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Topic: what do we think of "alchemy" on etsy?  (Read 7255 times)
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sarawearsskirts
« on: January 23, 2006 09:44:33 AM »

hello, fellow etsy-ers!
i was away over the weekend, and logged onto etsy this morning to find "alchemy" - a place for people to post things they'd like made...
i think it seems like a really cool way to strum up business on a slow week and also a great new way for etsy to attract people - hopefully, word'll get out that you can simply place an order and wait for some crafty person to whip it on up and send it over...  this could be great for not-so-crafty brides-to-be or for really personalized gifts. 
is anyone else as excited as i am?
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2006 10:53:17 AM »

I think it's a good idea! Even if you don't decide to fill the orders, it's already giving me ideas for what items might have a market. And it's just fascinating seeing what people are asking for!
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sarawearsskirts
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2006 11:02:34 AM »

i agree - i'm noticing already a couple postings for really good laptop cases, etc.
itll definitely be telling of what things are hard to come by, or what things people care enough about to have them made as one-of-a-kinds...

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gothmom
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2006 05:49:52 PM »

I just negotiated crafting something for someone who had posted on Alchemy.  So far so good.  Its actually nice to know what people want and create it exactly to spec.
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2006 10:55:20 AM »

I really like it. So far I actually haven't had to make anything but I just sent a girl some felt and now I think I'm going to send another some buttons (granted I can find them  Undecided)
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sarawearsskirts
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2006 01:01:01 PM »

it's been a few weeks and i've had some excellent jobs from etsy - some of it is really fun and i'm having a great time making it.  nothing but enjoyable people requesting items, in my opinion.
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heather tuscadero
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2006 05:24:41 AM »

I love alchemy, I've already bid on one project (a laptop sleeve) and it went really smoothly. I'm constantly checking it to see what else I could bid on...not to mention dreaming up things that I'd like other people to make for me Smiley
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circusrunaway
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2006 08:51:19 AM »

I'm really looking forward to using alchemy more often, both as a buyer and a seller! As a seller I think it's a great way for doing some market research... to know what's popular, what people want.

What do you think about referring to alchemy in an item's description? For example, I'm making small journals that could be further personalized if the person wants. So I'd like to say something to the effect of, "If you'd like me to personalize the journal for you, feel free to use the alchemy feature and request it," or something like that.
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2006 08:59:17 AM »

I'm really looking forward to using alchemy more often, both as a buyer and a seller! As a seller I think it's a great way for doing some market research... to know what's popular, what people want.

What do you think about referring to alchemy in an item's description? For example, I'm making small journals that could be further personalized if the person wants. So I'd like to say something to the effect of, "If you'd like me to personalize the journal for you, feel free to use the alchemy feature and request it," or something like that.

I think that sounds fine. There is alo a button on the side, above your profile and it says something like "Request a similar item through Alchemy".
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sarawearsskirts
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2006 09:14:51 AM »

i think encouraging buyers to request things through alchemy is great.
i haven't seen this yet, but i'm guessing you could do the same type of thing that many people do when they post something in their shops specifically for one buyer  - you could have an alchemy project stating "this is an alchemy request for [girlscantell.etsy.com], please don't reply unless you're sara..."
i guess the benefit would be that then the feedback would be double, as it always is with alchemy projects.

i'm still longingly waiting for the day when they have a tab in your shop where you can show off alchemy projects you've completed.

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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2006 07:21:37 AM »

I have used Alchemy to keep track of conversations regarding custom order requests; however, I do not use Alchemy to finalize the order. I actually post the item to my shop as a custom order for X etsy user. This way I get views to my shop, and the item shows up in my sold items section for others to see. I actually got an order based off of something I did custom that the user found in my sold items list, so that does work!

The other thing I noticed about Alchemy is that it has become the bargain bin for custom requests. There are a couple of listings there where people have taken pictures of other etsy sellers' goods and requested a cheaper version. There are also listings where people post designer items (purses, shirts, etc.) and ask for a replica at a completely unrealistic price.
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gothmom
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2006 09:56:50 AM »

Oh I totally noticed that cheapskate person who wants designer stuff but have some crafter make it for less than minimum wages.  Not only ripping off the designer but the crafter too.   I hope nobody bids on that persons stuff.  But all things equal, they probably will.

I wish more people would post wishes on Alchemy.  Wishes for things made of leather...

