Etsy demands proof to reopen our shops then rejects it – Our handmade is not “handmade” enough for them

After having made Etsy our home for 4 years and following all the rules, they shut down for good both our shops. Here we are sharing our story with you, providing all pertinent details and letting you judge for yourself.

The making of the cuff you see in the pictures was required as proof by Etsy, these cuffs were made at the beginning of last year, listed and relisted (the same one, as not a single piece sold there) on Etsy since May last year, and as most of our jewelry, these were limited edition (10 pieces total made in the only batch we produced). Note that each cuff is unique, the elements are free form and placed randomly, therefore no cuff is the exact same.

Etsy has been closing down stores unjustly, arbitrarily and indiscriminately for a while now, we didn’t know until it happened to us. In a lot of cases this happens due to reports sent by nameless and faceless members, who without any evidence and knowing nothing about you, report your store and make you a target.

The first time we had our shops suddenly “suspended” (that’s how Etsy calls a temporarily or definite shut down) was October last year, we were closed for a total of 7 days while asked to provide all sort of documents, images and other confidential information showing that our jewelry was handmade by us, we supplied all they asked for with extensive detail, including step-by-step process documented with photographs of us producing one of our gold plated brass rings, the one they chose.

After their review both our shops got reinstated (second shop was a supplies only store and got closed down by association) with the following message: “Thank you so much for taking the time to send us these pictures and information. We’re happy that you’re a member of our community and glad to learn that your items are handmade!”

The experience left us scarred, though, as your shops represent your livelihood and you consider them your home, waking up one day and finding yourself locked out is a huge shock, you feel lost, confused and so worried about the implications this will have with your costumers and your reputation.

But we hadn’t even recovered from this traumatic experience when just four months later, this past February, Oh surprise! out of the blue we found our shops suspended again and this time they wanted us to show them the process we used to manufacture one of our cuffs (obviously it had to be the most intricate piece we had in the shop), documenting all the process with pictures, just the same way we had done it before, but this time no other written statements or any other documents were required, only pictures.

We did request that they let us produce this cuff partially as it is a very time consuming piece and since it is a repetition of soldered pieces, making half of it would have showed amply the process we use and prove we made this piece ourselves, well, they refused and demanded we made the whole thing, so we did…but after having sent them all the images  (see slide show in this blog), even more detailed than what we are showing here. This time our shops didn’t get reopened, instead we got the following message: “We’ve looked over the materials you submitted, but unfortunately, this does not confirm that your account complies with our policies”

So we wondered, what was the point of asking us to submit this proof if it doesn’t prove anything according to them, we requested a more specific reason as to why they thought this wasn’t good enough, and got this:

”Thank you for your email. Our team has reviewed this matter, and we have determined that we will not be able to reopen your shop at this time.

Upon close review of the documentation that was presented about how your items are made, we have determined that the items in your shop do not qualify to be sold on Etsy.

We wish you the best in your future endeavors..”

This vague answer was all we got, not even the decency of a concrete explanation or what policy were we violating. But wait a second, what??? did you hear that, the way we make our items do not qualify us??  Nothing in their polices determine how craftsmen/sellers should make their wares, when it comes to the tools or methods used or how many pieces of an item should be produced at one time, nor can they dictate that (or can they?). Our items are designed and produced by us, with our own hands in our small NY studio, and do not infringe on any of their policies and/or rules, so we’ll never know what they meant by “how your items are made..”

We think the fact that we sent a communication to Etsy’s CEO and to the Integrity Team after this second closing, pointing out the fact they that are doing nothing about big resellers but instead harassing and hurting little people, didn’t help our cause, Etsy is notorious for retaliating against people that criticize them.

So that’s the status, both our Etsy stores closed and erased from the face of the earth, when they do this they take all your feedbacks, files and commercial history with the click of a button. Our Accessorability jewelry shop was 2 years old and managed only about 150 sales, we had about 170 items listed when it got closed down (don’t think for a second that the shutting down of our stores is improving the sales of the person(s) who reported us).  While our Gemarama shop was a supplies only store, it was up and running for 4 years, had close to 4000 transactions, 0 negatives and 3 neutrals. We first started Gemarama on eBay in 2007, selling only excellent quality, hand-picked gemstone beads and few findings, we moved from eBay to Etsy in Feb.2009, bringing with us many of our customers.

The way we see it is that we, along with many other shops fell victims to Etsy’s double standards and lack of professionalism, not to mention the lack of respect and consideration for the human beings that use their site.

So you guys decide for yourselves. Just imagine this happening to you!

