Etsy is changing their policies to permit shop owners “to hire staff, use shipping services and apply to have their products made by manufacturers.” To quote the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
Most under scrutiny is the new “manufacturers can help you produce your designs” bit. While some sellers are breathing a hidden sigh of relief (whether from overwork or from no longer having to hide their processes), the louder, more numerous voices are complaining that there’s simply no way for them to be able to keep up with competing mass-producing shops. From the huge “Big Brands on Etsy” forum thread (You say you want to help us grow, but how big can we get before we’re too big for Etsy?) to sellers fleeing to alternative portals like Zibbet, there is a significant rumbling among the crafty masses.
So what do you think? What counts as handmade? Can more than one set of hands (or tools) be used? Is there a limit to the number of sets of hands (or tools) that can contribute to its creation before it’s no longer handmade? Does a concept made by someone else count as handmade? Do you sell your art? Do you sell via Etsy? Do you buy things on Etsy? Does this change in their policies earn your favor or make you want to shop elsewhere?
The ART Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Mad Art Lab community. It appears on Wednesdays at 3pm ET… Make with the comments!