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57. Etsy’s New Stance on AI Creations: Are your AI-created products in danger?

Hey everybody, welcome to the Becky Beat show. In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss Etsy’s stance on AI creation. Today, Etsy actually rolled out a new statement on the Sellers Handbook website about AI creation. And it says, at Etsy, we strive to support our creative community while embracing technological innovation, the arts.

We recognize that many tools used by our sellers today, such as photo editing software, increasingly include AI capabilities that enhance the creative process and open new artistic possibilities. When artists use these tools, they still make creative decisions and contributions to guide the AI and carefully curate the output to produce unique finished works for sale.

So it talks about using seller prompted AI creations, and it says, after carefully considering the complex issues surrounding AI generated content, we decided to continue to allow sellers to use their original prompts in combination with AI tools to create the artwork they sell on etsy. So they do allow AI created artwork. There’s a lot of AI created clip art, there’s wall art, there’s even stickers like all kinds of different art on etsy created by AI.

So they do permit. They say an example will include a fantasy scene based on a seller’s original prompt or inputs and produced by an AI generator or a custom portrait of a buyer’s pet generated using AI tools. And sellers must disclose within their listing description if an item is created with the use of AI. So my thoughts about this, I think it’s good that they’re allowing AI created products because a lot of people cannot draw or paint. So that has a barrier to entry, you know, their lack of artistic ability, so they use AI to help them create still, and you can be very creative with AI, you just have to prompt it and the sky’s the limit of.

As for your creativity level with AI and the fact that you can’t draw that, those skills don’t stand in the way of you creating what’s in your mind. And I think that this takes away a barrier to entry for people to create what’s in their mind.

Say they have an image of a really awesome fantasy picture in their mind, but they don’t have the skills to draw that or paint that for everybody to see, so they can use AI to help them show what they’re thinking about. And I think that’s a really great idea for people that can’t draw. And I personally can draw. I’m an artist. Like, I’ve been able to draw since I was little and I’ve excelled in art classes and I’ve actually had art in museums. In high school, I had an art in the Fort Worth Zoo Museum and also I had some artwork in private collectors and also at the Arlington Art Museum. So I do create art and I haven’t in a while, you know, I need to get started creating art again.

There’s actually a new art shop near me that opened up and they’re selling colored pencils and paint. So I was thinking of going over there when it opens up. It’s real close to where I live. And I’m gonna like stock up and get some more colored pencils and paints because I’m going to a doll convention. I think it’s in, yes, it’s in the end of October and I was thinking of selling some artwork at this doll convention of the dolls that they sell there.

So I really want to get started with drawing again and producing art. Well, I can draw what’s on my mind, but a lot of people can’t. They can’t draw what they’re thinking about, so they use AI tools. And I’m glad that Etsy is allowing people to continue using AI. But the thing is, they’re no longer going to be letting you sell AI prompt bundles like on Etsy.

A lot of people were selling AI prompt bundles, but now they’re going to take them all down because they said they decided not to allow that. And there was actually a course that I promoted by a seller. Like he’s always coming out with AI prompts to sell. The time on Warrior plus. Well, it looks like now you can no longer sell AI prompt bundles on Etsy and what an AI prompt bundle is, but it’s like an excel doc with different AI prompts.

And then you put that up for sale on Etsy and that way the people can use that AI prompt bundle to create their own artwork in mid journey or their own books or words and chat GPT using these prompts, and they don’t allow that any longer. And of course it says you can’t have any nudity or sexual content as well. So this just came out today about their stance on AI creations. I’ll have this in the show notes if you want to take a closer look.

Then I got this other article for marketing Dive, and I was reading that they say that Etsy has anxiety over AI. There was commercials and billboards appearing in New York and London, and they’re champion real sellers while challenging what automation can accomplish. And it says dive brief. Etsy launched an ad campaign spotlighting its sellers, part of a new brand mission addressing the rise of automation and mass production as threats to handcrafted goods.

The e commerce platform was built on according to a blog post, tv ad, social media videos and billboards profile real Etsy merchants. The debut spot, human performance challenges, automation and faceless commerce, while showing artisans making their wares.

The marketing blitz comes as Etsy tweaks its policy and user experience, including with a revamped homepage and implementation of standards that clarify products must be made, designed and sourced and handpicked by sellers. So it’s having this anxiety over artificial intelligence on its platform. There’s so many people creating AI artwork, AI products, and they also have some competition from Amazon and Teemoo. I’ve seen a lot of sellers on Etsy get their designs ripped by Teemu I’ve actually watched some YouTube videos about this where artists have had their reigns and other art that they design on Etsy and

Teemu just created like a, like a mass produced copy of their artwork or their jewelry designs and selling it on Teemo. So Timo is known for ripping off Etsy designers. So I never shopped on Teemo. I don’t suggest anybody else. And Teemo also sells your data. If you purchase on there, they’ll take your data and sell it. And that’s how they keep the prices low because they’re selling customer data. There was, I saw this article about that last week, so be very careful if you’re shopping on team, I advise to use like a gift cardinal and maybe a false name on there just to be safe. And don’t put your real address either. But Amazon has always been an e commerce giant and it’s actually taken a lot of stores out of business, both brick and mortar and online businesses.

So Etsy is really worried because they want to set themselves apart, because Etsy’s unique mechanism, or what makes them stand out from competition is that they have goods from sellers that are hand created or even hand sourced. Like that’s what sets Etsy apart from these sellers like Amazon and Timuhe. So Etsy wants to keep their unique mechanism in place by focusing on sellers that are selling handmade products.

So that’s why they’re trying to put a stance against this AI generated items, because a lot of the AI generated items have received disappointing user reviews and it wants to reorganize creativity standards and they clarify. Anything sold on Etsy has to have a degree of human involvement and additionally includes the option for merchants to add labels sharing greater detail about their processes, materials and tools. So it says that like many people are still turning to generative AI for creative ideation and production, and they don’t prohibit the generative AI tools in the seller handbook, though the use of AI must be disclosed in listings and the company does not allow the sale of AI prompt bundles.

That’s what this article is saying too. Within the last year, Amazon has asked you if your books are AI generated or your artwork in the books is AI generated. Like, it doesn’t prohibit that, but it asked if it’s AI generated. And a lot of people think in the future, Amazon may not allow you to publish AI generated books or art. So you gotta be really careful about that. So if you’re gonna do some AI art or AI writing, you should always fact check it and edit it yourself. You don’t want to just slap it right up. You want to actually edit it yourself and make sure it makes sense and looks good before you list it for sale because otherwise you could get a bad review.

My son and I created a Kindle book about him being related to Sherlock Holmes, and I noticed when it came out of the chat GPT, there was a chapter that was duplicate, so I had to go and edit that out before I could list it to Amazon and Etsy’s new ad campaign, the agency orchard created it. What it says is to keep commerce human. So they’re trying to put an emphasis on human created goods and services instead of just have everything rely on AI. Because in this ad, a lot of Etsy sellers are shown to be crafting goods like pottery, furniture, art and clothing. And then the press materials appear to make veiled swipes. That ill fated apple ad that showed a hydraulic press crushing artists tools. So David Kolbas, chief creative officer at Orchard, the ad agency that created this ad for Etsy, says an increasingly automated world. Etsy stands for something different. And our film isn’t anti tech, it’s pro human. It’s a reminder that the thing that arrives on your doorstep can come from someplace more meaningful than a fulfillment center.

Because again, Etsy’s unique mechanism is creating handcrafted goods. So this AI is really threatening Etsy. And it doesn’t want to be like Amazon and Timo or any other seller like that. They want to stick with handcrafted goods and services by artisans, just like you go to a craft store, like they want stuff on Etsy, that’s kind of like you would find a craft store. So Etsy saw revenue up to 0.8% in q one, with the executives calling out a challenging environment for consumer discretionary spending. If they don’t rely on their unique mechanism to stand out from their competition, then they could just be thought of as another Amazon or team.

You should always come up with a unique mechanism for yourself, and a unique mechanism is what makes you stand apart from your competition. Like Etsy specializes in handcrafted goods and services. So you should think of your unique mechanisms of what makes you different from your competition. And I’ll tell you, my unique mechanism is I’m a ux product designer. I was for 20 years, and that helps me stand out. My products are very user friendly and well designed because I also specialize in design thinking. So I think that helps me stand out. And I make sure to say that in my messaging when I’m promoting myself and my products.

You should also think of your own unique mechanism to make you stand apart because there’s so much competition in like almost every niche. Like you can find niches with low competition, but still, you know, the competition is very vast online. It’s just getting more and more saturated. So you got to think about what makes you stand apart. It’s like what Etsy’s doing. And Etsy is trying to protect its unique mechanism by limiting the AI creation and disallowing AI created prompts. Because I did see prompts were highly popular on Etsy.

People are spending a lot of money for like thousands of prompts in a bundle. Let me search on Etsy and see if I see any of those AI prompts. I wonder if they took them all down. AI prompts now, I still see AI prompts listed like it came out today. I wonder if they’re going to be taking them down soon because I see this bundle of 70,000 prompts, and I see this once, his entire shop bundle, 50,000 mid journey prompts. Yes, these are in danger because there’s actually stores totally created around selling prompts. So they’re in danger, you know. So I feel bad for those people that spend hours and hours creating these prompts.

They might want to turn to warriorplus.com to sell their prompts, you know. So anything you sell, you should always be careful because you’re at the mercy of these platforms. They may change the rules on you. Like let’s say you had to shop selling prompts now is your livelihood? Like, you quit your job to just sell mid journey prompts or chat DBT prompts. And now you can no longer do it on Etsy. So what do you do? That’s why I have like my own stores.