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68 responses

  1. I read your earlier account of the story and can concur from my own experiences with Etsy and their so called “intergrity” teams. Hahaha

    I am not a crafter, I sell vintage. I got a vague message asking me how I sourced my stock and how did I know items were vintage. I gave a quick reply that vintage items are sourced in many ways and that my experience of 40+ years in the antiques trade was generally enough to inform me that an item was 20 years old or older. They shut down my shop and refused to tell me which (if any) items were in violation of their policies. I am a well known author in my field so I sent them links to masses of papers and research materials I had produced – the equivalent of a crafter showing photos of their process. They still would not re-open my shop. It was only when my American cousin – a senior corporate lawyer got involved and emailed their then CEO directly – that my shop was re-opened within hours. He even got me a payout in respect of my lost trade while the shop was closed – it was the height of the Christmas season. But Etsy said it was a “gesture of goodwill” and never admitted in writing that they had done any wrong.

    With regard to your assertion that Etsy will pounce on anyone who is at all critical of their policies I can also agree from my own experience. I have a number of IDs I use on the Etsy forums (I use a VPNS to protect my ISP) I have several times mildly criticised the quality of the staff who deal with these “flaggings” and been told off. I have also been told off for criticising Etsys Gestapo style policy of institutionalised stitching whereby a shop is open to abuse by competitors. I was told off for that as well.

    I am a seller on another platform where there are penalties against malicious snitches and unfounded snitchings result in a black mark against a sellers account. Three strikes and you lose your snitching privilages and your shop gets “reviewed”. I suggested that shops who have to go through the process that you did of putting in hours of effort to “prove” themselves to Etsy should submit an invoice for their time and any materials used. In the even the shop is found innocent that bill should then be attached to the account of the snitch.

  2. […] The good news is that generally you can fix these misunderstandings. The bad news is that they will preemptively suspend your shop, without warning you few days before, they will not tell you the reason, you will lose several days of sales, and you’ll have to share a lot of information and photos of your team and lab. If you’re unlucky, you can even get your shop and your account completely deleted. You’ll lose your customers, your brand, your testimonials, your sales history, etc. So, it’s a real mess. Read here other people’s experience: one, two, three and four. […]

  3. It really stinks that you were suspended and then wiped off the Etsy map, especially considering the blatant resellers. There is a general lack of respect for quality real art and craft from the people running Etsy. It leaves me on the fence about them – it’s an easy way to open up shop, but I detest everything about their business model. The good news – there are other sites out there. Some are more targeted, some are even *gasp* selective and won’t leave your potential customers to wade through mounds of junk just to find you. I’m not a jeweler, so I don’t know the specific sites that might work best for you, but there are so many options out there.

    Best of luck.

    1. Not being a jeweler, You should check out http://www.kwykpix.com. It’s a new marketplace for every subject. Etsy kicked me off just for responding to too many requests. KwykPix will take almost any product because they are working to help everyone so they donate with each sale.

  4. Totally agree with you, there’s no respect at all because real art and crafts don’t bring them the money, but they exploit the concept grossly to gain followers and customers worldwide while using and abusing the real artisans and artists.

  5. B.T.W. thanks for your best wishes

  6. Etsy just revised their forums because they have (presumably) become disquieted by all the very vocal criticism of their policies and the arbitrary way in which their rules are enforced. They have attempted to arrange things so that real discussion is drowned out by trivial “social type” topics where members post vapid self congratulatory trivia. Whereas previously it was discouraged in the business category Etsy now actively encourage these because they provoke no controversy.

    Under this revised regime any criticism of Etsy, their policies or Etsy admins can get you muted (ie you lose your posting privileges) firstly for a week and then indefinitely. All this is being done under the nebulous guise of being “nice” to one another and keeping “negativity” at bay. What it in fact amounts to is a dumbing down of the process of debate and criticism which one expects of intelligent people in a free and democratic society. Etsy even uses the term “disciplinary action” which is best associated with naughty children in school.

    “The disciplinary process … a one-week suspension, and a permanent suspension of Forums privileges. We’re not going to change that. … Moderators take action in order to better the community, achieve a space that is organized and constructive, and protect the right of every member to be respected. These actions are not up for public discussion …

    1. Thanks for your input Chris, what a surprise to know that Etsy keeps changing for the worse, if I still were there, probably I’d sit down and cry, but since I’m not, I can laugh my butt off at the absurdity of their dictatorial regime and their ridiculous controlling policies design for kindergartners…kind of feel sorry for those morons. It’s also funny how they call everything a privilege: “your buying privileges”, “your speaking privileges”, etc….. what else is there to say

  7. I can attest to the arbitrary nature of the new forums. Apparently even MENTIONING an action taken by a moderator is enough to count as a strike. I now have two strikes and have been muted for a week. They have taken every positive feeling I had towards them from three years of successful selling, and wiped them out in one quick blow.

