Tuesday, December 21, 2010


About a year ago, I discovered the wonderful world of Etsy, and all the wonderful shops that sell there. Everything from books, to toys, to clothing and home decor. All beautiful and handmade products, and I have been a supporter of several shops, done reviews for several and even featured a number of them on this blog.

However, it has come to my attention today that a certain Etsy seller is creating and selling greeting cards that congratulate people on being sexually assaulted, having breast cancer, and having a child with Down Syndrome! Seriously, I was appalled and for good reason! WHO DOES THIS! And what blows me away is the Etsy Administration is okay with it!!! You can read the whole story here.

I am urging all my readers to choose today to boycott Etsy until they decide to pull these awful products from the site. Seriously, I love the many sellers I have come to "meet" and partner with, and will miss doing business with them. However, until Etsy Admin change their position on this situation, I cannot in good, Christian conscience do business on any kind on Etsy.


  1. BRAVO!!! As bloggers we can help support those sellers who choose to not not sell on Etsy until they pull these off their site!!! I'm in!!!!!

  2. I agree with you 100%. As long as Etsy allows this to continue, I won't be shopping on there!

  3. why would you boycott Etsy as a whole? It's only hurting OTHER sellers who are not the problem here, it is just this one person who is grossly out of line. Etsy will not be hurt by this so unfortunately this little 'protest' will not get anything done. Spreading the word, however, will, which you are already doing :)

  4. I'm upset that you would advocate boycotting all of Etsy. Certainly boycott this shop if you choose (and I agree the cards are way out of line), but I do hate being punished for other people's mistakes. And, you know, it is us sellers who will feel the effects of a boycott far more than Etsy admin.

    However, a good way to make a change would be to organize a drive to "report" the shop to Etsy! There are links on each page (I think) to do this, but if not, email abuse (at) etsy.com with the link to the shop letting them know it is horrifying to you.

    I hope this helps!

  5. With all due respect, just thought I would step in here....I have contacted Etsy with a formal complaint, and told others to as well. I have mentioned to those I have previously worked with that I will support them still, and I have also said I will once again support Etsy once this situation has been taken care of.

    I have received a number of comments about this post that I am choosing to not post here because they are mean-spirited and derogatory to me as a person. Also, for the future, if you want to comment please don't do it as anonymous, I would love to respond to your comments and cannot when you do this.

    I truly feel that this step was needed to make people aware of what was going on. As a women, cancer survivor, and Christian this shop is very offensive and if this own has "the right" to sell these items, I have the right to express myself as well.

  6. While boycotting Etsy, you should check out Zibbet.com. They allow you to list 50 items for free and would never let something like this happen on their site because they listen to their sellers.

    If you don't lose income over this hideous shop (and lack of respect for your opinions on Etsy), bring your items to Zibbet via the importer: http://www.zibbet.com/etsy.

  7. i didnt post anonymously nor was i personally derogatory toward you. but because i held you accountable for punishing an entire site over one person's vulgarity, you refuse to post my comment.


  8. Lisa, I did not post your comment because I had no way to contact you to respond...and did not want to do it on here....I am not the only blog that is talking about boycotting Etsy and yes there are fantastic shops there and I WILL support them once Etsy Admin changes their said position and removes the said seller and/or offensive materials.

  9. the issue is, yes several blogs, twitter and facebook, all promoted this boycott including links to the offensive shop. so now this shop, originally without sales, now has sales, over 1,000 views on one item alone, 10 recent hearts, elevated google standing and will probably grace the pages of regretsy where upon they will sell out. based on that, etsy wont be rid of them, and all you have done is hurt good sellers and help vulgar ones. stop and pray for guidance, did anyone do that?

  10. I think punishing every shop because you don't like the items from ONE shop is awful. This is depriving people of their income.

    There are people/companies selling things I don't agree with everywhere that doesn't mean I am going to boycott every store that isn't even affiliated with them.

    Also you are giving a lot of free publicity to the shop. The only sales they've made were from today.

