Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Spamferral: Tastes Like Ass



Come check out Etsy.com!

Hi!
I'd like to invite you to check out a great hilarious website that I know about called Etsy (http://www.etsy.com). Etsy is an online marketplace hot mess for buying and selling all things handmade anything you can get away with. You'll find an creative fed-up community of independent artists and designers and the very best in totally random handmade goods, craft supplies and vintage. It's an excellent place to find one of a kind resold, copied and trademark-infringing items, to give as gifts - or as gifts for yourself! Since you're buying directly in a ridiculously unclear process from artists on Etsy, you have the special opportunity certainty to form personal connections with confuse and exasperate the people who create your treasures. Signing up is free and easy one thing but if you want to sell I hope you like crappy customer service, amateurish tutorials, empty fluff masquerading as communication, general aggravation and intense disillusionment!
Just click here:
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Of all the crap-ass fuckery clogging up the Etsy pipeline these days, this one takes the cupcake. It appears that not only is $27 million not enough to buy real advertising, it's not even enough to buy a clue. Shall we count the many ways in which this concept is overflowing with fail?

1. Nobody asked for this.
2. Developing this took time and manpower away from developing the things people actually asked for, want and need.
3. It's prefab, generic and mass-produced, everything Etsy is not supposed to be.
4. It's only half-finished (and half-assed) as the referral/credit program hasn't even been built yet.
5. Not all Etsy members are eligible for "prizes", so international sellers get the shaft yet again.
6. It advertises Etsy the site over the individual seller's store, so that Etsy profits from the efforts of an individual seller rather than the seller themselves.
7. It's undeniably spam, which Etsy claims to be so against that it refuses to email members about changes to the site on the basis that it might be considered spam.

And lastly, it's fucking lazy. Sellers already promote Etsy, flag resellers, report forum problems, research bugs, make treasuries, write Storque articles, and provide endless amounts of assistance to each other in the forums. Now they are asked to "help" Etsy by sending everyone they know a generic, impersonal piece of spam in order to get more competitors - whoops, I mean, customers - to sign up on the site in return for vaguely described "credits" that will go towards an undefined "prize" which they may not be eligible for and may never actually arrive. How many more features will be rolled out unfinished and untested, and how many more times will sellers be asked to do that jobs that Etsy's employees are supposed to be doing? Although we really gotta give a hand to admin for combining the two into one this time. Someone over there has a talent for efficient idiocy.

Your sellers are stubborn, Etsy, but they are not mules. Take that heavy load off their backs and quit dangling that stunted, undersized carrot in front of their noses. You're making an ass of yourself.

69 Comments:

interloper said...

I think we should spam these to the etsy admin e-mail addresses. like abuse and flag.

Wende said...

I've said it in the fora, and I'll say it here too... the reason behind this is to boost their membership. It looks better for that IPO. The more people they have signed up, the more money they're going to make.

And yet again, why I'm launching my own URL.

interloper said...

I vote we spam the etsy admin e-mail addresses with this rubbish.

eclipse said...

Q. Can I enter in my own message to my friends?
A. Yes! There is a space for you to enter in your own unique message to your friends or to just go with the preset message from Etsy.

OOPS WAIT!

Q. Can I enter in my own message to my friends?
A. No. But we will look into adding this feature.


srsly.
COME ON.
What were they thinking?
Do they think at all? Do they even consider how these things look? Do they think we are idiots?

This could have been held back and released in tandem with something we all want, and then it would have been a nice little extra. Or at least the crass goal to boost their own registration numbers for a buyout offer wouldn't have been quite as transparent or obnoxious. Instead they release a half-done useless slap in the face INSTEAD OF anything the users want.

come on.

jodie nicholson said...

Etsy: Your place for all things half-assed

The Cranky One said...

I think Jodie has the next EtsyBitch tagline for the title bar.

jodie nicholson said...

I think Jodie has the next EtsyBitch tagline for the title bar.
---------------------------------
Do I win a prize? Oh no, wait, I'm Australian so I get squat.

Grace said...