    I will not close my shop there, but I surely have no more loyalty to them. I’ve started having a lot of success selling on another venue, and my focus will shift over there. I knew from day one that the nature of Etsy would change, just like Ebay’s did.So every business card or mention of my shop used an URL that I had set up and directed to my Etsy shop. I’m just so very sorry to have been proved right so soon.

    1. Check out http://www.kwykpix.com It’s a new marketplace that you can have a storefront on with great SEO for your products and it will cost you less than ETSY when your selling. You have a lot more freedom with them.

  8. Thanks for your comment Jay! what they do is awful, but if it were only on forums it’d be bearable, they are arbitrary from any angle you look, the worst is the arbitrary nature and discrimination on who they close and who they leave open, many shut down shops haven’t done anything to deserve it and many left open are breaking the rules with everyone knowing about it.
    It’s great that you found a different venue where you are successful, for many people is not like that and after having worked for years to built your customer base on Etsy, to be suddenly shut down for no reason is brutal.
    Many people like you, have lost their loyalty and respect for them (can’t expect any different, Etsy don’t have any respect for anyone), they only remain there *quietly* to use the service and sell their stuff, but they’d run out of there, like being chased by the devil, as soon as another option that works for them is available.
    Good luck to you, our best wishes for a great success out of Etsy!!!

  9. Many experienced members have now been “warned” or perma muted for the most trivial infringements or in some cases simply for throw away remarks. I too was muted for a week for a remark that did not even reference Etsy, Etsy members or Etsy policies in any way.

    Etsy say they don’t want anyone to be “negative” or “disrespectful” of Etsy members, admins, policies etc and that they want everyone to feel “safe” posting in the forums. How can anyone feel safe when they are scared of putting a foot wrong or that some harmless remark will be reported by a spineless snitch.

    The only safe threads now are dummed down pap about “how I reached 50 sales” or “what is your favourite food”. The ironic thing is that Etsy will be the loser. Many experienced members, myself included, will no longer post in the forums and will thereby leave newbie sellers to fend for themselves.

    I guess Etsy want everyone to feel happy happy happy. Well I can think of some other unhealthy societies which ran on an endemic policy of snitching. And where people desperately pretended that all was well and that they were happy happy happy.

    Soviet Russia was one. Nazi Germany was another.

    1. Oh boy, I could not agree more! I’m writing this several months after you posted this comment and can confirm it has only gotten worse!

  10. Mmmm, all this sounds crazy. What they really want is the least interference from sellers. Etsy wants to commit whichever misdeeds they want without having to hear it from the people affected or from anyone for that matter.
    What a way to compromise people’s principles, if they want to remain there they have to stay quiet and eat whatever doodoo Etsy feeds them. Who do they think they are???? THIS IS SO UN-AMERICAN!! And to think they are a B-Corp (socially responsible) and that they recently hosted a conference at Pratt with the theme “creative economy of the future” and “reimagine the marketplace” HAHAHA what a joke.

  11. I was a week away from opening an Etsy shop, but after reading what you and many others have said, I am rethinking my options. I am so sorry for all the losses everyone has experienced at the whim of the people in charge. If Etsy is a site that plays favorites and doesn’t require everyone to play by the same rules, I want no part of it. Best wishes to you and all your future endeavors!

    1. My friend just opened one on Kwykpix.com and I’ll be opening mine on there. It’s a new marketplace made for helping folks and businesses of all kinds. You have alot more freedom there.

  12. Thanks so much for your best wishes marsocmom! We also appreciate that you stopped by to read our blog and share your opinion :)

  13. I would not say dont open an Etsy shop but open on other venues too and just treat it as one of several income streams.

    I was just now reading the Etsy forums and a thread on “do you rely on Etsy for your full time income” and many people with dependents and kids posted that it was. I would have liked to have warned all these members “Dont put all your eggs in one basket” and to explore other outlets as well. I would have liked to remind them of the risk of making Etsy 100% of your income when the rug can be pulled out from under you at any time. However with the new posting rules Im sure this would have been viewed as a “negative” vibe so I kept quiet.

    Like many sellers I have learned to keep my head down, look after my own business, and dont rock the boat.

  14. That’s is the reason why people need to get informed and not rely on Etsy.
    We have learned of and have received emails from folks who have closed their shops out of outrage and disgust towards Etsy’s unethical actions, they feel strongly that remaining there makes them part of something that goes against their values, others prefer to keep their biz going, doing their best to disassociate themselves from Etsy. Either position is very respectable, but when opting for the second one and given what we all know now about Etsy, is fundamental to parallelly work other venues.

  15. What are the best web alternatives to Etsy? I’ve actually got an Etsy shop set up with yet-unpublished draft listings, but I’m getting a little skittish about actually launching it: your story seems not to be a rare one; and add to that the specter of feedback extortion.

    1. They closed down our shop as well even though I never had one sale. They claimed it was copyright infringement but I had no brand or text on the product I made (which I made from scratch).

      @Sarah – I’ve listed my crafts at https://listingdock.com – a new alternative. You could also try fiver.com or even ebay.com (eww).

    2. Keep KwykPix.com in mind. With every sale you will help another American of ones choice. So I’m going to start selling there.

  16. Hi Sarah, thanks for stopping by! Yes. unfortunately, what happened to us has been happening to many others for years, you can find similar reports dating from 2008. There are many other sites, but the right platform for you will depend on what your product is and what stage your business is at, you can check some resources in our post above: “etsy’s reign of terror”, and there are more out there, but requires a bit of research to find the one you feel comfortable with. Our best wishes!

  17. Thanks for visiting Yocheved, we read that post months ago along with hundreds of others we found on the internet, but it goes to show that no matter if it is 2008 or 2013, etsy never change their ways and who they give priority to, regardless of who is the the right and who in the wrong.

  18. I had my art store at Etsy. Handmade Bracelets..I was one of the few who even knows how to make them. All original. I had over 200 sales.Etsy closed my shop and said that some guy told them that ive stole pictures and put them in my listings. I gave them all of the proof that it’s my store and products.. I tried contact them for 2 weeks submitting proof of identity. They sent me an e-mail today saying they have permanently banned me. I lost irreplaceable pictures and my customes trust.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Etsy-closed-my-shop-for-no-reason/507369126006352

    1. Our heart goes to you SwedishSami, what etsy do is very unfair and painful and yes, it destroys your reputation also. Is great that you talk about it though, if everyone who has gone through this nasty experience were doing it, the internet will overflow with etsy complaints and the situation will be taken more seriously.
      Have you already filed a complaint with the BBB and Consumer Affairs? all the links are in our “etsy’s reign of terror” post under “resources”. Is important also, no matter where you are located, that you file with the NY Attorney General: http://www.ag.ny.gov/internet-bureau-online-complaint-form
      Keep us posted!!

    2. Check out Kwykpix.com about it. You can get a storefront and they got a whole crew that can help you with your situation.

  19. I to had my shop closed yesterday, close to 800 sales, over 400 items listed in my shop and I lost it all. Thankfully I have some loyal customers who will be following me as I try out a different platform but it’s scary to try all over. I asked for a second chance and they’ve completely ignored the messages I sent. Meanwhile other shops are selling the same stuff ( I was banned for a copyright issue ) but everyone else is still there, talk about being singled out and attacked. If you’re going to make a rule, it should be applied to EVERYONE not just select individuals.

    1. That is awful Steph, we feel terribly sad every time we hear of another etsy victim, unfortunately that is the way they operate, what the logic behind their behavior is, is more devious than mysterious.
      Our own experience with them showed us how traumatic having your store(s) shut down like that can be, but don’t be afraid to start over, allow the experience to make you stronger and smarter and also fight back anyway you can.
      As we just told, swedishsami, file complaints with the NY Attorney General: http://www.ag.ny.gov/internet-bureau-online-complaint-form
      the BBB, Consumer Affairs and anyone else you can think of, how in good conscience can we let this etsy corp. abuse and destroy us like that, is important to pass the word around and ask others to do the same, at some point we’ll achieve justice through mass movement.

  20. For some time Etsy sellers have been begging for improvements to the feedback system which was stacked in favor of bad buyers. A few days ago – over the Labor Day weekend – they brought in a new system with no warning.

    It is DIRE!

    Buyer feedback has been wiped out. So good buyers who have built up a reputation over years had it deleted overnight and are on the same level as complete newbies. Also buyer feedback and IDs are fully visible so no buyer can keep their purchases private unless they withold feedback alltogether. This means that crafters who buy supplies on the site are vulnerable to buyers seeing what they paid for materials.

    For sellers there is one of those childish 5 star system all too familiar from Ebay and Amazon. However both these platforms do give buyers the right to reply to feedback and so tell their “story” in response to a low rating. Etsy, as usual, has given sellers no voice.

