Thursday, September 11, 2008

Resellers - Etsy is listening

Etsy is directly addressing the concerns over resellers in the Storque.

Some highlights from the article:

  • A better flagging system is in the works
  • They have doubled the employees dedicated to sorting through the flags, and they are trained in properly identifying resellers
  • They are addressing new shop evaluation policies and tactics

There will be a chatt with Matt regarding this issue tomorrow, September 12, at 1 pm Eastern time. Be sure to stop by if you can!

I wish I could insert some snazzy snark about how it's only because of the past weekend's issues, but I'm in shock that they've publicly ackowledged a problem.


Ivydee said...

I was thinking that something had changed already as it seemed like a lot of the resellers I've been flagging have actually been disappearing. I'm thrilled to hear that Etsy has a plan for not only dealing with the ones that are already here, but for stopping them before they open shop. Eliminating them entirely may not be possible, but at least this would slow them down.

The Funny One said...

A good development, but skip the chat. You'll rip your hair out. I'll wait for some real action since that speaks volumes about where Etsy's priorities should be....on protecting the integrity of the legitimate sellers on the site.

It is only a matter of time when other sites are going to take over many of the categories and sellers will migrate to those that provide a decent level of customer other features that Etsy still will not add, despite 2 years of seller-requests. (The begging thing.)

Etsy has a long way to go to improve seller relations, because the strange practice of trolling their own public discussion boards to mute, warn and ban posts and sellers have kind of piled up to one big smack down. Etsy has done everything to turn a golden opportunity to build seller loyalty to the company, mission, and the handmade community into a massive pile of shit.

Resellers is only the latest major crisis on Etsy. The long term effect of treating sellers like naughty children, while blatantly ignoring years of requests for information, plans, answers, has reached a critical level. If I were asked today to promote Etsy the site, I wouldn't do it, even if they paid me.

kreatedbykarina said...

The Chatt With Matt will be just filled with the same old shit about "we're working on it" and "it's in the pipeline" without any real responses to any questions asked.

That's my feeling.

Anonymous said...

WEll, let's see what they come up with. It took some pretty drastic measures to finally get their attention-- and I do believe they were dragged, kicking and screaming, into this issue.

Without all the mutings and bannings, I do believe the reseller issue would have been ignored-- it was ignored for a good year previous, but that was when we were all trying to follow forum rules.

The rule breakers are the ones who forced this issue, and should be commended. If all rules are not enforced, rules are meaningless! No enforcement of listing rules is what caused the calling-outs. And YES in this case the end does justify the means.

Pandora said...

I'm sorry I can't go to the chat, because I am interested in hearing new ideas about how the problem can be addressed. Anyway, I will be relieved if and when the uproar about resellers is tamed by more effective screening and removal of offending shops. I'm not holding my breath, but my fingers are crossed.

mememe said...

Holy moly! I am one happy artist. The best progress is progress, and that article outlines a lot of things that are much more specific than other etsy-vague responses we've gotten in a long time.
Major issue-being addressed-in specific terms... wow, just wow. I almost don't care that it took that much calling out on the forums and fussing on our part.
Etsy, please pull this off successfully. I want to love you again, and if you don't fuck this up, I just might, I just might.

Rocket said...

Uh, did anyone else happen to notice that Etsy chose to put items in the "Related Items" section of this article that clearly violate copyrights??

If Etsy admins can recognize blatant copyright violations that use one of the most identifiable company logos in America- and promotes those items- why would I have any faith that they can recognize clever reselling????

dejected said...

the funny one said:
If I were asked today to promote Etsy the site, I wouldn't do it, even if they paid me.

I'm with you there. I feel like the Etsy guru among family and friends. They ALL make me find the things they are looking for, no one can seem to locate even remotely what they want amidst the mistagged and reseller items.

This is not how an e-tailer site should run. Between the resellers and the lousy search, I don't have high hopes for the upcoming holiday season.

I think Etsy would do well to revert back to the beginning. No chat, forums, toys, Stroque, do away with all of it. Fix the search and oust the resellers.

That's how people could some day "make a living" selling on Etsy. Can you imagine the manpower it takes to maintain all the extras and toys that have nothing to do with selling? Fire those people, use their salaries to hire more programmers or whatever you need and fix it.

That is all.

MOJ said...

I'm reminded of that old Tom and Jerry cartoon where at the end the house is a pile of rubble..."don't you believe it"

I hope it's true but I also hope I get a puppy for Christmas so we will see.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

I can't believe they posted something USEFUL IN THE STORQUE!!!! YEAAAAAH! I've been waiting for that to happen.

