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Some Thoughts About Etsy, Etsy Integrity Team, and Malicious Store Flaggers

Please watch the following video and tell me what you think.

About two weeks ago, someone whose Etsy store was (also) closed by Etsy Integrity Team contacted me. This is what she wrote:

Helen · June 25, 2013 - 6:07 am
Watch this video and pass it explains the Wolf in Sheep’s clothing aka “Etsy” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53Hwl6Y9UWs 

This is the same story I keep on hearing. Etsy has been getting away with this for years. Now this has to stop and the only way to hurt them is make the Attorney General in their state make them comply to have a real telephone customer service team. Bombard the internet and get the Attorney General in New York to make Etsy comply or shut them down. This company has no telephone service they have thousands of sellers who my law have have the rights to speak to a real person about their livelihood. This company is even acting like a bank where they have their own payment processing and still no telephone customer team where you can ask a question about YOUR business the business you grew. Something sounds very fishy all the stories from sellers Etsy has damaged without a moments thought the so called integrity team asking for the in’s and out’s of a sellers business and then still giving them the big heave ho when all the information has been given. 

I have had the unfortunate dealings with Eliza on Etsy and I totally understand that this person is incompetent she was rude, arrogant and ignorant however the lack of customer service must be coming from the top otherwise this person would not have been allowed to address me the way she did without being reprimanded. I have a right as a customer to speak to a real person and for them to explain what is happening and how to resolve it. But all you get is a email answered whenever they feel like it and a person who is demeaning and not their to help you in any shape or form and not only that puts barriers in the way and makes it hard as possible for you.
Bombard the Attorney General and ask him why he is letting this Multi Million company in his jurisdiction get away with such bad business practices. Name and shame that is the only way these faceless corporations ever learn by denting their pockets. Etsy your time is coming and I will laugh my arse off when you cowards have to face your customers with no more hiding behind your computer screens. 

File reports and ask others to do the same: http://www.ag.ny.gov/internet-bureau-online-complaint-form 

I can describe building a business on Etsy like building a house on sand it will eventually collapse because it’s build on a weak foundation. 

Helen

Last February, Etsy Integrity Team shut my store down because I wasn’t willing to show them how I sculpted and knotted my original statement necklace. It took me months to get over the shock, sadness, and bitterness. But I’ve moved on.

I learned from other people whose stores were also closed by the Etsy Integrity Team … it can happen again and again … So, I thought that it’s wiser for me to just stay away from Etsy.

Requiring every Etsy Integrity Team member to face the people whose stores s/he suspended might be a good first step. This can help him/her to see us as people … and to realize that s/he can ruin people’s lives and start avalanches of pain and bitterness with just a clicks of his/her computer mouse.

But … to me, it’s not enough.

I believe that the people who randomly flag and report their fellow sellers in order to get rid of their competitors should face the consequences of the things they’ve done and pay for the losses that are suffered by the people whose lives they ruined. They should realize that what they’ve been doing amount to cyber bullying. Also, because they maliciously make their fellow sellers to loose their businesses, their investments, and perhaps also their livelihoods … these people might have committed several criminal acts as well.

Unless I’m sure that I’m protected against such people, I would never sell anything via Etsy again.

[Updates] It’s gonna take some time, but . . .

angelica-brigade_handmade_chainmaille-jewelry_chainmail-jewellery_necklace_silver-black_lurex_rondo-a-la-byzantine_004b

Rondo a la Byzantine Chain Maille Necklace with Lurex Ribbon

… wonderful things take a long time to create

I’m still unwilling spill my trade secrets to Etsy; and so, I’m still not authorized to sell anything via Etsy.

These past few days, I’ve been spending most of my “free time” trying to find new ways for me to do the things I love: Creating handmade jewelry and accessories on a daily basis. It’s my goal that – someday – I can do it for a living.

This unexpected change forced me to re-write my business plan which might very well be a blessing in disguise.

One-and-a-quarter year after I started my very first small business, through trials & errors, I’ve become more knowledgeable than I used to be. There are a lot more things for me to learn, but . . . I can definitely write – at least – a slightly better business plan than the one I wrote in 2011 (because . . . back then . . . the only business knowledge I had was the things I learned from my professors & from the books I read).

It’ll take some time for me to launch Angelica Brigade v.02 . . . especially because I’ve also been working on several other projects with several other artists . . . I can’t really talk about them on this blog just yet because I’ve learned not to count my chicken before they hatch . . . and because unexpected things can happen along the way . . . (am I being a bit too negative?)

Well, anyway, there are a few more things I plan to announce quite soon. If you are interested to find out what they might be, you are welcomed to follow my blog or subscribe to my blog posts via e-mail :)

Failure, Perspective, and Resilience

Source: Lifehack

:) Imagine that you are building the largest, most elaborate, and labor intensive sandcastle you ever make so far . . .
:) It’s almost done, and you are rather proud of it . . .
:( You are putting some finishing touches on it when someone – not minding where s/he’s going – stumble and fall on top of your sandcastle . . .

or

:) Imagine that you are playing a very challenging RPG game on your portable game console
:) You’ve spent countless hours on it
:) You know that – this time – you’re definitely going to get the game’s “true ending”
:( And out of nowhere, a few rowdy children run towards you and knock your portable game console into a pond . . .

How long will it take you to start over?

A similar thing happened to me last week, but in a much larger scale (you can read more about it here).

I know that I’ll get over it. I know that – this time around – it’ll take me less time to rebuild everything I’ve lost (and I will~). Yet, I wasn’t able to do it the same day it happened to me.  So, I decided to take a mini vacation to get over my fatigue, disappointment, and anger~ I also needed some time to re-evaluate things, to find better ways to grow my small business, etc etc.

But now, I’m ready to start over.

www.angelica-brigade.com‘s online shop will be open for business by the end of this week!

But, some things are going to change.

  • I will share most of my jewelry-making and accessory-making knowledge with my readers & customers.
  • I’m planning to offer plenty of good DIY tutorials on this blog & I won’t prohibit my readers from producing & selling the items.
  • I’m also planning to write ebooks on jewelry-making & accessory-making.
  • I’m not saying that I will stop creating handmade items for my clients & prospective clients . . . but, I’m not planning to take more than a few custom or made-to-order items per month.
  • Instead, I will focus on designing more & more things . . . and offering the tutorials on how to make those jewelry & accessories to my readers (which is also great for me because I don’t enjoy creating one same thing over and over again)

That’s it for now, guys!!!

I will write again in a few days.

Till then,

– joyz*k of AngelicaBrigade

Expose Your Trade Secrets or I Will Shut Your Shop Down : Etsy Suspended My Shop

[ Update: People who follow me on Instagram know that whenever they ask me about the materials & methods I use to create my demi-couture accessories, I always answer their questions to the best of my ability. E.g. I let them know where I purchase my materials, give them links to good video tutorials, etc . . . But, there are a small number of things I want to keep to myself . . . the things I want to make sure that big companies and mass-producers won’t exploit ]

Just because I’m not a billionaire . . . (and) new at this business . . . should I set myself up to loose before I even begin?

(T)he fact that someone can snuff itwith a click of a button wrenches my heart . . .

(W)hoever has the most power wins. And smaller entities like me need to be faster, wiser, and more resilient to survive.

And yet, I’m not giving up. Till the very end. I will protect & nurture my Angelica Brigade till I am no longer able to do it anymore.

Here’s my story:

After hours of extensive research, I’m still certain that to this date (February 10, 2013), I still am the only person in this world who (can) produce this lightweight but sculptural chainmaille necklace.

angelica brigade angelicabrigade company website

And yet, Etsy says that unless I prove to that I am the person who create this necklace, I can no longer sell anything via Etsy.

I invented this style in December 2011, starting with this hand piece  . . .
(You can read about it in this blog post >>> https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/one-of-my-best-works-this-year/ )

joyz-k_for_angelicabrigade_maille-bracelet_rigmarole-glorvina-005

It wasn’t perfect, but I thought that the piece was my renaissance as a chainmaille artist. So, I dedicated hundreds of hours to improve and perfect the style.