    More infamous is the fact that after leaving their feedback buyers can then alter it either up or down as many times as they wish for 60 days!!!!

    So consider this scenario:-

    Buyer purchases item and leaves 4 stars (few leave 5). A couple of weeks later they drop the item and break it. They then demand a refund from the seller – for an item which arrived intact and which they themselves have carelessly damaged – using feedback extortion.

    Even Ebay does not allow that. Once feedback is left it is left.

    The new system generated a protest thread in Esy forums with over 2000 postings. In typical fashion after the holiday was over Etsy closed and DELETED the thread. Yes, thats right. DELETED it. For it cannot be found by searching the forums.

    Many posters have been warned, punished or muted as a result of their postings on that thread.

    This is no surprise to those of us who know the darkly corrupt underbelly of cupcakeland.

    Now Etsy have thrown sellers a bone by promising to give them the “right to reply”. to feedback.

    Wowzer!

    Remember folks – we sellers pay the WAGES of these people.

    Ebay has many faults but if you break their rules they will take down your listing/s and tell you exactly why. I have even had listings re-instated by pointing out they made an error. Unlike Etsy who skirt around the matter with vague statements of “some of the items in your shop may not meet our criteria” without saying which ones. If you break a more serious rule Ebay will issue a warning, or make you take a tutorial. They will not, generally speaking, boot you off without warning unless you do something pretty dire.

    My store was closed months ago but Ebay even gave me a 2 month grace period to re-open it and keep my Top Rated Seller status.

    No coincidence that this week I reopened my Ebay store.

    1. Excellent points of truth. The notion of building a business model based on extortion builds their customer base while stabbing sellers in the pocket. The result; Etsy gets their money while the money trickles out of the seller’s pocket. The refusal to back a seller in these situations promotes abuse of shops. Word gets around. Etsy is now synonymous with free products with every complaint. In time, the tides will turn and Etsy will become a thing of the past. They can only ride high for so long. The business safety for merchants is not in place. There is no loyalty nor accountability from Etsy to the sellers who provide Admin their salary. A backwards situation. Most sellers are there to conduct excellent product with customer service. The opportunity for abuse is found through the feedback system and refusal to allow the merchant equal time and forum to address insane customers.

  21. Anyone with Etsy complaints please email me pomegranatefarm@gmail.com

    1. Are you forming a class action lawsuit?

  22. Blatant discrimination. Look into a lawyer. A class action lawsuit would be phenomenal. They have an entire category for smart phone accessories and lets not even discuss all the chinese eesellers. Not vintage and certainly not hand made. Awesome blog to let others know of their unscrupulous practices before they invest time and resources. Shame on you etsy. Fire your ceo!

    1. I agree a class action lawsuit is the only way to get etsy to repay for all the poor guys and gals they discriminated against.

      I am open to joining in on a class action lawsuit. We live in a democracy and should exercise our rights. The complaining is not hurting etsy or their business. A class action lawsuit for millions of dollars will have etsy executives on their toes…

      Let’s do this… Please email me to sonichka1114@gmail.com

      My shop was also closed with no chance to reinstate my “privileges”. I lost 1000’s of dollars of investment not to mention the mental anguish this left me with…..

  23. Another dumb etsy policy against sellers. I sold an item. shipped it with tracking delivering confirmation.space the buyer intentionally put the wrong zip code so it would get rerouted.this causes a delay in the postal system and scanning the tracking information. She then lodged a complaint against me. Etsy gave me 5 days to produce proof or else they will shut down my shop. it wasn’t showing up on the USPS website. Then had to go to the post office and they verified that in fact the buyer had received the purse a day before she put the complaint in. the one post office wouldn’t give me a printout then I had to drive across town and beg and cry to the postmaster to print out the verification which I then scanned and sent to etsy. I can’t even begin to tell you how much stress and grief I went through. Etsy sucks.

  24. I reopened my Ebay shop a few weeks ago and already its making as many sales as Etsy. Although the prices I can get there are not so good I can sell all the newer junky stuff without having to worry too much about whether its vintage or not. Ebay even helped me retain my Top Rated Seller status.

    I have also recently opened on a non-US venue so I am diversifying as much as possible. After all I have read and seen I no longer want to rely upon Etsy for a significant part of my income. Its just too insecure.

    I would warn anyone selling on Etsy to diversify.

    I would also warn to stay out of the forums. Too many snitches.

