Welcome to 2012! After some much needed and appreciated time off, I'm back at it! I wanted to let you all know about a few changes happening....
I sadly ditched my Etsy store. Seriously, I really did. Here's how it went down. I started my business on Etsy in 2007 after a my friend Denise told me about it. I think it's a fantastic concept and even after I created my own webstore on my website, I kept my Etsy store open because I wanted to support the site. Sure, I have to pay Etsy when an order comes through but again, they helped me build Mod Mom Furniture so why not keep it open. Over the years, my Etsy sales have waned due to MMF being carried on other web stores, in brick and mortars, and on my website. But orders still come in (or did) on my Etsy store before I received this letter...
This is XXXXX from Etsy's Marketplace Integrity Team. We're glad to see your shop on Etsy!
We're writing to ensure all of your listings meet our selling guidelines. Please answer the following questions, and feel free to include any other information you'd like.
Please send your response in the next two days so that we can update your account. If you need more time, please let us know. If we do not receive any response from you in two days, we may have to deactivate your shop until we hear from you.
1. First, how many people are involved in your shop, and what role does each person play? This includes making things, creating listings, running the shop and shipping items.
2. Where are you located? From where are your items shipped?
3. Could you tell us how your products are made? Please include information about each type of item you sell in your shop.
4. Do you have any other Etsy accounts? If so, what are they?
In addition to this information, we require that you send photos of the step-by-step creation process of your items so that we can clearly see how these items are made. Please include pictures of your raw materials and work space.
If there are any concerns, we may ask you to send more information or make changes in the shop. In some cases, we do remove listings that clearly do not meet Etsy's criteria. We're always happy to work with you to get things in order.
Here is a link to our policies in the DOs and DON'Ts of Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/policy/dosdonts
Let us know if you have any questions. We're looking forward to your response!
Etsy Marketplace Integrity
Now, please know I'm all for Etsy making sure their goods are handmade but frankly, this letter irked me. Yes, I am no longer building every piece myself. Yes, I was up front and honest about that in my descriptions about partnering with an Amish manufacturer who is making everything by hand in Ohio. Yes, I do think Etsy should crack down on mass manufactured, big business products that try to pass themselves off as handmade. But I'm not one of those said companies. From the letter above, you'd think I was, that's for sure. You'd even think that someone at Etsy would have maybe, oh, I don't know, CLICKED A BUTTON that shows how much MMF merchandise has been sold on Etsy since 2007. It's more than $30,000!! Or how many press listings (28,700) they can Google by typing "Mod Mom Furniture + Etsy." By no means am I expecting them to know who Mod Mom Furniture is, but I was disappointed that zero due diligence was done before shooting a message like that out to a seller who's been a loyal, paying seller since 2007.
Had the letter had read, "Hi Mod Mom Furniture! Thanks for being a seller with us since 2007. We noticed that production has changed from your garage to an outside manufacturer and we'd love to know more about that change," the outcome would have likely been different. I decided to shut down my store on Etsy because frankly I don't have time to go through all of the steps required in the letter...oh, and my Amish manufacturer can't use cameras because, you know, they're Amish so capturing the process on film is not going to happen unless I fly myself there. Overall, I'm just disappointed because I think Etsy does a fantastic job of promoting handmade goods. But seller beware. If you grow to the point of expansion, even if your goods are handmade, you'll probably get one of those handy dandy letters.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention I did write back letting them know I was closing my shop and why but never received a response.
Thanks to all of you who have purchased via Etsy! I've included the Etsy feedback I received over the years below....