Pandemic merchandise sales surge on Etsy, mid-holiday season
The online marketplace known for its unique and often handcrafted products reports that face mask sales alone reached $ 264 million in the third quarter of 2020.
Searches for COVID-related shirts increased 16% in September and October, and searches for COVID-related ornaments increased 140%, according to an Etsy spokesperson.
The company is also reporting an increase in searches for greeting cards, care packages, family games and craft kits.
“I think people thought it was a fun idea,” says Mimi Kim, owner of Clap clap design, an Etsy greeting card business.
Kim created a mask-shaped Christmas card, which sold on the first day it became available.
“I didn’t expect the card to sell so well,” Kim says. “I had to restock them right away.”
Custom clothing designer Tiffany Walton, co-owner Gifts for girls, another vendor on Etsy, had a similar experience with the Santa face mask and reindeer shirts she created.
“As soon as it went on Etsy, the orders started to arrive,” says Walton. “Both of them exploded, and I was like ‘Wow.'”
Gypsy Lovett, designer of transparent masks and owner of Not my circus Cie. also on Etsy, says she even got a call from Santa with a special request.
“He was worried that he would look a little intimidating under his beard when he couldn’t smile and communicate. So he asks that this one match his beard,” Lovett said.
All of the sellers expressed how surprised they were at the popularity of their merchandise.
“I mean, I ship them all over the world,” Lovett says.
Sellers say they believe people are turning to pandemic-related merchandise as a way to make the most of an otherwise tough year. They appreciate the opportunity to give people a reason to smile.
“I didn’t want to pretend that nothing ever happened this year, because that’s the reality,” says Kim.
“I think everyone is trying to be creative to spread the joy,” Lovett says.
“I feel like we made the most of the situation and you don’t always hear about it,” Walton says.
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