Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Etsy: Your Source for Big Box Retail

Oh look, a "Scrapbook Superstore" has opened an Etsy shop. With 3,000 square feet of scrapbooky goodness straight from the seller's loving hands to yours! Isn't that what a collective is all about?

I bet there's some good scrapbooking deals in this store. Let's check 'em out. Hmm, I bet I could really use this Cutter Bee Value Pack, only $26.50! Wait a minute - there's a link to their retail website in their shop announcement. Let's investigate. Wow, check it out! If I buy the Cutter Bee Value Pack from their retail website at the low low rock-bottom price of $20.40, I'll save myself six dollars and ten cents! That's a week's worth of renewing fees right there!

Boy, I am sure am glad Etsy allows big box retailers to open shops. Otherwise I don't know how I'd pay my Etsy bill.

71 Comments:

lessa said...

Those onesies(TM Gerber) I believe would not fall under supplies or vintage, and are most definitely not made of paper.

SewCrazyDogLady said...

technically.... well they are supplies.. and "alterables"...

but THIS is supposed to be in the spirit of etsy.. but trying to include a makeup brush is not?

lessa said...

I guess, though they are already altered by the manufacturer.

Even so, I don't think they fall under paper goods.

SewCrazyDogLady said...

oh I hear ya.. I think it's BS but sort of within the rules.. look at "Savannah Rose"...

SewCrazyDogLady said...

oh..never mind.. she's closed..

QuestionMarkGurl said...

So has anyone flagged this?

Flag With Me said...

Yes for flagging!

always annoyed said...

oh geez... loving the resolution of her banner and images....

Bitchy Kitty said...

WTH? What part of a 3,000 square foot store is "indie"?

RecoveryBabe said...

WJW

RecoveryBabe said...

oh and check out...

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5958296

TheSneakyOne said...

This just proves to me that Etsy needs someone to watch the incoming products and remove what is against the TOU.

idyll hands said...

Oh wow - that just got flagged.

I see Mona Vie booths at craft shows and it makes me throw up a little in my mouth.

Karen said...

Wow, if I had a 3,000 sf warehouse I'd be able to hire someone to do my sewing for me. Cheap. And then it would still be handmade but I wouldn't have to work so hard.

RecoveryBabe said...

I flagged it too, but Etsy hates me so they prob ignored it.

Andy Mathis said...

I told you, I told you, I told you.

People wanted supplies. People wanted to sell supplies. So now you have supplies.

What's the problem now? Oh, the supplies store is too large. You can't have it both ways. Etsy isn't a juried site.

If commercial supplies are allowed, they are allowed. It doesn't matter how big the handmade store, is if items are made by 1 person or a collective. And even some of the handmade shops have employees. It shouldn't matter how big a commercial supply store is. Same with vintage.

impetuous said...

lameness.

el-stinko-armpit said...

Bitchy Kitty said...
WTH? What part of a 3,000 square foot store is "indie"?

-------

commercial supplies and vintage cannot be 'indie'. the fact that these things are in an Etsy shop does not make them indie. they are commercial products, mass produced -- yesterday or 25 years ago, it does not matter. the size of your warehouse does not matter. but then some in the Etsy community view Oprah and Martha as 'indie'. 'indie' has become just another marketing buzzword with no fixed meaning. just like 'vintage'. or even 'hand made'. Longaberger Baskets are 'hand made'. maybe a Longaberger rep should open an Etsy shop?

spetsy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
forum rubbernecker said...

AARRGGHHHHH!!! I know supplies are allowed but but ........ that's just all sorts of wrong. Besides, supplies on Etsy have a MARKUP! I understand handmade supplies but sheesh!

MajorFuckingEtsyBurnout said...

As annoying as shops like this are...seems like they are allowed. I'm sure they'll bring n nice transaction fees for Etsy.

And I'm effing sick of flagging! I'm not on the Etsy payroll already. Yes, it's a community, I get it. But, seriously, why doesn't ETSY put someone on the muthaeffing payroll to look for shops like this instead of telling it's users, you know the ones who pay them listing/transaction fees, that they are responsible for bringing it to their attention (and btw, maybe 1 out of 1000 are ever looked at). I could sit and flag for hours, or I could you know: create things, list them and pack them for my own shop.

idyll hands said...

A supply store doesn't bother me... if she didn't have a link to her shop with a picture and description would it have been a problem? There are some jewelry supply sellers on Etsy that have a HUGE supply. Perhaps they have a store but just aren't advertising it.

