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Etsy reworks guidelines: sellers can now hire outside staff and manufacturers

Sarah Silbert

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Etsy, the online marketplace for DIYers, just announced several changes to its seller policies, giving store owners significantly more control over how they run their businesses. Going forward, sellers will be able to hire as many employees as necessary, as well as use outside companies to deliver their products and outsource manufacturing to third parties (provided they receive Etsy's approval).

Most notably, these changes allow for a wider definition of "handmade" -- now, the idea for an item simply must originate with the seller. This means 3D-printed items can carry the prized handmade distinction, for instance. And this change isn't just about semantics; previously, Etsy customers could assume items that didn't look handmade were breaking the site's rules and consequently steer clear.

As CEO Chad Dickerson explained in a blog post, these policy updates are meant to address confusion over the site's extensive "Do's and Don'ts" guidelines -- and to lure back sellers who "felt Etsy's policies were too intrusive and restrictive." There's still a good deal of fine print to go along with the new guidelines, though, so check out the source links for more details.

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