The Etsy Inquisition

True depiction of Etsy’s practices applying a bit of humor to make it digestible as the reality is no laughing matter. Their unprofessionalism and double standards really destroy lives.

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28 responses

  1. Your video is brilliant! Etsy did the same exact thing to me. I was not a reseller but they shut me down with no reason and do not answer my emails. I feel powerless, however, i keep bombarding them with emails that fall on deaf ears. thanks for the video, It was a real eye opener.

  2. Sorry to hear this happened to you as well Marcy. This is becoming an all too familiar story….Unfortunately, you will never get an answer and chances are Etsy have no legitimate reason to shut you down, if they did, they would be letting you know what the reason is.
    But don’t stop there, report this issue to the BBB and Consumer Affairs to start with, there are many other sites you can report, check resources in this article: http://wp.me/p3kXuD-23.

  3. Firstly love the video it just sums this ego centric company to a T.

    This is the same story I keep on hearing. Etsy has been getting away with this for years. Now this has to stop and the only way to hurt them is make the Attorney General in their state make them comply to have a real telephone customer service team. Bombard the internet and get the Attorney General in New York to make Etsy comply or shut them down. This company has no telephone service they have thousands of sellers who my law have have the rights to speak to a real person about their livelihood. This company is even acting like a bank where they have their own payment processing and still no telephone customer team where you can ask a question about YOUR business the business you grew. Something sounds very fishy all the stories from sellers Etsy has damaged without a moments thought the so called integrity team asking for the in’s and out’s of a sellers business and then still giving them the big heave ho when all the information has been given.

    I have had the unfortunate dealings with Eliza on Etsy and I totally understand that this person is incompetent she was rude, arrogant and ignorant however the lack of customer service must be coming from the top otherwise this person would not have been allowed to address me the way she did without being reprimanded. I have a right as a customer to speak to a real person and for them to explain what is happening and how to resolve it. But all you get is a email answered whenever they feel like it and a person who is demeaning and not their to help you in any shape or form and not only that puts barriers in the way and makes it hard as possible for you.

    Bombard the Attorney General and ask him why he is letting this Multi Million company in his jurisdiction get away with such bad business practices. Name and shame that is the only way these faceless corporations ever learn by denting their pockets. Etsy your time is coming and I will laugh my arse off when you cowards have to face your customers with no more hiding behind your computer screens.

    File reports and ask others to do the same: http://www.ag.ny.gov/internet-bureau-online-complaint-form

    I can describe building a business on Etsy like building a house on sand it will eventually collapse because it’s build on a weak foundation.

    Helen

    1. Hi Helen, I think you are right about the attorney general. However I think there may be an easier way and faster too. When It happened to us, I wanted to crush Etsy like a bug but an attorney’s wise comment stuck with me, if you want to hurt them don’t waste your hard earned money in a lost battle. Get enough people to shared the same nightmare story, go to the media and BINGO.
      I can get us media at a local level BUT if we really have enough people to come forward I think I can get us nation wide media. Who knows maybe the story is picked up by a heavy hitter and the rest will be history.
      Now OK we do this and then what? I have always thought, what do I get out of it? I think they will collapse eventually like you say.
      Unfortunately by the time they do, they would have affected MANY hardworking people.
      I think awareness is one of the best things we can offer other people and SUPPORT!
      Please come and visit me, I have started a group to support but mainly so Online Sellers have a community!
      We have started and it is a WONDERFUL, fun, powerful tools. We need people that have stories like this and that also have tips to help us all sell better online.

      Talent such as etsyfacts!

    2. I was an Esty member for over four years, and made the mistake of opening a second store for my brother to help me with. He is retired from the jewelry business. Everything was fine until one day I received an email from theri goon squad squad requesting all of what mnay of you have experieneced in the way of some information that was unecessarly intrusive. We responded with what we felt met the requirements of what was being asked for, and a day or so later received the rudest and most unprofessional response you could imaging coming from what you would have thought was a well run organization. As a result both of my stores were closed, and I could get no responses as to what I could do to remedy whatever problem caused this to happen.

