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.


The Righteous One said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! It's about time we had a post like this! You all rock so hard!

Sorry, had an Etsy pom pom moment...ahem

Thank you for explaining it so well Astounded :)

Andy Mathis said...

Will banner advertising be available here on Etsybitch? Cuz that would rock. Maybe a project wonderful ad space?

jodie nicholson said...

I like that the survey is international-friendly.

Simone said...

I dunno who you people are, but this reads a bit like you're in my head!

Also some people have invested so much into their shops (time, energy and money) that they can't just walk away - especially if they rely heavily on the income their shop brings in. And it's not possible to translate that elsewhere overnight when you've already done so much groundwork in one place.

Also many of the people who are critics really do have a great deal of business experience - and Etsy experience - to offer (you'd be hard pressed to find someone with both who isn't at least a bit critical of what's gone on!). It would be a great loss to both Etsy and the community if they all just walked away, IMO.

In fact, as was pointed out here earlier, recent positive changes can be traced back to those who have been very vocal in their criticisms.

Anyway, good post! And I think advertising sounds like a nifty idea ;P

Elizabeth said...

Good idea, Andy!

ebbandflo said...

Well said and well articulated! though I doubt it will end the "if you don't like it then leave" verbals which surface once every new batch of cheerleaders feel like they own etsy and have to defend to the death

The Righteous One said...

Yeah, some people just don't understand attempts at improvement...until the status quo bites them.

We'll get back to you about the advertising. Being a ten headed hydra there are yays and nays to gather ;)

The Kinky One said...


A ten headed hydra? I kind of like that!

Peldyn said...

I was one seller who received a personal apology and I think that Matt is trying, but so much still needs to be done and until then we all need to BITCH away! The squeaky wheel gets the grease, guys. I for one and not going anywhere. I think that Etsy can be changed for the better if enough of us shove them hard enough at the right point.

The Cranky One said...

The "leave if you hate it so much" cop is more of a saying over in the States.You don't hear it so much in the EU where being petulant is rather a way of life.

The Righteous One said...

Yes, a very 'American' attitude, much like Etsy itself. Can we say 'unaccomodating to international sellers'?