February 29, 2008

Etsy, Ebay Strike, and Lead Issues Again

I have heard no news about the Ebay strike and whether or not it made a difference. My gut feeling is more people left Ebay than previous "strikes" but I doubt it made much of a dent. The walkout will have to be far more drastic. Besides that, there were some Ebay boutique designers who signed on to the strike and still had listings run during the week. Yeah, I checked. Shame on those designers who played both sides. I don't really care if those designers continue with Ebay or not. It just speaks volumes about their integrity. You can't say one thing and do another.

In the mean time I have been browsing Etsy sellers - sellers of child related products. I have been looking at what these sellers are making and it leaves me a little concerned. I think it is great so many people are finding an outlet for their "handmade" products. About 90% of the sellers are just fine, but it is that other 10% that are a cause for concern.

I had thought about profiling Etsy designers who appear to have awesome products, but then my blog would quickly turn into an advertising medium. I am still mulling it over, so I may still do it. Etsy designers should be aware, though, that I will offer a no-holds barred critique of their product - that is if I do it. How can I offer a fair critique without the product in hand?

I could openly critique Etsy sellers that are selling products that concern me. I can imagine the backlash if I focus on any specific seller. Etsy users seem to be a loyal bunch. Besides, I don't want to create a negative aura with my blog or my participation with Etsy.

Anyway, those have been my thoughts over the last week. What are the products that cause me concern?

1. Taggies inspired products. There are many copy-cat products on Etsy and I don't think the sellers realize the "idea" has been patented. I don't agree with the patent, but its there and it can't be ignored.

2. Absence of care/content tags. These tags are required not only on clothing but other textile products. I have seen burp cloths, blankets, bibs, and wash cloths being sold without legally required tags. Those items must have tags if sold in the US and probably elsewhere.

3. Drawstrings, Ties, and Dangles. I have seen "boutique" clothing being sold with ties in the neck and waistline areas and long trims that hang loose. Ties and ribbon dangles don't technically qualify as drawstrings but there have been recalls on related products. Ties that are too long can be a trip hazard. Further, I have seen a lot of dresses and pants that are too long, at least on the models. Such clothing is also a trip hazard.

Anyway those are the top 3 areas of concern.

Finally, California's Lead in Jewelry policy goes into effect March 1st. Check the link at the top of the page. California issued a report of stores that have sold lead-laden jewelry. There are heavy fines involved and they are inspecting stores of every size.

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