Sunday, February 15, 2009

Who knows a bored lawyer?

I was thinking today that there might be cause for a class action suit against Etsy with their misleading and deceptive practices regarding changing the way it's search results are loaded making it largely useless without notifying users of the change, all while still continuing to recommend it due to it being a large portion of their income. Not to mention their rampant favoritism and free exposure for 150 or so sellers.

Bigger companies have been sued and lost millions for less and lost.

I'm sure the second a lawyer hears 155,000 (those with at least one item in their shops at the time of the transgressions) to as many as 339,262 (number of stores as of today) might be eligible it could make things interesting to say the least.

51 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I posted a thread in the forums about stats & relisting :: considering that etsy tells shops to relist is such crap. My views increase by 5 new visitors by renewing.

When I get featured in their blog or FP for free traffic increases to 490 - 900 visitors.

If I was a regular in the gift guides I would sell about $500.00 a month, maybe more.

forum rubbernecker said...

I have thought of one as well, but for different reasons. More having to do with the distribution of Etsy real estate. There are a million and one reasons for a suit, I am sure.

kibbles said...

Interestingingly enough, I just found that Etsy *does* take high-powered attorneys seriously, even on a weekend. Less than 48 hours ago I wrote to them about a seller copying published images and text, and *poof*! They're gone now. Ah...I just love attorneys. But no, mine isn't bored. He's quite busy. *giggle*

The Hyperlexian Aspie said...

were there recent changes? or is this referring to changes made in the past? doesn't matter anyway... i think a lawsuit is a damn good idea!

Brass Monkey Designs said...

I doubt it's against the law to run your business like a junior high clique. Though I've seen a few individual situations that might merit some legal action...this most recent one in particular.

renovia said...

I looked on the site and couldn't find anything about it......... Is there a link?

Girl, Annoyed said...

Crap...did more changes to the search get made? What's happened now that they have neglected to tell anyone about?

This is why I hate ETSY most frequently - there inability to communicate with sellers (their customers).

I get something like three e-mails from eBay each week about updates and changes, and I sell something there once every couple of months.

Nice, ETSY. Nice.

forum rubbernecker said...

I doubt it's against the law to run your business like a junior high clique.
_________
No. But when sellers have violated the TOU provably and repeatedly and are still given primo promotional spots by Etsy admin (who are aware that these shops have done this), then it is a very fine line they walk.
Unjust enrichment comes to mind.
I don't necessarily advocate a suit, but Etsy should understand that while it's fun to run your high school clique to make your friends popular, it won't always fly in the real world and you might just get called on it.

Bookman said...

The first thing a lawyer would do is read the terms of service and point out the standard "no warranty" clause that says you agree that Etsy is not guaranteeing it will provide you with any particular service except to act as a venue for the sale of your item in exchange for a listing fee and commission.

Etsy could get rid of the search function completely and you'd still have no case. The site is provided "as is." Your options are to use it as is or not to use it at all.

fucking pissed off and cursing now said...

I have an etsy friend - we convo each other "so and so is on the front page for the 3rd time today", etc. It's endless, the favoritism. Their teen gift guide, for example, has 3 pages. I can think of a bazillion items (some of them mine) that would go great in that guide. I want to be in the fucking gift guides. I want to be on the fucking front page. Why should I have to pay $15 for a fucking showcase when all their favorites get the fp for free, all day long, all week long?
Sign me up for the lawyer.

sillygirl said...

And what's up with the "refresh, renew, redesign" thing in the gift guides? It's like their trying subliminal mind games on us.

How about RENEWING and REFRESHING the gift guides themselves. Some sellers have over 1600 views on their pieces. I don't know if they have sold and gone up again, or never sold at all, but come on.

I swear, most have been up since Christmas and before.

Please, please, someone MUST know a lawyer to TAKE THIS BITCH DOWN.

The Funny One said...

