Saturday, May 31, 2008

Quotable Quotes: Respect Others

Best thread lock I've seen in a while:

"For the sake of preserving feelings and otherwise preventing the bashing of anyone - community members, presidential candidates, members of religious faith and anyone else I'm missing, I'm shutting this one down."

Manifesto to Maria

Dear Maria,

Welcome to Etsy and by default, EtsyBitch. As the new COO of Etsy, I am sure you realize that Etsy, while a great idea, is being poorly executed from an operations standpoint. You obviously have the resume to have already recognized most if not all of what we are going to say next, but we're going to say it anyway.

We’ve got our concerns about how Etsy is run; from the very top, down to the newest employee. As someone who has a fresh palate, we hope you are clearly able to see where Etsy needs to go, improve and excel.

Site – It needs to work. We don’t need all the fancy toys. We need a site that stores important information seamlessly and doesn’t constantly reset itself. We need a search function that works like Google. Something that doesn’t require NOT this and NOT that in order to prevent category bleed through. No category bleed through is a good thing. We need better categories and an understanding of what Etsy’s users NEED, not what Admin thinks is hip and trendy. The childish error and “brick wall” pages should be replaced with something more professional like, “Oops! This seller is no longer with us. We have many other talented artisans here. Please click *here* to look at some new sellers.”

Engineers – We need Engineers that know what they are doing and have a modicum of respect for the users. RevolvingDork is a liability. He treats others badly and automatically assumes that it’s the users fault, not that Etsy is having an issue, instead of the other way around. That is BAD Customer Service and a horrible attitude to have. Essentially Engineers should not have contact with the public, and there should be a technical person buffering the contact. Preferably one with customer service experience. There are many posts in the Ideas forum that have mentions of essentials needed to run a successful business, some of these features your competitors already offer. It should not be hard, if the site was built properly, to add in these needed elements. If the site crumbles when new features are added, there are problems with the base code.

Customer Support – Customer Support should be the most important position in the company. There should be phone support available, and the e-mail support is lacking. It should not take days for a first contact. EVERY e-mail should be responded to in some way, personally, to let the user know he/she has been heard. All customer support agents should have a customer support background. This does a few things. One, it makes sure that those who are the front face of Etsy are not a liability. Two, it ensures the best customer service possible. And three, people with a Customer Service background are better at controlling the flow of a conversation without being reactive.

Employee interactions – Employees who have been a liability in the past should be removed from the front line of any customer interaction. There are a few who should’ve been terminated after the havoc they’ve caused. Any research into the issues should point out who has been unfairly stalker-ish and who have caused absolute blow-outs that would not be tolerated in any other workplace of that size.

Community – Should have “sticky” notes for important site issues, etc. The Forums should really be cut back to Site Help (where only Admin can post), Bugs, Ideas, Teams and Events. Business and Marketing should have it’s own static page as a part of the help section. Etc is just embarrassing fodder for potential investors to find and Promotions, is quite crudely put, a clusterfuck. Teams should be the community focus that you promote. The chat rooms should be cut back just to the virtual labs. You have to decide where your focus will be. Right now, Etsy’s focus is on community and maybe you can sell some things on the side instead of where Etsy’s vision is located – to make a living selling handmade items and living a handmade life.

Forum Police – The forums should only be policed by those who work for Etsy. The constant rudeness from a few forum sheriffs is embarrassing to say the least. It causes more blow-ups than problems it solves.

The Storque – While a great idea, it is poorly executed. It is cluttered, filled with nepotism and fluff. There’s a complete lack and disregard for actual news, especially when it comes to site issues. Many times, people are relegated to reading news on the Forums, where its quickly buried or dismissed by RevolvingDork, or reading it at the UEN. The UEN would not be nearly as popular if Etsy took reporting the site news seriously. The news should also be available on a different server webpage, so when the site does go down, it is replaced by the blog, like it used to be. This deflects a lot of problems.

Advertising – It should be done, regardless of grass roots advertising ideas, it needs to be done. Traditional advertising in any marketing plan is a bonus, rather than a hindrance.

Etsy e-mails – It is NOT spam to send ALL users updates on policy changes, site changes and anything else important. Contrary to popular thought in the office, the forums and the Storque does not reach the entire customer base. It should not be opt-in. It should be defaulted as mandatory with the option of opt-out.

Official Press – Recently, Etsy had an unfavorable report in The Consumerist about how it treated its users. An Etsy employee took it upon himself to reply to the furor and called anyone who wasn’t in line with thinking that Etsy was perfect “grumpy haters.” This is unacceptable. Official statements should only come from 3 sources: Rob Kalin, You and Matt Stinchcomb.

Confidentiality – Spouses of employees should not be privy to confidential information regarding features, account suspensions, and other decisions and plans from the main office. This gives them a leg up on information when everyone else is left in the dark. It also gives the impression that these employees are speaking badly about other users and spilling other confidential information that might affect their ability to participate within the Etsy community. Other businesses have similar rules, to protect its customers from such retaliation.

Favoritism – It has to stop. The only users that should get any special treatment are the top sellers (in the way of having a personal account rep to handle their unique needs). Even if it is denied, there is no doubt that some sellers are treated differently because of who they are friends with.

Professionalism – Yes, the staff is quirky, but that should be relegated to in house antics. It should no way, shape or form, bleed out into personal interactions with sellers and buyers. It is currently set up where only 1 or 2 employees who have regular interaction with sellers and buyers are fair and impartial.

Contrary to popular thought, we do care about Etsy very, very much. We do believe in professionalism from the people we are paying money to. Many of our postings are dripping in sarcasm and frustration, but only because we’ve been pushed that far. There are those of us who are fed up and have no where else to go, and then there are those of us who have great ideas and wish we had a platform to express our thoughts. EtsyBitch is our platform.

You may wonder why we are anonymous. Well, we’ve seen many people punished on Etsy for things done off Etsy. It makes us wary, and unless there’s a personal guarantee, signed by Rob Kalin himself, notarized and copied in triplicate, we’re not going to reveal ourselves.

Maria, if you wish to discuss our Manifesto, you can reach us at We might be anonymous, but we’re actually quite personable.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Quotable Quotes: Suck My Dork

[sniff] Farewell RB:

"...she was banned for saying posting "suck my dick" when they
slapped her wrists like a naughty child for posting about the slowness.

They say, give someone an inch and they take a mile.

I say, give a few teenagers a bit of power and they think they're
fucking jesus."

RecoveryBabe has been muted!

Indefinately is the word for annoying Revolving Dork and being surly. We like surly. No. We LOVE surly.

So. This is for Recoverybabe, and the other walking wounded like Emckinstry, Quirke, Eclipse, Blondezillabeads4fun, Verybigjen, Halflyng and the myriads of others ever muted on Etsy.


Remember, we here at EtsyBitch respect you for pushing the boundaries in the name of making things better, and in your honour I shall fart Taps.

(If you are one of the many muted and want a smaller version of this noble badge for your own blog, it is down on the left side.)

Sometimes these write themselves

For some reason Etsy likes the Lotto. Maybe it's the roots of Old Vegas Keno that makes their young hearts feel so hot for it, but whatever it is it fucks over the users every time.

Treasuries are already a lottery system. You might get lucky and score one, you might not. You can time your visit to be ten minutes before they line up, and wait on the page with a sniper-like instinct to hit that button when the treasury name field appears to snag one... and still lose because that day many too others were there as well. It sucks. No, it really really sucks.

Etsy has extended this to their singular advertising venture, The BUST Magazine Ad.

They got 23 million+ in funding but sellers still have to pay to be in it because it's more uh... what's the word... halfassed.

The entire Bust thing has bothered me from the beginning, it's a rather small magazine by conventional standards, and its subscription base seems to consist largely of shallow 20-something fashionista hipsters who think that jeans look awesome under dresses. (Hint: you look stupid... oh sorry, retarded.) And the money? I think it's entirely too much money for one product shot in a smaller specialty periodical myself.

I'm sure Bust Magazine is larger in New York City, but where I'm from it's unheard of. But aside from that, Etsy's lottery system method as to which lucky few get the privileges to be included in the ad all depends on how little of a life you have and how long you're willing to wait staring at a button on a screen.

Seems that Etsy was late for the appointed clusterfuck while the hungry hordes lined up. And waited. And waited. Then the guy at Etsy who was supposed to flip the switch looked up from World of Warcraft and noticed the time.

Then he went out for a smoke, and tied his shoes, and chatted up the homeless man on the corner. (By the way, this particluar Admin's avatar has his tongue sticking out, I think says it all.)

When he finally flipped the switch it was over, in seconds. So fast that people who were there before the appointed time got shut out.

Then it was open... then not, or was it, then it was... a clusterfuck. No one could tell if it was open, it would say closed then spots would appear.

As much as we like Matt, Etsy needs a real marketing department with designers and editors who get ads in magazines of real impact. Hell, even just one ad in Martha Stewart Living will reach more people than 10 ads in BUST.

Why does it have to be a shoddy unpredictable lottery system? What if half the "winners" are all earrings? Or stuffed animals? Or handmade underwear? Talk about looking unorganized and rather limited. What if you paid then found out your item is next to one similar or even next to a direct competitor of yours? I'd be screaming bloody murder.

Why can't we have a real advert that is rather like some of the best treasuries: a colour, seasonal, holiday or other theme and some stunning items that are hand picked by a member or something be some of the best and brightest Etsy has to offer not just whomever showed up waving money at the right millisecond? It's called looking professional. I know it's an alien concept there.

Hell, you could take a iTunes slant with it and model the celebrity playlists. Ask a Etsy loving celebrity to pick out their favorite 10-12 items on Etsy, or have a member contest and online voting for the best list of the most stunning list of items. There are all kinds of ways to pick a way that is better than what they do now.

Throw in a special entry page for those readers ( that shows them those things in the and and other things like those shown and a fab search field to bring them the rest of the site, just for them. That's gold there.

Why does everything Etsy do seem to be so poorly thought out?

I nominate this thread to be included into the the First Annual EB Hall of Shame. (That's another post coming soon.)

Hello there, Goldman Sachs

Welcome, Goldman Sachs.

We’ve noticed your interest in our blog. How flattering! Perhaps you are considering investing in EtsyBitch? A very wise choice. But there’s no need to be shy, or hide in there amongst all the other visiting IPs. Five visits – looks like you’re quite tempted. Perhaps we can sketch out a quick pitch to convince you?

First, our mission statement. It’s handily outlined right over there at the top of the right column and summarized neatly in our header. Bitching for change! It’s smart and snappy, and we know you approve of good branding. Now, let us entice you with our target market – Mr. Kalin last quoted them at approaching one million. That’s right, one million registered Etsy users who are a mere button click away from being muted, banned, having their shops or buying accounts closed down, or suffering a myriad of other Etsy-specific asshattery that would drive them to become a devoted EtsyBitch subscriber. Doesn’t it make you start itching to reach for your checkbook?

But let’s delve a little further into what EtsyBitch can offer those one million potential subscribers. We’re the solution to a problem. What problem, you ask? Oh sirs, do not tempt me to waste away the hours typing up such an endless list! I suggest you sample the Etsy forums to obtain a clear idea of what we’re up against (paying particular attention to the Ideas and Bugs forums – and pay no mind to that fellow in Bugs who always claims there are no bugs, we all know he’s a silly thing).

So what’s our solution? Why, bitching for change, of course! See how nicely that’s expressed in our mission statement? The old adage is true – the squeaky wheel gets the grease. It’s certainly worked before! Sellers wanted sold prices hidden, they bitched for hundreds of posts, and sold prices were hidden. Sellers wanted USD on the item prices, they started a dozen threads, now USD appears on item prices. Granted, we’re still working on some pretty tough issues – like smacking the Etsy hand that reaches for an IHPS – but you can see the precedent is there.

We’re sure you must be taking out your solid gold pens to sign your name to a nicely chunky sum by now, but just in case, let us point out that WE are the only fully public EtsyBitch blog out there, with a fully capable, fully bitchy staff of ten ready to fully expose all of Etsy’s foibles and fuckups. We have no competition! What’s that? Unofficial Etsy News, you say? Well, we admire the fellows over at UEN, but they’re rather serious types with all of their news and professionalism. There’s a big snarky hole in the Etsy-watchdog market and we’re here to fill it.

Now, lest you be concerned we’re a little too hard-edge, allow us to assure you that we have a soft, fuzzy, cookie-giving side when Etsy is well-behaved to its customers. We’ll happily give it a pat on the head and tell it to run along and play when it works properly and is polite. We here at EtsyBitch believe in positive reinforcement, where it’s due.

So, Goldman Sachs, let us know what you think. Our mailbox is open and easily accessible right over there to the side. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

Love, The Bitches

Mass e-mails ahoy!

Today I woke up to see a pretty little e-mail from a reader about Congratulations Etsy! You've put your big boy britches on and taken a baby step into acting like a true business! Now I must drop the load in my pants from the surprise, since Admin has previously said they'd NEVER send out mass e-mails like this one since they considered it spam.

Etsy Announcements
Reply-To:Etsy Support
To: TheSneakyOne
Subject: Etsy Update
Dear TheSneakyOne,

Greetings from Etsy, your place to buy and sell all
things handmade.

We've grown to over 150,000 sellers in 171 countries, and we're just about to reach 1,000,000 members total. This is an exciting milestone for us, and we've made some recent changes to help keep things running smoothly.

Here's an overview of the changes:


With over 1.7 million products on Etsy, we're trying tohelp buyers more easily find what they are looking for.

As a first step on this path, we added three new search filters, like so: Handmade Items, Supplies and Vintage Items. You can now select which type of item you'd like to find /before/ you search. By default, we'll look for handmade items. (Of course you can also search all items on the site by selecting "All items" in the search bar drop-down menu.)

To read more about the changes to search, please visit:

*Terms of Use*

Our Terms of Use was updated to clarify the improvements we made to our DO's and DON'Ts. This will mainly be of interest to sellers, and you can read more about it here:

We also created a new area to address our policies for online and in-person Etsy meet ups.

*Onward and Upward*

OK, that's all for now! You're receiving this because your email address is attached to an account at We only send out mass emails like this one when we have something really important to say. Nobody likes spam!

Thanks so much for being part of Etsy, and if you have any questions or comments, we'd love to hear from you. You can just reply to this email.


Coming to you from Etsy Inc., located at 325 Gold Street,
6th Floor; Brooklyn, NY 11201.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The lack of, well, just the lack

I am extremely stunned even still that Etsy does not have a formal contact system for the various departments. Instead they merely rely on hard to find emails that you have to ask in the forums to get, or find them but blindly stumbling around the site.

Why is hell is there no service ticketing system? Why is there no web form for contacting admin on a myriad of issues... why? Because hey don't want you to contact them they somehow want you to flail in the forums and let other users help you, it cuts into their time trying to find a better soy latte in Brooklyn. If they had a system they'd have to form a customer service department and have honest to go work and daily responsibilities that require follow up and thoroughness. Actual work takes up too much room on your desk when you are making fake mustaches in the office.

Best of all is now they want to handle our money. Can you imagine what they will use as a contact system with serious amounts of money involved if they do the In house payment system that they are talking about? Will they even feel the need to start phone support lines, because damn it when money is involved you want answers now - not when they get done checking myspace, and facebook, the forums, playing video games, making two videos and writing a Storque article. How long will you have to wait to ever get an answer regarding a messed up transaction or funds that won't transfer? Weeks? Months? In most cases currently you don't hear anything back at all. Will you physically have to drive to Brooklyn and beat on the door?

Oh yes, we're waiting for the in house payment system... waiting for it so we know when to leave.

Quotable Quotes: Lame, Crazy, or Retarded

Just don't use any words at all.

"Please don't use words like "lame", "crazy", "retarded", etc."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Etsy Play at Home Game

It doubles as a drinking game.

It's not me, it's you.

Have you ever wondered what goes through RevolvingDork's head when we complain about a technical error on Etsy? I figure it goes a little something like this:

  • Next time make sure to clear your cache.
  • If that doesn't work, reboot your computer.
  • If that doesn't work, make sure you have all updates for your computer.
  • If that doesn't work, download Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Unix, delete Vista and go back to XP.
  • If that doesn't work, shut down your computer, unplug everything, replug everything, turn your computer back on.
  • If that doesn't work, shut down your computer, leave your house, drive to your local computer retailer, spend at least $500 on a new computer, drive home, plug in, start up.
  • If that doesn't work, you might as well just hang yourself because it sure as hell isn't a problem on OUR end.

Etsy, I wish I could quit you.

A non-bitch friend of mine (who has been wanting to get into selling on Etsy after seeing my success there), was reading over this site and asked me a very large question today:

"I just read some of the shit you guys post and i'm thinking 'Why TF would I ever want to sell there? Ever?' "
The answer is: Etsy itself is fine. It's amazingly successful and a great many people have found at least a modicum of success on Etsy. People are making livelihoods there due to its being the biggest venue of its kind. It leaves Dawanda, Pinkdoodle, Lovli, bigcartel, icraft, and the others in the dust as far as size and exposure go.

It's the moment you have ANYTHING to do with the Etsy staff that it all goes to bollocks.

When you dare to ask a question about why thus or such happens, make a suggestion for an improvement, or god forbid criticise the way things are done, even merely request help, you'll finally find the chink in the armour. You will quickly be told by those in the forums and even Etsy staff, that: "it's not us, it's you". It's your problem if you aren't happy, it's your fault the site's not working, it's something you did to get you in the spot you're in, you ungrateful bastard. And sellers who ask for entirely reasonable things are viewed as insolent children who bite the hands that feed them. Cue the choir of cheerleaders who can cripple a wildebeast at 20 paces with chants of "if you don't like it, leave!".

Amazingly, the staff somehow doesn't make the correlation that it's the sellers that bring buyers in, and sellers who pay the bills, and sellers in reality do the real customer service to the buying public. They should be bending over backwards to not only serve them, but cater to them to keep them happy and earning the money that pays their salaries. Making the seller's life easier should take precedence over some inane flash plaything whose overspecialisation is so specific it is virtually useless to everyone.

In a business with a shopkeeper model it should be obvious to not piss off your sellers, to not call them demeaning things in public forums, to not talk down to them like children, to not call them ungrateful bastards or "grumpy haters", to not shut them down for sometimes fabricated events by jealous competitors or mistaken or unscrupulous buyers. You'd think that would be obvious. It seems to be so to everyone but Etsy. Such a business environment should offer them a wide berth and provide them the support and tools to make you more money. But Etsy does these horrid things to its money generating customers, and yet they really don't do anything at all to bring in new ones. They do no advertising, at least not in magazines that anyone actually reads.

They adamantly resist proven methods of the traditional old advertising geezers, even advocating its unhippness with their young city bohemian conceived ideals of current web technology and its need to be 'indie' - whatever the fuck that means. They instead go with an all word of mouth plan with hordes of prostrating housefraus preaching the gospel of Etsy to strangers at the street fair as if they were a new branch of the Mormons. I'm personally waiting for Mary Kay-style Etsy Parties with the level of fanaticism at play with the street teams. (Hey, that's my idea, I get a cut, damn it.)

And that's the damned shame of all this. Etsy would prefer to spend money on the office half pipe or paying staff to play Rockband than serve its fee paying customers. It's hard NOT to be disenchanted by that.

At times it seems as if the sellers care more than the staff about the site and its success, because for the most part it's entirely left on our shoulders. It's our job to not only make and sell our own goods, but to promote and market ourselves and Etsy.

Is it any wonder we're unhappy?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Quotable Quotes: "In the Know"

Gosh, it must feel good to be "in" with the In crowd:

"Its actually happened to me (my seller account) when a buyer didnt receive a package I sent - and contacted support first. So I know it to be true :)

Also - I work (and live) closely to support admin. So believe me I'm "in the know"."


Crocheted Inner Tube Tuesdays

So we have vintage friday now, huh? In an effort to quell the brouhaha of the new and improved search, we get this there-there-we-love-you weekly.

Not that vintage featured per se is bad, but it does not eliminate the problem. The problem of search. The problem of hierarchy.

How about mass-produced-that-snuck-in Wednesday?
Food from unregulated kitchens every-other-monday?
Jewelry made from ABC gum upcycle day May 24?

Maybe the best solution would be the very oft posted oft suggested idea of having a "make a selection" "choose your own adventure" or "pick NOW bizzatches" prompt at the beginning of your Etsy experience. That way no hard feelings. Fewer anyway. It seems like a good enough idea. I've seen it rear its little head up a LOT in the forums. It can't be hard to do, not that hard, no?

Just think no more supply v vintage v handmade death match threads. One can hope.

Report this post... additional options that are needed.

Why are you reporting this post?

  • Thread is in the wrong section of the forums.
  • Post discusses private matters (transaction details, feedback, copying, etc).
  • Post is abusive or insulting to another member.
  • Post negatively "calls out" a specific user by name or identifiable hints.
  • Post is from an alternate or "sock puppet" account.

I'm sorry, but there are just not enough options for reporting a post. We at Etsy Bitch have come up with some of our own that really need to be implmented.

  • Post describes body cheese in intimate detail
  • Post uses those goddamn fucking little hearts
  • Post asks a rhetorical question everyone damn well knows the answer to
  • Post is blatant sympathy-seeking whine
  • Post is blatant attention-whoring smut
  • Post is blatant promo thinly disguised as a question
  • Post is by Rokali
  • Post is signed at bottom when everyone already knows who is posting it
  • Post is thinly veiled attempt at a threat from admin
  • Post is extremely too much fail for this early in the morning
  • Post hurts my brain, make it stop
  • Post needs serious spell checking and/or language translation

Report this entire thread:

  • Entire thread has turned into a trainwreck, please stop the gawking
  • Entire thread is pointless, please mute original poster for wasting time & oxygen
Any others you would like to see added to the pile?