Prizes will be cupcakes and hammocks, and the grand prize will be a one on one crafting class with DXO.

What are you waiting for, get those emails flying!

Margaret said...

I'd agree that this one was ill advised. I'm not going to be using this. Shit, I haven't even spammed my facebook friends to ask them to join the fan page for my shop. I hate being spammy.

itsalovelycake said...

Hahaha the 'invite your friends' bollocks is the bit I hate most and avoid on every other website!

lessa said...

Sorry Etsy, I've already invited everyone I know that would care to join Etsy. This was 2.5yrs ago when Etsy was fresh and I was a happy, happy, cupcake eater.

So glad Maria is helping them figure out what their priorities are.

rollingstone said...

Just when I think they can't outdo themselves....they release another breathtakingly ignorant feature like this one.

Etsy...how looowwww can you go?

The Hater said...

Q. What happened to all of my previous referrals; weren't you keeping track of those?
A. All referrals will start fresh with the implementation of this new feature. Unfortunately, we were not able to recover and transfer previous referrals into this new system. We appreciate all the help you have sent our way thus far and hope you will continue to refer your friends to Etsy moving forward.



I knew it! Whatever they said in the past were lies! LIES!

The Hater said...

"If that's not reason enough to let your friends in on all that Etsy has to offer, in the future, your referral points will be redeemable for goods and prizes. So, whenever you tell someone about Etsy, make sure they enter your Etsy username in the referral prompt when creating their account."



Again... empty promises!

The Funny One said...

After 3 whole years of passing the buck, I think we need to recognize Etsy for its talents. It takes a lot of work to avoid setting up customer service - all those pleas for help have to be deleted.....

It takes a lot of work to lock threads, hang out in the Virtual Workshops, make videos that mock handmade, and write dozens of articles for a newsletter with an "unknown" audience.

And takes months of effort to set up and run a site that constantly contradicts that old, worn-out mission of selling and buying handmade.

Tab said...

whenever there is unrest in the fora, Etsy hits their PANIC button.

But, it seems they refer to their panic button as "The new thing-a-ma-jig" button.


::sigh::

incognito said...

You bitches are my heroes.

This new waste of money is something I will not be using.

The Kinky One said...

Unfuckingbelievable. All the features we have been begging for and they roll this out.

Ashley said...

So sad :(

Every day something new and idiotic happens with Etsy. It's a trainwreck.

johncocktoasten said...

OMG I cannot believe this. All this work on something NO ONE ASKED FOR. After all of the this that we've been begging for. It just blows the mind. There is just such a huge disconnect between admin and sellers. It seems like they are working against use instead of for us.

Hey Buttons ! said...

Sorry this might be a long post, but I do have to let this out of me.

I asked a very important question last night concerning this new feature.

Question to MaryMary:
From my Etsy under promote:
Well, that's all great, but what's in it for me?


If that's not reason enough to let your friends in on all that Etsy has to offer, in the future, your referral points will be redeemable for goods and prizes. So, whenever you tell someone about Etsy, make sure they enter your Etsy username in the referral prompt when creating their account.


Will this be for US sellers only ?


I did expect the answer to be something like : We are looking into this whit our lawyer and will get back to you.

I did not expect to get : We don't know because the program is not built yet.

My final answer the Mary was a simple thanks. I could not bring myself to write more, but I will write it here.

Etsy got $27M , they got Maria and THIS is what they do?

Is everyone at Etsy going out in public half dressed?

And if Maria was brought in to reign in the kids, what the hell was she doing yesterday?

Well thanks Etsy, I gave me the kick in the pants I needed to finish my own store front and only advertise it.

Thanks Bitches for letting me vent.

And sorry again for the long post, but this Canadian is unusually mad.

mememe said...

I say henceforth every time each one of us leaves etsy and starts our own URL, we send every single etsy email repeat invitations to our new sites.
It's not spam, we're "referring" them!

Vanda said...

I don't know if I should laugh or cry.

Banging my head against my desk seems like an acceptable compromise.

My jaw literally dropped when I read the Storque news yesterday.

