Monday, March 2, 2009

Maria Talking Shi err Shop

I'm sure that by now you all have seen the second volume of Etsy CEO Maria Thomas's "Talking Shop" in the Dorque. If not, then you haven't missed much - It's just a lot of hot air. Many of the things sellers have been clamoring for in the forums for the past 3 years are still unnoticed. (And she gets to inappropriately plug two random shops in the opening section, nice to see they're listening to our concerns of unequal exposure).

According to Maria, checkout might get improvements in March...and throughout the year. In the next few weeks (2 years in Etsy-speak) they'll change the checkout wording for buyers to better understand that they've made a purchase and haven't paid. And in March, they'll be beta-testing sellers paying their Etsy bill with Paypal.

Other than that, there's just a list of priorities:

As we move toward the second quarter of the year, the following are our product-related priority areas:
Search
Payments
Checkout
Registration
Safety, security, trust
Seller tools
Showcase
Site performance
Favorites

I wonder if their order is indicative of their importance. If so, then "safety, security, trust" should be at the top. Also, if I may be so picky, WHAT seller tools specifically? hrmmm? And why is registration a priority? Did I miss issues with people signing up? The fact that there are 2 million people already signed up indicates that's the least of Etsy's worries. And where is "formation of a customer service department including a phone number for emergency account inquiries" or "advertising" or, to go along with favorites, "organizing convos and favorites". And she stated that there will be no major changes around search - yeah, well, that doesn't help.

Oh and, Etsy, by the by - a usability area? really? isn't every computer in that damn office a "usability area". Yes folks, Etsy actually had to set aside office space with a lonely computer dedicated to testing the usability of their product - a website - that's available on any computer connected to the internet. I guess it's more difficult to get the admin to sit still and do their job than Maria thought, they actually had to dedicate space to it.

I'm not even going to touch on the design fiasco and box-fitting that will be the introduction of Sagar into Etsy's midst (and discussed in length in the comments of
our other post). It's punctuated with utter ridiculousness by the CEO that was supposed to save Etsy's handmade vision looking up to the CEO of Zappos - a site that sells mass produced shoes for themselves - not a venue, not art, not handmade, not even small scale production concerns.

I have to quote eneefabricdesign from the hot forum threadbecause it's too good a summation to not:
If Zappos is the model, and building a brand around the product is the goal, then Maria has actually stated what's behind this completely contradictory marketing plan. If Zappos works to make their product fit the site, then that appears to be what Etsy is doing.

But, you are dealing with handmade made by individuals. And if you take the handmade product and squeeze it into an Etsy model, then what do you have in the end, an Etsy Product? I think that's exactly what's going on; subversion and elimination of the individuality and value of the actual handmade product. Now, then, what makes Etsy different from other retail sites that sell unlike objects? Nothing much, except that Etsy objects are promoted according to an Etsy style which actively exludes most products listed on the site. Even Amazon has more variety than that model.

Trying to make the sellers fit a retail model that does not fit the actual meaning of handmade is just not going to be successful in this economy. It has some short term benefits to those who decide to make the products that Etsy wants to sell,but it will not have any longlasting positive effect on the ability of artisans
to protect, promote, and sell their work.

Working from a Zappos model eliminates the one value that Etsy had and did not use to its advantage, and that is the uniqueness of the handmade product sold direct by the artisan who made it.


Maria is traveling to talk to Etsians may be in a town near you. If your street team visits with her in her travels, and she actually answers your questions, let us know in short or long form. We still accept leads and Auxiliary posts to etsybiatch@gmail.com.

By the way, Maria asks:
what business do you think Etsy is in?
We 'd like to know, too. Etsy, maybe YOU should tell is instead of the other way around!

67 Comments:

Old Hippie Bitch said...

Hot air is right. Oh, and one more thing...

"2009 is a time to keep our heads down, replenish the soil and focus on improving the basic building blocks of the site."

You know what it takes to replenish soil? Shit.

The Cranky One said...

I bet one thing Tony of Zappos will tell her will be that that CEO SHOULD WORK IN THE FUCKING OFFICE!!!

I recently watched an tv story about him, he works in the "pit", at an ordinary desk, right with everyone else. He doesn't even have an office, but a standard issue desk right in the fray.

Maris can't even get her ass in the STATE! She's still in fucking DC.

He could also teach them tons on good customer service, and being he's under 30 they might actually listen to him, but I fucking doubt it.

The Funny One said...

Well, Maria seems to be in business to think that a rambling statement better suited to an awards dinner for fellow webCEO's (who talk like they live in a land of milk and honey) was actually appropriate for addressing 275,000 sellers.

She lists the priorities of the tech dept., not the sellers. She waxes on about "intiatives" that have nothing to do increasing sales in a dismal retail economy.

But here's my take---since Maria's "volume" is on the back of the "merchanising" plan------it's one huge, massive, colossal slap in the face and blatant insult to the handmade community.

The fall into the demented notion that "branding" is a good thing is one hell of a response to the 4 years of FREE LABOR sellers have given to Etsy by marketing the site, promoting the site, and attaching their own reputations to the site. And for all that FREE LABOR, Etsy says it's their way or the highway.

You work your ass off for Etsy and all you get is a plan that tells you to make what THEY WANT TO SELL.

