Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Repeat the Rage

We tweeted asking if people wanted a listing strike, and put a link to this old post with avatars we made when Etsy Fucked up search, remember that? Ah that was fun. Good times.


Tons of you spoke out, many of you seemed to have missed them first time around, so here are the links (above) so you can see them again. If we get around to it, we'll make more for THIS particular blunder. ("MY stuff is not YOUR stuff, ETSY!" has a nice ring to it!)

We are serious about a listing strike, though, it would be a strong message if several thousand shops just shut stores down in vacation mode for one week with an avatar from above post and a bluntly worded shop intro. DO you think it would help? What is your suggestion for subversive things to act against them? What date should we do the listing strike?

In the past it's proved that they only move tp repair blunders when there is a major backlash that bleeds off of Etsy onto other sites. Maybe it's time to step up the show and finally try to hurt them the only places they care, the wallet and public opinion.

47 Comments:

life-during-wartime said...

Okay, I am not a seller on Etsy.

However, I think calling a halt to listing/relisting/renewing a strike sends the wrong msg. It makes sense not to put more listings out in SE space that have Etsy-generated crap in the prime character spaces of your metatags. If this has the secondary effect of sending a msg to Etsy to hurry up and do something to fix your problem because the consequences of your mistake is gonna cost you money, that's great. But Etsy the venue is not your employer, and you the shop owners do not work for Etsy.

Words have power, and they last a long time in cyberspace. Be careful how you define your relationships with Etsy (or any venue). Actually, shop owners are paying Etsy to work for them when they list. IMO, the concept of not listing on Etsy until this issue is resolved is much more like a boycott, no?

Hypnotransformations said...

I did miss those avatars last time you posted them. Thanks for sharing! They are hilarious.

Bought Tim's shit & regret it! said...

Personally, I don't believe in strikes within an environment where the strikers don't have contractual leverage over the oppressive corporation.

Etsy is offering up Shit, and tens of thousands of "work from home" fools (who follow online enticements like TimothyAdamsDesigns Etsy Secrets) and other links that promise home-business success with Etsy shops (hmmm...I wonder which of those Etsy Success ads that I'm competing with on Project Wonderful are Etsy Admin ad links...) get caught up in the hype.

Shampoo, Rinse, Repeat.

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to bother informing Etsy why I've put my store on Vacation Mode and have opened a new shop on ArtFire. They know why--they just don't care.

And frankly, I don't care enough about Etsy to fight for this. Etsy's management has done something unconscionable here. Why should I keep giving them a piece of my sales? Not happening.

kcroteau said...

Your comments on the avatar post are a little misleading since you edited the post you made with the Mute Salute avatars... the comments from the Mute Salute post show up.

I wouldn't be so quick to assume that so many people are on board...

The Funny One said...

True about sellers having no contractual leverage, and true, sellers need to choose carefully how to proceed. But, this only makes it a lot more evident that sellers haven't had any influence or input on Etsy since its launch. And they aren't interested any more today than they were when they discovered the secret formula (because they hold all the cards)for success ----- keep plugging those products that sell well on daily stats, create all their promotions based on that fraction of products, and then go branding. It's a formula that works for the big box retail outlets--------so why not Etsy, which has always flogged a chain store mentality.

The issue is that Etsy has removed the handmade from handmade. They are selling products based on actual sales trends, and their focus is on making money based on past successes. It isn't about handmade, the handmade product, the crafter, artisan, or artist. It's about what sells well to their particular audience because they relentlessly plug these products 24/7.

I would do anything to make that point to Etsy, but, alas, they aren't listening. It's the seller who always get the short end of the stick on Etsy. Pricing, competition, quality, and the whole handmade ethic is fodder for Etsy's big box mangler------add that to their history of bold retaliation against anyone who doesn't agree with them through a long history of muting, banning and closing stores without any recourse or appeals process for sellers keeps sellers under their (moody and ever-changing) thumb.

I worry a lot more about Etsy's negative effect on the reputation, quality and pricing of handmade than I do about how they've morphed the site into Forever21.Etsy.com. And it's their negative attitudes toward sellers that stinks up what they've done to re-define "handmade"--------because Etsy can't be more clear.

