Etsy Conundrum

          I started selling svg cut files on Etsy when I was on COVID quarantine in 2020. I admit I made some mistakes when I first opened my shop on Etsy. I sold Jeep and Marine logos. Keep in mind that there were a lot of these designs selling on Etsy. There are probably some on there now. I got a copyright warning from Etsy, and I took my questionable items down. I learned from this and was cautious not to include any questionable images. No harm, no foul.

         My shop started to explode. I was selling over $100 a day in designs. Yea me! Then something happened. A few other vendors on Etsy began accusing me of selling their designs. One lady said my bigfoot looked like her bigfoot. One gentleman said my pitbull image looked like his pitbull images. Umm, yeah. The pitbull guy had over 20 pitbull designs. Of course, they will be similar. Same with the bigfoot lady. No one owns the rights to bigfoot’s image.

         Etsy allows anyone to file a Intellectual Property Complaint, no matter how ridiculous. If you are the accused, you can file a Counter Notice. Etsy takes the accused’s image down for ten days. If the accuser does not file a lawsuit in that ten days, the accused can return to selling their image.

         I draw my designs, so I filed Counter Notices when these violations were submitted. I even chuckled a little, thinking it was gamesmanship. A vendor can say my Christmas logos looks like theirs, and Etsy takes mine down for ten days. Christmas is over when I can start selling it again. Clever, dishonest, but clever.

         I didn’t realize that Etsy counts each of these complaints again me, no matter how ridiculous. I stopped chuckling when Etsy shut my site down. The issue was made worse because Etsy has no appeals process for intellectual property rights violations. I have working files containing layers showing the progression of my drawing, and I could have easily proven my designs are originals.

         With over 25,000 sales, grossing over $33,000, from over 23,000 customers while maintaining a five-star rating, I am off Etsy. That is the harsh reality of doing business on their platform. I miss selling on Etsy, and I wish none of this happened. With that said, I was getting tired of living under the specter that Etsy could close my shop, and there was nothing I could do about it.

         I am not the only one Etsy has strong armed off their platform. You can read an article about it here. Etsy Crafters Unfairly Elbowed Off Site.