Sales spike in pandemic-related holiday merchandise on Etsy

People are looking to remember this holiday season with pandemic-related merchandise. According to Etsy, face masks alone have reached $264 million in sales.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. (KABC) -- Pandemic-related holiday merchandise are a hit among shoppers, according to sales and search data from Etsy.

The online marketplace known for unique and often handcrafted goods, says face mask sales alone have reached $264 million in the third quarter of 2020.

According to an Etsy spokesperson, searches for COVID-related shirts increased 16% during September and October, and searches for COVID-related ornaments increased 140%.

The company is also reporting an increase in searches for greeting cards, care packages, family games, and DIY kits.

"I think people found that it was a fun idea," says Mimi Kim, owner of Clap Clap design, a greeting card company on Etsy.

Kim created a mask-shaped Christmas card, which sold out on the first day it was available.

"I didn't expect the card would sell that well," says Kim. "I had to restock them right away."

Customized apparel designer Tiffany Walton, who co-owns Gifts for the Girls, another vendor on Etsy, had a similar experience with the face mask Santa and reindeer shirts she created.

"As soon as it went up on Etsy, the orders started coming in," says Walton. "Both of them have exploded, and I was like, 'Wow.'"

See-through face mask designer Gypsy Lovett, and owner of Not My Circus Co. also on Etsy, says she even got a call from Santa with a special request.

"He was worried he would be looking a little intimidating under his beard when he couldn't smile and communicate. So, he is asking for this one to match his beard," says Lovett.

All vendors expressed how surprised they all were by how popular their merchandise has been.

"I mean, I am shipping them all around the world," says Lovett.

The vendors say they believe people are looking to pandemic-related merchandise as a way to make the best of an otherwise tough year. They appreciate the opportunity to give people a reason to smile.

"I didn't want to pretend that nothing has ever happened this year, because that is reality," says Kim.

"I think everyone is trying to be creative about spreading joy," says Lovett.

"I feel like we have made the best of the situation and you don't always hear about that," says Walton.

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