That didn't bother me as much as the Mona Vie.

angrymollie said...

I was against supplies anf vintage when they sent out that survey several months ago. It was for this very reason. Allowing these things creates the slippery slope of who can sell what kind of non-handmade goods.

Also, aren't there guidelines on percentages of non-handmade goods one can have in their shop, or did I just dream that?


Etsy's tagline is "your place to buy and sell handmade" but they should add "except for supplies and vintage."

dis little piggy said...

That Monavie is seriously underpriced. A case of four bottles sells for $95 on Amazon. They lifted or used the same photo even.

I can't figure out if it's a scam or a stupid person or both.

Christina said...

oh yay more fluff...

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5670344

impetuous said...

If Etsy doesn't care neither do I.

nitpicker said...

"It shouldn't matter how big a commercial supply store is. Same with vintage."

I disagree. Running a vintage or supply business out of your home, by yourself, is totally different from owning a store, with employees. Maybe it's not as "indie" as being an artist, but it's still self-employment.

"Allowing these things creates the slippery slope of who can sell what kind of non-handmade goods."

Now I agree with you there. It is confusing for site users, and does open the way for "crap". If their policies were actually enforced, it would help. But Etsy has decided to keep V&S. It can work, if they TRY (especially if they spin them off into another site) but it will require real effort!

And of course, people will always argue about exactly what qualifies as "handmade".

The Righteous One said...

nitpicker nailed it!

One or two people working out of their home is allowed. If they have a b&m they can't link to it and they can't have employees working for them. A 3000 sq ft facility is three times the size of most self-employed b&m's

BIG difference.

chickenbit said...

Well, hey, at least we have a new flash tool. The tag fractal. That should keep the masses happy for a week. *shiny* *new* oooooohhh aaahhhhh. next!

lessa said...

Well one of my shops is a supply shop. I had no problem with her selling supplies, if they were tagged correctly. The onesies were marked as paper goods. That I have a problem with.

Supplies and Vintage are not what is wrong with Etsy. Never has been and never will be.

Lessa-the evil supply seller wrecking the businesses of indie sellers since 07'

:D

eclipse said...

I am not sure the Etsy TOU specifically prohibit this. They should, but all the restrictions were written for handmade stores and I think they left a giant loophole.
For example: a handmade store can have paid "help" with packaging and mailing, just not with production. They have to do most of the production themselves, although some third party help like printing is allowed.
A supplies store doesn't do any production, they buy the items already made. All the convoluted rules about production don't apply to supply stores. So that might mean, according to the current rules, that they can have unlimited paid "help" (i.e. employees) since those people are only "helping" with packaging and shipping, not with production.

I don't think this is right, or within the spirit of the rules, but it might be within the letter of the rules. I think maybe the rules need to be adapted to cover situations like this, perhaps a cap on the number of employees, regardless of the goods being commercial or handmade and regardless of what tasks the employees do.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

GRRRRRRRRR.

No offense intended to supply and vintage sellers but I'm currently in the camp that they shouldn't be on Etsy. (I'm a large enough producer of what I produce that I buy all of my supplies wholesale, so I don't personally feel a need for them on the big E.) If people wanted to sell off their surplus supplies I guess that doesn't bug me, but there's a HUGE difference between "I've got a few yards to offload" and "superstore".

Ladies Auxilliary said...

Oh and re: lessa's comment that supplies and vintage aren't what's wrong with Etsy...

I couldn't agree more...but personally I would really like to see Etsy be a big, gorgeous temple to the fabulousness of handmade items, and for me vintage and supplies just don't fit in that big gorgeous vision ;)

tra la la la la said...

flipping depressing.

The Righteous One said...

Eclipse has a good point...maybe the rules just don't cover this though it's common sense that it should.

Someone destashing or offering hard to find supplies as a one man operation is different than a shop setting up their online store through Etsy.

lessa said...

Just so I am clear, I'm not upset that there are those who wish Etsy never put Vintage and Commercial Supply on the list of categories. I just have to defend myself a bit that we are not the evil that is destroying Etsy. Admin is doing a bang up job on its own. :)

I am a handmade seller though, its why I started my business in the first place. I'll always be a handmade seller but Etsy probably won't figure much into that in the future unless things change.

Andy Mathis said...

I honestly don't think you have to worry too much about super stores setting up shops on the etsy site.

Have you tried being found on there? That's right, you have. Have you tried to get your money out of non-paying buyers? that's right, you have.

