What to do, Protest or Put Up

In the world of selling Indie Crafts, Etsy.com is king. In fact Etsy isn’t just king, but Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. And if you know anything about Palpatine you know that if you want to keep your little virtual craft shop alive on the web, selling on Etsy.com is pretty important, even when you can see the darkside.  But what is a free-thinking child of hippies supposed to do when injustice rises up and others demand a protest and action?

Recently there was a major screw up on the part of Lord Etsy in allowing an obvious reseller to be prized at a Top Seller. It didn’t take long for people to see past the socialite’s claim to be an honest crafter of eco-friendly furniture and see her for the reseller she is. We were all outraged that she was chosen to be highlighted and promoted when it was clear that we all thought she was in violation of rules we all thought we had to live by on Etsy.  Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong, has launched her lawyer on anyone who dares to mention her name or shop online so we will just say that if you want to know which boat babe she is, Regretsy.com has a lot more info about it.

So when it was called to the Emperor to address the frustration of the people we were all very upset when we were told that they were fine with the way She Who Must Not Be Named does business on Etsy. For more info on what they said, here’s a great link from the Huffington Post.  But basically as I have come to understand it, Etsy allows multiple individuals to sell wares on a single shop account under its rules as long as the majority share of their items’ creation is done at one physical space where at least one Etsy account holder is supervising. That means an Etsy seller can pay a team of employees, so long as they all work together under one roof.  Or in the case of Stop Calling Me a Reseller, you can import your items from another country, take a pretty picture of it, and call it your own design and it’s now handmade!

When people are challenged to either rise up or shut up, protests will be made. Protesty.com has grown from that frustration.  Over 3600 shops have now signed up to take 1 day next week to silently protest allowing resellers on Etsy.com to continue.  We are disgusted by the fact that Etsy not only chose to support an obvious reseller by giving her an article and promotions, but then placed her items on the front page after critics began to email and question why she was ever selected for their praise.

But it can’t end there.  Now threats are being made that anyone who protests will have their shop closed down by Etsy.  Other sellers are greedily gearing up for massive sales that day in hopes of grabbing up all of the lose customers as if our customers are stupid sheep and will run to any other seller just because we aren’t available that day.  And there is a lot of worry about what will happen to our business if we protest against this injustice.

So what’s a girl to do?  Do I take the risk and stand up for all of us who are crafters who spend honest long hours working at our trade?  Or do I ignore it and let Etsy do what ever it will as long as it doesn’t hurt me?  I just don’t know and it’s frustrating.

There’s another movement Stop! Then Shop! May 10/ May 11 where sellers are asked not to shop on May 10th – that I can do and instead to make a purchase from a known hand-crafter on the 11th. I can do this too. 

I am just confused and wondering what I should do.  I don’t want to lose my shop but I want to make sure that Etsy knows how upset its customers actually are. 

What would you do?  Stay quite or rise up and fight the Empire?  Where’s Yoda when I need him?

4 thoughts on “What to do, Protest or Put Up”

  1. I totally feel ya. I couldn’t afford to lose my Etsy shops, I’ve put far too much work into them to get to where I’m at, so i wouldn’t want to risk the slightest thing that Etsy could constitute as “rule-breaking.” I do, however, do my best to support honest-to-goodness handmade artisans on Etsy and the rest of the web, as well as spreading the knowledge of why buying handmade is better for everyone.

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    1. It’s crazy. I sort of feel like if I don’t close for the day that I am not being true to the cause. But if I do close, I could lose my shop and that would be really sad.

      I am thinking of doing the stop and shop on the 11th.

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      1. I like the stop & shop idea too! Also, I think you could just go halfway with the protest – not put your shop on vacation, but just don’t list or renew anything for the day.

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