| Apr 29, 2014 |
Etsy embarks on wholesale distribution effort
By Staff

Last summer, Etsy launched a beta version of its newest endeavor, Etsy Wholesale, which connects sellers with qualified independent boutiques in the US and abroad. The platform, which is scheduled to go public August 1, offers artisans and makers a new channel to grow their independent, creative businesses beyond the casual online shopper.

Retailers looking for unique, hard-to-find products to stock in their stores can place orders year-round through a streamlined ordering process.

Sellers will pay a one-time $100 joining fee and the standard 3.5% transaction fee for each order.

“The wholesale industry has not yet caught up with the times, and Etsy Wholesale could act as a catalyst for a digital wholesale experience,” said Michele Varian, a retail buyer on Etsy Wholesale for her New York City shop.

Brad and Emily Weckesser from West Virginia are the creators of rustic home accessories, which they sell through Richwood Creations. In June 2013, they were contacted by Etsy Wholesale to join the Nordstrom partnership.

“Etsy Wholesale has really helped our business grow, and is now the focus of our operations,” said Brad Weckesser.

Tray by Richwood Creations

“Based on what we’ve learned in the last year, we have started to design our products to appeal to wholesale buyers and environments over other channels. Running Richwood Creations has allowed me the freedom to create and spend all day doing the things that used to be only hobbies or dreams.”

The attention that the Weckessers received from Etsy Wholesale enabled them to rent a dedicated studio space and scale from a two-person business to eight employees.

According to an Etsy blog post, written by Camilla Velasquez, part of Etsy’s goal is to help sellers grow, and reach their vision of success. “What we’ve built is a direct reflection of listening to the needs of our growing community of shop owners ready to take their businesses to the next level, and it complements a traditionally seasonal pen-and-paper practice.”

In addition to facilitating orders between sellers and independent boutiques, Etsy Wholesale partnerships with large retailers such as Nordstrom, West Elm and Indigo have presented wholesale sellers with new opportunities to scale up and expand their audience. Etsy-sponsored events with tradeshows like Capsule, American Craft Council and the National Stationery Show (coming up in May) have further extended the reach of sellers doing wholesale.

August will bring a host of new opportunities to Etsy Wholesale sellers, including a launch event catering to the industry’s top lifestyle and home boutiques, new retail partnerships and marketing campaigns that celebrate the sellers that comprise Etsy Wholesale.

Retail buyers, designers, artists and other sellers who would like to be a part of Etsy Wholesale can apply online.

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