I’ll Get Back With You

In the October 26th Q&A, Kellan was asked if there was a new policy allowing links from the About Page to a seller’s standalone website selling the same products as in their Etsy shop.  The question was asked because Etsy had recently featured five sellers in a blog post, 5 Etsy Sellers Partnering with Manufacturers, and of those five, four were practicing fee avoidance by linking to their retail website from their About Page.

The seller wanted to know if this was now an accepted practice so that she and other sellers could also enjoy the benefits of an About Page link.

This was Kellan’s reply (emphasis added):

You bring up a good point. The relevant policy is this one regarding fee avoidance and it hasn’t changed:


But I think it should probably be cleaned up and clarified. Doesn’t seem reasonable to ask shops to list a website and expect them not to sell on it.

I’ll get back to you.

Obviously, the answer was no, the policy has not changed and that practice is considered fee avoidance and is prohibited by Etsy’s Terms of Use. (And, um, GULP… as for those featured sellers…. I don’t know….But, I’ll get back to you…. just don’t hold your breath…)

In the November 27th Q&A, Eric was presented with the same question which he sidestepped.

Four days prior to the About Page requirement going into effect, many sellers were still unclear on About Page rules, and this question was posted for Administration:

JAN 1 About page deadline… What are the rules, Etsy?

Unbelievably, Administration replied. But again, no clarification or answer to the fee avoidance question:

I’ve noticed that A LOT of about pages have links out to their retail websites and other venues where they are selling the same items.

I know this is against the TOU’s and is considered fee avoidance.

So it would be REALLY NICE if admin would make an announcement about this part of the About Page since sellers will receive warnings for not being in compliance with the TOU’s of this site.

If you read the About Page section, it doesn’t address this specifically.. it just says something like.. the usual TOU’s about off-site links apply or something and then links you to the TOU’s where it says that you cannot link to off-site venues selling the same items…

And from the seller to whom Kellan said I’ll get back with you:

Would you please state definitively whether we can list our stand-alone website on our About page? IMPORTANT: this would be a website where we sell the same items that we are selling in our Etsy shops.
Please see these 2 threads where the issue was previously raised…

…Looks like he never did….

6 thoughts on “I’ll Get Back With You

  1. It was abundantly clear to me that Etsy was too busy worrying about people posting negative things about Chinese factory-made crap in the forum to also be busy policing links to other shops…. which is why I did it. I listed many of the same items… nary a discouraging word.

    I’ve now removed all my Etsy items and will be focusing on my Zibbet shop. My views on Zibbet FAR outnumber my Etsy views… and as more and more fly-by-night shops swoop into Etsy, take the money of unsuspecting buyers and then vanish, I expect to get more views and sales.

  2. I too have moved my items to Zibbet. It’s such a refreshing change. Etsy must have investors from China. I can’t see any other reason, besides the money of course, for all the re-seller shops to be there. One seller came to the forum looking for a dress maker. She said she spent 2 hours on search only to find ready made factory dresses and no handmade. She had to resort to the forum to search for someone who could actually hand make a dress.

  3. Yesterday I sent a direct message to Sarah in Marketplace Integrity. Hopefully she will be able to explain why some sellers are treated differently than others.

    It’s wrong and poor business ethics for Etsy to give preferential treatment to a seller, which is unfortunately what this looks like. The problem IS something that Marketplace Integrity can easily correct – IF they want to.

    Even easier? Change the policy and allow the website links.

    Resellers and factory sellers are a huge problem at Etsy. The new guidelines encourage more bad behaviour. Based on the number of bubble necklaces and trademark infringing cell phone cases/purses/pillow cases, etc. for sale, reporting doesn’t work.

    • I heard back from Sarah and while I don’t want to quote directly from her conversation, the policy in question is under discussion and whatever is decided will be announced when they’re ready. It was refreshing to hear from a real person who seems to be genuinely concerned. Much better than the other admin who ignored a direct convo!

  4. Pingback: Etsy Clarifies (Changes) Offsite Linking Policies | RUSEtsy

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