Etsy hasn't responded to the sellers concerns over the SEO mess because they don't care. (And they don't think it's worth their time to respond.) It would be admitting they made a mistake, and Etsy never makes mistakes, right?

teawithfrodo said...

I removed my stuff after the Nazi flag issue.
I'm done with them.

The Righteous One said...

what's sad is that the avatars are from December, yet still useful today

kcroteau, I don't think we edited the av post - but I'll check with Cranky. I know there were renewal strikes around the time of the search 'update' that those avs were made for. The newer comments on the post are from today, and the mute salute posts haven't been changed or receiving comments (that I know of - like I said, I'll check)

The Cranky One said...

I linked to the whole section, since the avs in question were at the top, also to show the other previous posts with other av's we've made incise anyone missed any others.

No posts were changed.

Rtsan said...

I'm not listing or relisting, not because I am boycotting (which is the right word) but because I don't see the point in doing all that work until this whole thing is settled one way or another.
Too much bother to do if nobody sees my work, as my customers have not found me through the Etsy door, but through google searching.
UNTIL NOW!

If it weren't for return customers, I would have had no customers at all for the past 2 months or so.
I am putting the work into learning how to optimize my own website. I hate it; it's an incredible chore because I am an artist, not a programmer.

If I do list new work, it will be with the understanding that it will be for my tried-and-true customers who found me long before Etsy threw us all under the bus. They will be the only ones who can afford my work-- surely not the sellers who are attracted to Etsy. (I say "sellers", because they are the traffic, Buyers will not be using 'handmade' as a search term to find my stuff.)

The sellers who find Etsy can buy cheaper there, just not the level of the quality I can offer.

The people who are finding Etsy on google are sellers, not buyers. It's all part of the "improvement" plan: Sign as many new sellers as possible, get the fast $$, and try to show the investor(s) that the site is profitable. And quick.

Serenity now, insanity later.

buddy said...

It appears from the infrequent posts on EtsyBitch & the lower number of comments, that your readership is moving on from Etsy and not bothering to invest their time in the Bitch improvements.

Etsybitch seems to be slowing down and missing out on so many fuckups, I'm guessing your readers are like me - done with Etsy, no longer trying so hard to change what can't be changed. I check in to see what's up, but no more invested.

shirley said...

Concerning those who are going to participate in the listing strike: that's a great way to make sure you won't make any sales! I really think you're hurting yourselves. I can't imagine that many shops are going to participate (only a small % read the forums, and a smaller % read this blog/follow y'all on twitter), so it's not going to send any sort of huge message. It seems like a better idea to attempt to communicate about the problem and try to resolve it by offering ideas, etc...

shirley again said...

Er, I should add - not that I think those ideas may be listened to... but the strike just doesn't make much sense and I doubt it will be effective; if anything it will be counterproductive to the shops participating (ie through no sales!).

Joey the Squid said...

I think it's odd that people are reacting as if for the first time, they noticed that their listing pages have 'Etsy' splashed all over them and have way more links OUT of your shop than IN to it.

If you're getting all your traffic from Google, then why the hell are you on Etsy anyway? I thought the point of being on Etsy was to get traffic from Etsy.

If you get SO MUCH of your traffic from Google searches and are such an SEO expert, just go start your own site.

WindysDesigns said...

I just don't think there are the numbers available to really make a difference, thousands of new sellers sign up each week, it would be a drop in the proverbial bucket.

What I plan on doing is taking a few of my items and put them in my artfire shop and linking to it in my Etsy shop. After all, as long as you don't list the same exact things in both, you can link to it.

Artfire has a free shop for 5 items, I think it is, so just take 5 items out of your Etsy shop and list them there and then link to them in your Etsy announcement. No extra outlay of money and you're not breaking any rules. I think if hundreds of ETsy shops had links to artfire shops in their announcement area, it might make more of a statement and you can still "use" Etsy like they are using us.

The Cranky One said...

Artfire has had free shops with 10 items for free since day one, and I hear they just went to 12.

And yes, I'm aware that if you go on strike you won't sell. I'm not saying to go into vacation mode forever, just a week or even a few days. If the numbers of sellable items drops they might notice. Since they are that many items NOT generating their income if they sell.

