Electronic Gift Giving with Etsy

I love shopping for gifts.  I shop all year for Christmas, and I have a “present cupboard” full of gifts that I have bought for birthdays that are months away.  And while it’s true that much of the pleasure of finding great gifts comes from the thrill of the hunt–who doesn’t love a day at a craft show?!–it’s equally true that convenience can trump the authenticity of finding the perfect, locally-made gift at a once-a-year craft show.

Well, thanks to online vendors like Etsy, convenience and authenticity are no longer mutually exclusive.  Technology can help you to beat an easy path to low-tech, handmade gifts.

Etsy has a “search local” function that makes it easy to filter by location and category, so you can find locally-made, one-of-a-kind handmade and vintage gifts.

Even better, the keyword search function makes it so easy and fun to look for gifts that fit the interests of the lucky recipient.  I love this function, and I collect key words in a file for gifts on my phone.  The teacher mentioned in September that she likes to bike?   I filed “bike” and found her a wonderful jersey scarf printed with images of vintage bicycles for her end of year gift in June.

I love that the keyword search can take me away from a strictly literal gift.  If, for example, the person for whom you are shopping likes books, type “books” into the search bar and behold the wealth of possibilities!

A Literary Collection of Loose Leaf Tea from First Edition Tea Co


Recycled Book Earrings from Fold It Creations


And a t-shirt for the Book Obsessed from Bookish Serendipity


None of these are books, but they are perfect for book lovers.  And they are all from vendors who live right here in Toronto.

Etsy also has a mobile app, so all of these ideas can be filed on and purchased from your phone.  And users can create a searchable wish list, so if you are not sure what to buy, you can look them up.


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