It might be better to focus on the changes Etsy has made to the original contract with sellers in the last few months. Now that sellers no longer have access to the tools they did through listing and relisting (TM2, etc.)and have no access to the 100% Etsy controlled promo tools (including the FPT)Etsy has changed the contract without sending an official notice to sellers.

All sellers pay fees, but only a few sellers benefit from the Etsy-controlled promo tools that provide them with tens of thousands of dollars of free marketing, advertising, and promotions that all the other sellers DO NOT GET.

juried artist said...

I used to be a member at a small city art association that ran a couple of juried art shows in their gallery every year.

They would advertise all over, get hundreds of entries from all over the country at $30 each, non-refundable.

Then the juror would only "accept" the artwork from the members and a few other regular submittors. Good money in that.

Etsy "juries" their site the same way.

eclipse said...

Ugh.
There really is no cause for any lawsuit. No lawyer would take a case like that. Their terms of use protect them. AS-IS. It' s even in caplock. (I actually agree with Dingdong on this one, meh):p

There are other things they might be sued for- copyright stuff, or occasions when they have broken the TOU and the privacy policy. But not for this. Borked search does not violate any laws or the contract between Etsy & sellers.

Etsy Shopper said...

As a shopper on Etsy, I'm annoyed that the same sellers on the front page. I think EVERY seller should be put on the front page at least once a week. Is that too much to ask?

forum rubbernecker said...

All sellers pay fees, but only a few sellers benefit from the Etsy-controlled promo tools that provide them with tens of thousands of dollars of free marketing, advertising, and promotions that all the other sellers DO NOT GET.
_________
It's not even that this is being done so much as who it is being done on behalf of. One of these days I might just make a sock puppet account and do a massive call out. The squeaky clean ones getting promoed does not bother me in the least. It's the 114 FP spots given to a shiller and the roughly 200 FP spots given to someone who operated for 6 months with many many undisclosed accounts, which is how they got a lot of their FP spots.
That sort of bothers me just a wee bit, and were I competing in either of those categories, I would be beyond furious.

maybe I'm wrong, but said...

I don't think it would fly.

Etsy does create a conflict of interest by posting in the forums, as a means to increase revenue, but I am not sure it is a legal matter.

Bookman said...

Those features aren't part of the contract, Funny One. The contract gives Etsy the right to do what it wants with the design of its site, and you have the right to use it or not use it. Absolutely nowhere does Etsy say that your 20 cents guarantees you a 30-second spot on the front page, or that you will always appear in a specific search result or that the time machine will always show your items, or that they can't change the way the front page is picked.

Perhaps someone ought to find a bored lawyer to explain to them the contract they are already in before they go off ranting about contracts and lawsuits. This OP is really irresponsible.

Autonomous Artisans said...

You know what, Etsy has their ass covered in the terms and conditions. They can feature who they like, where they like, when they like. If you don't like that you don't have to stay.

People told me that over and over on the forum whenever I tried to ask for anything to be changed. "If you don't like it, then leave!" Well at the time I thought it was better to try and change the site than to just leave.

Now I have left my advice is the same as those people on the forum. It might be given for a different reason than they handed it out, but my advice is still the same. If you are not selling on Etsy and you are unhappy with how the site is run, then leave and find somewhere else to sell through. There are loads of sites out there and loads of customers on those sites.

forum rubbernecker said...

Autonomous--I beg to differ. See, the problem is that nobody knows what has been happening right under people's noses. If you knew everything that some of us know, it would make your little head spin.
I am featured often and my sales are good. I am not going anywhere. I just have a problem with a few cases of blatant misuse of Etsy. It does not really affect me and Etsy's gonna do what they're gonna do, but don't expect that they won't get called on it.
Looking at your blog and your associations and your featured people, I understand why you feel the way you do. It is funny how those who cry the loudest about how no one should ever complain are always friends and associates of the biggest offenders. Although, I bet even their closest friends don't know what they have done. It is so tempting to call out right now to tell you that one of your featured artisans has a very good friend in admin who knows about and condones some of this crap. But hey, ignorance is bliss, so you go right on living your blissful little life. And the day you get screwed by this, don't say you weren't warned.