      We know for a fact that there are numerous mass produced items selling on Etsy, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. However, knowing any online business may be at the whim of some factotum, we planed far ahead to circumvent the kind of nitwits that work in the Etsy organization. We are involved in eight other stores on Etsy through relatives and associates that we have worked with for years making handmade craft items, and Etsy is too bogged down in their own stupidity to figure out how to prevent this sort of deviation from the norm. Through all of these stores, we are currently doing a very high volume. Etsy thinks it has all it’s draconian bases covered, but let’s face it whoever came up with the idea lucked out with the handcrated merchandise concept that caught on, they really aren’t smart business people. They should open up the site to resellers of merchandise and have a two part operation along side the craft sellers.

      We have heard, rumor only, that a number of disgurntled Etsy sellers have been contacted by a legal firm interested in filing some kind of class action suit against them for their arbitrary and discriminatory treatment of supended sellers. We could only hope there is some truth to that rumor; however, it is only a matter of time before some agency takes Etsy to task for its heavyhanded and arbitrary methods of doing business.

      All that being said, we don’t feel secure selling on Etsy regardless of our rather devious method of circumventing their stupidity. We have others stores on several sites that will compensate for any losses we suffer on Etsy, we don’t really like doing business like this. It was only done because we had been forewarned about Etsy four years ago when we thought about opening a store, so other craft makers we knew decided to form a coop if you will. We all felt we had to protect ourselves because some of the stories we heard not only about Etsy but eBay as well.

      I have a great deal of empathy for those who have been unfairly treated on Etsy, but know that it won’t go on forever. Somewhere along the line they will pay the piper for being arrogant.

      Robert Hopson

  4. Thanks Helen, we are happy you enjoyed the video. It’s very easy for us, the affected ones, to understand it and appreciate it, and we also want all other people who buy and sell there to be informed of what’s really going on as it is so true and unbelievably nothing seems to change in that place, instead it keeps getting worse for what we hear. Slowly but surely the word gets spread. Thanks also to people like you who put the time and effort in helping this cause.

  5. Hi Guys, first of all I want to applaud your efforts, tenacity and talent in creating this video. My ordeal with Etsy happened over 3 years ago and at that time I thought I was alone, but reality is that I was not their first nor the last, that they suspended and abused in the making.
    This video not only made me laugh (love talent) but it gave me chills and tears.
    When they closed the 2 stores we had (mother and I had a vintage and bridal store, but when they close one they close all stores you have) they shut my mothers will to live. My mother suffering from acute depression had stopped taking her meds and was so HAPPY to get up every day and fulfill her orders.
    For us more than income, it was a new wonderful way of living.
    I can only say that Etsy’s suspension affected my mom’s life severe and in efforts to find a new light, I started in my own journey with eCommerce.
    I have since started TrEmbu.com (social eCommerce site that was able to get enough funding and finally getting our new site to replace the current one) and EtsyOrphans.com a wonderful community to help us help others.
    EtsyOrphans.com should be up and running soon and will LOVE for all of you to become members and share your stories. we already have amazing members that will be sharing their success after Etsy!
    If you are interested in receiving an invitation email me at nancy(at)trembu(dot)com or nancy(at)etsyorphans(dot)com.
    I would LOVE to be able to post this video in our blog!

    I can only say, that experiencing their abuse devastated our lives at the time and recovering was slow and excruciatingly painful. I will always LOVE what Etsy was founded on and get a nostalgic feeling when I think of them.

    THANKS for sharing and wish you ONLY the best!

  6. So sorry this happened to you and your mom Nancy, it’s heartbreaking. But it is truly remarkable how you’ve been able to turn it around in such a positive way, kudos to you! We’d love for you to post our video in your blog and we’ll see you soon at your site 🙂

    1. Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to share your amazing POWERFUL message! Who made the video? I LOVE it and looking for talent to create one I will be needing for when the new TrEmbu site is launched.

      1. Thanks so much for sharing it, the purpose of the video and this blog is to inform people and sharing is great to help its purpose.
        We made the video ourselves, with the same hands and in the same Studio and with the same computer we once used to create and list products for etsy.
        Thanks for your interest, it’s much appreciated!

  7. That last letter from you, Etsyfacts got me teary-eyed, That same computer. Those dreams … the joy those of us feel who create with our own hands, The excitement of finding customers and sharing stories. SO much we hoped for. And at the beginning, it seemed we would have it. I remember the forums …the “water cooler” … now moribund. I remember the feeling of community … now lost.

    I’m dreaming of another site … rising like a phoeniz from the ashes of what Etsy has become. But for now, we have to get the message out there. And EtsyOrphans is entirely correct. The Attorney General can wave us away like gnats. But the media IS the way. It IS the voice of the little man. It is power. And we CAN take it.

    Your Tube video is brilliant. The care in making it and the wonderful restraint makes it one of the most powerful tools you can have created for those of us who have been quiet way too long. Up to now we’ve had only a few long-winded and whiny posts from a handful of people. But with a voice like yours … we gain credibility. I’m delighted to see so many views on YouTube in a very short time. This process is exponential … and it is only a matter of time before it begins to explode.

    I’d also like to ask your blessing to post the video on my blog … which ironically I set up this morning before seeing your video. And pondered over whether I’d get sued by Etsy or whether I should just shut up and go back to playing Zipoli and Bach and pretending nothing ever happened. You made up my mind for me.

    “Imua” …. which in Hawaiian means .. “Forward march ….”

    Thank you SO very much ……

  8. Thanks soorkidum! and you described the situation very accurately, there is a lot of excitement at the beginning, then all the joy when you start selling your handmade with love wares and then Kaboom!!.. in a second is all gone.
    We do agree with Helen that it’s important to report this to the Attorney General in NY, they might not act right away, but enough complaints will get them there at some point, it is important also to report to the BBB, Customer Affairs…etc, is also great what you do starting your own blog with this subject, there are many, many folks out there reading these things, we can attest to that. THE MORE PEOPLE SPEAKING UP AGAINST THIS ISSUE IN WHICHEVER SHAPE OR FORM THE BETTER!
    Please go ahead and embed the video in your blog, the more people to share it, the merrier and thanks for doing it, information is power!!

    Imua to you too!!

  9. Sweet LORD!!!

    I opened an account a few days ago and was about to post my first item, when I decided to google for some pointers and found your video. Needless to say, I’ll be closing my account and moving to Artfire or DaWanda instead. I want to be serious about my work, not dive into a pool and hoping the water will still be there when I land!

  10. Hi Lisa, we totally get where you are coming from, when you are really serious about your work and business, situations like these have devastating effects in many ways, we don’t wish what happened to us and many others on anyone, it’s the most traumatic thing we have ever experienced, if only we had known about the unprofessionalism, lack of humanity and double standards of this company earlier, we’d have never open a shop there.
    The best of luck to you!

  11. I have to say, I am so sad but also relieved by this posting. Sad, because it happened to me on my birthday…August 7 of this year, but relieved, because I am not alone. I am so sad that I do not know where to place my pain….and sad that it has happened to so many people like yourselves. My shop was flagged by a competitor who was working under 6 id’s. She started harassing me over a year ago….but my out cry to Etsy was un- heard. They shut me down for the same reasons….not believing my work was hand made. They did not even give me the opportunity to show pictures of my work or how I created them….they just shut me down….and in my opinion, shut me up. This other competitor sold items that were mass produced….no where near the quality as mine….but I sold in high enough volume…over 1000 pieces per month. Right now I need encouragement, but I am still stuck in the “shock” mode. I sold on Etsy since 2007…6 years, and now I cannot even left from right. Please, somebody, tell me there is Life after Etsy…

    1. Etsy’s intentional and accumulative, negative abuse it inflicts on its victims, will rebound sooner or later. The universe will take care of Etsy.

      Hi Yvonne, I am sorry you are experiencing Etsy’s terrifying cold facts right now.
      I feel your pain and although It must feel like the world has collapsed, I assure you it is not and everything will be alright.

      I hope you are soon ready and open to the many opportunities that will come your way.
      Remember that a bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.

