Friday, March 13, 2009

An International Gripe

We received some interesting figures in an email from a seller who's a bit peeved at Etsy's ungraceful lip service to sellers who ship internationally.

So today’s Etsy Finds recognized that in the UK Mothering Sunday comes in March. March 22nd to be precise. and today’s date? March 12th, which is a Thursday ie. 10 days from Mothering Sunday in the UK (Ireland and Nigeria) aka 6 business days.

Assuming shipping from one of the major seller groups on etsy, to guarantee arrival in time will cost (<250g packet)
from US = 27.95 USD for expedited mail international (3-5 business days)
from Canada = 50.87 CAD for Xpresspost (4 business days)
within UK = approx 2GBP if package is letter-type (1-3 business days) or 4.20GBP standard parcel (3 business days) or 12.99 GBP for a guaranteed parcelforce delivery at 48 hours

Etsy - where the internet ends at the border?

Mary seems to know what’s up in her Weekend Deals Finds email Friday
“Don't forget to plan ahead for Mother's Day this year”
and pushes shop local in the March 12 finds, which might help, but a week (6 business days to be exact) for local shipping isn’t enough time sometimes – and what about custom items? Etsy's response has always been that expedited shipping is available - 50 CAD though? come on - that is far from a reasonable suggestion, especially when the average sale price on Etsy is $15! And they keep pushing "bargains" and "weekend deals".

They probably forgot to mark the UK holidays on their calendar and Mary woke up Thursday with an “oh shit” moment. This too little too late promotion isn’t going over the heads of international sellers. They would’ve done better to just forget it, or admit that they’re only keeping up with U.S. holidays for simplicity and leave it at that. We recognize that there are so many holidays to take into consideration, but with a finds email every day they have room to push these things in advance. The finds email isn’t the same as making a design for the front page or making room for it on the site. There’s no extra energy involved other than checking a calendar before putting together the email items.

According to the International Seller Survey (which is nowhere near scientific, but it’s what we have to work with), most of the overseas shops are in the UK and Europe, followed by Canada and then Australia (together making up a huge chunk of the pie and about 30-40% of all sellers on Etsy based on older figures). These holidays should be on Etsy’s radar…period. And they can’t eliminate shipping from Canada (or the U.S.) by mentioning a holiday a week beforehand.

The International Development admin really needs to sit down the old hat admins and remind them why she was hired: the rest of the staff are morons about what’s outside NYC


stylesmith said...

Well thanks for giving me my oh shit moment. I completely forgot.

(my Mum is in the UK)o

AnotherTypeofBiotch said...

I'd like to know what happened to St. Patrick's Day?? Was that ever promoted or mentioned? I realize it's maybe not as big as some other noted holidays, but I *thought* that was part of their new plan??!!! And to have a link on the front page even TODAY, is a bit TOO LATE.

I also have to ask, is the Dorque now the new, fashionable place to start inserting your shop promo ads?? What the hell is with all the posts on Mary's "Etsy Finds" article? Every one of them is a running advertisement for what sales they are having.


The Funny One said...

This is an excellent and concise description of the deplorable way that Etsy handles retail holidays during the entire retail year. They just don't pay attention because their first priority is NOT their sellers. They work at their own Etsy Speed on their own Etsy Projects, completely separate from and not attached to what their sellers need.

Thank you for pointing this out - because Etsy really fucked V-Day for most sellers and now they'll do it again. International sellers AND CUSTOMERS are not on Etsy's radar, period.

My highest retail holiday is M-Day, and I spend a fortune on my OWN MARKETING because I just got tired of Etsy acting like they are too cool to do the promoting sellers need. "Subtle" and "Guess the Gift Category" stinks.

And about expedited shipping ---- let me say this --- I DO NOT PAY FOR expedited shipping because I can't afford it. Which, BTW Etsy, is a fact of life today. PEOPLE do have to plan their purchases a lot more carefully. You, dear Etsy, may be taking home a regular paycheck, but millions of other consumers ARE NOT.

Anonymous said...

I just found this blog and I'm so happy there are others out there totally disgusted by Etsy's "policies".

I learned the hard way that Etsy could give two bleeps about their sellers - you know, the ones keeping them in business. I'm at dawanda now but sales aren't great.


Etsy you BLOW. Especially Emily Bitchwell at CS.

Laura said...

Don't get me started on Etsy and International Sellers.

In a nutshell they just don't give a big enough shit about the International sellers....which is a joke when they keep saying we're all about International. Bull.

They are better of just saying we are US based, therefore will only take into consideration US holidays, fine. I don't really care, but to always try cover their arses by remembering us non-usa sellers at the last minute...grr.

Moontree Studios said...

Just spent a couple of hours reading through your blog.... HI-LARIOUS! And right on point, too. I feel like all my loathing has finally been validated.

Incidentally, I used to work for a prominent artisan gallery in the Boston area. The owners spent hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on handmade items to stock their shelves, and they had barely ever heard of Etsy. Same thing for most of the customers, who were usually affluent and ready to drop serious cash- they either never heard of the place or they thought Etsy was "tacky". Buuuurn!

So much for being kitschy hipster-centric, Ets.

RRobin said...

Not the whole US, Brooklyn. If you are anywhere outside of Brooklyn, as far as Etsy is concerned, you might as well be in Australia.

RRobin said...

I try to never look at the Etsy front page because it always just pisses me off, but sometimes I forget and log off -- and suddenly there it is! -- or backspace past where I just logged on -- and there it is again, wretched thing. seems to have a nice, ever-changing front page. I found the site via their ad here. Does anyone here have any selling experience with that they'd like to share?


Eveline said...

I'm more surprised by the fact they acknowledged UK Mother's Day than by the fact that they thought about it way too late for people to ship anything in time for their items to arrive.

ebbandflo said...

re: icraft - i have a shop there. it was easy to set up, the listing and shop admin stuff is very nicely designed but i've yet to make a sale.

as for the international 'efforts' made by etsy - pah!
when i plan any marketing i automatically tack on three weeks as a shipping window - even to the US parcels from Canada can sometimes take a full 3 weeks. expedited is too expensive for most items and for a lot of buyers

Libby said...

This is not surprising for people who still had Carnivale as a category in the Gift Guides as of last And Ash Wednesday was when? They now have a Carnivalesque category under the "Hot List."

If I were a buyer for a high end shop, I would have a hard time taking Etsy seriously based on the almost constant sheer fugliness of the front page. Not that individual items are ugly, but the dreary, boring sameness of it all is an eye-killer.

I've gone to the FP several times this weekend just because I made a gorgeous treasury. Who am I kidding? Nothing I do is FP worthy by Etsy front page standards because it looks as if an adult put it together with thought and care.