Shenanigans at Etsy (the disappearing NEGATIVE reviews)

After truly believing that Americans were so stupid and so lethargic that Chad’s management team could arbitrarily set and break its own rules and no one would notice or complain…Etsy now finds itself mired in a hot mess of controversy and class action lawsuits.

Nowhere is this arbitrary rule making and rule breaking more evident than in the flagrant favoritism Etsy seems to have extended certain sellers, specifically ThreeBirdNest.  As proof, the following review appeared on April 27, 2015, posted by Jessicarose Thurber.  It wasn’t pretty, the original review, but TBN ruffled the nest again when they asked Jessica to “change her review.”  She did.  And this was the result:

JessicaRose

Which really wasn’t what TBN was after.  For some reason they seemed to think that a few heart signs and smiley faces and “xoxo’s” would be enough to mute Jessica, who had already lodged an Etsy complaint, a BBB complaint, and who had noted that her “handmade in California” item had shipped from a warehouse in Ohio.

Obviously it didn’t calm her down at all.  Instead TBN’s little California nest was left with even more egg on its face.  And so instead of spending time fixing its broken system, TBN apparently figured out a quicker route to achieving its goals.  Just delete the review.

Great idea, except that we sellers couldn’t just arbitrarily delete negative reviews.  If we could, we would all have perfect 5 star ratings.  Which would really make the entire feedback process so tainted and unbelievable that it would quickly be abolished.  Nope, reviews were part of the package deal, and honest sellers looked at their feedback, made adjustments for their errors, tightened up their policies and moved forward.

Not TBN.  Apparently they had a magic pipeline to Etsy’s management team and within a few hours the negative review disappeared.  Which leaves us wondering how many other negative TBN reviews have disappeared, leaving behind only the positive ones, and once again grossly misrepresenting (this) Etsy (seller) to the general public.

Labels with “made in China” and “made in India”.  Scathing 1 star reviews.  Blisteringly negative reviews vanishing into thin air.  Wishy-washy policies and arbitrary favoritism.  Class action lawsuits.  Angry buyers and angry sellers.  Disrespect and distrust for the Etsy Board.

What a face-plant for the former homespun bastion of granola idealism.

And what a huge betrayal to its fee-paying, rule-following core of buyers, sellers and fans.

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54 thoughts on “Shenanigans at Etsy (the disappearing NEGATIVE reviews)

  1. I am SSSSOOOO enjoying your exposing Etsy atrocities & deceit! You are bringing to the surface all the things we “BANNED from the forums” sellers were shut up for saying! Threebirdnest is the perfect symbol for the sheer deviousness of Etsy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And isn’t it amazing that TBN can receive page after page after page of not just 1 star negative reviews but totally scathing reviews & their 4 1/2 star rating NEVER goes down? Sickening…

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    • Seems like Etsy can’t do math either! The last time they promoted her in their email they showed she had 5 stars and I went to look, but nope, she was at 4 1/2 stars back then.Do you think her rating will ever drop?? I also noticed the review that led me to this site was quickly removed too.
      This whole thing makes me sick too! So now she is trying to run and hide by starting a new line called fancy clothes and looking to hire people for it…ugh.. How the hell does she sleep at night??!

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    • Sadly it’s a math averages thing. They had so many 5 star reviews before they got China involved that the weighted average will take awhile to drop. When it does, though, it will take just as long to recover. The store should be SHUT DOWN long before then…but we’ll see if that happens.

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  3. Etsy and I had a big confrontation when I wanted to expand my decade old shop to showcase my textiles I started designing. This was the time Etsy pursued their “ethical handmade marketplace” marketing rules and coincidentally started appearing in the Williams Sonoma Companies such as West Elm Catalogs, etc. My textiles, designed by me where being manufactured at mills in Italy and Germany, coincidentally, the same mills that provide textiles to Williams Sonoma, Missoni and other brands, actually. After becoming a “special case”, Etsy rejected my “application” because I did not reveal my exact sources in enough detail for them. They were not China. I didn’t provide DNA samples, exact names, phone numbers, emails or addresses or any important information about highly expert and coveted sources as this is my trade secret. They would have to go on faith that “I”, owner of my shop for 10 years, are of ethical standards and I have the right, just like all the other little artisans, to expand my little “brand”. Well, they let me know further disapprovals and were really rude about it. And I reminded them that they have no problem taking my money over the years as that seemed to fit their “ethical responsibility”. And I also reminded them that they have no problem highlighting, spotlighting, featuring artists that use manufacturing to expand their brand, period. I haven’t entirely trusted them because of the shops that get away with all kinds of artisan crimes, besides China merchandise, crap photos, integrity smashing low prices, sudden non existent search ability and the overall rude factor. Over the years, they have been responsive until this current CEO took over, who is a tech person, not an artist. And that matters, actually. Furthermore, after 10 years plus, I did expand and opened on another platform that is out performing my Etsy shop in 9 months. Both continue to have 5 star ratings. Etsy should be promoting it’s artists in this way: TRUST. Trust that they would turn to their platform FIRST to expand their business. I informed them that I will take my business expansion elsewhere and that is the dumbest corner to put your clients in, really. Sure I would have LOVED to have been asked to curate or develop something for Williams Sonoma as I work with them anyway, but notice how this is kept to themselves? As they develop and COPY arts and crafts for their own store? Which I know is a possible revenue stream for them. Etsy as the next Anthropologie? Absolutely – they will knock off your items and use your resources in a heartbeat and that is exactly how they are positioned. As far as this Three Birds Nest controversy goes, and it is a valid controversy that highlights Etsy’s hypocritical set up, we must look out for our selves and each other. Thank you for creating this blog. I am glad I found it and have shared.

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    • I’m not surprised – they are so two-faced that they probably can’t remember their own policies at this point. If they were smart, they would at least amend the policies so they wouldn’t be such a laughing stock

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  4. thank you for exposing TBN, karma will not be kind to them . I have known for a LONG time how impossible it is for them to “hand knit” and sew all the items they sell. I own a knit/crochet shop with only about 50 items in it. I am an ADVANCED knitter and crochet-er and it still takes me often a full 8 hr day to make a hat, half a day for a cowl, headband;I mean I do have to take breaks to reast my hands. I even made a beautiful crochet shawl….it took me a week. It takes a WHILE to make handmade items. Yet I don’t make the sales in that shop cause shops like TBN ruin it for those of us that actually make our items. And the worst part? They have NO integrity. The continue to INSIST they handmake these items.One review said” My headband had a “made in china” sticker”, they responded quite curtly by stating that item was mistakenly shiped from there”website” stock, not etsy. So…what they are trying to say is They make the exact same item, one for their personal website, one for etsy. One stock is manufactured in China, and the EXACT same headband that they sell on Etsy is HANDKNIT?!?!??C’mon……it is really frustrating for handmade sellers like me..All my items are beautiful and handmade, yet I can’t get noticed 😦 When do I get MY happy day?? Le sigh.

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  5. TBN customers are sending me their “made in China” stickers (pictures), so this isn’t just ONE case of the stock coming from the “wrong” place. Etsy should have ditched this store years ago…but no…they keep raking in the money and selling all of their buyers/sellers down the river

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  6. Perhaps the worst ramification of Etsy having an “anything goes as long as you make us mega-bucks” stance for these major reseller shops is the angry, screwed over BUYERS. Repeatedly they state in TBN negative reviews; “I will NEVER shop on Etsy again!” When you have countless buyers proclaiming this, calling her shop “a scam”, a “rip off,” “liars,” & other terms of equal disgust, her shady shit affects how Etsy & other sellers are perceived. I could vomit at the thought of being lumped in with this con artist!!

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  7. In a Forbes article, published on May 11, Wedbush said: “Considering the broad backlash on Alibaba regarding inauthentic merchandise, we expect added scrutiny given the social responsibility ethos at the core of its Etsy’s brand.” It further added: “If Etsy chooses to continue to ignore these potential violations, we believe it could tarnish its brand with both buyers and sellers.” Wedbush argued that some violations could be 20 times more likely than on eBay and even more likely than on Alibaba.
    https://thestyleofthecase.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/etsy-facing-securities-fraud-suit-tied-to-dispute-over-counterfeits/

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  8. I just went back through my “old mail” to see precisely what my last comment was in the forums that got me PERMAMUTED…it is so incredibly tame that I can’t even believe THIS would get anyone’s mouth duct-taped shut! BUT…I was referring to Brandi & the other trolls (no further explanation necessary.)

    Hello,

    The content you recently posted in the Etsy Forums was found to be in violation of one or more Forums Policies and Guidelines. Please see detailed information posted below:

    Post: Capecodgypsy-I’m glad that others are seeing through the sham & getting to the truth. Disregard those here who,when you begin questioning, attack you & your shop under the guise of “being helpful.” You nailed the issues!