Kali said...

/me contemplates the multitudes of email addresses she has

Gotta start thinking outside of the box, my fellow bitches! It's not just another useless feature, it's another potential for fraud and mayhem!

Etsycorp loves that fraudulent type of behaviour - let's not forget the ballot stuffing that went on during the Time magazine "50 best websites" debacle. Vote early and often!

old hippie bitch said...

I'm with Lessa. I pimped etsy 2 years ago, haven't made any new friends since. Sorry.

And I think Wende has hit on something with the IPO comment. Someone said "Bulk up the numbers. We have a million naive cupcake-heads waiting to do our bidding. Use them."

Hey! I ain't gonna be Etsy's bitch no mo.

theorist said...

At least they are consistent.


In addition to saving money by not advertising, is it possible that Etsy is filled with unpaid interns working for the summer?
Like, 9-year-old fourth graders?

That would be a creative way for Etsy to save money, get other people to do their work for them and it would certainly explain why the work coming out of Brooklyn is unprofessional, sloppy and completely illogical. (sorry, 4th graders--- it's the truth.)

Damn it.
When did they add the internship program for elementary school kids? If it was announced in the Storque, that would explain why I've been unaware.

But the evidence is overwhelming.

In about 4 weeks, the kiddies should be back to school (or opening their own etsy shops).

Heather said...

Refresh my memory, please...what was the other thingie that the non-US people couldn't participate in? I sort of remember that.

And prizes? Am I in second grade? Really? Honestly I don't know - some of the excited responses on the forums to "prizes!!" DO sound like my kid coming home on the first day of school with all that fund raising crap asking me to call ("spam") everyone we know so he can get a cheap plastic piece of crap "prize".

Even my DH, who hates it when I complain about etsy, shook his head and said "sounds desperate" when I explained this!

hella said...

It looks like Etsy is having its own contest among its admins:

Whoever can come up with the STUPIEST "feature" wins a date with Swimmy!

ShrugItOff said...

Not only do they roll out new toys whenever the natives get restless but the *same* couple people come into every serious thread to work hard at getting it closed. I am beginning to think these people get kickbacks from Etsy to purposely get meaningful threads closed. It is getting so fucking ridiculous!

Combustion Glassworks said...

Wow...

It probably took ten times the effort to create this then to implement a one button Vacation Mode that would send most of us to our graves from shock.

real thinking outside the hammock..

~B.Z. said...

When the Op said " stunted, undersized carrot " I thought she was talking about Rokali ;>)

Alyssa said...

I actually found out about this because I *received* an email from an admin who purchased from me before she was an admin. I threw up a little when I read it =/

jen said...

Shrugitoff, I was just thinking the same thing--not only do I not understand why a buyer-only would get so heated about some of these issues, I definitely wonder what's in it for them to try so hard to derail discussion.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

You know...after spending my week totally stressing out under a load of custom orders, and busting my ass taking those orders and making Etsy's money for them (by promoting myself and processing my orders through their website and giving them commission)...this just disgusts me.

DISGUST. Do you hear me Etsy? DIS-GUST.

Get your f-ing priorities straight, fix your fucking website for the people that are MAKING YOUR MONEY FOR YOU (since you don't advertise anywhere that's worth a shit)...damn, now I'm pissed off about that hosebag hammock video again, that one got me so pissed I have hardly commented for days....

Ladies Auxilliary said...

Dear Etsy:

I'm so sick of your incompetent disrespectful, and dismissive treatment of sellers and the selling they do, that I DON'T READ YOUR F_ING BLOG or your F_ING FORUMS ANYMORE! Because I'm afraid I'm going to run into some crap like this and it's going to ruin my day like it is right now!

Andy Mathis said...

I just want to know where was Maria yesterday. Was she out sick? Taking a personal day and enjoying a long weekend?

Next time, she needs to take the routers with her. No exceptions.

Caroline said...

I said this in one of the threads, but it bears repeating:

"I referred a friend to Etsy and all I got was this broken hammock."


Sigh.

