Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Day in Quotes Tuesday, July 1st

Garage Sale

... this weekend I went to a great art festival wearing a great necklace I bought here. I was asked by several artists where I got it... when I told them I got the same response from them all!! They said "I know that site.. it is like a garage sale/ebay" ...


Guilty by Association
It's like becoming an accessory to murder. You may have told them not to kill someone but after they did you helped them move the body.


Still Waiting
Etsy is the venue. The venue makes the rules. If the rules are too wishy-washy to properly define a certain item then the item in particular needs to be evaluated. This is all we're asking for, Etsy.


Not Fine
When I mentioned my Etsy shop, the gallery owner suggested it might be wise not to mention it to other retailers or in applications for higher end shows, as in his opinion and that of many of his colleagues, Etsy is not a place for fine craft. He said he was very excited about the concept when the site first appeared, but that now he feels it has opened itself up to far too much poor quality, mass produced and otherwise poorly presented work. He said that he doesn't take Etsy seriously anymore, as disappointed as he is to feel that way.

23 Comments:

Keys and Memories said...

sad but true- starting to look like a garage sale.

Grace said...

I've been having the same experience myself. Last year everyone I talked to was excited about Etsy. This year, they're just embarrassed.

I've had people tell me "I thought Etsy was just for amateurs. What are you doing there?" Saying that I sell on Ebay actually gets me a lot more respect. At least Ebay is recognized as a serious business, not a big woo woo party.

ShrugItOff said...

Is it really THAT bad?? There's a lot of cool stuff on Etsy. Lord knows I've spent enough money there.

disappointed said...

There is a lot of cool stuff. It just gets buried in the loads of mass produced and otherwise not cool stuff. Vintage and supplies are allowed, and, thus, we're not supposed to talk about them, but supplies comprise 30% of the sales on etsy - almost one in three items. So buyers are seeing likely twice that in the time machine as newly listed items and seeing that one third of all items sold on etsy are commercial.

Sgt Bunny said...

I checked the going rate for my work on ebay, and I don't want my pieces going for "auction."

Since the new ebay feedback structure, and an influx of new etsy sellers who skirt the handmade idea, have flooded in, and you get that garage sale/crap look to things.

There are some fantastic artists out there and they're getting buried.

Keys and Memories said...

Kind of sad when you see a listing for a vintage bracelet that you could get at Walmart last year. Flagged repeatedly, shut down yesterday, back up today. Junk like that makes Etsy look bad and makes it harder to find the cool stuff.

ishi said...

i've seen a big change in the feel of site... seems harder and harder to find the best stuff.

i think one of the funnier descriptions i've read was that the merchandise on etsy is starting to look 'barfy'

Meredith said...

That last quote hurts. Etsy has such potential to be a wonderful addition to the handmade community and the admin. of the site are throwing it all away. They don't care...as long as there are cupcakes!

j. hart photography said...

that last quote is why i reduced my shop. i feel really unprofessional using etsy. i really am going to have to close it up as soon as i get my own page done.

old hippie bitch said...

Wow! How quickly perceptions change. This is very eye-opening.

ShrugItOff said...

Yes, I see what you are all saying. So how many of you are seriously ready to just leave Etsy?

I have been considering it.

I know nothing about setting up a website and I don't want to do the Ebay thing again, so if I leave it will mean just giving up my 'craft'.

el-stinko-armpit said...

I've said a lot of harsh things about Etsy in comments here, but in reality I am truly disappointed how the site turned out.

There are hundreds of very talented hard-working shop owners on Etsy. Sometimes I accidently find things so beautiful/clever/whimsical that the world seems a different kind of place for hours afterward. But the Etsy 'look' 'vibe' 'style' or whatever makes them harder and harder to find. I've tried looking thru the treasuries, but so many of them are just ???? to me, so I give up quickly in frustration. Not that I expect everyone to have/share my taste, but the front page of a vastly diverse site like Etsy shouldn't be the visual equivalent of a funny story where the last line is 'I guess you had to be there..." as the buzz falls flat for all but the insiders. Who laugh uproariously, clutch their swimmies, and fall face down into a gargantuan felted cupcake with birdies appliqued all around the sides.

