Saturday, November 2, 2013

Am I Handmade or Manufactured?

Many of you have followed me and my Blog, of and on since I started this venture on Etsy in May 2007.  Many Quilt pictures have appeared here, showing the selection of Fabrics right through to the completed listing in my Store.  https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/QuiltLover?ref=si_shop

I pride myself in providing a top quality handmade patchwork Quilt and the many beautiful and heartwarming comments from my customers make it all worthwhile.

Imagine my surprise when I received this e-mail from the Etsy Marketplace Integrity Team wanting me to "verify" my "handmade" process to them by documenting the making of a Quilt.

"Hello,
We see that your items are listed in the Handmade category. I'm reaching out to learn more about how your items are made.

For items to be listed in the Handmade category, they have to fit in with Etsy’s definition of Handmade. In order to be sure that your items can be sold in this category, we ask that you please answer the following questions within the next two weeks.

Any information you provide will be kept completely confidential. Please note, however, that providing false information may result in the suspension of your account privileges.

Step 1:
Explain how you run your business by telling us who is involved in your shop and what each of their roles is. This includes the people who assist in the production or finishing of items, create listings, communicating with buyers, packaging orders or anything else you need to operate your shop.

Step 2:
Explain your Handmade process. Imagine you’re teaching someone to make the item listed below. Please write out – in as much detail as possible – the steps you use to create the following item:

https://www.etsy.com/es/listing/162057833/white-queen-bed-quilt-coverlet-wool?ref=shop_home_active

Step 3:
Document your Handmade process. Please attach photographs of the steps you described above. In all of the images you attach, please include a piece of paper displaying your username and the date.

Specifically, we’ll need to see images of:
-The workspace, tools, and equipment you use to make the items in your shop.
-The raw materials or supplies you use to create your items.
-The step-by-step process you use to create the item specified in Step 1.

Once we hear back from you with this information, we’ll review it and promptly get back to you. We understand that your Etsy shop is your business, and we intend to make this process as quick and smooth as possible.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this process. I look forward to hearing from you.
Best,
****
Etsy Marketplace Integrity
http://www.etsy.com/guidelines
____

This message is a private conversation between you and Etsy. Please respect this confidentiality and refrain from distributing this communication without permission from Etsy. If you feel this message was sent to you in error, please delete it and let us know. Thank you.

****

Please note that at the bottom they had the nerve to ask me Not to Share this message......

I was hit with a sledgehammer to say the least, crushed, trust broken, integrity and honesty questioned, after being "loyal" to this Marketplace since 2007, bringing customers, advertising the venue, making them, and of course me, money.

How did this happen?  Lots of speculation and you can read about it here https://www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13262322/page/15  it makes for an interesting read.  No matter what the reason, Etsy is behind me.  After submitting pictures and showing the machine quilting process but now the cutting and piecing of one of my patchwork Quilts, I received this e-mail:

"Hello Monika,
Thanks so much for providing this information. I really appreciate it. I understand how surprising this may have been but please know that my intentions were simply to learn more about your handmade process. I know that asking to make a new quilt is quite an endeavor. I've taken a look at the photos of your workspace, supplies, and finished goods and verified that your items meet our selling guidelines.

Thanks again for working with me on this. I appreciate your cooperation."

Stick it up your ....you know what, the damage is done. Zibbet is the new Handmade marketplace.  etsy Sellers have left Etsy in the thousands after Etsy announced it now allows manufactured on their site.  Etsy is being flooded with made in "China" products, throwing those of us that helped make Etsy world famous for buying "Handmade", under the bus.  We are harder to find and unless the buyer specifically types in "handmade" when searching, most of us will never be found.

So sad.  Those of us that were loyal to Etsy are thown under the bus, while Etsy rewrites the definition of handmade.

You can find the same beautiful handmade patchwork Quilt at a 5% discount (since I no longer have to pay etsy's transaction fees) at http://www.zibbet.com/QuiltloverQuilts

Come and visit me there, say hello, send me a message, put me in your favourites.

Thanks for listening.

Cheers

Monika


7 comments:

Nancy said...

So unbelievable, will follow where you go as I am into handmade and supporting ALL struggling artisans, Lord knows we do suffer getting our passion and craft out there!!!!!!!

QUILTLOVER said...

Awesome and thanks you nancy. I know you appreciate a quality handmade Quilt over a "Quilt.com rag passed along as "handmade" for $40.00.

Nadine said...

What a load of C..... I cannot believe they would do this. Good for you moving on and getting out of Etsy. I will certainly pass this along to other users of Etsy.
Nadine

Quilt Petaler said...

I was outraged myself when they started allowing manufacturing, but not only that, since they changed the way items are displayed when people are searching for items my views dropped to NOTHING!
Etsy had a good thing going but they let greed get it the way.
I hope the Chinese and India sellers make them proud, It'll be just as great as a trip to walmart! Good luck Monica, I'm right behind you!

QUILTLOVER said...

Thank you all for your comments and your support. Etsy is continually shooting themselves in the foot. Consensus is they have major shareholders from China, hence the shift to mass produced and factory assisted. I was reported by a jealous competitor, I am verified by etsy, and I continue selling....however, I steer as much traffic to my Zibbet store as is possible.

Maggie said...

Totally agree!

Mulchandmore said...

I marked your thread on Etsy an just visited your beautiful new store on zibbet...I may open one there eventually. For now I am limping on Etsy and opened a new shop on www.HandmadeArtists.com -a smaller site but strictly handmade and a great bunch of friendly people in the forum, and another place to link to all your selling sites!

Good luck in helping all of us to keep handmade in our lives!
Bev of Mulch and More