Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Etsy can't try for FAIL - or just can't even try.

Quirke, my favorite rabid bunny of the apocalypse, has once again asked Etsy a difficult question:

Admin, I would really appreciate it if you would more thoroughly read item descriptions before you choose to put the item on the front page, in a Storque article, or otherwise promote it.

In the past you have promoted items that are fake vintage, that are trademark-infringing, and countless mass-produced items. Now you are promoting something that is drop-shipped directly from the manufacturer (who is not the seller). The Dos and Don'ts explicitly state that drop-shipping is not allowed.

Please exercise more attention and discretion when choosing which items to promote.

Three admins have responded so far, all feigning the "we're only human" excuse, one I am sick of seeing from a member of a staff of nearly 70. They all were also quick to suggest that you privately email or flag the items in question that have been unfairly listed, and stupidly featured. Yeah, flagging, that works. I know they don't want attention directed to their missteps, but frankly it's all they understand! They are like a puppy that poops on the rug, the puppy knows they aren't supposed to, but after the 50th time those big eyes aren't making you less mad.

But Quirke and her harbinger hare are right, its not a one time or even five time thing. It's constant. Weekly, sometimes even daily. And it boggles my mind that they don't have a researcher/fact checker. They advertised for an editor but god only knows when they will hire for it since it's only an intern position of course.

Why PAY someone a decent wage to moderate the publication they see as the important link to their customer base. Why put money into your pride and joy that you think makes you look like a legitimate outfit? Why invest in a venture that your customer base routinely pans so as to change its reputation as a purveyor of fluff and stupidity? Yeah, why hire someone qualified, with experience in the field of online publication and editing, when they might end up being over 30 and a downer? Any old Facebook blogger with a couple classes in english composition will do. They have to be fun and cute more than experienced... oh wait, this is Etsy!

Is it any wonder the forums (and our comments) are awash in people announcing they have given up and looking at other venues? I know I have.

Etsy, it's time to grow up. Your users are at the gates with pitchforks, and they're angry. You've squandered three years of free passes, you can't use the excuses you did in 2006. You have to fix these things to protect Etsy being there in another year.

(Notice I didn't say "to best serve your customers" since I know you don't give a shit about us, and never have, but maybe the appeal of you having your jobs in a year will work. Yeah I know it won't but it was worth a shot.)


Impetuous said...

Etsy, walk your talk.
If the front page was such a serious concern for you it would be treated that way, plain and simple. You're just too stupid to realize the irreversible damage these mistakes make on Etsy's image.

sigh said...

Ugh. Moe, Curly and Larry all respond they are only human?

I hate the Dorque. I resent the time obviously spent writing more and more fluff, while sellers struggle with basic issues. Has any of admin actually read the forums lately? Views are down all across the board, as pertaining to individual sellers. Items are buried under reseller mass uploadings. Sure the total sales went up, but so did the total listings, so the average is less sales per seller.

So what happened to Chad and Maria? It looks like, apart from that one Dorque article/email from Chad, he's disappeared. And the stooges are given free reign to fuck etsy up even further.

Etsy. I know you're reading. If you are going to spend all the money we give you paying people to pick treasuries, put the same sellers in the gift guides over and over, do a Dorque article and plop sort of relating items underneath, in general spend money foolishly, at LEAST make sure all that crapola is etsy legal.

I mean, come ON.

Eveline said...

If they are too busy to check every item they want to feature, then wouldn't it be more logical to feature less items instead of more?
You can't complain about your workload and then keep adding more and more at the same time.

frustrated said...

agreed, Etsy wants to control the front page, then they need to look at the sellers a bit closer.

There was a recent featured seller that tag abuses. The background color of your item should not be used as a tag. Would you want to search for something green, and then find a blue item on a green background?

Paw and Claw Designs said...

What i want to know is why is COMMUNITY answering these inquires?

where the hell is Vanessa and Bre and TeenAngster and who ever the hell else runs the Blog?

if you love your little blog so damn much, stand up for it when it is attacked and make the required changes.

I *almost* feel bad for Rob, Lauren and Mary. They get stuck "dealing with" the pitchforking masses and the Blog staff get to keep "playing around."


life-during-wartime said...

Having an item on the front page is such important exposure for a shop. This is a big deal, and a very serious issue. I've been seeing resellers on the front page ever since I discovered Etsy...not every time I click on to the site, but way too often.

A bit of the problem are the airheads who gravitate to the professional photos resellers have in their shops to make their treasuries. Most of the blame lands squarely on Etsy Admin (of course).

I think these changes to the treasure/front page selection process would help.

1)Limit the number of treasuries any Etsy user can have in a month to one, 1, only one darnit. Code a little tick that gets switched on when someone snags a treasury; that tick stays on for 30 days. If they try to grab another treasury during that 30 days, they get an error msg.

2)Limit the number of times any single item can be picked for a treasury to once every 30 days. Same process.

3)Limit the number of times items from a single shop can be selected for the front page to one time per week. Same kind of coding process.

4)If an item on the front page gets sold it stays on there until the items are rotated off. This will prevent fake buys. Set up some kind of small watermark over the item when it has been sold, and direct any clicks to the seller's shop. Or something like this.

I think limiting the number of treasuries any Etsy user can make per month will improve the variety of treasuries and the care with which they are made.

All this won't compensate for the sorry fact that Etsy admin seems so reseller friendly. This has to change. If sellers want to put the best face on Etsy (starting with the front page) we need to force some variety into the treasury process. Dunno if any of you agree with me, but the treasuries and consequently the front page items show more variety of shops and styles during any holiday (especially holiday weekends) when the usual gang is off doing something in the real world.