This was just really an idea post to get people thinking. Some more than others obviously.

evermoresoap said...

Etsy cares about attracting sellers, not buyers. Therefore, if sellers listing things, Etsy might take notice. Putting your shops in vacation mode wont make much of a difference because they make their money on the listing fees.

Its all very sad because Etsy seemed like such a good idea. It seems now though that Etsy has reached a point where it can run somewhat ok on its own, and the creators moved on. It no longer gets attention from anyone other than folks who want to keep up status quo and thats it. There are no fresh ideas or innovations. Sellers arent taken care of because its not in their best interest to do so. They are ok with the fact that it will fizzle out soon because like I said, they have moved on. Now its just a sinking ship.

Also, Im just not liking the mathematics of the whole thing. Time for some serious analysis.

jodie nicholson said...

I used to be passionate about making a difference. Now I'm just 'meh'.
I don't want that to take away from those who continue to push for improvements, I'm just personally done with it.
I'm not leaving Etsy, but their continual cock-ups just having me relying on them less and less for additional Meringue income. In other words, they're continuously pushing me to make my business grow off-site. My business is still growing, it's just not growing with Etsy, like I'd imagined it would when I first joined. Oh well.

swampgirl said...

I've been aware for a while of Etsy's focus on more new sellers over all else, but something clicked for me just now when I read Rtsan's comment:

"The people who are finding Etsy on google are sellers, not buyers. It's all part of the 'improvement' plan: Sign as many new sellers as possible, get the fast $$, and try to show the investor(s) that the site is profitable. And quick."

For several years, I worked in marketing for a major real estate company in a "destination" city that is continually on top 10 lists of best places in America to live.

A couple years ago, before the climax of the housing market decline, the greedy owners of the company started a focus of bringing in as many brand new, inexperienced agents as possible, because the company's commission cut from their sales was higher than for more seasoned and successful agents. Even if they were selling less than other agents because of their inexperience, the company was getting more.

Also, many of you probably know that real estate agents actually pay their company for the privilege of working there -- they have fees for their office space, affiliations, etc. even when they aren't making sales. So the company makes money from that, too. Like at Etsy, the more sellers, the more money the company makes.

Two years later, the company has declared bankruptcy and over half their sellers have migrated to other firms. Yes, there's a general housing market crisis, but not as much in that area, and this company could have survived if they had not been so greedy in the years leading up to the national decline.

I saw their shift in focus from "people buying houses" to "people selling houses," and I watched the boat begin to sink. Luckily I got out before that happened.

The obvious consequence was that best agents left for other companies and "people buying houses" figured out that they'd get better service somewhere that focused on buyers, and their business plunged.

I think all of Etsy's many and various screw-ups and veiled knife twisting are secondary to the bigger picture, which is their overall business philosophy. I have stuck it out for a long time, but I think I am finally done. I choose not to help make money for people whose values I do not agree with. Even if that means less money for me.

WindysDesigns said...

Lol, Cranky, I have visions of all that would be left on Etsy to purchase (if so many shops went into vacation mode) would be cowls and fingerless gloves and all the stuff etsy promotes. Hah!

The T-Shirt Project said...

On putting your shop in actual vacation mode, this is not a good move for the seller... The clock so to speak does not stop for your listings. You paid $0.20 for the 4 months or whatever it is and that time keeps ticking whether your shop is active or not.

Incidentally, I have communicated this to Etsy after putting my shop in vacation mode once and being surprised that this wasn't the case. Etsy responded that they 1) never thought to build the feature so that listing time could be paused; and 2) expressed no interest to change this.

I would never put my shop in vacation mode again. If anything, don't put your shop in vacation mode. Let listings expire and don't renew if you're not interested in dealing with Etsy.

mamaslittlemonkeys said...

Im so tired of hearing "if you go on strike, or protest arent you biting your nose to spite your face?"

UM NO. I am not making sales on Etsy anyways, thanks tot he SEO debacle, so why not just go on protest?
You can see my protest at www.mamaslittlemonkeys.etsy.com and if you actually want to BUY my awesomeness, go to www.mamaslittlemonkeys.com

and don't anyone worry their pretty little heads if I'm hurting my business, that's MY bidness.

