Friday, October 30, 2009

Same ol’, Same ol’

Oh crap, marymary has decided instead of actually taking the long list of terrific seller suggestions for NEW PROMOTIONS on the site to replace those much hated WEEKEND DEALS, she’s going to let us SUGGEST Etsy Finds for the month of November! Wow!

Digging deep into Etsy’s own, old, tired, repetitive and overdone promotions, here’s a list of November Find topics (ho-hum) for sellers to "review" and "suggest" or, in Etsy Lingo — give us that rubber stamp sellers, we’re gonna do our own thing anyway!

  • Suggest fresh, new, and emerging shops (isn't that Finds already?)

  • Suggest Team Events and Happenings (shoppers care about this?)

  • Suggest unique gift ideas under $50 USD (the promotion every retail site is using this year!)

  • Black Friday through Cyber Monday Free Worldwide Shipping***
***Oh goody, another wacky promotion that takes more out of sellers’ pockets with free shipping! Hey, that’s kinda like Weekend Deals = sellers pay (and pay dearly) in the end!

The Announcement ends with the usual bull: "Thanks in advance for your suggestions and participation, Mary" oh right, sellers’ suggestions ----- right, Etsy, like you’re suddenly listening to sellers! Suprising? No. Insulting? Yes.


Speaking of Weekend Deals said...

This is one of the better forum posts I've read...

"It is interesting that people think that Etsy is unaware of the fact that they're overcharging sellers with the weekend deals. Etsy is a successful business. To say that they just don't know any better is an insult and completely false.

People asking for coupon codes and batch editing is not a new occurrence. I'm sure this thread is not the first time they've heard about the overcharging problem ether. Etsy knows what they're doing. They're a smart bunch!"

Ahahahah *dies* Please tell me that's dripping with sarcasm!

ummmmmno said...

I am so sick and tired of Etsy promoting those who offer free shipping. Its a joke. Do we see the Etsy shop offering free shipping? I don't know because the shop is so butt ugly even my dog runs away howling.

I'm so glad I've finally decided to move away from Etsy...they just don't support serious sellers of handmade goods.

forum rubbernecker said...

Every time I see one of these sorts of posts, I think of it as another way to kind of force Etsy sellers into "choosing" sellers who are all over the place anyway. So call me cynical.

CupcakesMakeMeGag said...

If I see that damned embroidery hoop with the three women with doll arms on the FP one more time I am going to scream. That and the friggin' knitted frog guts.

sark said...

How about a "just because I'm me" promotion? You know, because I'm not a newbie, I gain nothing from giving my products away, and I'm completely disinterested in whatever the other one were — oh, and I'm not a "team" kind of person...

Like really, none of the 4 options describe me, nor do they appeal to me. Why must the options always suck?

Marni said...

You know what's sad? The cupcakes don't even know they are cupcakes.........

Anonymous said...

Sark, maybe we could start a "not a team player" team? No pancake breakfasts, no helping, bla, bla, just buy our damn good stuff! ;)

RRobin said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

If Etsy wants sellers to offer gratis shipping -- not FREE shipping, because shipping is NOT free until UPS, the USPS, FedEx and etc. GIVE their services away -- then Etsy should should reimburse sellers for the cost.

Max said...

Admin doesn't seem to understand the basic nature of the Etsy venue.

They see that other online stores are marketing with free shipping, so they figure that must be the right thing to do and they jump on the bandwagon.

The key difference is that those other online stores are big companies who have negotiated phenomenally cheap shipping contracts based on their volumes. Etsy sellers are little guys who pay top dollar for shipping.

Admin doesn't recognize that big difference in the feasibility of utilizing a free shipping marketing plan.

Now, if Etsy would try to negotiate a contract whereby Etsy sellers could use a specific shipper to obtain a collective Etsy volume discount, perhaps shops could afford to offer free shipping for such promotions.

