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Maintaining our Marketplace Integrity

Hi, I’m Kruti. I’m excited to join this incredible, creative community that brings together people from all over the globe to connect and exchange. I lead the team that is responsible for maintaining the integrity and trustworthiness of this marketplace. I know that Etsy is important to the livelihood of our community of sellers so we are working hard to make sure you can sell in a healthy, vibrant and trusted environment.

As Etsy grows, it naturally becomes more attractive for both shoppers and sellers. But on the flip side, this means that a shadier element, like resellers and scammers, will also want to take advantage of our marketplace. So across Etsy, we’re making changes to make it tougher for bad apples to join the site and easier for newbies to learn how to be great contributing members.

We’re hiring and training more people for our Marketplace Integrity and Trust & Safety teams (known by long time Etsians as the Content and Abuse teams). With 50% more staff on hand by the end of the year, we'll get through more of the items reported by the community every day. To improve efficiency, our engineering team is developing better tools so we can address the highest priority issues, like resellers and scams, more quickly. We're building up our SCRAM program to detect more malicious accounts right away. You can read more about SCRAM here: www.etsy.com/storque/etsy-news/tech-update-scram-resellers-7477/

Last month, our team reviewed and took action on six times as many accounts than during the same time one year ago. We've increased the number of SCRAM screens we use by seven-fold over the last year. These are great early results but we know there is still a lot of room for improvement.

We appreciate the efforts that you, the Etsy community, have made to help us identify problems on the site. We’ve gotten wind of some confusion about a few of our policies, though, based on the increasing number of reports by our members about shops that actually do meet our marketplace criteria. In order to help you help us, we’ll clarify these particular policies through a series of posts over the next few months.

Thanks for your continued support, and we promise to stay on the case and keep you informed of the ways we are protecting the Etsy marketplace.

Please share your thoughts and questions in this thread.

17 Highlighted Responses

Thanks for all of your comments! The Marketplace Integrity and Trust & Safety teams are really excited to implement these changes to make the marketplace even better.
Thank you for posting this, Kruti!
And thanks everyone for your support, and for sharing your thoughts. Please remember not to discuss specific cases, because identifiable information about other members may be considered a call-out, and we want to keep this discussion going!

Carry on, folks!
I understand the frustration and we know we haven’t met your expectations, or ours frankly, for keeping up with reports of shops. Having said that, we are making real changes and are starting to see results.
One major action we’re taking is hiring more people and adjusting our review process to get through more reports more quickly. Our team is increasing the number and types of proactive measures we take as well, both manual and technical. SCRAM is one of the most exciting, because it scales as fast as the site does. Our inquiry and investigation process has also become more sophisticated over time. We use a variety of tools and resources, including some that have been mentioned in this thread. One important thing that we've learned also is that things are not always what they appear to be on the surface. We can’t go into more detail of how we investigate cases because we don’t want to give policy offenders too much insight into our process.
Thanks everyone for your comments!
As policy manager at Etsy and now lead for Marketplace Integrity, I'm thrilled to be working closely with Kruti on these initiatives.

One thing Kruti touched on in her post is that we're developing a short series to more fully explain some of Etsy's policies. I'm looking forward to creating a greater understanding of what handmade means in the Etsy marketplace as defined by our policies. For example: as some have described in this thread even, the "Collectives" policies (rules for multiple people in a shop) are not very well understood. We'll try to shed some light.
When hiring for Marketplace Integrity, we look for candidates with relevant knowledge and experience. It's great when we can bring people on board who already have that insight into how things are made or identifying vintage goods.

As a team, we also do continued research and education to learn more about the many different crafts and items in our marketplace.
We haven't changed our policies in quite some time. The last major revision to Etsy's policies was in 2009, and most of the same rules were already in place long before that. We're not redrawing lines. The purpose of clarifying some policies further is so that everyone understands where the lines are currently drawn.
fireworkscopper says
I actually started noticing a difference, almost 2 weeks ago, and wondered if there was something different happening... Thanks so much for improving the visibility of handmade.

ClosetGothic says Edited on Jun 9, 2011
I have had 7 resellers bookmarked for a couple of weeks, they were all selling the same obviously factory made product. Tonight? 6 out of 7 have gone - f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c.

______________________

Thanks so much for your feedback. I’m really glad to hear that you’ve been seeing improvements based on the changes we are making and the team’s hard work.

It will take some time to see the results everyone wants, but we’re laying the foundation and believe we can get there. Thanks for supporting and we will keep you posted on how things are going.
Just a reminder of Anee's words of wisdom early-on in this thread:

"Please remember not to discuss specific cases, because identifiable information about other members may be considered a call-out and we want to keep this discussion going!"
Hi everyone. Sorry for not being present in this thread over the last day or so. Lots going on this week in the Etsyverse. I'm going to spend a little time catching up on the last several pages, and hopefully I'll be able to answer a few more questions for y'all.
OK, I think I've caught up on most of the discussion. I made note of a few questions along the way, and I'll post some answers shortly. Get ready for a slew of posts from me.
sandyrn0224 says on page 30:
"I know I must be naive, but I don't understand the supply category […] I've been thinking about opening up my own bead/beading/supply shop here but am just not sure of the rules, lines that are not to be crossed, etc."



