Monday, November 23, 2009

Oh, My Etsy-Aching Head!

Lock lock, mute mute, gotta make a cowl, I can’t knit, Gramma? Gotta get the wrapping paper, lock lock, mute mute, did I buy enough showcases this month? What did she say about me in the forums? Lock lock, mute mute, hey I sent an email to support@ 7 weeks ago! Lock lock, mute mute, gotta make the grass-growing thingy and list it in my store, should I price it $2 or $3? Lock lock, mute mute oh boy, you mean I actually have to pack up these sales and put them in the mail? How do I do that? Where’s the post office? Lock lock, mute mute, did I relist 125 items today or should I do it tomorrow, I can do without groceries for another 2 weeks, lock lock, mute mute. Is it Etsy-ready, cool yet urban, pseudo green and a must-have? Ooops, my camera broke, I’ll just borrow the pix from that catalog, they look the same, lock lock, mute mute, I dunno, should I buy a banner for my store, or buy 6 booklets for sale on Etsy about how to sell on Etsy like every other seller on Etsy doing all the same things that I’m doing, oh, I forgot to relist again today, how is anyone going to see my $5 bargains, is there a weekend sale going on, did I get in, am I on the Front Page, why doesn’t Etsy answer my email? Lock lock mute mute oh damn, time to go to the bathroom, noooooooooo, hey, my Etsy Bill is $87.60 and I didn’t sell a thing last month! Oh, I forgot to relist again, where is that section in the 450-page Etsy Handbook, they’ll tell me what to do! Lock lock, mute mute, oh golly, boohoooohoooo, no one looks at my store anymore! .
Maybe I need to put something on the forums like, uhmm, like, uhmmm, "Where did my views go?" What section should it go in? Will you look at my store and tell my what I’m doing wrong? Lock lock, mute mute, I just wanna be Etsy-Admin-loved, what’s wrong with that?
Lock lock, mute mute gotta get to the yarn store, did I relist 100 items today like I promised myself? Gotta make the fingerless gloves, nope, a flower brooch, no a beige hairband, no a feathered bird, no something that looks geeky, nope, something under glass? hmmmm, gotta relist, gotta relist, gotta relist, lock lock, mute mute.
Lather, rinse, repeat, lock lock, mute mute.

34 Comments:

ummmmmno said...

*standing up and clapping* I love a good snarky rant.
What is the deal with moss anyway? I thought it belonged out in rock gardens being smelly.....

notenoughcoffeintheworldlisajune said...

You left out the part where you 'Do something productive, like take a walk or go have coffee with a friend.'

lockmute said...

You got it.

Wow said...

Wow, that was poetic!

The Funny One said...

Ain't Etsy just one big ball of whack-a-cowl? Look mom! I priced myself right out of paying my rent this month, and all thanks to Etsy!

But, uhmmm, ya know, I did make a lot of cool-o, useless, landfill filling, quasi-glued stuff that lies around in someone's underwear drawer 'til they throw it all out! Coming next season! Negative pricing! Etsy sellers will pay YOU to "order" their junk!

One and all for the Etsy brand! Prices down the toilet for the Etsy brand! Handmade, poof, gone in the Etsy brand! Work for free for the Etsy brand!

Indigo said...

That was great!! Cracked me up :D Thank you for the laugh this morning!!

Old Hippie Bitch said...

Encapsulated the bizarro world that is etsy beautifully.

Bravo! Two gloveless thumbs up.

owlface said...

i got in someone's *awesome* treasury by random- "owls, vowels and cowls"- can i just say i was choking on the wit that thought that one up

foxaz said...

It's the holiday rush, isn't it?
My stuff should be flying off the shelves...

vjhreeves said...

BRAVO!!!!!!!!! I'd give you a standing ovation but I'd have to dig myself out of this big pile of yarn to do it...

Anonymous said...

Is that ALL that is wrong with Etsy? LOL, that was a good read. The only way you can make money at Etsy is to be singled out for the Front Page almost everyday like some sellers are. Wonder what they had to do for it. One seller did special orders for Vanessa and Danielle and a couple of others in her first month on Etsy. Bribery?

AlwaysAmazed said...

It amazes me what stuff is asked in the forums.......it's not that hard to search to see if a topic has already been discussed, and chances are, it's been discussed many, many times! And some of the stuff is so basic.....if you don't know much about computers, why are you attempting to have an internet business? Scarey.........

thesaneone said...

y'know, it was amusing but sad, too. because there ARE kids out there that don't have money for food and rent and shouldn't be trying to sell stuff on Etsy. and if you feel that strongly about it, then maybe you shouldn't either. find a local shop to sell your stuff and save your relisting change for groceries

notalemming said...

You hit the nail on the head...again!

Perfect description of the lemming nature of the "in" group.

Julie said...

