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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) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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 23 23:42:02 2019

Hilarious!  I read part of that thread when it was just getting started, and LMAO for real.  Another Etsygirl who's afraid to use the internet to find out what those processed paper mailers are actually made of.  Yes, they can be a mess to open.  But they do not contain asbestos.  Bless her little pointed head, and the teeny tiny brain inside.

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

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 24 06:04:17 2019

Life in Wartime.  I had the SAME Take-Away that this is a PRIME EXAMPLE of how far FAR too many U.S. "adults" escaped high school with a few facts and NO common sense.
Asbestos ???   Not even so much as ONE chance in a BILLION that the ugly, grayish, minced up, milled, fluffed up scrap paper could EVER be "ASBESTOS". is absurd and the work of a dang-fool weak mind.
Asbestos has been BANNED from 99 percent of its OLD applications for DECADES.  Asbestos was NEVER EVER used as CHEAP puffiness/fluff to PAD mailers.  NEVER.
Quick,  get me this naif's name, address and phone number.   I have a BRIDGE I'd like to sell them.

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

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 24 12:31:13 2019

Oh NO!
I received one of those "asbestos" packages and there was a book inside.
Wow.  I can't believe that these people are so dumb to believe the package is padded with asbestos.

Funny thing is, the have molded cardboard and "asbestos" padding used in fruit boxes. Yeah, like they are going to use asbestos in that padding too.

I love the envelopes and the fruit padding and reuse them for my ornaments and such.

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

by: leathermermaid8 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 24 13:38:14 2019

We used these type of mailers in my office.  The innards were padded with shredded paper...papier mache of sorts.  With people everywhere grinding on about recycling, eco this, save da planit that and organic high colonics, you'd think such a thing would be welcome.  The worst thing about these eco shredded mailers is cleaning  up after opening one.  You know, like,  be locating and using a dust pan.  I daresay the ninnyhammer that complained doesn't recognize those either.  Oh well, roomba to the rescue.  

In fact, I am so tired of hearing about such issues I am sorely tempted to do the opposite.  Let 'em die mad about 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

Tue Dec 24 13:59:54 2019

I took another look at the thread from the link above, and it seems this dumb bunny is now claiming that she notified law enforcement -- who confirmed that the package contained asbestos!  This person should not be running a shop, on Etsy or anywhere else, since she has a disturbing need to fabricate reasons to create drama.  Shoppers beware!

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

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 24 15:05:38 2019

Geez! Either this person fell off the turnip truck or they're one of those who got passed through school without earning the grades. Why on earth would someone think there's asbestos in a mailer?

They knowingly ordered a book and it was sent in a harmless paper mailer. Case closed.

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

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 24 15:07:54 2019

I should add, though, that this is a good example of why it's important to make sure your shipping materials are of good quality. I know I wouldn't want to open a package that makes a mess...unless, of course, it's peanuts, which I recycle. LOL

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

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Dec 24 21:02:12 2019

I didn't know they still made "asbestos" mailers; it's probably been a decade since I've seen one. All I ever see in stores now is the bubble wrap lined envelopes, which is what I use. I do remember getting the "fluffy paper padded" envelopes, and too many times tearing them where I shouldn't and having that paper stuff flying around.

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

Thu Dec 26 16:53:52 2019

Etsy just STOLE $30 of my $40 shipping charge.
Now my small profit is all gone. I'm losing BIG on this one.
And I was already losing $8.00 on shipping as it was.
CALL THE COPS ! ! ! !

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

by: Garcia This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 27 01:46:46 2019

I will bet Etsy sides with the buyer and punishes the seller for sending asbestos mailers.

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

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 27 02:17:39 2019

That site is turning into such a mess. But, I don't see anywhere that actually states that the buyer is younger?  Is that just an assumption? There are loads of stupid people in every generation.  

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

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 27 02:25:57 2019

Finally found the thread - yeah, she's younger so my bad.  I never assume because there are so many idiots my age (mid-60s) that I almost hate to admit my age.

That thread is just FULL of solutions lol.  

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

by: littlesaint This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 27 03:00:01 2019

How does one "negotiate" a mailer?

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

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 27 03:20:45 2019

This whole episode highlights the problems with Etsy's new ODR system - it's very inflexible. Even if that situation were resolved by the seller and the buyer admitted her mistake (unlikely, given her defensiveness), that black mark stays against that seller forever - no rolling time frame, no revision due to the situation being resolved or feedback changed, nothing. "Make Commerce Human" what rubbish.  

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

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 27 05:03:34 2019

even the thieves at Etsy has got to know there is no  asbestos used is these mailers.  WELL----you would at least think they would know !!

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

by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 27 05:15:30 2019

I hate those damn envelopes. But asbestos? Pleeezzze.

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 09:03:19 2019

Everyone hates those envelopes but to make the giant leap to 'asbestos' and to make such a huge stink about it, cause a shop owner, who was obviously trying to be a good environmental citizen problems, without taking a few minutes to think clearly, or ask around is positively ridiculous and irresponsible.  

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

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 27 09:58:11 2019

You can't fix stupid...
If the numpty had posted a pic of the envelope...
a zillion posters would have told her it was paper pulp.

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

Fri Dec 27 10:57:18 2019

I just read all the rest of the comments to the end where it was closed by Etsy.  The OP's shop is now closed, and her Etsy Community Member Profile is a rant about how she was mistreated in the Forums.  The Google cache of her shop's main page shows that she described herself in the About section as ''kindhearted''.  Incredible!

This is a user who should be permanently banned from using the site as a BUYER and perma-muted from the Forums.  What kind of a venue allows a user to remain active who has shown herself to be publicly deceptive and disruptive to people actually trying to run a business on the site?  

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

This user has validated their user name. by: LoveToKnit

Fri Dec 27 11:11:59 2019

The complaining buyer has a lot of items in her shop with trademarked names she is using illegally. Her Etsy profile also says ''I was greatly harassed and accused of carp''. Did she mean someone called her a fish (face?) or was a fish thrown at her?

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