Twitterings to mystery!

EtsyBitch is now on twitter, since most of the Etsy admin and a couple hundred Etsy sellers already are. Etsy even did a "how to use twitter" story I believe all the pablum there fades into one big pile of vomit, honestly.

Task at hand, right, we're on twitter and of course clicked 'follow' on Rokali, who no one was following, and had made no posts.

Until obviously he got the notification of his being followed by us, (see how handy notifications are from you web service are ROB???? Informational and timely!) and he made his first post ever mere moments later... "Redesigning Etsy. Starting" OOOH mystery! Intrigue! Drama! is up and regged to rokali (Rob Kalin).

What will it's purpose be? I will fathom a guess that he's going with a Scientology idea and founding a religion purely on money, power, and ego alone. Yes... I think he's starting The Church of Etsy!

Of course, it's entirely more likely it will be some kind of lame charity or green/vegan crafting doodah.

Quotable Quotes: Food stamps

This doesn't have a damn thing to do with anything - it's just funny as hell.

"people on welfare shouldn't smoke pot because then they will get the munchies and they will eat up their whole month's food budget in one day and then they will be sad .......

...... by the same logic though, people on welfare SHOULD smoke crack because then they won't get hungry, and they can sell their food stamps to the pot smokers, and buy more crack with the money.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Quotable Quotes: Professional Etsy Admins In Action!!

Etsy Labs OP post: "The Etsy Labs has noticed your requests for a more diverse style of promo merchandise and have
created a Design Face-Off with the intentions to involve you, our beloved Etsy community in the design process of our new line of Etsy goodies.

The Etsy Admin have hand-selected three designers that are already doing an awesome job on the site. We asked them to create up to three new Etsy branded designs, and now it's up to you to decided whose Etsy Design will reign supreme!"

Responder "L": "werent there any better designs ?"

Responder "C": "I like the 3rd one best of all the options but none of them really grab me. They all seem very busy and detailed which is not usually good for advertising."

Responder "A": "Interesting. Will items with these designs be for sale?
Is Etsy paying the designers a royalty for use of their images? or a flat fee?"

And how did Etsy Admin respond?

Anda to Non-Cheerleaders: "Hey! This isn't a shop critique or your college art class. Keep yr comments towards the designers' work positive. OR ELSE. :)"

Daniellexo to "L": "Your comment in the Face-Off thread was insulting to our members who are participating in the Face-Off. We're a community here and want to support each other. Please keep that in mind."

Anda to "A": "Its also not very kosher to discuss the artists' contracts publicly in the forums. And yes I am talking to you, Mr. A-."

Or else what, Anda?????

It's not me, it's you

We all know that when a seller has a technical problem with their Etsy store, it’s their fault. I mean, all they have to do is clear their cache, reboot their computer, download and install Firefox, and go to Brooklyn to smack a few IT people in order to fix it.

Over the years, there have been some amazingly unresponsive responses from Etsy engineers regarding seller problems. And though some of the time it really is a matter of the seller being unfamiliar with the site (like inactive and expired items), the fact remains that there was a time when shop policies disappeared, counters reset, the site came up blank when no others did, the servers dragged, the site crashed, the line from New York was cut for some places in the world, and new features were implemented with bugs. Yet, it was always the seller’s problem.

Here are some classic, yet recent, Revolving Dork responses you may loathe as much as I do.

  • ‘Be sure to click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the Shop Policies page after you’re done entering them — if you don’t, your policies will not be saved. Also, look for the message “Your shop policies have been successfully updated.” — if you see that, we’ve received your data and it shouldn’t be going anywhere.’ (Bullshit – he later conceded that there is an issue)
  • ‘We haven’t been able to reproduce any occurance of “dissapearing” policies, and we haven’t seen anything in the logs that points to this happening.’ (Yes, he actually put disappearing into quotations and uses this line often! And he can’t spell)
  • 'If you’re still having issues, it may be best to use an alternate free browser for file uploads on Etsy.' (Heaven forbid they make Etsy work for Macs)

And remember the expired listing bug, where renewing out of inactive would give less than 4 months?

'Closing this to prevent further misinformation — there is no known issue with expired listings. If you have a specific example of something that looks wrong, let us know and we’ll try to reproduce it.'

Some contradictory responses from other admin –

stellaloela: “The Engineers are aware of this concern; it’s on their list of thing to improve.” (Well obviously not)

SarahSays: “I wish I had an answer for you. All I can say is that there are some valid concerns in this thread. I spoke with some Etsy engineers on this issue.”

kfarrell: “This issue affected a handful of users, and to our knowledge it has been resolved.”

And the classics, and unnecessary when a dozen threads and hundreds of posts have already been directed towards the bug effort:

  • 'Internally, everything seems to be running smoothly, and none of our engineers have been able to reproduce the issues that some of reported….You can help us track this down by supplying us with some information.'
  • 'This is the way it’s intended to work, and will likely continue to work — but we’re working on revisions that should make things easier.'

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Why are they still selling here then?

We knew this would be a popular refrain. We knew this question would come up, especially from people who have not sat through enough rounds of the usual to be pushed to the edge of good sense - maybe you've watched for a few months. So there are some bugs in the system, why would that make anyone SUCH a huge Bitch? Wad our panties this bad?

When someone who depends on an entity for their livelihood gets fed up enough to criticize it this heavily - maybe they're not stupid or insane. Maybe they really have been pushed to the edge of good sense and feel that powerless. Consider this.

Many of us are industry professionals in the very industries that fuel Etsy. We've had jobs where you need to wear pantyhose and ties and all those stupid accessories they like to make fun of in Brooklyn - and we've done this stuff. And we know when it's being done incorrectly. This makes us sad. Or astounded. Or cranky. Pick an adjective.

Many of us have watched as competent and trusted shops have been shut down for one bad transaction. Or NO bad transactions at all whatsoever, merely administrative mistake. With no apologies or explanation.

Is this good for YOUR bottom line?
You are us. We are you.
Can you imagine what it would be like to wake up with your shop brickwalled for nothing you can even guess at?
Can you imagine a few people deciding you can't be doing as much work as you are and being shut out on nothing more than hearsay?

Have any of these sellers felt that the apologies they got were adequate?
Let alone any kind of remuneration, waiver of fees, or "making whole" in legal language?

You may or may not be selling every day on Etsy. But when you are, perhaps a precarious existence in which your paycheck can be yanked arbitrarily and immediately is such a creepy prospect that you are willing to risk the small but significant risk of being shut down that anonymous critique presents.

At least it means going down swinging, not wondering what you did and with a whimper of "whoops."

We still sell on Etsy because Etsy does certain things well and has the potential to do ALL the amazing and high-minded things it purports to do.

In many ways it's been good to us, too, we just don't love the idea of existing on pins and needles when we are professional people. We feel that we're in that position even when we're NOT on the anonymous critique path.

We still sell on Etsy because we believe in what it could be.

A VENUE which allows independent business people to run their business their way and enrich their lives. Your policies, your timelines, your products, your sales, your customers and you.

Not high school cliques. Not drama. Not mistakes and mishaps. Not closures over a lost package and a SPAM filter. Your business as your business.

Want to Link EB?

This one is 200x200 pixels and is the same size as the Etsy Flash banner
so it will fit in any side column that you have your
Etsy banner or Mini - we like ironic symmetry.

Here is your code:

This is your typical small web button... cute ain't it?

Here is your code:

Who are the Bitches of Etsy?

We know you're wondering, but these are not the droids you're looking for.

EtsyBitch is not one mortal human, but a powerful ten-headed hydra of pure bitch that can peel paint off a Russian submarine at 500 yards. We know all. We see all. We have web trackers and TiVo and make a mean cappuccino. Hear us roar.

We know you like puzzles, so I will give you ten about us as if as I were dangling steak in front of a starving vegetarian:

  1. There is a cock in every hen house. One Etsy Bitch is a bastard.
  2. One of by sea, two of by night, Three like sweet tea.
  3. The eye of the deer cries tears of a twisted clown.
  4. The youngest one has curls of gold, like their mother.
  5. Die Nachbarn haben nichts gerafft Und fuehlten sich gleich angemacht
  6. Frisky is risky while glitter has fun, shifty is thrifty while crabby has none
  7. No Teatons, tamales, timapanis or tatas in The Temple
  8. Meanwhile in Oz, the sun also shines on the Wicked.
  9. Sunlight is bright, moonlight is romantic, Delite is addictive and tastes like fantastic
  10. If Ibsen is spotted standing in The City lost and found call 0761312846.

The EB Calling-Out Policy

Our newly faithful readers have been sending us future 'bitchfodder'. Thanks!!!

A few folks have sent us Etsy sellers to bitch about that are new international retailers with factories and dozen of retail outlets in five countries, and multiple websites. Handmade? Oh hell no. But that doesn't stop them.

I thought I'd like to take the opportunity to express exactly what our policy will be for 'calling out' sellers.

At this time we're not going to call out these instances. It's a fine line so we've decided that we'll keep an eye on them and not pick on them specifically (since it's obvious Etsy doesn't give a tinkers if sellers actually are handmade by not acting on flags or reports). But should that factory shop make be made a featured seller... the gloves come off since Etsy has a noticeable habit of making some incredibly poor featured seller choices, often letting them trade a place in the choir for a favored place on the front page. We hate that as much as you do. We're not gonna stay quiet on that.

We might reverse ourselves later, but for the immediate future sellers will not be attacked individually for merely selling -- unless they do something brilliantly stupid in the forums. Since Etsy doesn't approve/jury sellers to sell on it's site. It's an blind automated process, and since there is a flagging system we have to give Etsy a chance to fail before attacking them for not enforcing it. It's more fair than they deserve.

Don't worry though, Admin are another issue, we'll continue snarking on them until our fingers bleed! Yeehaw!

Keep sending us in stores that violate the Etsy TOS - we're keeping a list!
We'll be also more than happy to help you and gang-flag them in the meantime!

Feel free to comment, we unlike Etsy, want to know what you think!

Etsy's bad press gets colorful

For those of us familiar with the Etsy site, we know we can buy several ways – categories, search, seller list, time machine, colors – but for those who are new to the site, there are just a bunch of graphics they have to sort through and decide where to click.

One such person ended up putting Etsy at #2 on their list of websites that suck! Why? Because of the flash abhorration that is the color picker.

Currently at the top of ‘Ways to shop’ on the front page of Etsy, this tool invites new visitors and buyers to click and find something in a color of their choice. The only problem is that is doesn’t work. What you end up with is a hodge podge of items that may have that color, or a similar color, somewhere in the photo of that item. Supposedly the tool picks from somewhere near the border of the photo upon listing. But who the hell knows!? It doesn’t work! And outside sources agree.

