Dear This American Life -- I'm a big fan of your program -- absolutely love it! I have a story idea that I would LOVE for your team to investigate: I'm sure you are familiar with Etsy, the handmade marketplace, but perhaps you aren't familiar with the bane of artists on etsy: the resellers. Basically, resellers are people who are pretending to be selling hand-crafted items, and I suppose they are, if you count items that were hand-crafted in China. These resellers are in direct violation of Etsy's TOS that all sellers must agree to before opening an shop on the site. The problem is that the resellers are rampant -- it's likely that a large portion of the money that Etsy brings in from seller fees (a listing fee of 20 cents plus 3.5% of the final selling value) comes from said resellers. Etsy claims to be against the resellers, but a scandal happened this weekend when a featured Etsian was uncovered by April Winchelle (aka Helen Killer) of Regretsy fame (or infamy?). Regretsy.com is dedicated to exposing the ridiculous antics, bad crafting, and general bad business practices that take place on Etsy.com. (I'm not affliated with Regretsy; just a fan!). The featured seller, Ecologica Malibu, sells items that are patently against Etsy's TOS; with just a few minutes of research, April of Regretsy was able to find proof of this fact: http://www.regretsy.com/2012/04/21/the-etsy-featured-reseller-ecologica-malibu/ (Here is the featured seller page on etsy: http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2012/featured-seller-ecologica-malibu/) People began leaving comments on the featured seller post at Etsy, hundreds of them, questioning Etsy's choice of Ecologica Malibu as a featured seller. Usually, such conversations are shut down within hours on Etsy; they have a "No Call Outs" policy which ensures that everything gets hushed up quickly. This time, however, the comments ran all through the night. First thing Monday morning, this comment was posted by an Etsy admin: "Juliet Gorman says: Hi everyone, thank you all for your comments. While it is our policy not to publicly discuss individual Etsy members, it’s clear that we missed critical information in our process here. This is our fault, not the person behind this shop. I ask that you continue to treat one another with respect and understanding. Our next featured seller is now live on the site. I am closing comments on this article while we take the opportunity to investigate this matter more fully. I apologize for any turmoil this has caused, and thank you for vigilance in this matter." A few hours later, the statement was amended to read: Juliet Gorman says: Hi everyone, thank you all for your comments. It is our policy not to publicly discuss individual Etsy members. But I want to note that *if* we missed critical information in our review process, that will be our fault, not the person behind this shop. I ask that you continue to treat one another with respect and understanding. Our next featured seller is now live on the site. I am closing comments on this article while we take the opportunity to investigate this matter more fully. I apologize for any turmoil this has caused, and thank you for vigilance in this matter. All of the comments were deleted. Which means that if you happened to miss that 24 hours or so that the scandal was ongoing, you'd have no idea what had just happened. I knew Etsy admins would delete the comments, sooner or later, so I did screen shots of them all and posted them on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/77635269@N08/?saved=1 Although a new featured seller was immediately up on the home page, Ecologica Malibu's interview was still up, albeit with the amended comment at the bottom and comments closed on the post, and the shop is still open and making sales. What I, and many, many other people want to know: is how can Etsy purport to be a handmade marketplace when they are obviously allowing non-artisan goods to flood the marketplace? As an artist myself, I find this horrifying and have closed my Etsy shop, at least until Etsy responds in some way. I'm sure other will follow suit. So far, Etsy has done nothing and even featured Ecologica Malibu on the front page the next day. I'd love to hear Mariana of Ecologica Malibu respond to the accusations of her being a reseller in violation of Etsy's TOS, especially after reading this blog post by her responding to the comments (also now deleted, but available at the regretsy link about the shop above) I'd love to hear from Etsy's Admin about why they continue to allow resellers and still claim to be a place for handmade goods. I'd love to hear from former Etsy sellers who have left, either voluntarily or forcefully, and I'd especially like to her from April about the reaction to her post. Hell, I'd love to hear about the people who REALLY make the furniture being sold in her shop. I know your readers would love it. And I know This American Life won't let me down!