Monday, June 16, 2008

Quotable Quotes - Getting the shaft


I was a participating artist at the Renegade craft show in Brooklyn this weekend where etsy had a booth front and center. Let me tell you about the image I got from them there. Thier booth was uninspiring and I was unimpressed.

I went by 3 times to see if once, I'd get anything from them. A "hi". A "are you a vendor here?" I got plenty of free chapstick. but that was about it. I thought that in the 16 hours that I was at the show, that maybe one of the many people from etsy would come by and say hi, or come by and talk up etsy at least to me or one of the many vendors around me. Nope.

Etsy talks about grass roots but being handed a flyer means nothing to me. Having someone actually taking the time to talk to the people who support them and their so called "hand made pledge" is quite another thing.

Do they really expect us to support them when we do not get the same in return?

I think marymary's comments and new thread is yet another smokescreen to avoid answering some very important issues people have here.

From spending some time on the forums and also knowing in advance that I would see them at the show, I got exactly what I thought I'd get from etsy. Next to nothing.


Foxglove Studios said...

Glad you saw this. They really just don't get it, do they? Or perhaps they simply don't care.

As has been pointed out in the forum several times recently, if (and that's a big IF) they lose one seller, there are 400 more lined up to fill the position every day.

TheSneakyOne said...

I am glad that you saw this and them in action. But damn, that's one helluva sad way for Etsy to be at a show.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

I was not a participating vendor, but I was there as a browser, and I felt like a super secret agent while I perused the Etsy booth. Oh the folks in the booth were pleasant enough...AFTER I instigated a brief conversation with them.

The general impression was not professional, tidy or forthcoming. And as I walked up to the booth I was afraid they were going to ask who I was...I've had a few head butts with the admin's ineptitude (when they blamed me for the Great Autobilling Explosion for example), enough that I thought they might actually remember and throw the free lip balm at me, but nobody asked who I was or if I was a vendor on the site.

If this is what they call growing the site or "promoting" the site on which I rely for a certain portion of my income, then I was not impressed.

They need to pull their heads outta their Etsylabs and start running a business.

dis little piggy said...

They handed out chapstick? Who came up with that brilliant plan?

As usual, MaryMary is in WAY over her head.

But she lives in Brooklyn and she giggles and that's all that matters, right?

christina said...

giggling is always important.


Ladies Auxilliary said...

Yeah honestly...f#&$ the free chapstick, that really pissed me off. As a longtime site user who is really fed up, that free chapstick hit me like a big f-u.

And "squeaking"...are you kidding me? How about "wow, we're really hearing that our bread and butter customers literally hate us right now, we're doing everything we can to fix it! as of yesterday!"...

idyll hands said...

Anyone have any pictures of their booth? I'm curious as to what their presence looked like.

TheSneakyOne said...

Here's a pic of their booth at renegade

Ladies Auxilliary said...

I'm not actually opposed to the idea of the booth looking handmade (and it does)...but if I were them I think I would maybe have paid more attention to branding...I'd woulda liked to see the logo from the front page of Etsy more in the mix...if you want people to recognize your brand, repetition is useful...and PROVEN as a technique...

There's nothing un-indie about well-done marketing...

impetuous said...

I am starting to think Etsy feels they are celebrities.

The Righteous One said...

At least it's a step up though the banner hasn't changed - which it really should.

I found this on flickr for a craft fair an admin mentioned in a forum thread

Anyone else know of other fairs they've had booths at? Let's find the pics on flickr and compare!

dis little piggy said...

That last booth is very "loving hands at home."

(Not a good thing.)

Can someone tell me who was manning or womanning the Etsy booth at Renegade?

aretheyserious said...

"But she lives in Brooklyn and she giggles"

Or is like Sara and uses phrases like "it's like the best, better, most bestest thing ever" when referring to new etsy flashfests

TheSneakyOne said...

From what I gathered from looking at other pictures of the show in North Carolina was that it was sparsely put together and nothing showing what exactly Etsy was for people who did not know about Etsy.

impetuous said...

so this is Etsy hitting the pavement promoting? Imagine if we all did it like this!

KeepBreathing said...

With all my .20 cent renewals over the past year they should have been able to afford a diamond-encrusted LED sign.

just bitchy said...

What they really don't get is that some of us have been selling on and off line for 3, 5, 8 or even 10 years.

If they would simply LISTEN to what people are saying on the forums they might actually LEARN something.

If they don't even know how to do a *&^%ing craft show then how the hell are they running an ecommerce website?!?!?!?!


*grumble* *grumble* *grumble*

wtf said...

I saw their booth at Renegade (didn't approach but hovered occasionally to see if there a disgruntled seller would start a brouhaha). It wasn't that their booth was TERRIBLE. But there were so many other booths that were so well put together. Very professional with a definite "brand" but still with the feel of an independent artist. I'm not sure why etsy can't accomplish this when so many others can.

In other news, am I the only one that wants to convo marymary and tell her that it should be "its" not "it's".

Is that petty. Yes, yes, it IS petty, but I still want to do it...

MajorFuckingEtsyBurnout said...

Oh Etsy.

*Le Sigh*

wtf said...

don't you just love when you make typos when making fun of etsy admin's typos?

anyways, all I'm sayin' is, if I'm gettin' paid to write something, I check my grammar.

eclipse said...

That fabric patchwork banner is actually an improvement, if you can believe it. They used to use a blue tarp with "Etsy" spray painted on it, and the spray paint was dripping and flaking and peeling off the plastic tarp.

impetuous said...

That's the damn truth just bitchy. The thing is when they show such a total lack of effort and polish in promoting Etsy, it makes you wonder what they expect us to think, when we see them goofing off all of the time. Its kind of like hay guys thanks so much for your business, now we can totally goof off! Isn't this the best job ever!

When I did trade shows for big companies we were not even allowed to sit lest a customer passing by think we were not interested in their business.

Furthermore, does Etsy care that its own members are hesitant to approach the booth?

confushush said...

re:the booth


it's....unconsidered and unbranded

i'd put out a little dough for a nice etsy orange tent cover and properly printed banners with the logo, all crisp and clean

why make your site clean and modern looking and then go high school fundraiser in the parking lot at a huge show like that

tsk tsk
they should be embarrassed
for respresenting it's customers in such a sloppy manner

S2 said...

I'm sorry, I pay these people for WHAT exactly?

that is the saddest looking BS I've ever seen. And this from a company that is raking in money?

Ladies Auxilliary said...


I don't know who was even manning the booth because...they didn't really talk much, and certainly didn't introduce themselves. One of them looked like Haim, based on cartoons I've seen of him but alas, like I said I couldn't tell ya :)

2cents said...

I've seen better looking, more professional booths created by kids at elementary school carnivals.

It looks stinky.

These are the people who are handing out marketing advice in the treehouse? Get serious.
That booth alone shows they don't know about branding or presentation.

I am SO the boss of you said...

For shame, but I wouldn't expect anything better from them. they all act like kids in kindergarten getting a free ride on the "EtsyLebrity" train.

Andy Mathis said...

The independent artist or crafter can get away with the indie, crafted, handmade looking promotional materials.

But not a corporate brand. You wouldn't see Coca-Cola, Walmart, Ebay, Nascar, etc., etc. with a booth like that.

You need professionally printed banners, logos, etc.

Etsy, if you are invited back to Renegade, please. . .

1. get a heavy duty EZ up frame and a white waterrepellent vinyl top, not water resistant, water repellent.

2. Weatherproof zip up sides if bad weather arrives.

3. The Etsy logo on a large banner for the back wall.
4. Matching table covers -preferably Etsy orange, with the ETsy name in white lettering across the front.

5. matching shirts for those manning the booth.

how hard can that be?

spetsy said...

4. Matching table covers -preferably Etsy orange, with the ETsy name in white lettering across the front.

5. matching shirts for those manning the booth.


Matching?? You have got to be joking.

Matching isn't indie. or hip.

Am I the only one that thinks what Esty says is hip, is really geeks getting their 90's grunge on finally? Like.. a few 10 years behind the trend or so?

lurker said...

Etsy's version of Indie looks crusty, dirty, careless, unkempt to me.

Like, I wouldn't eat cupcakes made in their Etsy kitchen.
Cupcakes are trendy, cool, hip, right?

I am SO the boss of you! said...

I agree their version of hip truly isn't "that" hip at all. It's messy, confusing, ridiculous,hyperactive crap that they're trying to pawn off on all of their Etsy sellers as "Hip".

No thank you, with a cherry bomb on top.

{I do agree on a way better booth set up though. Really how hard can it be? I know sellers that don't make what Etsy rakes in daily that can do better with their eyes closed}

fugtacular said...

if they don't change anything about the booth please at least change the presentation of the people. hell some companies even hire temp people to man their booths. who would be remotely interested in visiting a website where the mascots representing look like they haven't showered in a week? and someone needs to point out to a few of the more "tore up from the floor ups" that squeezing your fat gut into some etsy vintage isn't working.

Kerry and Heather said...

twigsandheather here!
Yea, it was a bummer. I didn't really know what to expect from etsy going to the Renegade.

They wrote a small article about the Renegade that is on the front page and included a picture of our jewelry but I would have liked to have known that they even noticed us at all.

Someone from etsy obviously came by our booth and liked our jewelry, but no introduction. No "hi I'm from etsy, cool stuff". It would have meant a lot to us just to have that small amount of interaction from them. That's good communication and good business.

What a perfect opportunity they had to give back a little to the artists that support them.

ihadmyasshandedtomeonaplatterontheetsyforums said...

etsy's hip freaks me out. they have a bike fetish, i mean bikes are cool and all but what the frack is up with the bikes all the time??

Ladies Auxilliary said...

I kind of like the matching idea actually spetsy...but really just because when the display is not distracting you actually NOTICE THE PEOPLE IN THE BOOTH! And the promo stuff on the tables! Yeaaaaahhhhaw!

spetsy said...

I was being sarcastic.

Would it be hip to get some old Big Lots orange shirts and turn them inside out? Upcycled?

hella said...

i've been doing craft fairs/farmer's markets for 8 years.

First Rule:

1. SMILE until your face hurts
2. GREET everyone who even GLANCES at you

These three simple things can make up for a lot--though that tablecloth w/ the fishes on it might require a bit more effort.

Seriously, it's not that hard.