Like Etsy, but for services?
April 30, 2010 11:31 AM   Subscribe

Is there anything like Etsy, but for services?

I'm wondering if there's a website for individuals such as web designers, freelancer writers, etc. to sell their services online? I know most people who offer such services have their own websites, but I can't seem to find any central place where a potential customer could go to quickly and easily sort through a bunch of service providers to find exactly what they need.

I am aware of the various bidding sites, but I'm thinking of something where the vendors set their own rates and have a little portfolio you can look through, à la Etsy.

If it doesn't exist, is there a good reason for it not to?

On the flipside, I was under the impression that one was not allowed to sell services on Etsy, but doing a search for "websites" on Etsy brings up plenty of people who are selling website designs. Would a website design be considered a "handmade item", because it's figuratively handmade? If so, could something like a press release be considered "handmade"?

(P.S. I already checked the FAQ on Etsy and it doesn't really define the word "handmade". I could e-mail them but I don't want to get anybody selling services on there in trouble.)
posted by Jess the Mess to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Elance? They take a cut, but providers do set their own rates.
posted by mireille at 11:34 AM on April 30, 2010

There's OurGoods, which is a site for bartering services: you make me a dress, I design you a set of mugs. And so on. It's in alpha though, and still in development, and you need an invite.
posted by suedehead at 11:34 AM on April 30, 2010

There's, which was setup by the 37Signals guys.
posted by mooders at 11:40 AM on April 30, 2010

You're not supposed to sell services on Etsy such as tarot card reading, or reiki healing via phone, or fortune telling, but selling a service that results in a tangible product is within the guidelines. So yes, selling website design and graphic design is acceptable, although most feel it's not really in the spirit of folksy handmade indie design, which is what a lot of people think of when they think of Etsy. You can also go to Alchemy/Custom there and ask for someone to design a website.

But. I do think there's a market for what you're describing, absolutely. Find a need and fill it, as JP Getty used to say. Or John Deere, or Jenna Jameson, or whoever, depending on who you talk to :)
posted by iconomy at 12:33 PM on April 30, 2010 lets providers show samples of their work.
posted by carmicha at 3:50 PM on April 30, 2010

Hmm, I actually was not aware that you can do what I was describing on elance and guru. However, I've pretty much only heard bad to pretty "eh" things about those and other bidding sites coming from a vendor's perspective.

Ourgoods looks kind of cool but I am definitely looking for a place to earn cash rather than barter.

Sortfolio is very much along the lines of what I'm thinking of, if it weren't just for web designers.
posted by Jess the Mess at 5:48 PM on April 30, 2010

This is a new start-up, I think: For developers, designers, copywriters, photographers, managers and marketers.
posted by serunding at 11:18 PM on April 30, 2010

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