Saturday, February 7, 2009

Asleep At The Wheel

We weren’t surprised to see the numbers are DOWN at Etsy in their latest Dorkie on January numbers, presented in the usual Etsy-way (aka “WHAT did they say???”):

The stats:
$9.9 million of goods were sold; roughly 23% below December's sales figure (sales for the last full week of January represented a 9.3% increase above the first full week of January).
That represents 683,369 items sold for the month, a 16.2% decrease from December's stats.
1,203,417 million new items were listed in January, up from 1,098,644 items or 9.2% vs. December.
138,000 new members joined the Etsy community, 16.3% below December's record number of new members.
443,468,017 page views were recorded on the site, an 8.1% increase compared to December.

While it takes a few readings to get it right, it's clear that SALES ARE DOWN 23%. BUT LISTINGS ARE UP UP UP 9.2%!!!!!

The world may have changed, the economy may have changed, online retail may be changing by the hour, but ETSY DOESN’T CHANGE one iota. They just keep pumping the myth that THE MORE YOU LIST THE MORE YOU SELL while Etsy promotes only a tiny fraction of stores and items in all of the promotions they control, including their new take-over of the Front Page Treasury. It’s all Etsy all the time.

While Etsy reports their “numbers” as only Etsy can, we kinda thought that report was missing something................hmmmm, what could that be? How about:
1. Where did the special promotions for Valentine’s Day go? Ooops, too late to ship anything now!!!
2. Where is the list of changes and improvements Etsy is making to help their stores make sales in a down retail environment?

Ah, hell, who needs to read Etsy Stats in the Dorque, when we all have (finally) our own Google Analytics just in time to confirm what we already know. The real question is – WHAT THE HELL IS ETSY DOING TO HELP THEIR STORES SELL?????????????


foxaz said...

Somehow, I don't think Etsy really cares at all whether its seller actually sell. Just that they list...

Just keep listing, listing, and then list some more. Because there are 60+ hungry mouths to feed here at etsycorp. And, who knows, maybe that under $15 item of yours might sell..

eclipse said...

I think sales always go down in January, even when it's not a recession. They went up about 25% from October to November so this is just returning to pre-holiday levels.
Sales dropped in Jan 2008, too.

Unfortunately the new listings and new sellers keep growing so it's a bigger pie, cut into tinier and tinier pieces.

woolies said...

They're doing nothing. They're never going to do anything. But put the same people on the front page - now even more than ever.
So what are you supposed to do to get in the gift guides, or in an admin curated treasury? People that say that the front page doesn't mean sales are clueless on the topic of marketing. Check out the sales for the shops that are on the front page repeatedly. And then tell me that the exposure doesn't mean anything.
so - renewing doesn't work anymore. Not in gift guides or front page. I spend buckets of $$ on advertising, just to lose that potential customer once they click on the BUY button at the top of the page.
I have written this same shit about a million times it feels like.
bitch bitch bitch
oh and the last time I posted this shit in the forums, admin closed down the thread.
severe frustration.

teawithfrodo said...

nothing, they are doing nothing.
But the sad thing is that there are enough cupcakes that people either don't notice, or don't care.

I'm sure some people are too...dumb(for lack of a better word) to fully understand what is going on.

PaperStreet said...

*lol* thanks for confirming that!! i have a hard time with math but could still tell that was a huge discrepancy between sold and listed items.
Why do they call it a storque but have a picture of a dodo?

Brass Monkey Designs said...

I saw where they had set up an announcements section of the forum. I think this is a step in the right direction.

Simone said...

I would expect sales to be down on December every year, no matter what else is happening. But listings up? No.

Anyway, as far as my own business goes, my Etsy sales are *way* down on last year. But business is fine overall - sales in my independent shop are way up on last year.

So in my own experience, the problem isn't all about the economy - a big part of it is Etsy.

forum rubbernecker said...

People that say that the front page doesn't mean sales are clueless on the topic of marketing. Check out the sales for the shops that are on the front page repeatedly. And then tell me that the exposure doesn't mean anything.
People who say you have to market and promote are WRONG. You do not have to if Etsy is doing for you!!!

And eclipse, agreed, I just want a few crumbs of the pie.

The Funny One said...

