26 Feb

From the inbox:

I just discovered a reseller, and have flagged a few items. The shop name is seanwu.

Here are links to some of their etsy shop items, and the same items (with the same photos!) offered on a wholesale website:





etsy (unfortunately, someone bought this piece):




I contacted the seller and asked what technique was used to carve one of the silver bracelets. Here is their response: “Guizhou miao nationality…Pure handmade…” lol… what a thorough response.


63 Responses to “seanwu”

  1. notvintage February 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    It’s an international site, supposedly, and there are plenty of people who do not use English as their first language.
    I would fault them only for reselling. It doesn’t look as though explaining it is going to work, though……

  2. 'elle February 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    I often contemplate messaging them with similar questions.

  3. Life During Wartime February 26, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

    I agree, notvintage. I don’t think the concept of HANDMADE means handmade BY THE SELLER makes it accross the language barrier in some cases. That is why Etsy needs to place a hold on shops opening from nations that are mass manufacturers with handmade work forces. And hire people who are multi-lingual to make sure that authentic handmade shops get a shot at selling on Etsy. This seller is also tagging some items ‘vintage’ because they are a traditional style. That is what ‘vintage’ means in mass manufacturing and advertising right now — something that is designed to look old, or a copy of an older style.

  4. notvintage February 26, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    It’s useless to expect anyone who works in or for Etsy to give a shit about anything.
    IMHO, it’s time for them to complete the process and put everything on robo– get rid of the employees. That’s what the schools have to do…..perfect time to get away with it.

    I would love to see Etsy fire everyone and get it over with– stop pretending to be a ‘community’ or a ‘handmade’ or vintage site. It’s all bullshit.
    Those $.20 listings add up to a good profit: I have said it before and will say it again: The crappier the stuff, the more sellers; the more sellers the better profits for the corp.
    I object to the bullshit. The way the site is “run” is old bad news, but it sure rakes in the cash.

    thanks to the way the joint has been run since Day 1, and the way it has been encouraged to continue in this way ever since.

    It’s about selling my stuff to me, about listing more shit to them.

  5. JonhCocktoasten February 26, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Holy crap. Check out this trainwreck…

  6. donna February 26, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    Any person with half a brain should realize that a necklace like the one pictured for $8.99 is a piece of crap. and the cuff for $4.99??? c’mon folks – low price is a dead giveaway it is JUNK

  7. detroit February 26, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    They’re saying the pieces are handmade by the Miao people from Guizhou China.

    Likely they ARE handmade. Just not by the proprietor of the Etsy store. I’m sure these can be picked up by the local middleman for a pittance.

    If Etsy wants to be all international, and stuff, they have to be prepared to explain their rules to people from many different languages and customs.

    Honestly (maybe unlikely) but this seller may think they are complying with the rules. Selling folk handicrafts of a Chinese minority.

    Oh, Etsy. So far in over their heads. Yet not seeming to take action to swim and catch up….

  8. uh-huh February 26, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    Wondered what happened with the 27 million dollar investment into etsy one year ago? That’s a big chunk of change in addition to the daily dollars and cents rolling in. And we’re not seeing much of anything in the way of improvement besides minor cosmetic changes and basic function updates. What gives?

  9. Amused February 26, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    Yet another one. Even the name is a giveaway, sigh.

  10. Crazy Cat Lady February 26, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    oh…my…is this handmade or vintage? Or how could I use it as a supply…

  11. Crazy Cat Lady February 26, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    Ha! Forgot the link…

  12. Amused February 26, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    A nice pendant maybe?

  13. ohmeohmy February 26, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    This is more gilbert and frech stuff I have this exact ring:

    It’s handmade but gilbert and frech are wholesalers who sell their rings, pendants, etc. to merchants

    I called out a bunch of places on the etsy forum and will most likely get muted.

  14. Amused February 26, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    Good for you, I hope you don’t!

  15. Life During Wartime February 27, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    I like the ‘vintage style’ frames in the GiftBazaar shop. Obviously Etsy shoppers like them for real because they are buying them.

    So much for ‘the handmade movement’. C’mon out from behind your curtain, Etsy, and admit you love the resellers.

  16. Kirsi February 27, 2010 at 1:26 am #

    “…And hire people who are multi-lingual to make sure that authentic handmade shops get a shot at selling on Etsy…”

    Why? The site is in English, as are its terms of use – if you don’t understand the terms, it’s your own problem. Or should they hire so many people that all the languages in the world are represented? Why would the rules be different for native English speakers than others, and how would one prove their lack of English skills?

  17. Amy February 27, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    Love that xmissy shop – quote ‘We’ll match any seller’s price out there for the exact same item’. FFS.

  18. JajieBo February 27, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    I just wish Etsy would finally drop the pretense of being a “handmade community”. We know that they only care about the fees they generate from items, regardless of whether or not they’re handmade or mass-produced. I just want to hear them come out and say it already, so I can get off the fence and leave for good.