Tis the season. I don't even read the forums any more unless you guys link to a thread. :) I just don't have the stomach or nerves for it any more.

There are multiple resellers in the plants category stealing photos and who have large businesses on the web. Etsy refused to do anything about it whatsoever. We finally quit complaining and took our items elsewhere.

I wonder if that's why I never got anything in the gift guides? :)

I had three shops. I shut one down completely, and cut way back on the other two. I'm doing ok on artfire, 1KM and others.

Just when I thought said...

the same seller couldn't possibly in the gift guides so many times at the same time, I was proven wrong! Admin is promoting the sellers second shop. Same type of items, same seller but different shop name. Way to go admin you pulled thw wool over our eyes. Two items from same seller in same Gift Guide. I guess all tha ranting on the forums did change something. It's worst!

Amy said...

i love you crazy bitches.

just bitchy said...

This is the new way on Etsy apparently...

spam-o-rama

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6357613

Cloud said...

Umm this is excellent. Brava!

Goat said...

Blogger foxaz said...

It's the holiday rush, isn't it?
My stuff should be flying off the shelves...
............

Maybe you should take better pictures and promote more...

whyohwhy said...

About every few days I peek in the forums to see if there's anything actually to see or hear about. Most of the time I'm looking at the Bugs section when something is wrong... of course that's about every few days... so this evening I check and see EVERYONE talking about their shops CYBERMONDAY BLACK FRIDAY sale. WTF???

Seriously!! It's a myth people!!!! People are not magically going to come and shop online. They're with their families or shopping in real stores this weekend. Does Etsy not know that? I have several years of real sales numbers and there is no difference between this week and next week and the week after that. This is the advice coming from the Etsy "experts" as far as I can see. The same old Admins, with tiny low sales shops are sharing their expertise. Why do they think they are experts??

Good grief!!

FP=poopy said...

Urg. you know, for like 2 days the FP had some good stuff. Now all day today I'm seeing the same things that have either been in storque posts or on the FP already. Why, with all the items on etsy???

And, I am nevvvver looking up the heartomatic "featured" again - a certain seller had FOUR pages of either admin or seller picked treasuries/fp/storques. So disheartening.

WindysDesigns said...

HAHAHAHA!!!!!!! *wipes tears of mirth from cheeks* That had to be somewhat cathartic.

The Funny One said...

whyohwhy is right about the futility of Black Friday/Cyber Monday for online shopping anywhere other than the big box stores that send out fabulous coupons by email.

If you read the shitty Etsy "plan" for it, it just lists all the stuff sellers can do to lose money by lowering prices even more WITH free shipping and promote Etsy for free-- again. It should read "how to lose money on Etsy".

WindysDesigns, cathartic indeed! and a nifty substitute for sticking pins into a pinned-out stuffed orange doll (wearing an orange Etsy satin sash, crowned with and Etsy orange headband) in a white lab coat. I ran out of stick pins.

K9 said...

one of the best posts ever. bravo, sums it all up with wit and a touch of melancholy: for what was lost was a great idea. now the idea is cheapened, packaged, branded and lost...and its dark urban-woodland-mustached-hipsterness has expanded even into the real world by lowering expectations of handmade everywhere. and hey! thats too expensive..i can get that on etsy for, oh nevermind. thanks etsy.

SK said...

I admit, I don't quite get it... but I recently banished myself from the etsy forums... so I imagine I've missed some stuff.

There are literally a handful of people on the forums who aren't assholes. I could probably count them all on one hand.

There's literally no purpose in posting there.

I haven't sold anything in the month of November. I listed every day, I "promoted". The only sale I made was one I arranged myself, and the only reason I used etsy was because my buyer wanted an invoice. It was wholesale, so it was fun to drastically reduce the price of my items, thereby slashing etsy's percentage of the sale. She paid with a check, so paypal was cut out as well. And of course, I got my fucking feedback.

I'm currently doing a store engagement, I sold 10 prints in the first hour the store was open.

I'm an illustrator. I draw. I've been doing it my entire life. I don't draw like an idiot four year old, so etsy apparently can't promote my work. I will not be drawing an owl.

Perhaps, if the people running the site had some retail experience, then all the stupid shit that seems to happen on the forums would stop.

Because, when you've been successful in the real world, and you think "hey, wow, etsy that looks cool" and set up an account there — and suddenly you have a shop chocked full of merchandise that no one seems to be looking at...

you think:
did I do something wrong?
Is my stuff in the wrong category?
Am I color blind? Maybe my photos look fine on my computer but not on everyone elses?
Are my listings riddled with typos?
Does my product suck? Really? I've been doing this for years? Were people just being "nice" to me?
Am I listing at the wrong time of day?
Is it my prices?
Is it my shipping?
Do you all think I have the plague?

