The site was launched in 2005 by iospace, a small company composed of Robert Kalin, Chris Maguire, and Haim Schoppik. The initial version had taken two and a half months to build. Later Jared Tarbell joined the team. Former NPR executive Maria Thomas joined as COO in 2008, was promoted to CEO and left Etsy in December 2009. Robert Kalin resumed his role as CEO from December 2009 until July 2011. Investors include Sean Meenan, Albert Wenger, Spencer and Judson Ain, Union Square Ventures, and founders of Flickr and Delicious.
Creating a shop on Etsy is free, however, each listing that is posted in the shop costs $0.20. Each listing will remain on the shop's page for a maximum of 4 months, or until someone buys the product. The prices of products are set by the shop owner, but Etsy claims 5% of the final sale price of each listing. Shop owners are sent a bill at the end of every month detailing the fees Etsy has charged them, and they have until the 15th of the following month to pay the fees. Sellers can choose which payment options to offer buyers; including credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal, among others.
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We downloaded the available Mac greeting card programs – there are only six we could find that keep their software up to date and seemed safe to download – and tested them over the course of several weeks. In total, we spent about 40 hours designing cards and playing with the programs’ features so we could make well-informed comparisons between them. We created some event and holiday cards from scratch and with the provided templates. In each program, we also made invitations to a summer ice cream party to see if the software could help us make the designs we had in our heads a reality.
On October 1, 2013, Dickerson held an online Town Hall Meeting to announce that Etsy would now permit factory-made goods and drop shipping, provided the seller either designed or hired designers of the items, disclosed to Etsy their factory, disclosed that they used factories and took "ownership" of the process. In that meeting and afterward, Etsy claimed the meaning of the word "handmade" should be redefined to encompass factory made.
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