  25. Love your post on re-sellers. And don’t forget this one!!! My wife wanted a pair of lace boot socks from here. So I go on Etsy to order, and there are literally dozens of vendors selling the exact same ones. And since I had some free time on my hands, I deceided to visit Alibaba and look for these mass produced items. I even contacted the “made in China” vendors, and verified these people were customers. If this is not re-selling, what is????? These were by no means made to order, and you betcha that I sent them back as soon as they arrived. “Melissa” offered me a refund asap in return for “changing my review mentioning China”…. blah blah blah,,,

  26. Where do some of you have other shops? Artfire? Have never been too fond of EBay..way too much cheap made in China junk. What are our alternatives as artisans? Have gotten my etsy store populated but not open. Am having second thoughts.

    1. Hi, I would certainly reconsider opening on etsy, what they fail to tell everyone is that “your shop” is not really yours since the minute they feel you’re not standing by their shotty double standardized “rules and regulations” they shut you down with the click of a mouse and you lose everything ( which is what happened to me ). I’ve ventured off onto artfire now, etsy’s competitor and so far I like the design of the pages, you have all the information you need to get started, prices are much more reasonable compared to etsy. You can also consider buying your own website, which I also have that way your name and brand gets better chances of being seen. A good shopping platform to try is shopify.com, the team of gurus there are awesome in answering questions efficiently and quickly too :)

      1. Thanks for the info, Steph. Will check out shopify. Do any of you have your own websites. That always seemed like such a shot in the dark to me. It’s not a “make it and they will come” kind of thing.

      2. You’re welcome :) Just so you know shopify is one way to own your own website(what’s nice is that they give you a 14 day trial for free to see if you like it ). This is where I set up my business so my website/shop belongs to me and no one else can interfere with it. You buy your domain through them and then you do your own thing from there, they just happen to be there if you need assistance they also have web experts that can design your site for you. The best way to have incoming traffic is use social outlets, figure out the target age of your customers and then go advertize when you know they like to “hang out” like facebook, pinterest etc…

  27. Artfire is a good alternative to Etsy for crafters. There is also a European site called DaWanda which is based in Germany. It is multilingual but you really need to be able to communicate in English French and German to get the most out of it. Then you have more or less got Europe covered. Translating is quite easy since they do link to Google translater – my German is basic but the trick is to translate into the language then translate back. If it comes back in reasonable English then it is probably Ok in the one you are trying to translate to.

    Its a bit of work but probably worth it if you want to broaden onto a non US site.

  28. Does this sound eerily like our current US administration’s tricks to anyone else out there besides me??

  29. There are a few alternatives to ETSY but I recommend looking at http://www.kwykpix.com. It costs anywhere from free to less than etsy on a monthly basis, depending how many items you have. And they donate with Every purchase. They are alot easier going since they want to help the world so I sell jewelry and am joining. My friend is a Mason and he is joining, because they will sell everything.

  30. Well found out, not only have they banned my shop, but they’ve also suspended my buying rights as well! I can’t even contact a shop owner if I want to ask a question or buy something. So I figured I would buy something with my fiance’s account instead and they have now banned his account as well when he has done nothing wrong! Talk about being a bunch of a-holes! Not only are they punishing him but also punishing the shops who are losing sales from customers because Etsy enjoys being tyrants and playing God with their company. Common Karma, work your magic already!!

    1. It seems so suspicious that they would ask for documented instructions on how to make the various crafts. Somebody is stealing ideas from excellent and original craftspeople. I’d go searching on the Internet for my item and see just what happened to all those pictures I submitted. Surely there is a reason they are doing this? Eliminating the competition?

  31. If you want to shop on Etsy without their detecting you use a VPNS or a dongle – the latter alters your IP address every time you use it. Or use a mobile device which connects by your phone provider.

    There are sooooo many ways to change your IP address or to browse the internet privately.

  32. Etsy suspended my shop today after me suppling a detailed report of how my stationery is made. I provided 84 photos that walk step by step through the process. What now? Anyone else experienced this recently?

    1. Our case is similar, we provided almost 40 photos and still got shut down for good, this was almost a year ago, though, but we still find people reporting more recent store closing cases in different forums. Is very difficult to understand how, after all their policy changes (factories involvement, outsourcing of production, etc.) that they are still closing down stores.
      We wish we had a concrete answer for you, but it seems they are still the same they were a year ago :(
      Good luck, though, probably you could appeal to a higher ranking admin and get your store reopen! if that that happens, come back and let us know!

      1. Shutting down my shop just happened a few weeks ago! After reading similar experiences from other sellers and exchanging a few emails back and forth I’ve come to the realization that Etsy won’t change their minds, no matter what information I provide them.