  11. Shirley,
    I understand your desire to have Etsy remove items from their site that you deem offensive. But calling for an Etsy-wide boycott could be extremely detrimental to a lot of very good sellers that use Etsy as their ONLY source of income.

    Legitimate Etsy sellers are having a hard enough time trying to sell their products due to the fact that the site is being over run with factories posing as handmade sellers and the last thing they need is for someone to call a boycott on Etsy.

    If you want something to write to Etsy about, take a look at the harm that comes from all of these re-sellers they are allowing to flood their site. I do not find the cards you are talking about to be as offensive as the fact that Etsy is actually allowing consumers to be duped into thinking they are buying handmade products when Etsy KNOWS that the products are not handmade, but made in factories in China. Sure the cards are in bad taste, but they are not harming anyone. Every day people come to Etsy to buy hand crafted products, and Etsy continues to do nothing to protect the innocent consumer.

    Is it really a Christian thing to call a boycott on Etsy? There are thousands of people that sell on Etsy and have nothing to do with the shop in question, please don’t hurt those people as they have done nothing wrong.

  12. Hi Shirley, I received your email at the ABE google group and I wanted to read more about this unfortunate event here at your blog. I have a brother with Down Syndrome, and I can easily get offended with other people's stupid comments towards my brother - the way he looks different than "us", how he talks different, etc. Due to this, I refuse to visit that etsy shop to see the person's rude gifts. I am also a seller on Etsy, and while I make only a few of my sales through Etsy, it is a form of income for me. Some customers find me through my main site and then shop through etsy so we can exchange feedback. I am torn by what you and others have said about not visiting Etsy until the Admin requests the shop to stop selling its items. Because I am in a contract for advertising several etsy sellers during the next 3 weeks, my best move at this point is to help spread the word, encourage people to NOT visit the shop and if no one visits and purchases, then this "crafter" will not make money. That seems the most reasonable action for me. I wish you the best of luck in your Etsy boycott.

  13. I would complain to Etsy but not boycott Etsy. Etsy is made up of a ton of wonderful, compassionate sellers who do not support that kind of thing. I am an Etsy seller. Many of us actually donate proceeds to charities. As the saying goes, don't let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch. While I do not support cards like that, I do support handmade artists and will continue to do so.

  14. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I'm on my way to investigate. Visiting from iFellowship. Merry Christmas! :o)

  15. Visiting from the ABE group. I agree with Jackie (comment #4) about reporting the shop instead of boycotting Etsy all together.

    I did visit the shop (couldn't help myself) and it looks like everything has pretty much come to a stand still... was the shop name always "youstupidbitch"??

    DOs and DON'Ts > Flagging

    Flagging is akin to Etsy's neighborhood watch. It's your way to alert Etsy of potential problems. Use the "Report this item to Etsy" link on any item listing page. This is a confidential process. The member whose listing is reported will not know who flagged it. Additionally, Etsy's investigation will be handled privately; you will not receive a personal response to your flagging message.

    * Flagging should be used to report any item listing, shop or Alchemy request that violates any of Etsy's policies.
    * Do not flag a single violation multiple times.
    * Do not flag for intellectual property matters. Instead, please follow Etsy's Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy.
    * Since flagging is a private matter, members should not discuss flags in any of Etsy's community spaces.

    In most cases, Etsy will work with a member privately to remedy the problem. If a seller does not respond to Etsy's communication or requests in a timely manner, the item may be removed, and the shop's selling privileges may be suspended and/or terminated. In some extreme cases, listings will be removed immediately. Abuse of the flagging system by means of raising repeated, unjustified flags may result in the suspension and/or termination of your account. If Etsy removes an item listing for violating Etsy policy, the seller is still obligated to pay the listing fee for that item. Suspended or terminated members remain obligated to pay Etsy for all unpaid fees per our Terms of Use.

