National Jeweler Network

Online Retailing

Etsy pushes wholesale business out of test mode

August 19, 2014

The Porcelain & Stone brand, which created the piece pictured here, is currently showing in the Etsy Pavilion at the NY NOW trade show as the online marketplace launches its new wholesale business.

New York--Aiming to get its products in more stores across the country, Etsy, the popular marketplace for handmade goods, officially has launched its wholesale division to allow retailers access to products from smaller designers.

As opposed to the traditional platform, both buyers and sellers have to go through an application process to be approved and begin activity on Etsy Wholesale.

Sellers will pay a one-time $100 joining fee upon acceptance, with Etsy collecting a 3.5 percent transaction fee for wholesale purchases after that. Etsy Wholesale is free for buyers.

Another major difference between the two is that Etsy Wholesale is a much more curated shopping experience for a buyer, the company said--traditional Etsy has more than 1 million sellers while the wholesale business has about 1,500.

Etsy Wholesale, which the company called “a step into the future of retail buying” in the blog announcement it made earlier this month, will offer retailers the chance to carry unique items that will help set them apart from the competition.

Features on the site include ready-to-shop linesheets from buyers as well as search functions that allow retailers to find products that fit their price ranges. Sellers also can use a “guest pass” for their buyers who are not yet registered on the site to invite them to shop their linesheets.

In addition, Etsy Wholesale provides seller and buyer profiles to get the background information and stories to go with the brand or store.

Etsy first announced it was launching a wholesale division last year and has been testing it out in beta mode. The company said that during the beta phase, feedback from buyers and sellers helped them create the user tools and seamless integration between and Etsy Wholesale, between which many sellers move back and forth.

Etsy also previously partnered with retailers such as Nordstrom and West Elm to test carrying the site’s handmade goods in their stores.

Etsy Wholesale officially is launching with its presence at the trade-only NY NOW show, which covers the home, lifestyle and gift markets and currently is taking place now through Aug. 20 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Pier 94 in New York City.

At the show, 24 exhibitors across the home and lifestyle categories will be showcasing their handmade goods at the Etsy Wholesale Pavilion (Booth No. 9000). The booth also will include a lounge to allow retailers a place to digitally access the entire Etsy Wholesale community.

The company also announced that in the coming months they have a number of initiatives planned to promote the platform’s independent sellers.

Etsy Wholesale will support Small Business Saturday on Nov. 29 by encouraging retailers to source products from local Etsy sellers and host trunk shows. Participating retailers will receive a trunk show kit with promotional material, a $25 gift card to purchase supplies from Etsy sellers and a $50 American Express Shop Small Reward Card, according to the company. 

Editor's Note: This story was revised on August 19 to reflect that sellers aren't approved on traditional Etsy; anyone can open a shop as long as they follow the guidelines.