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eBay revolutionized the concept of an online peer-to-peer store, but it may now be a victim of its own success. The site has grown the site has begun to seem more like a shady foreign street-market forum overwhelmed by sketchy sellers attempting to pawn off cheap goods … rather than the old local flea market or digital thrift store, a place for people to buy and sell unique, quality and/or (especially) handmade artisan arts-and-crafts items.

It is no surprise, then, that likewise free alternative like Etsy and 1000 Markets have cropped up to sell everything from metal jewelry designs and glass beads to bags, rings, hats, posters and other everyday things. There is the same low barrier to entry – just as there are likewise risks, bad reviews and negative feedback to be found as in any online marketplace.

Still, there is something personal about shopping for a gift or other goods from someone on a simpler site with a niche mission to connect people with a particular love for hand-crafted wares and those who create them. Moreover, sellers on sites like these seem more willing than most eBay auctioneers to not only haggle but also make custom goods – from modifications to new from-scratch creations – based on their other items for sale.