Sunday, October 4, 2009

Stegosaurus Etsy

Whether you’re a shopper or seller on Etsy, that big behemoth that trudges on like a branded dinosaur with an orange Etsy banner super glued to its hide, have you noticed anything new? Nope, not much.

Wade through the 5 million plus items (including those pesky resellers) using the most temperamental Search imaginable, and you start to think you’re stuck in a prehistoric forest!

Etsy, the indie king and queen! The trend to end all trends! They get bigger, haul in more dough and what the heck has really changed or improved for sellers?
Not much.

While ArtFire, Zibbet, 1000Markets, and countless other new sites forge ahead with exciting features for sellers that include:
Universal/Global Editing
Direct Link to Facebook Kiosk
One or Two Page Listing Templates
Coupon and Discount Codes
Store Set Up Customization
Import Features
Huge Holiday Promotions
Real Customer Service Departments

Etsy stumbles ahead with a feature where you can Search by category!!! Wow! Etsy promises a "better shopping cart" whooopeee! (But does Etsy even care about the rising number of non-paying buyers?)

Etsy announces a "maintenance schedule" that whispers "to get ready for the holidays" when we all know what that means after years of slogging along like a festering bureaucracy! What holidays? Are you kidding us again Etsy?

We know how Etsy "prepares for the holidays" – they don’t. Oh, they may add 25 more Gift Guides with cute titles (Equestrian Santas!), buried on a page with hundreds of other Gift Guides, all loaded with Etsy favorite sellers that seem to pop up on the Front Page like flies on flypaper. They stick and never fall off!

SEO and Google Base - "might" be "fully functional" in November???? Oh Etsy, another year, another report on your huge sales records, and none of it includes any tangible changes and improvements for sellers.

There’s this thing about getting so big you can’t see the trees in the forest (even trees that are felted, beaded, and available in 3,500 colors in various sizes!), that "trendy" is clearly a misnomer, Etsy.

You’re so far behind the times that you’re practically a fossil!


Anonymous said...

Well. Another astute description of Etsy. I see so many new sellers all filled with enthusiasm, and I wonder if, once they learn about the pitfalls and the hours of internet labor that's required to actually make a sale, they won't run away screaming soon??

trusk4u said...

Bravo! Bravo!

The Cranky One said...

Antiquatus Etsysaurus

Lizzy said...

Yep. Was new a year ago. Learning fast. "Fee-Bay" escapee, now may be an Etsy escapee. So sad. Seemed so full of promise.

Here's a current thread in the forums about one aspect of Etsy's running roughshod over sellers' attempts to succeed:

As of this post, the thread is 71 pages long!

wisearse said...

This is slightly OT but I can stand it anymore. I am so barfing sick of the cutesy front page selections. There I said it. I've been selling on etsy for 3 years, my product is good, my photos are good. But can I ever once be on the front page? NO. That space is reserved for extra special club members. Can we ever have any other styles represented besides cutesy retro...NO. rrrrrrr......thanks for giving me a place to say this, it's been buzzing around in my head for way too long. It remains a miracle that anyone ever finds me on etsy.

wisingupquickly said...

After being there for 4 months, I thought it was just me, and all would be OK if I just had "better pictures". Time to branch out and move on from the etsy Kool-Aid!

The Funny One said...

Etsyites Coprolites!

When the trend is over, I do hope that the select group of fave sellers will write a thank you notes for the tens of thousands of dollars of FREE advertising and promotion they get from Etsy every month.

At least they got their 20cents worth.

SK said...

The front page repeats, toybreaker in 7 gift guides at one time... my personal favorite is the terminy-lirola-yoola-galit treasury incest. They all make treasuries that feature each other... and some dipshit admin keeps putting them on the front page. Out of a minimum of 555 treasuries -- the ones featuring that same 5 people made by the same 5 people are always on the front page. It's disgusting.

I really wish I could go back to the time when I didn't know what I know now... I would probably still be happy about etsy.

But hey, after 4 successful months on google base -- that gravy train is about to end, since I can no longer upload my own feed...

Oh, and we push back site maintenance because someone is having a baby?

I admit it: I don't like babies. I'm a single college grad with a full time job and a long time boyfriend, and I can't stand children... so the site with 5 million items on it is having maintenance pushed back for a god damned baby?

F'ing shoot me in the head. Really, there are no temps in Brooklyn?

nitpick said...

Someone else knows the term for fossilized crap!

The Funny One said...

We do know that extinction looms larger when one person is the "tech expert" on leave while 69 people (or is it more, who knows the truth?)spend their workweek picking personal faves for hundreds of Etsy-controlled promo spots and tweeting those same faves for, oh, 6 hours a day? Could be!

Full-time branding and pushing faves 24/7 eats up the time that might be spent on providing REAL SUPPORT SERVICES to the hundreds of thousands of stores (only a handful actually sell)that pay Etsy's overhead.

Fossilized crap indeed!

headdesk09 said...

What really toasts me is that admin Teen Angster does nothing but tweet her etsy favs all day, 7 days a week. How much do you think that job pays, because I am quite sure she does nothing else!

grumpy said...

Hell, I have two kids and think the 'we pushed back maintenance for a baby' stuff is f'in ridiculous. Generally speaking, babies don't drop unexpectedly out of the sky. Although somehow I'm not overly surprised that no one bothered to figure out who would cover who when the baby made its inevitable arrival.

Lizzy, that's a great thread, if you ignore all the Etsy-butt lickers. Lots of very sensible points in there. Which Etsy is, of course, ignoring.

a little birdie said...

The Fossil thrives

LVG said...

My (latest) biggest concern is the Ets-orbtion (get it absorbtion? never mind) of the guy behind EtsyHacks.

The one light in the dark endless tunnel for Etsy sellers to get functions we've been screaming for, and they hire him to "test" their new apps. Not to write new apps they'll adopt - not to incorporate the ones he's already done - but to test the lame-o ones they come up with.

In the meantime he's too busy to build anymore EtsyHacks, so they can keep rolling out their crappy "fixes" without anyone seeing the actually useful things a coder/designer with a brain could come up with on his spare time - without even access to their code.

Conspiracy anyone?

wisearse said...

If only the problem was one stupid baby....

life-during-wartime said...

Wisearse, I would go farther than 'cutesy retro' in describing the Etsy image. There is actually less authentic retro homage on Etsy now than 2-4 years ago. Etsy has identified inself with kitsch.

Eco kitsch. Goth kitsch. Victoriana kitsch. Mid Century Modern kitsch. Shabby/cottage kitsch. Our Bodies, Ourselves kitsch.

Everything is treated like a joke, from art and design to their own TOU and poor customer service. Etsy gets away with poor service by throwing out sentimental crap to its seller community. Like the expectant mom delaying tech work -- this is the stiletto ghetto equivalent of 'the dog ate my homework'.

TeenAngstSux said...

TeenAngster should spent more time reading the site TOU's and get her bony ass off twitter.

Graceless said...

I've actually made a decision to actively avoid purchasing from sellers that Etsy features every other day and instead purchasing from other artists that don't get the same sort of attention.

Removed them from my favourites, sellers and items, and if I want something bad enough...I'll hunt down another artist instead.

Initially I thought it might be unfairly penalizing the artists, but the realities of the free promotion make this moot.

It is also ensuring that I look up sellers on other sites first. I certainly don't want to have to force a seller to continue to pay for the kind of shitty experience that they put up with.

Also....if you run a multi-million dollar website, you do not get to use the excuse of "whoops, baby coming!" to put off doing website tech. This is not a damn family blog for fucks sake, you run a large business enterprise. Hire fucking professionals with actual credentials please. It's not like there aren't hundreds of thousands of them looking for fucking jobs right now, assholes.

wisearse said...

yes, kitsch is a much better word for it.
etsy kitsch, yuck. I am so sick of it.

so nice to be among my fellow bitches.

If they can't handle a baby what will happen to etsy if god forbid someone actually gets sick or there's a snow storm or the planets are out of alignment?

fromthesidelines said...

I'm glad someone else noticed Teen "cowl" Angster and the constant tweeting of her etsy friends. Do you think sellers in NY pay her to tweet their stuff?

lessa said...

Also....if you run a multi-million dollar website, you do not get to use the excuse of "whoops, baby coming!" to put off doing website tech. This is not a damn family blog for fucks sake, you run a large business enterprise. Hire fucking professionals with actual credentials please. It's not like there aren't hundreds of thousands of them looking for fucking jobs right now, assholes.


This. As a Mom who started her business mere weeks before she found out she was expecting her youngest I understand how a small company with a handful or less of employees would have to put things off for the birth of a baby, family illness, etc. When you have over 50 employees there should be someone with the knowledge to take over for the days/week/month that another is gone.

Seriously, unless the baby was premature, they knew this person would be going on leave around a certain date.

IHateHipsters said...

Ah, the Brooklynite hipsters are doing their pathetic best to improve Etsy. Yay! Searching by category! Nevermind that the whole checkout system stinks and is leading to more and more non-payers.

And the gift guides/front pages suck. What the hell is 'equestrian prep' anyway? Gack.

The Funny One said...

Kitch-dom, for real. The planets will never be in alignment for Etsy because, despite their daily propoganda, including their mantra that QYDJ is possible on a site with over 5 million items that only plugs about 200 stores total, is that Etsy never reached out to sellers in any significant way since they started.

The lack of coherent customer service staffed by skilled employees and a sincere effort to respond to constant seller requests (for the same site improvements for years) by actually doing something to benefit their sellers has always made me more than a little bewildered.

