December 09, 2009

What on earth is VLab??

VLab??  What on earth is that?  Actually it is a truly terriffic place to learn about how to improve your Etsy shop.  If you have never been to a Virtual Lab (VLab) you are in for a treat!  It seems nearly overwhelming when you first join the room but sitting back and watching for just a few minutes you get pulled in to the foray with everyone else.

The group within the lab is comprised of a blend of sellers and buyers from the brand new Newbies to the seasoned Etsy seller.  It is moderated via video cam by amazing Etsy Administrators.  Anyone can submit questions to the queue and the Admin moderator (who truly IS expert) shows who is asking the question, what the question is and proceeds to answer.  Meanwhile everyone attending can add to the advice or critique.  This is always, ALWAYS done respectfully and thoroughly. 

Veteran labbers are so willing and helpful pointing out the "how to's" of chatting in the labs, submitting questions, posting URLs that are truly helpful.  If you come away from these labs without learning something..... you weren't even looking at your monitor!

Of course there are fun little things to do in VLab too!  Laughter abounds throughout the entire experience.  Gifts are thrown, hands are waved, applauses everywhere and of course spinning til you are dizzy!  It is truly the most fun way to learn on the internet!

Interested in trying one out?  Log in to your Etsy account and go to Community.  From there click Virtual labs and scroll down and see what labs are available.  The times posted are - for the most part- listed in your time zone.  (If not then it shows the time by Eastern Standard Time). They try to list some labs as late as 10 pm for overseas sellers too.

There are labs for critiques, labs for newbies, labs for shows and galleries, labs to show you how to create little goodies, the list goes on and on.  There is a lab for just about anything your heart desires!  Teams often meet in labs and their meetings are often open to the "public".  It's a great way to check out a team to see if you want to be included in their rosters.

When you find an interesting lab and you are within 30 minutes or so of it's start, click on the room that states the topic you are interested in.  You will be directed into that room.  One hint that will save you from frustration is don't click anything until you can see the seating area and probably listing cards and other avatars.  (If you click before that you get sent out to the little hamster who tells you the room isn't available - the little rat!)  When you see others in the room then you can send the Hello! and be part of the fun! (If you do get sent to the hamster just click the back arrow and try again.)

If you are already logged in to your Etsy account you can just click this url:

There are always others in the room who will guide you in how to ask questions, throw tomatoes or how to do just about anything that can be done in labs.  We are a friendly bunch!

CAUTION!!!!  Attending Vlabs can be habit forming!! 
But ohhhh what a great habit!

See you in the labs!!


  1. Now this is the approach that I find the most meaningful, and certainly the most welcoming to newbies. I consider myself a teen newbie but I can tell you that it is most intimidating to try new things like the VL or chat and be bowled over by others that don't want to deal with newbies.

    My best aide to understanding Etsy has been the interactions with those willing to take the time to teach and acknowledge in VL and good chats.

    Aunt Karen's Creations has a great ability to do that. We should all follow that lead in dealing with others and newbies, then there is more fun and encouragement for everyone!

    First Lab was yesterday, and I personally received some feedback, some I didn't like but that I listened to, and I am making some changes based on those comments, which in fact were very very good and much appreciated after the fur laid down.

  2. Love your blog!!! congrats!
    See you in the VLabs


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