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Spirit of Etsy: Crush Healthy Products As Illegal Drugs
Posted By Adan On August 23, 2012 @ 12:27 pm In Featured Stories | Comments Disabled
August 23, 2012
Two grandmothers, Pat Showalter and Celeste Bishop, are square in the middle of the war against pure beauty and health products as a result of their website being on the Goliath Internet venue Etsy, an online Farmer’s Market.
The Etsy Policy Update dragnet is sweeping up numerous small shops such as theirs.
According to Fortune Magazine the Etsy giant sold $62.8 million worth goods in March 2012, up 41.5% from the same time last year, from handcrafted artisan’s advertising on their venue.
Etsy’s new policy was dropped like an e-bomb from the Etsy Integrity Department, with no notification that is was coming, though it had been in the works for months, and likens Pat and Celeste’s company, Shepherds Heart, to criminals trafficking in illegal drugs by making “illegal drug claims about their products”.
When Etsy contacted Shepherds Heart on August 9, 2012 they were told that the email was “a private conversation between you and Etsy. Please respect this confidentiality and refrain from distributing this communication without permission from Etsy.” Their plea for ‘confidentiality’ was nothing more than an ill-fated attempt to discourage vendors from comparing notes.
There are other troubling changes in Etsy’s policy such as their “Snitch Program” where others are encouraged to turn in non-complaint vendors and “ Flagging” which Etsy claims is “akin to neighborhood watch” but is more like the “Report Suspicious Activity” in the Patriot Act with dozens of cadres formed to rat on one another.
Another disturbing indicator is that no date for compliance was given to vendors but upon further communication a deadline of 7 days was demanded.
Bishop says, “This comes at our busiest time of year when we are at Farmers Markets and Festivals, not to mention visitors and vacations, kidding season and preparing our farms for harvest. We pleaded for an extension to Etsy’s compliance date to no avail,” remarks Pat.
When Celeste and Pat went to review Etsy’s new policies they found that they were updated and implemented on August 8, a mere day before vendor dragnet, with demand to comply. Most vendors find the new policy extremely vague and subjective. Dropping this new policy on Shepherd’s Heart and other vendors the way Etsy did has thrown many into a state of confusion which Etsy almost seems to be encouraging.
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