The biggest seller rip off on Etsy is that Etsy keeps doing 10% of the work, and sellers keep doing 90% of the work. Setting up an Announcement section at the top of the Forums Page that lists "What free labor can you do give us today?" just acts as a daily reminder.

Etsy never got out of first gear. Their premise was to get the sellers to do all the work, which included almost 4 years of FREE marketing and advertising FOR THE COMPANY.

Once thousands of sellers did all that work (for free), Etsy took all that free labor and molded the site in their own image with an extremely narrow platform. Etsy designed several (stale and boring) promotion tools that promote only the sellers they want to promote. If you worked your butt off for years and YOU DID NOT get picked as their relentless crop of favorites, you get NOTHING back for years of free work for Etsy.

And that's the real gimmick. Now, do some more free labor and create a couple of APPS so you can twitter back and forth with Admins and promote MORE of their favorite sellers.

Quite a gimmick! The site growns to over 250,000 sellers and Etsy does LESS WORK than they did when they started.

How does a site get bigger and get so small minded at the same time? $15 a pop has a short life span and trends wear out. And years of free labor with a big fat zero in return wears itself out too.

The fact that Etsy did nothing to help their stores for V-Day is the last straw. And I could kick myself for handing over years of free labor with less than nothing to show for it.

fedupwithEtsy said...

The sales numbers for Etsy overall are down, but they are up for the select sellers whom Etsy chooses to promote. Etsy promotes the same sellers in the Gift Guides and FP constantly. They only care about those sellers. Therefore, overall numbers are going to decrease because Etsy does absolutely nothing to support sellers overall. Eventually, this will catch up with the site overall. You can't run a business this way.

I love to read the forums where Etsy favorites complain that FP doesn't always lead to sales and you need beautiful photos. Give me a break. Like those are the only sellers on Etsy.

I'm really shocked and appalled that the new CEO has shown no leadership and done absolutely nothing to resolve this situation.

And I find this thread incredibly interesting.

PaperStreet said...

The Funny One said...
Their premise was to get the sellers to do all the work, which included almost 4 years of FREE marketing and advertising FOR THE COMPANY.

This goes along with something I was reading about yesterday concerning long tail economics, The aggregator(Etsy) outsources the work to it's
customers(sellers),and collects the rewards, and that is how it should be because what the customers get in return is the "Esty Dream" of independent artists, to not be completely obscure and to be able to make a living with your skills and your passion.

However! The way they are doing it, it is no longer a benefit to all the sellers which is a huge faux pas on their part. This could be their downfall unless they have some plan to pull a miracle out of their pockets Ala Jim Beyers who now sits on the board and will not let Etsy be run so haphazardly $$$

By creating this panic among the sellers who depend on themselves for income or supplementary income they have just worsened the bottle neck affect that has been their biggest problem all along. They also perpetuate the bottleneck with their favoritism because it causes sellers to cluster around the hopes of a special effect ei. FP GG...just like the renewal hype and the quit your day job series and now the "love bombs"
Here's a quote from something I read yesterday in my search for answers about exactly *WHAT KIND* of business is Etsy and where the heck are they going?
When you try and "monetize your users", you accept the almost obscene assumption that people are meant to be pimped out, sold to the highest bidder, resources to be slashed, burned, and exploited.

But that's not how the edgeconomy works. Businesses(etsy) need what connected consumers(sellers on etsy) have to give more than connected consumers need what businesses have to sell.

The artists who do not realize that they are not Etsy are doing themselves a great disservice. If your main business goal is to get on the front page on Etsy then the whole game is not that real.

messfest said...

LOL, thanks for the link, fedupwithetsy. Looks like Etsy is getting a little nervous and are S-L-O-W-L-Y adding all the stuff sellers have been asking for for 4 years. NOW we an announcements forum? Hmmm...

That thread alone is a separate blog post.

Autonomous Artisans said...

My answer to the question was a big fat NOTHING, so I've decided not to give them any more of my money. I've moved my stock and that is that. If you are unhappy with Etsy the only way to solve that is to leave, because it has been proven over and over again Etsy doesn't give a shit about the majority of sellers and has absolutely no interest in listening to our opinions.

Show them with your money how you feel. Walk away.

I will continue to support individual sellers on Autonomous Artisans no matter which venue they sell through, but I will avoid promoting Etsy as a site because I feel it is appalling the way Etsy is run.