Like I have a Shopify store and also sell on thrive cart and amember. I have my own platforms. Where I sell especially amember is self hosted, but Shopify is hosted on the Shopify platform. But still I have ownership of that store and that way I can control the prices. Like when someone comes to my Shopify store, I can control what they see. Like what products are on that sales page. Because you come to Etsy sales page, they actually have other people’s products on that sales page.

So it can be quite dangerous because one of you even running ads to that, to your own Etsy sales page, and then other people’s products are on that sales page and people may go to those products instead, even though the traffic, you know, was coming to your sales page and you paid for those ads. So it’s like kind of dangerous, you know, to mess with it. So that’s why I don’t really rely on Etsy. I did make a new store on Etsy, but I’m just not getting that many sales on it. I think a lot of it has to do with people coming to my store and they’re seeing other people’s products and that kind of turns them away from me. But I noticed when I run a sale on Etsy, I get a lot more sales.

Like if I did like a 25% off sale, I keep having them every single month because I find that it helps me get more sales. And now I got over 300 sales on Etsy since I’ve been running the sales. And that really encourages people to purchase on Etsy, but you got to keep everything super cheap, like really, really low price. But on my shopify store, I can charge seven dollars to twenty seven dollars and still get sales because it’s my store and people come there, there’s not competition on that store. Yeah. So if you’re selling on Etsy, just make sure you have a plan in place, especially if you’re selling AI created products. Because one, if Etsy changes their mind tomorrow and decides that you can’t have anything AI any longer, so you gotta be very careful.

You can’t pull your eggs in one basket. I know it’s a very cliched phrase, but it’s true. You should think about hosting your products on different platforms. Like maybe like there’s lots of different platforms out there, there’s warrior plus there’s creative fabrica, creative market design bundles, like several different places where you can have your products for sale. You may even consider driving traffic to your own store, like a Shopify store, or going to amember. Like amember, you can sell digital products or even physical products.

It’s also like a membership site platform. Or you can consider thrive cart. Thrive cart charges a lifetime fee and then they no longer charge any more fees first per sale. I know you’ll get fees from PayPal and Stripe, but on top of that, having a platform charging fees too, like, that’s never any good because I know other platforms, like I’ve seen Podia and teachable and all these other ones will charge fees. Even Kajabi will charge fees.

And Kajabi is super expensive. Like, they’ll charge fees on your digital products on top of the fees being taken from you by PayPal and Stripe. But thrive cart doesn’t charge any platform fees. It’s just a one time fee for you to set up the account and then they don’t charge anything else. You can have courses on there, like I have my membership and courses on thrivecart learn. So you may want to think about that, like hosting on your own platform, because you don’t want to rely on these other platforms like Etsy because they could change the rules tomorrow.

Like, again, could be out of your livelihood. You gotta be very careful, especially if you’re selling like kind of sketchy things. Like AI created products. And I do sell a lot of AI credit products, but they’re all on my own store. Like, I don’t have any AI. I have like a few. I think I got, yeah, I think I got a few AI created products on Etsy, but like, not enough that I would think would be detrimental to the shop success. Like, there’s mostly, you know, printable planners and journals on that Etsy store, but there are a few AI created products. Like I think have some packs of AI credit clip art on there. But other than that, like, it’s not really in danger because if they did decide that I could no longer have AI created products, I would just take down that clip art and that’d be fine.

I would still have the planners and journals to sell on there. Yeah. So again, I just looking through all these people selling these AI prompts and I just feel really bad for them. I see so many people selling them. There’s even a few stores centered around just AI prompts. Like, it’s like an AI prompt store. And today they just decided that you can’t have any AI prompts. I wonder what’s going to happen? Are they going to take them down? Are they going to like make people take it out of sales? Are they going to take them take them down themselves?

Like, I just don’t know what’s going to happen with that. They just came out with this today. It’s July 9 on the seller handbook. So let me know what you think. If you’re on YouTube, let me know in the comments. Or you could give me a review or you can send me an email becky@coachbeckybeach.com and let me know your thoughts and make sure to check out the show notes beckybeatshow.com. i’ll link to these articles that you can check them out yourself about the Etsy Seller handbook and I’ll have a link to this article on marketing dive so you can check them out yourself.

And I would love to know what you think too. And you may want to consider joining the business speech club membership after July 15 I’m going to raise the price $17 to this membership. So make sure you join now to get the lowest price available in this membership. I have a members only sales and bundles. We actually have a members only sale and bundle next month and the deadline to join is August 9. So if you join today, you can take advantage of that members only sale. I have over 20 courses that help you create and scale your digital product business and you also get a digital product PLR bundle each month delivered to you. And there’s a private Facebook community. I’ve been having guest speakers come and talk. I do live trainings myself.

So again, you might want to check out the businessbeachclub.com right away and join before the price goes up. And thanks so much for listening. Have a great day. Goodbye. Thanks so much for listening to the Becky beach show. Please check out the show notes@beckybeachshow.com and my membership businessbeachclub.com to start and scale your own digital products business.

Have a great day. See you next time on the Becky beach show.