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Mon Dec 23 2019 21:53:13

Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

By: Ina Steiner

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A buyer turned to the Etsy discussion boards stating she received a package full of asbestos instead of the book she ordered, calling it a "common horrible prank mail that cruel people do."

Many sellers believed it was a case of package "mistaken identity," believing that the customer had opened an eco-friendly mailer in such a way that the filling spilled out while the book remained sealed inside an inner layer.

"Seller uses fully recyclable and bio-degradable  eco-mailer and gets accused of haz-mat issues," one person responded.

But one seller said the original poster was being bullied and severely criticized her colleagues.

One seller who contacted us called the thread "a little bit of a train wreck," which is a good description of the conversation, which got more heated after the customer said she filed a complaint with Etsy against the seller. Others said she had posted private conversations between herself and the seller (gone by the time we reviewed the thread today).

Another seller had the following suggestion for people who receive a suspicious package:

"If nothing else, this post affirms when you receive an item through the USPS that concerns you, it's best to place packaging and contents inside a plastic bag and return DIRECTLY to the USPS with your concerns.

"The post office has its own postal investigators and "if" an item is truly dangerous, illegal, threatening, etc. they will proceed in the proper manner/steps, including alerting the local police/other agencies (edit to add: when applicable)."

The biggest takeaway for sellers, however:  they should reevaluate the packaging they use. 

A reader told us that she bought eco-friendly mailers for those occasions when a customer requests "paper-only packaging." "Fiber mailers already expensive and heavy. If the younger generation thinks they are filled with asbestos and can't negotiate them, perhaps I *should* throw them away," she said.

Some sellers in the thread said certain mailers get poor reviews, so it's worthwhile taking a look at the mailers and packaging material used to ship orders.

Comments (36) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

by: Jeanette This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 27 12:36:17 2019

The OP actually did post a link to a photo of an eco mailer that had one side opened up with the filler showing. In the same post she had links to private conversations she had with the seller. That was on page 4. Later the links went dead and eventually the post vanished, taken down by mods I'm sure. But that's why so many people were suddenly saying "Yep, that's an eco mailer." Also, using the pull tab is a tidier way of opening those.

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 27 13:10:28 2019

One has to ask, was this her way of disparaging competition?  It wouldn't be the first time I've heard of such a thing.  And, she should be banned for sure, that level of stupidity and vengefulness is not something anyone should have to deal with.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 27 15:39:31 2019

So many ways to split this up into so many factions...

This "person" is a terrible example of humanity.
Playing victim at the expense of others compassion to extort getting a freebie while ruining another persons business.
This is DEFAMATION.
Her insisting that a mailer made by a manufacturer that contains toxic materials and labeling it a "common prank" to gain empathy from anyone foolish enough to eat this garbage.

I read her post, looked into her shop, and profile (as I'm sure that many have) and all I see is an arrogant little brat who has called anyone who disagrees with her "professional jerks"?
In my opinion, this is a toxic person who is looking for attention from anyone, and will go to great extents to slander anyone while posing to be the innocent victim.
She claims that the police showed up and confirmed "asbestos" was in fact contained in this mailer, rejects ANY possibility that she may be mistaken, gets a refund, and then turns around to open a case against this seller.
Her roommate, who is in the construction field is somehow an expert now, in his early to mid- twenties?
At that age, they are usually cleanup personnel and go'fers.

This has bullcrap smeared all over it, and I am outraged with another bad decision from the big ecommerce site for enabling such whiny and damaging individual.

I normally don't react this way, but if this is how she will treat another human being (the seller) and all of the others trying to give better perspective, to react with a bad attitude and then double down on her lies, then I have NO compassion for whatever karma brings to her.
Cant wait to hear about her falling face down in the mud.

And this was her latest post:

https://community.etsy.com/t5/Managing-Your-Shop/Would-yo
u-offer-a-refund/m-p/128916466#M1083934

Sounds
like a little hypocrisy to me.

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

This user has validated their user name. by: MainelyVintage

Fri Dec 27 22:52:33 2019

Not much common sense. I felt bad for the (new) seller.

As a fellow seller, I try to be nice to other sellers, especially new ones.

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

This user has validated their user name. by: Life During Wartime

Sat Dec 28 13:28:18 2019

The shop is back, her community member Profile has been changed, and she continues to offer advice to other sellers in the Forums -- all like the ''asbestos'' incident never happened.  Shame on Etsy for allowing someone like this to use their platform to act out, with no consequences.

