Fair trade or not Fair trade?

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As we all are aware that to try and support the third world we should purchase goods and crafts that support these poor people. But then when you see any advert, especially on ebay displaying a 'Fair Trade' logo you must ask yourself some important questions as to be certain that the base supplier  has received a fair price for the toil and labour.

I myself when I purchase some new item I have not sold before have a very strict ethical sense as to seeing if the items are indeed fair trade items.

I would personally take no notice whatsoever of anyone on Ebay that is displaying a Fair trade logo, that is unless they themselves are registered with the relevant organisation, but please bear in mind  a good indication  of if any item is indeed a fair trade item.

If I may give you some example, I have seen items described as been from fair trade sources on ebay selling for around 5 pounds. When you consider this seller is making around 100% mark up on prices you see the price he paid was around 2.50 pounds and when the wholesaler puts his profit margin on the item  of around 50% you see the  item true cost is  around £1.90p at wholesale in the UK.

Giving transport costs and ontaining the item in its relevant country  you see a cost around 50p and less paid to the artisan. You paid 5 pounds making profits of 4.50. Now how fair trade is this?

Many Ebay sellers use the Fair Trade wording to gain sales and some use their suppliers logos to make you think you are directly supporting the third world. So beware of anyone offering Fair Trade items unless they can provide you with the original source of all their items.

After all would you support child labour? You might be!


So what can you do to make sure the item you want to buy is indeed a item where the artisan has been paid a good price.

  • 1. Ask the seller to provide you with their Fair Trade registration and address of any organisation which they are displaying a logo for.
  • 2. Ask them to provide prove that all the items they are selling as fair trade are indeed fair trade.
  • 3. Stay clear of any item offered cheaply as this is an indication of not been Fair Trade sourced.
  • 4. Remember child and people exploitation is a disgrace and only used to increase profits.


 Also to be titled 'Fair Trade' all items should have a paper trail right back to the artisans or groups that produced the item. if the seller cannot provide this or is unwilling to provide this do not purchase.
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