GO ETSY BITCHES!

see ya laterz etsy said...

this whole search thing is what really pushed me over the edge. I'm moving on from etsy. I've been thinking about it since Christmas time. I've opened a shop at 1000markets and I'm making my own with BigCartel. I'm outta there. I do not want my business associated with etsy anymore. It is not the image I want for my business brand.

The Funny One said...

"saralouhicks" just posted a (no comments allowed) Admin Post in the forums, a few days into the chaos, and the mystery continues.

To put into writing that Etsy has "read through all the posts" and are finally aware there's an issue------there still is no solution, days AFTER the whole mess started.

Not good enough, Etsy. You owe your paying sellers an explanation and you need to send your sellers an email response.

I'm certain it wasn't seller-feedback that got your attention but falling numbers and falling sales that finally got you off your collective asses.

Could also be that Etsy has fallen off the Google search grid and reversed the original intention - to boost your numbers and ratings.

Could be the "fix" is ten times worse than the blind momentum to brand until the cowls come home.

shirley said...

mamaslittlemonkeys, i see what you're saying, but really is the SEO issue the reason you don't have sales (as you stated)? was your only source of sales really just customers finding you through google? Anyway, as you said, it's your business, and I'm not going to worry about you, but the whole strike thing still just doesn't make sense to me. I really can't imaging there will be enough people involved to actually impact etsy, and it's just going to ensure that those participating don't get sales during that time period (unless you're leaving some listings up and just not listing anything new, and continuing to advertise by whatever method you already use).

thecrankyone - definitely an interesting post, and it got people thinking. it's certainly an issue that is important and needs to be fixed!

thefunnyone, lol, i'm glad they're 'finally aware'... gah. maybe they were just hoping nobody would notice ;)

justbitchy said...

The fact that they didn't anticipate this result is so fucking typical.

Even people with basic knowledge of search engines know that what they did is a HUGE fucking clusterfuck massive shitty mistake.

Seriously, if this is the caliber of the people working there they really are just a fluke.

Get your own websites. Etsy is eventually going to crash and burn.

A business can't fuck up THIS MUCH and in the same ways over and over and over and over and over and over and over and not eventually implode.

Who the fuck is running that place?

Any one of the sellers who have been researching and explaining the situation have a better idea of SEO than all of the Etsy staff.

And to all the people saying that people are "over-reacting" well FUCK YOU! If you think people are over-reacting than you have absolutely no fucking idea what you are talking about. Morons.

Holy shit! Can I get a high paying job making enough to live in teh big apple and fuck up all the time and keep my high paying job? PLEASE!!!!????!!!!!!

And, I can't help it....

WHY THE FUCK DOES DXO STILL HAVE A FUCKING JOB??????????!!!!!?????

justbitchy said...

And it seems that TimSPAMAHOLIC is using this to get more people to buy his "how to spam the whole internet in two week for the low, low, special offer price of 50 fucking USD per month." He's jumping on this like Billy Mays.

He doesn't have a fucking clue and people are PAYING him $50 per month to learn to SPAM.

That guy is a spammer and a scammer and shameless on top of that.

Holy shit. Between Etsy and TimSpamaholic my head is exploding! All you have to do is rip people off and make a lot of money without worrying about fucking consequences.

Evil shit.

ace said...

I've heard too many negative things about etsy. And I have never sold anything on etsy despite the fact of having an open shop over there for months. I had stopped relisting stuff after relisting stuff twice. Not worth paying fees for. Not to mention that some people on etsy's forum boards are downright rude.

grow up, just bitchy said...

justbitchy- YOU are the one who sounds like a moron.
Yeah, you're pissed off, but telling others to go f*ck themselves is juvenile and reflects poorly on you as a seller. Maybe try discussing and debating the issue like a rational person and not an angry emo girl.
And what the heck does DXO have to do with any of this?

Etsy did screw up. I don't like them much for it and I do think they treat their sellers badly.

The Funny One said...

