Etsy Cracks Down on Cashmere Sales — But Confuses Sellers
Etsy has sent out an email to users that at one point or another sold items made from Cashmere or a spelling thereof. But the email seems to have also landed in some people’s inboxes, who claim they never sold such an item.
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What is Cashmere? Cashmere is a type of wool made from the hair of a certain type of goat that is native to the Gobi Desert and Central Asia.
It has long been considered to be one of the softest and most luxurious types of wool in existence. Cashmere is commonly used as a material for sweaters, scarves, and other light cold-weather gear.
In late December, the Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute (CCMI) filed a lawsuit against Etsy, claiming sellers were selling products made of “huge quantities of counterfeit garments advertised” on the marketplace platform.
CCMI claims many of the products sold on the popular platform were actually not “’100% Cashmere’ or ‘Cashmere’ when in fact they are not Cashmere, but are actually either 100% acrylic, a much
less expensive, petroleum-based, and more flammable fiber, or are a blend of cheaper synthetic
material such polyester, nylon, acrylic, rayon, and minor percentages of wool,” the complaint said.
It said that it purchased over a period of nine months products on the site that were sold as Cashmere, but were later found in laboratories to include non-Cashmere products.
In the complaint, it offered five examples of items CCMI said it had purchased on the site in February, which had zero Cashmere products in them. The complaint also continued to include additional examples of more products supposedly selling Cashmere products on Etsy.
On its website, on February 7, 2023, the company said it had resolved its claim against Etsy, without providing further information.
“CCMI and Etsy have resolved their dispute and look forward to collaborating to protect the interests of Cashmere customers, manufacturers, and sellers,” the statement read.
Etsy Warning Sellers
Now it appears part of this agreement appears to be an active campaign to remind sellers that they are not allowed to sell products on the website offering Cashmere products if they are made from non-Cashmere sources.
What has been confusing is that some sellers who received this notice claim they never sold such items. But at the same time, we’ve also seen messages from sellers who claim this should be at the bottom of the list of items to be fixed.
We can only disagree with this lack of understanding. This is a trademark concern that will impact sellers, and Etsy appears to be solving the problem by going through its inventory to identify listings that violate CCMI’s trademark and intellectual property.
Therefore, if you are selling products made from Cashmere, we strongly suggest you confirm the authenticity of your products. If you cannot 100% confirm its authenticity, we strongly suggest you remove the item before Etsy removes it for you and possibly suspends your account.
As far as people claiming they never sold such items, that is possible and maybe this has been a general warning to all sellers. Although it doesn’t appear everyone received those messages, we can only recommend again you confirm that none of your products violate the CCMI trademark.
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Richard is co-founder of eSeller365. He has over 17 years of experience on eBay which includes tens of thousands of sales to buyers in over 100 countries and even has experience with eBay’s VeRO program enforcing intellectual property rights for a former employer. And for about two years Richard sold products on Amazon using Amazon FBA in the US.
To “relax” from the daily business grind, for a few weekends a year, he also works for IMSA as a professional race official.