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Fri June 26 2015 22:58:41

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink Policies

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Am I alone in thinking that if Etsy had been more receptive to the shop owners requests and suggestions after the "Town hall that started it all" on October 1st 2013, they may not have the problems they have now?

Will Amazon's announcement encourage Etsy CEO and Board members to finally reconsider our request for a special section of truly made by hand shops?

With the news that online giant Amazon is considering opening a "handmade" section, now might be the time for the CEO and to board to recognize that they should have given the artisans a special place called "really made by hand" on Etsy. 

In 2013 many Etsy shop owners who actually made their items by hand asked, no wait, it was more like we begged, for Etsy to at least maintain a difference between the new "handmade" aka (large collectives of workers in countries who have massive factories producing "Made in ____ fill in the blank ) and the old "handmade" (craftspeople and artists, who actually created a piece from scratch).

We asked in the forums, we asked in the Q&A's, we sent requests to admin and the board. Each time the answer was "NO, there is no need for a separate section called "handmade" because we have redefined the term "handmade" to meaning... "Authorship, Responsibility, and Transparency (A/R/T)" "

To many of us this was kind of like corporate double speak which has a lot of words but actually never made any sense. I cannot find any dictionary that ties the A/R/T example to the word "handmade" any where, in any language.

Etsy... in light of this new competition for your customer base (shop owners) maybe we should ask one last time,

Will you please create a section that is actually made by hand by vetted artisans on Etsy???

I know there are lots of shop owners who do upcycled and shop owners who have a factory assist them in creating their items. You would still have your home on Etsy, but when a shopper wants to buy an item that is uniquely made by hand, they should not have to wade through listings trying to guess whether an item is made by hand or just conforms to the idea of A/R/T.

To me the argument against this is really more of an argument to allow mass manufacturers to hide amongst us. We provide the camouflage so they can list items as handmade and Etsy can profit from their sales.

I don't have a problem with Etsy making a profit from manufacturers, I have a problem with enabling these manufacturers to misrepresent themselves as shops that actually make items individually (without mass production machinery) by hand.

Maybe I am the only shop owner left on Etsy that still feels this way... or am I? 

Signed:
Long time Etsy shop owner, who still makes it by hand and is one slap away from perma-mute.




Comments (30) | Permalink

Readers Comments

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Fri Jun 26 23:53:40 2015

“Money, not morality, is the principle of commerce …”—Thomas Jefferson.

Come to terms with it; in the final analysis it's all about money ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid … http://bit.ly/11F2eas  

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 27 09:26:17 2015

I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker. The example of great and pure individuals is the only thing that can lead us to noble thoughts and deeds. Money only appeal.



Albert Einstein

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Jun 27 10:13:55 2015

@Philip
"Come to terms with it; in the final analysis it's all about money ..."

That's why I continue to sell on eBay!

eBay has the buyers I'm looking for. . .

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 27 10:57:19 2015

If Amazon makes it successful, expect an antiques and collectibles Amazon. They are finally waking up to untapped sources of revenue....and seeing competitors to bury.

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 27 19:37:20 2015

Ha Ha Ha, so let me get this straight, Amazon is workinh hard to replace inefficient humans with drones and order-picking robots, and now is touting "handmade" items ....... Well I guess that the unemployed need something to do with their idle hands ........

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 27 21:04:01 2015

Etsy has become as pig-headed and ham-fisted as Ebay!

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 27 23:59:56 2015

If Amazon can pull this off, and I suspect they will, this will probably put Etsy out of business. And honestly, they will get what they deserve. Their treatment of their sellers ranks right up there with Ebay, and it will be their downfall. Similar to ebay's downfall, except faster and more pronounced because Etsy isnt big enough to sustain the losses long term like ebay was.  

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 28 00:01:30 2015

I actually wish I could have been a fly in the wall at Etsy when they figured out what Amazon was doing.  

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: PompatusF.Love This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 28 01:08:37 2015

I've been awaiting the news on Amazon handmade, and wondering what it may mean for Etsy.  I'd like to get back to selling online, but this time ONLY handmade (mainly sewn home decor items).  Etsy concerns me for various reasons, and now it looks like they're gonna get a run for their money.  But Amazon is obviously way too big for my britches.

As much as I hear people enjoy eCRATER, can it be a decent alternative to Etsy for artisan goods on a smaller scale?  At least they play nicely with Google, although my handmade wouldn't have UPC's.  And don't even mention eBay.

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 28 09:16:02 2015

handmade items do not need UPCs. On eCrater, if you have a store that deals mainly with handmade items, eCrater management will tell you how to go about listing your items, or you could ask the sellers on the forums. They are pretty helpful.

