Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Mar 4 2015 19:21:46

Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson announced the news that many were expecting - "we filed to go public today," he titled his announcement on the Etsy boards.

Dickerson shared few details, however, explaining that the SEC required a "quiet period" that would prevent him and other employees about the filing. "Most of the time, we'll have to say "no comment" to your questions, and I understand that may not be satisfying," he wrote.

"I appreciate your patience with us during this process, and we will share more information when we can."

In its press release, Etsy interestingly called itself both an online and offline marketplace "where people around the world connect to make, sell and buy unique goods."

In addressing the rumors of an IPO ten months ago, Dickerson told the Associated Press it wasn't out of the question, but said, "We think it's really important to continue to serve our community and we think independence really matters. We're not the traditional Silicon Valley type of company, where we just have this bloodthirst to go public, but it's definitely a possible outcome."

It's hard to imagine what founder and former head of Etsy Rob Kalin is thinking, but he's likely to share in the wealth the initial public offering will spawn among the founders, investors, executives and employees. Kalin was believed to have been forced out by the board of directors when he left in 2011 after making a series of controversial moves. 

When Google went public, it distributed shares in an auction designed to give the general public a better chance to buy stock before shares begin trading versus being restricted to an elite group picked by investment bankers handling the deal. 

eBay was said to have initially led users to believe they might share in its IPO, but that was quashed when it filed in 1998. 

We'll review Etsy's filing, but there's unlikely to be any special provisions for users. Scratch that - it states in the press release:

Etsy plans to reserve a portion of the shares to be sold in the offering through an IPO participation program for individual purchasers. The program will be administered by Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC. Go to etsyipo.morganstanley.com for more information.

It does not have any provision for users to participate as such, but sets aside shares for individuals - see the MorganStanley.com page referenced (unfortunately there's little information on how it will work.)

The Wall Street Journal noted, "Etsy, which started in a Fort Greene apartment, is considered among the handful of New York-born companies perceived to have what it takes to make it big."

We'll have more on reaction to this development, in the meantime, share your thoughts. Will Etsy change, and if so, how and why? Can Etsy retain its handmade persona while "making it big"?




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 4 20:21:09 2015

I hate when good, working companies go public. They all make millions and their brains become "How can we make more money". When they go public, it is their fiduciary responsibility to make money for the stockholders.

Oh well, time will tell what happens here.

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 4 20:46:32 2015

We really like etsy, and we hope and pray they don't turn into another ebay,

it will be interesting to see if the new found money brings out the evil in them, or if they can be creative similar to Google to find other ventures to make profit without destroying their core business like ebay has.

Regardless what they do we learned a valuable lessen, with ebay, to never again put all our eggs in one basket, and to put our interests first.

 

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: Dreadsy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 5 00:13:19 2015

Anybody note the use of the word ''unique''replacing''handmade?'' I fear this has blown the door wide open for the mass-produced factory crap sellers. Answering to stockholders is never a good thing...especially for a site that once upon a time actually was for selling HANDMADE items.

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 5 00:14:47 2015

I received the email announcement no less than 8 times......You'd think they want my attention...
This will make Etsy even more greedy and open to "hand made" crap from over-seas....

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 5 00:32:02 2015

another company that sellers loved takes that first step downward.  their focus will now change from providing a good place for sellers to whatever will cause the stock to go up, while the founders become rich beyond their dreams.

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: JimJuris This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Mar 5 00:34:13 2015

Sell, sell, sell, is what I would do with the stock when Etsy goes public.

The purpose of buying a stock is to MAKE MONEY.  How can you make money when Etsy does not make any money?  At least that is what the article that I read today said (Etsy does not make any money) about Etsy going public.

I believe that Chad stated that Etsy has been profitable for several years, so I don't really know where the article that I read earlier today got its information.


Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: Garcia This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 5 00:39:32 2015

Etsy clearly admits that its main goal is growing its seller manufacturing business.  It is there that the big money will be made. Small sellers up their seller numbers but do nothing for their bottom line, so with this IPO they will receive even less attention along with putting handmade on the back burner and eventually in the trash heap.  Sad but so it goes.

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 5 01:31:53 2015

They are well on their way to becoming eBay #2 and still have a confusing search system.  I sell very little on there and don't have the time to sit thru their seminars.  Things just shouldn't be that confusing!

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Thu Mar 5 04:22:18 2015

Now there are shareholders to look out for.

Remember if you agree to a contract, it is binding.

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 5 05:36:34 2015

Here's a thought. Since Etsy will now put their focus on making money for the shareholder, ...

