Sunday, October 11, 2009

You REALLY want our suggestions, Etsy?

This humdinger of a Forum Thread from Etsy following the Weekend Deals FVF debacle is just one more in a long list of "what do you think we should do?" posts that coax sellers into thinking Etsy is actually listening to what sellers have to say.

Oh, it’s a timely question, but dig a little deeper into the motivations behind it – why not deflect seller outrage by asking sellers (again) to come up with ideas they’ve been posting for years? Better yet, why admit you’ve run out of clever ideas and don’t have a clue how to promote the sellers you don’t already promote?

A weekend Indie Feature? So it looks just like every other Etsy feature?

The comments are going up as fast as sellers can write them, running against deals and discounts, and for (thank you sellers!) an emphasis on quality 100% handmade (remember the Etsy mission statement?).

But you know Etsy, this is what sellers have been asking for all along. You just weren’t paying attention until you stuck your foot in the half-assed, seller-rip-off Weekend Deals and got caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

Another Etsy seller survey forum post, another long list of great seller suggestions based on real-life business experience, another puff of hot air. Fat chance any of it will result in a promotion that sellers like, use, and lead to honest to goodness real sales.


sarky said...

There is a relatively simple answer to this problem: stop doing weekend deals altogether.

Bone up, act responsible: stop putting the same 20 shops in every feature. Seriously: why is ONE seller in 7 gift guides?

Until etsy stops being a sad clique of wish-they-were-hipsters with cheap crappy taste for overpriced kitsch — then nothing is going to change.

There are 3 million items on that site; and yet the people running the free promotional features can't be bothered to feature more than a handful of sellers. Asking people to undercut their profit in order for a chance to be in a forum thread that a buyer might potentially stumble across? That's absurd... it's not quite as absurd as paying $90.00 for a "cat perch" — well, maybe it is...

If the site was run by professionals with an understanding of marketing and fair business practices, there would be no need for this BS to begin with.

And could what's-her-face quit with the "contest" suggestion about how etsy should reward buyers or sellers with some sort of cash boobie prize. My god, that suggestion is just as insipid as weekend deals.

There should be a staff overhaul, and a list of over-featured sellers — who ought to be banished from all free promotional tools until we've forgotten who the hell they are.
—that would be my suggestion. Of course, if I posted that in the thread I'd be permamuted and ganged up on by a bunch of bullies telling me to take better photos... and be nice to the admin (who seem more like giant pricks everyday).

Angel said...

So they are outright asking for people to do their jobs?

WindysDesigns said...

Typical Etsy M.O., but there's always a new wave of bright-eyed newbies gulping this stuff down by the gallons-full.

And typical responses, as well. Those that are featured repeatedly don't want to see it go away because they are reaping the benefit of more sales and it's worth it to them to pay the extra FVF.

Those that haven't seen any increase in sales, or repeatedly do not make the feature articles, of course, would like to see changes that might afford them a little piece of success, or at least some exposure.

The age old battle between the 'haves' and the 'have nots', with Etsy holding the scales. Notice rather than wearing a blindfold they are sporting a cowl and a fake mustache.

For us oldsters, this is just another yawner. Same old same old. Good to alert the youngsters to the game, but honestly, they won't really believe it until they've lived through it themselves. It's just one of those things you have to witness, time after time after time, to appreciate.

Smoke and mirrors, slight of hand, the man behind the curtain....Etsy is tops in the field of deception. Too bad they couldn't have put their energies into supporting all of their sellers rather than pulling the wool over their eyes so they don't notice their being fleeced.

foxaz said...

Whenever there's unrest in the workplace, the best way to divert attention and show that you "care" is by asking opinions. Whether it's a survey, or a meeting, or a thread in the forums, it's a known business practice to divert attention and defuse anger.

Smoke & mirrors.
It's not a shiny mandala thing, but look how well it works...

And anyone who thinks Etsy will magically change it's ways because someone suggested it - well, here's another cupcake for you.

FixIt said...

I'm thinking that several problems relating to Etsy would be to, oh, I don't know, impliment something that sellers have been asking for years - A COUPON CODE!!!!

Every other website that I've ever shopped with has a coupon code, BUT Etsy.

There are tons of threads in the Forums by sellers asking time and time again for a coupon code and from what I can tell, no clear answer has ever been given by Etsy Admin.

life-during-wartime said...

Etsy is too big now to put so much responsibility for running the site on non-staff community members. At this point, it looks like no one is actually responsible for anything, except maybe monitoring forum posts and hyping the Etsy brand.

I don't see how Etsy can continue to pretend to be the web destination for handmade with all the reseller crap the staff is busily promoting. Can't be more than a year or two before Etsy settles into its new role as the fixed price multi shop venue for women shoppers, with handmade just a side issue.

BlanketyBlank said...

The only two words I have left for Etsy:
FUCK YOU and your rotten staff. Especially MaryMary, who does not know her ass from first base, or vintage from handmade.

The Funny One said...

