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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The handmade items Etsy prides itself in have gradually become less and less

Alysse Calabio
A photo of my frontpage on Etsy, where I feel like has been overrun by dropshipping.

To say I love Etsy would be an understatement.

I am a lover of all things related to fun earrings. My collection ranges anywhere from earrings with flower embellishments to dangling stars and moons to crystals and tarot cards. While I have come to love finding little pop-up shops around town that sell all sorts of jewelry, my main source of jewelry has, without a doubt, become Etsy.

The fundamental reason behind my love for Etsy is that it gives people the opportunity to support small businesses—ones that I may not have otherwise found. Typically, the expectation is that, through supporting these small businesses, the product that the business is selling will be something made by the owners, with the expectation that the quality of it will, therefore, be higher.

Even though that is the general expectation put in place, recently, I have found that that expectation has been met less and less, with the quality of the products following suit. While there could be multiple reasons attributing to this, I have found that one has particularly plagued the businesses of Etsy: dropshipping.

Dropshipping is a business model where the person selling the product does not have a physical location where they are storing their product. Rather, the seller simply purchases the item from the supplier as needed and then ships out the product. Most commonly, it is a business model used for online shops, such as Amazon.

While dropshipping is not an illegal business practice, it is one that hangs very thinly on the border of morally wrong on Etsy.

While dropshipping is not an illegal business practice, it is one that hangs very thinly on the border of morally wrong on Etsy. Oftentimes, on Etsy, these dropshipping businesses put on this facade of their products being handmade, when, in reality, they are often products made in factories with the intention of putting out the most product rather than the best quality.

Even in my own personal experience, I have bought earrings on Etsy that I thought were adorable; they were decorated with lily of the valley flowers that would dangle off my ears. However, after wearing them one time, a multitude of the flowers had fallen off the earring, leaving it barren. Looking back at Etsy now, I continually get suggestions for that same product using the same advertising images, however, each one is from a different shop.

In addition to that, since dropshipping has become such a common practice on Etsy, it makes it harder for real small businesses to extend their product to their audience. Instead of being met with the small businesses that people go on Etsy to support, people are met with dropshipping businesses, and the real businesses are left behind in their shadows.

Dropshipping is in no way a new phenomenon for businesses or a new problem on Etsy. However, it is becoming more and more prevalent—and noticeable—when scrolling through Etsy’s website. Even simply searching up the words Etsy and dropshipping together leads to seemingly endless articles on how to start a dropshipping business or how people have gained thousands of dollars doing so.

Etsy was once a place where I would try to support small businesses whilst still getting the jewelry that I love. Now, those businesses have become drowned out by the plague that is dropshipping—one that has yet to be cured.

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About the Contributor
Alysse Calabio
Alysse Calabio, Staff Writer
Alysse Calabio is going on to her second and final year on The Central Trend. If there's anything she loves more than the world, it would be experiencing new adventures and hobbies; everything from taekwondo to horseback riding to, evidently, writing has caught her attention at some point. Whether or not she was able to stick with it is up for debate but to say she didn't try would be a lie. In her free time you'll find her attempting to learn how to cook, something she has failed miserably in the past, and crocheting her heart out. This year will surely be a bittersweet one, but she's excited to be going through it. Artist she is currently obsessing over: Laufey Her favorite movie: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once Most interesting food she's ever tried: Chicken feet  

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