Etsy – A Hostile Marketplace?

The most obvious choice for crafters is to start up on Etsy right?

Well hold off and don’t jump the gun!  More and more crafters are being warned or banned due to trademark issues.  Stores have been closed and people’s businesses affected by the huge increase in reporting of supposed violations.

There seems to have been a surge in trademarks being made on common phrases and designs with the sole purpose of harming or excluding other crafters.   Trademarks have been registered for TV show phrases, simple word designs and even design descriptions like Milestone blankets – see example below.

It would seem also that other store owners/designers are reporting each other with what seems to be the intent to harm their businesses.

Etsy’s response to reports of possible infringements seems to be act (warn/ban) first and ask questions later.

Maybe the better approach to launching your business is to start your own eCommerce site rather than get into trouble with Etsy.

Another factor to consider is the competition on Etsy.  As crafters,  being unique in your designs, also follow the latest trends to drive sales.  Vying for the top spot in searches, ranking on sales, etc. takes time and in a sea of thousands of crafters selling their wares you could well get drowned in the results.  Using social media, your own store and advertising your company and designs locally will all help you stand out from the crowd.

Have you experienced these issues?  

Please share your experiences here or in our Facebook group

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