Wednesday, July 9, 2008

From the Bitches Auxiliary

"I'm sorry that happened to you" makes me chuckle every time it comes up in the forums. It should be the official tagline of Etsy, forget that "buy handmade" crap. Everyone knows that's not what Etsy's about.

Here's the reason I find that seemingly innocuous line hysterical. When you see it, it's usually posted in response to a thread that started with a post outlining some problem that the poster experienced on Etsy. Usually that problem is something that would probably never have happened if Etsy had its act together and a user friendly site with decent customer service, self explanatory checkout, and easy navigation, like a confused non paying buyer, or confusion over the rules. In the midst of the responses, ranging from complaints over twenty similar threads, calls for the original poster to read impossible to find dos and don'ts, and off topic postings about cookies and toddlers, you'll find a scattering of posters who'll respond with some variation of "I'm sorry that happened to you", or it's close cousin "OMG!1! I'm So SoRry that Happened!1!"

Now, I know that there's a large percentage of these posts where the real meaning is something along the lines of "I have nothing of substance to add to this thread, but I hope that by appearing sympathetic to the plights of others, I might have a few people decide that I deserve a view of my shop and that there is a potential, however slight, chance of making a sale."

Still, there is part of me that can't help but read more into some of those one line responses that appear between someone complaining about their first non paying buyer and the thread being shut down for calling out. Maybe the real meaning of some of those responses is "I know, the situation sucks, but unfortunately, we're all stuck here together until changes are made from the top down at Etsy to keep this from happening to the poor lowly seller. You're not the first person to have this happen to them. Hang in there."

Anyway, you wouldn't be reading this if you didn't have issues with the way Etsy is being handled, and I'm sorry that happened to you.

36 Comments:

dontremember said...

I'm so sorry that happened to you. Better days are ahead. (((hugs))).

ishi said...

another one that makes my skin crawl is 'congrats'

i don't know why, but it just annoys me to pieces. it's usually in response to an 'i made a sale' thread... it just seems pointless and lazy, but i guess typing out the extra 7 letters is just too much.

sincerely said...

I hate the word 'congrats'. If you're actually that happy for them, fucking type CONGRATULATIONS. Jesus H.

But, as much as y'all hate to believe it, when some people say they're sorry something happened to another, they actually mean it.

*ducks*

AndAnotherThing said...

As long as we're listing our pet peeves........

Milestone threads; ESPECIALLY about hearts.
What's the point?

"I just made my 100th sale!! Woohoo for me!"
"I have 11 hearts, will you give me one so I have an even dozen, please??"
"I just sold 10,000 scrabble widgets. Pat me on the back again."

Nobody really cares. Call your friends or grandmother on the phone; let them be your cheering section and spare the forums of your lame accomplishment.

wristeroni said...

You know, as a "buyer-only"; I have to say that I get the impression that 90% of the sellers don't really understand what hearts are and how they function.

Grace said...

I've used the "sorry" comment a few times, but I've always meant it with total sincerity. Being an artist is a very emotional experience for a lot of us. Sometimes things happen that are upsetting, and while the other readers may not be able to actually DO something about it, a little bit of empathy can go a long way in helping someone work through their feelings about it. From my own experience, it can also help me "get over it" much faster if I feel like my venting has been heard, I do think that it's actually useful to say "sorry" if you really mean it.

And just to keep some snark in this post, CONGRATULATIONS IS NOT SPELLED WITH A "D"!!!

For the love of Bob, why do so many people spell it "congradulations"? It makes me want to hurt people.

Angry Housewife said...

I always interpreted "sorry that happened to you" to mean "better you than me." maybe its a regional thing.

WindysDesigns said...

I mostly notice the 'I'm so sorry for your situation' when it's a buyer complaining about something. Hordes of desperate sounding sellers scramble to be noticed by offering their sympathies in a thinly veiled attempt at promoting themselves over the 'bad seller' who gave the poor service to the buyer. Notice Me! I convo after every movement I make, even bowel movements! Pick Me! I give a hundred freebies with all my orders! Buy from Me! I will treat you like a queen and make all your dreams come true!

ShrugItOff said...

I don't think I've ever uttered the words "I am so sorry" in the forums except in the case where someone's pet has just died. In that case I really am sorry. The rest of it, not so much.

Your idea got stolen. Shrug.
Your buyer flaked out. Shrug.
Paypal is down. Shrug again.

weirdbaglady said...

"I'm so sorry that happened to you" is such a newbie phrase. They're on a high from that new sense of community they didn't get from Ebay. They're also generally oblivious to the fact that the person getting the sympathy probably doesn't need it.

seazinze said...

awwee... windy, some people really are genuine. But those people don't post in every thread, in every forum.

The problem is that other than renewing, "posting on the forums" is believed to be the second best way to get a sale. That brings out a lot of insincere posting.


I always interperated it as "sucks to be you!" That's how I think. most of those threads scream "woe is me!"

eclipse said...

I think originally "I'm sorry that happened to you" was meant s a more noncommittal form of sympathy without making value judgments. for example when someone posts a one-sided story like "I was copied!" there are always some that immediately condemn the "copier" and suggest various medieval tortures for them, without even seeing both items or any proof of the story. Later it comes out that the item is traditional, common, made from commercial molds/patterns/components, and neither one invented it.
By saying a simple unadorned "I'm sorry", people can express sympathy for the one who perceives they are a victim, without condemning anyone else or assuming facts not in evidence.

That was originally. Now I think it means kind of a snarky inside joke "I'm not sorry, I'm sick of these copying threads every day, and you're a lameass for posting this here."

theoriginalwtf said...

wristeroni said...

You know, as a "buyer-only"; I have to say that I get the impression that 90% of the sellers don't really understand what hearts are and how they function.

***

Seriously. The whole "omg, I lost a heart!" and "why do people take hearts away?" thing is so junior high.

hearts are just a way of bookmarking items, people get rid of them when they no longer need to remember that item. Plus since you can't search among your hearted items, if you kept adding hearts forever, you'd pretty much never be able to find anything.

Simone said...

wristeroni said...
You know, as a "buyer-only"; I have to say that I get the impression that 90% of the sellers don't really understand what hearts are and how they function.

----

That is probably my number one gripe with many fellow sellers! And then see I see people suggesting the ability to 'heart' buyers that they like and my eyes roll out of my head - why would you need to bookmark a buyer!? Unless you plan on spamming them later of course ;P

A long time ago I suggested on the forums that the name be changed to something far less emotive to try to steer clear of a lot of this stuff.

not heartless but indifferent said...

re: hearts

One day if I have the courage, I'll start a thread admitting I don't give a damn about hearts or who gives them.

Last time I checked it was about 3000, give or take a few hundred. I think that was in January, or April.
I can't keep track BECAUSE IT DOESN'T MATTER.

kcroteau said...

not heartless - I'll go do it right now. I've got nothing to lose. :P

The Funny One said...

windysdesigns hit the cupcake on it's head - and a sorry state it is that sellers post inane comments to promote, because ETSY HAS NO PROMOTION TOOLS for sellers other than the money-eating, ineffective Showcases. (Oh, and relisting, the biggest money-eater of all.)

You really have to wonder how an "ecommerce" site with 165 thousands plus stores can get away with a complete lack of opportunities (paid or not) for stores to attract sales.

Maybe that's why the fora have gotten as dumbed down as the articles, videos, craft nights and you name it. And why the fora have morphed into one big classified ad.

forum rubbernecker said...

"OMG, I'm so sorry that happened to you" is the funniest line of the fora especially in conjunction with

"I lost a heart"
"I lost my marbles"

Etc. I crack up every time I see it now.

not heartless but indifferent said...

kcroteau, please post the link when you do.

!

old hippie bitch said...

Yes, funny one. The forum is absolutely dumbed down, like the rest of the site. I may be too nostalgic, but I seem to remember intelligent discussions, good questions, sincere dilemmas and honest promotions...

My top annoying answer, usually after a shipping or paypal question, is along the lines of "It never happened to me so it must not be a problem." Arggghhhh!

ShrugItOff said...

I'm always honest in those "please heart me threads" and respond with 'hearts really mean nothing' or 'hearts don't matter in the slightest'.


"I'm almost at 100 hearts!! I have 72!! Oh pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeze will you spare a heart for me?! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox"

mememe said...

Whee, I made the front page! Didn't think they'd publish that!

bastet2329 said...

I am sorry Etsy happened to me!

I requested account deletion yesterday and my wish was granted. I figured it was only a matter of time before they gave me the boot anyways!

Ivydee said...