Etsy is stuck on a "formula" for everything they do --- because it makes their jobs easier. Period. Lazy, unimaginative, stuck in cement, and just a complete and total cop out.

Swampgirl said...

Replenish the soil...maybe THAT explains the moss terrariums on the FP every freaking day. They're cool, but approaching the ranks of cowls and mustaches.

Ian Malpass said...

To be fair, a usability lab needs to be in a separate area from the rest of the office. I mean, yeah, you can get general "this doesn't work all that well" feedback from just sitting at a desk and using the site, but to do formal usability testing you need somewhere quiet with no distractions where you can sit someone down and watch what they do.

You don't have to make the lab look like a cell, though :(

Hmm! said...

Swampgirl...manure is supposed to be the fertilizer for success :-D I dunno though...

4 realz said...

Can we Get the Half-Pipe back?

WindysDesigns said...

I took one look at the 'usability department' and just shook my head. I do that a lot lately.

If I were new to Etsy and got seated in there and viewed the 'artwork' on the wall the first thing to comes to mind is this must be a children's site. Some sort of kindergarten grade play site.

Why does everything on Etsy look like playland? How about some stunning photography from Etsy artists? How about some original paintings or some reproduction prints?

It's no wonder ETsy doesn't know how to brand themselves and have to force everyone to make the stuff they want to promote, they're stuck in bizarro world candyland.

Etsy, when are you going to get it through your head that other company's business plans are only going to get you so far. YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOUR PRODUCT FIRST!!!!!! Tony from Zappos knows his product, and I'd bet you anything if he ran etsy, it would be totally different than how he runs Zappos. BECAUSE THEY ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT PRODUCTS!!!!!!!!!!!

Etsy, when are you going to get a clue? When you get enough suggestions on what WE think Etsy is, are you going to spin the wheel of fortune and go with whichever one it lands on?

Why don't you already know this? We sellers know our products, figure out how and who to market to, maybe even have a business plan. It shouldn't be our responsibility to tell you how to do yours.

Etsy IS the failed hammock.

Eveline said...

That last question annoyed me SO so much! Why the hell do we need to answer that question? Or was she trying to be all philosophical? Get your shit together first, Etsy, then we can talk philosophy.

And stop being so incredibly vague! If there's one thing we want from Etsy it's clear communication. But nooo....

*deeeeeeep sigh*

so done with etsy by now said...

I went to Etsy to read the article, but couldn't find it, and came back here in order to link to it. Apparently, it's already been buried by a "Guest Curator" story, a "Quit Your Day Job" story, and some "Tech" and "Billing" updates, and a lot more stuff I had zero interest in reading.

I can't stomach the front page anymore, nor any other part of Etsy. I have stopped making purchases there indefinitely. The constant downward spiral of the economy is depressing enough without having to watch the continued virtual implosion of what used to be one of my favorite sites.

By the way, I noticed that they recently advertised on Artjobs.org for a customer service director...I expect you can look forward to hearing about the results of that search in the near future.

3rd grade teacher said...

Why is this so hard?

Fix Search so people can buy our shit.

Fix Checkout so people can buy our shit.

Scroll everything through on the fp so people can buy our shit.

I don't buy the "get customers in the door" bullshit. When I want handmade I expect to see the whole range of stuff, not ONLY 3rd grade terrariums, earrings where the ends of the wires are NEVER rounded- they'll slice your ears open, BAD wire wrap jobs, cowls and fingerless gloves that anyone with knitting needles can make (some are TRULY awful!), simple, basic crafts everyone made in 3rd grade (some collages are VERY bad), pottery made of those long snakes everyone made in, yes, 3rd grade.

I want a range of HIGH quality handmade products. I don't care if the camera work is over the top, if I can see the stuff that's good. I'll click to see more.

I want to be able to pick up the phone and call if you "accidentally" delete my shop, account, or send more of those flagged emails that aren't even stuff in my shop.

I want an answer to EVERY email I send. It's been years and I still never have answers to emails. I want coherant, relevant answers, not cut and pasted shit that has NOTHING to do with what I just asked.

This stuff is basic.

Etsy= below basic seller tools.

forum rubbernecker said...

Why is this so hard?

Fix Search so people can buy our shit.

Fix Checkout so people can buy our shit.

Scroll everything through on the fp so people can buy our shit.

I don't buy the "get customers in the door" bullshit. When I want handmade I expect to see the whole range of stuff, not ONLY 3rd grade terrariums, earrings where the ends of the wires are NEVER rounded- they'll slice your ears open, BAD wire wrap jobs, cowls and fingerless gloves that anyone with knitting needles can make (some are TRULY awful!), simple, basic crafts everyone made in 3rd grade (some collages are VERY bad), pottery made of those long snakes everyone made in, yes, 3rd grade.

I want a range of HIGH quality handmade products. I don't care if the camera work is over the top, if I can see the stuff that's good. I'll click to see more.

I want to be able to pick up the phone and call if you "accidentally" delete my shop, account, or send more of those flagged emails that aren't even stuff in my shop.

I want an answer to EVERY email I send. It's been years and I still never have answers to emails. I want coherant, relevant answers, not cut and pasted shit that has NOTHING to do with what I just asked.