/rant

sigh said...

I'd like to know where you are selling, autonomous artisans. Cause I'm on a lot of the other sites and have sold ONE item months ago.
and somebody said it right - Etsy is just like a juried site. The rest of us just pay the bills.

Brass Monkey Designs said...

Why waste valuable time and money on lawyers and courts? I feel fairly certain that:

#1 the Etsy coffers can more than support them to keep you tied up in courts until you are drained dry as a stone, if they choose to take that tack.

#2 you don't have much (if any) of a case.

#3 you have many other options in the handmade online venue if you really don't want to be with Etsy anymore.

I am disgruntled as hell about some of the things I see them doing, but not disgruntled enough to yank my shop or sue anyone. IMO...if you are that upset with them, to the point of suing, there are many other better ways to hit them where it hurts.

I mean, look how much they have done just since Artfire opened...they ARE scared...or scareable anyway. They DONT want other venues taking away their business. They don't want to lose your money or anyone else's money, regardless of what they think of you (or I guess "us" by now).

Here are some free things you could do that would make an impact:

1. Stage a mass shop closing.

2. Create a web page/blog that actually shows what you are saying in hard cold numbers; a graph, for instance, of how many times a particular seller appears on the Front page, shopping guides, storque etc. Put it in cold, hard, statistics that nobody can argue with.

3. Launch a campaign to spread the word...and I mean go proactive and grass roots with it. If grass roots movements can stop US citizens from wearing ivory and leopard, imagine what a grass roots action could do with the aid of the INTERNET.

The bottom line is that Etsy is going to continue doing whatever it wants to do unless it starts to threaten their bottom line...$$$. Coming here to vent is great, but until someone actually threatens their cash flow...ain't nothin' gonna change.

life-during-wartime said...

I rarely even visit the Etsy site these days to shop because the front page is such a turn off. That, and all the tag abuse -- searching or browsing, both mostly a waste of time in some categories. None of these problems are cause for legal action, though. They are what happens when site owners are focused on collecting fees and shop owners take whatever measures they can get away with to be seen. Rather than a lawsuit, I'd rather have a petition for a bird-free front page for at least a month.

too many puppets said...

different subject, but that ya'll might want to add this link to you blog?

http://www.etsypuppeteers.blogspot.com/

Supply Seller said...

Etsy could get rid of the search function completely and you'd still have no case. The site is provided "as is." Your options are to use it as is or not to use it at all.
------

What happens when you were using the site "AS-IS" to establish your brand and were pretty successful selling $3000/ month worth of goods, then suddenly the search changes for no good reason and you only have $1500 in sales the next month, then $1000 the following month.

You find yourself having to spend $200 in advertising per month to get back to selling $2000/ month.

Basically, what happens when you use the site "AS-IS" to establish a business (which Etsy encouraged you to do) and then they purposely make it so you can't be found by your customers.

That sounds like shady business practices to me.

Eveline said...

Autonomous Artisans said...

You know what, Etsy has their ass covered in the terms and conditions. They can feature who they like, where they like, when they like. If you don't like that you don't have to stay.

***************

Isn't it ironic that that's the only thing that Etsy has done right?

Autonomous Artisans said...

Ppffft!I'm no Etsy cheerleader. I'm just a realist and have seen that there is no way on Etsy to change the way they behave by people complaining about it. Also suing them won't work, as has been said many times in these replies. I gave up on Etsy and left. I don't like the way they behave, but if I can't change that I'm not going to keep giving them my money and spending hours of my time researching who and when they feature people and what relationship those people have with the staff of Etsy.

Leaving is the only real form of protest I have. Me alone doing it might just be me making a gesture and they won't give a sh*t, but if sellers in droves start leaving then they will sit up and notice as it will hurt their bank balance.