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

when I first saw this, my initial thought was they're trying to pump up their numbers for the IPO.

I refuse to SPAM my friends to join a site that I can't stand. If it wasn't for the traffic and extra exposure I would tell Etsy to fuck off. But with every sale, I make SURE that all of my Etsy customers are FULLY aware of my main website.

I refuse to work for FREE. They received more than enough money to pay for advertising and REAL techs.

Etsy sucks ass AND rainbow cupcakes.

newreader said...

Ah yes.

The latest bullsh*t from Mister Swimmy and The Cupcakes.


(sounds like a Motown "Wall of Sound" group doesn't it?)


I think they would be better at perforing cover versions of "Mr. Postman" and "It's My Party (Cry if I Want To)" than coming up with things like this latest useless toy.

One song not on the playlist: "R.E.S.P.E.C.T."



Uh oh. I've just given myself nighmares - Mr. Swimmy dressed like one of the Ronettes -







======

So why didn't we have this cr*p thing THREE YEARS ago when I first signed up and, you know, might could have USED it?

Except I'd never send that canned message to anyone I want to *stay* friends with.

80 said...

"Sorry Etsy, I've already invited everyone I know that would care to join Etsy. This was 2.5yrs ago"


I diligently had everyone be sure and sign up using my name when they first rolled out the referral program that went nowhere. The fact that all of that work I did was completely useless (I KNOW I got at least 15-20 people) and now 3 years later I have exhausted my supply of friends to sign up, REALLY chaps my hide. They need to figure out a way to include past referrals. It can't be that freakin' difficult.

Jennifer said...

Hmmm... the whole 'prizes' thing with different levels screams pyramid scheme.

Pretty despicable to even mention as a teaser something that not everyone could benefit from.

My business-major nephew rolled his eyes when I told him about it & said "How amateur". And this kid is 19.

The Funny One said...

And on the Etsy menu today is:

Spam and swimmies
Spam and cupcakes
Spam and hammocks
Spam and more of these f_cking cupcakes

and a song in my heart: spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam we love spam.

bitchesbitch said...

Ok, seriously, this takes the (cup)cake. I used to be an Etsy supporter, even an apologizer. I had a soft spot for Rokali, I had faith that Maria would realize the potential Etsy has and utilize it, but then I see this.

I was literally SHOCKED when I stumbled upon this being talked about in the forums. It is SOOOOOooooo not the right time to introduce this bullshit. Right after a highly disappointing treehouse with Rob and Maria, when everyone is pissd, they now want us to turn into telemarketers for them?

Yeah right. This tipped the balance for me. I'm officially upset and insulted. INSULTED.


WHAT IS Maria doing??? Where is her business savvy? Where is her common sense? Perhaps etsy got a COO with just as much tact and common sense as they have collectively....... virtually none.

idyll hands said...

How cheesy!!!

So it's like this: "Here's a generic invite for someone who I think is a great artist, so great that they need to have a generic invite to add themselves to a website that my other friends have already tried out and decided they didn't like it so they left"? If I think they need to be selling their stuff online, I'll talk to them personally, I don't need some spam generator doing it for me.

But alas, all of my craft friends have already quit selling on Etsy.

kitten said...

Oh ye gods please tell me MARIA wasn't the one who came up with this half-baked idea... if so, I say "throw her back!"

el-stinko-armpit said...

Andy Mathis said...
I just want to know where was Maria yesterday. Was she out sick? Taking a personal day and enjoying a long weekend?

Next time, she needs to take the routers with her. No exceptions.

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

Andy, don't you think Maria had some input into this lame-assed idea? I do. Her resume suggests she's no marketing wiz. She mentioned an interest in growing Etsy along lines of demographic recruiting. This new function serves that purpose, happy Etsy users replicating themselves with the push of a button. I'm somehow missing the huge (or lasting) impact Maria had on the consumers' experience at NPR or Amazon. It is perfectly possible to be a highly qualified businessperson without a shred of creativity or insight. Her Dorque statement pretty much suggests to me she has no background -- or much interest in -- the arts, 'craftism', or fashion/style. My reading of her is that she's rather boring, and businesswise pretty much of a drone.

mydesertstudio said...

