Saturday, June 29, 2013

Etsy Closed My Shop Part 200

OK, that's an exaggeration, but apparently Etsy did another big Friday sweep and once again I received emails from sellers wanting to know what to do. So again I post my piece of mind.

Etsy TOU's or Terms of Use are so all encompassing that every seller is probably in violation of something. For instance, if you have collaborative work with any other Etsy seller and you don't have the link to that shop on you shop, If you say ANYTHING negative about Etsy on a public venue (believe me, they are watching), and of course if your items are in handmade and don't look handmade. One of the most common reason's for having a shop shut down is copyright infringement. If you want to sell on Etsy, only sell "fan art" that is "inspired by" the genre you are representing. The don't seem to understand the law on reconstructing materials either via the First Sale Doctrine. But that's another long story.

Point is, they can find a number of valid reason's to close your shop. Sometimes you can get it reopened, sometimes not. I think it depends on how penitent you are. Do you grovel, or are you snippy and snide? And I also think it helps to have had white backgrounds. The have a preference for shops that display works on white backgrounds. Look at the front page, right now, go.

Do they need your shop? No, not anymore, they have thousands of shops. Your 3.5% doesn't mean much to them anymore. Even if your sales mean food on the table for your family. That's what happened to my daughter, because she was supporting her family on the money she made on Etsy. Her 3.5% was about $90 a month, she was doing very well and they still didn't care.There is no Heart in Etsy.

The first thing I suggest to anyone selling online at any venue is to get a web page. You can get free ones. weebly.com has free sites. Buy your domain name someplace cheap and buy a site if you can. Put that address on your business cards and link your "shop" page directly to your selling site. That way if anything happens to your site, your buyers will ALWAYS know where to find you.

Don't think you're immune either. I've had friends who have had their images stolen by off shore factories and posted online. These are honest shops who have had their copyright infringed on, and Etsy forced them to prove that their merchandise was handmade. DO NOT think that a watermark will save you. They are easily removed with Photoshop. I've seen the images that prove it.

And remember, if you do get your shop closed, you can contact me through this blog. At least I can hold your hand and lend a shoulder.

8 comments:

vintage eye said...

Damn, I hate when shit like this happens to good people. At least they have Crusty to lean on! :)

SabrinaDesign said...

Etsy closed my shop too. I had been an etsy only seller for years and years. I left ebay and my shop there as well as quit updating or spending time on my website when I joined. I promoted and promoted and had a great customer base. Now I don't know what I'm going to do. Devastated is what I'd say I am now. Completely devastated. Any direction or ideas would be absolutely loved and welcome!
Sabrina at sabrinadesign dot com

lostsentiments said...

Good grief! I'm so sorry to hear this miss! What sites have you had the best luck with? I've seen you on Artfire - though come to think of it you might also have your own webpage for your items too :) though I'm not sure I'm remembering that right.

At any rate - what a pain! I'm so sorry to hear Etsy is being such a bully! :( My heart goes out to those who this has happened to - like your daughter! Did she start selling on a different venue? I hope so!

xxox ~Dawn

Anonymous said...

I am so confused! I was recently suspended on Etsy. I do not understand why I still see so many sellers selling the same merchandise I was selling? I even went thru the motions of reporting these sellers items. I also provided Etsy information of what websites these sellers are using to obtain their merchandise. So it's obviously not vintage or handmade. 2 weeks later I still see these items were not taken down. Does not make sense?

Anonymous said...

I just created a petition because this is ridiculous... My shop was just shut down and I'm beyond pissed.

http://www.change.org/petitions/etsy-stop-suspending-shops-for-illegitimate-reason

Mikaela said...

My shop got closed by etsy for a week ago i had heaps of costumers and was selling art handmade by me from sweden, the only place that even make these bracelets and they said ive stoled pictures and they didn't even had any proof or anything?

I'm one of the few selling these bracelets, im hell pissed.

Kristy Jakubek said...

My shop just got closed down as well. I was just getting my client base and finally getting steady sales. There are thousands of other shops selling similar items yet they targeted me. So now I get to start all over in a new direction. I tried graveling to etsy and was sent a very snarky reply so my last resort was a very nasty letter that only left me mildly vindicated. I am a depressed, sad panda right now......

Anonymous said...

My shop was just shut down without any explanation. It's just a small shop with handmade pillows....so confusing and frustrating. I discovered it when I tried to purchase some fabric from another Etsy shop...it said my account was closed. I had to use my son's account for the purchase.

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