Saturday, August 17, 2013

Etsy continues to ignore resellers and it pretty much blows.

Let me preface this post with a few things: I am grateful to Etsy for everything they have done in helping small businesses like mine really take off. I don't want to seem unappreciative, because when I came to Etsy from eBay it was like a revelation in my life. People cared about their inventory. They cared to take great pictures. They cared to accurately describe vintage as true vintage and so on. This will seem like biting the hands that feeds me, but I feel I can't take a terrible trend on Etsy any longer.

My best friend is getting married in two weeks and I have been searching Etsy all summer for cute jewelry to wear for the wedding and rehearsal dinner. I love the handmade community and want to support it as often as I can. This is where I started noticing a major problem on Etsy and the seeming lack of concern by the powers that be to do anything to the right the ship. There are an INSANE number of resellers, most specifically in China, selling jewelry at a price that is crazy low. The jewelry is obviously not going to be up to the standards of handmade pieces for one, but almost more importantly, they are taking revenue away from the handmade artists that used to ooooh and ahhhh over how great Etsy was. Let me take you a pic trip with me down this rabbit hole:

I noticed a cute necklace in on of the featured spots on the FP, so I click:

That takes me this page of jewelry, so I click on necklaces:

Nice selection...but, oh wait, what's that at the bottom of the page? A store with bubble necklaces (probably the #1 reseller item on Etsy) in all colors for...FIVE DOLLARS? Click:

I don't want to lead anyone to this shop, because there is no doubt in my mind that it is a reseller, but hell, how can anyone else report them (which I've done to no avail)?

GemPearls has 1180 items for sale in their store. They've sold over 16 THOUSAND items. Yes. It is true. They're a bit sneakier than many resellers as they have items that range in variety, but if you take two seconds to peruse, you will see that every item has an inventory number in the title. Now with 1000+ items that is expected, but I thought oh hell, why not type that inventory into Google. So, I choose a silver bracelet that seemed quite nice for the price tag and also, very intricate to be handmade and sterling silver and cost so low...and, and, get the point.

And wouldn't you know that I found the EXACT bracelet on Amazon from another company in China? They're not claiming to be handmade either. It got me thinking, so I went back to Etsy, searched by the inventory number, and like magic that same bracelet (that is TOTALLY handmade) is being sold in THREE different shops. They don't even both to change the original inventory number. The ignorance on Etsy's part is astounding and how about the cojones on these shops to just maintain the same inventory number as their suppliers? Then again if Etsy does nothing to stop them, why not make it as easy as possible to rip people off?

And on Amazon:

Ok, so I go for another bracelet that seemed quite unique:

Pop that number in to Google and it gives me an option to go to an item on Etsy. Naturally I think oh, it is just sending me back to the shop, but wait...IT IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SHOP WITH THE EXACT SAME HANDMADE CUFF. Twinsies must be working together, right? That's the only explanation. There couldn't be companies in China selling sweat shop style jewelry on a reputable HANDMADE ONLY site like Etsy, right?

And if you think that, let me go to the dollar tree and buy some necklaces to resell to you at ten dollars a piece. They're handmade. I swear.

I understand that policing resellers is a difficult job and that there will always be resellers getting by the powerful and mighty Etsy Integrity Team, but my god, I spent an hour and found about 10 different shops (most with thousands of sales) that were CLEARLY resellers. If it is so easy for me and several of my Etsy friends on Twitter who tweet about the same thing, why isn't Etsy doing anything about it? Oh, right...thousands of sales. 

Please take some time to report the shops in this post and if you get a chance spread this post to fellow Etsy sellers. Let's make Etsy accountable for hosting these shops for years, when the average person can easily identify them as wholesale resellers in a matter of minutes.  Based on the above pictures alone, GemPearls, BubbleJewellery, and MegJewelry4U should not be allowed to sell on Etsy. They do not make their jewelry and the evidence to prove that is overwhelming. Now, let's see what Etsy will do about it. They have a chance to really prove that they care more about their legit sellers than about the bottom line.


worldvintage said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing this. I don't want to see Etsy turn into Ebay, but it looks like it's heading that way.

Pamela said...

Ugh. Not cool, Etsy, not cool at all.