Etsy Ditches ‘Handmade’ and ‘Vintage’ Labels

etsy logo on hand holding phone next to people using phones
Etsy Sergei Elagin/Shutterstock Paper Trident/Shutterstock

As the growth of dropshipping empires like Shein, Temu, and AliExpress continues, Etsy is making a pretty radical change. 

Since its conception, Etsy has grown a strong brand identity as a source for handmade items, categorizing all items into ‘handmade’ and ‘vintage’ labels. The company also previously boasted a ‘Handmade Policy,’ which dictated that all products should be handbuilt by creators. 

But violations of this rule were so common, it became a source of contention during the 2022 Etsy sellers strike. And now, it seems that the platform has applied a “can’t beat them, join them” mantra, with the Handmade Policy and accompanying labels being scrapped. 

Now, instead, Etsy products will fall under one of four item categories: ‘made by,’ ‘sourced by,’ ‘designed by,’ and ‘handpicked by.’

Keeping a ‘human touch’ on Etsy

In a video message, CEO Josh Silverman emphasized that all products will remain “infused with a human touch.” Items previously banned, like items being resold that were made by someone else (aka dropshipping), still won’t be technically allowed under the new policy.

Meanwhile, Morning Brew said the change is a “clear move back to their handmade roots.” 

But customers on X weren’t so enthusiastic about the change, saying dropshipping is a major issue on the platform.

“I buy gifts on Etsy because they are unique and handmade,” one customer tweeted. “Just made a purchase a few days ago and I hate how much time it takes to sift through 20 sellers with the same item.”

“It’s hard to determine which sellers are actually small businesses,” another admitted. 

And some creators seem to feel the same way. 

“Etsy used to be such an awesome website,” one creator tweeted. “This definitely helps label it as the absolute crapshoot it’s become.”

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