Etsy Announces Millions In Financing For Expansion

By: Amanda Crum - May 9, 2012

In an interesting move by DIY giant Etsy, the company announced today they will be raising cash via venture financing to the tune of $40 million.

While this wouldn’t be considered huge news for most other companies, the fact that Etsy is a do-it-yourself brand focused on handmade products makes it a big deal…especially when you consider the recent scandal involving the site and their legitimacy.

The site was initially a place for crafters of handmade items to open an online shop without the fear of being overshadowed by big corporate sellers and resellers; a safe haven for the little guy, if you will. But in the past year, several stories have been brought to light by sellers who have found items similar to the ones they sell–everything from jewelry to furniture–being sold on the site by resellers who post the items as “handmade”. Adding salt to the wound is Etsy’s reported refusal to shut down those shops, instead making the legit mom-and-pop shops go through miles of red tape to prove the provenance of their wares.

“It bothers me a little that I was rejected from selling on Etsy because I have a team of workers helping me build my custom designed hand made wood furniture and crafts at Glenn Furniture. Every piece of furniture I build has me involved from the design to inspecting the construction to finishing. But I was rejected from Etsy because 100% of the work is not done by my hands. Yet they allow other people to sell that had nothing to do with the construction what so ever,” said Etsy seller Glenn Madden in reference to a WebProNews article.

Chad Dickerson, Etsy’s chief executive since last summer, says the move for financial backing is not motivated by a lack of funding for operational costs, but rather to help open offices in other countries such as Australia and Canada.

“There’s a huge opportunity for Etsy to grow the opportunities for sellers,” he said.

Nevertheless, this news won’t do much to ease the minds of those sellers who are unhappy with the company, as many may see it as a big leap towards becoming a huge corporation. A rather large group protest is scheduled for tomorrow against Etsy because of the reseller debacle, and many shops will be closing down on the site to show their support. This news could only add fuel to the fire.

About the Author

Amanda CrumAmanda Crum is a writer and artist from Kentucky. She's a fan of Edward Gorey, Hunter S. Thompson, and horror movies. You can follow her on Google:+Amanda Crum

View all posts by Amanda Crum
  • Glenn Madden

    I think Etsy is looking at change. All companies have to change if they are to grow. Etsy has to look out for all variety of products for its shoppers. Small shop artists offer great products, but are not always affordable to the average shopper.

    It was in 2009 that I Glenn Madden of Glenn Furniture was rejected.
    I just went back today May 10, 2012 and my Etsy account was still active there and this time I was able to list an item:

    Pumpkin Bed by GlennMadden

    We will see if it stays.

    I personally feel that as long as it is hand made and the seller ackowledges who made it then it should be allowed. Etsy is a great shop for buyers to find unique and unusual items.

    I think what they need is some revision of the way rules and requirements are stated but for the most part I like Etsy.

    It was mentioned previously, what they need is a division of departments. One section could carry hand made reseller items at good prices while they have another art section for items that are unique and hand crafted by artistsans.

  • Glenn Madden

    Kicked out again at Etsy for being too big. I went to Etsy and found that they accept collectives. I have 20 artisans whom work with me. I only listed items I made myself or had a huge hand in getting it built. BUT I filled in on the about page who we are.

    I got an email this morning that my 20 artist operation is too big for Etsy.

    Interesting we do not have anyone mass reselling our products.
    I sell direct to the end user.
    Everything we make is more hand made than your average hobbyist in the USA. We have less machine tools.

    Yet I found this plywood box Cinderella Bed being mass produced listed on Etsy and they have not taken it down. price $5745 price $4145

    I found these same items on at least 20 different business websites at Google for less money than Etsy.

    You can see us in operation and how handmade we Glenn Furniture really are here.

    I hope one day we are big, but for now we are doing things the hard way and making some of the best custom handmade furniture in the world.

  • Glenn Madden

    Email form Etsy,

    This is Sarah from Etsy’s Marketplace Integrity Team.

    Unfortunately, your shop does not qualify for the Etsy marketplace. We are a venue for independent artists to sell their own handmade goods. As your operation is too large to sell on Etsy, your shop has been deactivated.

    We wish you the best on your future endeavors.”

    I wish they would spend a day with me, they would see how independent our operation is and how hard I work to produce our handmade furniture. They would not last one hour working with me.