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Dawanda is closing its doors at the end of August. They’re even making it easy for their merchants to switch over to Etsy, their competitor, creating a special import tool to that purpose. But why have they decided to cease giving their merchants a place to sell their homemade goods? Weren't they doing well?

DIY
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“We planned to let everyone know quietly on Monday. We’re very sad that it happened differently. In recent years, we have increasingly had to admit that we alone will not succeed in driving growth forward.”, said Claudia Helming, CEO of DaWanda last weekend. Reported by onlinehaendler-news.de, our German language news portal, this was shocking news to DaWanda’s great number of merchants who sell homemade products on their platform.

Writing On The Wall

This news truly is a great surprise. DaWanda had been doing well for quite some time. They had been covering costs since last autumn, sales last year rose by 21.4% all the way up to €15.4 million. They were operating at a loss of €1 million, but compared to the €4 million the year before, that was progress. There were positive investments in marketing, personnel and technology in order to become more technologically advanced and sustainable.

Sadly, none of this seemed to help. Again Helming, “Foreign trade turnover no longer grew to the required extent.” Perhaps they simply couldn't successfully break out of their domestic market.

Cooperation With Etsy

DaWanda had been on the search for business partners since autumn last year, finding a strong one in Etsy. The former competitor agreed to work with DaWanda to develop a tool to help Dawanda merchants to sell more globally, switching over to selling on Etsy. The tool is supposed to be ready this week. Etsy’s COO, Linda Findley Kozlowski, says they will make the switch “as painless as possible” for their merchants over the next few months. She went on to say that “We will be investing further in our business in Germany, strengthening our creative merchants, whilst simultaneously giving our buyers a one-of-a-kind and captivating shopping experience.”

Shopping is possible on Dawanda until 30 August 2018. After that time, one will be automatically redirected to Etsy. DaWanda has also created a FAQ site to answer questions about switching to Etsy.

Only Etsy Remains

In the DIY sector, Etsy is basically the only one left standing. Even Amazon’s Handmade Marketplace will have troubles competing with Etsy as the latter maneuvers into an almost barren playing field in Germany. “Sales growth in Germany is higher than that of Etsy overall. In the first quarter of 2018, it even more than doubled”, said Linda Findley Kozlowski. Etsy seems to have inherited quite a market.