Forum Rubernecker says "Looking at your blog and your associations and your featured people, I understand why you feel the way you do."

Yes I do feature Etsy sellers on my blog, I feature independent artisans from all over the place and I really don't see why I should refuse to feature the talents of independent sellers just because they happen to choose to have a shop on Etsy. I feature items I like. I get no pay backs from anyone.

Would you mind pointing out to me who I'm associated with that you find so offensive that you would make a personal belittling attack on me and my blog?

I gave up worrying my "little head" about Etsy, which is after all just one website to sell through, and I moved on. My advice to others that feel so strongly about the behaviour of Etsy is to do the same. After all by staying there you are bankrolling their behaviour. It's already obvious they will not change just because people complain about it or point out what they are doing. The only thing they will make them sit up and take notice is money. Stop giving it to them.

Bookman said...

Sorry to put you in such an uncomfortable position as actually having to agree with me, eclipse. At least you got to call me a funny name.

PaperStreet said...

I think that legally, what they have screwed themselves with is the fact that the Federal Trade Commission might see it as false advertising to have all those links to storque articles telling people to list, relist, and renew to be seen in the shopping features. FTC defines advertising as posted any where in their definition of Bait and Switch, it is defined as:

1. For the purpose of this part "advertising" includes any form of public notice however disseminated or utilized.

The FAQ's on the sellers sign up page stated that listing, renewing and relisting would put your items in the discovery/selling features.
They changed the FAQ's to fit their own agenda when this all came down and they changed it without notice to all sellers, still not all sellers know it has happened. There are still a few places they advocate it as a way to be seen when listing and renewing particularly in a storque article from September by Chad Dickerson who asks "is it still worth your 20 to renew?" His answer is that items will still show up in those places. Also there are still links in Etsy wiki that go to forum threads "newbies guides" advocating renewing as a way to get sales. Etsy doesn't have to write the articles but letting them remain on the site as advice to new sellers could be false advertising because it is not a service that they provide but once did. The monetary loss to many sellers is probably bigger than they can imagine. I've been selling in my store for almost 1 year and show a marked decline in sales related to this change. Since I sell low cost supplies, usually sell several items each day and relist those items when they are sold, and my items are basically impulse buys it is very easy to see how it has affected my sales. I have made many, many, sales in the first ten minutes after listing an item.

Swampgirl said...

And meanwhile, instead of tackling some real issues, admin is posting in the fora about how to improve the critiques section. Give me a fucking break.

The Funny One said...

Thank you PaperStreet for a well thought-out post and it was what I was trying to say earlier. While it may not be legally actionable, Etsy HAS changed the way listed items are displayed AFTER offering that service for 4 years. It would not be such an important issue if Etsy had not:
1. Changed the entire site structure so that Etsy controls all features on the site;
2. Etsy replaced seller-controlled features with their own features;
3. Etsy changed the terms to "may or may not" show up in listing without formal notification and
4. Etsy has changed to a juried site that only promotes a tiny fraction of stores that pay the same fees ALL stores pay to list their products on the site.

Therefore, Etsy has continued to charge the same fees to all sellers, but ONLY PROVIDES free promotions and advertising to a few stores. Most stores are excluded from the free Etsy promotions.

You might be able to make a case for false advertising, but for me it's a no win situation as a non-fave seller on the site. I paid years of fees, and provided several months-worth of free labor by advertising and marketing Etsy along with my store-----------and ended up with NOTHING BACK starting in November 08 when Etsy completed their transformation to a juried site for their favorite sellers.

Working for free finally got old and tired when I realized that I got nothing back. In fact, I get less than nothing back, because if I list on Etsy today, I don't get seen. There is absolutely no traffic to my store since early December-----and I am not the only one.

forum rubbernecker said...