Oh, wait, that was one of the suggestions in that ignored thread. Never mind.

The Funny One said...

Oh yes, Etsy knows exactly what it's doing under their branding umbrella, like a big woodchipper, they promote the few at the expense of all. Etsy is clearly anti-seller and what they've done to the reputation of handmade is deplorable. Prices, in the toilet, shoppers, confused as hell. Sellers? Tossed out with the trash after they cough up their monthly listing fees.

SIGH said...

On the FP right now, a selection picked by Etsy using the search term "pinecone" ... all the items are fine, but one is a listing for BLANKETS which just happens to have a pinecone in the photo and has been cheekily tagged with "PINECONES" and Etsy have deliberately put this on the FP! Normally I roll my eyes a bit at complaints about FP picks but this is ridiculous. What happens if everyone else starts doing this??

Gonna start tagging my backgrounds said...


That is what I was thinking. Most mail order companies/B&M stores with online sites ship via UPS and FedEx and have great discounts on shipping. Many of these companies also have a contingency on that free shipping. From $25 to $150 need to be purchased to get that free shipping. Insuring they make enough to cover the little bit of a hit they take.


I saw that. Maybe I'll start taking photos with santa figurines, turkeys and snowflakes so I can tag them as such and maybe get into a Holiday/Winter themed front page.

foxaz said...

gimmecandy gave us a link to contrary's photostream on flickr.

It appears they're having a Halloween party. If you browse through the pics- all of folks enjoying the festivities - there's a pic of Maria wearing a costume covered with paper money.

Lol to that one!!

RRobin said...

Quoting SIGH...
On the FP right now, a selection picked by Etsy using the search term "pinecone" ... all the items are fine, but one is a listing for BLANKETS which just happens to have a pinecone in the photo and has been cheekily tagged with "PINECONES" and Etsy have deliberately put this on the FP! Normally I roll my eyes a bit at complaints about FP picks but this is ridiculous. What happens if everyone else starts doing this??


So what you are saying, SIGH, is that Etsy in its front page picks is rewarding, and thereby encouraging, blatant tag abuse? Meaning that they are not following their own (new and old) D&D?

Etsy? Hypocrites?

So what else is new?

grumpy said...

Here's an idea: how about instead of coming up with promotions that screw current sellers and do diddly squat to get new buyers to the site, how about doing some proper promotion of Etsy itself? I know, know, that's crazy talk. That would require Etsy spend money, instead of coming up with ever more useless ways for sellers to do all the damn promotion themselves.

But seriously, one or two well placed TV commercials would probably bring more eyeballs onto Etsy that a million free shipping offers.

RRobin said...

Doesn't Etsy realize that the price of shipping is greater than the profit margin on some items?

Take your standard bead-stringing jewelry maker. You have maybe $3 worth of materials (beads, wire) and you charge $12 for a pair of earrings. That leaves you $9 in profit.

But wait...

Shipping materials -- bubble wrap, envelope, tissue paper, printer paper, ink, sealing tape -- cost about $2.00. That gives you $7.00.

But buyers now expect everything they buy on Etsy to look like a special gift, so you put the earrings in a little box, wrap it in fancy paper with two varieties of vintage lace, tie on some handmade shabby-chic tags that you bought from another seller on Etsy -- total cost for presentation = $4.00 -- more than the cost of your materials -- so your profit is down to $3.00.

Your listing fees and commission come out of that $3.00, so now you are down to about $2.00.

That $2.00 is for your salary, your time and your internet bill. Not to mention rent and the electric bill on your studio.

So you make perhaps $2.00 on the sale. Lucky you, you're rich, go quit your day job.

But Etsy wants free shipping out of that two bucks -- and don't forget that you had better protect yourself with delivery confirmation so that the deadbeat who took four days to pay you in the first place doesn't claim she never got it -- and the total cost of postage = $2.25.

Remember, you only made $2.00 on the sale before postage. So now you are a quarter in the red.

