|Mon Dec 15 2014 22:15:58|
eBay and Etsy Fail When It Comes to Native American Goods
I would like to make you aware of the fact that eBay is not following its own policy regarding prohibited and restricted items where Native American clothing, as well as arts and crafts are concerned. They claim to be following the guidelines of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 (link).
To be able to list items such as clothing or jewelry using Ethnic, Regional & Tribal, Native American, you MUST have the artisan's name and tribal affiliation. The artisan must also be an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe.
There are many Native Americans that sell on eBay who are enrolled in federally recognized tribes which follow the guidelines set forth in the IACA. Yet for everyone who does, there are dozens of sellers who do not.
I did a search under just one category; Jewelry & Watches, Ethnic & Tribal, Native American, Necklaces and Pendants looking for something that was truly Native American made. On the first 2 pages in that search alone, I found 20 sellers in violation of eBay's own prohibited and restricted items policy by not stating and artisan or tribal affiliation.
Every single one of those sellers has been reported numerous times by numerous enrolled Native Americans for the policy violations for several years. Yet not ONE of the listings has been removed. But on the rare instance where a Native American forgets to fill out the item specifics citing the artisan and tribal affiliation, they listings are ended by eBay for violating that same policy that these other sellers continue to violate, although eBay has been made aware of the violations.
Not only is this a slap in the face to those of Native American descent, it is unfair that those sellers are allowed to continue to sell their non-native made items using the term "Native American", and their heritage as a marketing tool.
If eBay is going to have a policy for prohibited and restricted items such as this, then they need to enforce it. Not just for some sellers, but for all of them. It is not fair to those who are Native American and do follow it, who are now also losing sales due to so many fake "Native American" items being listed as real. Not to mention how a buyer is deceived by receiving an item they think is truly Native made, but is mass produced somewhere.
This isn't just a problem on eBay. It's also happening on Etsy. It's making it very difficult for true Native Americans to sell their items because they can't compete with the low prices of the mass produced items being sold as handmade Native American.
I am on a team on Etsy ("teams" are equal to eBay "groups") that is comprised of Native American artisans who have been battling this problem for years. On eBay, out of the 100 listings on the first 2 pages of a search on eBay, about 70% of the items it brings up are not in compliance with eBay's policy. On Etsy, they use tags (keywords) for items when you list them. Anyone can put Native American as a tag, and have their items appear in a search, even if the term isn't in their title.