Etsy to allow manufactured goods


Previously forbidden from the vintage 'n' handmade marketplace, companies that make large numbers of any given item now have a home at Etsy.

It's a controversial move, writes Hiroko Tabuchi.

This fall, Etsy is set to introduce Etsy Manufacturing, a new service in the United States and Canada that matches sellers like Ms. Goodall with small manufacturers. It is a bid by the company, which went public in April, to help its small sellers expand their businesses. … the move could fuel criticism that the site is moving away from the artisanal roots that have made it an attractive alternative to mass retailing. The company, started in a Brooklyn loft a decade ago, long prohibited its sellers from outsourcing their production, saying all goods offered on the site needed to be handmade.

Etsy loosened that policy two years ago to allow outsourcing on a case-by-case basis, a contentious move denounced by some artisan sellers and one that some analysts say has led to a rise in counterfeit or mass-manufactured goods sold on the site.

Why? Etsy went public a few months back and its stock has declined precipitously the IPO. It must expand to fill larger containers.

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