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

by: MelliM This user has validated their user name.

Sat Dec 28 19:11:31 2019

I want to see the official POLICE REPORT.

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 08:02:11 2019

*sigh*

"Do NOT critique my stuff if I DON'T ask for it. Jesus. I was greatly harassed and accused of carp, when it turned out to be a dangerous situation where I had to force to get my money back, so thanks to the 'professional' jerks."

Updated after her most recent thread:

https://community.etsy.com/t5/Managing-Your-Shop/Help-w
ith-shop-look-what-am-i-missing/m-p/128934084#M1084416

This
"person" is a drunk driver with no rear view mirror!

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 09:33:28 2019

I don't say this lightly but I think this young girl has a mental health issue.  Everything about her attitude and the way she builds a story of lies and doubles down is just bizarre.  Anyone can see through the case she tried to put forward but she hold fast and then accuses other of being jerks -- not 'normal' stuff.  

The flip side is maybe she's just a spoiled little brat who's been led to believe that anything she does or says is the 'written word' and she can't take the backlash of real life when you do and say stupid stuff -- and try to ruin a persons reputation and business, expect some pushback.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

by: MRV This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun Dec 29 09:45:08 2019

This uninformed individual is suddenly weighing in on several threads and offering advice.

I would bet that the attention received was quite intoxicating and that the objective now, is to seek more of it.

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

This user has validated their user name. by: Life During Wartime

Sun Dec 29 13:15:32 2019

She posted 7 times in the Forums within the past hour!  

I see the member Profile statement has been updated...again, to what postbuster quoted above.  

She claimed that sending people asbestos in the mail is a ''common horrible prank mail that cruel people do.'' but no documentation of this ''common prank'' exists that I could find.    

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 15:20:09 2019

Enough is enough.

I read her other posts from threads, and, this is obviously her choice to play the martyr.
To keep following her would be to feed the monster as MRV has said.

Exploiting an excellent definition of a terrible person is low hanging fruit.   I will take it as a window to see how the younger generation will view business, and the forecast is bleak.

It makes other people of her generation look very bad.
It also lowers the bar for comparison of other sellers.

As we all would, I would love to talk some sense to her,
but you cant speak 'common sense' to 'crazy'.

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Sun Dec 29 17:20:42 2019

Personally, I just don't see how Etsy allows this nonsense.  However, there seem to be enough people willing to engage with her even after that asbestos fiasco; her string of lies and fabricated information.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

by: Gizni This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 30 00:50:49 2019

This has opened a new can of worms. No your competition can buy from you and claim this. The seller who got banned should put this buyer on badbuyer.com where her name and address will show up in Google, Yahoo and Bing searches for ever.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

This user has validated their user name. by: Life During Wartime

Mon Dec 30 22:11:39 2019

You don't have to have been a ''bad buyer'' to get listed on badbuyerDOTcom.  Actually, you don't have to purchase anything from the person who adds your name.  Absolutely worthless as protection from real problem buyers.  Just another site where the mean girls of ecommerce can mess with people who don't treat them as if they were all Regina George.

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Dec 30 23:42:32 2019

Once again, Etsy steals HALF the money dedicated to shipping my item.
It's illegal and it is going to stop.

Perminate Link for Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns   Etsy Package Sets Off HazMat Concerns

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jan 1 09:29:51 2020

"mean girls of ecommerce"

That's exactly what this seller sounds like. I sure hope the other seller didn't get banned for this or have their shop shut down. If it were me and they banned me, they would find they just banned the wrong person.

As if it's not bad enough that being banned from the forums has a negative impact on your business's visibility (on top of all the other existing hurdles). If they were to shut down my store due to the shenanigans of those "mean girls", I would have legally gone after every single one of them and made an example of them all.

There has to be a way to fight against these trolls, but it will certainly be more difficult when they have the site protecting them. I honestly think Etsy is actually using the trolls to get rid of the knowledgeable sellers who can see what the site is doing is wrong and even illegal.

It happens time and time again on these site's forums. Look at how many knowledgeable and helpful eBay sellers have been banned. We have no way of seeing who all has been banned on Etsy, but I would think the list consists of mostly those knowledgeable, helpful sellers, like myself.

It's sad when you get punished for simply trying to help. It's even sadder when it kills your business.

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