Gothmom
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sillysausage
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2006 03:53:09 PM »

it's quite fun looking through the Alchemy requests it's such a good idea Smiley
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muchachaK
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2006 03:38:41 PM »

I love the idea of Alchemy, but the reality disappoints me.  I hate to see crafters lowballing each other price wise...I'm cool with people negotiating, but a lot of the initial price requests I've seen are insultingly low.  If you want cheap @#*$^% go to Walmart, don't screw your fellow crafters. 
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sillysausage
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2006 03:43:08 PM »

I love the idea of Alchemy, but the reality disappoints me.  I hate to see crafters lowballing each other price wise...I'm cool with people negotiating, but a lot of the initial price requests I've seen are insultingly low.  If you want cheap @#*$^% go to Walmart, don't screw your fellow crafters. 


yeah i agree
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2008 01:54:00 PM »

So I was stumbling around killin' time on Etsy a week ago and came across something called Alchemy.

I click into it and did some reading on the help docs about it.  Looked pretty cool, so I went in to check it out.  TONS of requests out there, but unfortunately at the time I was looking not many that I would be qualified to fulfill Sad  I will look around again.

In case many of you are looking like this right now

 Huh Huh Huh

Alchemy is basically a place similar to 'want it now' on eBay where someone posts what they want and people can respond saying they've got what they 'want'.  On Etsy, someone posts a request for something they would like custom made for them, like a special necklace with specific materials, colors, etc., and sellers can 'bid' on completing a custom order for that person.  The requester can post pics as examples of what they may be looking for, post a description, materials, and cost of the project.  Then the requester will choose a 'bidder' to make their custom item for them.

Anyone tried this?  Got accepted as a 'bidder' to do a custom order?  Feedback?
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gothmom
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2008 07:52:24 AM »

I've done a couple of requests.  3 were just fine, no problems at all but one time the person requesting totally flaked on me and I ended up with a domokun doll and no buyer. 

I just bid on something yesterday and got refused.  The other person who bid obviously got it.

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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2008 08:58:33 AM »

I have used it as a buyer and a seller and it has worked out great!  I requested a knitting needle case and found a seller that made me a gorgeous one, better than I could have imagined!  I have also done an Alchemy order for someone, although it was a private request and they sought me out, so it hasn't been from actually placing a bid.

It is unfortunate to see people requesting items that are currently on Etsy, but for cheaper...that's just wrong!  Especially if they post the pictures of the actual item from the Etsy shop!  It is unfortunate that people can take such a positive thing and turn it into a negative way, just to save a few bucks!
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2008 06:49:11 PM »

so how can one protect themselves from this?
I guess it would work to make sure that all photos have your ID across the middle of it... I've seen some ppl post pics that way, which I find a little annoying but I guess it's the only way to protect oneself/one's work.
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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2008 08:54:55 AM »

Hasn't worked well for me.  I put out a request for a custom shirt for a gift, and had several bidders right away.  I chose the one I wanted, and denied the others.... only to have the one I chose FLAKE.  Because I was waiting around for that shop to respond/show designs/finalize the deal, it was too late to have the item made by the time I needed it!  So I didn't get the custom shirt I needed.  Grrrr..... I won't be using Alchemy again.
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« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2008 12:42:37 PM »

From the buyer standpoint, I just completed an awesome Alchemy transaction. I didn't pick the lowest offer, nor the highest,  but the person who seemed most excited about the project and who had the best communication. I think I paid a fair price for her and for me, and we really had fun planning the project. I hope she had as much fun making it! I am really looking forward to getting it! She made exactly what I wanted, and I paid her a wee bit extra to cover her etsy and paypal fees, and we are both happy. I will definitely use it again.
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Muddy Paws
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2008 09:38:21 AM »

I have not had much luck with Achemy and ended up turning off the request button on my shop. I still do tons of custom orders, but I much prefer it if people convo me with what they want.

The very first Alchemy request that I got just never felt right from the beginning - just a niggling feeling that something wasnt right. I convo'd first before accepting and good thing I did. I could never pin down the buyer to exactly how many of the items she wanted (knitting stitch markers in this case), but she was very specific on how many she wanted, which beads and how much she would pay. When I wanted all details ironed out before I would click accept, she quickly went away.

The next request dragged on for 2 months and the sale never was completed.

I have never bid on a request, but I do read them every now and then when I want a good laugh.  Smiley  Some are so outragous!
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Two Cheese Please
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2008 08:04:51 PM »

From the buyer standpoint, I just completed an awesome Alchemy transaction. I didn't pick the lowest offer, nor the highest,  but the person who seemed most excited about the project and who had the best communication. I think I paid a fair price for her and for me, and we really had fun planning the project. I hope she had as much fun making it! I am really looking forward to getting it! She made exactly what I wanted, and I paid her a wee bit extra to cover her etsy and paypal fees, and we are both happy. I will definitely use it again.


