Online retailer Etsy taps weaving, knitting skills to create export market | The Australian

Image representing Chad Dickerson as depicted ...ONLINE retailer Etsy is tapping Australia’s basket-weaving and jumper-knitting skills to create a major export market, with a forum for arty and crafty types to sell their handiwork to the world.

The company, which bills itself as “the world’s handmade marketplace”, focuses on home-made and vintage furniture, clothing and decorative items, with mass-produced merchandise strictly prohibited.

Chief executive Chad Dickerson said Australia was now the fourth-largest source of buyers and sellers for the company, which launched in the US in 2005 and made $US525 million in sales worldwide last year.

The site charges a flat US20c for listing an item for sale, and an additional 3.5 per cent commission on the sale price — well below online market leader eBay, which in Australia charges up to $3 per listing and 7.9 per cent sales commission.

Mr Dickerson, visiting Sydney for the Vivid Festival of creative arts, said the company had set up a physical showroom in Melbourne to highlight the quality of artists selling through the site, although the items on display were not for sale.

“It’s really to give people a sense of what is sold on Etsy,” he said. “We’re promoting it the same way as we do most of our marketing — through social media like our Facebook page and Twitter accounts, which both really help with word of mouth.”

Mr Dickerson is also conducting seminars for local designers on how to make the most of the site. “While we’re a business, we’re trying to do things to really help the selling community, not just our own bottom line,” he said.

“In the past we haven’t really invested in Australia, but now we’re putting our own people on the ground and investing in a big way to help train sellers to be successful.”

This month, the privately held company raised $US40m from a syndicate of venture capitalist funds in order to fund expansion projects, including a push into new markets outside the US.

Launched in 2005, the company boasts 875,000 sellers and 15 million users around the world.

via Online retailer Etsy taps weaving, knitting skills to create export market | The Australian.

Strange Random Craft Quote:

No man who is occupied in doing a very difficult thing, and doing it very well, ever loses his self-respect. – George Bernard Shaw

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Posted on May 30, 2012, in Article and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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