Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sooooo close

Well, we really thought we had another kudos article on our hands. Etsy has finally unveiled the long-awaited, and much anticipated, vacation mode. But alas, after much discussion we have come to the conclusion that it sucks.

When you turn on vacation mode your shop disappears. Yes, if someone types in your address they'll find you, but searching will no longer find you or your items, no more exposure - at all. Now, Etsy knew this happens because this is from the Vacation Mode FAQ

When your shop is in Vacation Mode, your items will not appear in your shop. But if someone has bookmarked or Hearted a listing or reaches it from a link on an outside source like a blog, they will still be able to view the listing page. We'll show a notice at the top that you are away. The green "Add to Cart" button will be grayed-out until you return from Vacation Mode.
Nice, but why do we all renew so much if 'outside sources' are how the items are being found?

Let's take this example. You are going to a craft fair so you want your items deactivated. Well, the new batch deactivate/activate is very nice. To make it easier, you don't have to check all those boxes, now you can turn on vacation mode! But are no longer found in Shop Local, the very people you would want to be able to find your shop to read your announcement about where you'll be! And they can't browse your items! Nevermind losing EtsyMini that many sellers use on their main websites for sending people to their Etsy shop. Oh and that pesky grey box in favorites.

Other than the batch deactivate/activate and convo auto-reply (two things that should be available independent of vacation mode!), Etsy took none of the suggestions given in all those wonderful 'poll' threads.

Etsy was so close on this one, but they haven't yet learned to listen. And they definitely aren't yet in tune with the needs of their customers.


Impetuous said...

Etsy Bitch you've gone to far! Everyone knows when a shop owner goes on vacation their shop and all of it's inventory disappear off the face of the earth! Geezums Crow, isn't that the point of getting away from it all!

This is the fundamental difference between Etsy and it's sellers. We sellers care that our businesses are seamless and available to our customers. Etsy takes it's customers and their needs for granted.

Ericka Bailie-Byrne said...

Hear hear.

I will not be using Vacation Mode when I go on vacation in November. I just can't afford to lose that exposure for 2 weeks.

The Funny One said...

This is just an editing tool and nothing else, and actually is quite akward to use. Savvy sellers will have already figured out all its flaws. Which are numerous since Etsy made the changes (again) without the counsel of seasoned sellers, who have very simple solutions, if Etsy would just pay attention.

I have to note that it's getting harder and harder to sell on Etsy, and every baby step they take just makes it harder, more time consuming, and way more complicated than it ever needs to be.

Which is why I am convinced, no matter how many tiny tweaks Etsy makes, Etsy is never going to have the sellers' interests at heart.

They are so far removed from the selling process, so far removed from the hoops their sellers jump through, hours attempting to manipulate the lousy tools they have to make their shops look great and sell. And pay attention to their loyal customers.

I spend more time trying to squeeze every little crumb out of Etsy to make it work, and it takes 50% of my online selling time to work AROUND their inadequate store set-up and tools.

The fact that I am manually tabulating my goddamn VIEWS to manage my inventory, make daily decisions on product rotations, and figure out what customers like most--------after 3 goddamn years has finally gotten to me.

I have to GUESS what works, because Etsy gives me no tools to work with. I am operating in the dark constantly--------as so many thousands of other sellers do every single day.

It's amazing what some sellers accomplish with all the extra effort and huge number of hours the have to devote to their Etsy shops to get around mountains of roadblocks and useless "features" that litter and obliterate the ecommerce area of the site.

Etsy is so far removed from seller-reality that it is just astounding. While they scuttle off to their blog writing and lab labbing, sellers are working their fucking butts off because Etsy makes it so impossibly hard to sell on Etsy!

Vacation Mode? I think a whole office full of people have been on vacation for 3 whole years.

adam selene said...

"Oh and that pesky grey box in favorites."

I'm not sure what this means. In my favourites I have a couple of sellers whose shops are now in vacation mode, as well as some of their items, and I do not get a grey box. Also, the items are there, and when I click on them I see the full listing with a "vacation" statement at the top and the "Add to Cart" option is greyed out.

I get a grey box only for "listings that are expired or removed by seller" (and damn I wish they would at least leave the seller's name available so I could browse their shops). I wonder if that is what the person in that thread is talking about, which has nothing to do with vacation mode but is annoying in its own right.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

Well shit, if we're just inundated with orders, this is the perfect solution. When they said vacation they weren't fucking around, it's a total, 100% vaycay. No pesky exposure or interruptions!

sigh said...

Good god, I totally agree with the funny one.

How fuckin hard is it to let me keep my entire shop up, but have the buy button inactive?

I was crossing my fingers on this one with a vacation coming up, but I'm not using it whatsoever.