Would you mind pointing out to me who I'm associated with that you find so offensive that you would make a personal belittling attack on me and my blog?
______________
I did not attack you or your blog. I was merely pointing out that you choose to learn nothing about whom you feature. If I ever feature anyone in my blog, I google them 6 ways from sunday, and make sure that they are not overly featured, and I check their twitter, their blog, their friends' blogs, their facebook, their myspace, and their indiepublic page. Sorry, call it a "background check". I'm not going to call out, because I don't roll that way. Someone on your list is an admin fave. Admin comments in their treasuries, twitters them, and then lo and behold they and their best buddies from their home state are on the front page all time. What a freaking coincidence. If you want to feature them in addition to how much they are featured on Etsy, go right ahead, but it just makes you an Etsy clone, picking all the same front page people to feature! Anyway, I mean no disrespect, and I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree about the value of featuring an Etsy favorite on your won blog. In a treasury, of course, you want to game the system, so you can hit the FP, but on your own blog, it's well, a little silly.

eclipse said...

Oh they have definitely changed the product- they are basically charging the same price but you get a smaller can of soda for the same money. But their TOU do say they can change the service at any time so they are legally covered for that. They are allowed to make the can smaller, or to replace the soda with water. Or even to sell an empty can. Very few people would continue to pay for an empty can though, so they are always trying to find that balance of how little service can they give without losing all their customers. Most people may tolerate *some* reduction in service, but if they reduce it too much they shoot themselves in the foot.

Plus, since we pay our bill month by month, no one has paid like a years fees in advance and then gotten the smaller can of soda. There's really no more bait and switch because we are not locked into any contract.

However I disagree with Autonomous that complaining and protesting never did any good. I think they have made quite a few positive changes based on public outcry. Recently for example the pagination fiasco, I don't think they would have changed it back if there were not SO MANY people speaking against it, even people who usually support Etsy. Boycotting or taking your business elsewhere is also a tactic but I think some forms of focused "bitching" can also be very effective.

Hmmm? said...

How about this...maybe the "free" advertising some sellers aren't getting is free at all. Maybe it's a case of favourites becoming profitable for Etsy. Maybe they're paying for the exposure?

Rana said...

Is anyone else here aware of the recent to-do on Facebook with regards to an unannounced change to their TOS?

Both the way they went about it and the changes that were made have produced an enormous backlash to the point that the FCC became interested.

Etsy's changes are not as legally actionable, I believe, but the parallels with the issue of failed communication are pretty striking. Basically, Facebook made the changes, without making any public announcement or contacting any users (sound familiar?), construed use of the site after that point as agreement to the new terms, and, when caught, attempted to reassure readers that there had been no ill intent behind the change (definitely familiar).

It's worth tracking down some of the discussions about it - see especially -http://www.litigationandtrial.com/2009/02/articles/the-law/for-people/are-facebooks-new-terms-of-use-enforceable/- because what put Facebook in legal jeopardy was not only the nature of the changes, but it's failure to adequately inform its users that things had changed. It's worse than "false advertising" in fact - it's entering into a contract in bad faith, which can, if proven, render that contract invalid. It also carries the implication that, if items were listed under the old expectations, that for those items Etsy's under a legal obligation to treat them as they had been at the time they were listing.

In other words, if you listed an item back in October, when the older FAQs and TOU were in place, then Etsy's responsibilities with regard to that item should still apply. If they are no longer able to fulfill the terms of that original contract, they should refund the listing fee (probably pro-rated for the time when the original contract did apply). If they want to keep the whole fee, then they need to figure out a way to meet that earlier obligation for the older listings while applying the new standards to newer listings.

Now, given that part of the problem is that it involves Etsy encouraging renewals, the above only applies to items that weren't renewed (since renewal would constitute - ironically - consent to the new terms).

And this is where the Facebook situation comes in - if renewal = consent to the new terms, and Etsy's been telling people to renew without adequately telling them about the changes they are, in effect, encouraging them to enter into a contract in a deceptive way.

