An Outsider’s View of the Etsy Economic Impact Report

A big thank you to Amanda Hess for this honest review of the Etsy Economic Impact Report, the latest fauxtistics to come out of Etsy. Regarding Etsy recommendations that government focus more on micro-businesses like those run on Etsy, Amanda says, “Etsy bizarrely knocks the government focus on creating “good-paying jobs,” instead suggesting they invest more in poorly-paying hobbies.” She also points out the obvious: “Etsy’s recommendations could help the economy in one way—it would make Etsy’s own big business even bigger.”

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14 thoughts on “An Outsider’s View of the Etsy Economic Impact Report

  1. So micro businesses that make neckties and bow ties for babies, or cool gargoyle figurines, are going to replace the income and benefits from jobs that made useful big ticket items like cars and furniture and appliances and high tech stuff of all kinds? As a seller of antiques and vintage items, I know something about the history of small companies that made faddish knickknacks and other non-necessities that were just cute and fun to have — their wares got copied and made cheaper overseas, then the businesses died and are now mostly forgotten.

    • *their wares got copied and made cheaper overseas*
      That’s already being done – with those useful big ticket items.
      When the making of refrigerators, motherboards, cars, etc. (and/or their parts) is done elsewhere in the world, the need to feed and clothe oneself at home doesn’t end. The income and benefits won’t be the same – but people will be working using their skills, and hopefully selling their wares.
      People don’t just roll over and die because the jobs were shipped overseas. What would you prefer people do?

  2. A corporation deciding to manufacture its products overseas to increase profits is a different problem than whole industries disappearing when artware is mass-produced, turned into kitsch, and then discarded for the next fad. What will happen to the couple in the video when people stop putting neckwear on babies? Etsy’s corporate culture has a focus on trend following, and that doesn’t offer much security IMO to makers currently getting by riding a trend with an expiration date.

  3. “A corporation deciding to manufacture its products overseas to increase profits is a different problem than whole industries disappearing when artware is mass-produced, turned into kitsch, and then discarded for the next fad.”
    This makes no sense. If art is mass-produced, then there are still jobs (someone has to mass-produce it and follow the product from inception to buyer) – just not the same jobs as before. Kitsch manufacturers will continue to turn out kitsch. Whole industries disappearing? That’s a bit of hyperbole.

    Not sure at all what you’re trying to say.

    • Disappeared from the USA, I should have said. Most of the vintage items I’ve sold were made by companies that disappeared in the mid 20th Century. My grandfather worked in the Trenton, NJ pottery district loading artware into the kilns. None of the companies he worked for are still around. Etsy has some fabulous ceramic artists, and some kitsch producers (some who use old molds). But there is no equivalent to, say, Stangl on Etsy that I know of.

  4. Pingback: Etsy – building jobs for America? | Speaking Through Curls

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