Our mission is to educate creative indie sellers about resources, best practices, current issues, and their rights, especially supporting sellers from marginalized communities and those underrepresented in the crafting industry.
To achieve these goals and bring public awareness to the struggles sellers face, the Indie Sellers Guild Foundation will also establish an ongoing organization to promote the interests of creative indie sellers–the Indie Sellers Guild.
What We Do
Meet the Board
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The Indie Sellers Guild Foundation is launching a large-scale research project to learn what sellers and buyers need from an online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods.
Up till now, the discussion about e-commerce platforms has been dominated by investors, economists and academics—not the sellers who use the platform everyday to make a living.
The Indie Sellers Guild Foundation is working to rectify that with a survey based research study. The survey will asks sellers and buyers alike what they are looking for in an online marketplace, including topics such as:
The findings of this research will be written up in a white paper available to to sellers and marketplaces alike and used by the Indie Sellers Guild to create a ranked accreditation system for marketplaces.
We have collected all responses for the first open-ended version of the survey, and will be releasing a multiple choice version soon. If you wish to participate in the survey, please click here to provide your email address. We will not use this email to contact you for any reason other than for this research study.
Etsy’s use of Plaid:
In the summer and fall of 2022, Etsy began sending out notifications to US sellers that they would be required to reverify their bank account using a third party company called Plaid. Further investigation by the Foundation showed that Plaid had recently settled a lawsuit for alleged privacy violations, including allegedly cloning users’ online banking pages so that users unknowingly gave Plaid their online banking username and password.
Furthermore, Plaid’s user agreement includes agreeing that Plaid may collect substantial private data, including identifying information such as SSN, device information, and bank account number and transaction history. If Etsy sellers refuse to reverify using Plaid and allow access to this data, Etsy stops paying sellers their funds and eventually suspends their shops, effectively closing many artists’ businesses.
We started a petition asking Etsy to give sellers another option than Plaid to verify their bank accounts. We created a video to inform sellers about this issue and the safest option for verifying with Plaid. We filed complaints with government agencies, and we have reached out for legal counsel. Learn more about this issue and the steps the Foundation has taken at https://indiesellersguild.org/plaid/.