  16. Here's my thought- the sketch itself evokes sadness, pain, anger, shame in me, makes me uncomfortable when I look at it. THAT is art. When you slap the sketch on a "greeting card" that congratulates a woman on being [sexually assaulted] that becomes hate. emotional abuse. And dare I say an assault in it's own right. If we as women can't speak up against VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN without being labeled "Christian" "right-winged" whatever, than that is also a CRIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Etsy makes a commission on every sale YOU make so you are supporting a company who when this item was flagged said it was art and they couldn't make the call to pull it.

    The same company that shuts down a BUYING account simply because that person had a previous account they had forgotten about (also a BUYING account with 100% feedback). For non-disclosure. ?!???

    If this company is letting businesses sell as handmade and yyou are barely making any sales - maybe it is time to look elsewhere.



  17. If reporting it on Etsy doesn't work(they seem to have double standards when the issue in question is abour "freedom of expression"), you can report it on Paypal. Hate speech, though protected by the first amendment in the United States, is a violation of Paypal's policies.

    Sure, they can hide from the hypocritical "freedom of speech" (Is it really freedom when "hate speech" in its nature tramples a person's right to live with dignity?) but that doesn't mean they can profit from it.

  18. now they have had 6 sales and are probably getting a regretsy feature. as part of the etsy community i feel those that boycotted should not return to etsy. they did more harm than good and should have contacted the sassy team for help instead of calling massive attention to the shop and hurting good sellers that havent done anything wrong.

  19. as a seller on etsy i beg you NOT to boycott etsy as a whole. I have no control over anyones shop but my own! I can not force etsy to shut them down- and its unfair for me to be punished because of some idiots choice of "art" if thats what you even want to call it. I saw their shop- Im HATE IT! But please do not boycott ME because you are pissed at them!

  20. Good grief, the hysteria by sellers who put making a few bucks over doing what is right! Yes, BOYCOTT Etsy due to its support of this shop in violation of its own rules! The sellers should put the heat on Etsy to act right! I can tell you that if the "art" in question was a drawing and caption designed to ridicule what someone thinks a gay, pagan, Muslim, Jewish, or other vulnerable group is, Etsy would have banished it right away. But because they are such hipsters, they are going to allow something that engenders ridicule on the developmentally disabled.

    THERE ARE OTHER PLACES TO BUY AND SELL. Go look at what the sellers on Etsy are saying in SUPPORT of that shop, on its own forums! Gosh, it's terrible!!!

  21. I am sorry, I understand your offense, and you have the right to be, however, this whole thing has done nothing but help this particular shop out. They had absolutely no attention until now.
    So while you are boycotting Etsy and hurting sellers that have nothing to do with this, the shop you really have a problem with is getting free publicity and selling items.
    If you really feel so offended by the shop, I would urge you to go about it a different way. This is not working.

  22. These posts have not generated a ton of sales for the user. They have sold 6 cards in total from all of their cards, but only 1 from the card promoting rape.
    The sellers name violates Etsy's profanity rules. Report the seller for that. Report each individual card if you want. I find many of the cards distasteful, but only a few offensive; the card promoting rape as an acceptable thing being one of them.
    Etsy makes money from each and every sale. They are profiting from the spread of hate. To follow their own policies they only need to get the user to change the shop name and remove the cards that violate the policy. Etsy doesnt self police, it has people like us to do it for them.
    If Etsy steps up and does this quickly (as a recently boycotted book seller did) then a boycott would only need to last a few hours. It would create a better trust of those using Etsy and could even boost sales.

  23. @merry some of us make more than a few bucks on etsy

    @selmada this shop had no attention until the boycott and have generated 6 sales in 2 days (which is not a lot but is more than zero which is what this shop had before this hoopla)

  24. Unfortunately, all the hoopla and carry-on over this shop with a few very offensive items for sale has done exactly what this person wanted - greatly increased their notoriety and resulted in a massive increase in traffic to the shop which is unfortunate. My advice is simple - same as for offensive stuff on TV, the movies or in magazines - don't look!

    Punishing the whole of Etsy for the bad taste of one person is counter-productive. Etsy is my main source of income - I am very disappointed that reaction to one little shop selling a bit of bad taste rubbish could jeopardize the livelihoods of people like me.
    In a live-and-let-live world it is better to pay no attention to these idiots - they thrive on the attention. Ignore them.

