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FTC guidelines


#1

Was: Why Young People Care About Handmade Things

once a seller uses handmade in advertising or hallmarking they have
to follow FTC guideline even if they aren't very often enforced. 

What are the FTC guidelines?

Kirste
http://kaskiles.com


#2
What are the FTC guidelines? 

http://tinyurl.com/2pf3rj

Basically, handmade jewelry must be made without the use of
electricity, and that includes drilling. I was taught that it doesn’t
include polishing, but that may or may not be true - I don’t use the
term except casually anymore, myself.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#3
Basically, handmade jewelry must be made without the use of
electricity, and that includes drilling. I was taught that it
doesn't include polishing, but that may or may not be true - I
don't use the term except casually anymore, myself. were
accomplished by hand labor and manually-controlled methods which
permit the maker to control and vary the construction, shape,
design, and finish of each part of each individual product. 

I read : “were accomplished by hand labor and manually-controlled
methods which permit the maker to control and vary the construction,
shape, design, and finish of each part of each individual product.”

Flex shaft is manually controlled method. I have not been able to get
mine to do anything without me holding it. If I have a choice of
where I drill a hole, is that not varying the construction, shape, or
design?

Richard


#4
What are the FTC guidelines? 

A7 23.3 Misuse of the terms “hand-made,” “hand-polished,” etc.

(a) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by
implication, that any industry product is hand-made or
hand-wrought unless the entire shaping and forming of such
product from raw materials and its finishing and decoration were
accomplished by hand labor and manually-controlled methods which
permit the maker to control and vary the construction, shape,
design, and finish of each part of each individual product. 

Note to paragraph (a): As used herein, "raw materials" include
bulk sheet, strip, wire, and similar items that have not been
cut, shaped, or formed into jewelry parts, semi-finished parts,
or blanks. 

(b) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by
implication, that any industry product is hand-forged,
hand-engraved, hand-finished, or hand-polished, or has been
otherwise hand-processed, unless the operation described was
accomplished by hand labor and manually-controlled methods which
permit the maker to control and vary the type, amount, and
effect of such operation on each part of each individual product. 

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#5
Flex shaft is manually controlled method. I have not been able to
get mine to do anything without me holding it. 

Nope. Handmade means only human power and human hands. It’s not like
the “handmade” police are everywhere, but it can happen, and there
might be complaints. But it’s quite specific - no electricity, no
mule power, no mill power, just human power.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#6

Kriste,

At the risk of having anything stripped from the message, I am
adding the text from an FTC booklet that can be downloaded that
relates to this.

James

  23.3 Misuse of the Terms "hand-made," "hand-polished," etc. 

  (a) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by
  implication, that any industry product is hand- made or
  hand-wrought unless the entire shaping and forming of such
  product from raw materials and its finishing and decoration
  were accomplished by hand labor and manually-controlled methods
  which permit the maker to control and vary the construction,
  shape, design, and finish of each part of each individual
  product. Note to paragraph (a): As used herein, "raw materials"
  include bulk sheet, strip, wire, and similar items that have 

not
been cut, shaped, or formed into jewelry parts, semi- finished
parts, or blanks.

  (b) It is unfair or deceptive to represent, directly or by
  implication, that any industry product is hand-forged,
  hand-engraved, hand-finished, or hand-polished, or has been
  otherwise hand-processed, unless the operation described was
  accomplished by hand labor and manually-controlled methods
  which permit the maker to control and vary the type, amount,
  and effect of such operation on each part of each individual
  product. 

  Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission 

  FC EDERAL RADE OMMISSION T FTC OR HE ONSUMER 1-877-FTC-HELP
  www.ftc.gov

#7

Thank you! So I wonder how legitimate sellers of handmade jewelry
can use these guidelines to insist that the illegitimate sellers
represent their work fairly. Of course I’m thinking of Etsy and the
handmade concept (other than vintage and commercial supplies.) I see
that there is a complaint section on the FTC website but it looks as
though it is for people who have purchased items that were
misrepresented.

Kirsten
http://kaskiles.com


#8

IN the context of the FTC guidelines previously mentioned i am having
trouble coming to a conclusion about the use of the magnetic tumbler
as part of the hand made process . The FTC guide lines state all the
process’ must be manually done - goo


#9
But it's quite specific - no electricity, no mule power, no mill
power, just human power. 

I guess that sort of rules out using a torch… unless you have a
methane generator hooked up to your commode.

Jeff
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#10
23.3 Misuse of the Terms "hand-made," "hand-polished," etc. 

Correct me if I’m wrong but that doesn’t mention “no electricity” at
all. When I read that, it would seem to allow the use of a flexshaft
machine.

Helen
UK


#11

So for those of us who make jewellery from sheet and wire, all hand
forged/fabricated, etc but who like the end result to be shiny,
polished silver or gold and for that we use the polishing machine
and flexshaft - are the FTC saying it can’t be called handmade? Are
we not allowed to sell such jewellery on Etsy? This has thrown a bit
of a spanner in the works as far as I’m concerned. My jewellery is
definitely handmade as far as I can see. I DON’T buy findings and
simply solder them together, in fact I don’t even buy findings - I
make my own. The only thing I buy is chains and that peeves me
greatly as I’d like the whole piece to be made by me. I don’t buy
bezel wire - I make it out of sheet. I don’t buy ring shanks - I
make my own. I don’t buy “heads” for stones - I make my own, etc,
etc. But I like the polished look and that would take far too long to
achieve without electrically operated tools.

Wouldn’t you class the flexshaft as an electrically-operated HAND
tool? Someone quoted the FTC guidelines on the subject of handmade
and nowhere did it mention NO ELECTRICITY.