    Thread: http://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/questions/discuss/1

    Policies/Guidelines infringed:

    This is not the first time we’ve needed to contact you regarding our community rules. Therefore, we are revoking your Etsy Forums posting privileges indefinitely, effective immediately. This impacts all your Etsy accounts.

    Our policies and guidelines may be viewed here: https://www.etsy.com/help/article/360

    If you’ve had any of your account privileges permanently suspended due to a policy violation, you can file an appeal with our Member Appeals Team. Using the contact form on our Help page (https://www.etsy.com/help/contact), you can select Other > Some of my Account Privileges have been Suspended > Contact Us by Email.

    Thank you,

    The Etsy Forums Team

    ―――

    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.

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  9. Don’t forget Chad DICKerson actually proudly showed off his copyright infringing Harry Potter cufflinks when he was on Good Morning America.
    If you actually look at his etsy profile Chad has copyright violations in his favorites.
    I have not paid my etsy dues this month.

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  10. Myself and the person who posted above me were actually banned from the etsy forums when we challenged another fake maker on Etsy. Brandi from PUUR Body.

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    • us ”long time sellers” have no pull with Etsy. We get banned from the forums and silenced for telling the truth. We’ve payd our fees on time and hand made everything in our shops with sweat and tears, and this is the kind of treatment we get- etsy, thanks for nothing

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  11. With 1.4 million sellers right now, I don’t think anyone will even notice our complaints, unless something is done legally. The truth is, we’re only a spec of dust in the eyes of Etsy’s powerful executives. Cry all we can, they’ll keep on doing what they’ve been doing along the years. There are 286 complaints about Etsy on Consummers Affairs, both from buyers as well as sellers, 76 complaints on pissedconsumer.com and God knows how many more throughout the web, however Etsy only gets more and more powerful with the years. From time to time there’s an outcry of both sellers and buyers about one of their shops and after a while everything is forgotten and it’s business as usual. Today I posted a link to this blog at one of Etsy’s forums where sellers were worrying about the class action suit affecting their shops negatively. That’s the thing, Etsy’s sellers only want to sell and make money, nothing else. Not even this controversy about this class action suit is going to make any difference at all. Numerous companies have had class action suits filed against them and they are still going strong (Vonage is one of them). Unfortunately, Etsy was voted as highest profitability site by sellers in 2015, followed closely by Ebay. I guess that says a lot.
    I have personally filed a complaint with the FTC and I think that if enough people who feel ripped off by Etsy did the same, that would make a difference. We also need to let all of our FB, Twitter, etc. network know our position, as someone else suggested here. Perhaps that will bring some results.
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/online/etsy.html
    http://etsy.pissedconsumer.com/
    https://www.ftc.gov/faq/consumer-protection/submit-consumer-complaint-ftc
    http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abu/y215/m02/abu0375/s03

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    • sadly I think what you’re saying is true. I certainly don’t have the time to spearhead a huge revolt, and that’s what Etsy is counting on. The only way they are paying attention (if at all) is with a class action lawsuit pending…after which point it will be business as usual.

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      • I’m thinking about starting a petition to the organ that certifies Etsy as a B company asking them to reconsider certifying Etsy as such. That will probably clear the way for Etsy to become even more like Ebay but at least they won’t be able to raise the flag of “belonging to a group of businesses that are socially conscious and, according to Etsy regulatory documents, “meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency,”
        That is such an insult to so many sellers that have been wronged by their less than rigorous standards of social performance, accountability, and transparency.
        BTW, their shares are up again today. 😦

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    • Good job, redefined handmade! I wrote the author of that article and sent her a link to this site and asked her if she would be able to write an article about the way Etsy sellers are treated and this whole controversy in their sellers’ policy, TBN, etc.

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  12. http://www.upsetsy.com/three-bird-nest/
    Examples of TBN’s WHOLESALE item suppliers & the crazy mark-up on her mass-produced goods. By the way, rather odd; TBN has 0 reviews since 5/15. Also, last I looked, TBN only had ONE sale thus far today. Is karma perhaps finally sinking it’s fangs into her ass?

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      • That’s what I am assuming also. P.S. On the msnbc news scroll today it says “luxury brands such as Gucci & Yves Saint Laurent accuse Alibaba of profiting from counterfeit goods.” Cross your fingers they go after Etsy next. This might get very interesting.