This stuff is basic.

Etsy= below basic seller tools.
_________
LOL

You have totally nailed it. I have said over and over that the stuff on the FP is there because of the photos and it matters not whether the item is actually good or not.

And I still can't get over the fact that Etsy is operating in the red! And they do the same stuff over and over again and expect it to work. Isn't that the definition of insanity? They need a serious staff makeover. Like, hire folks who have had more than a drawing class at junior college as a qualification. Or, at least someone over 30!

Disappointed said...

I've been on Etsy for 2 years, and I have to agree with 3rd grade teacher. Etsy is not the site for quality handcrafted work by serious skilled artisans that I thought it was.

So far I've bought vintage earrings that turned out to be cheap reproductions glued with great globs of glue-gun glue, 2 paintings which one has paint flaking off and the other was stretched so loose I had to re-stretch it, a crocheted hat that unraveled, an "original watercolor" aceo laser printed onto watercolor paper, and embroidered coasters with unraveled thread.

2 of those items were from Featured Sellers.

Etsy isn't a site for unique quality art and artisan work by people who have worked long and hard at perfecting their skills.

It's a mass of cheap, amateur, trendy stuff made by people who say "hey, I could make that!" and post things like "I want a shop, what should I make?" in the forum.

The few skilled artisans are buried because they don't fit the Etsy Admin picks brand, even though the Etsy brand is promoted in the press to be an eclectic mix of unique handcrafts. There are 2 different Etsy brands: the top-level promo brand, and the reality based Admin picks brand.

Etsy is never going to be the quality artisan site that so many people here want it to be, and I no longer expect it to be. It's just disappointing that they are so different than what they present themselves to be.

In answer to Maria's question, Etsy is a business that makes money by convincing users that everyone can be an artist and entrepreneur, with only craft store supplies, elementary school art training, and an internet link.

why do I care still.... said...

The Acc Baltimore show was this weekend without even 1 FP or article about it. The ACC even had an Alt Craft section (many Etsy people there) Do you think that they might have highlighted some of these people? No... Just another article about another person who puts beads on earwires for $30 or less. (wonderful).

Daniellexo was there.

Just another example of how Etsy truly does not care about quality crafts.

And the ACC and SNAG come to their virtual labs and writes bogus gallery articles, for what? I have no respect for these ACC and SNAG members. ... Are they trying to become relevant in Etsy land? GOOD LUCK. You look like fools to people who actually know what your about. Ass Kissers.

Brass Monkey Designs said...

3rd grade teacher, this is exactly the sort of letter that needs to be sent directly to Maria. I do think that if enough people send her letters like this, eventually she'll listen. Has anyone compiled a bulleted list of needs and passed it around as a petition? That's another idea that I think would drive the point home.

Nobody takes over such a huge responsibility unless they think they can make a real difference. I think that she IS trying. Whether it's been inspired by Artfire or because it's long overdue, changes are being made.

I've been comparing online venues at Alexa and Etsy beats out all of them by a huge margin for traffic. I don't want Etsy to fail because it's being run into the ground by idiots who want to run it like a cliquish sorority. I'd rather try to steer them in the right direction. I need them, and my shop, to continue to do well because much as I love Artfire (adore it even), it isn't paying the bills.

justbitchy said...

so done with etsy by now said...

By the way, I noticed that they recently advertised on Artjobs.org for a customer service director...I expect you can look forward to hearing about the results of that search in the near future.

--------------------
As for customer service, here's my experience this past few days...

Seller A has two accounts and both are listed in each account as per the rules.

Seller B harasses Seller A via convos and in public on the forums.

Seller A reports the forum posts and the convos to Etsy.

Etsy sends Seller A - yes SELLER A - a notice that their accounts are in violation of the multiple account disclosure rule EVEN THOUGH BOTH ACCOUNTS LIST EACH OTHER CLEARLY.

Seller A responds the the multiple accounts ARE LISTED and asks about the harassment issue.

Etsy never contacts Seller A again and Seller B's harassment continues on the forum and in convos.

Seller A closes both accounts because who needs shit like that.

No more fees from Seller A for Etsy and Seller A will not be buying on Etsy anymore either and Seller B the harasser goes on a harassment spree that lasts an entire weekend.

FYI Etsy: Just because someone (seller B in this case) says that someone (seller A in this case) is violating a rule DOESN'T MEAN THEY ARE.

In fact, seller B may be using YOU, yes you ETSY, to harass another member.

If Etsy is going to issue warnings you should probably make sure that a violation has ACTUALLY occurred.

Unbelievable.

What? said...

I can't believe she is asking *us* to define the business of etsy. If they don't have that written down somewhere in a mission statement or business plan, they need to get a bloody clue.

Unbelievable.

CastAwayCreation said...

Wait a tick! I thought the old standby response to sellers complaining about search is that they're changing the process soon. Search will bring up the closest match in search and not the most recent listing... this is the only thing that seemed to mollify sellers that were angry with batch uploading issues and not being seen on the FP... now there's no major changes???

Kelly said...

Disappointed you really hit the nail on the head. I remember when I started on Etsy a little over a year ago I though wow this is going to be a great compliment to my established business. When nothing happened I figured it had to be my fault in some way.

