Etsy Wholesale: A Complete How-To Guide for Sellers

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Is Etsy Wholesale still a thing?

Although the dedicated wholesale platform was discontinued, Etsy continues to be a vibrant marketplace where artisans can still sell their unique products in bulk.

The ethos of Etsy Wholesale lives on, shaping how sellers operate today.

An essential tip for those looking to venture into wholesale selling on Etsy is to clearly outline their own wholesale terms within their regular Etsy shop.

This includes setting wholesale pricing and minimum order quantities, effectively replicating the original purpose of Etsy Wholesale within the broader Etsy marketplace.

Let’s delve into the journey of Etsy Wholesale and the opportunities it presents to today’s sellers.

What happened to Etsy Wholesale?

Etsy Wholesale was launched in 2014 with the aim of opening up new avenues for sellers to connect with a wider audience.

Etsy, primarily known for its marketplace of unique, handmade items, has branched out to offer a separate wholesale platform. This allowed talented craftspeople to sell their products in bulk to retailers around the world.

Its aim was simple: to act as a digital bridge between individual sellers and larger retailers. It was a virtual trade show—a marketplace within a marketplace.

Etsy Wholesale thrived for a time, but in 2018, Etsy made the decision to close the platform.

The reason? A refined focus on their main marketplace-Etsy.

Etsy Wholesale was indeed a promising venture, but Etsy decided that their strength lay in their core business model: global ecommerce business for independent sellers.

Earn Money Selling Printables on Etsy - FREE Workshop

If you're looking for the perfect side hustle to tap into your creativity, selling printables on Etsy could be your golden ticket! 

This is for you, even if you have minimal time, experience or money. Join students who collectively have generated over $500,000 in selling printables on Etsy in the last year alone.

Join this FREE workshop and learn how to get started today!

Is there an Etsy Wholesale model today?

So, what does this mean for sellers looking to sell wholesale products on Etsy today? Does the absence of Etsy Wholesale make Etsy any less viable as a wholesale marketplace?

The answer is ‘No.’

Etsy, at its core, remains an open platform for all kinds of transactions, including wholesale. Sellers still have the opportunity to define their own wholesale terms and conditions, like bulk pricing and minimum order quantities.

Essentially, even without Etsy Wholesale, the main Etsy platform supports and enables wholesale transactions.

Countless Etsy sellers today engage in successful wholesale operations through their regular Etsy shops.

The platform’s expansive reach, along with its support for sellers, continues to make it a favorable ground for wholesale transactions.

How Can You Sell Wholesale on Etsy?

etsy wholesale how to sell

While Etsy no longer has a separate wholesale platform, selling wholesale is still very much possible and can be profitable on the main Etsy platform.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to sell wholesale on Etsy:

Step 1: Understand Wholesale Basics

Before you jump in, make sure you understand the basics of wholesale.

You’ll be selling your items in larger quantities at reduced prices to retailers, who will then resell them to their customers.

Step 2: Establish Your Wholesale Policies

You need to create a clear set of wholesale policies.

These should include wholesale pricing, minimum order quantities, payment terms, shipping, and return policies. Make sure to make these policies visible in your shop’s policies section.

Step 3: Adapt Your Listings for Wholesale

Consider creating separate listings for your wholesale items.

Clearly mention in the description that the listing is for bulk orders. Make sure to include the minimum order quantity and the wholesale price.

Step 4: Market Your Wholesale Offerings

It’s essential to promote your wholesale offerings to reach potential retailers.

You could use Etsy’s marketing tools, such as the Etsy SEO and Promoted Listings, or external channels like social media platforms and email newsletters.

Step 5: Provide Excellent Customer Service

Just like in retail sales, customer service is crucial in wholesale.

Be responsive to queries, negotiate in a fair manner, and build strong relationships with your retailers.

Step 6: Manage Your Inventory

Maintaining a healthy inventory is essential when selling wholesale.

Make use of Etsy’s inventory management features and consider using third-party inventory management tools.

Step 7: Fulfill Orders Efficiently

Make sure you have a process in place to handle bulk orders.

This might involve employing extra help from virtual assistants, scaling up your production process, or working with a fulfillment service.

