Etsy Wholesale Platform Closing

Etsy is closing their Wholesale platform effect July 31, 2018!  Kruti Patel Goyal, the General Manager of Seller Services at Etsy, says the platform will remain active through the end of June.  After that, it will no longer accept wholesale orders.

The details of the changes in their program are listed on their website and in the video below.

When Etsy Wholesale first announced their coming launched in late 2012, I contacted them to wholesale my and/or my Idaho Gifts Wholesale producers.  Since the program was new, I was not sure what to expect.

I received a few different and confusing responses that I posted in the following two articles:

Despite the humorous inconsistent responses I received from them, I assumed they ironed out the bugs in their system.  But, personally, I was no longer interested in dealing with them!!

It has always been my advice that, even if you have a store on Etsy, you should also have your own website.  I detail that in the following article:

If you had an Etsy Wholesale shop, please share your story with us.  And, by all means, set up your own wholesale website (or add wholesale to your current website) and see how to contact your buyers and potential Etsy buyers to refer them to your new site!

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.

Are my Own Insights Enough?

I received a unsubscribe to my newsletter list earlier this week.  My email providers allows a place for unsubscribers to list why they have unsubscribe.  Many folks just get too many emails, no long find my newsletter valuable … and a host of other reasons.  But this one really caught my eye.  Here is what she wrote:

…not providing her own insight(s)

Since I am always blabbing on and on about what I think, I found this comment a Are my Own Insights Enough?bit frustrating ….. but mostly because I don’t feel I have all the answers to every situation, so often quote other ‘experts’ who do have the answers!

I’ve been writing this blog since March of 2009.  That is over 5 years now.  The first year or two, I wrote NOTHING but my own insights and experiences.  I still remember the day — late 2011 — when I was wondering what I was going to write next!  I felt I had shared most of what I knew about selling wholesale.

It dawned on me that there are lots of ‘experts’ out there that knew different aspects of the business that I did not know as well.  Little by little, I started connecting with them and quoting some of their articles.  I especially liked the ‘experts’ who shared things I did not know.

Of course, I am an experiences sales rep, gift shop owner, and gourmet food manufacturer.  But most of my experience is in Idaho, with Idaho stores selling Idaho products!  There is a big world out there beyond little Idaho!!

So I started rubbing shoulders with some of the following experts:

  • Andreea Ayers, who, along with owning her own product business has become an expert in getting national media for her products
  • Carolyn Edlund and Wendy Rosen, who work with artists through workshops and trade shows (and Carolyn was also a sales rep at one time)
  • Don & Eric Debelak, who are experts in the inventors arena and offer help finding sales reps
  • Karen Wakesman, who offers a wonderful course on selling to big box stores
  • Tim Adams who has a success Etsy business as well as a bunch of cool tools for promoting your products
  • The folks at The Mogul Mom, Crave Handmade, CreateHype, Meylah …. and many more offshoots from these and others!

So …. am I sharing my own insights?  Sometimes, but I like to include what others have to say as well.  That is the way I like to approach a subject …. hearing from several different sources …. how about you??

Idaho Candle Company on KickStarter

You have probably heard of crowdfunding to grow your business — but wondered how or if it works for small businesses.

My friend and Idaho Gift Wholesale vendor partner, Rebecca McLenna, Vintage Candles Unwined, created her own KickStarter project.

She was able to take time out of her busy schedule to talk with her about her campaign:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your business, Vintage Candles Unwined?