Etsy is far too much work to sell one item here and there. It's much more profitable for stores to sell on their own websites using their own payment systems.


It is a slippery slope slick with hypocrisy when it comes to reselling- and it is seen in all areas- handmade, vintage, and supplies.

I can go to Fran's bead shop, and buy beads galore and list them. Fran wants to open her own bead shop but people say that isn't allowed as her brick and mortar store is too large.

I can go to Bill's Antique Barn, a 3,000 square foot of vintage goodness, buy old shoes and list them. Bill wants to sell old shoes himself and that isn't allowed.

I can buy blank Ampersand painting panels and list those on etsy. Ampersand wants to sell painting panels to etsy artists, and is told that isn't allowed. Ampersand company hand makes the panels. They have employees, as do other handmade sellers on Etsy.

Growth of small businesses is discouraged, rather than encouraged.

marjie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy said...

Is linking to your website allowed, when you are selling the same items there?

marjie said...

i agree with Andy. You said everything I wanted to say but in a much more comprehensible way!

Tim Easterday said...

"Is linking to your website allowed, when you are selling the same items there?"
-----
Definitely not per Etsy rules. Wish there was an easy, direct way to report a shop, not just an item.

shannon said...

The tag fractal is very old.

andhowdotheyfitin? said...

maybe etsy should start making new sellers go through a application and background check process :)

dis little piggy said...

"maybe etsy should start making new sellers go through a application and background check process :)"

I predict that they will never do this. Why? Because it will discourage new members and they want the numbers.

It's the same reason eBay will never limit users to one ID or delete the IDs that have never been used or haven't been used in years.

Investors like to see those high numbers.

wtf said...

Also-

Etsy: Your source for bottled water

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=12603760

Though I can't tell, is the listing just for the bottle or will it come with water?

dis little piggy said...

Ha ha ha. I think that looks like someone trying to prove a point.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

lessa...no worries, selling supplies doesn't make you evil ;)

angrymollie said...

No, I agree that it isn't the supply sellers or vintage sellers that are the problem. It's just another issue where Etsy says it's one thing (handmade mecca) but really it's something else (resale/handmade/vintage).

It's another manifestation of Etsy's identity crisis.

I am SO the boss of you! said...

I don't think Etsy "really" cares as much as they try to make everyone think that they do. Why else would we have so many shops open that are not following the site's TOU?

Answer: Money.

nitpicker said...

"I can go to Fran's bead shop, and buy beads galore and list them. Fran wants to open her own bead shop but people say that isn't allowed as her brick and mortar store is too large.

I can go to Bill's Antique Barn, a 3,000 square foot of vintage goodness, buy old shoes and list them. Bill wants to sell old shoes himself and that isn't allowed."

Ah, but that's not so! Bill can sell vintage shoes on Etsy, that's fine. But he has to do the work himself. Fran can list all the beads she wants - provided she also does the work herself, tags them correctly, and doesn't link to her own website. Many people who own small businesses spend the slow hours in their shop making online sales. Some of them have 0 employees.

I truly agree that V&S should never have been included. But Etsy decided to add them, and then decided to KEEP them. Having committed to it, they should follow their own policies.

It's kind of a shame, because there is a HUGE market for vintage (IMO, even bigger than the market for handmade.) What is REALLY revolutionary about Etsy is its format. There is a lot of potential there. If Etsy doesn't get their shit together, someone else is going to profit.

PG said...

I was really pleased to find that a patently professional outfit I reported to Etsy has now been removed. They were selling mass market clothes under a posh name, and had sites on several countries ebay sites. It took a while, (I kept checking back) but I have looked again, and at last although their profile is still there, the shop is redundant.

So I've flagged this store mentioned, with a mild spirit of optimism.

You are doing a great job EtsyBitch!

Smarty Pants said...

They really need to ditch the "your place to buy and sell handmade" tagline.
It's become a joke, and I don't see anyone who actually makes their items laughing.

Dotty said...

A while back, a major online site that sells shipping envelopes opened a shop on etsy. They were shut down very quickly.

I think that's a similar situation to this one.

I agree. I think there's a loophole in the Ds and Ds.

Jessica said...

I just wanted to put an apology out there to everyone. I actaully put together that site for my friends store. I completly understand the sarcasm and frustration. I was unaware of all of the rules and as soon as it was brought to my attention, I closed the shop down. The store really has an amazing set of people working for it...and I feel awful that MY inexperience and lack of knowledge with everything led to this negative attention on their part. I apologize to anyone that was offended by the site. And thank you to those of you who did bring it to my attention. As soon as I became aware of the situation, i took it down.

Smarty Pants said...

well, well...

Jessica said...

You can believe me or not when I say that I never meant to offend. But, I am being completly honest. I am a memeber of ETSY. I have my own site and I had seen a ton of other large scrapbook stores on the site. I got excited and caught up in the moment and set one up for them. I take full responsibilty for not doing all the research...no ones fault but my own. I realize that. I just wanted to say that the shop has closed down, and that I was truely sorry to have offended anyone. I totally respect those who put their heart and soul into what they create! It is my dream/goal to be able to make a name for myself in the world of handmade... and I have only that same wish for everyone else.

eclipse said...

Jessica I think it's brave and honorable of you to post that here, thank you.

rollingstone said...

Jessica, could you teach Etsy how to apologize with genuine regret and with class? I think they could learn a lot from you.

impetuous said...

Jessica, I am so sorry that Etsy does not make it's policies clearer. I know the site is confusing and you are very awesome for posting a public announcement like that. Very awesome indeed! Good luck to you and I hope a fine specimen of humanity such as yourself will stick around on Etsy!


remember, etsy angels suck hairy balls and you'll do just fine!

Ladies Auxilliary said...

Jessica, as others have said, thank you SO much for posting so candidly!

Clearly our frustrations are with underlying administrative issues, not with oversights by specific individuals like yourself...many thank...

s2 said...

There's a lot of Etsy sellers that own a brick and mortar store and also sell on Etsy, some of them sell supplies. How is it that some sellers are allowed to own a brick and mortar and sell on Etsy but it's not ok for others to do it?
What's the criteria? Any shop owner that owns a B &M shouldn't be allowed to sell on Etsy? What if an "indie" seller had a 3,000 ft B&M, would that be ok then?

Elizabeth said...

I don't have sympathy for someone who can't read the damn rules before opening up a shop. (Whether the shop even violated the rules is another question, but she admitted to not reading them to find out.)

And I'm not convinced that tagging a onesie as a paper product even requires an understanding of the rules to know it's wrong.

I call shenanigans.

Lovely Bits & Pieces said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

You know, as I said before, I got caught up in it all and did not read the rules as clearly as I should have. I came on here being completly honest about it all... I didnt have to come out and out myself as the "villan". You are definitly free to have your own opinion and think what you want...but if I wasnt being honest about the situation, dont you think I would have come on here slamming people and being rude and COMPLETLY defending myself? I came on here to admit that I made a mistake and to let people know that it was being fixed. I understand that there is a great deal of frustration involved with this subject. If I didnt care, I would have waited until ETSY approached me about the situation before even thinking about closing up shop. But, because I am an honest person, who did make a mistake, which people do, I closed it right away. I appreciate the kind words of everyone, and I understand the frustration from everyone else.

Foxglove Studios said...

Jessica- regardless of your mistake and the reason for it, you have owned up to it publicly and set it right. For that, you have my respect.

Everyone screws up. EVERYONE. Not everyone has the guts to admit it openly. Not everyone cares enough to FIX their mistake.

With all the shops that break the TOU and are left standing, it's no wonder there's confusion.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

That's the problem s2, Etsy doesn't enforce their own rules consistently, and writes rules that are confusing...you are SPOT on my friend :)

Ladies Auxilliary said...

elizabeth...just a thought...using eBay as an example, I think it could be easy to assume, if you are not familiar with the Etsy, to assume that it's aok for anyone to set up shop and sell a wider range of items than is actually allowed. On eBay you can pretty much sell anything that's not illegal ;) If that were your reference point you wouldn't necessarily think twice about just setting up a shop.

Also it would be easy to look around on Etsy and see a ton of supply shops, get super excited (as we all did) about finding a new venue and set up shop.

Oversights don't make people jerks...consistent disrespect does. Jessica is admitting something we've all been guilty of at some point...bein' human and making a simple error. And like she said...why would she be here if she were trying to pull something?

The Righteous One said...

We appreciate it when someone steps up to take responsibility regardless of fault.

This isn't our final word on this, but I just wanted to assure Jessica that we don't hold this against her, and neither should you.

Let's concentrate on the larger matter - Etsy administration and rules. Or the lack thereof.

Elizabeth said...

onesies != paper goods.

That's not a rule misunderstanding.

what-the-frack said...

Jees elisabeth give it up already.

The Disgruntled One said...

You're a class act, Jessica -- I have enormous respect for you.

Thank you for your apology!