I studied the site for about six months from every aspect and finally realized it's not all me. It's them. They promote very little with a higher price point, they promote only what their very young staff likes, they skew to a certain market that most of us aren't aiming at. They tell us to throw uniqueness and originality out the window and make what everyone else makes in order to get featured even though we know we won't. They have the audacity to tell us to work harder and use something as inane as a horoscope to illustrate that. (That certainly gives the site credibility!) They compare themselves to other types of businesses that have nothing to do with handmade, and they tell us we should like it and be thankful for what they have provided.

I have no idea what goes through Maria's mind. Maybe she is really trying, maybe she is sitting behind her screen clueless. But I don't think Etsy has a chance to succeed for most sellers unless they do a complete overhaul of their administration and take it in a new direction. They need people with more than five minutes of business experience, they need people who understand that marketing is about more than displaying their personal tastes all the time, and they need to start getting information from their customers on what they want to buy.

They have no right to create trends because they are a sales venue, not a specialty site and not a store. If they want to become that, they need to brand themselves as that and jury the site so that they only sell what they like. They will never do that because they are getting rich off of all those listings and relistings. They have people promoting themselves and the site in the process for free so they have no reason to do much advertising on their own out of pocket.

Etsy is a great concept on paper. But it isn't working for most of their sellers in practical use with the way they do things. I have held out hope for a long time that they were going to figure this out and get it right pretty soon. But I finally realized they just aren't going to unless they make some big changes. I don't see that happening.

Nor do I see the site failing any time soon. For every seller who gets smart and leaves ten more without a clue join up and start the listing, relisting and promoting process all over again.

Donnalda Does Art said...

I read the article and just thought "more of the same" as previous articles. I was a bit offended at the "make items to fit our brand" line. But I have never gone with the crowd so I have no intention of fitting their brand. I am making my own brand. I know there must be amateurish crafts being made and sold on Etsy, but for the most part we are accomplished artists who like having another venue to sell the results of our obsession.

jodie nicholson said...

If Etsy is going to issue warnings you should probably make sure that a violation has ACTUALLY occurred.
----------------------------------
Yep, I received an email from Etsy telling me that *if* I was breaking a certain rule, could I make the neccesary changes.

IF


IF?

So obviously, some idiot who doesn't know the rules, reported me for breaking a rule....and Etsy didn't even bother to check if that was indeed the case before sending me an email.

I sent three emails to Etsy about this issue and haven't received a reply.

What does Etsy mean to me? Oh Maria, you don't wanna know.

RRobin said...

Disappointed said:

Etsy is a business that makes money by convincing users that everyone can be an artist and entrepreneur, with only craft store supplies, elementary school art training, and an internet link.

**

Amen.

I'm glad I found this site. Of course, I was glad when I found Etsy, too, but I've gotten over it.

Etsy convinces people with no training -- let's not even get into talent here -- that they can make and sell the same thing that everyone else on it is selling, that they can go to their local Goodwill, buy a used slip for $2 and sell it for $40 as "vintage," that they'll be able to quit their dayjobs by making and selling wire-wrapped beaded things, crocheted accessories made with size 15 needles and Red Heart or Homespun knockoffs. Then tag them with all sorts of inappropriate labels and list the materials as "beads" and "yarn." D'oh. Other than the annointed ones who are on the front page every day, and whose photos are NOT better than everyone else's but just have that same branded look, the only people making a living on Etsy are the suppliers, because they are feeding the dreams of the others. Just now I opened another browser window and searched Etsy for "earrings" under handmade. There were 27,9249 items on 13,298 pages. Good luck if one of those is yours and even though you have a BFA in metalwork from RISD, you are paying yourself on a scale that sweatshop workers in China would turn down.
Etsy is a ponzi scheme, and it's going to collapse. At this point, I won't mourn.

RRobin said...

I'm a trained artist. I like working in my studio. I'm not into social networking, blogging, or hanging out in cafes (mostly it's the acoustic music masquerading as "folk" that they play that gets to me, but that's another rant). So perhaps it is obvious that I'm over 30. But that just means I'm more skilled at what I do. It seems, however, that the most successful sellers on Etsy are those who true talents are in self-promotion, in marketing, not in art. OK, perhaps marketing is an art, but I won't go there and in any case that's not what Etsy is supposed to be about. I joined Etsy after I saw a New York Times magazine article in late 2007 about how it helps artists. Again, I have learned that it doesn't. It expects all artists to work for the benefit of a select few. I don't want to be blogging and twittering in some narcississtic fashion -- "Look at me! Aren't I cool?" ad nauseum-- I want to spend that time honing my skills and being imbued with the creative spirit. It's almost mystical, and any true artist knows what I mean. I let my medium speak to me as I work it with my hands and shape it to find what George Nakashima called "the soul of the tree," although not in wood. One has to get outside oneself to do this, not be constantly ego-centered "me! me! look at me now! and now! and now I'm over here!" Spare me, please.

RRobin said...

RRobin said:

correcting myself for putting a comma in the wrong place in my earlier post:

There were 279,249 earrings on 13,298 pages when I checked just now....

RRobin said...

RRobin said:

correcting myself for putting a comma in the wrong place in my earlier post:

There were 279,249 earrings on 13,298 pages when I checked just now....

