Beyond Amazon, eBay, and Etsy: free and low cost alternative marketplaces, shopping cart solutions and e-commerce storefronts
by Hillary "The Whine Seller" DePiano
The internet got a little sadder on February 1st, 2013 when Regretsy officially ended. The site is still available as an archive but there will no longer be any new posts. While owner April Winchell‘s reasons for ending the site are understandable, it was a hilarious website with a great community and it will be missed by many.
Since September 2009, Regretsy‘s been mocking terrible crafts on Etsy but the site had become so much more than that by the end. Regretsy had an epic battle with PayPal, they took H&M to task on copyright infringement and did some truly amazing charity work. On top of all of this, though, Regretsy was also providing a much needed service: keeping Etsy honest.
Etsy has some serious issues and one of the biggest is their censorship where they delete any comments that are negative, even if such a comment is pointing out a policy violation or other prohibited activity.
- When an Etsy designer stole another artists work, Etsy itself did nothing but Regretsy was there.
- When Etsy featured a designer that was, in fact, just a massive reseller selling on their site in violation of their own Terms of Service, Regretsy was on it.
- And when it came to the millions of resellers on the platform, the ones that hurt the real sellers and crafters but Etsy seems to turn a blind eye to, Regretsy was there calling them out daily.
As an Etsy buyer, I find it infuriating that Etsy continues to claim to be the marketplace for only handmade while turning a blind eye to the resellers (and I can’t even begin to imagine how much this pisses off sellers with legitimate handmade items) . To me, they need to pick one. Either be open about the fact that they welcome resellers (like eBay does) because that’s where the bulk of their fee income comes from or commit to their TOS as written and crack down on anything that isn’t truly vintage or handmade. Pretending to be one thing while actually doing the other is dishonest enough but when they take this a step farther and silence critics or refuse to police the issues brought to their attention the way they’ve done again and again it becomes a deeper wrong. If they don’t want to have to comb the site for violations, fine, but then they have to take it seriously when users report violations, not just look the other way.
And while Regretsy was just a comedy site, they were one of the biggest, highest profile places calling Etsy on their double standards. And while sites like Callin’ Out On Etsy keep up the good fight, Regretsy had such a big readership that their mob (and I count myself among them so I mean that in a good way) could get results by sheer numbers. Without someone keeping them in check, what happens to the Etsy marketplace?
What do you think?