Etsy is streamlining the process for disclosing production partnerships for items listed in the Handmade category on its site. The company made other big announcements today, but this one has the potential to rub some artisan sellers the wrong way.
As the company explained
, "In 2013, we began asking shop owners who make their products with the help of a production partner to apply for outside manufacturing approval from Etsy."
What it didn't say was that some sellers of handmade goods objected, fearing that it would open the door to mass-produced goods on Etsy. In 2015, it launched a directory of approved manufacturers
, called Etsy Manufacturing.
And now, 3 years later, Etsy is making it even easier for "designers" wanting to list items on the site that manufacturers may have helped produce. Rather than waiting for Etsy to approve a manufacturer partnership, sellers can simply disclose the information on those listings:
"As of today, you can add and manage your production partners during the listing process. This way, you're being as transparent as possible about your processes without having to wait for Etsy to review your partnership."
This may be the slippery slope that some sellers had feared. Don't underestimate how controversial Etsy's "Handmade" policy is - just take a look back at the furor
that led to one millionaire-seller's ultimate departure from the marketplace in 2015.
Etsy also clarified its Handmade policy, which you can read on this page
. As to that, an Etsy spokesperson told EcommerceBytes, "the changes to the handmade policy are just clarifications to make it easier to understand for sellers globally - nothing about what is and is not allowed on Etsy has changed."
What do you think of the latest changes to Etsy's approach to handmade goods?
Edited to add a link to the updated Handmade policy.