        I think I will take some advice here about cookie deletion, etc and create another account just to sell a few extra pieces I have. After that, my attention will go to Amazon. I’m just annoyed that Etsy gives such vague responses via email and if something isn’t handmade enough for them, they deactivate.

  33. In my case, and in the case of many other sellers I personally know, shops have been closed not because of any violations, but because competitors are friends with admin. They get together and flag your store left, right, and center, and then you’re doomed.

    The pictures and tutorials are all just a sham to make it look like they’re trying, without them having to do any work on their end. Nepotism, at it’s finest. :-/

    1. You are right, they operate like one big family. I would not be surprised if some of the shops are fake models made by etsy execs to encourage others to sell on etsy. I think they get jealous when someone is making enough income to leave their daytime job, so they cut you off.

      So many sellers sell exact same things as I was and their shops are still live even after I wrote in to the admin who closed my shop.

      At this point only legal action will get us justice.

      1. Very much agree. They are permitted to operate with the ethics of a slumlord dressed in finery while expecting the best from their sellers. They fail to see the irony in their business model.

  34. First, Sorry for my english… Etsy is worse than gestapo. Etsy closed my shop too weeks ago, prints and posters, hours of work in front of my computer. Of course, I don’t know why yet. Since that day I’ve tried open 5 shops. Different account, different credit card, different paypal, different IP, different computer. I don’t know how they do it, but they do it, they know all about us. Etsy is a huge marketplace, good a few years ago but not now. For me etsy is dead, I need other place… Any suggestion?

    1. I have been down that road too many times. I’ve since consulted with a business attorney and gained resources to get around the problem. I can set up a complete new etsy system for $600 that will get you back on. Just re opening new shops won’t work. :/ let me know if you want to discuss this in more detail. Expdweddingpaper @ g mail . Com (no spaces)

    2. Whatever you do, please do not take up “Nicole’s” suggestion to part with $600 to “get around the problem”. To put it kindly, this sounds like a scam. The issue can be resolved for free and without having to part with any money.

      Juanjo, the reason you are unable to open another Etsy account is because Etsy is able to recognise your IP address. As Rover suggested above (December 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm), by using a VPN, Etsy won’t be able to recognise your IP address and you’ll be able to open an Etsy account. Keep in mind that if you use the same details for your Etsy account as before (your name, address, bank account, etc), Etsy will also recognise you that way. Also, if you sell the same or similar products as before, a snitch or an Etsy employee may also recognise your shop.

      1. The accounts aren’t a scam. Sorry if it seemed that way. I was trying to advertise them here, but rather offer a solution. Sorry if that was against the rules. If anyone wants to contact me directly I will gladly share the details on how you can do the same thing on your own (though it will cost you about 500 in expenses). The only reason I hesitate to explain here is if an etsy troll read the process and could somehow use it against us.

        They also use photo recognition software. Your sales must not go too high or too fast.

  35. Also bear in mind that Etsy places cookies on your computer when you access their site. This could enable them to link a new account with a banned one. In Firefox you can easily delete all the “old” cookies before you start a session and then delete them again when you log out.

    Another way of doing this is to establish different “user” accounts in windows and use a separate account for the new Etsy ID.

    You may find this site helpful.

    http://www.aspkin.com/forums/home.php

    These are people who have been thrown off Etsy, Ebay and Amazon and have gone on to make stealth accounts – in some cases dozens of them. It does not cost anything to join the forum and there is a very useful stealth guide which you can purchase if you wish. It costs a lot less than $600!

    Opening a stealth account on Etsy is not nearly so complex as on Amazon or Ebay but there are certain precautions you will have to follow.

    As the previous poster stated All these sites are a hotbed of spineless and cowardly snitches.

  36. Etsy demands respect from making contrary comments against staff and customers in the forums. However, they will not remove abusive customers from doing this. They may shut down a thread, but cheerily state their reason.
    Feedback extortion and refusal to remove abusive feedback by customers is permitted to continue. The obvious psychotic nature of some of this feedback is allowed to remain with no recourse and plenty of damage to the seller.
    Worst site ever.

  37. I heard only today from a seller whose 3 shops were suspended because her profile did not state that they had other shops. That seller has now completely vanished from Etsy.

    Now it’s true that Etsy does have a rule that members must disclose ALL IDs (both buying and selling) in their public profile. However not to do so appears to me a comparatively minor and trivial breach of the rules.

    One would ask why Etsy support could not have reached out to the seller, reminded them of their requirement to comply with this rule, and given them (say) 24 hours to bring all their IDs into compliance.

