This summer, Etsy is inching closer to the brick-and-mortar retail realm -- but perhaps not in a way you’d expect.
The site, which serves as an integral platform for crafty artisans with commercial ambitions, is slated to debut Etsy Wholesale in August.
Rather than just selling directly to consumers, the site will enable makers to vend to retailers, too -- in larger quantities and at wholesale prices.
While a beta version of this service launched last year, the company unveiled official details in a blog post yesterday : sellers must pay a one-time joining fee of $100, while Etsy will collect a 3.5 percent transaction fee for every wholesale order. (The company takes the same 3.5 percent cut on direct-to-consumer transactions.)
In addition to facilitating sales between Etsy makers and independent boutiques, the company also boasts partnerships with major retailers like Nordstrom and West Elm, and sponsors major tradeshows to amp up community exposure.
In one instance, Etsy related, two home accessories designers from West Virginia attracted the eye of Nordstrom, which in turn “enabled them to rent a dedicated studio space and scale from a two-person business to eight employees.”
And this is not the only initiative that the e-commerce site -- which boasts over 1 million sellers that generated $1.35 billion in sales last year -- has up its sleeve to bolster entrepreneurship.
Last week, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson and Chelsea Clinton spoke about the company’s Craft Entrepreneurship Program, which offers courses to low-income makers about how to turn their artistic skills into supplemental income.