Five Golden Malls -- the fifth year of the MeFi Shops November 29, 2011 8:12 AM   Subscribe

It's that time of year when people who like that sort of thing can buy/sell stuff to/from other people who like that sort of thing. Last year we had about sixty participants. Interested in being involved in this year's Shops by MeFites? Read on...

Every year we make a little page which links to things that creative MeFites are selling or have for sale.

- This is for MeFites only. If you want a friend or family member to be listed, get them a gift account.
- Please keep descriptions simple. Aim for 30 words or less. Long descriptions may be edited. See past shops listings for good blurb examples.
- Items must be available online. No brick and mortar stores please.
- No links to auctions or one-off for sale items, this is for stuff you've created or worked on.

Send me an email to jessamyn at gmail [no MeMail please] with subject line "shop" with

- Your profile URL [like this: http://www.metafilter.com/user/292]
- A brief description of your shop & category (2010 & 2009 shop pages for reference) with a link or two (please no 18-link descriptions)
- If your info is the same or almost the same as last year, let me know and I can just transfer it.
- Let us know if there's a MeFi discount, we'll add some special icon or something.

As with last year, we're going to have a sidebar of photos on the shops page. You can add a few photos [1-3 please] to this MeFi group on Flickr.

Ask here if you have other questions. Thank you!

past announcements: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007
posted by jessamyn to MetaFilter-Related at 8:12 AM (55 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

Would selling vegan cookies/candies via mail count for this? Because I'd love to do that!
posted by Kitteh at 8:27 AM on November 29, 2011


Sure, you just basically need some sort of online shop/storefront even if it's just a website with a pricelist or whatever.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:31 AM on November 29, 2011


Could this be sidebarred? Someone needs to do his christmas shopping, and if I can do it on the site I spend all my time on then I heartily encourage participation by anyone who makes anything.
posted by Think_Long at 10:16 AM on November 29, 2011


Yep, the plan is to sidebar it once I'm sure all the bugs are worked out [pb found and squashed one already]. I'd like to have a few things in it before sending everyone over to look at it, so it's clear what it is to people who are newer here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:35 AM on November 29, 2011


When are you looking to get the thing sidebar ready? I'd love to be in there but right now I seriously need some deadlines or I'll put it off for things that have deadlines.

I hate deadlines.
posted by theichibun at 10:46 AM on November 29, 2011


Just how informal can this web presence be? Does it need to be more robust than a facebook group with pricing information?
posted by cmoj at 10:52 AM on November 29, 2011


A facebook group with pricing information isn't ideal but it's fine. It should be clear

- what's for sale
- whose stuff it is and how to contact you

So if it's just a post on a wall saying "I've got merch" less good. If it's a Page with some easy/obvious way to see what's available and how to get it, fine.

I'll put it on the sidebar in the next hour or two [looking for submissions]. There are a few entries there now. We'll do another sidebar post maybe next week when it's more populated.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:56 AM on November 29, 2011


Not sure if it'll be up in time but I'm in the process of setting up an Etsy presence for my mom who does Native American handicrafts. Since the tribe recognized her as a certified native artist I've been pushing her to get her stuff some public visibility. I'd love to include it in the list if possible.

One question, and trust me this isn't about the cost of admission, I'm her tech-support/web dude extraordinaire but I'm not involved in any of the physical labor of making the things she makes but I can promise you that I will be doing the heavy lifting with regards to ordering/policies/payment/etc. According to my understanding of the above criteria I'd have to get her an account (that I can guarantee would be 100% throwaway with regards to activity/usage) that I'll be managing for whatever needs this shop listing will entail then I'll be back over to RolandOfEld.

Am I understanding this right? If I am, so be it, I just wanted to put that out there and get clarification.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:02 AM on November 29, 2011


OK, this gives me the incentive I need to get off my ass tonight and set up a page to sell my crap!
posted by 40 Watt at 11:08 AM on November 29, 2011


I'm in the process of setting up an Etsy presence for my mom who does Native American handicrafts.

