After Monday’s resistance at $13.00, I decided to close out my long position on Etsy and take home 3.2%. My gut feeling is Etsy will retest, retake, but settle in somewhere in the low $13s. The reason to invest in Etsy is Etsy has a unique and almost unchallenged position in a niche market, however that niche is also has limited growth. As Etsy continues to pursue a path of spreading traffic and sales across all shops, I am convinced we will see defectors jumping overboard or perhaps just a quiet resistance migrate their efforts to other platforms. Much like the airlines attempt to pack extra seats in a 737 for those thinly covered routes where raising fares is not an option, there is only so much profit to be squeezed out of the handmade art market and as elbow room begins to demand premiums through the Promoted Listings an equilibrium between new sign-ups and those exiting the emergency doors is on the horizon.
The only possibility I foresee for a sizeable long-term return on investment would be through an acquisition from Amazon, Shopify, or similar platform looking for a side show and not relying as much on seller services to turn a profit. Even more remote would be someone like Warren Buffet rolling out of bed and just deciding he loves Etsy, thereby adding Etsy to the Berkshire Hathaway collection. All joking aside, Etsy remains an unlikely acquisition target marching to the beat of their own drummer. Although Etsy’s 3Q earnings came out ahead of expectations, CFO Kristina Salen’s departure next year, leaves a significant leadership void with one of their top voices of reason no longer sitting at the helm and leaving the controls in the hands of dreamers.
For the time being, Etsy drifts in and out of love it or leave it status in the Etsy Forums with very few sellers straddling the fence of neutrality as just observers. Besides a brief stint of entanglement in the Storm and Drang politics surrounding the Etsy Seller Advisory Board, our sales remain steady year over year.
With the arrival of the holiday orders, our Etsy Shop is smack in the middle of the herds heading to the watering hole and the competition this year has even more sellers vying harder than ever for a position.