Ninety-plus percent of retail sales still takes place in physical stores, but that hasn’t stopped Etsy from amassing more than a million sellers generating $1.35 billion in sales. But, it’s the opportunities in the nascent e-wholesaling market that has them most excited, and motivated the launch of a beta offshoot of Etsy to test the wholesale market online.
One of the early testers was Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios who makes jewelry and delicate home décor items out of porcelain, such as hanging planter sets and necklaces in the shape of arrowheads. Hamley worked from her basement for three years and struggled to break into the wholesale market. But when she switched to the Etsy platform, she attracted enough wholesale accounts that it made up the majority of her business and she was able to move from the basement to her own studio.
“I had been working really hard to build my wholesale business, and I had done what I considered to be a fairly decent job,” Ms. Hamley said. “But in the last few months since I’ve been on Etsy Wholesale, I’ve gained as many buyers and retail stores as I had in the entire first three years doing it on my own.”
After a year of being in beta, Etsy Wholesale is now ready for the market to offer sellers an opportunity to growth their business and connect sellers with independent boutiques in the US and abroad. Retail buyers who are looking for unique, hard-to-find pieces for their shelves will be able to place orders year-round through a streamlined ordering process.
New sellers can join with a one time fee of $100 and Etsy will collect a 3.5% transaction fee for wholesale purchase orders.
In addition to helping sellers expand their business, this move greatly benefits buyers as well. When a retail buyer and the owner of Michele Varian in NYC was asked about what Etsy will add to the wholesale space and Michele Varian responded, “the wholesale industry has not yet caught up with the times, and Etsy Wholesale could act as a catalyst for a digital wholesale experience”.
In addition to independent boutiques, Etsy also has partnerships with major retailers including Nordstrom, West Elm and Indigo, which have given wholesale sellers new opportunities to scale up and expand their audience. To date, hundreds of retailers have joined the beta in search of fresh, diverse products.