Maybe what really happened is Maria burned out at Amazon and came to Etsy for the fun of it.

Maybe she's hangin' out enjoying the cupcakes with the kids.

godot said...

http://accel.com/company/index.php

Every single company Accel (Jim Breyer) gets their hands on is sold to a larger fish in the sea. They don't go public. Etsy is next in line. Watch and wait.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

"It can't be that freakin' difficult."

Oh but it can--they have 23 apparently imcompetent Engineers on staff. And apparently EVERYTHING is a very big mountain for them to climb--awwwwwww!

lessa said...

Well, I did notice in the thread concerning our new feature that a comment was made that Walmart just unveiled their new logo. I thought it was a joke in reference to Jim being on both boards.

A quick google though shows several business articles within the last couple weeks talking about Walmart's new burnt orange logo with white lettering.

Things that make you go hmmmm....

Vige said...

Vige

godot said...

http://accel.com/company/index.php

Every single company Accel (Jim Breyer) gets their hands on is sold to a larger fish in the sea. They don't go public. Etsy is next in line. Watch and wait.

Sell it or go public either one. Can't happen fast enough as far as I am concerned.

el-stinko-armpit said...

Thanks for the link, godot. I forgot about Etsy being a step-sibling of Facebook...and Facebook has a certain reputation out there for being a rich datamine ahem ahem among the tinfoil helmet set. Etsy is an amazingly diverse group of young females (and females IIRC control about 80% of consumer spending worldwide) -- 100 nations, 1 million+ users. Looks to me like Etsy would be tasty pickings for several types of larger concerns, corporate and otherwise. I think you're right, godot. And, yeah, I'm waitng heh heh...

WindysDesigns said...

Wake up and smell the coffee! The days of 'community' and 'user input' are over. Dead and gone. *poof*

If it isn't in Etsy's best interest (meaning money generating in some way) it isn't a priority no matter how loud you shout or how hard you pound on the table.

Every feature from here on out (as I see it) will first and foremost benefit Etsy. Vacation mode does not benefit Etsy. Unless they charge you a small fee each time you want to inactivate your shop. Seller stats don't benefit Etsy, they already have that information at their disposal. When they present them to us, it will be at a cost.

Community is just an illusion. Our ideas are taken, you can be sure of that, but the priorities will always be what benefits Etsy. They will gauge how much a feature is wanted and then figure out a way to make it work to their advantage.

I'm not saying it's wrong or right, a business has to do what it has to to stay afloat. But I have given up thinking that we mean anymore to them than a means to an end.

luvstobitch said...

jen said... Shrugitoff, I was just thinking the same thing--not only do I not understand why a buyer-only would get so heated about some of these issues, I definitely wonder what's in it for them to try so hard to derail discussion.
_____________________________

There's a buyer, who, before I got involved with bitching, I used to think was funny and witty in the forums. Now, I kind of think she's crazy. And really annoying. And slightly creepy.

ShrugItOff said...

I agree with you Windy (that Admin will not do or give sellers anything else unless it's to benfit them). That being said, I wouldn't even mind having to pay extra for these services at this point if search was fixed, resellers booted, and useful tools given to us in our shops. I'd even be willing to pay a slight monthly fee.

As it is now, many of us are starting our own websites or moving things to different selling venues and most of that is not free.

Just give us a site that works and do your own damn advertising to brings buyers with money in. NOT more sellers, B-U-Y-E-R-S! Then maybe you can charge people to have a shop on Etsy and your customers will be more than willing to pay it.

jodie nicholson said...

Refresh my memory, please...what was the other thingie that the non-US people couldn't participate in? I sort of remember that.
-----------------------------------
Non-US members are ignored/overlooked constantly on Etsy but I believe you're thinking about the pathetic Survey that they slapped together. Everyone wins a prize.....unless you're outside America. Funny, Dawanda and Mintd can offer prizes to ALL members.

