Etsy and Handmade vs Factory Made
Recently I read this article in HP about a successful seller who was band from selling on Etsy due to her strategy of employing others to fullfil orders.
HP writes :
Robertson had delegated too much of her operation to other people, leading Etsy to flag her items as “factory made” and revoke her right to sell on the site.
Tracy Robertson says :
My business is completely crippled right now,” Robertson, a model and fashion designer, wrote in an email to Etsy after the company pulled the plug on her account. “I moved my entire catalog over to Etsy and closed my personal Web site because I loved and trusted your platform so much.
Tracy Robertson, better known by the goth moniker Batty, is Houston’s long-running queen of goth and Victorian fashion. On one item she posted that is was factory-produced, a corset she has made by a team of workers. However, she produces all the patterns, sizes the pieces and sews each one. According to Etsy’s policies, help with items for sale is acceptable as long as the seller has a major role in the item’s creation. Robertson’s situation would appear to fulfill those standards.
She now sells on her own site.
Etsy has changed for the past few years. They employ twice a s much people and will generate an estimated $90 million in revenue in 2012. They don’t work from cardboard computers and so don’t we. Many sellers sell handmade prints that are enhanced in Photoshop or print them online (by outside vendors). Or, sometimes, the seller is able to trick you, me and even Etsy, becomes the future seller and at the end we find out it was mass-produced items.
Etsy’s mission has always included a desire to bring the human element back to commerce. But over time some sellers became more successful than others and that’s the reason why today we’re referring to the shop more often than the seller. Quite often behind the gorgeous, still handmade item, is a crew of people.
The story of Tracy is one of few. I haven’t found much from Tracy herself explaining more about the situation. How factory-produced was the other item? Or, maybe, that was just the only suitable term for that item at that moment, but didn’t mean it was mass-produced.
There is one other take out from this story. No matter how active you promote yourself, sell and voice the point of view on Twitter, Facebook, Etsy etc, you can only be sure nobody will shut you down out of the blue if you have your own website that is appropriately hosted. Don’t rely exclusively on external solutions. Built your own.
I sell my items mostly on my site, but I also have my Etsy store. Every month I promise myself to promote it more.
It’s great to have multiple online hubs, but nothing will serve you better than your own website that you can fully control.
How is Etsy serving you? I’d love to hear any advice you might have for me.
Over to you!
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