Step 8: Nurture Relationships

After making a sale, maintain the relationship with your buyer.

Provide excellent post-sale service, check in from time to time, and keep them informed of new products or discounts.

Step 9: Review and Improve

Regularly review your sales, feedback, and wholesale processes.

Use this information to improve your shop, products, and customer service. This will help you grow your wholesale business on Etsy over time.

While the process might seem daunting at first, with time and experience, you will learn to navigate the wholesale landscape on Etsy effectively.

What Is An Effective Pricing Strategy for Etsy Wholesale

Creating an effective pricing strategy is crucial for success on Etsy wholesale.

Here are some detailed steps to help you determine your wholesale pricing:

Calculate Your Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) for Etsy Wholesale Items

To accurately price your products, you first need to understand your COGS.

This includes the cost of raw materials, labor costs, packaging, and any other expenses directly involved in creating the product.

Determine Your Overhead Costs

Overhead costs include indirect costs associated with running your business, like utilities, rent, marketing expenses, and administrative costs.

Dividing your total overhead costs by the number of units you produce in a given period will give you the overhead cost per unit.

Consider Profit Margin

After calculating COGS and overhead per unit, you should determine the profit margin you aim to achieve.

The margin should not only provide a profit but also cover potential discounts, returns, unexpected costs, and Etsy fees.

It’s common for businesses to aim for a profit margin of around 50%, but this can vary depending on the product and industry norms.

Set Your Etsy Wholesale Price

Your wholesale price should cover your COGS, overhead, and desired profit margin.

Typically, the wholesale price is about 50% of the retail price. However, you may need to adjust this to stay competitive in your industry.

Decide Your Minimum Order Quantities (MOQs)

Setting MOQs helps ensure profitability and efficiency when fulfilling wholesale orders.

It guarantees that every order generates a certain amount of revenue, making the lower pricing worthwhile.

Regularly Review Your Pricing Strategy For Your Etsy Wholesale Alternatives

Regularly review and adjust your pricing strategy based on changes in costs, market trends, customer feedback, and business performance.

This will help you remain competitive and profitable over time.

Your pricing strategy should reflect the value your products provide to buyers. It should be competitive but also sustainable, allowing you to continue growing your business.

Earn Money Selling Printables on Etsy - FREE Workshop

If you're looking for the perfect side hustle to tap into your creativity, selling printables on Etsy could be your golden ticket! 

This is for you, even if you have minimal time, experience or money. Join students who collectively have generated over $500,000 in selling printables on Etsy in the last year alone.

Join this FREE workshop and learn how to get started today!

What Tools on Etsy Can Be Useful for Wholesale?

Even without a dedicated Etsy Wholesale platform, Etsy offers a variety of tools and features that can support your wholesale business.

Here are a few tools and features on Etsy you can use and maximize for your wholesale operations:

1. Inventory Management

Etsy’s inventory management system allows you to keep track of your stock levels.

You can input the quantity of each item you have in stock, and Etsy will automatically deduct from this as sales are made.

2. Variations and SKUs

Etsy allows sellers to add variations to their listings.

These variations can be anything from size, color, material, or even pricing for wholesale quantities. Also, you can assign SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) numbers to your products for better tracking.

3. Shipping Profiles

You can create, save, and apply shipping settings to multiple listings at once, which can be particularly helpful when you have many similar wholesale items.

4. Order Management

Etsy’s order management system makes it easy to keep track of incoming and fulfilled orders.

The system allows you to mark orders as shipped and add tracking numbers, making it easier to manage bulk orders.

5. Shop Stats

Etsy provides analytics on your shop’s performance.

You can view your sales stats, traffic sources, and customer demographics. These insights can help you adjust your strategies to better meet the needs of your wholesale buyers.

6. Coupons and Sales

Etsy makes it easy for sellers to set up sales and coupons, which can be a great incentive for wholesale buyers. You could offer discounts for first-time buyers or special promotions for returning customers.

7. Conversations

This messaging system allows you to communicate directly with potential and existing buyers, negotiate terms, and build relationships.

8. Etsy Ads

For sellers willing to invest a little more, Etsy Ads can increase the visibility of their listings, making it easier to attract potential wholesale buyers.