What’s particularly troubling is that this is what greets new shoppers. And it isn’t the only pain in the ass feature on the site. Just the one highlighted by a programmer’s annual list of sites he finds annoying. Which isn’t good press, especially since he has a point.

When the list of sellers is at the bottom of the ‘Buy’ page, having the color picker at the top of ways to shop is just insulting.

Sure, it gives people something fun to do…for 5 minutes. And man hours were spent developing it. Which makes me wonder again what the hell they’re thinking.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Quotable Quotes

"(Don't be negative, don't do it.
Be happy. Put a smile on your face! :D lol!
Don't bring everybody down.
Positive Pollys have more fun than Negative Nellies! :)
Get Etsy! Be happy! :D
I have Etsy, and I'm SUPER happy! lol! :D :D )"
A blast from your Etsy past.
V - Super-Happy Fun Jokey Thread! :D lol

Top Ten Forum Subjects To Give Someone on Etsy an Aneurysm

If you’re bored and feel like watching a trainwreck, nothing beats the following ten topics to get someone’s panties in a bunch. In no particular order…

1. Breast-feeding in public. Either you’re a woman-hating squelcher of baby rights, or a mannerless trollop who wouldn’t know discretion if it bit you in the left nipple. It’s Team No-Boob versus Team All-Boob, pick a side.

2. Walmart. This world-dominating soulless corporate mega-giant is the antithesis of everything Etsy is supposed to embody, but when you regurgitate your dinner after reading the forums you’re gonna need that $2.99 12-Roll Paper Towel Valu-Pak.

3. Homeschooling. Sure, sending your kids to public school these days means potentially exposing them to drugs, violence, sex education, and friends, but not sending them risks social awkwardness, the inability to express Pi as a fraction, and disturbing maternal attachments. Really, it’s a lose-lose situation.

4. Bush. International sellers and other folks who want the terrorists to win weep into their bubble mailers as staunch American patriots defend their leader’s inability to pronounce the word “nuclear”. All it proves is that anyone can be prezadunt.

5. Abortion. What do you get when you mix coathanger-armed murderers with pamphlet-waving misogynistic fundies? A delicious casserole of hysterical accusations and scientific dismissals liberally sprinkled with biblical quotes and medical definitions. Mmm, tasty!

6. Spanking. It’s the “I was spanked and I turned out fine” versus the “I wasn’t spanked and I turned out fine” crowds. Actually, none of you are fine. Get help.

7. Cheap crap from Asia. For America to buy it, it must be cheap. If it’s cheap, it must be made in China. If it’s made in China, it must be crap. If it’s crap, America will buy it. It’s the circle of life, kids, and it moves us all.

8. Veganism. The game is one-upmanship, and you get five points for eschewing meat, ten points for wearing only pleather and polyester, fifteen points for liberating the chocolate-covered ants at the local novelty store, and ten thousand points for subsisting solely on Etsy melodrama.

9. Atheism. If Richard Dawkins and Jesus duked it out, who would win? Whoever can act most outraged that either their non-belief is believed to be a belief or that their belief is unbelieved by non-believers. Either way, Nazis get mentioned and Godwin’s Law is invoked.

10. Etsy itself. If you don’t love it, leave it. Only ingrates and thankless clods would demand a functioning, bug-less website with respectful, helpful admins for twenty cents and your everlasting soul. Whatever you do, just don’t end up bitching about it on some anonymous blog somewhere with other "grumpy haters".

Friday, May 23, 2008

This is how I feel...

This is how I feel when dealing with either Etsy Admin or one of its cheerleaders on the forums.

Seriously! I don't hate Etsy as a whole, I don't hate RobWhite, but I think that there are some seriously toxic Admin currently employed by Etsy who have caused and will continue to cause problems. Obviously, that $27 million didn't buy them brains.. Well, maybe not until Maria takes charge. When is that going to be anyway??

There's a difference ...

Hi, gang!

In reference to this (now locked) thread... As the author of the earlier posted review of the video made of RobWhite, I just want to repeat what I said in the review: I think RobWhite is a great guy.

My problems are with the video. Not RobWhite. The video. That clear? Good. I thought it was the first time, but apparently not. Apparently some people can't read. That's okay, I've notice that on the Forums, too.

It's the video that makes RobWhite look like a putz. It's not that he is a putz. I don't for a moment think he's a putz. He's a nice guy trying to do a good job in what must be a very challenging environment. He's a great writer and probably a lovely dancer.

Rob -- I don't think you're a putz at all.

The video, the video is another matter. The video is idiotic, a waste of time, and would make anyone look like an idiot. Seriously, people. Why is Etsy spending its time making its staff look like jerks? Who is their target audience for this crap? All the seven year olds I know would be repelled by it.

That is all.

Hello Etsy!

We appear to have been found.

For the uninitiated: We operate on etsy terms.

If you love us, we love you.

If you hate us we will go out of our way to make your life hell... or we'll ignore you. Depending on what we feel like at the time. Or if we're drunk, or have cookies. Whatever. We're bitches we don't have to have a reason.

Welcome, everyone, like it or not.

Let's take a trip back into the time machine!! Etsy and the Consumerist.

I hate to scare everyone with the remembrance of DanielleXO and her romp of destruction through the forums.. but I just have to bring this up as a monumental failure on Etsy's part. Thank goodness Matt was there to pick up the pieces. The Consumerist article here.