If you can honestly say that the store is something done by the two of you, then okay. Otherwise, please don't. Our basic feeling here is that there is a nice community of folks here who would like to help out other people in the community and/or "buy local" in our own general sense of the term. So if this is something that would benefit you in some way and you were a part of it, fine. If it's just a way to get more exposure for your mom's stuff, I don't think it's really in the spirit of what we're trying to do here, though you're the ultimate decision person. I guess I'd ask yourself: "If someone bought something from this store thinking they were helping out a MeFite, would full disclosure about the artist's affiliation to the site make them rethink their purchase?" or some version. It's not like space is at a premium. On the other hand, we specifically say "Stuff by MeFites" and that's really what we're hoping to showcase.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:13 AM on November 29, 2011


The link to allynk's Etsy shop is not working.
posted by aabbbiee at 11:25 AM on November 29, 2011


Ah, thwarted by http://!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:27 AM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't really know what course to take then given your response and the following thoughts. And please don't take this as me being ornery or willfully obtuse, I'm just talking this out as I think about things.

If you can honestly say that the store is something done by the two of you...

This statement is true insofar as the ONLINE STORE will be a joint venture. Perhaps one day she'll be capable of managing the digital side of things but I don't really foresee that in any reasonable amount of time.

Our basic feeling here is that there is a nice community of folks here who would like to help out other people in the community and/or "buy local" in our own general sense of the term. So if this is something that would benefit you in some way and you were a part of it, fine.

I guess I get lost somewhere around the mentioning of the 'general sense of [buy local]' such that my mom definitively falls into the category of someone you wouldn't hear about without being nearby or closely affiliated with. ..But no, she's not, nor would I ever expect her to be of her own accord "a MeFite".

So if this is something that would benefit you in some way and you were a part of it, fine.

Any trends toward her success will benefit me because I care about her and want her to feel warm and fuzzy. I do not anticipate any direct, personal, fiscal benefit from this however. So it's a toss up.

If someone bought something from this store thinking they were helping out a MeFite, would full disclosure about the artist's affiliation to the site make them rethink their purchase?

That's a good way to ask it and I simply don't know the answer. I'd tend to say no but I don't know how sensitive people are, I really don't. Perhaps, if it's not too much of a derail/pony request, I could ask opinions of other readers here to chime in with their two cents to see how they feel and I'll take their consideration/thoughts into account and go from there...?

As it stands I'm leaning towards a yes, pending she actually finalizes things on her end in time of course. Maybe that'll be the coin toss factor or pseudo-motivator in the equation, who knows....
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:28 AM on November 29, 2011


I personally host/provide internet stuffs and technical support to a bunch of stores (friends and family), but I'm not linking them here or expecting them to be on the site because the people making the stuff are not Mefites.

When I click on the store link, I expect that I am buying products from Mefites, not buying from stores set up by Mefites.
posted by fake at 11:35 AM on November 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yeah, my brother has a food business which I have supported by doing PR and press releases, but I wouldn't list it on MeFi as my food business. I think that's kind of analogous. Nothing against your mom's work, it sounds awesome and I'm completely in favor of people making money from arts skills, but you can imagine how dilute the store would get if people could post their relatives' and friends' ventures that they're a little bit involved with.
posted by Miko at 11:59 AM on November 29, 2011


What Miko said, pretty much, with the addition quite a few people around here either work with web stuff or are just more-competent-than-usual with html and whatnot, and so I would imagine that there are quite a few MeFi folks have done minor web-work for their family, friends and whatnots.

'If someone bought something from this store thinking they were helping out a MeFite, would full disclosure about the artist's affiliation to the site make them rethink their purchase?'

'She's not, nor would I ever expect her to be of her own accord "a MeFite".'
posted by box at 12:15 PM on November 29, 2011


"the addition that quite a few...," dangit.
posted by box at 12:16 PM on November 29, 2011


Man, I'm leaving out 'that's all over the place. You get my drift, I hope.
posted by box at 12:29 PM on November 29, 2011


Wow, I just checked out the shops - we have some really talented members! Gorgeous stuff! Bought some bike stuff for my wife, and now to decide who needs notecards for Christmas. Keep em' coming!

And as an aside, I think that the products should be somehow made/found/etc by a Mefite, not just the storefront. I would be disappointed if I thought I was buying from a Mefite and it turns out it was just a Mefite made website for someone else's stuff (nothing against her stuff!)
posted by arcticwoman at 12:40 PM on November 29, 2011


Got it, that's enough of a sample size for me given the pretty solid, strong response. No namedrop for mom's soon-to-be-shop.

