Handmade face masks & sanitizer shops shutdown

Highlighted
Tourist
7 0 11
I find it appalling that in this new world we are living in that shops that we're selling handmade masks, sanitizer, rubbing alcohol. Are now during this crisis are being shut down.
We are living in a world where the average person ARE going to be REQUIRED to wear masks that are non medical grade in public spaces, on public transport. Turn on the news and see Italy, Germany, Nigeria already making it mandatory. Other countries are swiftly following as a way of getting out of lockdown safely.
The CDC in the USA are giving guidelines about wearing them.
This is a prime opportunity for platforms such as shopify to rally their customers, the shop owners. Put terms and conditions in place with a disclaimer for shops to use with links to government guidelines that shops can copy and paste into their product description.
If you thank this can't be done. Look at Etsy. This is exactly what they have done with their millions of sellers. Even reaching out via Email asking shop owners to make handmade masks for the public and for front line staff.
Can you imagine the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of fees they will be collecting? They amount of mom and pop businesses, disabled business owners, elderly business owners that now have a life line? Especially in one income households? Shopify could do this.
They claim to be helping businesses but with shutting shops down, withholding the shops money all they are doing is forcing people into financial ruin.
Let me tell you shopify a bit about masks and culture.
First off mask wearing in countries such as China and Japan is normal. They are worn to protect against dust, pollution and a consideration to others around then if they are unwell. They are also worn by younger people as a fashion accessory. In pretty designs.
Rave masks is a whole other category. Worn for festival wear, cosplay (think ninja based characters from film and games). Its part of the cybergoth subculture. Its part of the rave scene. Made in a variety of materials from beads Kandi style to PVC, fabric and crystals to full on spray painter types. Even within steam punk and historical ww1 re enactment.
So if I was to sell rave masks for burning man attendees. Pre pandemic I would be fine. These masks are used to protect against the desert dust. And are expensive because they take time to make, usually custom decoration, high quality fabrics. Now during pandemic I would be shut down. Just because you think I could be price gouging on a product that was fine price wise pre pandemic. You would think I, m profiterring on a item that had a defined use and audience pre pandemic. That I would use to pivot my business and provide for people in a time of need.
I am even making masks to donate but can't sell on your platform.
Now with hand sanitizer many businesses on here make natural sanitizer that is kind to the environment and skin. They are making this by hand. And you shut them down?
I dont know If I will even bother launching my other products through this platform that claims to want to help but really hinders.
I wonder how many businesses that made these products and have had their shops shut down and money seized now have owners who will go out of business. Lose their homes because they need that money, lose credit worthiness because they can't pay suppliers? Not be able to eat? Have poor mental health maybe even suicidal?
Shame on you shopify for not just being a landlord but a judge and jury.
If etsy and depop two massive marketplace you are trying to emulate with your shop app can help their sellers why can't you? There's a lot of good sense in it and alot of fees to be made, alot of people that can be helped. And once word got out very good PR opportunity helping tiny businesses fight to flatten the curve.
If anyone's interested go to YouTube channel "Out of the Doldrums" and the video titled "Masks for all" by DR yes DR Van Dyken. On the front line.
So yeah your terms and conditions trying to make out that sellers are price gouging, profiting, taking valuable resources from the front line when we are not.
They are non sensical.
Be like Etsy and help us make you money with our hand made masks and sanitizers and let us help our care homes, communities and hospitals with the money we raise for them. And the sales we make enabling us to buy more supplies to make more to donate.

End of rant.
7 Likes
Highlighted
New Member
2 0 1

I 100% Agree with you this is a disgrace what they are doing to us their customers that help them stay afloat. i totally understand if things are stupidly priced but i have been told they are going to shut my page down because my hand sanitiser is to expensive.  

1 Like
Highlighted
New Member
1 0 2

I totally do not understand where and how they have come to these conclusions but I need answers because it appears many shops that have been affected have not done anything wrong or illegal and are being unfairly having products taking down. We are now thinking of other alternatives at this time. It is actually interesting because we have deliberately kept our prices low especially during this time and are even selling at a price lower than the MRP to allow for people to be able to access these essentials at this time. 

Is it possible to sue for the losses that would have been caused during the days the products are down even if they eventually review them?

2 Likes
Highlighted
Tourist
7 0 11
Exactly, nothing illegal has been done. These businesses are not taking anything away from front line workers. Out government here in the UK as well as Scotland have advised (finally, took them long enough) to wear masks in public places. Especially on public transport.

I, m not sure about sueing but I wouldn't rule it out. As their actions are costing you your livelihood. I would say look at going to your local radio stations and newspapers to let then know what is happening.

For me, I actually called support after taking up the free trial and seeing the message board and YouTube video by renae Christine. She actually asked Shopify for comment and clarification but they declined to answer. The mask shop did get her shop reinstated. I let support know my concerns and went into detail about the masks I want to sell. They put a note on my account to say I phoned up in advance of opening my shop (still not open) for advice and to say what my product is. I also followed up with a email detailing exact type of masks, price ranges for each style. And that I would be donating them as well. Support advised that they feel I shouldn't be shut down as I have stated in advance my intentions. But I, m still wary.

In terms of other selling platforms I did contact squarespace support and they were fine. As well as strikingly which now does multi page sites. Squareup ecommerce also seem OK to use and have no issues.

Thing is people are slowly in some cases getting their shops back but by no means all. So its a gamble. Shopify are not really looking at actual advice. Just the WHO website. Not the CDC who actually work in the infectious diseases field are advising cloth masks to protect those around you from droplets.

I wish you every success in providing us the public with a product that helps keep us safe.
1 Like
Highlighted
Tourist
7 0 11
I saw on another thread that they are telling hand sanitizer sellers to sell for €1.00 per 100 g. Which is ridiculous! Shopify have no right to dictate prices. I think in that they must be in breach of some sort of business practice. As they are a selling platform not a supplier. I would see if you can get some legal advice on this. Because it doesn't make financial sense at all. They then try to justify their actions by saying its a high demand product.
Right now I can go into any local shop and buy it now for £6.95 for a tiny bottle up to £10 for a bigger one.
So shopifys logic is really flawed.

Have you heard anything back from them yet?
1 Like