Stop Trying To Change Something That Is NEVER Going To Change said...

Blogger foxaz said...

"Somehow, I don't think Etsy really cares at all whether its seller actually sell. Just that they list..."

It's obvious they don't care! As everyone always says. They are just a venue! The thing I don't get is this.... I hate Etsy just as much as everyone else. But does Ebay help it's sellers make sales? Does Amazon help it's customers make sales? I agree it's unfair that Etsy helps a select few. It sucks for everyone else. But if you have an awesome business with an awesome product and provide awesome customer service it shouldn't matter if Etsy is pimping you or not. I have lots of sellers I frequent regularly. I return to them because they have a great service and a great product not because they are constantly on the front page!

The Righteous One said...

Stoptrying...., Ebay and Amazon advertise. Ebay and Amazon have searches that work.

Ebay and Amazon don't state outright in their mission statements that they help artists sell their wares, but Etsy does.

oldandtired said...

Etsy cares about a few selected sellers and they promote them vigorously. The rest of us are supposed to "pimp" our shops ourselves, according to Danielle's advice.

They manage to entice enough new sellers to fall in love with Etsy and tow the Etsy line, defending every decision they make. Calling all of the sellers who have been on Etsy for awhile "complainers". And kissing up to the admins like mad.

And the newbies still think renewing will get them somewhere.

So Etsy will continue to bring in the bucks no matter whether they deliver or not. It's a win-win for them.

Quit Trying To Change said...

Righteous One, Etsy DOES advertise. Just not in places you would probably like them to. Yes the search sucks. You know that. You KNOW How Etsy, IS, HAS been and ALWAYS will be. I'm not trying to defend Etsy but don't you guys get sick of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole?? I got fed up and quit selling on Etsy two years ago I think it was, maybe even longer than that. I don't even remember. It just seems so futile to constantly expect them to change when its so obvious they are not going to. I remember someone recently making a post somewhere comparing Etsy to a relationship with a significant other. Everyone who sits here and keeps hoping and praying they are going to change is like an abused wife who thinks that her husband is going to eventually quit beating her. It ain't gonna happen! And about the mission statement...they ARE helping you sell your wares by providing you with the venue to do just that. Unfortunately it's a venue that SUCKS!

The Funny One said...

FedupwithEtsy and PaperStreet have added some great points. And I do agree that the sellers are not Etsy, but the original set of rules that launched Etsy are not the same when you reach one quarter million stores.

Etsy hasn't increased its workload or function, but continues to base its dollar success on the backs of most sellers who get nothing in return. Which wouldn't be such a big deal if Etsy hadn't morphed into a promotion engine for only a few of those stores. Everyone's paying, but only a few are getting thousands of dollars of free daily, weekly, and monthy advertising on the site.

That retail model will strangle Etsy in the end.

It's like paying for shelf space at the bricks & mortar store, and every time you go in to re-stock (and pay for every inch of space) you find someone has shoved your products to the side and replaced them with "things they really really like" while you pay through the nose for it. In more ways than one, right, Etsy?

pictured off said...

With all the cupcake bitchin on the Etsy forums about how "ugly" the Art Fire front page is...

I think it's beautiful. So half the pics aren't what Etsy calls "front page worthy". Well, guess what? I'd rather see a million mediocre pics of interesting and varied items than one more day of Etsy's chosen few on the front page. Lame, boring, and SO last year.

And another thing. I don't expect the pictures from handmade sellers to be superb. There is a learning curve, and even the top Etsy sellers went through it (except the ones that copied already successful sellers items). Most people ask for and/or are offered help with pictures. And frankly, there are relatively few pictures that are unsalvagable with a few photo program tweaks. They aren't that bad. I'm pleasantly surprised when I see REALLY good pics, but am not disappointed at average pics.

For not being a "juried" site, Etsy certainly is intimidating new sellers by those exceptional front page pics (not that many are anyway).

The Stinky One said...

You want to compare Etsy to a relationship with a spouse or abusive boyfriend? Think about this.

Most abused women (be it emotional or physical or just neglected) stay in the relationship unless or until their life is in danger (or the life of their child), although sometimes not even then.

