Etsy sales doubled in April thanks to homemade masks

Etsy began pushing homemade masks in early April, and the results panned out in a big way: total sales on the platform doubled last month, by and large thanks to a surge in face mask sales. For comparison, Etsy’s marketplace sales figures between January and March were up only 16 percent.

More than 12 million face masks were sold during April, totaling around $133 million in sales. Etsy says they represented the second largest category of product sales across the entire site during the month of April.

“It was like waking up and discovering it was Cyber Monday, except everyone in the world just wanted one product and that product was in extremely limited supply,” Etsy CEO Josh Silverman said on a call with investors this afternoon.

Seeing the surge in mask demand after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending everyone in the United States wear face masks in early April, Etsy began retooling its site to bolster sales. It reworked its search engine to better surface masks, and it began urging sellers to begin making masks, knowing they were in short supply.

The sales surge spilled out onto the rest of Etsy, too. Sales of items other than masks were up 79 percent in April. That figure doesn’t include sales from Reverb, a music gear resale site that Etsy purchased last year.

Etsy reported the figures as part of its Q1 earnings release this afternoon. The figures are meant to show that while “COVID-19 began to impact demand and the company’s growth” in March, Etsy quickly adjusted course and used the surge in mask demand to weather the pandemic’s impacts. It’s currently forecasting a significant boost in sales and revenue for all of its second quarter.

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