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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fallen From Grace....

I love selling my items on Etsy. It has given me such great self esteem. When I was diagnosed with lupus, I thought that I could never be useful again. With very low lung function and with the fact that I use a wheelchair to get around, I started to feel like a bum, especially on Monday mornings while everyone is on their way to work. Here I was, sitting in bed with a cup of hot tea and watching television. I even had a line of up things that I was going to watch for the day.

Great stuff, eh?

But my sometimes cantankerous mother-in-law-to-be taught me how to do a knit stitch one day. Through her Tagalog and sometimes bad English, I learned how to do this simple knit stitch and cast on stitches.

I loved it.

Two months later, I had opened my own store on Etsy, after everyone pushed me to this site. It was so easy to set up and now two years later, I'm learning about business and what it takes to have a successful store with so much great competition out there. From what I can see, Etsy has great sellers with integrity to match. I've supported other knitting stores while they have supported me. It's a great community.

However....

There is one seller that is very popular. She sells handmade knit items and her store has blown up. Very few people see this kind of success on Etsy and she should be proud. But one day, I was talking over business with a young lady that wants to open a store herself. While doing some searching, I found items that looked familiar. I have purchased from this store myself on Etsy and have received over seven things but none of them looked "handmade" at all! In fact, they were highly irregular. One pair of socks fit just right while the other pair of socks were way too large! Then she sent the wrong item one day and it just didn't look like it was hand made. Neither did the other items when they came.

So I was shocked to see that these items were being sold on another site that takes bulk orders. Now, there is nothing in the Etsy guidelines that says you can't do that, but you must LIST THAT THESE ITEMS ARE NOT HANDMADE. She has hers listed in the handmade section, when I know she didn't hand make one of these items. They were made in CHINA.

Whoooooboy!

I was disappointed. I know being overwhelmed with orders must be one thing but to not totally be honest is another. I thought it was coincidence so I found one particular item on her store and within ten minutes I found the same item being sold on the wholesale site. It, too, is listed as handmade. The same picture was used from the wholesale site.

There is nothing really wrong with any of this. I know, shocking right? No there is nothing wrong with going to a site and purchasing things in bulk, and then selling them on your store The problem is when I made the purchase, I thought I was purchasing something handmade. Not something that you purchased from China. Then you put your name on it like you made this genius product. It's not right. It is important to be honest with your customers.

I strive to be honest in all of my dealings with my customers and that's what I offer all the time. But for some people, honesty is not important.


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