They rationalize that while they may be cheated on, beaten or ignored, that they still have a roof over their head, food to eat, someone to pay the bills. The abuser still shows what appears to be "love" in some instances, so there is always that dim hope of a miracle that he will change. In many cases staying with the abuser is just easier than trying to start over again.

They'll cry to their best friend. They'll sit home at night wondering, speculating where he might be and what he might be doing. Occasionally he brings home some cheap flowers, and you know it's just a lame attempt at pacifying you, yet you're grateful.

If your best friend had a husband or boyfriend like that, you'd be telling her to kick him to the curb in no uncertain terms. She deserves better. She needs to regain her self respect and her sanity.

Bingo. So do we all. Have the strength to kick Etsy to the curb or stop bitching about it. You've been in the relationship long enough to know whether or not it's going to change, there is enough of a pattern evident from past performance to know that things aren't likely to change.

Me? I'll stick around for awhile, but I'm also not complaining anymore. I'm still getting some benefit from this relationship, however small, that I'm willing to be overlooked and ignored. I know Etsy is seeing someone else on the side, but I'm still getting the token gestures, so I'll stay for now. The key is, I have no right to complain about it anymore. I know the score and I choose to stay.

Bookman said...

This is really a poorly-informed take on the stats.

First, as many have pointed out, retail sales always drop in January over December.

Second, new listings vary over the course of the year. The 9% increase in January is not unusual. In the same month last year, new listings jumped 7%, and 7% has been the average monthly increase over the past seven months. And coming as it does after a 4% decrease in new listings in December, the real increase for the two months is actually about 4.5% - much lower than average over any other two-month period in the past year.

As for Etsy signing up more sellers than buyers, this is also not supported by the stats. Etsy added 138,000 new members in January, including about 20,447 sellers. That means about 15% of the new accounts were sellers. In December, this percentage was 12%. In November it was 17%. In October it was 19%. In September it was 19%. In August it was 19%. Line them up: 19-19-19-17-12-15 - do you see any trend? Does it suggest that Etsy is signing up more and more sellers instead of buyers?

No. With about 1.86 million accounts now and 334,500 seller accounts, about 18% of etsy accounts are shops. Any month where the rate of new shops to new accounts is less than 18% actually represents a DECLINE in the ratio of sellers to buyers. January had a 15% ratio of seller to buyer accounts. Etsy is signing up more buyers than sellers at a rate of better than 4 to 1, and for the past three months this rate has been shifting in favor of sellers.

happynewyear said...

Honestly? The reason listings are up is because there are new shops. They'll go up every month no matter what. I'm no statistician, but there's no reason to believe that the sole reason listings are up less than 10% is because of relisting. There are very few people that relist in the scheme of things when you're talking hundreds of thousands of shops, unless you can show me hard facts other than a few dozen shops that say so. There's nothing to back up that stat.

disillusioned said...

the way Etsy words this has always bugged me:

"Etsy added 138,000 new members in January, including about 20,447 sellers."

it doesn't specifically say 20,447 of them were sellers. it says including about 20,447 sellers. what if 128,000 of them were new sellers. That would certainly cover the 'including 20,447' sellers bit.

I have 10 pieces of fruit, including 4 bananas. This statement is true. I do have 10 pieces of fruit. it doesn't matter that all 10 of my fruit happen to be bananas, right? cuz I did tell you it included 4 bananas.

get what I mean?

eclipse said...

I'm going to start collecting the # of sellers on the first of each month
you can get that number here
and then do your own calculations on how many sellers joined in the previous month.

The "new listings" stat that Etsy gives us is ONLY new listings, not renewals. They do not disclose the renewals stats to us. I suspect that number was much higher than new listings, although it will decrease now that FP and TM2 exposure is not guaranteed.

Carol B said...

Etsy's income comes from users posting, renewing and selling items. All they need in order to make money is more and more users. To get free advertising and bring in more and more users, they sent us "Promoting Together" email in the weekly news that has this gem (emphasis added): "We've updated the Etsy Shop application for Facebook, a social networking site many Etsians use. ... LET'S TAKE FACEBOOK BY STORM AND PROMOTE THE HECK OUT OF OUR ETSY SHOPS, WHAT DO YOU SAY?"

I say, hmmm, yes I want to promote my Etsy shop, but am I going to get sales or reel in new Etsy sellers?

Brass Monkey Designs said...

Stinky...I totally see where you're coming from when you say "I'm still getting some benefit from this relationship, however small, that I'm willing to be overlooked and ignored. I know Etsy is seeing someone else on the side,"

I'll go one further and say "hey, that's okay if Etsy has someone on the side because so do and and if there ever comes a day when the other guy gives me more than Etsy does...well...let's just say all my lovin' (and promotin') will go to the other guy." ;o) LOL

eclipse said...

"Let's take Facebook by storm and promote the heck out of our Etsy shops, what do you say?"

I say, please lets not get Etsy banned from facebook for spamming.
"Take it by storm" scares me.

Facebook's tagline:
"Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life."

connect and share...with people you actually know.
Social networking is meant to be SOCIAL.

I feel confused... said...

Does Etsy really sell millions of dollars of items every month? I don't know why I find that hard to believe...because the stuff in my friends' shops aren't selling and I haven't had a sale since August. Is it all just overpriced vintage clothing that sells, or what?

Bookman said...

disillusioned, Etsy didn't provide a number of sellers in this round of stats. I got that number from the sellers page (which eclipse links to)

Renewals are renewals of existing items - they do not add new items to the pool of products, so they don't really matter toward the point of this discussion. They don't increase the size of the pie.

bresset said...

i think many can say that sales were down due to less front page exposure due to batch uploading of listings. it is unbelievable how badly etsy fell down on communicating this new batch listing phenomenon.

some sellers did do really well over christmas due to etsy's promotion of their products and of course their own promotion.

its time to face the facts that getting seen on etsy is going to mean conforming to their design aesthetic, eating cupcakes and of course creating a great product, providing top notch customer service,& new listings everyday.

everyone else is just clogging up the internets with their bad products, fatty mass produced crap and lead based homemade chachas that no one needs or wants

below14th said...

I stopped re-listing when this crap surfaced and my sales have gone UP.

buddy said...

"Let's take Facebook by storm and promote the heck out of our Etsy shops, what do you say?"

From the Facebook TOU:

"By using or accessing the Facebook Service, you represent, warrant and agree that you will not:

* send spam or any other unauthorized advertisements or solicitations through or using the Facebook Service;"

For a site that freaks out calling sellers spammers for engaging in common customer service contact, Etsy sure has a double standard in encouraging it's users to break the TOU of other sites with spamming on their behalf!

eclipse said...

Dingo said: "Renewals are renewals of existing items - they do not add new items to the pool of products, so they don't really matter toward the point of this discussion. They don't increase the size of the pie."

They increase Etsy's pie, and they extend the time that an item is showing in the search results, so that pie that would have expired and been subtracted from the overall pie is retained, thus making the pie larger. The same way longer lifespans increase human population. So yeah I think renewals "count" even though they are not included in any of the Etsy stats.

PaperStreet said...

quick FYI,
Etsy and facebook are both being backed by Jim Beyers, along with many other internet money makers.

Amazon does plenty to keep their sellers on an even par.
If you are looking for a book amazon doesn't care if you buy their brand new copy for 20.00 or the used copy from a housewife in Seattle for 1.99
they both get equal billing. when you search for that book you will see both versions and everything in between not just the one they want you to see. I have never had any problem searching on amazon or ebay.
Also I have never expected Etsy to coddle me or promote me I do all of that myself but Now my shop is completely hidden from view and if i get a new customer to come to Etsy guess what? they have to sign up before they can buy something and when that process is done they will be directed straight to the front page where they may or may not be distracted by some other shiney thing.
And I am sorry but Etsy being overpopulated by sellers is no excuse for this BS there has been buzz about Etsy's growth since it's inception they knew it was going to keep growing, this recent round of VC backing is actually their 4th round. No Excuse!

ShinyAdornments said...

BTW...number of sellers with at least one item in their shop TODAY is 135,786

I got that by multiplying the number of sellers per page from eclipse's link (20) x 6789 full pages of shops with at least one item in them + 6 shops on page 6790 = 135,786

Brass Monkey Designs said...

How, exactly, would abandoned shops figure into all of this? I have four shops at Etsy, two of which I emptied and abandoned so long ago that I can't even remember their names.

deedee said...

Love these comments. I agree with almost all of them.

eBay Advertises all the time. Even John McCain, who didn't use a computer until last year, knew what it was. Amazon, another household name. Etsy - what? Who's that? How do you spell it?

