|Wed Sept 19 2012 11:20:16|
How's Etsy Doing on Marketplace Integrity?
By: Julia Wilkinson
Etsy's head of the Marketplace Integrity and Trust & Safety Team (MITS), Julian Wong, recently posted the latest update on marketplace integrity on one of the Etsy blogs. (In other Etsy News, Ina reported today that Etsy just launched a new photo-cropping tool for thumbnail images).
I had to smile, because the post, like the Etsy site itself, had so much personality. Wong shared not only his business background (he worked at Google and his own startup company) but about his fond memories as a child growing up in Brooklyn of his dad taking him to art class every Saturday morning at Pratt Institute. "I understand how much you care about your work and I’m committed to maintaining our standards for the marketplace where you sell," he wrote.
Among the things Wong listed that the team has done to improve site integrity:
- added 10 new staffers to the MITS team;
- "On average we are reviewing your reports under 24 hours and 35% faster;
- "Our internal detection system, SCRAM (Systems for Catching Resellers and Abusers of the Marketplace), is automatically preventing 20% more policy violators from re-listing;
- "SCRAM is identifying 30% more accounts for review by the MITS team."
Wong explained in detail the careful review process that the team undertakes when a shop is reported. He pointed out that when a shop may seem to be a reseller because it sells the same or similar items as another shop, it does not necessarily mean that shop is reselling items. "As buyers' appetites for these items increase so do the number of sellers that create these items to satisfy demand. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to find multiple sellers who have access to the same supplies and skills competing to make the same items for buyers, he explained.
The MITS team examines each case and if it determines the shop needs further review, it asks the seller or shop owner a series of questions, including: to name each person and detail his/her role in the shop; to describe the materials and equipment they use to make their items; to outline in detail how they make the item(s); to show pictures of the raw materials used; and to show step-by-step photographs of their handmade process.
There is even an example of a series of photos in which a seller who makes a certain type of necklace demonstrates her process thoroughly (they blurred her shop and personal name in the photos for her privacy).
This seems like a lot of progress to me, but I am just a casual Etsy seller. Etsy sellers out there, what do you think of how far the site has come with marketplace integrity, in terms of resellers and other issues such as copyright problems? Have you ever reported a shop? Or, have you worried someone would report your shop because your products looked so similar to the wares in another shop, even though you made them by hand? Post a comment here!