I guess the point where I got thrown off was with the mention of gift accounts to allow for someone's goods to be listed. If setting this up as 'Mefite shops only' is the modus operandi it seems a bit odd to mention gift accounts as an acceptable means of entry.

This isn't my site and I'm sure the mods will do a good job moderating but it seems like due diligence might now include a profile click to ensure that the shop you're considering supporting isn't merely a throwaway, blank, zero activity account. To me that's not buying from a Mefite, that's buying from someone who heard about this and paid the entry fee.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for cool stuff sourced/vetted by other members but asking for a, quite possibly hollow, membership as a gateway just kinda surprised me and threw my normalcy sensors for a loop a bit, hence the questions and open-information/full disclosure in my previous posts.

I'll shop around and see what pops up, I'm all for this and thanks for the venue.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:53 PM on November 29, 2011


I have yet to mention that I totally understand the slippery slope side of things and how, as Miko put it, it could potentially server to 'dilute' the project. I guess I just see potentially empty account holders as diluting it just as effectively.

I'm guessing this has perhaps added valuable members in the past though, or at least not caused any problems or hard feelings, since this isn't the first go-round of this type of thing so *shrug* what do I know?
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:00 PM on November 29, 2011


RolandOfEld: I suggest you at least post your mom's store to Projects.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 1:10 PM on November 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Zeus!, I'm no expert but I don't think that's legit. 100% ok with that of course... Quoting the project announce page here:

It's for significant new creations by members (not friends of yours -- ask them to sign up and post themselves please).

posted by RolandOfEld at 1:15 PM on November 29, 2011


If you are the one developing the site, you are allowed to post that to Projects. I admit I only skimmed your comments.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 1:18 PM on November 29, 2011


Just disclose what your role was.
posted by Miko at 1:23 PM on November 29, 2011


I guess I see that as kinda the same thing as the discussion here. How much of my project is it really? Does setting up an Etsy shop make it mine? I mean, the grey area of it being her work and my web diligence (not even hosting it as a site of my own, just doing the Etsy policy/behind the scenes work) makes me want to err on the side of caution and not post it which again is 100% fine.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:24 PM on November 29, 2011


Looks like the link to "Season 1 of ZOMBIES, RUN!" is missing a -1
posted by soplerfo at 1:25 PM on November 29, 2011


Oh, I didn't catch that it was Etsy and not your own web design. So yeah, I agree with you.
posted by Miko at 1:32 PM on November 29, 2011


I respectfully disagree with Miko. People build their Projects on Tumblr, using Wordpress, etc., etc. I think an Etsy store front should be allowed on Projects.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 1:35 PM on November 29, 2011


Yay for this! Just purchased some gifts.
posted by odinsdream at 1:47 PM on November 29, 2011


My wife sells upholstery stuff to order. There's only a Flickr account. I am thinking this is Not A Thing That Would Be Allowed?
posted by Jofus at 1:49 PM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I see your point Hey, Zeus, but usually those are their own projects (as opposed to their mother's), so it makes more sense. It also seems fine for a MeFite to post his or her own projects on their own Etsy store. I think it's just not quite the intent of Projects to post someone else's Etsy store, even if you helped them configure it.
posted by Miko at 1:52 PM on November 29, 2011


Jofus: OMG, My VW beetle could so use her talents. I'd love to hear the 'how' concerning how she does upholstery stuff remotely, or maybe I have the wrong impression, memail if desired.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:53 PM on November 29, 2011


Ohhh, just snagged a bunch of beautiful cards from alynnk!
posted by deborah at 3:35 PM on November 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hooray! Emailed you, Jessamyn.
posted by runningwithscissors at 4:26 PM on November 29, 2011


I don't know how sensitive people are,

This is MetaFilter, people are very very sensitive. From your description, I've got to think the answer is no. Jessamyn offered the solution to you though, gift account :)

I have a similar kind of grey area issue with the wording.
this is for stuff you've created or worked on.
I've been on this list in the past. I wouldn't want to be this year, because my online presence is severely out of date. But...

I If you were to describe my business, you'd have to say commissioned sales agent, used goods dealer, professional consultant. None of them really counts as something I created. Worked on is a bit vague. In particular, worked on in the ugly language of business and economics could be anything you've "added value" to. On the other hand, it could be limited to something you've spent time crafting.