... IF all the sellers pooled their resources and began buying stock, they could in fact become the owners.

Sounds like they are figuring about $25. a share.

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Mar 5 07:13:33 2015

Maybe they can invite Carl Ichan in as a major investor so that he can have a big hissy fit when things don't go his way.

Any interest that I once had in Etsy has just vanished.  I don't need an eBay redux.

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 5 09:08:22 2015

All I can say is that it can't get much worse for the sellers no matter what these idiots do. There is no viable search function coupled with their new category system that makes it impossible for buyers to find what they're looking for. Not to mention the new politically correct "diversity" system whereby SEO becomes meaningless and every seller is only allowed one item per page no matter how good their titles and tags are. To add insult to injury, just like in the real world, lesser sellers who have lousy or no SEO or experience are given the same rank in search as those who work their butts off to promote their items.

One good thing is that they may start advertising the site and trying to woo new buyers. Hopefully they will take their money and fire the staff and bring in new adults who know what they're doing. Otherwise, handmade and vintage sellers that were the foundation of the site, can expect to get more of the same shoddy treatment that we have experienced in the last 5 years.

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Thu Mar 5 09:10:49 2015

Etsy...1,000....Long

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 5 09:14:03 2015

Well I called this almost two years ago when they changed to a pinterest format.  Since then views, faves and sales have been going down.

The focus should have been on SEO and "promoting their brand" long before going public.

This latest change has seen most peoples sales go down and if they're about making money, they should fire their tech team and hire someone who knows what they're doing.  

The landing page is a joke ... small curated selections by a handful of people you follow.   This means that buyers only see a small selection of new items and/or ones that have been faved.  

How exactly is that supposed to help sales and encourage walk-by traffic. Anyone in sales knows that your walk-by traffic is key to sales.  That your 'window' aka landing page entices people to come in and browse.  

Many times they buy something that they weren't even looking for, but saw and decided they couldn't live without.  That has been destroyed on etsy.

These stupid new categories also decrease exposure to a wider selection of goods within a category.  No one can convince me that when someone is looking for earrings, they are specifically looking for 'dangles and drops' or 'pierced' versus 'clip-ons.'  Even if they were, they are not seeing other potential items that would sway their decision.

IF their goal is to become another ebay, which clearly it is, then they had best sort some of these issues out.  

People need to be easily found if they want their sales to soar.  I went from having many hundreds of views and faves in a day to having 100+ views and under 50 faves.  I'd really love someone to explain me how these new categories and landing page are going to work for me.

Best also to explain to all these new people that they are trying to attract what a seller needs to go through just to be seen!  When they say quite your full time job, do they mean to promote yourself through spinning your wheels and spending endless time desperately trying to be seen!!


Once again its about handmade and very little about antique and vintage which by all accounts is a large source of income for etsy.  

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 5 09:47:02 2015

Etsy is going to suffer serious growing pains and make a lot of avoidable mistakes, based on what we can see already. You can't even find antiques on Etsy--every search is overinclusive. I love the crafts--I hope they don't change but no makes a living knitting slippers on order. Wouldn't it be interesting if they were required to identify mass manufactured goods from hand-crafted goods? Then again, isn't China the mecca of mass-produced handcrafts?

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 5 09:51:17 2015

The best way to ruin a good company is to go public. Now all that matters are the stockholders. So sad, and I had hoped the rumors were just that - rumors.

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: lostinohio This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 5 09:59:10 2015

Etsy can't survive on handmade alone.

My vintage does much better on etsy.  Way more views.

I hope they learn from ebay's mistakes.  

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 5 10:02:27 2015



Well, it was nice while it lasted....

1)Here comes the off-site directing ads

2) Here comes the push to include big box stores and their products.

3)Basically etsy as we know it will be no more in 2 years.

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 5 10:03:28 2015

@lostinohio

You can make money on handmade if you change the meaning of handmade to include manufactured handmade.

They are using symantics to invite and justify hand-made from China who steal design ideas of real artisans and have teams of people producing their 'hand-made'.

Its a joke and when they came out with that one, and change the appearance without working on the back-end to make IT more efficient that they were going public.

Its all about looks and lacks substance sadly.  

Perminate Link for Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today   Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson: We Filed to Go Public Today

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu Mar 5 11:31:04 2015

Bring on the MBA's who will dance like a marionette for their Wall Street Masters while the marketplace changes beyond recognition.

When Etsy officially becomes a publicly traded company, the downward slide will begin in earnest led by the MBA's who do not have the first clue about small business sellers.

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