An "indie" "grassroots" company that never had any real connection to it's profit source makes me think something is fundamentally wrong with Etsy.

So, while Etsy may delude itself that it has a loyal fanbase beyond the few sellers they spend tons of free advertising on, they don't.

You can't make a connection or build any loyalty if you never bother to connect with your sellers beyond launching that inevitable Etsy Monthly Bill and 11PM on the last day of the month.

Really. What has Etsy done for most of the sellers on the site lately? Not much.

It's NOT the site that gets the most traffic - it's the site that promotes traffic and sales ONLY to their Front Page, blog star, GG diva favorite sellers.

And that group of select sellers gets smaller every single month.

justanother seller said...

I can't even bring myself to read stuff written by someone named 'teen angster'

Eveline said...

But, but, but... Etsy is only 4, you know...

un-hip statistician said...

Etsy averages about 30 Tweets per day. Divided into an 8-hour workday, that's a Tweet every 15 minutes. Between browsing for faves and tweeting them, that's about a full time job spent on Twitter.

I wonder if anyone in management has analyzed the ROI of that position. Those tweets would have to be generating $857,000 of gross sales to create $30,000 worth of transaction fees to justify that employee.

Disenchanted said...

It forever amuses me the FP repeats that get all huffy and arrogant at the accusations of favoritism.

"But I worked sooooo hard on my pretty pictures, I deserve to be featured every 10 minutes, how dare you want to see other stores! You don't like me no more :("

Ha, landing on the FP has less to do with outstanding photos and EVERYTHING to do with fitting Etsy's beige veiled moustached branding.

Anonymous said...

I go browsing these days on when I get pissed at Etsy, they always crack me up.

The Pig Pen said...

Chad tweeted something about triumphing over swine flu. I wonder if that's the real reason maintenance is being delayed?

Anonymous said...

New Estybitcher here. Great site!
A comment re: payment options: people seem to be baffled by Etsy’s reluctance to bring Google payments and other payment services in. No mystery there, folks: Etsy is kissing up to Ebay for a buyout. This is so obvious! Part of Ebay’s “remodeling” plan is to hassle small sellers off their site so that the sellers will viralize Paypal, Ebay’s biggest cash cow, all over the web. Worked like a charm at Etsy.
Open your eyes, people. There are hundreds of millions at stake here for Etsy’s founders and the venture capitalist bunch they brought in last year. Ebay is known to be shopping for new acquisitions. IMO the only reason they haven’t bought Etsy already is that a substantial percentage of Etsy sellers are there because they left Ebay and still despise it.
Once this population is outnumbered by “virgin” sellers who haven’t experienced Ebay’s abuse, we can expect the big announcement. I’d be surprised if Ebay didn’t own a piece of Etsy already, under a dummy investor’s name.
As my grandma would put it: I’ll shit in your hat if Ebay doesn’t own Etsy within a couple of years.

soothsayer said...

To the moderator: Oh, darn. Didn't see the part about Anonymous not being OK. Sorry!
Hope this ID is OK. Yes, I know I'm obsequious. Thanks :-)


well I have added my items to silkfair, artfire, and 1000 markets. Only time will tell.

Robert Chickenly said...

LVG said...
My (latest) biggest concern is the Ets-orbtion (get it absorbtion? never mind) of the guy behind EtsyHacks.
Conspiracy anyone?

Not much of a conspiracy.. Etsy posted a job opening, he applied and they hired him. Not much of a conspiracy - I don't think Etsy tried to get him in particular. I agree it's a net loss for the Etsy community, apparently the job they assigned him is to monitor the forums to deny that bugs exist.

Robert Chickenly said...

I don't understand the click to search by category. Isn't that how it was supposed to always work? Did they actually change anything, or just put the links on the side to let you jump to a category search? I love how Etsy makes a small change that must have taken like two hours and they act like it's the huge advance we've all been waiting for.

And about this new style 'community page' - How could they possibly release it with the menu at the top not working???

Robert Chickenly said...

Disenchanted said...
Ha, landing on the FP has less to do with outstanding photos and EVERYTHING to do with fitting Etsy's beige veiled moustached branding.

Let's just say, I don't think it's a coincidence that a few of the people that have been featured on the FP over a hundred times each in the past few months live near New York.

YAEL said...

I am terminy from etsy, and this is my reply to SK and to Robert.
Let's just say, I don't know the admin and I was featured on the FP only 30 times in the past one year (aprx 3% of the total No of the FP) and NO I DONT live near New York. In fact I don’t even live in the USA..
I am glad that you have noticed that some of my treasuries were featured on the FP (only 6 of one year).I work hard and make at least 5 treasuries a week with 12 items that I like.
Statistically out of 300 treasuries I made only 6 have made it to the FP (3%) . hard and you will make it too.
Good Luck,