I think there is always a bias here on MeFi toward artistic businesses, but practical businesses are really just as valid. To me the important limitation should be that the proprietor is a member of the community, and that the stuff available is of interest based on the category: in this case gifts.
I see a possible debate over the meaning of proprietor, but I don't have time to flesh it out now
posted by Chuckles at 4:37 PM on November 29, 2011


Every year this makes me think of Neopets.
posted by spitbull at 4:43 PM on November 29, 2011


Would gift certificates to an accommodation venue fall into the 'postable' category?
posted by Kerasia at 4:51 PM on November 29, 2011


Is it a venue owned or operated by a Mefite?
posted by odinsdream at 5:41 PM on November 29, 2011


I think there is always a bias here on MeFi toward artistic businesses

We've had people in the past who had online pet food stores and those were fine. Someone else had a "vintage stuff" shop that was curated by them and that was fine. You make software or custom WordPress templates? Fine. Consultant? Probably AOK. The shops to tend to skew towards the arty but I think that's a combination of who decides to use them and what sorts of things people are likely to buy around the holidays which is the initial impetus for this one-month-only thing we do here.

And RolandofEld, I hear you, it's just that we have to draw the lines somewhere because people tend to nitpick everything to death that doesn't have a bright line. So the bright line is: has a MeFi account. And yes some people might sign up just to put their stuff in the store, but we see this more as "Oh I didn't know fake sold magnets, I should get some" because hey, I know him more than "Oh I didn't know soandsosmom sold stuff, I should get that" if I didn't know them. We see this in Jobs sometimes where people just sign up to MeFi to post jobs [or, less often, in Projects] and we figure if it started to be a thing that a lot of people were doing, we might find a way to dial it back. As it is, if it's more or less a one-off, no big deal.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:44 PM on November 29, 2011


Yes, the venue is owned and operated by a mefite. And their poor suffering metafilter-widow partner.
posted by Kerasia at 6:22 PM on November 29, 2011


I don't have a fancy online store. Is a paypal button on a blog good enough? I'm pretty trustworthy.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:35 PM on November 29, 2011


Very much appreciated that this is happening again - thank you!
posted by woodblock100 at 8:55 PM on November 29, 2011


Understood and well taken, dang you bright liners!!!
posted by RolandOfEld at 6:42 AM on November 30, 2011


Oh, neat. Perusing the offerings, I see that bitter-girl.com's publishing company is expanding into art and cooking books, instead of sticking with boring ol' knitting. That's exciting! I shall pitch her my idea for a book of nothing but chicken salad recipes, tentatively entitled, "Charge For The Mayo And The Chicken Is Free".
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:11 AM on November 30, 2011


These are lovely. I would also like to buy Metafilter branded items. Is that going to happen? Is it already happening and I am obtuse?
posted by bq at 11:06 AM on November 30, 2011


Excellent question. We should see what mathowie has in the garage, but we've been ordering t-shirts in batches to meet demand, so not sure if there are other things to sell on short notice.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:09 PM on November 30, 2011


Just ran a test order through my shiny new Paypal Buy Now buttons, and they worked! Thanks for doing this thing.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:02 PM on November 30, 2011


We've got over thirty folks showing their wares there now. Please feel free to add a photo or two to the Flickr pool and tell your MeFite friends to contact me to add their stuff.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:08 AM on December 1, 2011


Jessamyn, is it too late to add stuff? My publishing company (which I just started a few months ago, and which is 100% my own effort, but I am not the only author of the books) will be releasing a few titles (including a re-issue of my out-of-print poetry collection) in the next week or two - would it be okay to either email you now (I have a website but nothing is for sale yet) or to email you when I've released the books?
posted by joannemerriam at 12:26 PM on December 8, 2011


Nope, not too late, email me. Now or later. I can always edit it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:28 PM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks!
posted by joannemerriam at 12:38 PM on December 8, 2011


I would like to make Metafilter branded items (jewelry ) . Is it OK for me to make and sell them ? If yes , then should I do it through Metafilter , or by myself , on my Etsy or some other future website ?
posted by Oli D. at 9:27 PM on December 18, 2011


That's one of those "talk to mathowie directly" sorts of things.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:35 PM on December 18, 2011


Thank you , I'll do it .
posted by Oli D. at 9:46 PM on December 18, 2011


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