Etsy is popular as a side-business,[19] as well as a place to buy goods made from recycled and upcycled materials,[20] along with less expensive or more unusual versions of mass-produced items.[21] The unique nature of many of the items for sale is part of their appeal to some shoppers.[22][23] Product photos on Etsy tend to be editorial or artistic instead of commercial catalog style.[24] Sellers can add tags to their products to help buyers find them,[25] and buyers can choose to search for items available locally.[26] Etsy staffers publish lists of featured items.[27]

On Oct 1, 2013, Etsy changed its policy to allow sellers to outsource production to third parties and factories and to use shipping or fulfillment services.[105] The new rules allow products to be labeled "handmade" as long as the original idea for that item — or its "authorship" as C.E.O. Dickerson says — comes from its respective seller. Further, the policy changes allow Etsy businesses to hire as many employees as they deem necessary (including workers in different locations) and allow sellers to ship orders via third-party couriers rather than the post office.[106]


In Etsy's first year, it attracted attention for frequently adding new tools and functionality to the site to help sellers gain exposure and traffic, including Adobe Flash-based visualizations and a taxonomy of categories with tags.[51] Etsy passed $1.7 million in sales in May 2007.[52] On July 29, Etsy had its one-millionth sale and anticipated its two-millionth sale would occur mid-December 2007. In November 2007, buyers spent $4.3 million purchasing 300,000 items for sale on Etsy, an increase of 43 percent from October 2007.[3] In June 2007, it expected to be profitable by the fall,[28] but in December 2007 it was not a profitable company.[53] In January 2008, Etsy received an additional $27 million in funding from Union Square Ventures, Hubert Burda Media, and Jim Breyer.[54]
Never again will partygoers accidentally leave their favors behind when they head home at the end of the night. “This year, brides and grooms are sending guests away with gifts thoughtfully selected to be utilized and enjoyed in their everyday lives,” says Dayna. Because in an age of increasing attention to clutter (thank you, Marie Kondo), functional is the name of the game, and the most popular picks of the moment are the ones designed to be put to use—or even consumed, like these petite, personalized servings of coffee and honey.
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