This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

How Etsy Is Helping Lead the Shift In E-Commerce

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ahead of a potential initial public offering, Brooklyn-based Etsy has been expanding into new markets, particularly in Asia, as consumers clamor for items that are made by small businesses. The company's marketplace model is leading the shift in e-commerce, particularly as eBay (EBAY)

"You can't buy laptops, electrical chargers and other mass-produced goods manufactured by companies like Samsung on Etsy," said Etsy Chairman Caterina Fake in an interview with TheStreet. "Etsy has always been very much about small businesses, creative individual businesses. I always think of Etsy as empowering small, individual businesses like carpenters, soap makers and others. These are businesses that are not well represented on eBay."

Fake noted that eBay was initially an auction-based model but, over time, it moved to a marketplace model. Etsy recently purchased Grant St. (for a reported $10 million), a marketplace for creative technology, showcasing the fact that Etsy is committed to this model for sellers around the globe. "It shows a shift of how e-commerce is being done these days."

The move comes as Etsy is seeking to expand into new markets, outside of just the U.S., where it's seen tremendous growth. In 2013, over $1.3 billion worth of goods were sold on Etsy last year, and 2014 is shaping up to be another strong year for the company, particularly in international markets. Fake did not give any numbers for 2014 when asked, but noted the company has a lot of growth ahead of it. "We haven't really captured all of the opportunities that are out there for us globally," Fake said. "There is a whole marketplace for it that's forming around it, and it seems like a good time for investment."

Fake would not comment on when Etsy would go public, only to echo comments made by Union Square Venture partner Fred Wilson that Etsy is well positioned to go public. "Indeed, Etsy has been showing tremendous growth and and has shown maturity as a company," Fake stated. It is believed that Etsy is looking for an offering later this year or in 2015, but Fake would not confirm that.

As the company potentially gets ready to show itself to the public markets, Fake admitted that Etsy has its work cut out for it in Asia and elsewhere, particularly in Europe, where the company made some early mistakes.

"We made a lot of mistakes early on in trying to bring our people to the local markets," Fake said during the interview, conducted at TheStreet's New York headquarters. "International is really hard to pull off, with a Web site that is as community oriented as Etsy. It's got a very strong community, very strong voice. If you try to bring an American voice to an international market, it can't work. It has to be local people, local voices, local community. I think that we didn't do a good job at the outset of speaking in that voice."

Telefonica Expands DTS Offer as EC Nears E-Plus Verdict

How Tesla Is Winning the War Against New Jersey

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,279.74 +13.75 0.08%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,579.7890 -13.6380 -0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs