Friday, May 30, 2008

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 (etsy.com/martha) 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.)

8 Comments:

Anonymous said...

"As much as we like Matt, Etsy needs a real marketing department with designers and editors who get ads in magazines of real impact."

Amen to that.

The Disgruntled One said...

Great article.

The Righteous One said...

Etsy needs to learn how to spell d-e-b-a-c-l-e

j. hart photography said...

i just read parts of the "hall of shame" thread and i love this comment:

"There's got to be a better way to do this than making us all jump through hoops like circus poodles on fire...to come up with a sore hand and nothing else."

AliciaMae said...

sounds like a bad date!

Andy Mathis said...

I've been saying forever they need a fair system for signing up for co-op ads.

This is worse that Christmas 1982 when arms were broken at Kmart over Cabbage Patch Dolls.


In good news, I have been putting together my own co-op ads in targeted magazines, and we are starting to sell artwork out of the ad.

Don't fret over the Etsy Co-op ads. Get together with like sellers, and do your own.

moonmystic said...

I sat and watched as the threads about the Bust ad kept popping up. I'm surprised RD didn't immediately lock all the threads and refer everyone to an article in The STORQUE that does not answer anybody's questions.

Lucy said...

I hate Etsy's lack of advertising, and their notion that it is OUR responsibility to bring in our own customers. Honestly, I want to know who it was that sat down and concocted this half witted idea.

Ever bought a showcase slot? They are the BIGGEST rip off on etsy.

I think that these BUST ads are just a more expensive extension of that theory. I can't believe how many sellers work themselves up into a tizzy over it.