I dunno, justbitchy said, since DXO has 3 posts under "what the heck happened to Etsy Labs that nobody cares about anywhoooooo" and saralouhicks has been out to lunch for 3 days, and STILL manages to post an announcement that sounds like someone went to the "don't give up the family-jewels just come up with SOMETHING" school of public relations.

Sounds like Admins have been chewing on "digging in the dirt on horseback wearing a cowl" rocks to me..........mumble, mumble, stumble, fail.

The Righteous One said...

growupjustbitchy, DXO earned the ire of many back when she was forum mod for, hmmm a few days - that's all she lasted. She muted many people in a reactionary and personal attack, closed threads willy nilly, and ran it like her own police state of DXO topics.

Plus, she ran a metal working lab way back when and didn't know what gauge is. She's supposedly a metal artist.

She's always unfriendly and continuously smug, not quite who you want in customer service.

She shouldn't have a fucking job there.

justbitchy said...

Anonymous grow up, just bitchy said...

justbitchy- YOU are the one who sounds like a moron.
Yeah, you're pissed off, but telling others to go f*ck themselves is juvenile and reflects poorly on you as a seller. Maybe try discussing and debating the issue like a rational person and not an angry emo girl.
And what the heck does DXO have to do with any of this?

Etsy did screw up. I don't like them much for it and I do think they treat their sellers badly.

--------

Bite me.

Clearly you know nothing of the DXO saga and everytime etsy screws up it just reminds me that they hire people who don't have a fucking clue what they are doing.

DXO is the poster admin for etsy's incompetence.

Last time I checked this blog is called EtsyBitch. I'm bitching.

So, again, bite me you loser.

YAY said...

HOORAY!!!!!!!!!
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6191214

THANK YOU BITCHES, PAPERSTREET, and everyone else who stuck out your necks and would not give up!
They all should receive commendations.
A list of them would be great, but so many stood up.

1ST real, sincere apology I have ever seen Etsy make.

justbitchy said...

Besides, you don't have a fucking clue who I am you moron.

How can it possibly: "reflects poorly on you as a seller."

I don't even sell there anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

justbitchy said...

The Righteous One said...

Plus, she ran a metal working lab way back when and didn't know what gauge is. She's supposedly a metal artist.

--------

OMG! I didn't know about that!

mamaslittlemonkeys said...

Well that sucks had this all written and browser crashed.
Shirley this is how I know sales are down due to Etsys screw up.

My sales are down on Etsy, but decent on AF.
I see that 95% of my incoming URL's on AF ARE searches on google! I can see what keywords are searched and everything. So if those searches can bring ppl to my AF shop and NOT my etsy shop, why shouldnt I be ticked at this?

The bottom line for me is I own my domain name and it directs to AF. So Im not even worried about sales on my Etsy shop. Im about down with it. Ready to beat down admin.

mamaslittlemonkeys said...

i give up i tried to post three times and my browser crashed.
Shirely trust me, i know the seo is affecting me..i can see it in my google incoming urls.

YES TO STRIKE! said...

i'd be all for a listing strike!!
let's do this.

my friend left etsy, because they didnt care about copyright issues and the fees are OUTRAGEOUS. ugh.

The Righteous One said...

lol justbitchy is cracking me up a bit... I let the fuck em comments through so rebuttal could be made, but no more fighting amongst ourselves. It's a blurry line but comment, criticism of said commentary, and rebuttal should be enough of the matter. We ARE civilized after all.

Just wanted to make sure everyone had a voice...

Now, back to Etsy - that 'apology' is standard Etsy-speak "we didn't know it would cause a problem, but since you noticed that it did, we might do something about it...after we figure out what the hell is going on. Because we don't know anything and we just like to push buttons and hit switches to see what happens!" How could they not have known keyword stuffing would be a problem? Didn't they hire a branding expert and an SEO person?

shirley said...

mamas, ok thank you - i was curious - a lot of people on etsy forums had posted that their sales were down due to the SEO issue but nobody was posting any sort of evidence from their google analytics (or other) showing that visits were actually down due to ppl not finding them through google.

justbitchy said...

