Etsy Sees Record Sales During the Pandemic

Sales on Etsy have nearly doubled in April compared to last year, and are more than 25% higher than sales during its previous record month - December 2019. During the pandemic, Etsy is breaking records in sales and new sellers joining the marketplace.

“I woke up to discover it was suddenly like Cyber Monday,” Etsy’s CEO Josh Silverman told the Financial Times. “But everyone in the world wanted only one product.” That product was face masks.

April 3rd, the same day the White House announced guidelines that Americans should wear masks outside of the home, Etsy sent a push notification to every seller: “Calling all sellers. Start making face masks.” Over the weekend following that Friday, buyers searched for face masks on Etsy an average of nine times per second. “Face mask” was the most frequently searched term on Etsy.

Etsy estimated units-sold

Masks on Etsy are non-medical grade, however that has allowed tens of thousands of shops with the means to make them start selling masks. Because of that, Etsy has hundreds of thousands of different designs. And while some stores have sold more than the others, the largest nearing 100,000 items sold in a month, many more sold a few too.

The number of items sold on Etsy this April has increased 98% compared to April 2019 and 27% compared to December 2019, according to Marketplace Pulse estimates. As a result, in April, sellers sold the most items in the marketplace’s history.

Nearly 130,000 new sellers joined Etsy in April, an increase of 40% compared to March and almost 70% compared to April 2019, according to Marketplace Pulse research. More than half of the new sellers are US-based, but many are also from the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, and other countries.

Etsy new sellers

The stay-at-home rules, as well as the loss of employment, are driving more people to sell on Etsy. At the same time, shoppers are turning to Etsy for unique and different items.

High-demand is not limited to face masks. “My Etsy account is so out of control right now. I’ve never sold this much stuff ever,” said Trisha Woods, an Etsy seller, in an interview with The Atlantic. She sells in the newly born category essential-worker merch. Her items include t-shirts that read “And Just Like That I Am An Essential Worker.”

“We believe that the Etsy community is uniquely positioned to address this crucial need during a global health crisis,” wrote Josh Silverman, CEO of Etsy. In the endless stream of bad news, Etsy is a refreshing story because it has rallied its sellers to provide items many people are in dire need of. “face masks” is the most searched term on both Etsy and Amazon. However, while on Amazon search results are sold out items, on Etsy, there is an endless list of small stores ready to make them.

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Juozas Kaziukėnas

Founder of Marketplace Pulse, Juozas wears multiple hats in the management of Marketplace Pulse, including writing most of the articles. Based in New York City. Advisor to other startups and entrepreneurs. Occasional speaker at conferences.

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