The front page needs some new vision.

geelizzie said...

I never read the storque articles so I missed the drama, but it seems to me that if they had a dedicated employee or small group of employees-note that I said employees, not etsy sellers-to monitor new listings, new shops, featured items, storque articles pre-publication, etc., then there would be no threads like this or calling out threads about resellers to annoy the forum monitors so much.
But that just makes too much sense I guess.

Hand Made Find Team said...

Wow, it's really sad that Etsy is dealing with things like this. We got so frustrated with how Etsy's search is some times so slow that we started working on our own search:Hand Made Find. Right now it only searches Etsy and Dawanda. But we would love to have it search many other sites.

The Funny One said...

Best ever, EB! and keep at it, since Admin are reading only the threads that they feel are personally threatening to them, so THREE of them take all that time to REPEAT and SUPPORT what each other have said, like, dear Etsy-sellers, we know you are really stupid, so we'll say it three times------don't fuck with Admin territory or we take personal offense and let you know it, and know it 3 times! Spank, spank, you ungrateful sellers. Off to the corner with you!

Can anyone imagine eBay, Amazon stores or Yahoo stores writing 3 separate scoldings in public because they suddenly feel so "threatened" by the fact that they are not doing their jobs?

Smarty Pants said...

70 employees. Jeez...I work for a company that employs 6 and we get the job done for thousands of people every week. Granted, Etsy may be busier than we are, but not by much. And, we don't work weekends, either! It can be done!How hard is it to have a protocol for picking front page items. A checklist is not that far fetched a pratice!
I get so steamed when I think of the dummies who are given the opportunity while I feel so much smarter here without Etsy in my hands.

angelstuff said...

It looks to me like this issue has incensed etsy sellers, and for good reason.

We're all human. And we all make mistakes. Most of us stand up and admit them - but not etsy. Instead, they ask us to flag them and show them where the mistakes are. WTF?

I'm sick and tired of etsy admin asking people to flag these things. By doing that, they're putting the responsibility for making sure their work is ok on the sellers and buyers. That's ridiculous. We're not responsible for the crap they write and we're not getting anything in return for checking their work, so why on earth should it be our responsibility to find and report their mistakes?

Why is it so damn difficult for etsy admin to get things right in the first place? Is it that they just don't care? Or are they really that lazy or that stupid as to do such a shitty job in the first place? Or could it be that they are more incompetent than I believed possible?

I do wonder if there are certain people that are responsible for most of these mistakes. We all know that some etsy employees are much, much, much less capable than others. It's time to get rid of that deadwood.

upsetwithadmin said...

I have been wondering if any Admin, including Maria, know the difference between a handmade item and a resale item? Could that be Admin's problem?

They don't know how to tell the difference, have not bothered to learn to tell the difference, perhaps don't even want to learn? Really, why should they? Afterall the sellers who are knowledgable are doing all the work, so why should they learn anything that will help the people who pay their salaries?

To save face, Admin posts their lame excuses and then expect everyone to believe them. That's a joke.

Then they close the thread. Not because the resellers are being called-out. It's because Admin/Etsy is being called-out. I have yet to see more than 25-30% of the closed threads which didn't have at least one post or many more criticizing Admin in one way or another.

Admin needs to get off their high rocking horses, learn to accept constructive criticism, learn to accept the fact that 50%+ of the Etsy sellers are much more intelligent and knowledgable than they, and need to start being grown-up enough to admit their mistakes and faults.

SelfRighteousHarpy said...

Well, I've emailed admin several times when a reseller is on the front page. Sometimes they are blatant resellers, but other times they're sellers they like who have a bunch of non-handmade items.

One example was on September 24. An item on the front page was not made by the seller (who DOES have handmade items). It is a sample made by her place of employment. So she now has quite a few "samples" for sale -- not made by her, not handmade. I flagged on Sept 24. all the commercial samples are still for sale, as handmade. The seller has been honest, but they still are not in the group of items that can be sold on Etsy. I have not seen a category of "manufacturers samples" anywhere!

scribbler said...

Amazingly, the item that sparked this issue is still listed. So flagging, let alone public furor, doesn't work if it suits Etsy's purpose to favor any given shop.
A lot of people could make a living on Etsy if they could list high end items that they dont have in their possession and will be dropshipped when it's ordered.

Anonymous said...

And to think or the names I have been called over the past year for commenting on the adolescence of the Etsy staff.
I have been called an ageist more times than I can remember.
Even my son (27) has told me that he considers most people his age or younger to be irresponsible slackers. I actually used to argue with him about this-- but never again.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

The front page is THE image of Etsy. And apparently they're cool with their front page being absolutely antithetical to everything the site was founded for.

Sweet, let's hear it for branding Etsy. You've branded yourselves, AND your sellers as mass-produced, careless, imported (in the bad way) and drop-shipped. Why do I even try to brand my own business as anything else, when you're doing such a great job of making us all look like amateurs and fakes?

It IS that important Etsy, and you SHOULD have a staff member dedicated to that task. Maybe there's one right now moving threads around in the Forums that you could reassign to an actually important task.

Ladies Auxilliary said...
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Ladies Auxilliary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ladies Auxilliary said...

Hi, sorry, I can't seem to type in English today...just reposting this with a slight edit since I wasn't making any sense:

Alternately, don't have pics on the front page. Seriously. Just don't. If you can't properly manage the image of your business, then don't bother having one.

Of course this all begs the the front page an inaccurate reflection of what you'll find inside Etsy? Nope, no it's not. I just don't think anyone involved wants that to be true. So make it 2-3 staff members...editing the front page, AND reviewing site content and deleting offending accounts.