Is Etsy worth a handbag shop?

I love discovering handbag designers and I wondered whether it was time to take a break from the high street and online shops and checkout Etsy, the home of handmade and vintage goods.   Is it possible to uncover the next upcoming handbag designer on Etsy?

The site is over 10 years old and it was created as a destination for hand crafted and vintage items.  As time has gone by Etsy has developed its ecommerce capabilities and the site has come under criticism that it is filling up with mass produced goods.  With the increasing popularity of Etsy is it possible to find handmade goods created by passionate artisans?

Pleasantly I found handbags as a category on the homepage but was soon overwhelmed by the total; over 230,000 bags to choose from.  Filtering had to be my next move as

  • clutch bags have over 60,000 to choose from
  • shoulder bags over 50,000
  • crossbody 35,000
  • top handle bags over 26,000
  • wristlet bags around 12,000 and
  • the casual hobos total 8,000. Wow!

Surprisingly there were Hermes bags priced between £8,000 to £47,000.  Parking the second hand vintage Birkins and Chanels, I decided to just checkout the sellers in the UK as a way to help narrow down the overwhelming choice. Of the 1,500 bags to check out it was a shame to see sellers from other countries showing up in my UK search.

Onward and upwards, I was delighted to find the following five designers who are my best finds for craftsmanship, style and even recycling (thanks to AlyBondBespoke):

Jinny Wessel – grey leather tote bag £345

Designer handbags on Etsy

JoebobJim – Ziggy in blue and tan, £140

Designer handbags on Etsy

AlyBondBespoke – Slouchy Hobo bag £320 

Designer handbags on Etsy

CarvLondon – Pioneer Midi shoulder bag £245

Designer handbags on Etsy

Grace Gordon London – Lucy crossbody bag £255

Designer handbags on Etsy

My top tip when visiting this established marketplace be prepared to filter like an overworked swimming pool!  I hope Etsy’s watchdogs continue to close the rule breaking shops to keep this busy marketplace easy to use.  Hope you like my shortlist of top designers.  Do comment if you want to share others.

Happy surfing!


Photo credit: Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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