Etsy has two sections of the marketplace in which it is acceptable to list & sell items that are not handmade by you. These are the Vintage and Supplies Categories.

A seller may list crafting supplies that they did not make themselves, as long as they are tagged as "commercial." You can read more about commercial crafting supplies in the DOs & DON'Ts: www.etsy.com/policy/dosdonts#supplies

The term "reseller" as it is commonly used on Etsy refers to shops that are dishonestly trying to pass off items not made by the seller as handmade, or items that are less than 20 years old as vintage.

I hope that helps clear things up for you! If not, feel free to Convo me or contact the team with your questions: www.etsy.com/help/contact
BlueberryCream says on page 26:
"Not sure if anyone touched this already, but are you going to stop copyright infringement? I flagged a couple of stores selling famous brand name knock-offs, but they are still selling them... "


Intellectual Property infringement is a legal matter. Etsy has a very specific policy and procedure we have to adhere to in those matters.

You can read the policy here: www.etsy.com/policy/ip

This post on the blog from our in-house legal counsel explains more in detail about the process: www.etsy.com/storque/article/498/

wolfmansmummy says on age 25:
"Hey Admin- Offer me a job to help!"



We just closed the latest round of hiring. But if you're serious about wanting to join the team, keep an eye on the Careers page for the next set of openings in Support: www.etsy.com/careers/ (Marketplace Integrity is a division of Support, based in our Brooklyn, NY office.)
SalvagedPlanet says on page 23:
"1. If etsy increases employees by 50%, it will cost etsy a lot of money.
2. If etsy truly does get rid of all the resellers, it will cost etsy a lot of money.
if 1 and 2 happen, is etsy going to cover those costs by raising fees for the rest of us?"


Etsy is a growing company, that's true! But when Kruti mentioned 50% increase in the team, she was speaking specifically of the Marketplace Integrity and Trust & Safety Teams that she manages, not the whole company.

It's a common misconception that Etsy makes money off resellers. In fact, resellers are a drain on our resources. Most don't bother to pay their Etsy bill like a legit seller would, and it takes our time and effort to investigate and close them down. We are looking forward to fewer resellers on Etsy just as much as you all are.

To answer your final point: We don't have any plans to change our fee structure that I'm aware of.
miascloset says on page 15:
"Why doesn't this new team use a search and destroy tactic rather than using it's members to report?"

And with a related question ...

iktomi says on page 24:
"Etsy should have a system to internally flag the sellers who can list 100 items a second. That's a no brainer."


Our team uses a variety of tactics to identify questionable shops and listings. Reports from the community are just one method. I can't get into too much detail about some of our more proactive efforts because I'd hate to inadvertently teach some bad apple how to sidestep our efforts.

SCRAM is just one tool we use, which helps identify matches to patterns and criteria that we've identified as key indicators of problems. We also search and seek out various types of listings or shops. Our methods have gotten more sophisticated over time.
loopyboopy says on page 33:
"Is the The Marketplace Integrity and Trust & Safety team the same as the content team, is this just a new name? Will they be dealing with mistagging and listing violators too or only resellers."


We've renamed parts of the Support Team. Content Team is now Marketplace Integrity. Abuse Team is now Trust & Safety. As Kruti described in her post, these teams have a renewed and strengethened focus.

The Marketplace Integrity team is still responsible for the full range of policies that cover what can be sold and how it is listed. Resellers are just one particular area of concern that we know if also of great concern to the community (reasonably so).

While we do have proactive measures in place, it is still helpful to our team when the community reports problematic shops or listings as you see them, either using the "Report this to Etsy" link or by sending us a message via the Help site: www.etsy.com/help/contact
RE: comments by gifteddesigns and quirke on page 33 about questionable items/shops on the home page --

This is definitely a big area of concern for me personally. We are working closely with the teams that manage the home page space to make sure everyone understands our policies and what to avoid featuring. And furthermore, to help bring those questionable items/shops to the immediate attention of the Marketplace Integrity team so we can address the issues.

623 Responses

I am completely excited to hear this! Welcome in advance to the forthcoming "scram" program and marketplace integrity assistants.
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Inactive Etsy Member 1:41 pm Jun 8, 2011 EDT
Glad to hear about this......
Welcome Kruti! This feels like a big step in the right direction.
Definitely sounds like some steps in the right direction.
Welcome Kruti! We can't wait to see the results, wishing you great success on your job:)
"We’re hiring and training more people for our Marketplace Integrity and Trust & Safety teams (known by long time Etsians as the Content and Abuse teams). With 50% more staff on hand by the end of the year, we'll get through more of the items reported by the community every day. To improve efficiency, our engineering team is developing better tools so we can address the highest priority issues, like resellers and scams, more quickly. We're building up our SCRAM program to detect more malicious accounts right away.

Last month, our team reviewed and took action on six times as many accounts than during the same time one year ago. We've increased the number of SCRAM screens we use by seven-fold over the last year. These are great early results but we know there is still a lot of room for improvement."
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Excellent , thank you, and thank you for the update
Welcome....I am so excited to hear about this.
Good work! keep it up!
Welcome on board!

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