Etsy has seen a dramatic turn around in fortunes after calling on its sellers to “start making face masks”.
More than 50,000 Etsy sellers have now reportedly sold more than one face mask, while 10,000 sellers said they have sold more than 100.
This influx of face mask sales follows a difficult March for the online marketplace, which saw its share prices nearly drop to their lowest point in two-years.
In the first week of April Etsy, which specialises in selling homemade and artisanal goods, sent a message to all its merchants reading: “Calling all sellers, start making face masks”.
bold move of etsy to tell me to “make a difference” and sell face masks after they fucked up my face mask listings & got onto me for profiting off of pandemic fears pic.twitter.com/hSs1h4Y7bv
— ✨ kingsley ✨ (@pheazandt) April 3, 2020
This bold move has seemingly paid off, helping sellers who were experiencing a drop off in demand for goods during the lockdown and sending Etsy’s share price to near record highs.
“I woke up to discover it was suddenly like Cyber Monday,” Etsy’s chief executive Josh Silverman told the Financial Times.
“But everyone in the world wanted only one product.”
“Up until that point, if you were searching for face masks on Etsy, you were almost certainly searching for a Halloween mask, or some cream to make your skin look younger. We had to retrain the search algorithm to know that ‘face mask’ means something completely different.”
This comes as a range of retailers including Apple, John Lewis and H&M repurpose their supply chains to manufacture personal protection equipment (PPE) for frontline medical staff amid a global shortage.
Etsy was clear that these masks were simply useful in reducing COVID-19 risk, removing any bloated medical claims made by sellers across its platform.