The Funny One said...

You're right, Kelly, about Etsy not being a store, but Etsy Admins think they're running a store----- filling it with personal fantasy picks (using the well known Etsy Formula) and can do anything they want, because they aren't paying the bills. Sellers are, on top of working for free by advertising and marketing Etsy. It's playtime for them. With no responsibility. And no desire to understand a damn thing about handmade. It's a game to them.

The theme regime has been in effect for months, and it's just getting more theme park every day.

The Logo will change to EtsyLand and we'll all start seeing Etsy t-shirts with "All the same stuff all the time.......by color!!!"

forum rubbernecker said...

You're right, Kelly, about Etsy not being a store, but Etsy Admins think they're running a store----- filling it with personal fantasy picks (using the well known Etsy Formula) and can do anything they want, because they aren't paying the bills. Sellers are, on top of working for free by advertising and marketing Etsy. It's playtime for them. With no responsibility.
___________
Maybe there's a connection between this and the fact that they are operating in the red. I just picked a random FP treasury off the Flickr Pool and here are the prices on it:

1 item $4.50
3 items $5.00
2 items $10.00
1 item $19.50
2 items $20.00
2 items $28.00
1 item $29.00

Now, it's a nice treasury, but if everything sold from it, it would bring $6.47 into the Etsy coffers. And since they are so hung up on pricing rules (so they say), I put pricey stuff in my treasuries, but only one has ever made the FP. They do not appear to be using their real estate wisely.

foxaz said...

Etsyland? Oooh! Do we get to wear a special hat? Maybe with a bird on it?? or little Deer antlers?

don't care about fame said...

I agree completely with RRobin. Constant, desperate self-promotion is very off-putting. I would like to sell things, but I absolutely refuse to turn my blog, flickr, deviantart, etc. into spam machines. It's disruptive and rude to the communities.

zander said...

FYI Etsy: Just because someone (seller B in this case) says that someone (seller A in this case) is violating a rule DOESN'T MEAN THEY ARE.

In fact, seller B may be using YOU, yes you ETSY, to harass another member.

