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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Closing up shop

I closed my Craftsy store!
I won't share anything on their platform neither for free or for sale!
I won't buy anything from their platform because I didn't like their attitude in dealing with the situation.
In a previous post I shared the concerns about Craftsy not stepping up to help designers/sellers/artists with the EU VAT issue. After the first inquiry (where they sent me the standard answer I saw already on many other blogs), they sent me an "additional update" in which basically they say:
  1. we don't collect fees from you so we cannot collect taxes
  2. we don't deal with payments so it's up to paypal to solve their part
  3. we don't keep the information, but we can provide it for you in a spreadsheet and they you have to figure out yourself what to do.
This answer doesn't really make sense and I wrote a long reflection with reasonable arguments against all these "claims".

But then I decided not to share it here because honestly I think that if everybody close shop and stops using the platform, they may understand that the company strategy is not that great!

So I will just do my part, and won't drive traffic or attention or money to them.
Sorry for the designer friends that will lose business because of this!!

A last important note:
They never answered me about what happens if I delete from the store the patterns that someone already bought. So if you bought a pattern from me and you are not able to download it from the platform, please just send me an email at  tweloq [_at_] gmail [_dot_] com and I will send it to you by email.

See you tomorrow for a sneak peek in 2015 and the next day for my list of projects for the new year... much more fun posts than this one :) :)


  1. I'm with you there, I was thinking of doing the free patterns, but it's out of protest I'll shut everything down too.

    1. I think it would be better to talk Paypal into the change since they charge for each transaction rather than Craftsy who is giving you a wonderful free service. Add a surcharge to all your patterns to cover your tax costs for now. Craftsy would have to make a major website change for this and they may reconsider offering us free selling of patterns on their site.

    2. I already replied on the other comment below :) I don't think Craftsy is just an innocent player in this situation and since selling patterns is not my main job I wouldn't want to spend time and energy to keep track of these information. I don't believe the change in the platform would be so major (as mentioned in the other comment I believe that internally they must have some kind of system in place already for their own products and services) so that's where my protest come from.
      I hope that they will deal with the situation in one way or another... but for me, that's it, I will choose to spend my money somewhere else!! :)

  2. I believe it's because they are between a rock and a hard spot. I have the same issues. The reason is this...and really doesn't have to do with them not collecting the money's it has to do with the new digital content laws.

    Not all US states require tax on digital downloads. There are only a handful of US states requiring this currently. Digital downloads have been from the beginning tax free. My state recently changed it so that all digital downloads that can be made into tangible products are now taxed. Meaning if you can print the digital content then it is considered tangible. Many state are working on making this change but not all have done this. It would be very difficult for Paypal or any US site to set this up without reworking their website and adding this function as to allowing you to manually choose your state as a digital tax state. When Craftsy created their site and allowed members to post their patterns for free there were no states requiring tax on digital items.

    I became angry myself at first and I called paypal as well as writing to Craftsy in which I recieved the same reply from Craftsy and paypal, well that's another story entirely.

    I also have and Etsy site among other where I sell my wares. I stopped selling patterns on Etsy and other sites that charge for transactions because I can sell my patterns for free on craftsy and not incur a charge of any kind from them. After I thought about it further I decided not to be upset with them but instead be upset with our political system trying to find more ways to steal our hard earned dollars through taxation. So what I have done is I've adjusted my price so that every single purchase gets a small surcharge that I later use to pay my taxes. In doing this my taxes are paid in full and then some because not all customers that purchase my patterns are from Texas. Your patterns are over the top awesome and I hope you will reconsider as I did. :) Happy paper piecing to you! I have followed you so I'm sure not to miss a single event.

    1. Hi Janet, I respect your opinion and I agree on most of the things you said.
      However my point is that I am pretty sure that Craftsy is already collecting (or planning to) this information for their products (classes, fabric, etc...) because I am sure that they are not planning to be in violation of any tax regulation. The fact that they don't open this system to all the independent designers (because we don't pay any fee) is a company choice IMHO. Obviously as I mentioned before, I don't know anything about the details, but my feeling is that the platform could help with the technical details instead of just saying "it's your responsibility".

    2. I do understand trust me...has been a pain in my hiny too and if it were not for the amount of sales I get from them I probably would have done the same. I guess what I'm trying to say is this. When Craftsy technical people made the module that is the free user interface that we use they did not put a lot of technical work behind it because they would not be receiving revenue for this module and offered it free even though it takes up huge amounts of storage space for all the pictures that are uploaded. I'm sure they decided to pay for the extra storage in hopes that people who purchase patterns would also purchase the items they sell. They probably did not think in advance enough about the digital tax and just went with what they knew at the time. Mind you they might decide to charge per listing as Etsy and other sites do to counter the cost of the technical changes. Websites like this and Etsy are like a puzzle in that each part that we see is driven by several modules the module they use to collect revenue from the wares they sale is and entirely different module and is in no way related to the free pattern module I assure you. I hope they do not decide to charge for listing patterns to pay for this change and that they work with Paypal to make the change. I never sold near the patterns on any other site as I do craftsy ( I sold a pattern on the first day I loaded one) so I've bitten my lip and found a way around it for now. I am still in contact with Paypal because all in all they do receive a large amount of revenue from craftsy sales.
      But regardless, I do hope they fix this somehow. and as I said... you are awesome! Love your work.

    3. I totally understand your point, but the fact that modules on a website are not connected doesn't not mean that they cannot be changed. I have some technical knowledge in computer science, so I know that it's always just a matter of willingness and time to adapt code to new needs. But that's the job of the company not of a single designer that has to figure out how to get, store and file this new information.
      I appreciate the effort that Craftsy put in setting up the initial system and I chose it because it was easy to share and use. However if at the first "problem" I have as a customer/designer, they drop the ball and say "it's your responsibility" to me that's not a good sign. It breaks my trust with the company. That's all I am saying :) I don't know if paying the listing could be the answer, or allowing to select only few countries or something else entirely.
      I appreciate the discussion as I have been reading about this issue a lot in this last month and hearing different opinions is always good!
      And I am glad you like my work :) actually 99% has always been available here for free so this Craftsy issue doesn't really affect me that much... but it's a matter of principle at this point :)

    4. :) I am glad to come here to see your work.. inspiring to say the least.

  3. I've done some serious thought about this and I think the problem goes deeper. In reality, this is an EU tax on American Citizens. I wasn't previously aware that foreign nations were allowed to tax us. If the EU wants to tax their own citizens, then those citizens should be the ones required to collect and pay the taxes as due on the products they purchase.

    1. I agree the tax issue is not great and has it's own issues. But that's outside my understanding or control. How a platform conforms to those regulations instead can be controlled, that's the only point I am making here! :) But I hear you on the core of the problem!

  4. I had asked about patterns I have purchased that I have sitting and never received a reply to my enquiry. Its one big mess and sadly it will and is causing such disappointment and grief to so many.

  5. Have you considered another site such as payhip ( I am starting a shop there and they are fully VAT compliant (they collect and pay the tax on your behalf for a 5% commission).


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