Etsy has announced they are closing the Etsy Wholesale Marketplace by July 31, 2018.
Originally launched to help connect Etsy sellers with retailers looking for unique and special items to place in their physical retail locations, the service had received very little attention over the last few months.
The writing had been on the wall, but now the company confirmed the closure and provided some key details for those sellers that used the service.
According to Etsy, wholesale represented a very small part of their overall business. Of nearly 2 million sellers, only 5,000 of them were actively selling on Etsy Wholesale, and only a small fraction of those sellers sold more than $10,000 a year through the wholesale platform.
Certainly, these numbers are not exciting for a company that has seen tremendous growth in its B2C marketplace offerings.
Kruti Patel Goyal, General Manager of the Seller Services team at Etsy also recorded a YouTube message about the change.
Key Dates to Remember
June 28, 2018: Starting on this day buyers won’t be able to place new purchase orders. Sellers will want to fulfill their open Etsy Wholesale orders or reach out to customers before July 31, when the company plans to close Etsy.com/Wholesale.
July 31, 2018: Etsy Wholesale will close, and buyers and sellers will no longer be able to access Etsy.com/Wholesale. The company says it will deliver a data file to each seller with their wholesale purchase order history.
What’s Next for Sellers That Offer Large Purchases?
The solutions Etsy offered are not really wholesale supply-chain-style solutions, but they may work for some sellers. Here is the list of of suggestions on how sellers may continue to use the platform to offer wholesale and bulk sales:
Coupon code: Sellers can send existing Etsy Wholesale buyers a coupon code that contains a minimum order value to encourage them to continue purchasing items through Etsy.com.
Create a private listing: If a potential customer reaches out about bulk order pricing, sellers can create a private listing and share it only with that customer. This can include all the details about the items and bulk order pricing within that listing, and buyers can use it to complete the transaction.
Tags: Sellers that offer bulk order or wholesale pricing on an item, add a “Wholesale” or “Bulk order” tag to that listing to help wholesale buyers discover it.
Shop FAQs: Sellers that offer bulk order or wholesale pricing on their items are encouraged to mention it in their shop FAQs under More information and let customers know how to contact them for more information. “Wholesale availability” is an option within the drop-down menu.
Naturally, some sellers are going to be disappointed and may even move to another platform. Poshmark may be an option for some sellers, but that platform functions very differently from a traditional marketplace.
Sellers should also not discount the improvements in search and other platform features Etsy has developed over the last year. The company is also gaining a lot more public exposure and many Etsy sellers talk about sales being up.
The loss of wholesale may be one negative side effect as Etsy concentrates to build a better B2C marketplace for unique and creative items.
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