Etsy does advertise - to the same crowd - over and over and over again. How many new Bust readers do you think that magazine gets monthly? Not enough to grow your business by advertising over and over - in the same exact format - to the same crowd.

If you advertise your own shop (on or off Etsy) you'll know that at some point you reach saturation, and you start to get diminishing returns. Etsy is at that point, but they just don't know it.

In addition, eBay and Amazon have searches that work. Period. Can't buy something if you can't find it. Rule number one of web usability. How can I possibly buy that vintage frock, if I don't know it won't show up in the main search? Stupid. Stupid. Arrogant. Those are my feelings about Etsy.

I'm only marginally on there now. It wasn't worth the frustration, the competition, and the discounters. I'm doing much better - even in this current economy - off on my own than I ever did on Etsy. Go figure.

disappointed said...

buddy said...

For a site that freaks out calling sellers spammers for engaging in common customer service contact, Etsy sure has a double standard in encouraging it's users to break the TOU of other sites with spamming on their behalf!

That is what irritates me about Etsy the most.

Rana said...

disappointed, it's all of a piece with what I'm coming to realize is probably Etsy philosophy, not merely incompetence or experience.

Basically, Etsy was founded on the idea that Etsy would give sellers and buyers a place to meet up, and in return they'd do most of the work.

Promos? That's what you're supposed to do - and you're not just supposed to promote your own shop; you're supposed to promote Etsy too. (Nevermind that Etsy includes your competitors.)

Site help? Business advice? That's what the forums are for - didn't you know that part of your responsibility as a seller was helping newbies figure out the site?

New bits of code to improve the site? Let's open up our API and see if we can get other people to code for us, for free!

Hmm... it's time for something pretty on the Front Page, and we can't recycle the same sellers ALL the time - yes, again, it's the Etsy customers to the rescue, with all those lovely Treasuries available... again, for free.

Do we see a pattern?

Etsy is a parasite - without our labor, our ideas, our money, Etsy would not exist.

This is true to a degree for all such venues, but the ideal relationship is symbiotic rather than parasitic - both sides give, and both sides get, in equal measure.

Etsy is acting like a parasite, and if they're not careful, they are going to kill their host: us.

(And meanwhile one lone editor on Wikipedia keeps doggedly fighting off any and all attempts to open up the entry enough to allow a link to Unofficial Etsy News - let alone a link here.)

Brass Monkey Designs said...

I know I'm drifting from the original topic of this post, but I was reminded of something today as I drove past a consignment art shop where I used to sell (and I use that term figuratively since nothing of mine ever sold there) my jewelry.

They had gone out of business. No surprise there.

Anyway, as I drove by, I reflected on an incident involving my jewelry and that of two other sellers...the woman's daughter and a 12 year old girl who made her own earrings. They were *okay*, but obviously made with really inexpensive materials and they were obviously made by beginners.

The woman seemed very pleased with the idea of having my jewelry in her studio, but my first warning should have been how she gushed on and on about her daughter's jewelry and "this cute little girl who makes all her own things."

The agreement was that whether my jewelry sold or not that month, she'd send me an update, just to touch bases. My second warning should have been when I never heard from her after the first month. My third warning should have been that I could not reach her by phone either.

My fourth warning (and what finally spurred me to get off my ass and find out what the hell was going on) was when a couple of my friends, who had actually gone to the shop didn't even know I had pieces in there.

Unfortunately, I was working ungodly hours at the time and it was another month before I could get to the store in person and find out what was going on.

When I came in, I saw that she'd taken all of my jewelry off of the pretty little wire tree that I'd brought in to display it on and placed the "cute little girl's" jewelry on it. My jewelry was spread out on the shelf, just behind a rack of her daughter's jewelry. She went on and on about how well the other two sellers had done and just couldn't understand why none of my pieces had sold. Idiot.

Small wonder, even though it was much more well made than the other pieces, it was flung around like it was no big deal and she hadn't promoted it at all. I have no doubt in my mind that every customer who came in and looked at the jewelry got the same spiel about the cute little 12 year old girl and the owner's brilliant college bound daughter.