That looks legally questionable to me - and it's definitely unethical.

Those bored lawyers may have a case after all!

Amazed said...

Anonymous forum rubbernecker said...

"If I ever feature anyone in my blog, I google them 6 ways from sunday, and make sure that they are not overly featured, and I check their twitter, their blog, their friends' blogs, their facebook, their myspace, and their indiepublic page. Sorry, call it a "background check"."

Why should a good seller and artist be punished just because Etsy chooses to give them tons of free advertising because they are good???? I don't spend my days googling and twittering to find out all of the ins and outs of Etsy relationships! When things started getting that complicated I lost interest and moved on to another venue that is not like a soap opera. I've got better things to do most of the time. But, I feel fairly certain that at least some of the favorites hold that position because of their outstanding work and not because they have some evil twisted relationship with Etsy! If I love someone's work and service I'm not going to punish them because Etsy loves them too. If you are feeling that bitter about how Etsy does things and about someone else getting some free advertising maybe it's time to move on. Life is not fair! There are always gonna be people who get things handed to them on a silver platter. It's a whole lot healthier to focus on yourself than what everyone else is doing.

forum rubbernecker said...

Hmmm? said...
How about this...maybe the "free" advertising some sellers aren't getting is free at all. Maybe it's a case of favourites becoming profitable for Etsy. Maybe they're paying for the exposure?
__________
Actually, a lot are not. For the amount of exposure they get, some sellers are a waste of space. So call it a little tracking experiment I did. There is a seller who is on the FP a lot and has a sale for every FP appearance. On the days they are not on the FP, they do not make a sale. Now take other sellers, they make sales whether they are on the FP or not. They are far more profitable for Etsy. Some renew a lot, some are just very popular.
If Etsy chooses someone --to put in "the mix" as HeyMichelle said--and wants them on the FP a lot, the oversaturation will work. But not to a point where they really "take off" as Michelle would like to see, because they cannot make sales without being on the FP. So, some are a waste of real estate.

now, where was I said...

Wouldn’t it be smart to have a lawyer on retainer? As Etsy sellers wouldn’t it be smart to have our own Attorney who would take a look at any grievances? I for one would happily pay a fee per month to keep an attorney on Sellers behalf to keep things legal and fair. After all, we see this as a business. Collectively, we could have enough money to do this! Most small businesses wouldn’t dream of opening a door without an attorney behind them. Lets treat it like that, find one who will REPRESENT the SELLERS and start paying him or her instead of paying for a showcase that no one ever even looks at.

Brass Monkey Designs said...

I think a mass walkout would be the absolutely most effective thing anyone could do to get Etsy's attention. Not that I have any intention of closing shop...I need that income and I'm not going to cut off my nose to spite my face.

Of course they changed the pagination on searches...because that is an easy and superficial change. Again, it's another bandaid to distract people from the REAL problems there.

All that said, I know that without financial consequences, they're still going to run the show like a snobby sorority...nobody can change that. All we can do is change how WE handle it. To that end, I've finally started my "Anti-Renewing" blog series and I'm developing my own website and pull away from dependence on online venues for anything.

http://brassmonkeyoriginals.blogspot.com/

At any rate, I doubt Etsy will give a shit one way or the other, what I do; they never have and they never will. That much is clear.

Brass Monkey Designs said...

Why should a good seller and artist be punished just because Etsy chooses to give them tons of free advertising because they are good????
--------------------

Well no offense, but some of them aint all that good.

It's not about punishing popular Etsy sellers, it's about giving someone ELSE a chance...someone else who might be just as good or BETTER than any Etsy fave, but doesn't have the Etsy stamp of approval and therefore gets stuck on the back shelf.

Don't be greedy...stop begrudging and saying anyone's being "punished" just because there are folks who wish to shine some light on good artists who don't fit into Etsy's criteria of trendiness.

forum rubbernecker said...

