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:
Safety, security, trust
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!