If Etsy is going to issue warnings you should probably make sure that a violation has ACTUALLY occurred.
~~~~~~~

ah yep. twice within that last month, emails regarding tags and content. i got a bit pissed off about the content email. fired that puppy back to them, told them where, when and why and WTF?

if they take the time to actually "LOOK" at the shop... before the idiocies begin.

RRobin said...

Just a suggestion: Instead of sub-heading this blog, "Biting the hand that feeds us," you might want to make it, "Biting the hand that WE feed." It's more accurate that way.

Etsy Fan said...

I love Etsy, I really do, I just wish it was run better!

I don't really mind their heavy branding of the Front Page, some sellers get overexposed but it always looks much better than other venues and I'm always discovering new sellers through it. I'm probably biased cos my work is up there quite often, but I don't think I'm particularly Brooklyn trendy.

It's not really a good sign for the "Etsy look" though that the Etsy-seller-stocked shop/gallery started in Brooklyn by Daniellexo has had to close cos they're not making enough money!

Bee Square Fabrics said...

"Etsy actually had to set aside office space with a lonely computer dedicated to testing the usability of their product - a website - that's available on any computer connected to the internet."

I rarely defend Etsy. Rarely. However, as a former Information Architect, this is, perhaps, the best news that I have ever heard from Etsy.

Given, I have performed usability tests without whole areas set up that were wildly successful. While it isn't entirely necessary to have a dedicated area for usability tests, the idea that they are dedicating resources and space to study the usability of their website is fantastic news and long, long overdue.

Once usability tests are conducted, Etsy will be surprised to learn that much of their jargon is not understood, that their search is misleading, and they will finally learn why there are so many non-paying buyers.

Believe me, this is a good thing.

Brass Monkey Designs said...

Maybe I'm behind the curve here, but has anyone seen this site?

http://www.subsushi.net/featsy/stats.html

This could be a very interesting tool to use to make a point...

Bookman said...

Cranky One says:

I bet one thing Tony of Zappos will tell her will be that that CEO SHOULD WORK IN THE FUCKING OFFICE!!!

The CEO of the company where I work is in another state. He's never even been to my office. Doesn't need to be. He's an executive - he doesn't know how to do my job and is smart enough to know that he doesn't have to. His job is to make sure everyone else is doing theirs, and he doesn't need to be looking over my shoulder to know whether I'm doing mine. Apparently, even though the EBs seem to imagine they can know enough about Etsy's daily business that they could run it better from their Bloger dashboards, they think Maria should be in Brooklyn counting the paperclips.

It's amusing to watch EB twist around to find new things to bitch about. The old bitch was that Etsy wasn't run like a real company (half pipe in the office, etc.) The new bitch seems to be that Etsy has an actual executive in charge now, with a chain of command. Like a real company.

The Zappos CEO taking a desk with the staff sounds like the laid-back 20-something Rob Kalin Etsy this blog used to rip apart at every turn.

The only point I see being made here is that this blog won't hesitate to completely contradict itself it means it can get some good bitching done. The longer it goes on, though, the less coherent you become.

Ivonnardona said...

Wow, I've been selling on Etsy for over 2 years and have only sold 10 items. The amount of work that goes into marketing and promoting is exhausting and takes away time from what I should be doing.

I design and make jewelry. Not according to what everyone else is doing, but according to what I get up at 2:00 am with as far as an idea that I have to at least try.

I don't go to the forums unless it is something about a team I am in. Like helping to promote a team theme of the week. I also don't care about the treasuries anymore. Exactly who is the treasury for? What is its real purpose? I hate the treasury, it doesn't do anything but promote the same shops over and over again.

I am serious about what I do, do what I love, and love what I do. Etsy is full of false hope and lies. This cannot lead to a successful company.

I have since started my own website and will be closing my Etsy shop soon. If I'm not selling why am I paying fees?

My last rant; just because you took a class, read a magazine, or watched a video; YOU ARE NOT A TRUE TALENTED JEWELRY DESIGNER/ARTIST. I have been designing and making jewelry for over 20 years, I have no formal training, and I am tired of seeing junk jewelry sold at high prices that I can find in the dollar store. There is no respect for the Creative Commons License or Copyright Laws. Sellers everywhere know that no one has the resources or time to seriously go after anyone in violation of these laws.

I don't agree with everything said here on this particular topic, however, I do agree with most of it. Have a headache now, signing off.

The Cranky One said...

Dingass - If a company is functioning well with no adult supervision needed since they have a strong management team in place - then yes, the CEO can work out of the office.

Etsy has NONE OF THESE THINGS! The children are wrecking the house while grandma is sleeping on the couch after her midday nip.

happynewyear said...

Etsy has NONE OF THESE THINGS! The children are wrecking the house while grandma is sleeping on the couch after her midday nip.


you know this first hand? With all the electronic commucation tools today, she could very well be in the loop and might actually be signing off on everything. Who knows. I don't and I'm sure you don't either.

ebbandflo said...

The new bitch seems to be that Etsy has an actual executive in charge now, with a chain of command. Like a real company.
-------------------------

hmmm - not really seeing any proof for this one Dingo, either the chain of command or the new bitching direction

Rana said...

Bookman -

And if the people posting and commenting here are wasting their time, what exactly do you think it is that you are doing?

Yup, wasting your time.

You're not going to change the minds of die-hard Etsy bitches, and your assumption that you need to "enlighten" other readers that the Bitches are bitter Etsy-haters is rather silly. It's obvious that they have a bone to pick with Etsy - readers don't need you to point that out.

If griping about another site is petty and a waste of time, so is concern-trolling, which is what you're doing.

At least the Bitches are honest about their attitudes and what their agenda is. Your holier-than-thou scolding is far more annoying, because you pretend that you're above such petty activities as criticizing others, while doing exactly that.

It's patronizing, it's rude, and it's hypocritical.

Spindly said...

I also agree with Rrobin. There is a heap of poorly made crap on etsy (which all but buries the stuff made by real talent), and once a trend hits, look out- it will be done to death.

The constant promotion, whether it be on the forum, on blogs, twitter, etc. is a complete turn off. Maybe spend some of that time actually improving their uhh... "art" ?

The Funny One said...

Etsy's needed a strong management presence in the office because, even today, Etsy Admins make countless mistakes by stating policy without review, send "violation warnings" when there have been no violations, and generally take a hostile attitude towards their sellers (who aren't their favorites).