      Only time will make it better and will make it feel SO RIGHT, even meant to be.
      LIFE after Etsy is possible, but it wont be easy, nothing GRAND in life ever is.

      Speaking out is the best therapy, relieving the pain, frustration, powerless negative feelings are a great start.

      Take this experience as your stepping stone, breath and let go! that Life After Etsy will be so SWEET and rewarding. LETS show Etsy what we are made of, who was Etsy without its sellers? nobody!

      I took note of your new blog and will paying you a visit there.

      1. Thank you so very much for your kind words. I am listing my shop all over the internet now and have even received a few orders over the weekend. I truly appreciate the support that I have received. I really had no idea how Etsy was and still is. The harshness of our World is so un-loving and un-caring at times….but I learned that if we seek the Love and Care…it will show up….so thank you again from the bottom of my heart for your kindness. I hope that we all find Life After Etsy to be even more rewarding….if not from Success in our Shops….but also from the Knowledge and self discoveries that we can survive once we are on our own. We are really stronger than we expected….and that is a Great attribute to take away from the nasty reality of our experiences there.

  12. Joining the fray with another Blog … satirical and angry. Meet Pissed, Blissed and Dismissed on Etsytricksy.wordpress.com. Just getting it off the ground.

    1. Excellent blog, we too wish for more people to speak up about these issues!

  13. So sorry to hear it happened to you too Yvonne, the truth is that no one is safe on Etsy, they’d close whichever store they want and leave open whichever one they want too, regardless of who’s right and who’s wrong (check out this article that went viral: http://www.dailydot.com/business/etsy-brave-new-economy-crumbling/ )
    We understand your pain, we suffered a lot with the situation also, but cheer up, there are many other options, many places where you can sell your items and since your items are in high demand and you were selling them so much, you should be successful in other venue(s).
    There’s plenty of life after etsy, just get moving and open stores elsewhere.
    BEST OF LUCK TO YOU!!!!!

  14. Just found, ironically on an Etsy forum where I’m not permitted to post …. an excellent new site. ( Hey they muted me but I can still read … lol)

    It’s TicTail.com …… check it out. It’s absolutely free to list and the layout is the nicest I’ve seen anywhere online. You get a choice of about ten templates …each one of them so sleek and professional it blows Etsy and Artfire out of the water. Plus you get Paypal integrated right into your site. I set up my shop in about ten minutes, And you can easily copy and paste from Etsy right into TicTail. It’s the dreamchild of a Scandavian man and his partners who want to change the landscape a bit.

    The only drawback is that it’s a “stand-alone” website. You don’t have the huge marketplace of Etsy or the other sellling venues. You have to do your own promoting. But they provide a wonderfully easy link to any blogs you may have. RIght on the dashboard. You can link to anything you want.

    My dream is that this guy will eventually expand and offer a “marketplace” for handmade … and avoid all the resellers, supplies and vintage … which all allow for so much manipulation. Apparently he’s acquired over 20,000 shops in a year and has financial backing too ….. Google …. he’s made an impressive start.

    No fees ….. they’re hoping to support this on the various apps thehy offer … which you can add as you wish and as you expand.

    It’s worth having a look. There’s a tide of anger now at Etsy over the feedback heart system …. the worst blunder Etsy’s management has made yet. Almost 10,000 really pissed comments up to now.

    Soorki

  15. I shut down my two shops after the Ecologica incident. Fact is, Etsy makes TONS more money off of those blatant resellers than they do off of those of us that are actually sitting down and making our items. I mean, I can’t compete with factory purchased goods…I can only make so many items per day!! But as with your example of XYZ making $400K/year in gross sales…that’s $14K to Etsy. They’re pocketing the money gleefully and turning a blind eye.

    I’m even considering not shopping there anymore and finding artisans through other venues. Meh.

    1. Thanks for visiting and sharing your opinion.!
      Closing your stores was a very smart move on your part to , the Ecologica Malibu incident was very disgracefully handled by etsy and it was a very clear indicator of their values and where they stood.
      We are glad to hear that lots more people are aware now of the true nature of etsy. They might just go on promoting only factory made/high volume sellers and at some point having to change their mission statement and becoming another ebay or just collapsing under the weight of their mistakes, we’ll see what course this company takes.

