When looking for the ideal holiday present, shoppers often search for that special something not found in chain stores, which will make the recipient feel extra warm. Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade goods, might be the perfect place to find such gifts. Founded in 2005, the cyber craft market hosts hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers, each dealing in unique handcrafted goods.
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With quirky offerings like a hand painted Mr. Spock cell phone key charm, or a clock made from a recycled turntable, Etsy provides an alternative to big box stores and the generic products they sell. In an age where giant corporations dominate, Etsy sees itself as a counter to the homogenization of the American consumer:
We've seen what the corporations are doing to our culture, they're stifling everything that America used to stand for and I think that world wide interest in the individual is very important.... Etsy is providing a viable alternative to shopping at places like Walmart.
Sure, Etsy offers lots of fun one-of-a-kind presents, but the site acts more like a supplement, rather than an alternative, to Walmart. Some may do all of their holiday shopping at the online bazaar, but plenty of consumers are heading to Walmart for iPads, iPods and lots of other machine-made products. For those who are not willing to give up their favorite mass-produced electronics, but want to maintain some individuality, there are plenty of handmade Etsy products for your favorite gadgets. We've selected 10 of our favorites.
For the crafts displayed above, we pulled the captions from the sellers' original descriptions.