  25. Oh my gosh. This is simple.. those cards are wrong on many levels, and Etsy is wrong for refusing to take them off the site; They do break Etsy's rules. Yes, the seller has had more publicity than he could ever imagine - and at worst we have given him the notoriety he probably wanted, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that we stand up for what is right. Innocent Etsy sellers are not going to be deprived/suffer in any way - Etsy is too big. But, Etsy's name may well suffer once the Big Brother media take it on board (which they will) But, this won't stop people buying from the good sellers. So, as an Etsy seller myself, I am not concerned by those who wish to Boycott. Go for it! I commend people for being selfless and fighting for what is right.

  26. I have closed my account with Etsy. I think that it is disgusting that they allow cards like this to be sold on their site.

    The Etsy admin don't care at all.

  27. I was an Etsy seller until this situation came up. Ultimately, Etsy has the moral responsibility to uphold their own rules and policies. When they show no inclination to do so, it is fair to tell other buyers and sellers what the company will and will not tolerate.

    Our personal decisions are our own, and the enormous Etsy family is not going to suffer a lick over this. But good people have the moral obligation to speak up when the sick, the victimized and the voiceless are being exploited in the name of art.

    You can choose to so what you wish and I won't argue it. But, personally, I feel that the rest of the Etsy community ought to know where their leaders stand on policing their own site.

  28. As of this morning, the cards that seemed to be causing the most controversy had been removed, however the card refering to Down Syndrome is still on the site, and the site is still active. Therefore my boycott of this site and Etsy as a whole still stands. Not only because they have done nothing to stop the seller from selling hurtful, damaging products but they are not standing by their own TOS.

  29. The DS card has now been removed.

  30. The seller removed the cards this morning because he didn't want to hurt the other sellers.

    Even though he did what you all wanted, you couldn't act gracious. You all had to gloat about "winning" and thank Etsy for removing the cards, which they didn't do.

    So of course the seller put the cards back up in response.

    What are you boycotters trying to accomplish? That seller never had a sale from October until after this post calling for a boycott went up.

    So you have him views, hearts, and a bunch of sales in 3 days. Then you pushed him into putting them back up, on principle.

    I blame the boycotters for the fact the cards are still up.

    Thanks for behaving so badly, you've done nothing but make the problem worse.

  31. We closed our account on Etsy in response to this grotesquely offensive material. Rather strange how people take issue with someone who is trying to do something about it. Etsy is responsible here. If we are such intelligent beings, are you telling me we can no longer decipher what is absolutely and universally offensive? Rape, cancer and various medical conditions are universally viewed in the same manner! Etsy has taken a very liberal approach. We had over 100 sales on month on Etsy and yet Etsy feels that as a matter of principle, they must protect this degenerate. This where freedom of speech truly skews and perverts the very notion of freedom.

    The point is to hurt the bottom line, which is something everyone here is unfortunately preoccupied with as well. At some point, real principles have to trump everything else, even money!

    Etsy has been deplorably tone deaf on this issue. Yet my sister was raped repeatedly at age 22 in college, and I refuse to support any entity that cannot take a stand on something as simple and vile as this matter.

  32. I joined Etsy as a buyer back in 2007. Since that time I made over 500 purchases. I closed my account because I'm not going to line the pockets of a corporation that supports violence and hatred. Etsy has a moral and ethical responsibility to the public and to the other sellers.

    I am surprised so many sellers are concered with any potential impact on their own bottom line instead of the real issue here- the offensiveness to the victims of rape, those with Down Syndrome and breast cancer victims.

    We must live in a society where offending others and spreading hatred takes a back seat to making a few bucks. How very sad.

  33. Etsy is never going to shut down his site ... apparently Etsy Admin has even made a purchase from this seller. You can see it in the seller's feedback.

  34. I will join in a full Etsy boycott. I WAS a buyer from Etsy shops and in fact purchased a lot of my Christmas gifts from Etsy. No more. I refuse to support a site that would condone and profit from the sale of such horrendous items. I have also found about about a shop there call SexOffender.

