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Etsy Runs Pilot Program to Test Licensed Merchandise

There’s not only fan fiction, there’s fan merchandise as well, and Etsy is testing a way to allow its sellers to participate in an approved manner. Etsy Director of Business Development Morgan Blake said the marketplace has been developing the pilot program with Lionsgate since late last year. The test will run for six months.

Blake works on partnerships and new business opportunities to support and grow the Etsy community. He said the pilot program helps sellers create and sell officially authorized and licensed items for The Divergent Series: Insurgent. Eleven sellers are participating in the pilot in conjunction with the home entertainment release of the movie later this month.

“The Etsy community is full of creative artists, designers, and makers, and brands recognize that. We are committed to helping our sellers grow into new and diverse channels, especially when gaining access to those channels can be difficult for a very small business. Brand licenses for official merchandise may be difficult or impossible to obtain independently, and we are helping to facilitate connections between sellers and brands like Lionsgate to explore new partnerships.”

There was a mixed reaction from sellers on the forums, such as this thread. “As someone who enjoys making fanart and has no room in her house – this makes me happy.” But others were worried about the implications of such a program.

You can read more about the program on the Etsy blog, and you can find the licensed items on the Etsy website.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.