Agree life-during-wartime..and I just gotta fixate on the language Etsy uses when posting a "survey Q" in the forums - taken right from a biz language textbook dated 1955. Wow them with a bunch of nothing. Branding at it's orangey best!

Then read 5 dorkies, I know, it's mind-numbing. And how do they read when it's Etsy talking about their fave sellers? (oh yeah, even them) -------snark, sarcasm, juvenile and flip. So scary you don't even need to wear a costume!

Etsy makes it very clear how they feel about sellers, just keep those listing fees comin' you idiots!

K9 said...

wendysdesigns said

.."The age old battle between the 'haves' and the 'have nots', with Etsy holding the scales. Notice rather than wearing a blindfold they are sporting a cowl and a fake mustache."


they dont want any suggestions. they sukka'ed the seller/posters into busy work. brilliant!!!

i can see ad/min sitting around the big table just like the baddies from S.P.E.C.T.R.E. thinking up ways to distract the proles...kinda like the whole bail-out TARP thing
yeah - you'll get your money back - just as soon as you take some decent photographs.


Etsy has sooo much money and some of that should go to hire marketers. I mean real, seasoned marketers.

tiredofthefavs said...

I love this thread where the sellers who are featured all the time in the Weekend Deals, GG's and FP all at the same time don't want the weekend deals to go away. Of course not! It's their gravy train. Then a few of them have the nerve to give the rest of us lectures on our photography. Weekend Deals = yet another promotional opportunity for Etsy favorites. It totally sucks. I feel like I'm back in high school. And those sellers who get featured all the time and brag about it and lecture others....don't even get me started.

Perma FPer said...

I resent seeing this constant need for more diversity on the front page.

I work my sweet hiney off on my sun dappled diffuse blurry macro shots to showcase my asymmetrical sparrow pendants and I deserve to be featured more than you sorry lot

It's such a burden, being me with this chip on my shoulder to bear...oh bless these perfect Etsy gods for sticking my goods on the FP 50 times a week minimum

If you're not being featured, there's only one possible cause and that's because your photos SUCK. There's no such thing as favoritism, it's not my fault everyone and their mother is putting me in their treasuries.

That is all.

whyohwhy said...

The overall ass kissing of Etsy admin and their favorites get worse every single month, week, day. Were's my ass kissing!! I've more than proven I know what I'm doing with 5500+ sales (as of today) in less than 2 years with not one bit of help from them. WTF???

How did I do it? Cause I have the design degree plus 20 years of experience marketing professional design services (winning billion dollar projects for architects and engineers). My shop is just a hobby - I do not take it that seriously - that tells you my ability. If I made it a real business I'd just go start my own clone site. I'd could do all their jobs and then I'd hire professionals to do what I couldn't.

All I do is shake my head and try my hardest to ignore all that's going on. I enter through the back door and just keep on going... cause I'm seriously stuck on Etsy now... once Artfire and other sites I'm on sail past Etsy, I'm gone.

Kelly said...

Now I know this is going to seem really weird, but I suggested they do a customer know to see what customers would like to buy, and do weekend features on those items. Sure it's a kooky notion to actually get statistics from your customer base instead of just featuring what they like...but who knows, maybe an admin will mess up and take it to heart?

ET phone home said...

I just want to know one thing.

Anda and Teenangster or whomever are twittering their faves all day, and getting PAID for it with fees I pay. Why the HELL can't there be a phone right next to them? Live customer service.

Twitter should be something done in between things that need done. Not a job in and of itself- and in the meantime if your shop is closed accidentally or someone buys out your whole shop, there is nothing you can do but hope and pray someone at etsy actually reads and responds to your email.

Apparently- and I didn't know this until recently- Etsy actually has a list of sellers that they CALL on the PHONE to ask questions, get opinions, etc. So there IS a phone there.

I'm through. said...

Perma FPer said...

"I resent seeing this constant need for more diversity on the front page.

I work my sweet hiney off on my sun dappled diffuse blurry macro shots to showcase my asymmetrical sparrow pendants and I deserve to be featured more than you sorry lot"


Whenever I see the little orange "ADMIN" tag on a forum post, my left eye starts to twitch. What a circus.

Megan McGory said...

Hey EB, are we going to get a little post on the new community page and how fubared that got? Shit hit the fan with that on Friday and usually you girls are on top of that.

As for this post...


I know I'd sure love to get paid to tweet all day. And if I see one more stilleto cactus planter on the FP or GG or Etsy Finds emails, I'm gonna shove one right up their asses. I thought it was neat the first time I saw it, now I just get mad to see it ALL. THE. TIME. There's so many other innovative sellers out there! It's not hard to find them all!

The Funny One said...

ET, if it's true that Etsy talks to some of their sellers, I'm gonna stick my nose out and say I bet they talk to their FAVORITE sellers, cheerleaders and cupcakes and not the sellers who have great real life business experience and post insightful (yet heavily self-edited)forum comments.

Clearly, Etsy is so incestuous that it morphed itself into a site that is not only controlled by Etsy favorite sellers, but those same sellers dominate any and all "tools" that are offered to sellers as meager crumbs, like the stupid Weekend Deal crap.