    Considering the hordes of resellers and trademark infringers who sell openly on Etsy and are apparently tolerated this is yet another example of how this corrupt and draconian organization uses a “sledgehammer to crack a nut”.

    1. I never understood why you had to disclose all of your shops. In one of my shops I sell finished jewelry, and in another I sell supplies. If I linked them, then someone could just go to my supply shop and copy my finished jewelry, cutting me out of the design process.

  38. Hello there I have read your message a out etsy and I kno how you feel. I opened my shop back in fall of 2010 and it closed down last year in September of 2013. I made every single piece of jewelry myself in my little bedroom with my own two hands. They told me that it was a “copyright infringement” and I am not allowed to re-sell pieces I “didn’t make.” Ridiculous conclusion to something they have no idea about. My shop actually did pretty good last year and the year before. But I had a feeling competitors who were making or re-selling items to my shop jewelry were flagging my shop so that I wouldn’t be able to sell while they had sold more items before I had even opened a shop. I emailed the CEO Dickerson and he never replied back but his little bitch Jason replied back to all his messages. I got so tired of paying for the items and monthly fees even after they closed my shop. I actually spoke with a lawyer because I had read on one of the etsy blogs that one woman who had her shop suspended sued and won. Once I emailed the CEO he immediately had his little bitch Jason email me and tell me that “the decision in this matter was final” bla bla bla…..
    I don’t understand how they can just do this to people who work so hard and have a good reputation as shop owners to just close our shops and that’s it. I honestly wish there was someway etsy would disappear and all those people working would lose their jobs so they can see and understand what it’s like. I wish another website would open where we have freedom to design and sell our handmade products.

  39. I would think it unlikely anyone would link your shops as selling supplies and finished jewelry if you disclosed them both. Etsy says you should do it “in your profile” but does not say where or how prominently. You could make your profile long and boring and bury the info deep in all the bla bla bla or at the end.

    Most people are really not that bright or that persistent to read through a lot of “stuff”. I know this because I did some experimental work on how well users read menus when I was doing my Masters. The items at the top of the menu and at the bottom is most read. A lot of whats in the middle goes unremarked.

  40. This same thing just happened to me on Etsy. I showed them exactly how an item was made and they responses with the same vague response that they still can’t verify my process. I responses asking what did I do wrong as I took all photos they asked for. I took close ups and photos further away. They responded with the same vague response. I then sent another document with another item I was working on and showing more photos. She responded that she cannot continue to respond to my messages but she will look at my documents.

    After a few emails, I got the point…Etsy doesn’t really care. They made up their mind already and I’m wasting my time trying to disprove them. I showed them all my photos and explained my process…apparently my method was not good enough for them.

    I don’t get it. Lo and behold…I will never shop from Etsy again.

    Oh…they still owe me for my last sale that came a few days before they shut down my shop.

  41. I agree with all of you. Etsy should appreciate and value their Sellers. After all. You need them to keep your site up and running.I was so upset recently,because they suspended my account. I was selling vintage bags that we find in unpaid storages we buy. I was selling and every single customer was very happy. Leaving nice comments and feedback. I received a message from a buyer that wanted to buy a purse. The purse was for $129. She told me she didn’t have PayPal and asked me if she could pay with a money order,but she wanted me to ship the purse the same day and she wanted to buy it for $100 shipping included. She needed my address to send the money order. I said. I’m sorry my lady. I can only accept Pp. It’s 100% safe and secure for both of us. As you may know. Money orders can be cancel at anytime and I rather let PayPal handle everything for me.i already had a bad experience with money orders before. I apologies for the inconvenience.She wasn’t too happy to hear that and said she would contact ETSY and let them know. I was being difficult to deal with and what do you know. The next day.. My account was suspended. Saying my items didn’t qualify or complied with their rules. I have sent not 1 or 2,but 5 emails.. Not,a single email or respond from them. It’s ashamed because I did also heard about them closing shops from awesome sellers before. I used to buy bags from one of them. I still buy from her by paypal. She sends me an invoice.I paid and I get my items. She told me it was even better for her anyway,because she didn’t have to pay for etsy fees anymore and a lot of her buyers still buy from her by paypal.

  42. Hello to all,

    I have started an online petition againt Etsy Marketplace Integrity team to change the ways they determine whether an item is vintage/handmade or not. They are doing this quietly and we must make our voices heard.

    Please raise your voice and sign here: https://www.change.org/p/etsy-marketplace-integrity-team-to-change-the-way-they-determine-the-age-of-a-vintage-item-sold-in-their-marketplace-by-etsy-shop-owners-even-items-without-written-date-label-tag-should-be-considered-vintage

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