Why should a good seller and artist be punished just because Etsy chooses to give them tons of free advertising because they are good????
--------------------

Well no offense, but some of them aint all that good.

_______________
Ain't that the truth! There is a big difference between taking a good photo of an item and being a talented artist. Some of what is on the FP every day is crappy work with a good photo.

Amazed said...

Blogger Brass Monkey Designs said...

Why should a good seller and artist be punished just because Etsy chooses to give them tons of free advertising because they are good????
--------------------

"Well no offense, but some of them aint all that good.

It's not about punishing popular Etsy sellers, it's about giving someone ELSE a chance...someone else who might be just as good or BETTER than any Etsy fave, but doesn't have the Etsy stamp of approval and therefore gets stuck on the back shelf.

Don't be greedy...stop begrudging and saying anyone's being "punished" just because there are folks who wish to shine some light on good artists who don't fit into Etsy's criteria of trendiness."

I understand what you are saying. If someone wants to run their blog that way that is their right. But my response was to someone who was criticizing someone else for not running their blog this way. I think it's uncalled for to criticize someone for wanting to highlight one of their favorite sellers. Yes I agree some of Etsy's favorites aren't so hot. But, some of them I'm sure are very good and provide a great service. When I find a seller I like I will sing their praises. I'm not worried about googling to make sure they are not a favorite. I HATE Etsy and I really don't care who their favorites are and I sure am not going to spend all of my precious time googling and tracking and researching to see how much exposure people are getting on Etsy. Seriously, this just seems absolutely crazy. Live your own life. A number of people have stated that their sales are too good to leave Etsy yet continue to constantly complain about the front page. If your sales are so great that you don't want to leave then you must be doing OK without the front page exposure you think you are so fairly not receiving. I despise Etsy as much as everyone else here but I have NEVER understood the obsession so many people on Etsy have with worrying about what everyone else is doing with their business whether it is the prices they charge, the multiple accounts they have, the reselling in their shop, their appearances on the front page or who they invite to their birthday party.

Marketer said...

The problem, in a nutshell, is that over the past few years Etsy management has hired lots of young and inexperienced people to run their marketing (FP & GG picks are site branding/marketing).

So the people making the selections are 20-somethings with no experience in Fashion, Art, Fine Crafts, or Marketing in general.

Their picks are primitive, and made with juvenile reasoning.

They are youngsters of limited professional experience and no expertise in any of the arts, making big choices with small methodology.

The reason it appears to be a high school or sorority clique is because that is the only process familiar to these inexperienced, nescient individuals.

foxaz said...

I crave the "punishment" of the Etsy faves.
Put me on the front page every day and then punish me as you wish- I'll be smiling all the way to the bank.

Brass Monkey Designs said...

LOL @ Foxas...Yeah, I think I could deal with some of that kind of "punishment" myself. LOL

Regarding "Amazed"...fair enough, but I also think the dialogue is really, really important. However, I think that what you are seeing as obsession in some people is actually just their way of dealing. I think some rehashing and flogging of the dead horse is to be expected. This isn't easy. I'm sure most of them, like myself, are completely disgusted and frustrated with Etsy, but at the same time we want to stay there and would so love to see them finally get their shit together so we could respect them again and feel good about our association with them (forgive me if I'm speaking out of turn).

I could be wrong, but I don't think the issue is WHO gets on the front page and if they get on more than once, but the fact that we all pay the same amount to be there. We should all be given the same opportunities as the lucky front page few.

If Etsy thinks that some of the shops they have allowed to sell there are not "talented or good enough" to be front page material, then maybe they should never have let them sell there in the first place. If they were going to pick and choose so they could have a perfect front page every time, they should have gone juried.

But as it stands, they let anyone with a credit card become a seller. We all pay the same fees. We should all be treated the same way. If we had brick and mortar shops in the mall, I am pretty sure it wouldn't set well if the owner of the mall only promoted her BFF's shop and steered the traffic to the BFF's shop every chance she had. That would be crazy. So why is it more okay just because this is an online venue? It's not.