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  13. SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Levi & Korsinsky, LLP Notifies Shareholders of Etsy, Inc. of Pendency of Class Action Lawsuit and a Lead Plaintiff Deadline of July 13, 2015 — ETSY
    NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – May 18, 2015) – The following statement is being issued by Levi & Korsinsky, LLP:

    To: All persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired securities of Etsy, Inc. (NASDAQ: ETSY) between April 16, 2015 through May 10, 2015.

    You are hereby notified that a securities class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. If you purchased or otherwise acquired Etsy, Inc. (“Etsy”) securities between April 16, 2015 and May 10, 2015, your rights may be affected by this action.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/shareholder-alert-levi-korsinsky-llp-175425756.html

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    • Read the explanation given by Jeffrey Steven Feinberg, Class Action Attorney in New York, NY: …” after reviewing some of Etsy’s policies, it appears to be procedurally burdensome to initiate a class action. Specifically, as you will see below, any user of Etsy is bound to settle all disputes by arbitration.” And he cites the following clause, which is in every sellers’ contract with Etsy:
      http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/how-do-i-start-a-class-action-lawsuit-against-etsy-1152252.html

      Compliance: You agree to comply with all local laws regarding online conduct and acceptable content. You are responsible for all applicable taxes. In addition, you must abide by Etsy’s policies as stated in the Agreement and the Etsy policy documents listed below (if applicable to your activities on or use of the Site) as well as all other operating rules, policies and procedures that may be published from time to time on the Site by Etsy, each of which is incorporated herein by reference and each of which may be updated by Etsy from time to time without notice to you.

      9. Resolution of Disputes and Release
      In the event a dispute arises between you and Etsy, please contact Etsy.

      Any dispute arising from or relating to the subject matter of this Agreement shall be finally settled by arbitration in New York County, New York, using the English language in accordance with the Arbitration Rules and Procedures of Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (“JAMS”) then in effect, by one commercial arbitrator with substantial experience in resolving intellectual property and commercial contract disputes, who shall be selected from the appropriate list of JAMS arbitrators in accordance with the Arbitration Rules and Procedures of JAMS. The prevailing party in any arbitration or other proceeding arising under this Agreement shall be entitled to receive reimbursement of its reasonable expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees, expert witness fees and all other expenses) incurred in connection therewith. Judgment upon the award so rendered may be entered in a court having jurisdiction or application may be made to such court for judicial acceptance of any award and an order of enforcement, as the case may be. Notwithstanding the foregoing, each party shall have the right to institute an action in a court of proper jurisdiction for injunctive or other equitable relief pending a final decision by the arbitrator. For all purposes of this Agreement, the parties consent to exclusive jurisdiction and venue in the United States Federal Courts or state courts located in the Southern District of New York. Use of the Site is not authorized in any jurisdiction that does not give effect to all provisions of the Agreement, including without limitation, this section. You and Etsy agree that any cause of action arising out of or related to the Site (including, but not limited to, any services provided or made available therein) or this Agreement must commence within one (1) year after the cause of action arose; otherwise, such cause of action is permanently barred.

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    • No, they’re still being blocked. Wanelo was the big one for me….views from their have been non-existent since April 28th. Huge thread about it in the forums, and no response from Etsy on when or if it will be fixed. Comments that were made from Deena @ Wanelo have also been deleted.

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  14. Alert***the “disappearing negative reviews” for TBN apparently have been replaced with NO REVIEWS. Not one new review since 5/15/15. So Etsy is actively covering her deceitful ass?!

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  15. Not that this adds much to the conversation but as an FYI to anyone who is interested.

    When an item ships from a warehouse in OH that is pretty much a dead giveaway that the seller/retailer in question is using a fulfillment center. Ohio is very popular for them because of their location in the middle of the country which means no really expensive shipping from Coast to Coast and pretty much always a no more than 2 day delivery.

    So not only is this “female dog” pawing off imported junk as being handmade NO HANDS in California as even touching it – I bet you anything it gets shipped straight to the fulfillment center in OH with just samples being sent to CA for the photo shoots.

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  16. Great article. I find it fascinating that people are still sticking with Etsy after all the controversy. They obviously don’t care about hand made anymore and more about their bottom line. People may think it’s hard to go out on their own and build their own websites but it’s not. We recently sold our online store last year to help other women (and men) take control of their own financial future and not be under someone else’s control. We have recently posted a new Blog to our page to help people move from Etsy to Shopify. http://www.mommiesmakingmoneyonline.com/etsy-to-shopify-store-setup. Good luck to everyone with their stores 🙂

    Like

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