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Etsy Hopes Manufacturing Can Hold Off Amazon

There was once a time when retailers like Amazon and Etsy could coexist in the same eCommerce space. Now, it’s a dog-eat-dog digital world.

Recently, Amazon rolled out its plans for a Handmade marketplace to sell handcrafted items through Amazon’s fulfillment network. Etsy announced in a September blog post that it would be launching a new program aimed at connecting individual sellers with small manufacturers capable of producing their goods. Heather Jassy, senior vice president of members and community at Etsy, wrote in the post that the new Etsy Manufacturing program will help small merchants scale up to larger orders without losing quality.

“Most of all, we wanted to empower sellers to construct their businesses and lives in ways that work best for them, on their own terms,” Jassy wrote. “Our sellers tell us over and over that growing responsibly is important to them, and we want to enable that.”

The move comes months after Amazon announced its own strategy targeted at siphoning off sales from Etsy, and it could be the start of a protracted battle between the two companies. However, Reuters reported that the recent moves made by Etsy executives have left some loyal sellers frustrated. Stacy Mecklenburg, a merchant selling handmade swimwear on Etsy, told Reuters that whether or not Etsy Manufacturing helps her scale is immaterial because her goods are noted for quality rather than quantity.

“I went from being a big fish in a handmade ecosystem to being a little fish in a saturated market,” Mecklenburg said.

Etsy Manufacturing might not single-handedly save the company from Amazon’s encroachment, but it’s clear that Etsy had to make some kind of move to stem the tide of its falling stock prices.

Otherwise, Etsy would have one foot in its artisanally crafted, hand-sanded coffin.

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