Only a quarter, you think, that's not too bad. Sure, and after 100 sales, you've lost $25.00. Sell 1,000 pairs of earrings and you might think you are in the big time, but honey, you've just lost $250.

Better not quit that dayjob unless you have a parent, SO or trust fund to cover the slack. Thank you, Etsy, for rewriting the definition of success!!

The Funny One said...

Thanks RRobin for a great example of what's wrong with Etsy. On top of the pricing rip-offs, freebie whatevers, and any other deals that confirm what Etsy really thinks about the value of their sellers, Etsy has tens of thousands of sellers doing all their marketing and advertising for free.

Once sellers stop the "what happened to my views!" complaints and realize the Etsy orange wool cowl has shrunk & is wound tightly around their heads, they'll either start making Etsy products (and take all the $$$ risks up front) or leave for sites that are, unfortunately, suffering from the negative impact Etsy has had on selling handmade for most of us who actually still make our own stuff, not butt ugly Etsy knock-offs.

The crap listed in Finds with negative, snarky, juvenile quips every week isn't helping one damn bit.

Make Way for Deliciousness said...

RRobin, I absolutely LOATHE the attitude of 'everything you send out must be a gift!' that is so popular on Etsy. Tidy packaging is one thing, but the expectation that everything has to be wrapped in tissue, adorned with a bow, and include a hand-written thank-you note, a candy treat, a coupon, and a free gift is absolutely ridiculous. I hate purchasing something on Etsy and having it include a ton of extras that I just throw out anyway - so wasteful!

The only way I'd ever consider offering 'free' shipping is if Etsy was going to foot the bill for me. Especially free worldwide shipping - what are people thinking?!

forum rubbernecker said...

RRobin, that is exactly correct! I ate a chunk on international shipping the other day and then yesterday, when I had calculated correctly at was back at the PO--I was talking to the guy who witnessed my sticker stock on the other package and I was telling him how they (did not say WHO) like us to do free shipping and they promote it, but it's just out of the question for anyone who sells stuff that weighs over a few ounces.
I told him there are people who say "oh, I can mail a package anywhere in the world for under $2.00"
And they PO guy was like "I'd like to see how they could do that?!"

When I saw that in one of the threads, I was like "What"? Maybe if you sell little sheets of stickers and are throwing them in a flimsy paper envelope with no protective packaging and no thank you card, then maybe. But most likely your package will weigh at least 2 ounces, and then if you are doing free shipping on a 2 ounce package, you are eating anywhere from about $1.59 to $2.30 on every package. Say you are selling just 5 things a week with "free shipping", you are eating around $30 a month minimum. And I don't know about you, but that's a pretty big chunk of grocery money to me. Or a tank of gas, or my Etsy bill.

That is, unless you have "absorbed" the cost in your prices.

Anonymous said...

I was just reading this thread about false advertising and the weekend deals for 10/31/09. I guess the BOGO free deal was BOGUS.

forum rubbernecker said...

I was just reading this thread about false advertising and the weekend deals for 10/31/09. I guess the BOGO free deal was BOGUS.


money plz said...

Free international shipping...
On a website where the average sale is $15.


grumpy said...

Oh man, the fancy packaging thing pisses me off. I don't WANT freaking fancy packaging unless it's part of keeping the item safe during shipping. Because the cost of that packaging should be in the item cost, and I'd rather have the item cheaper, frankly.

Although given how people post ("oh, a few sheets of tissue paper costs next to nothing, and the ribbon is really cheap, and the chocolate is practically free, and the gift tag was only a little bit") they probably aren't accounting for the cost. People seem to have NO idea that ten cents here, ten cents there ADDS UP. Especially when you are also hitting that 'renew' button 20 times a day ('it's only twenty cents!').

No email yet to tell me about the Dos and Don'ts changes - anyone get one? I sure got my October bill reminder at 12:15, though...