Selling Your Wares On Flickr

A lot of people—on Etsy and elsewhere—use Flickr to promote their handcrafted wares or other services. When you think about it, it's a great idea: Using a community-based photo sharing site to show pictures of your items and entice buyers to purchase them. Flickr's "photo pools" make this even easier in that you can create groups of people and share photos based on themes; "for sale", crafts, knitting, "I made it myself", and so on. However, Flickr clearly states the following in their community guidlines:

Flickr is for personal use only. If you sell products, services or yourself through your photostream, we will terminate your account.

True to their word, they've been deleting personal accounts right and left. You can read about it in the Etsy forums, among many other craft venues. The ensuing witch hunts have also been noted over at Whipup, who sent an email requesting more clarification from the Flickr team. Flickr's response was posted in this blog post.

So far, photographers selling their services have been neglected in the witch hunts. While I can see why a photo sharing website would be reluctant to go after professional photographers, I've noticed many unscathed photographers on the site who are directly violating the user guidelines as much as any craftisan who advertises their wares via photos on Flickr. At this point in time, I feel like Flickr is unfairly playing favorites. If I hear otherwise in the future, I will certainly make a note of it on this blog.


Further Reading: