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New Etsy Policy on Mass Produced Goods: “Be Honest”
Posted By Shawn Hessinger On October 7, 2013 @ 11:00 am In Small Business Operations | 17 Comments
From now on, Etsy merchants using more than one crafts person to create a product or using manufacturing in their process will have just one Etsy policy to follow: be honest.
The policy change is an attempt to address gray areas some users say have allowed “resellers” to market essentially mass produced materials on the handmade goods site.
Up until now, three kinds of items have been allowed on Etsy: Vintage items 20 years or older, craft supplies and handmade items.
But changes to Etsy’s policy in the handmade category in 2011 allowed use of third party vendors to complete some tasks. The changes also allowed multiple craftspeople to collaborate on products in collective shops.
Critics say the policies were vague enough to allow outsourcing of production and the emergence of merchants that were essentially resellers of mass produced items on Etsy . And some users began strongly protesting in forums and with a mass shut down of Etsy shops in spring 2012.
But a new policy recently introduced addresses both issues and is more specific about what constitutes an item appropriate for Etsy listing.
The “New Guidelines for Etsy Shops” specify  that such collaboration must be transparent:
Hire help if you need it or collaborate, even from different locations. Everyone who helps you make handmade items should be listed on your shop’s About page.
The guidelines further explain:
Sellers create their handmade items in many different ways. Partnering with an outside business is okay, but we’ll require you to be honest about how your items are made.
Etsy will also require  an “Outside Manufacturing Form” to be filled out before such items can be listed on Etsy.
Etsy’s “integrity team” will review all submissions and ask each applicant questions about their business and about the outside manufacturers with whom they are working.
The company wants to be sure the merchant is the creator, designer and maker of each item listed even if some outside manufacturing has been done.
But it’s clear under the new guidelines that merchants who simply sell items mass produced by others do not fit the criteria.
Do you think Etsy’s new guidelines will solve the controversy over reselling in the handmade goods community?
Handmade Pottery  Photo via Shutterstock
Article printed from Small Business Trends: http://smallbiztrends.com
URL to article: http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/10/new-etsy-policy-mass-produced-goods.html
URLs in this post:
 resellers of mass produced items on Etsy: http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/09/new-etsy-rules-handmade-goods.html
 specify: http://www.etsy.com/new-guidelines
 require: http://www.etsy.com/manufacture#review
 places for selling handmade goods: http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/10/29-places-sell-handmade-creations.html
 20 more places to sell handmade crafts: http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/08/resources-selling-craft-homemade-items.html
 Handmade Pottery: http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-109794710/stock-photo-rustic-pottery-on-fair-in-krakow-malopolska-poland-europe.html