Our House Rules

Get to know Etsy's legal terms and policies

Our House Rules

Handmade Policy

Handmade on Etsy is a spectrum of makers and designers. Read more below about your obligations as a handmade seller.

This policy is a part of our Terms of Use. By listing handmade items for sale through Etsy, you’re agreeing to this policy and our Terms of Use.
Handmade Spectrum

1. Selling Handmade Items
2. Using Production Assistance
3. Being Transparent About Your Business

1. Selling Handmade Items

Handmade on Etsy is a spectrum. On one end, we have makers — sellers who are literally making their items with their own hands (or tools). On the other end, we have designers — sellers who design their items but rely entirely on outside assistance or another business to help physically produce them. Many handmade sellers fall in the middle of the spectrum because they are both making and designing their items.

Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, you must be transparent about who is helping you and how your items are being made. Everything listed as handmade must be made and/or designed by you, the seller. Reselling is prohibited in the handmade category. You may also have shop members who help you run your business, as long as you, the seller, are making and/or designing your items.

Makers

A maker is a seller who is physically making the items listed for sale in their Etsy shop. A maker might design their items in addition to making them, or they might follow a pattern or template that they did not design. Regardless, makers must be creating their items with their own hands (or tools).

Designers

A designer is a seller who has come up with an original design, pattern, sketch, template, prototype, or plan to be produced by in-house shop members or a production partner. Simple customization, such as selecting colors, shapes, or choosing from ready-made options is not considered design on Etsy.

If you are a designer and you are using a production partner to help make your items, you must also disclose information about your production partner in your listings. A production partner is anyone (who’s not a part of your Etsy shop) who helps you physically produce your items.

2. Using Production Assistance

Designers may work with production partners to help make handmade items in certain circumstances. Keep in mind that people come to Etsy to discover items that they might not find anywhere else. Your design and production process should lead to the creation of a unique item that would not exist without you, the designer.

We expect your production partner to produce items themselves in their own facilities. A contractor or agent who outsources production may not be used as a production partner. Examples of production services include, but are not limited to, printing, 3D-printing, casting, plating, engraving, cutting and sewing, and finishing.

If you work with a production partner, you must disclose certain information in the listing process, including:

  1. The name of your production partner(s);
  2. The location of your production partner(s);
  3. Details about the nature of your partnership and design process; and
  4. A general description of the work your production partner does for you.

You may choose to keep the name of your production partner and details about your partnership and design process confidential (visible only to select Etsy employees), but the location and description of your production partner will appear on your About section and listings.

We may reach out to you at any time with a more detailed inquiry about your business. Please be prepared to provide additional details about the origins of your business, your role in the design process, your production process, and your connection to your production partner, as well as what efforts your production partner has made to follow our ethical expectations.

We understand that you may wish to keep the details of your design and business practices confidential. Please be assured that Etsy will not use the private information you provide us for any purpose other than reviewing your business to determine that you are in compliance with our policies.

We reserve the right to reject any production partnerships that aren't in the letter or spirit of this policy or our ethical expectations.

3. Being Transparent About Your Business

At Etsy, we value transparency. Transparency means that you honestly and accurately represent yourself, your items, and your business. As a handmade seller, you agree to:

  1. Disclose in your About section the names and roles of people who help make your items or run your business;
  2. Use your own words and photographs (not stock photos) to describe your items; and
  3. Respond to any inquiries from us in a timely manner. We may ask you how your items are made, what workspace, tools, and equipment you use; and how you communicate and collaborate with the people who help you run your shop.

Remember: Our market is built on trust. Providing false, inaccurate, or misleading information is prohibited by our Terms of Use. If we find that you’re not being open and honest with us, we may suspend or terminate your account.

Last updated on Sep 27, 2018