  19. Life During Wartime February 27, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    Kirsi, not every nation on the planet is a major manufacturing center. China is a special case that cannot be ignored. I am not being politically correct, I am trying to be realistic. If someone in China (or other economically developing nation) is representing a cooperative that makes traditional local stuff, maybe they fit on Etsy. I’m not talking about handholding in multi languages. I mean hiring someone with at least the skills involved with interacting business to business with other cultures, even if that is limited to ‘who there can communicate with me in English to see if there is a fit for your business on our handmade site.’ Or hiring someone who knows where to call for a consultant if some situation truly involves a language barrier.

  20. notvintage February 27, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    JajieBo Says:
    February 27, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I just wish Etsy would finally drop the pretense of being a “handmade community”. We know that they only care about the fees they generate from items, regardless of whether or not they’re handmade or mass-produced. I just want to hear them come out and say it already, so I can get off the fence and leave for good.


  21. Christine February 27, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    I think Etsy’s new tagline should be “Online flea market – the place to buy and sell crap”

  22. willowandme February 27, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    This is obviously not handmade, and my God I would hope something like this would not be vintage. WTH?

  23. willowandme February 27, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    I guess I should stop reading about people like this. It just makes me very, very angry and it frustrates me because I know there are many sellers out there who are selling things that do fall under Etsy’s TOU. It makes we want to stamp my feet and yell “it’s not fair!)

  24. JajieBo February 27, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    Oh wow, I just checked out xmissy- finally there’s a place where I can buy knock-off gucci AND condoms in one shop! HOORAY!

  25. ohmeohmy February 27, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    I suggested in “ideas” many times that the rules be written in as many languages as possible since etsy is a global site. I really think many non speaking English sellers are confused by the tagline “all things handmade”

    The rules don’t really emphasize that the items must be “handmade by YOU”. They are only understanding the “handmade” parts which are big in many countries, especially Asia where clothes ARE handmade, but in factories and sweatshops.

    What would be so difficult about translating the rules so EVERYONE from everywhere can get a crystal clear understanding about the “handmade by YOU” part?? Etsy can do it on google, for cryin’ out loud!

  26. detroit February 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Yeah – I just bought a frikken pack of spaghetti from a family business in Italy. The ingredients, nutrition info, and cooking instructions are in about 5 or 6 languages. Presumably where they sell their stuff.

    Same thing lots of products.

    Etsy is selling shop space in many countries. They should make language accommodations for their largest markets. Most big companies do.

    You don’t by a samsung phone, and get all the instructions in Korean – with them saying ‘too bad, so sad – you don’t speak korean, you have to guess how to use this.’

    Being a new, rapidly growing, international company IS hard. Really hard. But, if you’re gonna take people’s money, you gotta step up to the plate and honor your side of the deal.

  27. notvintage February 27, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Naw, they’ll just take the $$ and run. There is no professionalism involved at all on Etsy: it’s a sandbox for the employees and a cash cow for the investors. Period.

  28. ohmeohmy February 27, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    get this:

    A buyer made a thread about a shop that was buying items from a wholesale site, jacking up the price, using the site’s photos, then claiming “handmade” and trademarked.

    So I convoed this buyer and asked if it was the now “cleaned ” up –yep!

    As it turns out, this buyer is the perosn who alerted etsy callout blog about her shop with links to and

    This is a buyer only with many many purchases. He/ she could not believe etsy has allowed portobello to stay open after defrauding so many buyers.

    It’s pretty sad that admin relies on us sellers to police the shops. It’s horrendous that buyers have to do this too. They have to research what they plan to buy in order to insure it’s handmade.

    This is just inexcusable!

  29. ohmeohmy February 27, 2010 at 4:53 pm #

    Someone on the forums last night found a baby for sale. And he was sold too for $10,000 from Malaysia.

  30. iam4synergy February 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    Lots of suppositions here, no solid evidence as a reseller, although language may be a barrier to a clear understanding of Etsy rules.

    Agreed, as an international site Etsy should be considering other languages.

    Talking lack of evidence, the Arizona Tile callout really needs a comment and explanation from Callout…. a cred gap here I’m afraid!!!

  31. ArizonaArtTile February 27, 2010 at 7:18 pm #

    Detroit probably said it best. Everything that comes from China, or Malaysia, or Singapore, or Vietnam, or Indonesia is handmade. Just not by the person selling it on Etsy. Small villages in these countries sometimes produce the most exquisite items you can imagine. If you could somehow bring these people to America, they would earn a good living, because they are good at what they do. They do it seven days a week for what you spend at McDonald’s for breakfast. When one them who has a little education tries to put these things on Etsy or Ebay, they don’t see the rules we have. They only see opportunity. A chance for a better life. I am both against it and for it at the same time. I’m against the invasion against our established system. It takes away from the life that we live as Americans. I am for it because I understand the human struggle that they go through every day just to put food on the table. In the end, there is no solution that is acceptable to either side. They will keep trying. We will keep trying to protect our country and our economy. But China owns the United States already. If they ever decide to call our debt, you can forget about a little thing called Etsy.