It's a subtle and subversive harassment that has fostered a negative attitude which all comes out in the forums, or seller to seller abuse that would not be tolerated on any other social site.

Etsy created the negative tone and they seem to thrive on it. Like a bunch of schoolyard bullies.

Branding is going to shut out more sellers than ever. If paying months of listing fees, holding out for sales that never come, and waiting in vain for an Etsy promo, marketing Etsy for free and tying your own products to a Brand that has nothing to do with handmade is your thing----------start stocking up on Etsy Supplies, because it's time to start making Etsy Products in the Etsy Colors in time for the Rotating Oddest Disposable Merchandising Items Theme Calendar (that have nothing to do with handmade) and become the joke of the world of online retail.

Branding is picking the easy way out. Instead of learning to market a huge and growing store site with unique handmade products, Etsy is telling everyone that they just aren't smart enough to figure out what to do.

Some marketing guru told them Eureka, Branding! and like every other Etsy Trend, they jumped on the idea--------because they can do their jobs in 10 minutes every day by "picking by number" and "blogging by color" which shows just how utterly incompetent they are.

Isn't it interesting that a company that calls itself INDIE, and actively UNPROMOTES retail holidays would suddenly become the most mundane, old school, retail doldrums, old fashioned, BRAND???? How "traditional" can you get?

Brass Monkey Designs said...

WTF? I repeat WHAT THE FUCK???...I am SO not believing this. Quirke started that thread asking...no BEGGING for something to be done about abusive convos and many, many people weighed in and *poof!* Heymichelle shuts it down because "It sounds like you're discussing a specific issue. Please report this to abuse."

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6063212&page=31

I am so sick of them shutting threads down that make them squirm in their seats. When they simply shut down uncomfortable threads or threads they don't feel like dealing with, all the do is create MORE problems. ANSWER IT PUBLICLY, DUMBASS!!! Jesus christ this isn't rocket science you moron!

Rana said...

It occurs to me that perhaps the reason why Admin are so slow to respond to threads is that they know that if they dawdle long enough, the thread will either run out of steam and sink to the bottom of the forum, or devolve into "forbidden" territory, giving them an excuse to close it.

Either way, it's both immature and passive-aggressive - neither of which is productive or professional.

Old Hippie Bitch said...

Bookman--so much time spent explaining how well your office runs without the boss on site.

Gee, hope you weren't writing that at work...

WindysDesigns said...

There most definitely was calling out in that thread. and it was the same comment from the same person that got the other threads in etc closed.

And people aren't stupid, when a topic such as the one quirke started comes up right after a spate of nasty convo threads, you know the thread is at least in part, in reference to those. does that mean the issue isn't worth discussing? Certainly not.

But folks who know about the one certain covo that generated a LOT of controversy will think (right or wrong) that the closed thread had to do with it.

I also felt, after reading the other threads, that there was a lot of innuendo in quirke's thread. Not that these sorts of thread closings don't happen, but the timing of this one was just too close to the most recent issue.

RRobin said...

Once a venue for serious artisans, Etsy has become just another way for digitally hip young trendoids to be wired in. You have your MySpace and Facebook pages, you have your iPod and iPhone, you have your blog and your Flickr and Twitter accounts, and now you simply must have your own Etsy store or you are NOT COOL. No matter that you have no real talent or training or inspiration. Etsy Admin will tell you what to make and sell, and there are plenty of suppliers on Etsy who will sell you the stuff you need to make it.

Eveline said...

It's been a week now, and still no word from Maria. I wish I was still surprised...

Bookman said...

I have no problem with being critical, as long as the critic knows what she's talking about. When the argument is circular (Etsy is full of juvenile idiots because I SAY etsy is full of juvenile idiots) it's just hot air.

--

Yes, chain of command:

"Chad will manage our entire technical organization, including application development, network infrastructure and quality assurance. He will report to me."

from Maria's announcement on the creation of a new position - Chief Technical Officer. At the old Etsy, the tech team were also co-founders and reported to nobody.

Anyone truly interested in the subject need only note that more site improvements have been made in the past six months than were made in the previous two years to see that whatever the new management structure may be, it is producing results.

Of course if one only wants to bitch, one has to ignore that fact, or complain that these improvements are actually making things worse. Like I say, there is no coherence here. Actual events don't seem to have any impact on your thinking.

Bookman said...

And I'll repeat - without ever having stepped foot inside of Etsy, the EBs seem to think they know enough about Etsy's inner workings to criticize them.

And yet at the same time, they are saying that Maria, who set up the current management structure and who has a first-hand knowledge of how Etsy works, can't possibly know what's going on from DC.

It's a contradiction that displays an almost unfathomable presumption and disconnection from reality.

The Righteous One said...

Bookman, we get it - everyone reports to Maria. What was your point?

And yes, a customer knows how a company treats its customers, i.e. we know how Etsy treats its sellers and what is and isn't working.

You're getting a bit beligerent and aren't making any new points. If you can't add to the discussion and are just going to repeat yourself, we're not going to let your comments through. You don't agree with us, we get it, now get out of the way so those who want to discuss the issue at hand can.

RRobin said...

The Funny One said:

Branding is going to shut out more sellers than ever...

**

You know, from the cattle's perspective, "branding" just means "getting burned."
RR

RRobin said...

I agree with what Ivonnardona said.
If you can already buy it in Urban Outfitters, why should I waste my time making it? I can't and won't compete with their mass-production prices, and if you are too lame to comprehend the difference in quality between what they sell in Urban Outfitters and what I make in my studio, I quite honestly don't want your business anyway. For me, the artistic process is like giving birth, and if you have no sensitivity, you don't deserve to adopt one of my "children."

The Funny One said...

And back to the subject at hand, which Maria asked herself "what is Etsy" then maybe Etsy can explain why:
1. they still refuse to set up a customer service department for their sellers; and
2. why Etsy changes how they do things to make sure no one really knows what's going on...........because these days, the only way to get a CS response from Etsy is to TWEET THEM.

Now, how many seller does that shut out of the process?

The changes we know about ARE NOT SERVICES FOR ALL SELLERS. They are services, including free promotions and advertising for a tiny fraction of sellers on the site. The rest of Etsy's "services" either aren't available to most sellers, or change every time someone comes up with a totallycoolawesome idea that fits a very small demographic of both sellers and buyers.