Leveraging these features can help you manage your wholesale operations more efficiently on the Etsy platform.

How To Establish an Order Management and Inventory System For Etsy Wholesale

etsy wholesale order management and inventory systems

Managing orders and inventory effectively is critical for a successful Etsy wholesale operation.

Etsy’s robust platform offers a wealth of features that can be leveraged to effectively establish an order management and inventory system.

Here is a detailed, step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Listing Your Products

First, you’ll need to list your products.

When creating a new listing, make sure you input detailed information about the product, including type, price, and images.

For wholesale sellers, ensure that bulk prices and minimum order quantities are clearly outlined.

Step 2: Setting up Inventory

Once the listing is live, use Etsy’s inventory management feature.

Add the quantity of each item you have in stock in the “Quantity” section. Etsy will automatically decrease this number as orders come in, helping you keep track of inventory in real time.

Step 3: Using Variations and SKUs

If your products have variations (like color, size, etc.), make sure to add these in the “Variations” section.

You can assign SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) numbers to your products to better organize and track your inventory.

Step 4: Establishing Shipping Profiles

You can create Etsy shipping profiles for your products.

These profiles contain information about shipping costs, processing times, and shipping destinations. Once created, these profiles can be applied to multiple listings at once.

Step 5: Managing Orders

As orders come in, you can manage them through the “Orders & Shipping” tab.

Here you can view, process, and track all your orders.

Once an order is ready to ship, you can mark it as shipped in this section. You can also add tracking numbers to keep your customers informed.

Step 6: Utilizing Etsy’s Conversations

Etsy’s Conversations feature is a great tool for communicating with your customers. You can answer questions, negotiate terms, or even handle complaints through this feature.

Step 7: Reviewing Shop Stats

Regularly check your shop’s stats to gain insights about its performance.

These analytics can help you identify the best-selling products, track your sales, and understand your traffic sources.

Step 8: Managing Discounts and Sales

Etsy allows you to create sales events and offer coupons. This can be a great way to attract more wholesale buyers or reward loyal customers.

By effectively using these features, Etsy sellers can establish a comprehensive order management and inventory system within the platform.

It’s crucial to continuously monitor and adjust your systems as necessary to keep up with changes in demand and other market conditions.

What Promotion and Marketing Strategies Apply To Etsy Wholesale?

Promoting your Etsy wholesale shop effectively is key to attracting potential buyers and increasing sales.

Below are some detailed promotion and marketing strategies that you can utilize:

1. SEO

Optimize your product listings with relevant keywords to increase visibility in search results.

This includes adding keywords to the product title, description, and tags.

Etsy’s search algorithm also considers factors like shipping time, so providing a quick turnaround can boost your shop’s visibility.

2. Images

High-quality, appealing product images can draw in potential buyers.

Use clear, well-lit photos that showcase the product from various angles. Lifestyle photos, which show the product in use, can also help potential buyers visualize the product in their own store.

3. Etsy Ads and Promoted Listings

Etsy offers in-platform advertising options that can help increase your visibility.

With Etsy Ads, your listings can appear in prominent places within the platform, attracting more views.

Promoted listings are another paid option where you can choose specific products to highlight.

4. Social Media Marketing

Leverage social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest to reach a larger audience.

Share compelling content related to your products, like behind-the-scenes photos, customer testimonials, or styled shots. Regularly engage with your followers to build a community around your brand.

5. Email Marketing

Capture customer emails (with their permission) to send regular updates about new products, promotions, or company news. This can help nurture relationships with potential and existing customers, driving repeat business.

6. Content Marketing

Creating and sharing valuable content can draw potential customers to your shop.

This could include blog posts about your production process, how-to guides related to your products, or even industry trends. Be sure to include links to your Etsy shop to drive traffic.

7. Blogger and Influencer Collaborations

Partner with bloggers or influencers who have a following that aligns with your target market. They can feature your products in their content, expanding your reach and potentially driving sales.

8. Discounts for Bulk Purchases

Offering discounts for larger orders can incentivize buyers to purchase more items. This can be particularly effective for attracting retailers, who often buy in bulk.

