Etsy the on-line e-commerce website that features handmade and vintage items that are unique and one of a kind is trying to work a deal whereby they acquire Trunkt. Trunkt is also an e-commerce website that features artisans with handcrafted items, many of which are also on Etsy. The difference between the two seems to be wholesale versus retail. Etsy is a retail e-commerce site and Trunkt is more wholesale. While Etsy has always touted its unique handmade and one of kind theme, Trunkt has promoted a trunk show or trade show atmosphere. They have a platform that helps wholesale sellers to hawk their wares to wholesale buyers. According to Trunkt they also have a stringent application process so they won’t let just anyone onto their site, but this e-commerce site caters to artisans who have the ability to sell wholesale or fill large orders.
While this maybe a boom for artisans who are able to make large quantities of their product, soap as an example, others who make one of kind or made to order items maybe at a disadvantage. This new acquisition may tick off some long time Etsy sellers who create as opposed to produce. It is not always easy to figure out who is the small batch artisanal handcrafter and who is an artisanal “like” manufacturer. The Etsy police have always been good about finding out who is a large machine made manufacturer and who is an independent homemade producer. This particular feature has been what makes Etsy unique from other websites. When you buy something from an Etsy seller it is a product that has been homemade and handcrafted. The Etsy standards demand it.
There still seems to be some hemming and hawing about whether or not Etsy will purchase Trunkt and nothing has been written in concrete. All of the articles indicate that a deal is in the works, so there is a good chance it will go through. The exciting part of this purchase is the ability for retailers with no talent, such as me, to be able to purchase handcrafted items at wholesale pricing and quantity. I will admit I have minimal talent when it comes to creating beautiful jewelry. I can recognize something beautiful but have a very hard time making it. To be able to purchase jewelry for my store would be wonderful. I had a great artist who crafted amber jewelry at great pricing if I purchased a quantity. I bought quite a bit and sold it out. When I tried to repurchase, he was so popular he couldn’t keep up.
An artist who designs unique items and is able to produce several at a time can wholesale their items to a retailer. This serves to get the product out into the world at a slightly faster pace, which is what the artist wants. You will have your jewelry in more than one store. For many artists it’s all about getting the word out about your creations. The more people that see your art, the more likely you are to find a buyer. I’m hoping that Etsy will keep their high standards when it comes to compliance with their handcrafting and vintage philosophy. This is why Etsy is so popular; it’s the ability to buy something that has a high quality standard and homemade appeal. I’m still looking for that jewelry artisan who can make amber jewelry like Greg yet keep me supplied, still need someone to fill this gap and true artisans are hard to find.