The bigger Etsy gets, the more exclusive and narrow its focus and efforts become. It's a very tiny world at Etsy.

It's definitely not "all things handmade".

Brass Monkey Designs said...

Eh. Let'em do whatever they want with the branding thing. I'm going to keep doing my OWN thing because that is what has worked best for me so far. I tried doing the trendy stuff and it DID sell, but I felt whorish and disloyal to myself, so I stopped and went back to making things that made me happy.

And fair enough about that most recent thread closing. I don't really keep up with the forum except to post in Business and Techniques & Materials, so I'm out of the social loop and had no idea there was stink going on in Etc.

But it does get so frustrating to have threads closed so frequently. And often times for no other reason than they're tired of hearing about it. I'd like to break Rob White's thread locking finger.

WindysDesigns said...

Speaking of rule changing and the masses not knowing about these changes, there was a thread today that someone started about someone's treasury that the curator's item made it to the FP.....because it was from her other shop.

Now, we pretty much all know that whether people like it or not, it is allowed to put in one item of your own if it matches the theme, but it may be removed if it's chosen for the FP.

Eclipse dug up an old thread from November, I think, where MaryMary says that the item must be from your curating shop, not any others.

That little tidbit was never put in the rules, so how would anyone who hadn't caught that particular thread know they were breaking the rules? And is it a rule if it's not posted in the rules section? Stella said something about including it in the next update, whenever that is.

And frankly, I thought the wording was 'user' not 'shop', that a user could have one of their items in each of the treasury and treasury west.

As for Maria and her speech, I really couldn't care less. I just do my own thing and generally don't rely on Etsy for any extras. Im just so tired of all the drama. I stopped believing in the dream a long time ago, so now I just do what makes me happy.

RRobin said...

Is this new or am I imagining things?
If I call up an item in my shop, say, on Etsy, the top of the page above the URL now reads, for example,
"Etsy::yet another assembled pine cone charm on a chain necklace"
where I believe it used to read, for example,
"Etsy::shopname::yet another assembled pine cone charm on a chain necklace".
That is, the shop name -- yours, mine, etc.-- is now gone and Etsy is getting all the credit.
Is this part of the "branding" they've been talking about?

The Righteous One said...

Robin, I'm still seeing shop names in Firefox and IE for my own shop and others', both when I'm logged in and not.

Are you perhaps using a different browser so I can't see what you see? Have you downloaded any scripts that may interfere?

Has anyone else seen this and think it's a glitch for some pages?

RRobin said...

Thanks, Righteous One. I see it is only the case with "sold" items being unattributed except to Etsy .

Not That Madonna said...

WindysDesigns said...
"Speaking of rule changing and the masses not knowing about these changes, there was a thread today that someone started about someone's treasury that the curator's item made it to the FP.....because it was from her other shop.

Now, we pretty much all know that whether people like it or not, it is allowed to put in one item of your own if it matches the theme, but it may be removed if it's chosen for the FP."
----------------------------
I was the one who started that thread, which was ultimately shut down by Admin (Stella I think). And it wasn't meant to be a "calling out" so to speak of the seller in question, but rather a "Hey look! Admin screwed up!" I couldn't care less if sellers put their own items in treasuries. But it's supposed to be removed from the FP treasury.

Oddly, the FP changed within minutes of my post. I don't remember the seller's username but the second shop name had the same beginning as the curator's name and it caught my eye.

Anyway, it just proves Admin doesn't pay very close attention to the FP treasuries, other than having a content of "hip" items with washed out color schemes. *yawn*.

WindysDesigns said...

RRobin, I"m seeing it with the shop name in there.

But I did notice little verticle gray lines between my item listing, views, price and listing date. It may have been there all along, but I'm just noticing it now. It doesn't really do anything.

I guess I'm trying to see if they've tried to sneak anything new in when we weren't looking.

Never said...

Honestly, I never even look at the front page. My Etsy link goes straight to my store which I don't sell in anymore and then I navigate to anything else I want from there. I NEVER go to the front page. I am stunned that so many regular Etsy users do.

forum rubbernecker said...

I NEVER go to the front page. I am stunned that so many regular Etsy users do.
__________
But the customers do! And that's where they see stuff and if your stuff is there they will buy it. And if it's there every day, they will buy it every day.

Never said...

" forum rubbernecker said...

"But the customers do! And that's where they see stuff and if your stuff is there they will buy it. And if it's there every day, they will buy it every day."

I completely understand that. Doesn't change my surprise that so many Etsy REGULARS spend so much time going through the front page. My time is precious and going to the front page is a waste of my time.

Speaking of "customers" are there any statistics on how many customers are strictly buyers. I would be willing to bet the number is a lot smaller than most people think. I would bet that most buyers are also sellers. But maybe I'm wrong.

eclipse said...

There are something like 1.5 million registered users total, probably more by now.
And 357615 of those are sellers. About half of which have empty shops, but they still count as "seller" accounts if they have verified a credit card.

So about 4/5 of all registered users are buyer-only accounts.
This only describes the two account types, it doesn't mean the buyers have bought anything or the sellers have sold anything.

Never said...

Eclipse, thanks for the stats. Interesting! I'm surprised! Now I'm thinking again......is it more likely that sellers are more likely to be repeat buyers and many buyers only sign up to make a one time purchase? And if this is the case wonder if it could still be possible that more purchases are made by sellers than buyers only.

Jen M. said...

Kelly said: They have no right to create trends because they are a sales venue, not a specialty site and not a store. If they want to become that, they need to brand themselves as that and jury the site so that they only sell what they like. They will never do that because they are getting rich off of all those listings and relistings. They have people promoting themselves and the site in the process for free so they have no reason to do much advertising on their own out of pocket.
****

This! This! I have not read those articles yet, and this post and thread (thanks, guys) have been very enlightening (and enraging) for me.

If they are going to become a juried, "boutique" type site, they need to just come out and say it, so that those of us who will inevitably not fit into their little box can avoid wasting any more of our time or money and just move on.

Wow, I'm pissed!

Jen M.
JenniferLynn Productions, LLC