  32. albatross February 27, 2010 at 8:29 pm #

    Me: You do know that this site is for selling and buying handmade items, not mass produced, right?

    xmissy: “Thanks for the reminder. Just got carried away with sales pitch.=) We don’t have any items that are mass produced”


  33. Life During Wartime February 27, 2010 at 8:50 pm #

    So Xmissy makes those ticklers (or whatever they are) herself on her kitchen table? That in itself is darn scary!

    What ArizonaArtTile said about handmade in developing economies. Etsy founders, staff and investors should not leave this to the Etsy community to figure out in blog comments. They should have had plans to address this issue in a way they thought fit Etsy’s founding vision years ago. Instead Etsy is willing to take the 20 cents for export shops to list bracelets for a few bucks made in traditional styles by local artisans. The same bracelets that would sell for $30 or more in a real department store (one where shoppers don’t push a cart).

    Note to SeanWu and other similar sellers: please raise your prices up to retail in your Etsy shops, and pass some of that extra cash on to the artisans who are earning the money for you.

  34. notvintage February 28, 2010 at 5:19 am #

    Somehow I do not believe that any of the $ from these kind of sales go to the actual artisans. What are the chances that a skilled artisan who is so poor as to work for such low wages has internet service? Perhaps, but it seems more likely to me that they are being taken advantage of by wholesalers.
    I don’t buy the idea of individuals making those things actually being attached to any sales.
    More likely, another underpaid person with some scant English skills is sitting on the computer, doing what they are told and being paid either a commission or by the hour.

  35. JajieBo February 28, 2010 at 6:45 am #

    Good points, Arizona. Those artisans definitely do deserve to be represented, but if they’re going to be represented by wholesalers, then Etsy is not they place for them. There are countless other websites where anyone can sell anything, handmade or not. Those wholesalers should stick to those sites so buyers like me don’t have to spend time weeding out the mass-produced items on a site that calls itself :”All Things Handmade”.

  36. JajieBo February 28, 2010 at 6:48 am #

    Notvintage, I think you’re totally right on that. I would love to support those artisans, but I just can’t believe that they’re being fairly compensated for their time and work.

  37. Life During Wartime February 28, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    ArizonaArtTiles, this is pretty much what happened to online antiques and vintage venues. All of them were invaded (some more, some less) by resellers and reproduction dealers. The venues which did nothing — or even welcomed them — have lost 50% or more of the shops they had at the peak of their popularity and success.

    It isn’t ECO that lacks cred here. The owner of this blog isn’t the one who wrote Etsy’s TOU, and none of us who comment here have any influence or authority to enforce Etsy’s rules.

  38. ArizonaArtTile February 28, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Life During Wartime,

    Thanks for the explanation. I appreciate your knowledge of the subject at hand, something I don’t have, not having been a witness to all that has happened before I joined Etsy.

    As regards ECO’s credibility, it can only be tarnished by not doing proper due diligence before calling out someone, or by making unwarranted personal attacks on another member. Both of these situations can be easily avoided.

    While it is true you do not have any authority to enforce Etsy’s rules, I think on the subject of influence, you are not giving yourselves enough credit. Management decisions can be influenced if enough people speak out and their position is based in fact and presented fairly.

  39. Life During Wartime February 28, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Arizona, Etsy doesn’t care about the kind of rule breaking that is called out here. A listing for an item that violates the TOU is 20 cents in Etsy’s bank account. Etsy’s handmade stance is a fraud. Before you go there, I am not saying there are no legit handmade shops on Etsy.

    The first time I visited Etsy like 4 years ago there was a reseller item on the front page. Within 24 hours that shop was closed, not just temporarily empty or on vacay. This would not happen today. Today resellers are featured by Etsy, flagged repeatedly by the community, but stay open with no problem.

    Flagging is pointless.

    Calling out here is a caution to potential buyers. I don’t give a hairy rodent’s posterior about influencing Etsy management. The only influence on Etsy is money.

  40. Mike Thair February 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    “Calling out here is a caution to potential buyers.”

    Yes, if they bother to read this site.

    “The only influence on Etsy is money.”

    Yes, absolutely!!!! And if this Callout site had more cred by avoiding weak callouts, and was read by more buyers then perhaps this would impact on Etsy’s bottom line.

  41. ArizonaArtTile February 28, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    So Wartime,

    The only remaining reason for this site is to warn potential buyers? Isn’t it possible that this will cause more and more people to just steer clear of Etsy entirely and go to Ruby Lane?

