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Wed May 30 2018 21:54:08

Etsy to Close Wholesale Platform in July

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy has been helpful to sellers trying to get their products into the hands of retailers and boutiques, but on Wednesday, the company announced it's shutting down Etsy Wholesale.

"Unfortunately, running a separate marketplace built around the needs of wholesale sellers requires a big investment of resources," it wrote. "So we've made the tough decision to close the Etsy Wholesale platform."

Etsy had acquired Trunkt in 2012 and launched its wholesale initiative later that year, allowing wholesale buyers to connect with vetted Etsy sellers. Etsy Wholesale officially launched in 2014.

However, in Etsy's eyes, there isn't enough business generated through the platform. "Of our nearly 2 million sellers, only 5,000 of them are actively selling on Etsy Wholesale, and only a small fraction of those sellers sell more than $10,000 a year through the wholesale platform," it revealed.

Etsy sellers can transact wholesale orders on its main marketplace platform but without the tools and marketing offered on Etsy Wholesale.

The company offered some suggestions, including sending existing Etsy Wholesale buyers a coupon code that contains a minimum order value; creating private listings when approached by a buyer that includes bulk-order pricing; and adding a "Wholesale" or "Bulk order" tag on listings where those options are offered.

Etsy said beginning on June 28, 2018, buyers will no longer be able to place new purchase orders on Etsy Wholesale.

On July 31, 2018, Etsy Wholesale will close, and buyers and sellers will no longer be able to access Etsy.com/Wholesale. Etsy will send sellers a data file with their wholesale purchase order history.

One seller called the news disheartening in a post on the Etsy boards. Another seller questioned what resources Etsy was talking about when it said the wholesale marketplace required a big investment on its part - "Etsy laid off everyone who worked on Etsy Wholesale and haven't updated the site since."

"Etsy Wholesale has been such an important part of growing my business and I'm really going to miss it!" wrote another. Many discussed whether Indigo Fair was a viable alternative.

Out of many responses, one seller wondered if Etsy focusing on the core site would be better for the vast majority of sellers.

Etsy CEO Josh Silverman is making the company mean and lean and makes data-driven decision. But could there be intangible benefits to Etsy Wholesale that are difficult to quantify?

Let us know what you think, and what message is Etsy sending by closing down the platform.




Comments (7) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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by: go-figure This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 31 08:38:07 2018

Judging by the lack of comments, it would seem that Etsy is making the right decision here. Apparently none of ECB's readers care about Etsy Wholesale.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu May 31 10:44:23 2018

If only .2% of your sellers are involved, it doesn't appear worth the time or money to keep it going.

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by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 31 12:18:35 2018

So I went to this site to see what was out there before it closes.
I see why they have no BUYERS.
You would think that if you are already a seller on etsy that they would already have your info to be a buyer on the wholesale site, but no, it is a very detailed process to even see what is out there to purchase.
No buyers, no active sellers.

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by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 31 18:44:22 2018

Etsy is full of drop-shippers ... all those personalized mugs and T-shirts etc are a big load of crap and have nothing to do with OOAK and handmade.

There are dozens of uTube videos teaching people how to do it, and even one's to do it on Etsy even though it is supposedly against the rules.

Guess they figured out that the main site was the place they could get away with it and hence the 'wholesale' site never took off.

Either way, focus on Etsy - fix search and advertise so people know we're there.

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 5 10:10:09 2018

I've been a participant in Etsy Wholesale for about 4.5 years. I was on EW for about 18 months before receiving my first order and have only received 10 orders via EW in the last 3 years. I know there are many EW sellers who will miss this option, but wholesale has never been a huge part of my business, so it's not a great loss for me personally.  

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by: marcdawg This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 2 12:41:35 2018

As a retailer, I can’t say that I’m surprised. I tried for 4 years to purchase from Etsy wholesale, but there were many blocks to purchasing that hindered me from actually doing so. One of the main reasons being pricing. A lot of the smaller sellers only had a few or limited products to offer, but their minimum purchase requirements were so high that it wasn't financially feasable or a smart investment. I would be very unhappy to be stuck with $500 worth of the same dinglehopper in my store, when I can shop other wholesale platforms and receive a variety of dinglehoppers for $500. The risk is lessened for me. From an outside perspective, I think it would have benefited Etsy to educate their sellers on the economics of purchasing. The online world is so competitive that wholesale and retail has changed dramatically, and some even have restrictions on which platforms you are allowed to sell on. Which, from a business perspective and in my opinion is really not a great practice (Starting out as a small business myself, I would have never had the audacity to direct my vendors on how to operate their business...but that’s a whole other discussion and I simply choose not to purchase from high maintenance wholesalers once they’ve proved to be this way. Ironically, it’s usually the smaller sellers who seem to have restrictions, while all of my larger. Corporate vendors are happy with the $1,000s of dollars we purchase from them throughout the year. *sigh*) I will admit that we have mostly purchased these types of item through indigo fair, due to the variety and ability to “mix and match” items at lower costs, and a benefit of returning if they don’t sell. I am sad to see Etsy wholesale close, especially for those reliant and hopeful that it would grow their business! And yes, it was a daunting process to get approved for Etsy wholesale only to be disappointed with the offerings.  

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Jul 2 13:33:07 2018

@marcdawg - Don't know what your store sells, but if rustic home decor is part of it, let's talk!

I tried a variety of minimum order requirements on Etsy, but all less than $100; I think it may have been just $50 at the end. Etsy occasionally notified me that they suggested a $250 (or so) MOQ, which I just laughed at. While $50 is barely worth it for me, most of my EW orders were $100+. I will admit that I had a limited selection of items on EW ... which is because I only wholesale my smalls and not my more expensive items (primitive dolls) because I can sell them retail as fast as I can make them and, given a choice, I'd rather have the retail price!  



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