The growing abundance of daily deals services just got even bigger with Heartsy, the so-called “flash sale site for Etsy.”
No surprise, the site offers limited-time discounts on Etsy sellers’ wide range of handmade crafts. Like Groupon, Heartsy structures sales so that buyers pay a certain amount for discounts ranging from 50% to 90% (say, $19 for $40 worth of merchandise). Though unlike Groupon, at this point Heartsy doesn’t keep any of the proceeds for itself — everything goes to the sellers. There’s also the obligatory incentive for sharing a deal — when users buy a particular product through Heartsy, they get a unique link to share the deal, and receive $10 in credit for every friend who buys the same deal as a result.
Participation is entirely voluntary: in order to be featured, Etsy sellers submit their work to Heartsy along with a suggested fee/discount pairing. Their submission is voted on by the Heartsy community, and if accepted, the site works with the seller to decide the final date and details of the deal. Since the time and cost of making handmade goods varies greatly, another site, Handmadeology, has already set up a hypothetical set of parameters that sellers can use to figure out whether using Heartsy is worth their time and money.
What we’re interested in is whether the buyers find Etsy discounts to be worth their time and money — though Etsy has a huge network of sellers, not everyone goes out of their way to buy handmade coasters or knit hats. On the other hand, Heartsy could be an effective way to bring the pressure and thrill of limited-time deal buying to the crafty, artsy side of shopping. And because that kind of buying has become so mainstream, the site could be a way to bring Etsy’s singularity to an even larger market.