And it even sounds like something's heading in the right direction...waiting and seeing...

life-during-wartime said...

It's good to read that Etsy is being more responsive to flags and removing blatant resellers. I don't expect any Etsy chat(t)s to actually deal directly with the issues...that just doesn't seem to be the Etsy way.

Also, it may very well happen that Etsy is revising its policies re resellers. Not to eliminate them exactly, but find a way to grease their way into being accepted by the community. I mean, you can have employees now, right? So at what size/scale does a manufacturer with employees -- which makes and sells its own designs -- not qualify to open an Etsy shop? The clothing resellers with pics from the multinational Asian distribution firms like Shez and YoCo are not reselling items from one manufacturer so right now aren't qualified under 'employees allowed'. Perhaps Etsy will revise its definition of 'collective' as well, so distributors can open. I wouldn't want to see this, but it could happen.

justalongfortheride said...

I'm hoping beyond hope that some of these administrative changes are going to get things moving in a better direction. As mememe said, Etsy, I want to love you again. :(

Eveline said...

Wow... I'm like a lot of other people though, I'll believe it when I see it. And I do think that if it wasn't for the complete mess every weekend for the last couple of months, this article would never have been, not to mention that Etsy would think of a way to get rid of resellers.

Just like Justalongfortheride said, I want to love Etsy again.

incognito said...

There is one particular reseller that bothers me. She has stuff marked as "vintage" that clearly is not as I saw it in the store last year. Of course I flagged, her shop must have been closed down but then reinstated.
At first I was angry, but then I thought about it. Whoever saw my flag (actually many people flagged her that weekend) looked at her items but they probably don't know the item is a closeout.
So it is really my word against hers. I can't really prove the bracelet isn't vintage- it is just something I know.
These are the types of sellers who bother me as they get away with it and keep getting sales.
It would be nice to have a knowledgable staff to take care of these types of sellers.

Bright Circle said...

I'm really hopeful about this development.

I'd look for a thread about this, but am currently in day three of a weeklong muting, so wouldn't be able to post.

Bright Circle said...

P.S. This is only tangentially unrelated, if at all, but I wouldn't be surprised to one day see a MutedBabe blog (or at least a section of EB on who's muted).

Old Hippie Bitch said...

Okay, the Storque article is a step forward. But all that jumped out at me was "we created a team." That's corporate-speak for "we did something without really doing anything."

And they have the balls to tell us EVERY flag is investigated? Yeah, right.

The Funny One said...

If you listened in on the just-held town mtg, where sellers voted very clearly for what they want to prevent resellers, then maybe you caught Matt's response?

"We'll certainly think about it."

Oh, goody. More mystery meat.

life-during-wartime said...

The Funny One said...
maybe you caught Matt's response?

"We'll certainly think about it."


No surprises here. Reseller items, be they mass-produced handmade or fake antiques/vintage, make a greater number of sales at every venue I've been on which allows resale. Not because they are better, cuter, or even necessarily cheaper. Reseller stuff is simply more attuned to mass consumer taste and has greater appeal for John Doe Smith and his wife, Emily Stepford Smith. What I loved about the original Etsy is that the site and the sellers seemed pretty much indifferent to the proverbial Smiths. Now Etsy is trying to appeal to the Smith daughters, Danglie Skulle Smith and Birdie Poope Smith -- and are looking for a way to get Emily to buy as well. Hello, Resellers!

The Funny One said...

You have a point life-during-wartime, and one of the main reasons why Etsy let resellers run amok for so long is due to their revenue model, which is based soley on listings. Etsy enjoyed the income from resellers, and they blatantly ignored seller complaints. Word got out and the reselling experts ran in with stars in their eyes.

They were literally being welcomed with open arms by Etsy. And still are.

Etsy will now have to spend time, money, and warm bodies that could be doing things like answering seller emails and setting up a customer service department. Now, they will be slogging through thousands of listings and having heated debates in the lunchroom about who to jettison. (And then how many dozens of sellers to mute on the forums because they like doing that a whole lot more than removing stores that don't belong.)

In the meantime, Etsy still shoves the task of "flagging" to unpaid sellers, and in the end, Etsy jumps on a problem that is too big for them to tackle with their limited skills.

I bet they lose interest in 6 or 8 weeks and the situation goes right back to where Etsy is now-------a tarnished reputation, increasing seller complaints, and buyers wondering what the hell happened, thank you, I'm shopping elsewhere this year.

Oh, and mutings by the hundreds! What fun!

The Disgruntled One said...

I think this is really hopeful news, and I await further developments with the greatest of interest.