Etsy Wholesale Update, #2

I have been following the Etsy Wholesale option to see how their system is working for professional crafters.

If you read my previous post on Etsy in September of 2013, you will remember that I was turned down for their program because they decided I did not meet … “current requirements for prior wholesale experience.

So, that was that — I thought!

On July 1, I was surprised to receive the following message from Etsy Wholesale:

We’re so excited you’re part of Etsy Wholesale! We noticed you applied and were accepted, but have not set up your profile yet. If you’ve been stuck at this step, we have good news. You can now browse and make purchases on Etsy Wholesale without first having to set up your profile!

WOW!  I was accepted!!  I was sure surprised to hear that after the email I received nearly two years ago.

In the meantime, while pondering the whole thing, I received another email from Etsy, dated July 23:

Greetings,

We hope this email finds you well. Thank you sincerely for your patience and interest in our Etsy Wholesale program! Your application had been waitlisted for not meeting our prior experience requirement.

In preparation for launching out of beta August 5th, we are clearing off our waitlist and closing pending applications. We received consistent feedback from our retailers that they want a highly selective and professional marketplace focusing on independent designers. Etsy Wholesale will continue as a juried marketplace. We are now closing your application.

Here are our jury criteria:

Industry Standard Pricing: Applicants must offer at least a 2x markup to retailers, and their Etsy Shop/retail prices must not undercut their corresponding MSRP/RRP. Take our Wholesale 101: Pricing course if you need help in this area.

Upstanding Citizen: If the applicant has an Etsy shop, we take into account their track record with reviews, customer service, and in paying their Etsy bills.

Professional Product Photography: The applicants must have clear, crisp, straightforward product photos with consistent color balance, brightness and backgrounds.

Strong Brand Identity and Fit: There must be a cohesiveness in the product line and presentation, and the brand and assortment must be a good fit for the types of retailers we currently have on the Wholesale Marketplace. Visit our blog to see features on our retailers.

Hard-to-Find Products: The products must have a story behind them and demonstrate the applicant’s unique artistic vision and passion.

Product Assortment: The applicant must offer a range of product offerings with variations — a developed line that retailers can shop from.

Experience: We are currently prioritizing sellers with prior wholesale experience, or at least consignment experience with an understanding of how the wholesale industry works.

Starting on August 5th, there will be a one time $100 joining fee for those sellers who are accepted after that point and a 3.5% fee on purchase orders through the system. (You can read more about the fee structure).

If you feel you’ve gained significant experience since being waitlisted and now meet the above criteria, we can re-review your application. Please email wholesalesupport@etsy.com with the subject “Wholesale Experience Review” and include answers to the following:

1. Please provide specific examples of stockists currently carrying your products, and whether you have wholesale, consignment, or other deals (eg. drop-shipping or gallery commission) with them. How long have you been working with each stockist? Please include each stockist’s shop name, what city/state the store is located in, and website address (if applicable).

2. Please tell us more about your wholesale pricing and how it compares to your retail prices. At what percent of your retail prices do you set your wholesale prices? If you’re currently selling the products you wish to wholesale in a retail venue (whether in an Etsy shop or on your own website) how do these prices compare to your MSRP/RRP? What are your minimums? Do you have a linesheet you could send us? Feel free to talk us through a couple examples of items and how you determine cost, wholesale price and retail price.

3. Tell us more about your design and production process. Who is designing and who/where does production take place? If you’re using an outside manufacturing, tell us a bit about your relationship with them.

4. Anything else you’d like to add?

Many thanks for understanding and wishing you the best for your business,

Etsy Wholesale

Interesting letter — and some great tips and requirements — but their system baffles me. First I was accepted — then I was not.  Then a year later, I was accepted again — but not again …..

Is there anyone who is in the Etsy Wholesale program that would like to share their story with us?

And if you want to get into the program, I suggest you do so before their $100 joining fee is effective on August 5th.

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