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Jun 28 11:20:31 2015

@Pomatus - eCrater has a sub-category Handcrafted Items under the main category of Crafts. Currently, there are almost 31,000 items listed under Handcrafted. Since it is free to list, you should certainly try selling there since it won't cost you anything other than the time to set up your store (and if I can do it, anyone can).

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: PompatusF.Love This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 28 17:36:48 2015

@iheart & Harriet - thanks!  I think I'll opt for eCrater, and I can see the boards there are refreshingly helpful and neighborly.  

Like the OP, there are just too many sellers complaining about Etsy now.  And this Amazon competition could really put the hurts on a site with such a narrow vision to begin with.

But eCrater has lots of opportunity, with a wider range of categories and its friendliness to small sellers.  I could see it growing substantially, given the ongoing demise of eBay.

Online sellers have to go somewhere, and neither Etsy nor Amazon are a good fit for the majority of small sellers.  (The kind who made eBay the dynamic, fun, diverse, and profitable marketplace it used to be...before the beatings began.)

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 28 21:25:20 2015

Glad you are going to give eCrater a try. It is important to fill your store with as much as you can. It does help to have volume there. People will help you, and even give you honest critiques to help you get started.

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Jun 28 21:25:40 2015

There's an interesting article in Seeking Alpha today about Etsy and Amazon. Some highlights:

-Etsy stock has fallen 52% since the IPO.

-It is estimated that 5% of the items on Etsy violate trademark law.

-The article's author believes that Pinterest, not Amazon, is a bigger threat to Etsy because of Pinterest's 70 million users, and the buyable pins which allow users to purchase what they see.

-Etsy's GMV in the first quarter grew only 28%, down from 45% last year, when it had no real competition.

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 28 21:26:30 2015

Oh, forgot to mention, you can use PayPal and also Stripe, which is a credit card processor. It works fine.

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 29 00:24:46 2015

Also, just as a side note as long as we are talking about stys, once AGAIN sales have dropped off a cliff!
Tell me how does a person go from 5 to 6000 views in one day to 500 or less, and was making $500. week to $40. and less which includes no sales at all for days; over night! And then you are told it's something you are doing when everything was working fine! The sales drops are extreme and frequent. There has to be a way to 'make a living' online! Why is it so hard to to that. I have proven my business is a success so how do I do it online without being constantly manipulated. I have a website and for 8 months not ONE sale! I promote it though social medial, blog, my etsy shops... same kinds of items and no sales! This is all just too weird if you ask me. Now I'm supposed to jump over to Amazon when they open up a handmade category; which one of my shops is all handmade, and the other is 1/2 handmade, and 1/2 recycled items. I feel like a punching bag being tossed around from one place to other trying to make a living and all I am really ending up doing in the end is giving practically all of my profit margin to the platform. I don't know what to think anymore.

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 29 00:28:28 2015

PS: Typo correction: I said in my last post: "Also, just as a side note as long as we are talking about stys, once AGAIN sales have dropped off a cliff!"

What I was talking about is 'etsy' not stys *L*.

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 29 02:34:24 2015

WAIT---@Iheartjacksparrow---WHERE are you finding these "Pinnable sales buttons"  on PINTEREST???

I have a seperate board ON Pinterest listing the things I have FOR SALE on ebay---I know some have been re-pinned but I would LOVE to have a way to actually SELL using the platform!  

I have also looked on Facebook which is alleged to have some form of "Sell"  section--to no avail.  Now I am not tech savvy but the only way I know of TO sell using FB is some very local sales boards--say;  for your town--I live in Tiny Cow town---other than a few kids things we have had no success trying to use that as a sales platform;  I need a wider set of views to sell this stuff.  

I am going to list some stuff on eCrater (hate that name!)  but I don't have hundreds of items to list all at once;  will have to work up to that--and fear listing things on two platforms--what if a real miracle occurred and I had TWO buyers for the SAME item?  So--that's a no-go!

I am hoping to get some things out of storage etc to list--need to clear this crap ER--GREAT STUFF!!!!--out of here!

AS for this new ebay promo--ugh---to use it I think drops my items straight to the bottom of the sea---all of them are now on a 30 day Fixed/BO and NONE of them has sold altho according to ebay I have TONS of looks at some of these things--I SHOULD have had a sale after 128 looks in ONE DAY--right? I have viewers;  I have watchers---I have a great item at a great price--but I just can't seem to get an actual SALE!  In a few cases  my accts have had NO SALES at all since April! I have NEVER seen things THIS bad--ever.  

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 29 02:56:21 2015

Comet,Facebook has the same ''board'' money as Etsy and Walmart. I wouldn't trust it.

@aim, trust me, Etsy hasn't figured the Amazon thing out yet. Etsy staffers are particularly obtuse. They are hired for their mediocrity.

With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink   With Amazon Handmade, Seller Begs Etsy to Rethink

by: BeaG This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 29 03:14:20 2015

Amen!

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