9. Strong Branding Campaigns

Maintain a strong, consistent brand across all your marketing materials.

This includes your Etsy shop, social media platforms, email communications, and even packaging. A strong brand can help you stand out from the competition and foster customer loyalty.

10. Trade Shows and Craft Fairs

Attend industry-specific trade shows or local craft fairs to showcase your products and connect with potential buyers in person.

This can be a powerful way to make an impression and establish relationships.

By combining these strategies and regularly evaluating your results, you can create an effective marketing plan that drives traffic and sales to your Etsy Wholesale shop.

Etsy Wholesale: Summary

Even though Etsy Wholesale as a dedicated platform may have ceased to exist, the spirit of wholesale continues to thrive within the Etsy marketplace.

It is evident that Etsy provides numerous tools to facilitate the transition into wholesale for sellers.

By understanding how to manage orders and inventory, establishing clear wholesale policies, creating compelling product listings, and employing effective promotion and marketing strategies, sellers can seize the wholesale opportunity on Etsy.

If you want to know more, check out our other posts related to Etsy, such as:

Remember, success on Etsy wholesale, like any business venture, requires dedication, creativity, and a keen understanding of your market.

We wish you all the best on your Etsy wholesale journey.

Earn Money Selling Printables on Etsy - FREE Workshop

If you're looking for the perfect side hustle to tap into your creativity, selling printables on Etsy could be your golden ticket! 

This is for you, even if you have minimal time, experience or money. Join students who collectively have generated over $500,000 in selling printables on Etsy in the last year alone.

Join this FREE workshop and learn how to get started today!

Etsy Wholesale: FAQs

Does Etsy have wholesalers?

Yes, while Etsy no longer has a dedicated wholesale platform, many sellers on Etsy offer their products in bulk or at wholesale prices.

They list their wholesale terms in their shop policies, providing details on pricing, minimum order quantities, shipping, and more.

How does Etsy wholesale work?

Etsy Wholesale worked by connecting sellers and retailers in a separate, dedicated marketplace.

However, after Etsy Wholesale was discontinued in 2018, many sellers continued to offer their products wholesale by specifying their wholesale terms directly in their regular Etsy shops.

Can you be a reseller on Etsy?

Etsy primarily caters to sellers of handmade, vintage, craft supply items, and digital products like stickers.

While you can sell products manufactured by someone else, it’s essential that they align with Etsy’s selling guidelines.

Furthermore, as a reseller, you’d need to clearly disclose in your listings that you’re not the original manufacturer of the items.

Where does Etsy get its products?

Etsy is a marketplace platform that connects sellers with buyers.

Each seller on Etsy is responsible for creating or sourcing their own products. Etsy itself doesn’t produce or source any products.

Can I buy in bulk on Etsy?

Yes, many sellers on Etsy offer their products in bulk or at wholesale prices.

The details of such arrangements, including prices and minimum order quantities, are typically specified in the shop’s policies or product listings.

How do I find wholesale products on Etsy?

Since Etsy doesn’t have a separate wholesale marketplace anymore, you can find wholesale items by searching for terms like “wholesale” or “bulk” on the Etsy platform.

You can also check individual shop policies to see if a seller offers wholesale options.

Are there minimum order quantities for wholesale on Etsy?

It depends on the individual seller’s policies.

Many sellers who offer wholesale will specify a minimum order quantity for their items. Be sure to check these details in the shop’s policies or the product’s listing.

How can I contact a seller for a wholesale order on Etsy?

Etsy’s Conversation feature allows buyers to directly communicate with sellers. You can use this feature to discuss wholesale terms, negotiate prices, or place custom orders.

How can I manage my inventory for wholesale on Etsy?

Etsy provides several tools to manage your inventory, including listing quantities, SKU numbers, and product variations.

Sellers can use these features to track and manage their stock levels effectively.

Can I offer discounts for wholesale orders on Etsy?

Yes, many sellers offer discounts for wholesale or bulk orders.

This can be an effective way to incentivize buyers and increase sales. You can specify such discounts in your shop policies or individual product listings.

About the author

Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links, from which, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and services I’ve used or would use myself. If you choose to purchase from any of my links, thanks so much for your support! 😊