Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Sad Day on Etsy

Etsy has a "Featured Seller" section on their front page. Usually this space is filled by a seller who makes things in their own studio with their own two hands. But they blew it this time. BIG TIME. They're currently featuring an Etsy seller who sells furniture and accessories which appear to be imported from Indonesia. I apologize for not providing any links but I don't want to provide anything which could be helpful to this Featured Seller.

For those of you who feel I may be a little harsh here, Etsy has a list of "Do's and Don'ts" which they usually take very seriously (sometimes a bit TOO seriously). If you click on the Do's and Don'ts link, you'll see a list of rules regarding who can help an Etsy seller produce their work. These include:
  • An assistant, under the direct supervision of the seller, may: assist with a portion of the creation process, list items in a shop, ship items, communicate with buyers, accounting or other record keeping.
  • A third-party vendor may be used for intermediary tasks in some crafts. Acceptable examples include, but are not limited to: printing the seller's original artwork, metal casting from the seller's original mold, or kiln firing the seller's handcrafted ceramic work.
  • A third-party vendor may not fulfill your orders to your Etsy customers on your behalf (no drop-shipping).
  • An assistant or third-party vendor's involvement may not comprise a majority share of a handmade item's creation.
And then there's the current Featured Seller. Research indicates that she may be the owner of a gallery in Malibu, California which imports the items being offered in her Etsy shop. She willingly provides the information that she has four carpenters helping her, and I'm willing to bet that their "assistance" comprises a majority share of the creation of these items! (See the fourth bullet point above.)

Resellers on Etsy are nothing new. Hundreds of Etsy sellers have their items flagged for review every day because someone believes the item(s) are not handmade or at least not handmade primarily by the seller. Unfortunately, Etsy rarely (if ever) takes action to shut these shops down. And now they've gone and featured one of these shops as a Featured Seller?!

Etsy, you owe us, the REAL artisans on your site, a huge apology.

If you would like to support a true American artist (and one residing in California!), please visit my Etsy shop: Prairie Primitives. Thank you!