I’d be really glad of some knowledgeable advice on the subject
rather than people’s opinions on what they think the guidelines mean.

Helen
UK


#12
But it's quite specific - no electricity, no mule power, no mill
power, just human power. 

I think a lot of you are completely misinterpreting the FTC rules on
what can be considered handmade. Holding a piece in your hand and
polishing it on a polishing wheel that is run by electricity is
still working by hand (you are, after all using your hands). Using a
flex shaft, a torch and other small electric tools with your hands
would still be considered hand made. Nowhere does it say that you
can’t use small tools or electricity. For that matter if you want to
interpret it that way then you better do all of your work by
daylight because it would preclude the use of artificial light, which
is just patently absurd. Can we use a little common sense here please

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC


#13
Handmade means only human power and human hands. It's not like the
"handmade" police are everywhere, but it can happen, and there
might be complaints. But it's quite specific - no electricity, no
mule power, no mill power, just human power. 

So you’re saying that if I want to sell anything via my Etsy store,
that I can’t use my flexshaft at all in the process of making it?
Just in case my potential customers are from the US (which they are
likely to be as that’s where most of them come from)? And that most
of the “makers” who sell their wares on Etsy never use a polishing
machine or flexshaft? Or is it just that Etsy are ignoring the FTC
guidelines? All this seems a tad ridiculous. Their definition of
handmade is a lot looser than the FTC’s definition so what are the
implications of that?

Helen
UK


#14

John,

Nope. Handmade means only human power and human hands. It's not
like the "handmade" police are everywhere, but it can happen, and
there might be complaints. But it's quite specific - no
electricity, no mule power, no mill power, just human power. 

Please provide precise documentation of this interpretation. I
believe you are wrong here. The FTC guidelines talk about manually
controlled methods, but not specifically eliminate tools which may
use a motor or other power source. The determining factor seems to
me to be manually controlled, not manually powered. I recall a JCK
show perhaps a decade or so ago, where there were a number of
presentaions as well as the main show, one of which happened to be an
FTC representative, and a question was asked him about this very
detail, ie what could or could not be called handmade or handwrought.
In that case, the question was whether an electrically powered
buffing motor made such a mark invalid, and his answer was that so
long as the process was hand guided and controlled, so the operator
had complete control over the results, that the presence of an
electric motor didn’t negate the hand made aspect. In short, it only
provided extra power, and didn’t determine the result, only the time
needed to get there. But this was just one person, and he may have
been mistaken, after all. Is it possible that his interpretation
relates to “handwrought”, but not “handmade”…

So again, I’d like to know where this precise interpretation can be
documented.

thanks.
Peter Rowe


#15

OK guys this is what, the 19th century, is there anything that is
handmade with no modern power. My first thought is maybe a
footpowered potters wheel or sewing machine. I don’t really care
what the FTC says, I am calling my work handmade and I am marking my
pieces with the mark of all the metals that I use. My customers want
that and thats what I give them. The FTC guidelines were created to
have standards for the large manufacturers but they really did not
help the art jeweler. I will follow the laws as close as possible
but not all the way. Lets get real people, do what you think is right
and most likely that will be right. How many of you follow the speed
limit laws.

Bill Wismar
www.metalbendersgallery.com


#16
Handmade means only human power and human hands. It's not like the
"handmade" police are everywhere, but it can happen, and there
might be complaints. But it's quite specific - no electricity, no
mule power, no mill power, just human power 

Nope read the FTC guides

  unless the entire shaping and forming of such product from raw
  materials and its finishing and decoration were accomplished by
  hand labor and manually-controlled methods which permit the
  maker to control and vary the construction, shape, design, and
  finish of each part of each individual product. 

It says nothing about hand powered only manually controlled. So flex
shaft, polishing lathe, drill press, engine lathe or mill as long as
it is manually controlled. Although an engine lathe or mill would be
stretching the definition I believe you can still make a good case
for them however a watchmakers lathe with hand held gravers would
easily be ok. So CNC, rubber or metal mold cast items, die struck, or
blanked work are not allowed but fabricated work with power tools is
well within the guidelines.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#17
So I wonder how legitimate sellers of handmade jewelry can use
these guidelines to insist that the illegitimate sellers represent
their work fairly. Of course I'm thinking of Etsy and the handmade
concept (other than vintage and commercial supplies.) I see that
there is a complaint section on the FTC website but it looks as
though it is for people who have purchased items that were
misrepresented. 

I would contact the folks who run Etsy and point out the relevant
area of the FTC guides and then If they blow you off send a copy of
a complaint to the FTC that you are going to send if they don’t do
some things to comply and see what their position is then. Best to
have the complaint drafted by a lawyer.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#18

Hi Gang,

I think many of you may have missed a very significant statement
toward the end of the FTC guidelines that were posted. The statement
said the tools used had to be ‘manually controlled’. This does not
rule out the use of a power source for operating the tool…

Dave


#19

As I understand a tumbler, it is a polishing process and not a
manufacturing process.

mike
azbeaddepot.com


#20

I’ve read recently and in past threads of these “FTC guidelines”,
and realize the FTC has these words on the books and on the web.
However, there is an essential element I have seen nothing written
about. Does anyone know of the FTC actively enforcing these rules
towards individual artists? By active enforcement, is there a FTC
unit actively reviewing catalogs, shows, markets, and web sites? As
lawyers have in casual conversation mentioned, a lack of enforcement
over time has the effect of nullifying even legislation, much less
beurorcratic agency rules. So, bottom line, are these protracted
discussions nothing more than ‘jilting at windmills’, or is there
some documentable pattern of enforcement toward individual artists?

Ed Wales