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Etsy Mutes Sellers over Vintage Brouhaha

Sellers who set up shops on Etsy to sell vintage goods took umbrage when the marketplace excluded vintage goods from its Mother’s Day promotion. Some who expressed their displeasure on the Etsy discussion boards say the company suspended them.

Etsy confirmed the exclusion of vintage was intentional in this forum thread: “Depending on the themes, we may or may not display Vintage as an option. As you probably already know, we provide a Browse section fully dedicated to Vintage Items only,” an Etsy moderator wrote.

On Friday, we blogged about the controversy. Since then, sellers have reported that Etsy suspended them from posting on the Etsy boards.

One seller who received a suspension told EcommerceBytes the email she received from Etsy was intimidating. “The result is that I can be permanently “muted” in the Forums which means I can never post in the Forums again. Ever.”

The seller forwarded an email they received from Etsy:

The content you recently posted in the Etsy Forums violated one or more Forums or Community Guidelines. Please see detailed information listed below:

Post: Redacted

Thread: Redacted

Disparaging specific listings, shops, members of the Etsy community or specific categories of product with negative, unconstructive remarks are not allowed in the Etsy Forums.

This is not the first time we’ve contacted you about violating our community rules. Therefore, we are temporarily suspending your Etsy Forums posting privileges for seven days, effective immediately. This impacts all of your Etsy accounts.

Please note that if you violate Community Policies and Guidelines again, you may lose your Etsy Forums and Seller Handbook posting privileges indefinitely. Before posting in the Forums again, please make sure to review our Forums Guidelines here: https://www.etsy.com/help/article/360

Thank you,
The Etsy Forums Team

“There’s many Etsy sellers who’ve been permanently muted,” the seller wrote. Indeed, Etsy users have a term for permanent suspension from the Etsy boards: perma muted.

Sellers also said Etsy excluded Vintage items from another important category – “This is even bigger…no vintage for wedding dresses,” a seller wrote to EcommerceBytes. “It’s a huge huge category that is missing.”

Etsy did not respond to our inquiry by press time.

Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.