A small business owner went viral after alleging she was banned from Etsy for selling custom-made PopSockets.
The video featured TikTok user Allana, who goes by username 10×10.gallery and previously sold custom-made products via an Etsy shop. However, she recently posted a video claiming she is banned from the platform.
“I was banned this week from Etsy for copyright infringement,” she said. Then, she unveiled the item in question: A phone grip designed to look like a snail with a strawberry shell.
Subsequently, Etsy banned Allana’s shop, she says. “Do not put anything like this on Etsy ever,” she warns her followers.
Allana contacted Etsy to ask why her item was flagged and how to prevent this situation in the future. She learned that the item was flagged because the “design is patented” by PopSocket. Therefore, Allana advises viewers to be more thorough before adding items to a shop.
The video amassed more than 1.1 million views since it was posted on July 27. Commenters expressed confusion as to why she was banned.
“did you use the brand name? not just like pop up phone grip?” asked user April. Allana replied that she did not.
“But you don’t get banned from Etsy the first time, so were you relisting the item after you received the first infringement notice?” asked user Nadine Cretella.
Allana clarified: “They took 4 down of 5 designs and I asked why and didn’t receive a response! Then because the last one wasn’t flagged it was considered a ‘repeat.’”
Other commenters shared similar experiences about how they were almost banned.
“I made the mistake of using the word ‘Fiesta’ to describe colors on napkins. A major company had my listing flagged,” wrote user ST3PH.
“i loved etsy so much it helped my business grow but then i got banned for using a certain font in a wedding invitation i made,” wrote user Dessy.
“Popsocket is super litigious. My old company got in trouble for ordering swag that looked like one cause the vendor was using their own grip design,” another user wrote.
PopSocket is indeed known for pursuing copycats. “Back in 2017 and 2018, we were taking down between 1,000 and 2,000 listings every day from marketplaces around the world. We were Amazon’s No. 1 customer in terms of the volume of takedowns every day. They had to develop new protocols just because of us,” founder David Barnett told Vox in 2019.
The Daily Dot reached out to Allana via Instagram DM and TikTok, and Etsy via email for comment.