Since I discovered it some years ago, Etsy has been a favourite place of mine to visit. I love browsing all the handmade goodies, both for unique gifts to buy & ideas for things to make, I’ve even found some great blogs via the writer’s Etsy store, but has Etsy become just as soulless as any other business?
This post by Regretsy is a sobering reminder that we need to be vigilant when shopping handmade & cannot rely on Etsy, whether they market themselves as a handmade market place or not, to ensure that the things sold through them are indeed handmade.
It makes me sad that not only do people try to profit from the handmade movement by buying cheap crap & selling it on to unsuspecting buyers, but that the powers that be at Etsy HQ could care less.
I know personally one Etsy seller who was smacked on the hand for a perceived copyright infringement, & being a good seller & conscientious maker she removed the offending listing & carried on, even though she could see others not doing the same, yet they let blatant reselling, FRAUD, and stealing of other seller’s concepts to run rampant.
If you look at it from their point of view, of course it makes sense; the more their sellers list & sell, the more profit they make, so they have no real interest in policing their seller’s ethics; but how can genuine sellers compete on price & quantity in such a huge “marketplace”? One of their excuses for letting this sort of thing slide is that they don’t want Etsy or the Etsy forums to be a nasty place. Other sellers are not to be big meanies by pointing out that someone is ripping you off. That is not nice; they cannot enjoy their cupcakes with pink frosting & penguin shaped cakepops when you do that. So shhh. Let buyers be duped. Let buyers receive something at an inflated price that they could import for peanuts. Let the principles of buying, selling & creating handmade be walked all over.
Even before this sort of thing was brought to light I had been moving from browsing & shopping a lot on Etsy to buying directly from bloggers I know, read & trust; not only do I know that I am supporting their crafty endeavours, but I get something awesome in return that feels almost as though it were made by a friend. I can look around my house right now & point out so many things that I have because of blogging – toys, art, accessories, clothes – & looking at & using these things give me a much nicer feeling than something I bought from someone I don’t “know”, even if it is handmade. (I’m talking strictly about online purchases here – if I buy from a seller at a real market I have similar feel good connotations; the experience, the array of lovely goodies, the memories)
Do you use Etsy to sell? How has it been treating you? Do you buy from there? Is it time to move on & support handmade in other ways?