    2. One more thing..we calculate XYZ to be making about $500.000 or more in Etsy NET SALES for 2013, not gross, without taking into account all the wholesale sales she must be making out of the website she launched this year. Her etsy sales and followers have grown considerably since we published that article in April. But she has the nerve to keep insisting that she keeps her “production small to control quality”, such a joke, just don’t understand how so many etsy buyers, buy that story along with her overpriced merchandise.

  16. Thanks for the warning.

  17. Hi,
    I know that its a couple of years later and probably nobody will even get to read this. I have been on etsy a couple of months now and i have not experienced any major problem until wednesday this week. A woman contacted me wanting to order 3000 shoes! Yah I know!Luckily i own my shop partially meaning i have a team with me so we could make it happen over time. Anyway, today i have finally proven my theory that its a scam because all along i kinda felt that something was stinky but i coudnt prove it, so i played along. I have all the proof to show that this happened. I tried to warn people on etsy who i thot were memers of my community but all i got in return was being told that i couldnt post that there and my post was immediately removed and was blocked from accessing it. After reading all the stories am almost sure that my shop will be closed because i was offered two channels to report my predicament but i choose not to mainly because for the few months i have been on etsy,i have never heard that there is a link where i could report such incidents leave alone hoping that sellers on etsy will get to know aout it. I am not going back to etsy, i feel sad and awful because there are other people there who are good people and will get hurt when karma comes knocking. The admin was so swift in deleting my post and i can only ask myself…are the cons and the admins in etsy working together because believe me the con lady was professional with a website and all. I just hope the good people on etsy survive when the crumbling begins. Thank you for this article for it has prepared for me a platform to express my outrage and bewilderment. There is more than meets the eye on etsy.

  18. The video is awesome and so real!. Etsy at first is such an exciting idea to make what you love and turn it into profit. However dealing with Esty is a nightmare and a headache. Their unfairness to sellers is unbelievable. They forget they are making lots of money out of us. What about when your listings get deactivated due to what they call it “intellectual property rights infringement”, without any warning to update and fix your listings. Then you do a search on Etsy, just to find numerous shops using the name, pictures of patented items (dolls) and their store is still running.
    And what about other shops copying your items and selling them for half the price.
    I won’t get into all the shops from China and Hong Kong listing their factory made items as handmade (I will need another hour to write about that).
    Etsy loves to single people out as a way to shred their list of sellers.
    They think the are powerful but the day will come when American people start looking for other venues.

  19. What’s happening now is going into I think FTC level abuse. I have always loved paypal and tried their intergrated system up until 2014 every now and then and didn’t like it. 2014 it started taking 4 days for me to get my miney in my account and some of the payments and charges were nebulous so I wentback to paypal lettting my store run itsself filling ordrs and adding things as I got pictures of my designs up. Then a couple of weeka ago I had a woman message me wanted some killer vintage pants of mine blah blah blah couldn’t do paypal told her I would toggle over to etsy payment for an hour for her but wouldn’t ship until I had the money in my account which has taken 4 days to a week before. She pays with paypal then I realize I cant toggle back to paypal only and went with other and will invoice with paypal. Then i got on the forums and saw a train wreck the should have been halted about 3 months ago with thei merchant processing system which is Worldpay [one of the worse, not in the top 5 internationally but swimming at the bottom of the barrel] spinning processing for not just days but over a week for some, buyers being multiply charged for the same items sellers have money deducted from their account for something the month or more before that hasn’t been verified, etc and so on. I have been a very squeaky wheel and hope to wobble on until something better or half way decent comes up. I sell on ebay too and never though I would think they are kinda looking good as they are also doing things that have seriously hurt my sales, i will nt go over to worldpay so if you hear of an etsy mob heading to the badlands of the southern plains and going into the rural area to burn a wayward woman at the stake it is me and that would be a mistake, lol. It is sad as this is not a hobby for me but the mney to pay my bills and feed my animals and maybe buy food for myself at this pint in time and this area

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