  42. notvintage February 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    Interesting on so many levels:

  43. Em February 28, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    Mike –
    Sorry if I sound harsh, but we get that you think call outs need to be based more in fact. Most of them have a lot of links and other info backing them up, the ones that don’t are few and far between. You have a valid point, but we heard you the first time.

  44. jeweledmd February 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    I flagged them on the day they opened, sigh……..

  45. jeweledmd February 28, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    One of my personal favorites and flagged days ago, read the description.

  46. WTFISAPDF February 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Don’t cha just love the tag stuffing in this shop?

  47. Cat Power February 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    jeweledmd, they aren’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier, are they?

    And that leather bag shop is full of really crappy bags made from scraps, and all are around the same price. Gee, did they get they off the back of a truck for $10 each?

  48. Smartass February 28, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    Check out this piece of work.

    On my search for wooden cake stands, I came across this.

    For this GLASS stand, the first tag is: woodworking. The tags also include the words “vintage” and “handmade”.

    A plate attached to a cup. It’s “handmade” by Etsy’s standards, so it would no longer be vintage unless it was hand-assembled 20 years ago.

    Checked out the rest of the shop, mistagging all over the place.


  49. ohmeohmy February 28, 2010 at 9:22 pm #

    I would be wary about any leather bracelets you plan to buy. I have seen so many shops that are using to get their stock.

    What is happening to etsy? It’s becoming a re-seller’s paradise. Why don’t they go back to ebay where they will be legit?

  50. Life During Wartime February 28, 2010 at 10:23 pm #

    Mike and AAT — Dudes, I don’t own this blog. I can only state my own personal reasons for calling out. I don’t speak for the blog owner, or any of the others who comment.

    I don’t buy what you sell in your shops, so I would never have noticed you on Etsy…much less called you out for no reason. Give it a rest already.

  51. Etsy person March 1, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    I don’t expect Etsy to provide instructions in every language no more than I expect to read and understand a French newspaper. If people cannot abide by the rules, no matter what language, they don’t belong on Etsy.
    Please flag the offenders like mad. Otherwise Etsy will become Ebay Two.

  52. Sarah March 1, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    Well that was (finally) some speedy response! Notvintage, your sky2010bag was on the FP just now, and got a straight up callout thread of its very own, and “poof,” no more shop. I’m feeling kind of encouraged by that.

  53. jeweledmd March 1, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Except having to result to call out threads is always risking your forum privileges. Etsy shouldn’t be pushing people to those measures. I’m glad they are gone.

  54. Sarah March 1, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Just to avoid any possible misunderstanding, the “your” in my post meant the shop they were pointing out, not, obviously, that the shop belonged to Notvintage. Sorry if that was unclear, I’ve seen slips like that become massive internet drama before.

  55. Sarah March 1, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    And I agree with you Jeweledmd, after I posted I realized that it actually wasn’t all that encouraging to see that, to get results, you have to ignore their flagging system and risk your own posting privileges.

  56. Life During Wartime March 1, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    I think the bag made the FP because the Etsy airhead who made the pounce collection liked the professional photo…complete with watermark in Chinese.

    There is no way anyone that stoopid should be employed curating the front page of the major handmade sellers’ venue. Unless this was that employee’s first mistake, they should be packing up their cupcakes and moustaches on a stick and hitting the pavement right now, pink slip in hand.

    If the person couldn’t see the watermark, they might qualify for disability.

  57. Christine March 1, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    In the Etsy finds of the day titled In Like a Lion:

    It sold but they have more.

  58. notvintage March 1, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    “Sarah Says:
    March 1, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Well that was (finally) some speedy response! Notvintage, your sky2010bag was on the FP just now, and got a straight up callout thread of its very own, and “poof,” no more shop. I’m feeling kind of encouraged by that.”

    Makes me feel a teeny weeny bit vindicated. Etsy staff are fools and losers. they must pick them up at the burn barrel under the bbridge. No offense intended to the homeless.
    Or maybe at the last doofus party they went to…..

    And I got that, even though the sentence was muddled. I do sell vintage– but most of it is at least 70 years old! No worries.

  59. notvintage March 1, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    This shop is selling “vintage” lingerie as handmade, and I know that it is being done intentionally.
    I just had to callout the underpants…they are all over the place and lots and lots of new listings.

  60. JajieBo March 1, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    One of these days, I’m going to snag a treasury spot and fill it with obvious re-sells.

  61. uh-huh March 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm #

    I’ve lost faith in admin, they’re just too far gone now.

  62. itstinks March 2, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    The goldenponies shop that Christine in #56 refers to is nothing but resell cheap stuff. Although I guess that’s ok since it’s Made in Mexico 100%.
    And they’ve had 33 sales. Wow.

  63. Rachel March 3, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    I flagged the whole site. It’s still up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: