Monday, October 5, 2009

Nickel and Diming

Well well well, it appears that Etsy is skimming a little off the top.

If you're participating in the weekend deals, you're paying Etsy more than 3.5% on that sale, which is what they're contractually supposed to receive. They want you to refund the buyer through Paypal, but that means they get a final value fee on the original cost!

tsk tsk tsk Etsy, you should know by now how these things work, and I bet you thought noone would notice.

By the way, we saw what you did here, skirting the issue and all. Looks like you're planning on nickel and diming until the end of the month.

Rather than putting together a batch price edit, or coupon codes, or some other way to run a sale, they're just letting you pay them a little extra. Aw, how thoughtful of them.


PigSticker said...

Somehow this does not surprise me. I would not get involved with any Etsy-directed promo, because the odds that they would fuck it up someone are better than even considering their past history.

Yep, suck more out of the poor suckers. They lose both ways. I guess it could be likened to "burning the candle at both ends", but I think there is a porno flick metaphor that would be more to the point. YOu know what I am talking about, and sorry for putting that image in your heads.

SK said...

This is why I don't participate in weekend deals.

First of all, if I run a sale: the price will be fixed before the sale starts; I don't do paypal refunds. If etsy encourages you to do anything otherwise, then don't, or say, use your brain.

Refunds are a pain in the ass.

AND there is no such thing as free shipping.
*rolls eyes*

Indigo said...

That is probably why they will never ever offer coupon codes. Why hit Etsy's bottom line, when you can just screw over the sellers.

Etsy math

forum rubbernecker said...

Not to mention that too many PP refunds is a big honkin red flag to PP.

RRobin said...

PayPal refunds are no favor to buyers, either, since PyaPal will immediately deduct the purchase price from your bank account/credit card, but will not honor a refund -- even on a charge that just cleared instantly -- for several days. The funds sit in limbo for 48-72 hours, then appear as a PayPal credit. If you want the cash, you have to manually transfer that PayPal credit back into your bank account, and that takes several more days to process.

Bottom line: Buyers won't have access to that refund for a good week.

In the meantime, the buyers are paying credit-card interest on that money (if their PayPal accounts are tied to credit cards, as most are), and PayPal is earning bank interest on it.

I wonder if anyone at Etsy realizes they are helping out a competitor in this deal: PayPal is owned by eBay.

Carol B said...

Etsy just isn't good at thinking things through... or is it the sellers who aren't good at thinking things through?

The Funny One said...

Indigo hit it perfectly. A behemoth like Etsy, that talks like a bureacrat when giving their standard "non-answer" to another anti-seller gimmick (what a bunch of hot air)pulls the same crap when they plug their Showcases in the listing template.

It should say "Do you want to throw some money away? Buy a showcase spot!"

Etsy is so inflated (egos included) that it can't turn on a dime, nor do they want to.

If it might benefit sellers, they just won't go there. Fits in with their longtime practice of never admitting they made a mistake.

Not only is the Weekend Deals promo a complete disaster for sellers (can cheaper get any cheaper?) let's put the kabosh on showcases.

Use your hard earned money for a store on another site.

meggitymegs said...

Seriously. This is why I don't participate in the weekend deals either, never have and don't intend to. Have always been slightly miffed at the promotion of either favorites or cheapest. My prices are already too low in an effort to compete with other sellers who have similar items priced for less. And I just refuse to lower them any more. Screw that.

And, yeah -- not surprised in the least. Totally explains why they have been so opposed to coupon codes.

WindysDesigns said...

Etsy is like the guy who can step in a pile of shit and wind up smelling like roses.

Look at the renewing fiasco. Most of the newer people don't realize that it wasn't Etsy who started it, it was a seller who came up with the idea of renewing her items often, and it worked, in a search that relies on the most recently listed items. That was all it took, everyone climbed on the bandwagon and were having success with it so Etsy got behind it. Fast forward a year and you have quadrupled the number of sellers and listed inventory.

But it created a monster, and Etsy had to recant their support by adjusting the rules stating that you'd see the front page or the top of your category pages. Not entirely their fault, but who is in charge of looking at the big picture, who looks at the impact of such things down the road?

Now we have the weekend deals. I think Etsy honestly felt they were doing sellers a favor, after all, look at the hundreds of posts in each thread asking who will be participating. You can't tell me that someone looked into this for any potential pitfalls or problems, and if they did, they just buried their head in the sand and ignored it until some astute people pointed out that Etsy was making extra money off of them.

Now weekend deals and renewing bring in a significant amount of revenue, they're going to be reluctant to do anything that cuts into that revenue.

Etsy lives in the moment, does no planning for the future and I'm betting the seat of their pants are wearing thin by now and pretty soon we'll be seeing some skin. But then, knowing Etsy it'll just be the next trend.

Stifler's Mom said...

The "sale price" via Paypal refund is ridiculous!

If you go to a B&M store for a sale, do they charge you the full price at the register, then spend five more minutes fucking around with crediting BACK your card?

Theresa said...

Funny how I always thought it was pretty messed up that if I run a sale where I were to refund after purchase that Etsy would still take their cut on the original price. Glad to see it being addressed even if not on Etsy itself. They seem to always try to make out that they are trying to help us as crafters/artisans yet everything they do screams otherwise. Maybe if they did make coupon codes available for us sellers we wouldn't be going to other selling venues who do.

life-during-wartime said...

I find it hard to believe that Etsy didn't realize that the FVF collected would exceed the proper percentage of the true selling price for items sold. Etsy is not a tiny personal site run out of someone's guest bedroom. This is a small feature, and didn't take weeks to implement. Surely they have someone on the staff functioning as an analyst, who can 'play computer' and figure out the impact of any change or feature on Etsy's bottom line and on the seller community. Someone who knows how the Etsy interface with PayPal works. They knew. If they didn't know, they would have put the promo on hold immediately when they found out, instead of stalling until the end of the month while talking about 'honoring' the wishes of sellers to be ripped off.

MonkeybuttPowder said...

Thanks for pointing out the obvious!

If the shop offers 'free shipping' and then bundles the ship price into the item price, etsy gets a portion of the shipping too.

Why does Etsy have to be such an awesome concept, run by people who really just need to go back to art school and ultimately spend their days raising rare chickens somewhere in the Catskills?
Chickens with mustaches and feathered cowls. And sparkles.

These are not business people... They're conceptual artists with a day job.

RRobin said...

Who does Etsy think they are, telling us to lower prices and/or offer "free"* shipping?

Why don't they put their money where their fake-mustached mouths are and offer a weekend of free or reduced listing/final value fees?

Lower our prices? Eat shipping costs? Seems Etsy's latest trend in handmade is DIY sweatshop.

*As with the proverbial free lunch, there is no such thing as a free postage stamp.

Hey! Maybe Etsy can pay for the cost of shipping! They can set up a direct link to UPS/USPS, kind of like PayPal has, but rather than the cost coming out of the sellers' PayPal accounts, it will come out of Etsy's own corporate coffers! Now, THERE'S a weekend promotion I'd sign up for!

RRobin said...

Slightly OT:

Were those insipid little sketches on the Etsy sign-in page always there, or are they new? Either way, it's nice to know where my Etsy fees are going, since I know they are not going toward anything that I as an artisan want/need.

nomorehairnests! said...

I swear if I see one more fucking hair feather, dryer ball or cowl on the FP.

I will lose my everylovin' mind.

And yeah, the sketchy shit is new. Shiny! Shiny!

The Dangerous Mezzo said...

I've been gassing away in the related thread about this, but just wanted to pop in and say, MonkeybuttPowder, whoever the hell you areI love you for this:

"Why does Etsy have to be such an awesome concept, run by people who really just need to go back to art school and ultimately spend their days raising rare chickens somewhere in the Catskills?
Chickens with mustaches and feathered cowls. And sparkles."

RRobin said...

Monkeybuttpowder and Dangerous Mezzo, I just can't see the Etsy staffers as real artists or artisans, conceptual or otherwise.

Artists manques at best...

Jade said...

If any of the admins have a degree in anything I'd be amazed. Remember when there was an "Art" gift guide? It was full of crap that could have been crammed into 1 studio apartment furnished with furniture reclaimed from the curb before garbage pick-up.

If anyone was going to art school, then they haven't learned anything. I suppose they were too busy with their ironically large glasses, cowls, and fake beards to be attentive during the art history lectures.

And yeah, hey, we can't do site maintenance because someone is having a baby — but we got new dumb glyphs on the sign-in page.

Anyone read the thread about the "power seller" bitching about their fees and asking for a power seller discount on listing?

Perhaps I'm dense, but really, if you're having a sale, you adjust the price before the purchase — not after. I don't buy something "on sale" at Amazon and have them send me a refund.

Perhaps if we could just have BATCH PRICE editing power — then we could avert this entire ridiculous crap.

And, yes, Virginia, there is no such thing as free shipping. Free shipping is as real as a unicorn.

The Funny One said...

Etsy didn't bother to "think through" the Weekend Deals percentages when they saw the bottom line (more ka-ching for them) and went with it. Less work for them, more work for sellers. Instant cash for Etsy while sellers are waiting on a refund from PayPal, what a joke!

Why do you think they tripled the number of Showcases with a direct-buy link in the listing template? Ka-ching!

I dream about Etsy offering a day, a weekend of FREE listings as a thank you (at least) to their stores (not all sellers!) or a nod to the lousy economy, but not Etsy.

I gotta hand it to ArtFire for offering unlimited free listings from now through the holidays. In light of what Etsy doesn't do for most of its sellers, it was like a breath of fresh air.

Indigo said...

Too bad the "Free for All" was met with much dismay from both sides of the playing field. (E and AF)

It IS a really good idea (free listings) but it seemed to rub people the wrong way.

WindysDesigns said...

Yeah, well, Artfire's 'free listings' isn't all that altruistic, there are caveats to it. For instance, you can upload as many items as you want, but you have no way to organize it, because categories are for verified (paid) members, and your items, if searched, will come up AFTER all the relevant verified items.

It's not hard to see that Artfire is doing this purely from a financial standpoint in the hopes that once you've uploaded all your stuff that you at least try out the verified (paid) account for awhile, as well as the amount of google traffic it will bring to the site.

Hopefully, the item that brought them in is the one they wind up buying, and they don't see all the other items from other sellers advertised in your shop, or if they search they don't see all the verified items first before they even get to yours.

And lest you think I am bashing Artfire, I'm not. They, like Etsy are a business. They have to do what is best for their bottom line. They are being a bit more daring in their approach, but it doesn't make them benevolent, or any more in tune with their sellers. I see just as much kerfuffle in their forums over this, and basically Admin saying, too bad, so sad. It's a done deal and that's that. Not to mention the hedging of answering direct questions. Remind you of anyone?

You know, if you want to point out the shortfalls of Etsy, I'm all for it, they have many that need to be brought out and to the attention of the unknowing. But I would really appreciate it if you would stop comparing it to other venues, because there is no comparison unless they are in the same exact place at the same exact time with the same kind of business plan.

Pointing out what other venues do for you is disingenuous if you only present the upside and not the downside. No venue is perfect, and no venue is going to be strictly for the sellers at the risk of sacrificing their bottom line.

Rtisan said...

I'm dreaming of a day when the Etsy staff is replaced with professionals who are thinking people.

AF will go the same direction Etsy is in now if they do not do something about monitoring what gets listed on their site. They don't push a "brand", but there's a whole lot of inappropriate crap on there. This is the big issue for me with both sites.
It's like: come up with a strategy BEFORE you get started. Do some problem-solving. What could be the worst case scenario? AF has Etsy as a negative example, but has no alternative to flagging.
As far as I am concerned, that's the bottom line: quality control in terms of TOU. It's a slippery slope.

SwitchedOff said...

I began on Etsy in May with great hopes of being able to bring in a bit of extra money for my family. I purchased showcase slots, posted in the forums, went to the chat rooms and the virtual labs, etc., etc., etc.

It seemed all bright and shiny and new and really, honestly, Etsy is a great idea.

It's just that when you dig deeper down, and scrape off a bit of the glitter and chrome, you can see how termite infested it really is.

I'd like you all to know that I just signed up for an ArtFire account this morning. After cruising around the ArtFire website for only a few minutes, I can tell the difference.

Etsy is like a really bad small town high school where the cool kids make all of the rules and pick on everyone else. ArtFire is like going to college. Decisions are made in a grownup fashion.

I'm tired of giving my lunch money to Etsy every morning before they'll let me in the building. I'm packing my bags and heading to ArtFire for some real support for selling handmade items online.

meggitymegs said...

Etsybitches, are you compiling your own ideas and those bandied about here to create a replacement for Etsy that works for sellers?


You're our only hope! :)

Rtisan said...

BITE MY TONGUE! I just had a $$$ order through ArtFire!

RRobin said...

Well said, WindysDesigns.

(I just wanted to get that in before you got pelted with Artfire cupcakes.)

RRobin said...

Would that it were so simple, meggitymegs!

But just being accurately pinpoint the source of a problem doesn't mean one is equipped to fix it.

And I mean "equipped" literally, at least in part.

It's like taking your car to the mechanic. You may have had a course in auto repair and know precisely what and where the problem is in the engine or transmission, but that doesn't mean you have the experience, tools, and/or garage space to fix it yourself.

The Righteous One said...

Windys, how else can people decide what venue will work best for them if comparisons aren't made?

The Funny One said...

I appreciate WindysDesigns perspective, but comparing sites may help sellers decide where to spend their time, money and effort, especially if you are no longer a successful Etsy seller because you're not an Etsy favorite. Things have changed 360 degrees at Etsy - and if you aren't willing to produce and list what Etsy likes, you will not sell on Etsy.

I sure hope Etsy is doing some site-comparison themselves, because the longer they ignore sellers' requests for site improvements, the bigger the exodus will grow. I hope someone finally gets it right, but it isn't going to be Etsy.

Indigo said...

That thread is still going on. I went back to read the latest posts.

All I have to say, is that I am so glad their sales and view are so spectacular that they can't possibly leave Etsy.
(bad boyfriend syndrome...?)

I don't know why etsy sellers don't get is that Etsy doesn't give a tinkers damn about them. At all!

What does it have to take for them to wake up and realize that...?

boredwithetsy said...

Weekend Deals = another way for Etsy admin to promote their favorite sellers. Apparently the Etsy favorites don't mind paying the FVF fees. Businesses? I think not. I'm getting more and more tempted to try Artfire.

PigSticker said...

Stop feeling tempted and go for it. Eggs, baskets, etc etc. What's to lose?

RRobin said...

As for the freebies that Etsy wants sellers to include...

Over 90% of the freebies I receive from sellers are totally unwelcome, because they inevitably create work for me. That's because I don't want them, can't use them, feel bad about just throwing them out, and have to figure out some way of recycling them. Thanks but no thanks.

I don't want your business cards, either. They are just another waste of paper. If I want to buy from you again, I'll find your shop in my list of purchases. I am not going to physically file or find some other home in my house for your card. Even if I did, it would not be handy when I am online and looking to buy.

I know I am not alone in this.

whyohwhy said...

I'm so pissed by this nickel and diming. This free shipping promo bullshit forced me to have my first ever sale. Never had to have one before - but now Etsy buyers want savings because they've been way too spoiled.

And now there's a unnerving post in the forums about who's participated so they can kiss Etsy admin ass and validate it's cool and acceptable.