Here is what we’ve all been expecting … Etsy is going to do an initial public offering of their stock sometime this year. Not a big surprise, there’s been rumblings about this for some time. But what does it mean for me as a seller?
There’s been something profoundly disturbing by the actions of Etsy in the last year as it overhauls itself to appear more attractive to investors. It opened the floodgates to mass-produced items from China and other sweatshop countries under the guise of still being handmade. All you have to do now is come up with a design, farm it out to a Chinese manufacturer, and sell the wares you may have never touched.
These changes and the looser policing of Etsy’s own policies have led to things like this:
Clearly these are not all handmade by all 5 of these different Chinese Shops who happened to all come up with the design idea independently. It is actually a stolen design from another shop:
(just for clarity sake, that’s a design from my wife’s shop that she’s sold for years that was stolen. But she’s just one of numerous sellers being ripped off)
You can report these copycat theives to Etsy Admin all you want, but they don’t do anything about it. Why?
If they’re making money off of each of these sellers no matter whether they are handmade, or stealing designs, it no longer matters. It’s all profit, and the more profit they show, no matter how unscrupulous, the more attractive they look to investors.
Once they sell their souls to hedge fund managers, they’ll be at the mercy of the whims of the investors. Investors usually focus on short-term gains over long-term ones, especially hedge funds. They want to get in and out of investments, make as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time, and care not a bit if the company they squeezed all the dollars out of (and it’s employees, ie: sellers) are left in the lurch with a destroyed company in its wake.
If you don’t like or can’t understand the changes Etsy has made in the last 6 months, just wait for the even more bizarre changes coming down the pike once investors have their say.