Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Scandal: Etsy, Pandora, and

Recently, a bunch of lampworkers were flagged and had items deactivated for "copyright infringement" because they had something similar to "fits Pandora" in the titles of bead listings. Said items were flagged by a woman over in Europe who works for, which is supposedly a counterfeit item tracker. Companies pay a minimal fee and someone goes around on the internet and reports "counterfeit" items or copyright infringements. So as long as your Etsy title leaves the name out, everything is fine. In the email they send, they specify that it is a "confidential matter" and is ABSOLUTELY NOT TO BE DISCUSSED IN THEIR FORUMS OR ANYWHERE ELSE. When someone DOES ask about it, they close the thread as fast as the can with some response about taking it up with administrators.

Pandora is so concerned with hunting down single lampworkers rather than going after the sweatshop factories in China and Thailand that crank out thousands of the counterfeit beads and sell them for two or three dollars.

That said, Etsy also has in its Terms of Service that items must be either handmade or supplies if they're not genuine vintage things- yet there are hundreds of people who import things that are all ready made in third world countries, make the prices up 500% or so, and sell them as "handmade". When Etsy is called out on this, they ignore it or say they didn't know. What it boils down to is that these resellers make a ton of money for Etsy, so it's okay. They go after "counterfeit" or copyright infringement in case a company decides to sue them. Whoever makes them money gets preferential treatment.

That said, I'm seriously considering closing my Etsy shop all together and moving to or setting up my own site and selling from there. A lot less in fees I'd have to contend with, anyway.

If you're looking for beads that will fit Pandora chains, do a search for "European beads" or "European charms". You'll find thousands of one-of-a-kind beads that are high quality and made by people who genuinely care about what they create.

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