Thursday, 18 March 2010

Trade Secrets Thursday-Online Shopping

For most of the articles that we've done here for Trade Secrets Thursday we've shown you real shops in Ireland that sell supplies. But the reality of most crafters, especially those with any internet savvy, is that they buy their supplies online. I still try to support local business when I can, but sometimes the price and convenience of shopping on the interent outweighs the desire to shop locally. All of us here at Etsy Ireland are trying to sell our products so that means trying to get the best deal possible with our materials. So we can then pass on that value to our customers, making are items more affordable. Here are a few of my favourite shops online to buy from.

Lupin is run by the lovely Laura Howard from Gloucester in the Uk, she is a total crafty addict who makes the most beautiful felt brooches on woodland creatures. She also has a wide selection of felt, ribbon, buttons,ric-rac and much more. I love buying from here because I know I'm going to get a quality product, delivered on time with no hassle. I'm also addicted to her fantastic blog. With over 3000 sales on her etsy shop, and much more from her main website, she is one on those success stories we keep hearing about. All by the age of 27, not too shabby Laura!

This isn't typically what you would call a supply, but I buy hundreds of 1" buttons off this lady as free promos to give with my orders. I attach the small badges to my Moo cards and I hand them out at craft fairs, this tactic has really helped me spread the word of my brand locally. I also get my pocket mirrors and 2.25" buttons made up from this shop. Jennie is really easy to work with, which is exactly what you want when you are getting custom orders done. I've been shopping with her for over two years, and probably spend nearly $1000 in her shop, she is definitely one of my favorite sellers on Etsy.
(one thing to be careful of, if you are ordering large quantities into Ireland you will probably be taxed, not something you want to be surprised by when the postman calls to your door)

Nancy Gems

Nancy Gems is one of those shops that sells a bit of everything. What I use them for is little velvet baggys for my pocket mirrors, but they have great display boxes ,findings for jewellery,gemstones etc. At over 700 listings in their shop I'm sure there is something for everyone there. It's not top quality materials we are talking here, just cheap and cheerful, but nice packaging, that can make all the difference when you are sending out your orders. I spent days researching on ebay trying to find the cheapest supplier for velvet bags, and I was so surprised to see that the cheapest person was on Etsy. They have really reasonable shipping prices, and surprisingly fast delivery considering it comes all the way from Hong Kong.

Big Fish
BigFish is someone I used to buy a lot from before I became a button supplier myself. I think she has an amazing range of products and quite a few different shops specialising in different areas. Her buttons are very high quality, and I think that's why she is a little pricier than other shops, but I always loved that she sells mixed bags of specific colours. She also has a really fun blog that I read quite often. You should also check out her craft shop, I think her work is SUPER CUTE!

There's a few of my favourites, what are yours?? Leave some comments and share your top sellers.

Posted by Nice Day Supplies


  1. Great suppliers! And talking about taxes after ordering, that just happened to me last week when I got a 30euros bill from fedex...I'm always looking forward to the postman's visit...but not that time! :(

  2. I love to have a browse on for tools & papers (with the curency rates at the moment, kits are great value)

    I like to check out cara craft supplies for individual bits'n'pieces when I have one project to do.

    And and are great for sale items especially when the cost of postage is less than the bus in & out of town.

  3. I love to buy local, and wool shopping is much more fun when you can feel the yarn, but alas, it's not as if Belfast is coming down with wool shops... :(

    So I buy a lot of yarn online mostly from the UK and Ireland, and also go to trade fairs like the Knitting and Stitching Show in Dublin, where I stock up. And there is this wool shop in Dublin...

    And one of my favourite wool shops on Etsy is

    When I see the yarn, I am positively drooling.

  4. I think it's absolutely lovely that you promote local shopping - I wish more people would get involved in that. I wonder if there are suppliers that you all use - or might make more use of - that might give you all some sort of volume discount? It's just a thought, but I know that there are some suppliers that do that.

    One of my favorite suppliers here in the US is Fire Mountain Gems. They give generous discounts on volume purchases - even packaging - and they even ship overseas. If you could all band together to find a supplier to help you in that fashion I think it would be quite the coup!

    ..P.S. I checked out Lupin's blog - it's lovely! When I went to check Kung Fu Cowgirl's site on Etsy it was down, though.

  5. Good tips - thanks! I too try to buy my supplies locally, but sometimes I just can't find what I'm looking for - so often end up buying online. This Etsy shop in Canada have a great selection of jewellery findings and delivery is unbelievably fast (I've had packages arrive within 3 days!!):

    Double Angel Design:

  6. Xquisite- That's a really good idea, I'll mention it at the team meeting tomorro!
    Since I did the article on the supplies shops in Limerick I get a discount there, because it was free advertising for them.

    Vivi-I hate that, last time i got charged 115 euro in tax.yuck!!

    Purls-You are so right, nothing beats that feeling of being able to touch and see something, especially fabric. I really shouldn't be saying that since I'm a supplies seller but I'm still a traditionalist at heart :)

  7. Thank you so much for these suppliers. I am going to follow them up.

    A word about taxes. I once bought stuff from FIre Mountain and was hammered with tax because they use FedEx. If you use companies that ship using USPS you should be OK. In over 5 years of buying supplies online I have never once had to pay tax.

    Another point about FedEx is that if your goods cost under €30 you are NOT liable to pay ANY tax on them. Worth checking that out. Heard that from a consumer affairs expert on RTE Radio.

    I wonder could we (Etsy Ireland) start to compile a register/list of good suppliers who come with our personal recommendations. Is there any way we can have a section we can add to?

    Sorry not to be able to make the meeting today - but family matters took over! Hope it was a success. Carol xox

  8. I got some destash from our very own and would buy again.

    I’ve also just got in some lovely, properly frosted Irish seaglass , handpicked from another friendly Irish seller . I’m having fun experimenting with it.

    Internationally on Etsy, a gemstone shop with quality items and top service is Hannah takes the time to thoroughly answer queries about the stones. Don’t you love her photos?!

    I buy tools from Beads & Bling in Temple Bar. Yesterday I walked across to the team meeting and later around town, with that incredibly heavy anvil in my handbag.... my shoulder...ouch....

    Lovely meeting you all

  9. I am so old school when it comes to buying supplies! I like to do it all in person and feel the goods for myself. Two places I couldn't live without are Hickeys and Dublin Woolen Mills.

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  11. Wee Cute Treasures, a lot of the trade secrets Thursday are about good suppliers. I would encourage more people to do articles for the blog on their fav suppliers and then when you click on the 'thursday' link on the sidebar then it will be like a crafty yellow pages.