I have a bunch of sets listed on eBay right now, starting at prices that are about 20% below my regular cost. I’m trying to re-establish myself on eBay since I haven’t been selling there in a few years. This week I have encased rounds, lentils, and crystal beads. Many of these sets don’t have bids yet so this is a great opportunity to take advantage of a good deal for my beads! (Just please don’t forget to leave feedback – it’s really important to be trustworthy on eBay).
I’ve also listed a bunch of my spacer beads on eBay, at my regular great prices.
So you might be wondering why I’m not promoting my Etsy store so much these days, and why I am selling on eBay again. I left eBay quite a few years back because it felt very commercialized – it was so hard to compete with all the cheap imported “lampwork.” I loved Etsy because it was a handmade, crafters community. It didn’t have that vibe that eBay did, that made you feel like you were shopping at Walmart. My beads certainly wouldn’t belong at Walmart.
But lately, Etsy seems to be really changing their focus. They are allowing more and more mass produced items on their site, and what’s worse, they are not policing stores who are marketing these items as “handmade” even when complaints are filed. I think the reason is, these big stores are making money for Etsy. Which I guess I can understand – Etsy has grown, it’s attracted big reseller type stores, and now these stores are bringing Etsy lots of $s. Why would they want to shut them down?
It’s been affecting me personally in the lampwork section of Etsy. Since a certain shop that I am certain is not a single artist, or even a small collective, has been flooding Etsy with items and dominating the search listings, my views and sales have been notably down. I did send in a complaint, as have many other lampwork artists. I was sent a letter back saying they’d look into it – this certain shop is still up and running though, a few months later, so I’m thinking that they aren’t going to be doing anything about it anytime soon.
And just recently there has been a major scandal with an Etsy featured seller, uncovered by “Helen Killer” of Regretsy fame. This one sells furniture, so it’s not going to directly affect me, but it still sets a really bad tone for our Etsy marketplace. It’s bad enough that Etsy does little to police these reseller stores, but to actually feature one?
I don’t want to give up on Etsy altogether. I am hoping that changes can be made to make things more like they used to be. I am also trying to diversify, which is why you have seen me selling my work on my website directly, and on eBay. And, I am joining a silent protest for defending genuine handmade. On May the 10th, I will put my Etsy shop in Vacation mode as an act of solidarity with other genuine handmade crafters and artisans. Visit Protesty.com for more information.