This makes me so happy to read!

I recently won an alchemy bid to make a custom softie and I'm having so much fun! I'm really tempted to ask what the other bids were like, because I'm curious as to why I was chosen. I probably won't ask because I'm not sure if it's polite or not, but I'm still very curious!

I love to do customs because my favourite part is talking with the buyer to work out what it is they're after, and then making them their perfect thing. I like to send lots of photos and updates during the process because I think it's more fun if everyone's involved. So I'm glad that this is seen as a good thing!

The hardest thing about Alchemy is moderating your bids! There's about 7 things I want to bid on to make right now but it would be a disaster if all 7 accepted and I had to get everything made at once! :p
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sapphire_distortion
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2008 04:44:17 PM »

I have personally not had a good experience with it, but I have only used it once as a buyer. It has actually turned into The Etsy Purchase From H-E-Double Hockey Sticks, haha. I think it's a good idea in theory - aside from the fact that people will abuse it to try and get cheaper versions of other's Etsy products and etc., craftsters lowballing each other isn't cool either Sad - but I think unfortunately you will probably run into a lot of flakes as I've experienced and others have mentioned.

Some of the expected prices on there ARE ridiculously low though - 100 ceramic discs for $100? A dollar a disc, really? $10 for a custom tabletop? A store banner, logo, and business card design for $10?!? (and there's actually bids on that one!) A knit striped sweater for $25? Sheeeeeeesh! Now I gotta stop looking because it's a little depressing Tongue
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Two Cheese Please
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2008 04:53:57 PM »

I agree, some of the "ideal prices" are pretty ridiculous. You couldn't even buy the wool to make the knitted top for $25! And a table top for $10? Geez, I'll take 3!

There are so many requests that I just didn't bid on even though I know I could do a swell job, because I wasn't willing to lower my price down that far. I COULD do it for that price but it'd mean I'd probably make about $2 profit - and that includes labour. I guess you could always place your bid with your price but if they want it for $10 they're probably just going to decline a more realistic price anyway, because it will be a lot higher.

Some of the things that are being requested are pretty funny, though! I like browsing through and having a bit of a chuckle.
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« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2008 05:54:12 PM »

I wonder if people are just putting any price because they have no idea, and would be open to paying more?
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Two Cheese Please
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2008 05:57:06 PM »

I wonder if people are just putting any price because they have no idea, and would be open to paying more?

Some people are, for sure, but there are others who say "I don't really want to pay more than this" but their ideal price seems, to me, to be far too low. You could do it for that price but you wouldn't make a profit or even get any payment for labour. Which is pretty sad. But then there are some great people on there as well!
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sapphire_distortion
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2008 06:13:13 PM »

I wonder if people are just putting any price because they have no idea, and would be open to paying more?

Well, I actually looked at those to make sure because I saw a few that were really low and then in the actual request they said "I know this is way too low". These appeared to be the actual person's ideal price. The knitted one wasn't wool, it was supposed to be cotton, but a men's XL - I don't knit, I crochet, but from the one time I made a sweater (for me, a women's medium), I'm pretty sure that $25 wouldn't even cover the hours of labor let alone the cost of the yarn.
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« Reply #28 on: August 01, 2009 05:40:12 PM »

I was just browsing the requests as well, and I'm totally chiming in that some people want stuff at insanely low prices. The one that stands out to me is the girl who wants a velvet gothic gown with butterfly sleeves, etc. I take pride in knowing quite a bit about the alternative clothing scene, even though I'm more of a thrift store goth (due to funds, of course XD) and I can confidently say a dress like this one would go for 120$ at least, if not more. She wanted it for 40$.

Um, what? I'm not saying goth fashion isn't usually overpriced, because it totally is. But 40$ for a full length velvet gown? If you want real velvet, I doubt you could even get the fabric for that much.

It looks like the people who don't know what they want to pay are putting like, two cents. Not sure though, all the lowballing got me kinda depressed so I only did a brief browse.
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crafty gurll
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2009 08:08:17 PM »

There is a lot of nonsense on Alchemy, my favorite is "Show me what you got for $5 including shipping" and then 100 people bid on it. Tongue  Once you weed through stuff like that, you can find decent requests.  About 35% of my sales have come from alchemy bids, so it is worth it to check it out.  Don't underbid yourself, explain the process involved, and if they accept your bid great, if not, move on. Cheesy
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navyfamily4
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2009 12:09:07 PM »

I have to agree i love to get ideas there but some times the people are unrealistic on their price. I have had people say sell me a petiskirt for 20 dollars and it takes a long time to make them.
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