I am a mother of six young children, and my husband is legally blind. My husband was diagnosed with a rare eye condition called cone dystrophy 12 years ago, which is a type of central vision loss. One year later he was laid off due to the recession and lost not only a job but his career to his poor sight. We started a shop on Etsy in 2010 and found much success over the last 10 years. We've tried several other venues over the years but expertise was on the Etsy platform. We were able to employ 12 contracted employees to allow other local mothers to work from their homes.
Etsy saved my family, it gave us the privilege of providing for ourselves despite our circumstances. I've always supported Etsy, I have always followed their rules and guidelines. So imagine my shock when my shop of Ten years was permanently suspended on February 13th.
I had no warning of this, and the email Etsy Trust & Safety provided was vague and only led to more questions than answers.
We frantically tried to email Etsy Trust & Safety as instructed with no luck. We called Etsy support several times, but every time the customer service verified our account, they read a written message and hung up on us.
This was our sole income, so this situation is devastating to my family. To make matters worse, Etsy locked up hundreds of dollars in my account, leaving me unable to use Etsy shipping labels. They continued to run ads and collect funds from my deactivated listings, winding those locked up funds down to nothing. So the orders tied up there are my loss as I still will be loyal to my customers.
They also used my images on their ads on Facebook to drive traffic to Etsy. I also have hundreds of thousands of Pinterest pins that have had the URL locked so it could not be changed to my new site but rather continually funnel traffic to Etsy. That ultimately puts me in competition with my own images.
Out of desperation, and posting my story to my Instagram page, I have found my account flooded with countless stories of sellers in the same boat. After several days of high activity and no contact from Etsy, I received a message from the Senior Director of Etsy Trust & Safety. She informed me that one of her team members would send me an email.
After checking our email, the only explanation was that we were closed down over 2 cases and 2 low reviews. I am still shocked, I am a high volume seller, I was just shy of 30,000 sales and 5,544 5-star reviews. They gave me previous dates of contact over the last 4 years. After searching through the email these "said emails" went to, I was only able to find one automated email in November, I was not able to find any other such emails, this email has nearly 500,000 emails, as it is the email for my Etsy account.
I highly doubt my shop was reviewed by a human as Etsy Trust & Safety claims, as any human would see that I reached out and worked with each customer for each low review and case. All cases were closed in my favor or by the buyer themselves and many cases resulted in 5-star reviews.
Many buyers admitted they thought the case system was the only way to contact the seller. Does this not prove my success in customer service? Most of the women coming to me with similar stories were never able to contact Etsy or never received an answer. So they are coming to me, simply to be heard.
I don't know where to take this, I feel as if Etsy has become a huge machine that has been programmed to eliminate every shop on Etsy.
Thanks for your time.