|Mon Oct 18 2010 00:41:35|
Etsy's Anti-Coral Blog Post Provokes Sellers
By: Ina Steiner
Etsy sellers were upset after the company published a post in its Storque blog advising shoppers not to purchase items containing coral. In a guest post on the Etsy blog titled "Declaring Coral Too Precious to Wear," Temple St. Clair, a jewelry designer whose items are sold by Saks Fifth Avenue and by luxury retailers, advised Etsy shoppers to sign a pledge that they would not buy coral due to St. Clair's concerns over coral conservation.
Sellers posted on the Etsy forums saying they were concerned that the Etsy blog post harmed sellers, including those who work with legally obtained coral beads, and asked if Etsy would return listing fees for coral items. "Why did Etsy call out an entire segment of it's sellers in such a potentially negative way? What could be the impact to the sellers who have no voice to defend their decision to work with legally obtained coral beads?" asked one seller.
Another seller was concerned about the impact of the article on sellers' reputations: "The article is in the Storque and pretty much bashes people for using coral in jewelry. All very professionally said, of course, but still makes coral jewelry sellers seem sort of slimy and illegal."
One Etsy user pointed out that the article asked readers to sign a pledge that they would not buy something that is available on Etsy. Clearly many sellers were blindsided by the blog post since Etsy does not ban sellers from selling coral.
Some users wrote that they felt the post was condescending and were upset that the Storque blog post linked to the designer's own off-Etsy website, where it says her collections are sold by Saks, Barneys and will soon be sold by the Target retail chain.
An Etsy administrator closed a 30-page thread about the issue, writing, "We do realize that this issue has made many of you upset, and we'll bring your concerns up for discussion internally. It's time to bring this thread to a close though, as we must remain respectful of all our members on the Forums. Thank you!"
In another thread that opened up to discuss the issue, a seller wrote, "I think that the main thing for me is that Etsy has a rule against "calling out". Is that only meant for us? It should be meant for them too. If the items follow their own TOS, they shouldn't be called out by anyone."
An AuctionBytes reader who has been selling on Etsy for 2 years wrote, "Thread upon thread is being closed by admin on duty, on the subject, for "calling out." "Calling out" is a huge no-no on Etsy, yet this article does just that."