Your Etsy Content Team at Work: UPDATE
A few weeks ago I told you about an incident regarding an Etsy seller named Doris Handmade.
Before I give you the update, here’s a recap:
Doris Handmade decides to drop in to an Etsy forum and ask for a little helpful advice:
Naturally, friendly Etsy sellers begin looking at her store, trying to figure out why her handmade journals aren’t selling.
A few people make suggestions about improving her listings or changing her prices. But when Etsy seller Rune Leather speaks up, things get interesting.
Rune Leather spotted it: Doris Handmade is a reseller. She made a fake profile pretending to be a crafter, and stocked her Etsy store with cheap, mass produced crap from China.
When Etsy realized what was happening in the forums, they immediately took action:
That’s right, they closed the thread. Not because a reseller was spamming the forums, but because someone spoke up.
UPDATE: Rune Leather, the person who outed Doris Handmade as a fraud, has been suspended from posting in the forums.
Meanwhile, Doris Handmade’s store is still open. She put her shop in vacation mode, but Etsy hasn’t closed her down.
I look at stores we blow the whistle on, like Glitterbiscuits and KNR INC and Bliss Butterfly and Doris Handmade, and I see no action on Etsy’s part. The sellers just deactivate their listings, go on vacation, and wait it out. They’ll be back.
I used to wonder what it took to get Etsy to shut someone down. Now I know.
Usually, I take a lot of pleasure in laughing at Etsy’s bullshit. But this just makes me sad. Here’s a genuine artisan playing by the rules, doing everything right, working to uphold the dream that Etsy sold her, and she’s the one getting punished.
Someone asked me recently what it would take to solve the reseller problem on Etsy. And I said, “It would have to matter to them.” And it doesn’t. All that really matters is that you’re nice to everyone, even to the people who are undercutting your business and cheating you out of sale after sale. Because it’s much easier for Etsy to make millions of dollars on factory produced goods if you don’t embarrass them and demand accountability.
At some point, people are going to realize that Etsy is the new Wal-Mart. It’s just like any other profit driven corporation, stocking their shelves with products created by people who are barely earning a living wage.
Except at Etsy, the person making pennies an hour is you.