How to Sell on Etsy Wholesale

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Etsy is a popular platform among sellers for many reasons. According to Forbes, at the end of 2016, Etsy reported 33% revenue growth, 19% gross sales growth, 50% seller services growth and a 110% increase in adjusted EBITDA with a 14.9% margin.

In fact, "Despite increasing competition, . . . with trends pointing toward authenticity, local and unique—Etsy might just be the brand that wins hearts and wallets." However, the standard Etsy platform is really only right for specific handmade goods, and it lacks access to bigger retail platforms looking to buy at scale; these buyers are on Etsy Wholesale, however. So for many sellers, Etsy Wholesale is a better choice.

While your website is the home of your online store and brand, Etsy Wholesale is a great place to validate products and see what sells, scale and reach new customers and audiences.

In this post , I'll cover how to sell on Etsy Wholesale step by step, including what you need to do to integrate your Etsy Wholesale store with your website.

Step One: Eligibility for Etsy Wholesale

Right now, Etsy Wholesale is a private, juried platform, meaning that everyone who wants to sell must apply as a seller, a buyer or both and be approved. You can find the Etsy wholesale membership criteria here. Etsy Wholesale says their team reviews all applications, although not everyone will meet their criteria.

To be accepted as a seller on Etsy Wholesale, you must meet several requirements. First, you must offer wholesale pricing, defined as 50% or less of the suggested retail value, which itself must match the current retail prices on your website. You can take Etsy's free online wholesale pricing course if you want to learn more about wholesale pricing. There is a 3.5% transaction fee on all purchase orders you will need to agree to. The fee structure is different for large retail partners like Whole Foods or Macy's, with a fee of 10%.

Second, Etsy will review your record for customer service. They do this by looking over your Etsy reviews and compliance with their policies; if you don't have an Etsy shop, they can judge your website and other online indicators of customer service. Finally, Etsy will assess your “overall professionalism." For Etsy Wholesale, this means having strong, consistent branding and an appealing aesthetic throughout your online store, and a good assortment of products. For the entire Etsy Wholesale seller policy, look here.

Sellers outside the U.S. can apply to Etsy Wholesale, but the platform only supports listings in U.S. dollars (USD). Remember, wholesale transactions are tax-free in the U.S. if the retailer a resale tax identification number.

Step Two: Apply for Your Etsy Wholesale Account

In your application, you will need to give Etsy details about your business, your contact information, number of employees, clarify which category or categories you'll be selling in, provide production details for your goods and agree to the wholesale pricing policy. The Etsy categories are the same ones you see when you first visit the site. You can find the link to apply at the top of this page.

Step Three: Onboarding Process

Once Etsy approves you, it's time for the onboarding process. Go to Shop Manager and select Add channels on the left at the bottom. Click on Continue Wholesale setup. To get your wholesale shop rolling, you need to pay a one time $100 fee, confirm your credit card on file, add at least one wholesale listing, and fill out your profile and policies. Since there are lots of pieces in the onboarding puzzle, we'll take them one step at a time.

Step Four: Set Up Your Linesheet

You need to list at least one thing on your wholesale linesheet to get your Etsy Wholesale store moving, but the linesheet can stay hidden until you want to publish it. You can add existing Etsy listings from a standard store, or you can create new wholesale listings by clicking on Add a listing.

It's free to list wholesale items, and you can deactivate or delete unwanted listings after publishing. For maximum impact, try showing the item photographed as if it was in a retail display.

Remember, all items on your linesheet must reflect an Etsy Wholesale rate—at least 50% off your retail prices on every other platform, including your website.

Step Five: Set Up Your Policies

You can set up your policies once you've listed at least one item. Set all of your policies before you create your profile.

First, choose payment methods. This is easy, because Etsy Wholesale only accepts Etsy Payments. This means buyers can only use credit cards right there on the Etsy Wholesale site. You can accept other payment methods such as PayPal, credit cards through Square or even checks off the platform and then mark your PO paid. (You cannot, however, meet a buyer on Etsy and then bypass the platform and sell the buyers the items through your website to avoid the fee.)

Set your payment policies including tax terms, payment deadlines, and your cancellation policy. If you decide to offer net terms (the option for buyers to pay you the balance within 30 days, for example), put those terms here. If you ship before you get paid, Etsy will not reimburse you should your buyer fail to pay.

The default understanding on Etsy Wholesale is that there are no maximum quantities a buyer can purchase, so if you have limited quantities of an item for sale, mention this in your listing. On the other hand, you can and should set either a minimum order requirement (MOR) or minimum order quantities (MOQ), the minimum a retail buyer must purchase to get your wholesale price. Buyers can't split the MOQ between items; for example, if your MOQ on a listed pair of slippers was 10, a buyer would have to buy 10 in each size. Etsy Wholesale encourages a MOR of $200 to $300; if you're using a MOQ instead, they recommend setting the MOQ so it's in the same range.

Include your shipping method here, including costs, delivery speeds and carriers. Let buyers know the variables, such as weight or distance, that might affect shipping cost. Also include information about production time and time before shipping.

Include any other details here that have to do with shipping and fulfillment. For example, while you can consign with buyers on Etsy Wholesale, the platform is not optimized for this practice, so you're basically on your own here only do this with trustworthy, known buyers. If you send samples, offer the procedure to get them here.

Step Six: Set Up Your Profile

Your Wholesale profile is similar to an “About" section on the main Etsy website, so look at your favorite sellers there for inspiration. Tell your brand story and the origin of the store. Use striking photography and well-designed graphics here; this is the place to capture new buyers with professional, beautiful images. You can use five business images, in .gif, .jpg, or .png format, each at least 812 pixels wide, 428 pixels in height. You can also use video.

Provide details about the business so your buyers feel like insiders. Show them what makes your brand unique. This is the virtual “meet and greet" for your brand and store. And of course, provide your contact information. The public can't see your address — just the city. Include links to your website, social media pages and blog.

Step Seven: Publish and Integrate with your Website

Once you've set everything up, publish your linesheet. It's accessible to all approved Etsy Wholesale buyers. Now, promote your Etsy Wholesale store on your existing blog, social platforms and website.

Add calls to action and links directing buyers to your Etsy store right on your Weebly website so everyone can see your products on the new platform. If you use Google Analytics, make sure your CTAs are on your top-performing pages. You should also integrate in ways that feel natural; a link to your Etsy Wholesale store “feels right" on your main store page, or on a blog post about holiday shopping, for example. You can even make your positive feedback do double duty by linking reviews of your products on social, on your website, and elsewhere online to your Etsy Wholesale site, and vice versa.