Take the history of the FPT as the key ingredient because that's Etsy today. We all know why Etsy took over 80% control of the FPT, with the other 20% made by the same small group that are cherry picked for the FP. No wonder Etsy looks like a chain store. Stylized to death!

Tweeting all day is a job description for hipsters. It's what they get promoted to when they get tired of picking their faves all day for 6 months in a row. It gets boring.

ET phone Etsy said...

Here's the Etsy telephone listing from the Yahoo! phone book:

Etsy Incorporated

(718) 855-7955
325 Gold St. 6th Fl
Brooklyn, NY

Perhaps if sellers who need help start calling their office, they'll get a clue to put in an (800) line.

Eveline said...

I have decided that enough is enough. When my last items sells, or expires, whichever comes first, I will leave Etsy. I'd like to say it was fun while it lasted, but that would be a lie.

forum rubbernecker said...

Someone even said in that thread that when they run a sale, if they get featured, they make a sale, and if they don't they don't. So it isn't the sale thats bring in the sales, it's being featured that does. But I don't expect them to clue in to this little tidbit.

Andy Mathis said...

Those who purchase a showcase spot should NOT have to compete with the free gift-guides and the etsy admin picks, above and right next door. That says a lot about Etsy's character.

Moving the free promotions to another page would be fine.

Combustion Glassworks said...


Holy fucking phone number Batman!

That throws me through such a loop , I cant even be a snarky bitch right now!

RRobin said...

Wow indeed.

If a student at Wharton or some other business school wanted to write a thesis on unethical business practices, they need look no further than Etsy.

onagainoffagain said...

What's sad is that the free promotions get you more traffic than the paid showcases. I was there once.

I took a couple of months off and almost couldn't believe the downslide. I thought you all were a slightly joking, but I should've known. I think all the featured use the same person to take their pics.

Oh, and I have tried to tell the young ones, but they don't listen.

Confuzzled said...

Just when I weaken and think about resurrecting my Etsy shop, I just have to come here and get set straight!! LOL!

The Funny One said...

Amen! forumrubbernecker and Andy Mathis! The pay-for Showcase spots are a way bigger rip-off than Weekend Deals ever was now that they're all mere footnotes to all the Etsy controlled promotions, including those dumb ass rotating boxes on the top of the FP.

I bet shoppers have NO idea that sellers are shelling out big bucks for those spots, since they were shuffled into oblivion. (Huge cash cow for Etsy.)

Since Etsy took over with branding, the whole site looks like one company is selling one product line worn by circus contortionists. It's so uniform, it's absolutely obnoxious. I bet more (new) shoppers are turned off enough by the first 5 pages of Etsy that they never go back.

Who the hell spends money today on products you can't even see from the Etsy-ish funky poses pix?

CLICK said...

The people with taste and $$ to spend are not interested. You are sucking dry the people who have the least to spend because they are
TOO DAMN YOUNG. Those with the bucks, actually looking for unique handmade, think your face to the public looks like 'click'....
Oops, they're gone.

eclipse said...

Etsy moved their offices recently, they aren't on Gold St anymore. That phone # may also be out of date.

Robert the Porcupine said...

Why is it there are hundreds of forum posts all the time with suggestions, but they start these posts about 'give us your suggestions' regularly? They never do any of them anyway. It's more like 'give our competitiors who read the forums your suggestions'.

Crafts from the heart said...

Etsy has sooo much money and some of that should go to hire marketers. I mean real, seasoned marketers.

I agree, I don't think Matt was able to tell the difference between marketing Etsy and marketing an Indie Rock band.

I heard on NPR today that New York was the absolute lowest ranking in cities chosen for product launch testing. Why? Because the city's tastes do not reflect the taste of most of America. I don't think most of our potential customers care about bicycles, giant cowls, mustaches or cameras nearly to the extent that the Etsy staff do.

Also, a gem of wisdom from the NPR program: it helps your business to advertise. That's right, don't rely on your customers to do it, or just go on morning shows trying to line up new -sellers-: advertise. To BUYERS.

forum rubbernecker said...

What's sad is that the free promotions get you more traffic than the paid showcases. I was there once.

Me too.. Once upon a time I was in a Storque article and holy hell, that's a cash cow! Way more so than coop advertising or showcases. I've done it all and nothing, but nothing, brings in cash like being in the Storque.

The Funny One said...

You are so right Porcupine, the competition IS reading seller suggestions and have ADDED THOSE FEATURES TO THEIR SITES including:
1 or 2 page listing templates
coupon codes
secure shopping carts
incentive and reward programs for SELLERS
Direct seller-access to promotions
Big holiday promotions starting in November

and a whole host of other features that Etsy is refusing to add to the site.

Let's face it, Etsy "works" for their small cadre of favorite sellers because they all feed off each other. It's a formula that let's them work at 50% and still take home a full paycheck----so no wonder Admins are out of touch with economic reality. It'll catch up with them sooner than later.

ShowMeTheMoney said...

Short answer: NO.
Put it in concrete, then announce that you want imput. That'll keep 'em believing in "community".