Paula B said...

shrugitoff -
I've just finished moving all of my stuff to my own site this evening: http://www.paulaberryjewelry.com.
It's hosted on BigCartel. You really need no experience setting up a site - all you have to do is pick a template, the colors for your website (this takes some tinkering around) and upload a banner. You can add custom pages (like my customer service and About Paula pages) and all sorts of things with a little html knowledge. And if you want to go all out, the layout is very customizable. Right now I have a default style, but I'm working on getting it to be more customized.

Meredith said...

That looks wonderful Paula B. I signed up at BigCartel, but haven't actually started listing there yet. I'm very impressed by how yours looks, so I may be joining you soon. This time I made sure to read their forums (unlike I did when I joined Etsy) and they don't seem to have many issues.

My fiance said we should all just band together and start a new site...learn from their mistakes and make it successful.

ShrugItOff said...

Thanks for the info Paula. I was also just looking into a Yahoo based store at $39 a month.


Perhaps the bitches could open an 'EtsyBitch' shop and let all of us who have supported with comments be co-sellers!

S2 said...

I have heard from buyers that BigCartel is easy to use. I know from the seller angle I get prompt emails when I get a sale, plus the order is listed in my dashboard with the person's name and the order and other cool features.

I really like it. and no commissions is nice too. Yes, you will pretty much only get customers you bring to your store, but how many random sales do people really get on Etsy with the search function so ridiculously hosed?
Jump off the sinking ship while you still have some semblance of a good reputation.

K said...

I’m a big fan of Etsybitch and read all the posts. Usually I get the vibe that everyone is completely in favour of the idea of Etsy and believes that it can be great – with a few tweaks ;)

However, reading this post has made me very sad for Etsy and for those of us with a shop there. If an industry-specific venue cannot be respected within that industry, then what hope is there to regain that spark? In the words of Jane Austen, ‘My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever’ - I hope this isn’t the case with the top bods in the craft and design industries.

just btichy said...

BigCartel allows you to use your own domain URL. It is always better to have a direct yourname.com URL than a sub-domain URL (like user123.etsy.com or user123.bigcartel.com.)

Callooh Callay said...

My latest favorite seller has a little dish that has 1994 stamped next to the logo on the bottom. This is just one of many hilarious violations. We're on day 3 (at least) of flagging this shop.

Admin has GOT to get a hold of this situation.

handweaver said...

Just adding to the last comment - I was at a very large conference for weavers/fiber artists this past weekend, and took a seminar from the former gallery director for a very large and well known gallery about how to approach/sell to galleries... And one of the things she mentioned was *not* to list Etsy on your C.V., that it definitely looks unprofessional in galleries' eyes... Ouch. I'm thinking that moving on from Etsy may be in the cards for me as well. It was a wonderful place to start, but it seems that the more I learn about the fine craft arena, which is what I aspire to, the less attractive Etsy is. Double ouch.

stonesoupjewelry said...

Another thought for independent sites - http://zhibit.org. Really inexpensive sites for artists (highest plan is $139/year), domain aliasing, guestbooks, stats, easy setup...and a sitewide artists' directory.

oh no said...

That last quote was what tipped me over the edge into closing my shop today. A business advisor told me a few weeks ago I was running the risk of people not taking me seriously as a painter if I sold on Etsy. I like Etsy, and have been reluctant to leave - I just can't risk staying on though when outsiders see it as a flea market.

el-stinko-armpit said...

Callooh Callay said...
My latest favorite seller has a little dish that has 1994 stamped next to the logo on the bottom. This is just one of many hilarious violations. We're on day 3 (at least) of flagging this shop.

Admin has GOT to get a hold of this situation.

--------------

I'm not sure they can.

If they cannot -- or will not -- get a handle on the reseller problem in the handmade categories, how can Etsy admin be expected to supervise vintage? It's really hard to tell a repro, for example, from a listing photo sometimes. I've seen some glassware on Etsy where the colors look like new stuff from old molds, but it could be poor photography. But it could be fake, since the sellers just describe it as 'pretty glass' and 'old'.

Happy flagging, I guess.