Instead of posting "I'm so sorry" I think I'm going to post, "Welcome to selling in the world of Etsy. You're one of us now. CongraTulations."

mememe said...

ivydee, here's my idea.
I think we all here need a phrase which, by itself, is innocent enough to slip under the radar. But to those in the know, it's a protest that means "I'm sick of this shit". Sort of a coded protest that unifies us, and will eventually set the teeth on edge of the etsy cheerleaders and certain admin.
I'm thinking something along the line of "This makes me hungry for cupcakes."
Imagine admin pulling that midwestern granny post, but being faced with fifty stone faced replies professing a craving for baked goods. Add in one cheerleader flipping out. It'd be a surrealist masterpiece. Confused newcomers reading the thread would either think etsy was insane (and not be very far off the mark) or be forced to dig a little deeper to figure out what was going on---and end up finding out what's REALLY happening at etsy. Which would lead to more informed readers and better support for etsy reform.

kcroteau said...

here ya go:

let's talk about hearts (baby)

eclipse said...

"My top annoying answer, usually after a shipping or paypal question, is along the lines of "It never happened to me so it must not be a problem."
...

big fat DITTO.
No one seems to grasp that Etsy handles things inconsistently, case by case, with extreme subjectivity and emotion. Users always assume that if THEY got a reply from support in 3 hours, then everyone must. They think people who never get any replies for weeks are lying. Or they think because Etsy removed retaliatory feedback for them, they will remove it for everyone.
I think the people who get quick replies and those who are ignored or get rude replies are BOTH telling the truth. I don't know why people's mileage varies so much, but it just does. I hope consistency is one of the things Maria plans to work on.


Bastet I am truly sorry to see you go. Your scary dollies have been in my faves forever. I am not sure I will ever afford one or be brave enough to have it in my house, but I really admire them. Are you selling anywhere else online, just in case?


mememe I'd be very wary of using "inside jokes" or code words on the forums. Especially if you post here what it will be. Rokali is quite obsessively paranoid about anything he thinks might be an inside joke. Even harmless catchphrases that crop up, innocent figures of speech, he thinks have some sinister hidden meaning. He's also terrified and baffled by any sort of role-playing games, silly "character" posts, anything where the surface meaning is different from the underlying meaning. (even if the underlying meaning is benign) Posts of this sort are extremely risky to your account. It just pushes his buttons in some irrational way.

Ivydee said...

meme I'm in... though I so rarely bother to comment anymore. But this might make me want to! ;-)

I like the cupcake comment... or how about, "Do I smell unicorn farts???"

(btw, whoever coined the "unicorn fart" phrase, thank you. I will carry that one with me for the rest of my life. I also think it will be the inspiration for my next piece of art.)

mememe said...

eclipse:
Hearing that about Rokali, it makes me think of a few scenes from "The Aviator". Now I have a mental image of him locked in his germ proof 27 million hipster craft lab to hide from the etsy bashers.

Heather said...

Ever since I found this blog - a few weeks ago - I've been craving cupcakes like mad. Cupcakes with my own homemade buttercream icing and sprinkles...I have lots of sprinkles. Dinosaur sprinkles, cat sprinkles, leaf sprinkles, valentines, easter, christmas...

Okay I'll stop now. I really don't want to blame this blog for an extra 10 lbs! But dayum do I want a (or a dozen!) cupcake!! :)

Anyone in the philly area? Cupcake party!! Or how about anti-cupcake party. I can make them all black! :D

eclipse said...

He's got 20 evil eye quilts to protect him from the inside jokes and catchphrases. He just seems to have a real fear or misunderstanding of any communication style which is not literal. I adore verbal wordplay and layers of meaning, subtleties, irony, satire, etc. so it's hard for me to understand his feelings. Language is so rich and so fun to play with.

John Featherlin said...

Heather -
I'm near Harrisburg. I'll meet you half way and throw cupcakes across the turnpike.

jen said...

Totally unrelated, but since eclipse mentioned it--what is the deal with the quilts? I know that he commissioned a truckload of them, and I am baffled. Was there a story behind this or something?

old hippie bitch said...

I'm picturing Prince Harry romancing himself under an evil eye quilt. I want another video!

The hearts talk is giving me a naughty idea. I think I'll go heart a bunch of newbies (with both my shops), then remove them tomorrow.

Heather said...

Great idea John! Or we could throw cupcakes at the Amish. And video it. Maybe send it to etsy. There's got to be some satirical bit about cupcakes, cars, the internets full of scrabble tile pendants vs. the Amish, horses and buggies, and "shoppES" full of quilts.

There must be something there...

The Funny One said...

Ha, that's what it is! Paranoid about insider jokes means Rokali reads the comments - selectively. Didn't he just say "We hear you loud & clear"?

I guess that explains what he spends most of his time doing while the other employees are spinning the next Etsy trend when cupcakes wear out their welcome. It might be flip books, or gravity-prone hammocks, or fused cupcake tins. I just can't get plastic bags anymore, all the stores went paper. Or did Etsy miss that trend?