So, for all the ostriches with their heads in the sand who believe that it doesn't really make a difference if your venue promotes you or are WRONG WRONG WRONG. If your venue does not support you and talk you up as much as the other artisans (or at all), then no matter how hard you work at promoting yourself, you are not going to sell as much as they do. It's a plain and simple fact of retail 101. You are foolish if you believe otherwise.

eclipse said...

"And meanwhile one lone editor on Wikipedia keeps doggedly fighting off any and all attempts to open up the entry enough to allow a link to Unofficial Etsy News - let alone a link here"

OMG are they still doing those wikipedia shenanigans? I haven't looked at it for ages. Unbelievable. Wasn't it bad enough when one ex-admin got banned from wikipedia (multiple times) for vandalizing that article over and over? Didn't they learn anything? I wonder who took over his duties?

Ms. Untrendy said...

I honestly think that the hired staff is not up to the task.
Whether or not THEIR bosses give a shit-- who knows? The bottom line of getting more and more listings (and renewings) sure makes them look like laurel-sitters.

forum rubbernecker said...

So, for all the ostriches with their heads in the sand who believe that it doesn't really make a difference if your venue promotes you or are WRONG WRONG WRONG. If your venue does not support you and talk you up as much as the other artisans (or at all), then no matter how hard you work at promoting yourself, you are not going to sell as much as they do. It's a plain and simple fact of retail 101. You are foolish if you believe otherwise.
Absolutely true. And adding to what Ms. Untrendy said, there is no way in hell that Maria Thomas or the people who forked over the investment money can have any knowledge of the ACTUAL internal workings of promotions and such on Etsy. It is run like a high school, where the cheerleader queens decide if you will be popular or not. It has got to be some sort of professional malpractice to allow what goes on there. Someday, someone is going to figure out how much the FP slots are worth that were given to shillers, sock puppets, and undisclosed accounts. If you are popular, you can apparently do anything you want.

PaperStreet said...

Thank you Brass monkey I am so tired of hearing "Etsy shouldn't have to promote you!" When no one is actually asking for promotions just equal time. And if it isn't their job to make sure we are seen then what the hell is their job? sitting in the money piles we keep throwing in their direction? As I understand it the point of an online selling venue is to facilitate traffic while the sellers generate content to draw and keep the traffic coming and the sellers are doing their part, and are being forced to go above and beyond their part, while Etsy is not facilitating anything.

I've said it before:
The face of Etsy (branding) is not just the hand picked items on the front page features (as much as they would like it to be). Etsy has sent all of it's sellers out into the web in a desperate search for traffic and sales by shutting out a big chunk of our internal traffic with indiscriminate exclusions. This,in my opinion, has the potential to make Etsy look very much like a bustling flea market complete with hagglers and barkers, and seagulls begging for crumbs, rather than an elegant handmade site with integrity.

There also seems to be another issue brewing that will take way too much effort to get sorted out or an answer from the top (not that they ever really answer anything at all). But I have noticed many sellers saying that their Etsy shops are no longer showing up in google searches when they use to. Mine is definitely not showing up I've searched as many as 28 pages of google and did not find my store connected to any keywords I regularly use to search with. Right now it is just a slight buzz in the forums and unless it is consolidated it will probably go unnoticed with sporadic complaints. And I don't have the energy to keep 11 more threads at the top of the forums for two weeks so that the sellers can realize that someone forgot to bring the KY again!

Also my views have gotten even worse in the last week than they were since the change in the loading B-S If it weren't for return customers I'd be lost completely.

Agent M. said...

What saddens me is I no longer want to promote Etsy to others. They suck. I want to support handmade and I want my friends and family to support handmade too, I just wish Etsy didn't make any money with each sale. The favoritism is astonishing, the incompetent customer service is appalling. I knew that already, but this really seals the deal. Copyright infringement? There is so much REAL copyright infringement on Etsy - why don't they worry anout that? Ugh. The TOU's are incredibly malleable when it comes to Etsy admin decisions. What's the point of having them? Leaving Etsy has been good to me. Good luck to everyone who continues to stick it through!

WHINER said...

I am getting sick & tired of forum posts calling sellers "whiners" for asking the site to actually support their customers (meaning, their sellers).
Here's a big "fuck you" to people who keep saying it's "just a venue".
def venue:
The scene or setting in which something takes place; a locale.
A place for large gatherings, as a sports stadium.

So, that's all we can expect-- a venue??