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Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon May 15 2017 22:03:22

Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?

By: Ina Steiner
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Two private equity firms disclosed today they have taken a stake in Etsy totaling 8% and have contacted representatives of the company "to offer to engage in discussions regarding strategic alternatives." They also disclosed their intention to "review their investment in Etsy on a continuing basis."

A possible goal of the investors could be to buy, "fix," and sell Etsy - and obviously try to make money in doing so. Another desired outcome could be to get Etsy to sell itself to a third-party - at an attractive price, of course. (Would this be a good time for eBay to make a play?)

All this attention may be curious given Etsy is "small fry" compared to eBay and Amazon. But Amazon may be partly the reason for all the attention Etsy is getting from hedge fund and private equity firms. As traditional retailers struggle, they become less attractive, while Amazon is doing extremely well, giving them confidence in Etsy's potential.

However, a marketplace only succeeds with online sellers, and it is easy to upset the apple cart. 

One thing we've learned in covering ecommerce since 1999: sellers vote with their pocketbooks. If Etsy can get buyers to buy, sellers will likely stay. 

The reality is, small sellers don't have a lot of options when it comes to marketplaces, and it's difficult for them to attract shoppers to their standalone stores.

That said, making a play for Etsy represents big money, and the marketplace could end up looking a lot different depending on how the current board or potential new owners go about "fixing" it. That means the Etsy seller of the future could also look very different from today.
Reading EcommerceBytes Blog: Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?
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Perminate Link for Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?   Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Mon May 15 23:17:40 2017
Etsy sellers had better hope that Bain and The Ho aren't involved this.
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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay
       
Tue May 16 00:43:50 2017
@Ina

''Would this be a good time for eBay to make a play?'' (For Etsy)

Oh, hell no! They can't even stay on top of their own site. And would the successful sellers on Etsy go over to the ''dark side''? Many of them decided to sell there to get away from eBay and the constant browbeating and mistreatment of their sellers.

I tried Etsy very briefly, and there was just no traffic. At the time, you had to have sales to gain exposure in search. What a Catch-22 that was! And the troubles have mounted for the site, due to their silly rules and hiding of listings (sound familiar?).

No matter who purchases them, Etsy will probably go the way of AOL and My Space. Still a bit active, but largely forgotten.

If an artisan can make a unique product, they promote it on sites like Pinterest which would include links to their own website. This eliminates the interference, not to mention the high fees, from Etsy, Amazon Handmade, eBay, and PayPal.
Perminate Link for Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?   Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?
by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue May 16 06:23:50 2017
Etsy is like watching the sinking of the titanic. Going going gone.
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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford
       
Tue May 16 07:43:50 2017
It's a big red flag any time investors start advising a company.

Appoint a seasoned competent leadership team and GET OUT OF THE WAY.

Private equity companies only want to put lipstick on the pig and sell the company for a big profit.
Perminate Link for Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?   Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?
by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue May 16 09:11:31 2017
Wave "bye bye"!
Perminate Link for Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?   Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?
This user has validated their user name. by: BuildingMyOwnSite
       
Tue May 16 12:29:15 2017
As far as ''fixing'' it, when is the last time a private equity firm, or an investor ''fixed'' anything?

Not their job.  Fancy names for sharks/raiders. The board is supposed to take care of this, that's why you have one.

Raiders use lipstick, as Rex said.  Etsy didn't have the  ethics they claimed, nor the moxie to make it what could have been a Wonderful company, and a real permanent Powerhouse.

Now it's destined for the scrap heap of public corporations, dedicated to Monster salaries & bonuses, in the name of protecting the shareholders, by maximizing profits.  (Which will continue to disappear, through bonuses, and quality merchandise moving to other venues.

Too bad, saw this coming,

No way can small handcrafters compete with large FAKE handcrafters from Asia, that were invited to the table, and IN FACT, given a change in the rules, that legitimized them.
Perminate Link for Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?   Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?
This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford
       
Tue May 16 15:05:42 2017
Etsy's story is very much like eBay's story. They had something special in the beginning.  Then they went public.

The "special" ended the minute that they went public and became a pawn for greedy management and greedy Wall Street.
Perminate Link for Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?   Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?
by: AntiquesEtCetera13 This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu May 18 01:47:56 2017
I think it is a great shame what is happening to Etsy, I have been selling on line for the past 16 years, just under 3 years on Etsy, off all the sites that I have sold on Etsy is without doubt the best. the last 8 months I have had more sales on Etsy than anywhere else. So many people are unhappy with all the changes Etsy are making and have made, even sellers who have been on Etsy for many years. Now the new shop manager, what a nightmare that is.
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by: LeeLoo This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu May 18 04:14:36 2017
The ultimate 'fix' what the sellers want is to remove the re-sellers.
That isn't going to happen.
So it's a pointless exercise. Handcrafters will hang around while it's still reasonably worth while for them to remain. But as soon as it isn't...well - all the sentiment in the world does not solve their problems and it's a fond wave bye bye to another venue.
Perminate Link for Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?   Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?
by: funkygrrl This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu May 18 07:27:27 2017
Not at all surprised. Chad Dickerson ruined that company and now they have someone new to finish the job he started. (omg what if Ebay hires him?)

I predict that handmade sellers will go to Pinterest and Facebook, particularly if they improve their selling tools.  
Perminate Link for Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?   Etsy Is in Play - Who Will End up 'Fixing' It?
by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu May 18 07:55:53 2017
Management keeps forgetting that Etsy does not own any of the merchandise that is sold on the site.  Or maybe, more likely, they just don't care.

As longtime sellers of genuine handmade and vintage products get fed up, they are leaving. 1000s of them.

They are being replaced with sellers of substandard Chinese crap that is being mis-labeled as handmade or vintage.  With Etsy's OK.

If the powers that be can figure out a way to make money by selling to Walmart they will do that.  Only problem is that that market is saturated and Etsy is not even a player.

Big question:  who would even want such a messed up site that is rapidly losing the very reason for its existence?
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by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu May 18 08:48:08 2017
Well, monetizing HAS BEEN  the norm since Reaganomics was put into play. Don't the money changers even have a clue yet THAT IT'S THEM CREATIBG AL THE ECONOMIC MESSES?
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by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.
       
Thu May 18 09:48:42 2017
Who cares??  I'm out of there, moved my last item yesterday.  I expect them to fail.
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by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri May 19 09:34:59 2017
Sounds like greenmail to me - play ball w/ us or we'll manipulate your stock!
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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.
       
Tue May 23 15:04:17 2017
Its funny that these idiot investors think they can buy and fix any selling venue, as if its that easy.



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