Etsy isn’t worried about Amazon Handmade

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Etsy CEO Josh Silverman has taken to the airwaves to explain why he isn’t worried about Amazon Handmade, the dedicated crafts marketplace, and why he firmly believes that his company can prosper.

Not least he explains that he doesn’t believe factors that are advantageous to Amazon are of much use to Etsy. And it would seem that recent results show he’s right. The stock price has risen 100% in the past year and Q118 was solid: Etsy in Q118 reports strong sales growth.

Specifically he argues that mass buying and price wars work for Amazon and others but aren’t always relevant to other marketplaces. He says:

If you can buy 1,000 of anything, it doesn’t belong on Etsy. In terms of convenience, they warehouse everything in advance so they can ship it to you next day. Well, a great many items on Etsy are made to order, so you simply can’t warehouse them in advance. If you’re going to one place over and over again every day to buy all of the commodities of life, when you want something special, you want the antidote to that. You want something that feels different. And Etsy is all about special.
– Josh Silverman, CEO Etsy

Silverman and his team really are fighting hard to rediscover and further establish its place in the ecommerce ecosystem. And the recent results on earnings and performance show that they are making progress there. Devin Wenig at eBay hasn’t shown similar clarity, sad to say, despite his attempts to reposition eBay in a likewise manner.

And the marketplace isn’t small. They turned over a billion dollars in GMV in the first quarter and have 30 million global buyers. But several other aspects are more fascinating: 87% of merchants are women and 97% work from home. Recent changes to the platform have included changes to search and findability and also the removal on non-key offerings such as Etsy Studio. It seems likely too that more changes are on the way.


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