A few weeks ago I set up shop on Esty.com. I am still learning my way around and I don't have very many listing up yet but my enthusiasm is still very high. Last night I was looking around on Etsy and I came across a listing that started with PIF I was curious if it was a typo or what it meant. Upon opening the listing I discovered that the seller was not actually selling an item she was giving a recipe away for a body wash/scrub. I was intrigued so I went further to see what a search for PIF yielded. It took me awhile to figure out that it meant Pay It Forward. Many of the sellers use it in slightly different ways. But the gist of it is just to do something nice and encouraging the recipient to do likewise. In many cases this takes the form of the seller offering their item for just the cost of the listing (20 cent) plus the shipping cost.
It doesn't surprise me that an Idea like this should come out of the crafting world. I love the simplicity of it. It has been a few years since the movie Pay It Forward came out but its nice to see that the concept lives on even in what might seem the most obscure places. Pay it forward one stitch, one glue dab or one brush stroke at a time and we just might change the world! It is easy to be a skeptic no doubt but consider that just a few years ago Etsy did not exist and today they are experiencing phenomenal growth. I believe that, in part, at least this growth is due to the sometimes crazy but innovative ideas that come out of the creative process. Paying it Forward on Etsy is just one of those little innovations.
Just a caution if you look up PIF there seem to be many possible meanings including Paid in Full, Partners in Flight, Pacific Islands Forum and others.