Etsy – building jobs for America?

Etsy has become one of the largest e-commerce sites in America, niching itself with vintage items. The website has been known for its use of local designers and is used by them as a way to market themselves. However, The company had a major setback when it announced that it would allow large retailers to sell their products on  the site. Sure, at the end of the day all company’s must achieve their bottom line. But when their bottom line goes against the core values of the brand and the values of the brand’s followers, is it worth it?

The negativity the company received is waning. One of the reasons is due to Etsy’s plan to help Rockford, IL., a town crippled by unemployment. The “craft entrepreneurship program” brings together local Etsy employees, high school and college students and teachers in order to teach them how to create products, make a business and manage money.

“Larry’s vision as the mayor is really strong and it really dovetails with what we’re trying to do at Etsy which is build this worldwide platform which delivers benefits to communities like Rockford,” … “The idea is that you can create a social good while you’re making a profit.”

– Chad Dickerson, CEO of Etsy

In a town that is compared to Detriot and Flint, Michigan in terms of unemployment, Etsy certainly has the opportunity to repair any damages created from its large retailer collaboration. Is the intent behind business with Rockford well-intentioned? I’d like to hope so. But we’d be naive if we felt that the company wasn’t mindful of the good publicity this could bring it. Potential issues with the company do not stop there.

Reading the comment section of an article pertaining to Etsy on Yahoo Finances shows many displeased users of Etsy. They say that as small, one-person retailers, they find it much more difficult to use Etsy now than in the past. Since the website is used by thousands of people, small businesses often fade into the background of the website, with larger more profitable companies taking their place. Since Etsy now charges money for its users to market themselves on the site, this new system certainly provides an unnecessary assistance in larger companies overshadowing smaller ones.

With that being said, I think the company’s pros outweigh its growing-pain cons. It’s natural that a company may change its design and structure as it gets larger. To me, the only place I see Etsy gowing is up. Sure, it hasn’t grown as quickly as other platforms, but I believe its steady growth and the changes currently being made to the company are signs that  Etsy will sooner or later be going public. With an IPO that I believe is inevitable at this point, I hope executive managers don’t lose sight of what made Etsy so special – giving craftspeople a platform to sell their products.

Until next time,

X.

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