Etsy Begins Wholesale Program for Artisan Wares

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Etsy, a popular online source for handcrafted, artisan products for nearly a decade, has begun a wholesale venture that allows retailers to buy items in quantity for resale in bricks-and-mortar locations. The wholesale site launched in April, reported the New York Times.

Stores looking to purchase artisan items at wholesale prices and quantities can apply to participate in the Etsy Wholesale program after signing in or creating an Etsy account. The application process involves a review of the store to confirm its ability to resell the items in its physical location. Sellers are also vetted by Etsy to ensure their capacity to produce items in wholesale quantities.

Though Internet retailing continues to grow, 90 percent of retail commerce still takes place in physical stores, the Times said. And for smaller retailers, especially those in far-flung places, who are looking for a range of unique merchandise, from prints and stationery to handbags and housewares, Etsy provides a much cheaper alternative than traveling to a major city to attend a gift fair.

Through the Etsy Wholesale website, retailers can select products, connect with sellers, and submit purchase orders. Store buyers can use Etsy Wholesale at no cost. Sellers pay a fee to join and will bear a 3.5 percent transaction fee for each order, beginning in August.

Wholesale prices are visible only to retailers who join the program. Items listed as wholesale products on Etsy are required to be finished goods that are entirely made or entirely designed by the seller.

More information about the Etsy Wholesale program can be found on the Etsy Wholesale Blog, via Twitter, or by signing up for the newsletter. Videos of vendors and sellers sharing their success stories can also be found here.