The article brought up some very valid points, and so did the comments thereafter. There's the lack of experienced customer service (which is still an issue), the wildly running narcissism and nepotism that comes straight from the top, and the "shoot first and ask questions later" mentality of most of the staff. Oh, and let's not forget the lone appearance from brepettis calling anyone who spoke out about the problems "grumpy haters." Well, we may be grumpy, and I'd rather be called bitchy, but we're anything but haters.

Let's face it, if it weren't for Matt working to repair the damage done by these petulant brats, the site would be hopeless.

Oh, and if you like us, really like us, please sign up for the e-mail list to the left of our posts!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New Etsy "enhancements" - joy!

After two years they have finally caved in and let us be able to rearrange pictures. It's a kind of crappy implementation of it. Most sites use some kind of flash or ajax to let you drag pictures around, etsy? Arrows. Cumbersome arows.

18 months of bitching well spent.

Other announcements were that they have added a collectibles section (which should finally shut the ACEO people the hell up), and that they have a new site to go to in the sure event that Etsy goes down for some reason and are spasming for info.

This seems to be another half-assed way to providing a fix to this old web dog. Take Flickr as a example of a nice way it can be done. When they go down they have a page come up (or more likely they set up a redirect) to a page that informs you "Flickr is getting a massage" and that you should visit the Flickr Blog for further updates. It's assuring, since they appear to know it's a problem, and informative as well as convenient. It also lets you know backup systems are in place.

Etsy can't even make that middle step, instead they provide you the info in advance and you have to know it's there for you to be able to go to it. You can't be automatically directed to it when you need it because that would 1: make sense and 2: require more infrastructure, and Etsy higher ups can't spell that.

Advertising Schmadvertising

Once again, Mr. Swimmy reiterates that Etsy will not advertise itself by conventional means. They still will rely on grassroots and word-of-mouth advertising by its members, as well as the few selected and targeted ads Etsy runs to get more sellers. What they seem to be overlooking is the fact that Etsy needs buyers. Shops may bring in their own buyers, but then they diffuse to the entire site, limiting the benefit to the shop that brought them in. Plus, most sellers bring in other sellers. Perfect for Etsy, not-so-great for sellers.

Ok, so we're all aware of Etsy's philosophy on advertising and can make business decisions thusly. I get it. It still bothers me, but I understand it's their choice. Ok, ok. But are the pom poms necessary? I mean, c'mon! Having faith in the CEO when he has no plan in place for the site...he doesn't even know what he's going to do how can anyone else? And all happy that he's wearing a handmade shirt. A lot of people wear handmade items and when you run a handmade site you kind of have to! If he didn't he'd be thrown more crap. Plus, there have been statements about how stuffy ties and a suit are so if he ever appeared to be professional he'd be eating other admin's words.

K? 'nough said

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Shameful "how-to"

I sew, it's one of my many and frankly varied talents. I sew well and brag to strangers that I can french seam a gore (it's sad, but true). That's my sewing-fu resume right there. If you can french seam a gore you can claim minor deity status in a Walmart sweatshop.

Etsy Staffer Brepettis just released a new video: how to patch jeans. So that's it? Just do some sloppy random zigzag sewing and it's done? What a butt ugly mess! I wouldn't let my dog wear those results.

And why offer something that has no less than 40 videos elsewhere? And ones that do a better job.

Way to go Etsy, no fluff on the Storque. Wow, I actually managed to type that without gagging.

Best use of time and resources? Hmmm ...

First of all, I just want to say that I like RobWhite. He seems like a nice guy. He's really closely associated with a few of the nastiest Admin going, but he himself seems pretty sweet. He's one of the few Admin on the Forum watch who writes like he cares about his customers. He's probably second only to Matt for being able to communicate with sellers without condescending to them. Or outright insulting them.

But this video? Sheesh.

Is it just me, or does this video make the poor guy look like a putz? Could this have been done in a more infantalizing way? For both RobWhite and the audience? What's with the handpuppets? And the dance break? Are we all in kindergarten? Have I gone nuts?

There are SERIOUS problems at Etsy, guys. Making cookies, playing with handpuppets and shooting childish videos aren't fixing the issues Etsy seller abitabite brings up in this anguished Forum thread.

On the Etsy Admin to do list: add a notice to the Storque article about the introduction of the policy page (which isn't actually working) or produce some more puerile twaddle? Etsy will choose the twaddle every time.

Klassy - with a K!

So Anda posts one of the fourty daily Storque articles that make is easy for some suck up cheerleader to suck up even more... all they need to know is etsy's address is because they already have a list of what to send Anda for her birthday.

Way to go Etsy. Going past favoritism, and went straight for self-serving. After all no one likes you more than you do!

Personally, I find the two-faced kitty necklace creepy and ironic.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Another day, another bitch.

Things are looking up, here at the Etsy Bitch Homestead. We're just gettin' unpacked, but you're welcome to join us.

Come on in and set a spell. We'll talk about the ways that Etsy has seriously screwed up its initial brilliant concept. We can spin tales of the Wild Forums, where only the strong survive. We can reminisce about bannings, shop closures, badly implemented new features, and a complete lack of focus on basic ecommerce. Share your favourite stories of Admin Gone Wild. Have a drink. You may need one.

But most of all, we're fixin' to remember the folks who get shafted every day in EtsyLand -- the buyers and sellers.

Come on in! We've got a pot of coffee on, someone's made a fresh batch of organic sour prune muffins and we're all ready for visitors. Heck, we can even promise that this won't show up as a video on the Storque.