The Future of Buying and Selling The Future of Buying and Selling
Issue 014

The Future of Buying and Selling

December 29, 2008

Rob Kalin, founder of Etsy, on the future of buying and selling.

There is a new level of transparency that is expected of companies, and heightened awareness about conscientious consumption. People want to know where their products come from, but most things are produced without any kind of accountability for ecological or social impact. We want shirts for 99 cents at Wal-Mart, but to get them at that price, there is a much greater price the world is paying. We've been trained to think that so many things are disposable, and that's obviously not a sustainable way of producing things.So we're seeing a renaissance in people making things. If you want to learn how to make something you can go online and watch a video or read how to do it. You can get whatever materials you need from anywhere you want. You can meet up with other people-making things is social, too. Because of the internet, you have a distribution model and a marketplace for all of these goods. Combine all of that and I think what we're going to see is a much more sustainable way to live: getting things, sourcing materials, producing them, and selling them or trading them locally. I thinkit's amazing.
"We're seeing a renaissance in people making things."
And it's definitely growing. This is happening outside of Etsy-we're just a platform and we're here at the right time. This kind of person-to-person commerce and entertainment and consumption is happening across a variety of mediums. That's what's interesting and encouraging.
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The Future of Buying and Selling