I dreamed up the idea of making candles in wine bottles just less than two years ago. I was devastated to learn that all of the ideas I had, even the business name, was already a success in another state. I was just about to throw in the towel until I thought to myself, ‘There is more than just one kind of toothpaste.’ If only one company used one idea, where would the competition be? So, I created a new name, and new variation on an old idea. So many people were already making wine bottlNew photoe candles, for so many years. The great advantage I have, is that Boise has Usful Glassworks. It’s a great organization that hires people with life challenges, and provides job training. The benefit to me, is that I get beautifully beveled glass, not ‘homemade’ cut glass like just about everyone else out there, AND I get to support the community at the same time. The glass I purchase from Usful Glassworks is safe enough to re-use again as drinking glasses. People love the idea of recycling and reusing many times over. The next exciting news for me came when local artist, Ward Hooper, partnered with me to create labels with his iconic artwork on them. (He is one of Boise’s favorites!) I am in the process of getting my licensing to use his BSU artwork. Now I have over 30 gorgeous labels that are works of art, placed on amazing smelling soy candles. I only use 100% soy, lead-free eco wicks, and I never use dyes. Another benefit that sets my candles apart from others, is that I top the large ones off with a cork, just like a wine bottle.

Where did you get the idea for your business and products?

There is no telling where I first got the idea to start making candles; my brain is always abuzz with crazy creative ideas, that I rarely find the time to act on. Now that I am succeeding in my first baby steps with Vintage., my main focus is getting out there, and noticed.

I understand you are moving ahead in your business and using KickStarter. Tell us how that came about?

Yes, I just launched my Kickstarter campaign, and am really anxious about the process. I have never been too great at self-promotion, so this will be a good learning and growing experience for me. Kickstarter just began a ‘Crafts’ category, so not too long ago, I would not have qualified to use this platform.

What do you hope to accomplish when you receive your KickStarter money?

I plan to use the funds to sign up for as many vendor shows and events that I can make it to. Events can be extremely costly, and they need to be paid for in advance. Even if you believe you can make that money back at the event, you still need to be prepared to have enough product for the high demand, and pre-pay all of your fees in advance. Kickstarter funds would go a long way in helping me plan ahead.

Tell us some of the gifts ‘pledgers’ to your campaign will receive.

Depending on the amount a backer pledges, they could receive anything from travel tin candles, to custom made scents with individually designed labels. Every Backer gets my absolute gratitude!

Do you have anything more to add?

If my Kickstarter project does not get fully funded, I will keep trying my best to gradually attend more and more events, though it will take some time. My Kickstarter goal is extremely low for this type of crowdfunding, so I am staying very positive that my friends and community will show the confidence and support that I need to make my project work.

—————-

We wish Rebecca the best in her crowdfunding campaign.

Make sure to check out her page on KickStart here:

Get Vintage Candles Unwined ready for the show!

Personal Update

You probably noticed that I missed my usual posting day yesterday.  Schedules are good for me, so I rarely miss one, but this last week has been very different!  I am having trouble concentrating on Selling Wholesale — so rather than write a sub-standard article, I am just going to send a personal update and a free report.

Most of you know that I had been sick a few years ago with a severe gluten sensitivity and all the problems it caused (the doctors were treating me for early stages of Alzheimers).  Thankfully, the sensitive was discovered, the offending foods eliminated, and the worst of the symptoms subsided.

Unfortunately, the years of eating gluten damaged some of my minor brain functions Sick 2…. most people don’t see the problem, but when there is too much stress or changes going on in my life, I become unable to focus clearly or sometimes even follow simple direction.

Well, this last week, I have been struggling.  In a nut shell, my laptop refuses to boot up and load, so rather than mess with the trouble of trying to get it to work right, I just haven’t turned it off in days. Then yesterday, we discovered that all our blogs (we have several) had been hacked into and 25,000 files are corrupt!  Most of the blogs are still operational, but parts of the functionality is gone — at least for the moment!  And, as things tend to go, this all happened on the back of some distressful issues concerning my adorable little step-granddaughters (don’t they say stuff like this comes in threes?).

So here I am, doing my best to focus and more forward to fix the issues I can and turn the ones I cannot over to God/Spirit. I am a praying person, and during these times, I spend more time in prayer and meditation to get me through the day.

Hopefully, I will be back on track soon with blogs fixed and on a different computer!

Just as a side note, I am thankful to everyone of you who supports me and reads my articles daily.  Helping you gives my life purpose and meaning — beyond my shortcomings

As a special gift for reading through all of this, I want to share a report with you that I received from a fellow marketer:

How to Use Pinterest for Your Business

Have a great week!