Marketer...that's the most fanfreakintastic comment I've read in a long time. Nicely done. Time for Etsy to stop hiring children to do an adult's job.

Stephanie - The Snarky One said...

I could be wrong, but I don't think the issue is WHO gets on the front page and if they get on more than once, but the fact that we all pay the same amount to be there. We should all be given the same opportunities as the lucky front page few.

======================================
Amen! I think Etsy needs to create software that randomly selects items for the front page, regardless of the quality of photos. The software is really not that hard to write.

Everyone at Etsy deserves their 15 minutes of fame.

For a bunch of software weenies, they sure don't create much software-wise. I AM a software engineer and know what it takes to write the code. I am amazed at the lack of tools available for users. It ain't rocket science folks. It really isn't. I guess they're too busy drooling over the pictures of 72 Pin Outlet wife's boobs.....

Amazed said...

Brass Monkey, I admire your tenacity!!! I quit selling on Etsy 2 years ago I think it was. And that was SOOOO long before many of these things happened. It was just so clear and obvious to me that the way they treat their customers and run their business is hideous and there is no indication that things are even close to changing. I loved Etsy and the idea behind it. But, the cover of the book and what's inside were 2 completely different things. I can't tell you HOW MANY times during the past 2 years I have been grateful I quit when I did.

Bookman said...

Supply Seller said...

What happens when you were using the site "AS-IS" to establish your brand and were pretty successful selling $3000/ month worth of goods, then suddenly the search changes for no good reason and you only have $1500 in sales the next month, then $1000 the following month.

---

You have noticed that the rest of the world is going into the tank economically, right? I'm pretty sure the home foreclosure crisis has little to do with Etsy switching to batch uploads.

Etsy's overall sales went down in January, too, as retail sales usually do.

Your sales dropped by half, you say. Well Etsy's didn't drop by that much, so that means that some of the sales you would have made went to another Etsy seller. That's called competition, and it's part of being in business. Your market just changed. You have lost an advantage you once had by relisting and driving your competitors off the first few search pages. Adapt, or get out of business, but stop looking for a scapegoat.

H8r said...

who are the 150 shops getting all the love? is there a post somewhere? ive never been in anything ever. i have sales tho -dumb luck i guess!

Anonymous said...

I have heard a rumor about a potential lawsuit against etsy.com for multiple abuses. I was contacted by a lawyer after providing certain contact details in a discussion, and it seemed pretty serious/credible.

There are a range of issues that were discussed from etsy organizing a boycott against their sellers while taking their money, to the misleading terms concerning making listings and showcasses, to etsy policies on closing shops in violation of contract or due to a change of contract without notification, ethnic discrimination, among other things.

It sounds like they are going to roll it out around Christmas 2011 or early 2012 after they find enough ideal testimonies.

Jenny said...

Data mining! My two shops have been closed BY etsy. And they did something to block my isp because if I land on someone's shop say through a google search, I can't move around, can't see more pictures, nothing.

So fine. No loss. But WHY THEN do I still get the occasional hit on google analytics to shops that are supposedly GONE? Last one was on the 29th of May. Just a few days ago. Shops have been closed for months!

Damn it I want my information REMOVED from them. They can block my computer if they like. (Pointless since I want nothing more to do with them. Artfire is a breath of fresh air.)

But they booted me without deleting MY listings? They have all my customers ids, they apparently mined everyones email contacts lists, and how long will this sit there?

I SO would love someone to find a bored lawyer and go after them once and for all.

Guess I should add this bit to my own page on why they booted me. Include the part about how my info is really still sitting on their servers somewhere.
http://artmakersworlds.com/etsysucks.html

(ha, it will be interesting to see now how many hits FROM ETSY that page gets. It does ya know. about every month someone from etsy reads my etsysucks page. I'd love to be a fly on the wall in their office too. Can't delete that page etsy!!!!!