Etsy launches crowdfunding service to help sellers

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Roberto Baldwin
June 16th, 2015
In this article: Crowdfunding, Etsy, FundonEtsy

Sometimes launching a product on Etsy involves more than just reclaiming some wood or hoarding mason jars and burlap. Occasionally you need capital for new tools, expansion or hiring new employees. To help the sellers that are aiming higher than just putting a bird on something, Etsy is launching Fund on Etsy, a crowdfunding pilot program. The program is meant to help current sellers expand their Etsy businesses. It's a bit like Kickstarter but within the Etsy ecosystem. The pilot began today in the United States with a few campaigns already live on the site. It will run until August 16 and at that point the company will look at seller and buyer feedback to determine what its next steps should be.

While giving buyers the chance to help grow the stores of their favorite sellers, crowdfunding programs are rife with problems including missed shipping dates, backers never receiving their promised goods and some campaigns just taking the money and disappearing (something the FTC is now taking very seriously). According to Etsy's FAQ, backers are not protected by the company's buyer protection program: "By funding a campaign, you are entering into a direct agreement with the seller. Etsy is not liable for any loss or damage that may occur with your use of Fund on Etsy." We've reached out to Etsy about what sort of recourse backers have if a seller fails to deliver and will update this article with its response.
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