Etsy and I never really got along very well. I sold maybe five different things through their shop interface and even then most of the people I interacted with did not leave feedback for my store. Etsy was a huge fail for me. Every so often I’ll get an email that a store wants to follow me on Etsy and I love to look at what they are selling and try to figure out how they found me. The most recent shop was The Gluten Free Bakery.
This shop is small and I’m okay with small shops, but I’m iffy on the food selling aspect of Etsy. One reviewer for The Gluten Free Bakery was upset because he/she, “Was not to crazy about this pie. Didn’t have much of a flavor and the worst thing I found hair in it.” Disgusting. The other thing I noticed about this shop was the photography. It seemed a little too much for gluten free baking. We are a gluten free and dairy free house and I just had this weird feeling that the pictures on this Etsy site were actually not the product that was being sold. A quick Google image search told me I was correct. These gluten free chocolate chip cookies are actually peanut butter chocolate chip cookies from That Winsome Girl.
Weirdly enough all of the photography from The Gluten Free Bakery are snagged from other places. The blueberry coffee cake is taken from The Land O Lakes Butter website, the strawberry cake was borrowed from ZoomYummy, and the red velvet cake was taken from Bakery Boy Blog. I have to wonder if The Gluten Free Bakery simply cannot take decent pictures or if they are hiding something in their baked goods because all of the photos they used are of non-gluten free desserts.
My discovery of The Gluten Free Bakery is not unusual, however. StephsCreations7294 also uses stock images from Kraft Foods for her White Chocolate Raspberry Trifle recipe and her Oreo Split recipe but what is strange about Steph is that she says right in the description that she will let the photograph ” talk for it self”. Steph is only selling recipes, but she is still lying to any potential clients.
Etsy is not only taking advantage of buyers, but they are giving sellers a platform where they can dupe their customers. There are entire blogs, like Regretsy, that deal with the downsides of Etsy sellers. Regretsy highlights people like PrettyCheap who embroidered a quote by Ben Franklin, but made a spelling error or The Bearded Unicorn that has an entire shop that sells VHS tapes of baseball games and old television programs. Etsy says it’s a “marketplace full of the best handmade & vintage goods…and supplies for making” and the last time I checked a VHS tape was not handmade or vintage. The sad part is, Etsy doesn’t really care either way because unless that posting is profiled on Regretsy again, I can complain all I want, but I’m not making them any money, so they are going to ignore me.
My knitting shop, Kazoo Knits, failed miserably on Etsy. I attempted to sell knitted hats and mittens for infants and kids. I priced my hats and mittens lower than the competition, but no one was interested, even though my knitting was far better than most other sellers. Surprisingly, once I raised my prices, I sold a few, but Etsy is not made for people like me. To be successful on Etsy you have to break the rules or spend money and I was not willing to do either.
I simply refuse to do business with people and businesses who have Etsy shops. If they have an outside website or a brick and mortar store I will patronize them, but Etsy has been banned from the VP house. I was burned as a customer and as a seller and both times Etsy staff did nothing to help. I actually felt sorry for The Gluten Free Bakery and their 70% approval rating, but then I thought about it and changed my mind. I worked hard for my Etsy shop. I took all my own photographs, knit all my own products, and had permission for all the patterns, so I was following the rules and I failed. I’m bringing some honesty to Etsy and I’m starting with The Gluten Free Bakery.