Etsy: I thought it was impossible to both suck and blow at the same time, yet you manage to do it with ease.

tralala said...

i used to work at a movie theater and we'd have contests to sell the out dated candy bars and the prize was outdated candy bars. we'd harass people into buying crappy lion king chocolate for their dates and it was fun and it was probably the most time we ever spent bothering to talk to any of our customers. where's the metaphor - is etsy the surly teenagers behind the candy counter or the crumbled waxy tasting chocolate, i'm not sure but it's all i can think about these last two days.

eclipse said...

The survey drawing was US-only.
The halloween costume contest was US-only.
I'm sure there have been others, that's just two off the top of my head.
Not sure about the instructables/Etsy joint contest.

Simone said...

I wouldn't even mind having to pay extra for these services at this point if search was fixed, resellers booted, and useful tools given to us in our shops. I'd even be willing to pay a slight monthly fee.

As it is now, many of us are starting our own websites or moving things to different selling venues and most of that is not free.

--------

It's true that for many services you will pay more depending on the level of functionality you need. However, those same services don't have the relisting/renewing issue that Etsy has - that way of making lots of money out of us without really looking like they're doing so.

For my own shop I have the second most expensive account offered which has all the bells and whistles I need and is therefore vastly - vastly! - better than Etsy. Yet most months my Etsy bill is still higher than that bill is, mostly because of the need to renew to be seen (I'm a jewellery seller - it's the only way to stay on top of the game, IMO!).

Etsy should be providing us with an awful lot more for what we're already paying before they start even thinking about charging for extras.

Andy Mathis said...

Ebay's fee structure is probably the standard that all online commerce sites are based on. And everyone is looking at.

You know the "community love-fest" is going fly right out the window when Jim says got to raise those fees.

moi said...

walmarts new logo

no hyphen.

anonanon said...

Just click here:
http://www.etsy.com/register.php?referral=fail

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

I like how the link the Bitches posted ends with "referral=fail"

heehee

my2cents said...

How did a great idea manage to go straight to hell in less than 36 months?

The site is only 3 years old.
Kalin wants etsy to be around in 100 years? Fat chance.

I can hardly wait for another company to buy them. And I am looking more forward to a copycat site that can duplicate the good features and learns from the many mistakes made by etsy.

Hell, if etsy could reach their pinnacle and then create a PR nightmare in 3 years, imagine what a competing site could accomplish if they start now.

el-stinko-armpit said...

I think Ebay lowered its per item listing fee for stores to 5 cents/month to compete with Etsy. Which is a good thing for me. But Etsy is large enough now to be considered among the venues whose features influence industry practices for big multi-seller sites.

Etsy has also borrowed from other venues. Flagging from Ruby Lane. In part the renew/relist fee shakedown is similar in function to the old RL pay-for-clicks system. Tags rather than categories from Ruby Lane (Ebay is all about categories). Poor search with category bleed, also a problem at Ruby Lane (still is). Demographic targeting of buyers by gender and age -- to the point of being off-putting to non-target individuals is the hallmark of TIAS (they aim for women 45-70 though). The idea, mentioned at the silly treehouse chat, of exit links on item pages to other shops with similar items was used, I think, on GoAntiques.

Heather said...

Blogger eclipse said...

The survey drawing was US-only.
The halloween costume contest was US-only.
I'm sure there have been others, that's just two off the top of my head.
Not sure about the instructables/Etsy joint contest.
_______________________________

I don't remember the survey drawing; I think it was the halloween costume contest that I remember - I was still kind of new to the forums and such then.

Think they would have learned, huh.

sulking said...

Anonymous my2cents said...
I can hardly wait for another company to buy them. And I am looking more forward to a copycat site that can duplicate the good features and learns from the many mistakes made by etsy.
-------
You want somewhere like Dawanda or iCraft or Folksy then :D

The Disgruntled One said...

Etsy is now officially run by fuckwits.

Start To Finish Supplies said...

Very well written article. I could not said it better myself!

eclipse said...

a quick note about spam


Irony. I has it.