    Sorry other etsy sellers, you have lost my business and I will be telling everyone I know to join in the boycott. This is not tolerable and as you continue to sell there you are contributing to the profit of a business that supports this. I cannot support this venue.

    Sincerely, Jean Marie

  35. I'm a seller on etsy that needs the money and business. Boycotting etsy is only hurting small shops like mine. I depend on my shop for money to get diapers and clothes for my kids because the economy has hit us hard. Don't let one shop determine what you think about other shops.

  36. http://clutchmagonline.com/newsgossipinfo/maker-of-rape-congratulations-card-defends-http://clutchmagonline.com/newsgossipinfo/maker-of-rape-congratulations-card-defends-himself/himself/

    The man behind the card speaks. Or should I say squeaks. He was afraid to go on JVM and explain himself to rape victims. But he freely admitts that he wanted the publicity he got.

  37. From the Etsy Forum:
    "eclipse says:
    youstupidbitch says:
    etsy corporate has been fantastic so far through this entire shindig, if i lived in the same city as them, i would have bought them all drinks and pizza and shaken their hands for being so awesome.
    I'm sure they would buy YOU the pizza for bringing so much traffic and free publicity to the site.
    And the fact they support you so much (admins even buying from you) will go over just great with the mommy bloggers and that big-haired lady on HLN, too!
    It's a regular love-fest.
    Posted at 5:15 am, January 9, 2011 ET - Report this post"

    Apparently, Etsy Administrators have been purchasing the cards. What a way to show support and thumb their noses at their shoppers.

  38. lisajune says:
    Hi all,

    I believe our position on this is worth reiterating:

    The lens of our policies determine the content we remove from the site. We have millions of members whose opinions don't necessarily reflect that of myself or Etsy as a company. In no way does Etsy support the mockery of AIDS, Rape, Breast Cancer or DS.

    We appreciate that this topic weighs on the minds of our members. The themes of this shop could be considered controversial, and I can see how they touch very personally.

    However, this is a decision that ultimately is made based on our policies. Prohibited items include:

    * Alcohol
    * Tobacco
    * Drugs, drug-like substances, drug paraphernalia
    * Live animals, illegal animal products
    * Pornography
    * Firearms and/or weapons
    * Recalled items
    * Real estate
    * Motor vehicles (automobiles, motorcycles, boats, etc.)
    * Items that promote or glorify hatred, racial, religious intolerance
    * Items that instruct others to engage in illegal activity

    Etsy hosts a diverse global community with a very broad range of sensibilities. You may find some things to be offensive, harmful -- and this is also noted in our Terms of Use.

    This is a situation that begs us all to exercise understanding. If you do not appreciate the sensibilities expressed in an item the site, we would not ask you to support or promote it; but as items comply with our Terms of Use, they can exist on the site at the discretion of the person who is selling them.

    I am going to close this thread now, though as we do understand our members may continue to find this topic relevant; we would prefer to provide a space to accommodate this discussion. Thanks you for participating in this discussion with respect and understanding for the individuals who sell on our site.

    If you would like to begin a new thread on this topic, please make sure to follow our community policies, which you can find here:
    Posted at 7:58 pm, January 9, 2011 ET - Report this post

  39. As I have stated, I will continue to boycott Etsy and it's shops until they stand up for their own rules. Many may not agree with me and many of you do, and thank you for your thoughts either way. Yes, it is true that this "boycott" and the attention given to this store and its products has likely helped its sales. However, it does not seem to have effected other shops and I continue to stand by my thoughts.

  40. it's rather disturbing to boycott hundreds of thousands of other sellers over the products of one...perhaps targetting their private website might seem more productive and less like a vendetta against etsy itself.

  41. http://www.etsy.com/storque/etsy-news/policy-change-prohibiting-items-and-listings-that-disparage--11599/?ref=fp_blog_title

    Yay! Etsy made some changes. The seller in question is still open, but the really nasty stuff is gone.