Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bitchables: the new dos and don'ts of Etsy

Etsy was quick, they said a week and it was only a week, to allow review of the new dos and don'ts. But they could do that because they didn't really listen. By the way, why wasn't a mass email sent out to all members about this? Even if it was just to point out that there have been changes? Communication is still on Etsy's to-do list it seems.

Some of the bitchable points of the dos and don'ts?

From Shops&Listings, formerly known as 'selling':

  • "Etsy reserves the right to request that a seller provide policy information or require a seller to modify unreasonable policies at Etsy's discretion."

Hmmm what would be considered 'unreasonable'?

  • "Listing prices must be reasonable"

This appears to be an argument against the market and letting shoppers decide what's reasonable, but it's just a bad way of leading to their old policies on the issue:

"You may price an item how you choose; however, a listing should not be created with an inaccurate price in order to keep it from selling"

and Etsy's way of preventing circumvention of their fees:

"The shipping cost must be reasonable for the item"

Why they couldn't just avoid the potentially troublesome header about reasonable prices is beyond me. How corporate of Etsy, reserving their rights to modify both your policies and your prices. It's not your shop, it's Etsy's, you're just the grunt making the pieces in it.

Then there's a whole new section on tagging:

  • This is an old one
    "You may only use multiple words as a single tag if they comprise a single descriptive phrase"
  • But their example of what's unacceptable is "silver earrings" ?? What if it's a pair of, ta-da, silver earrings!?

  • And then there's the blurring of tags and categories
    "Tags that describe the craft or process used to create an item should only refer to the processes that you personally used to create the item (for example: note cards should only be tagged "papermaking" if you made the paper by hand from pulp, a wooden shelf should only be tagged "woodworking" if you built the shelf)."

But what if you're one of the many sellers with, for example, woodburned items and you need woodworking - burning for your categories? may not have made the box, but you sure as hell made it what it is! In the dos and don'ts this is considered unacceptable.

Aren't updates to the policies supposed to help clarify them? We assume these will be optional as usual.


The Funny One said...

It's helpful for sellers to read the new D&D's in the context of Etsy's site-wide branding effort. They're written to make it easier for Etsy to herd the masses into mimicking the Etsy brand while making it easier for Etsy to punish sellers with a much more vague list of "definitions."

The D&D's are a substitute for pre-screening new stores, and for getting rid of sellers they don't like, while extracting lots of listing fees from everyone during the whole song and dance.

And, the bit about the "grace period" is a lie ----- Etsy has already put the D&D's into effect so be forwarned!

Too busy to notify their sellers about the new rules (considered to be a contract with each seller)? With a Dorque "facelift" (not axed? damn!) and making up "new" Etsy Finds as their (fake) replacement for the Weekend Deals (oh yuk) Etsy is too busy bullshitting to take care of (real) business.

TooOldforEtsy said...

Using words like "appropriate" and "reasonable" are vague to the point of meaningless. The rules are broken all of the time; Etsy employees feature and flaunt shops that bend and break the TOUs NOW. Yet, they want us to flag.
IMHO, this is a bunch of unenforceable bullshit that would allow Etsy employees to shut down shops for any reason they deem necessary to them.
Smacks of the arbitrary; hints at confusion at the very least and blackballing at the very worst.

When Etsy enforces the original rules, then I will take them seriously. Until then, if they think they have some sort of legal document using these terms-- they need a new lawyer.

Flagging is for people with faith in a system, and this system has been broken (and a joke) for years.
Etsy employees feel that rules are for everyone else but them: they have license to do whatever they want for any reason they have. Private lucrative deals? I wouldn't doubt it.
"There's a sucker born every minute" and at Etsy there are many, many more than that.

Insulting to anyone who is serious about their work and unintelligible to those who aren't really that good with their reading comprehension.

meh said...

They just need to trash the tagging system altogether, really. No matter what they decide, sellers will just tag however they want, because half of them don't read the rules in the first place, and Etsy barely enforces their own tag rules. Just make categories and have done with it.

The "grace period" refers to existing listings - new listings need to adhere to the D&Ds. This was actually a thoughtful thing, as this is such a busy time and they know how long it takes to edit a whole bunch of listings. (Odd that they think it's just dandy for Weekend Deals, but that's a whole 'nother ball of cowl-making yarn.) So anything that was listed prior to the in-effect date, you've got the grace period to edit/change.

Not happy with the intrusiveness into shop policies/prices. Hoping that this is a case of having a precedent so they can tell someone they can't list a 50-cent marble for $1,000,000.00, rather than something they'll rabidly patrol.

Betsy B. said...

"Etsy provides a marketplace for crafters, artists and collectors to sell their handmade creations, vintage goods and crafting supplies."

If so then why are the resellers still there? (just search for 'fishermans pants' or harem pants'and you will see them) Ignore the flagging and collect fees perhaps?

gimmecandy said...

What a fucking mess! Anyway, I thought y'all would enjoy this Etsy Halloween tribute to one of their seldom promoted (Ha!) favorites-

In other circumstances I would think they were making fun, but the frequency of her FP time tells otherwise.

girlfryeday said...

Ugh. I just can't even read the whole thing.

TagStuffers Anonymous said...

Etsy employees feature and flaunt shops that bend and break the TOUs NOW. Yet, they want us to flag.

I clicked on a frequent FPer the other day, and hello tag stuffing! OMG, they had about 3 colors stuffed into every box. And this is someone who's been on the FP over 300 times.

Le sigh...

monketbuttpowder said...

two words
fucking stupid

breaking things said...

The statement about pricing items is utterly ridiculous!

"Listing prices must be reasonable"

It seems Etsy is more interested in attracting dollar store vendors rather than real artists and craftspeople that understand how valuable their time and effort is. Who the hell are they to decide what price is reasonable for my artwork?

meggitymegs said...

Over 300 TIMES? I can't even find a word to express how that makes me feel.

chickory said...

if they arent going to do anything about 3880 listings for hello kitty, a copyrighted spokes cat, i dont think they will or can police tags. so just keep on tagging those computer prints as originals! LOL

unreasonable said...

gimmecandy: yeah, that flickr just shows off another one of the featured seller-37 front pages-tag stuffer favorites. I bet she doesn't get an email from Admin about those multiple word tags.

The biz about reasonable pricing and policies is bogus. The TOU also states that Etsy is a venue and isn't involved in individual transactions. Seems to me, deciding on appropriate pricing and policies is being pretty damn involved in the transactions.

handweaver said...

I understand that they last one is confusing - but it does help in some cases, believe it or not.

I see people selling bags, table runners, etc., all the time made of "handwoven" cloth (and tagged as handwoven) when it is absolutely clear they did NOT weave the fabric themselves and wouldn't recognize a loom if one fell on their head (instead, they paid $5 a yard to import it from someplace where handweavers are paid $1 a day or something - weaving takes time!).

This is one of my HUGE pet peeves about tagging on Etsy, so I'm pleased that at least this will be against the rules now. Doesn't help the woodburners, of course. Stupid ass category heirarchy.

Buyers Get Screwed said...

One thing that's missing from the new TOU...prohibiting bad sellers from closing up shop and starting a new one to hide negative feedback.

Latest example...gemmafactrix is now brookearin.

Make Way for Deliciousness said...

Does Etsy even do anything if a store has ridiculously low feedback and/or is clearly ripping off buyers? Or is that when they pull out their 'we're just a venue, buyer beware' nonsense?