Thursday, March 10, 2011

Etsy PipeGate

Rainbow disc glass art, courtesy of glasscoast on Etsy
Etsy is cracking down on creators of glass pipes that are being sold for medicinal and tobacco purposes, as discussed in this protest thread in Ideas. These pipes, or pieces of glass art for display, have been sold on Etsy since the site began. Sellers are being contacted via email by the content team about the listings that need to be removed. Etsy will refund their listing fees for the banned listings.
From prohibited items listed in the Etsy Dos and Don'ts: Drugs, drug-like substances and drug paraphernalia; items or listings that promote or support illegal activity or instruct others to engage in illegal activity.
Is the pipe drug paraphernalia? Is it handmade? Is it an artistic piece of work? Is it beautiful? Does it promote something illegal? Does it instruct you on how to use it to do something illegal? Can I use it to hold up a liquor store?
Here's the twist. If you click on Etsy help (Etsy likes it when you click stuff) and check out "What items can't I sell on Etsy?," the first thing mentioned is "All items in the handmade Categories must be made by the Etsy seller." No reselling. Also, vintage items must comply with the policies for Vintage. At least twenty years old.
As an Etsian, what do you find more distressing? Glass pipes? Resellers? Vintage that isn't vintage?
By the way, glasscoast, the artist who made the gorgeous piece above, is located in California, where it is indeed legal to smoke marijuana for medical reasons. I'm sure there are other listings on Etsy that are not legal in some corners of the globe. Do we need to remove listings for women's clothing that does not cover the entire body except for the eyes?
Or do glass pipes look worse than resold mass manufactured junk or 2001 vintage to potential investors?


  1. I guess they're worried Glamour might do a feature on glass pipes.

  2. awesome! even more reasons not to go there!


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