I'd rather put a note about when I'll be back in each and every single listing then to lose my whole shop for a week!

wristeroni said...

The Funny One said:
Vacation Mode? I think a whole office full of people have been on vacation for 3 whole years.

It seems so, doesn't it? (sigh)

The Righteous One said...

As for the grey boxes in favorites, I think there may be a bug, I've had some items from a seller that no longer has a shop staying there and the pic changing every now and then to other ones from the listing.

Some people are seeing grey boxes for vacation mode and others aren't...I wonder which way is the way it's supposed to be?

greenest said...

How *!@#^% hard is it to let me keep my entire shop up, but have the buy button inactive?

Not trying to start anything... genuinely interested in the difference between this idea, and having everything inactive/invisible?

Most people impulse buy and if they can see your item and can't buy it now they will probably move along anyways. I guess for the very few(not me) that would wait till you are back from your vaycay there is a small benefit.

Another case of can't please everyone I think.

I wouldn't want either actually...put an announcement in your shop and enjoy the beach.

dontremember said...

Just how many different ways can they fuck things up. Let's count them...

adoration said...

Vacation mode was so exciting, but alas, like a road trip that's gone on too long it has turned out to be a steaming pile of staggering disappoint served alongside an epic portion of 'it's so easy, how could you F it up?'

adam selene said...

Righteous One, pictures changing on an item from a seller who no longer exists certainly sounds like a bug!

However, I wonder if some of the "grey box" issues arise from the fact that Etsy has actually introduced two features here. Vacation mode and Batch Deactive work independently of each other. But perhaps some people are doing both, in which case they've put their shop on vacation but they've also made all their items inactive - and then yes, the boxes will be grey in people's favourites.

When the owners of a B&M shop go on vacation, they hang a sign in the window and they lock the doors. This is essentially what Etsy has given us in this new feature. I agree that it would be nice if our items could still be browsed, but as a buyer I might find it annoying to see things I couldn't buy right then. I get frustrated at other commerce sites that still show "sold out" items that I want. As both a seller and a buyer, I'm on the fence on that particular issue.

Impetuous said...

Greenest said...
"Most people impulse buy and if they can see your item and can't buy it now they will probably move along anyways. I guess for the very few(not me) that would wait till you are back from your vaycay there is a small benefit."

Many stores have a regular customer base. I am sure Etsy thinks the sales we get are all luck of the draw but many, many shops are actually catering to regulars. And isn't that the point? To build a business? Do you think that if Etsy were designing a vacation mode for itself it would look like this? Like a big "out to lunch" sign?

If you advertise your shop it's not likely you can turn all of your ads off too and just disappear. This means that people who are interested, based on your promoting efforts, arrive at your shop and find it abandoned. Not a very good impression wether they would have bought something or not.

There is always someone who tosses in the old, "can't please everyone" adage. In my opinion it just doesn't apply here. Etsy is always fucked up in one way or another. That's not a matter of opinion and not based on someone's mood or attitude. It's a fact.

Jen Segrest (verybigjen) said...

I came over to read the response to the Vacation Mode.

Jesus what a fail cupcake.

Will they add on the time you pay for when you go on Vacation? You're paying for exposure, and they remove that.

What I actually think this is is actually a way for Etsy to shut down stores without cutting you off from your convo and order pages.

Any bets on how long until Etsy will be putting people on Permanant Vacation?

stace said...

i wish i could say i'm surprised. but this seems to be the way it is in etsy land... no real sense of actual application in use.

sigh said...

Why do they make things harder than they have to be?

They implemented the batch shipping, if nothing else just put a comments box on it. You could simply state you are on vacation from x to y and you will be shipping out on z. People would see this before checkout, it could be right under the word SHIPPING on your listings.

But no. You have to completely shut down your entire shop? Crazy.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

"Any bets on how long until Etsy will be putting people on Permanant Vacation?"


OccasionalBitch said...

Will I ever use the new vacation mode? Almost certainly not, for all the reasons mentioned above.

However, to be fair to ETSY, they gave us exactly what a lot of buyers asked for in the thread quoted above. Were they the best thought-out requests? Probably not, but the requests were there.

Vacation mode could be A LOT better than it is. It would be great to have convo auto-respond decoupled from the full vacation mode. It would also be nice to be able to insert a header into every listing with any important information of your choice, or perhaps an area that specifies estimated shipping times right on each object page (very handy for the holidays, too). I think any of these would be pretty quick fixes, and would address a lot of the problems we all have with vacation mode as it stands.

Now that I think of it, Vacation mode does have a place. In the past I've seen situations where sellers were injured or sick and family members had to step in and deal with the chaos of unfilled orders and unhappy customers. It would be so much easier for them to have a "Close Shop Temporarily" button, which is essentially what Vacation mode as-it-stands is.