Online class and supplies platform, Craftsy.com, alerted pattern designers yesterday that it plans to reduce the size of its pattern marketplace as part of a revamp coming in 2019. According to the FAQ document linked to in the email, the Craftsy team reviewed 220,000 patterns from 12,000 shops leading up to yesterday’s notice.
Some sellers received a letter stating that their pattern shop would be closed entirely on December 28, while others were told that they’d been identified as a “top designer” and would be allowed to keep their pattern shop open, although the selection of patterns available may be reduced. The ability to add new patterns is being disabled for all designers until sometime in 2019 when the marketplace revamp is complete. (By way of full disclosure, I have pattern shop on Craftsy and received the notice that my shop would be allowed to remain open.)
Any patterns customers have already purchased will remain in members’ pattern libraries on Craftsy.com regardless of the status of the designer’s store. Financial reporting on past pattern sales will also remain available for designers even if their store is closed.
Sewing, knitting, and crochet designers have longed turned to the Craftsy pattern marketplace as a favored ecommerce solution because there were no transaction fees. It was a place to easily upload patterns, both those that were for sale and free patterns, without financial risk. At the same time, Craftsy provided very little in the way of business support for pattern sellers. For example, there was no method within the marketplace for designers to collect in-state sales tax from customers, or to collect VAT, the European Union’s tax on the sale of digital goods.
Decisions sent out regarding shop closures are final, the FAQ stated, although instructors who teach on Craftsy and Bluprint are able to appeal the decision by filling out an online form. Instructors will also be able to add new patterns to accompany their classes even while that function is closed to all other designers.
For many, this news was sudden and is causing a scramble for ecommerce alternatives. “I was running my block-of-the-month through Craftsy this year,” says quilt pattern designer, Amy Friend, who sells her quilt patterns under her brand, During Quiet Time, on Craftsy and was notified yesterday that her shop will be shut down. “Today I am capturing the email addresses and seeking alternate ways to distribute the monthly files,” she says.
For others, this change is a push towards setting up their own ecommerce site. “I still have my Etsy store which will cover pdf downloads until I get a store of my own setup,” says quilt designer Nancy Scott of Masterpiece Quilting. “Setting up my own store has been on my to-do list for a while, I guess it is moving up on the priority list.”