The Righteous One said...

lol justbitchy is cracking me up a bit... I let the fuck em comments through so rebuttal could be made, but no more fighting amongst ourselves. It's a blurry line but comment, criticism of said commentary, and rebuttal should be enough of the matter. We ARE civilized after all.

Just wanted to make sure everyone had a voice...

----------

Sorry! I'll stop now! Promise!

life-during-wartime said...

Etsy admitted in that post the site is planning SEO efforts around help for the twits who are clueless about how to title their items to make them both meaningful to a shopper and tasty for the SE bots.

It would have made far more sense to write some code to generate a list of shops that have 1-3 word item titles, and sent a mass email to all the shop owners with tips on writing a fun but effective title.

Not a forum post, a Dorque article, or an opt-in mailing list feature -- an email.

IHeartJustBitchy said...

The fact that they didn't anticipate this result is so fucking typical.

Even people with basic knowledge of search engines know that what they did is a HUGE fucking clusterfuck massive shitty mistake.
***
Etsy admitted in that post the site is planning SEO efforts around help for the twits who are clueless about how to title their items to make them both meaningful to a shopper and tasty for the SE bots.

>>>>>>>

To be fair to Etsy, I think they thought they were doing a good thing --hey let's raise awareness of handmade and bring people to Etsy. Which would work, if it doesn't matter what Etsy page they land on.
But, when I read saralou's post today, I was like WTF? Helping "new sellers"? Yes, because everyone knows that those of us who have been around don't need to bring in the customers, right? How about, those who can title correctly deserve to be found, and those who don't, don't. There's a learning curve, and everyone needs to use it.

btw, justbitchy, you totally crack me up.

And I swear that "Grow Up, Just bitchy " is none other than DXO herself.

Because that's what cupcakes say "It reflects badly on you as a seller.....blah blah blah" If you don't care, that stupid argument doesn't work!

justbitchy said...

IHeartJustBitchy said...

btw, justbitchy, you totally crack me up.

And I swear that "Grow Up, Just bitchy " is none other than DXO herself.

Because that's what cupcakes say "It reflects badly on you as a seller.....blah blah blah" If you don't care, that stupid argument doesn't work!

---

I heart you back!

Yep, it's a standard cupcake response and completely without merit. Some of the nastiest sellers have really high sales.

Etsy is clueless. There are some sellers on the forums who have a better idea of how to run a business than Etsy staff.

Beyond belief.

lovemybitches said...

Oh boy, TimSpam. I like his work and he's a nice guy but his tactics are so freaking annoying. Must say, good to him for figuring out a way to make some money in this economy. There's a reason Billy Mays sells a ton.

As for a strike - the problem is that you would have to get just about every seller - way more than 75%, say - to participate. Having read the recent threads, I doubt that enough people would get on board. Too many answer with "goodie, more customers for me!"

The Funny One said...

I don't think Etsy should be given a fair shake simply because they have a proven history of running the site like a personal boutique, and shower lots of free advertising all over their favorite products --- only now, they admit it's being done under the big box umbrella known as BRANDING. The SEO mess was just another piece of their plan to brand.

What's more dangerous is that Etsy decided that the handmade product fits the branding method of retail, which is marketing a product under one name and one brand, so that the consumer believes they are buying a branded product, NOT a product made by a particular seller. After a while, "handmade" isn't even part of the product definition.

How the hell does that fit the entire premise, concept, and rationale behind the handmade product?

It changes how consumers view handmade. It's already started with the oft heard comment "I got it cheaper on Etsy!"

Not, "I bought a gorgeous wooden bowl crafted by ________ in a beautiful store full of wonderful handmade wooden bowls on a site called Etsy."

PaperStreet said...

shirley said...
Stats weren'tosted to prove the effect on our shops.

uhm yes they were. over and over I realize the time it would take for anyone to read every post in everythread but trust me manystats were posted and sadly they all said exactly the same thing 99% traffic from return customers 1% from new customers

and for many of us that 1% was from referrals on blogs and other bookmarking sites.

The traffic on etsy itself is impossible to catch due to the ridiculous search system and the very irrelevant category names.
Unless you renew on a constant basis daily you barely get any traffic,(I don't/won't/can't do that ever!)