A long-time Etsy seller has stated it so succinctly - Does Etsy know who their customers are and what they sell?
That's not a trick question - the answer is, the sellers.
And what are they selling? Predominantly art & craft.
And who are they? Independent, self-representing creative people.
Self-employment is tough at the best of times. In a recession, when you're making & marketing non-essential goods, it's even tougher.
Imagine my frustration to see a recent Storque article focused on bargains & sales with the opening lines:"
Feeling a little strain in your billfold lately, or simply trying to not to break the bank? Well, we hear ya, and we decided to run this special Storque edition called "Weekend Deals," highlighting some fantastic shop promotions and sales running this weekend only!"
What about the strain your customer base is feeling, Etsy? What about the sellers trying to get a *fair price* for their work?
In isolation, this article is no big deal. I have no problem with sellers offering sales, if that's how they'd like to operate their business, but I *do* have a problem with Etsy's ongoing inadequate marketing & misrepresentation of art & craft in the media.
In regards to art & craft, context is EVERYTHING. How many art & craft galleries do you know of who run sales & pride themselves on their bargain prices? How many of them like to represent themselves with terms such as "bric-a-brac" & "BOGO"?
That type of image is NOT the way to market art & craft. Key words to emphasise are terms such as..."unique", "exclusive", "quality", "bespoke" - not "two for the price of one this week only!"
Most galleries, you'll find, do their utmost to support & represent their clients - artists & craftspeople - by creating an environment in which they can achieve the best price possible for their work. It's mutually beneficial to do so.
We're selling HANDMADE, not knock-off watches on a street corner (remember that unfortunate image Etsy used to represent us?)
Please Etsy, get a handle on the products you're representing, who your customer base is & what they want & need, & the shopper demographic you should be targeting. In fact, start targeting *any* buyers, because we're currently all suffering for your pitch to recruit as many sellers as possible at the expense of a sustainable buyer/seller ratio.
Seen how low listing views are recently? I keep on hearing reports from admin that sales are up - but percentage of sales per seller are down, we all know that. We're all feeling it.
The most fundamental place to start supporting & understanding your customers & their products is at the most fundamental level - the categories.
I just did some quick sums...
There are almost 2.5 million items currently listed.
The average amount of listings per category is approx. 81,000
The Art Category's total listings are 335% the average.
To put that into context, the Jewellery category, Etsy's largest, has 800% the average, & Music, the smallest category, 2.4% the average.
There is TOO MUCH pressure on the Art & Jewellery categories & the sellers listing there are NOT getting the same value from their .20c listing as those in the smaller categories. With batch updates, new listings get lost within minutes beyond the extent that most buyers are prepared to browse.
It wouldn't be such an issue if we had advanced search, but we don't.
Sellers have called for a simple top level split to the Art Category between Reproductions & Original Art for about 2 years now. Last I heard from admin was it wouldn't be happening. The Jewellery category obviously needs some urgent restructuring too.
This is just one example of a total lack of understanding & support from Etsy towards its customers. It's really getting disheartening.
Actually, I'm way past disheartened now & actively trying other avenues - as they say, insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing & expecting a different outcome.
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