Then, I thought that a matching necklace might be a good idea. And so, I created these pieces by improving the construction of the hand piece, and extended its length just so to create these necklaces: https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/avant-garde-statement-necklace-by-joyzk-for-angelica-brigade/

avant garde maille necklace by joyz*k for Angelica Brigade

Here are a few pictures of myself and my workspace as I was creating the piece (as seen in that blog post):

IMG_2005 IMG_2034IMG_1990

That necklace, then, evolved into this piece (as written in the following blog post >>> https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/another-avant-garde-maille-necklace/ )

Angelica Brigade avant garde maille necklace

And, as usual, I proudly show my readers that I do create this piece myself . . .

IMG_2099

That necklace, then, evolved into a bolder hand piece (you can read more about it in this blog post >>> https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/why-it-takes-me-8-hours-or-more-to-create-my-maille-jewelry/ )

And . . . per usual, I included some pictures of how I created the piece.

step002

step0004a

And, I kept on perfecting this technique . . .

You can read about them in these blog posts:

Do you notice how similar they look? They are just becoming bolder & better-constructed . . .

angelica-brigade_avant-garde-chainmaille-necklace-rigmarole_anna5_watermarked-s

And . . . finally, I made this piece (which process I also blog about. You can read it in https://angelicabrigade.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/how-i-create-this-type-of-knotted-chainmaille-swarovski-statement-necklaces/ )

handmade jewelry statement necklace chainmaille jewellery chain maille chain mail chainmail knotted swarovski fancy stone black gold angelica brigade angelicabrigade etsy indie designer bold sculptural unusual unique

I defended myself to the best of my ability using numerous photographic evidence, including this one

angelicabrigade_step-2_full

And yet . . . they said that unless I show them how I twist the chain, where I connect the chain, et cetera, they will not let me to sell anything via Etsy . . .

To be honest . . . I am more than a little hurt :'(

I also feel more than a little offended.

Being falsely accused by an anonymous person . . . and then being forced to reveal many things I rather keep to myself (e.g. the sizes of the jump rings I used, the places I bought my supplies, etc etc) . . . And then forced to show my closely guarded secret . . .

Well . . . I am an owner of an extremely small business. My knowledge of how I constructed the piece is the only advantage I have. And, if I give that away, what will I have left?

Nothing . . .

An Etsy representative told me that whatever I tell them will remain confidential. And yet . . . if someone who is able to create chainmaille jewelry accidentally see the email . . . I don’t need to spell the consequences out to you, right?

Will Coca Cola & KFC tell other people their secret recipes? Are they allowed to keep their recipes secret?

How about me? Just because I’m not a billionaire . . . just because I’m new at this business . . . should I set myself up to loose before I even begin?

How about some justice? How about the right to not to act in a reckless manner?

And so . . . at this moment, I no longer sell my items via Etsy.

I told Etsy that I am going to need to think about this . . . that nothing but a signed & legalized document from Etsy will reassure me that this act of revealing all the trade secrets I have will never hurt me in the future.

I don’t think they’ll ever do that for me . . . The Etsy Integrity team member who handled my case did not respond to this matter when I brought the topic up.

So, here’s what I learned last week:

Etsy is a huge corporation, and I – a small-time newbie – am not valuable to them

and so . . . they shut me out.

I’m not a big loss to them and the fact that I am no longer sell anything via their online marketplace will not create any dent.

Well . . .

But life goes on . . .

And I will pick up the pieces and try to rebuild my small business which is as dear to me as an infant to his or her own birth mother.

Yes, Angelica Brigade is a very small business that doesn’t generate a lot of money, but it’s still my baby, and I love it so very much. I dedicated many sleepless days for it . . . And the fact that someone can snuff it with a click of a button wrenches my heart so much that even if this person revive it with another click of a button, it will never – ever – be the same again.

But, that’s how the world is I guess . . . whoever has the most power wins. And smaller entities like me need to be faster, wiser, and more resilient to survive.

And yet, I’m not giving up. Till the very end. I will protect & nurture my Angelica Brigade till I am no longer able to do it anymore.

And this is where I stand today.

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