just to resist the urge to list everything in my Etsy shop all at once. Also, it is my goal to keep balance in my selling activities. As I become more experienced in online selling, I find myself getting less concerned about selling per se and putting more value in my time and energy. To me, selling my jewelry online is more about enjoyment, so I will not let myself be carried away with making sales to the point of diminishing the pleasure. :-)