•because people start to blame themselves when they can't sell at an online venue.
And then they look around.
They notice the same people featured in the Storque, in the etsy finds emails, in the gift guides, on the front page...
And there are probable reasons...
favoritism
carelessness
some sort of secret promotional agreement that clearly you aren't cool enough to be in on
they're great and your shit sucks.

And then, even though you've been making quality product for years, you've now been forced to doubt yourself or face the truth that what you're really seeing is the work of a group of people who aren't very well educated or well mannered.

Etsy admin apparently don't realize that excluding the majority of sellers from the free promotional stuff and featuring the same handful of people over and over and over again leads to ill will, it leads to bad feelings.

I have a feeling that they're just dumb and careless; because if any of them were self aware enough to realize that their dumb and careless favoritism comes across to those unfavored as a slight: as malice... then they might be inclined to stop, at the very least for PR purposes.

Because no one interprets the lame duck excuses as "proactive suggestions" anymore. People are smart enough to be rightfully offended when some twat tells them to improve their photos or "promote" (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean).

Until etsy staff has an epiphany or is replaced with competent retail personnel — nothing is going to change.

forum rubbernecker said...

I think I need to write another song along these lines, like last year's "Grandma got run over by a hipster"

Have much to do (BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING, AFTER ALL!! LOL). Will compose as I work today.

The Funny One said...

Thank you SK for a clear statement about the angst & self-doubt that Etsy causes many sellers - another one of the bigger issues about what Etsy's done to handmade and the handmade community. Looking at the big picture, and all the negative consequences.

Etsy's manipulation has gone on for 3 years, but it didn't really hit most sellers until the big branding effort that took one simple formula and applied it to the entire site - Etsy looked at the best sellers and started telling everyone to make and list the same stuff. Their only-promote-faves-and personal friends solidified it so that Etsy is really just a big box retailer that happens to NOT PAY for the products they "order" up front. Sweatshop pricing on a site that makes sellers take ALL the financial risks only works for sellers that are already Etsy-picked faves. For the rest, it's a financial disaster.

The insidious Etsy formula actually makes sellers who aren't selling question their product, creativity, and the whole list covered in SK's comments.

The Etsy forumula has also made many sellers CUT THEIR PRICES below cost to stay competitive --- when that isn't the problem - it's how the site sells only what it wants to sell.

If that isn't enough, Etsy is actively encouraging sellers to CUT PRICES FURTHER by offering huge sales and free shipping which has wreaked financial havoc for sellers of handmade. It's a never ending circle of destruction.

Sellers can get sucked into this negative spiral, but if sellers make the move off Etsy, many will find they sell, sell well, and reach an audience looking for real handmade. You have to leave Etsy to understand how negative and destructive Etsy has been for many sellers.

You have to leave it to understand it's not you, it's not your products, it's not your lack of talent. It's that Etsy has made all of that irrelevant on a site that plugs stolen ideas, mass-produced $15 trinkets, and unfair price competition, to name a few.

Etsy is a lost cause; let's hope shoppers catch on quickly and realize it's not the site for all things handmade. Take them with you!

Happy New Year! said...

So right!

Just today I found a seller who is in the gift guides TWELVE times! 12!

~sigh~

I'm there til the New Year though. Too late to do a push on my own site so I'll just keep doing what I've been doing til then.

meh said...

Wow, SK nailed it.

I need to hear rubbernecker's lyrics.

RRobin said...

I gather the "prices must be reasonable" stipulation does not hold if you are an Etsy favorite seller. I am thinking of the $20 pincushion I just saw on the Front Page.

The pricing on Etsy is screwy. For every 10 pairs of $4 earrings with free shipping that some hapless person with no sales is relisting again and again (and some of those earrings are NICE!), there is one favored and therefore disproportionately successful seller with insanely high prices (and inflated shipping) for dreadfully badly made and essentially useless items (but they are photographed well on emo models and then desaturated in PhotoShop), or overpriced "vintage" that is less than five years old.

The Dangerous Mezzo said...

Great post, Bitches.

And, SK, your comment should be posted on the Etsy fora, because it's insightful, accurate and well-put.

Battered Etsy Spouse said...

I hate them.

I hate Etsy.

I hate what Etsy does to people.

I read people's posts where they ask "What am I doing wrong? How can I do better? This is my fault, how can I fix it?" Posts where they blame themselves and try that much harder to please and appease, promote and play by Etsy's sometimes nonsensical rules. The desperation in their tone makes me want to weep.

I myself have done the same thing. I have been there for going on three years and lingered with them for this long in the vain hope that somehow, some day, something will change and things will get better. They have to, right? It can't go on like this forever, right?

Everything I have written and all that I see people writing is what victims of spousal abuse say.

I think Etsy is like the husband in 'Sleeping with the Enemy', who looks so slick and perfect, and attractive, but has a screw loose inside. He expects a lot from his stressed-out, overworked wife and beats her, harasses her, holds her to an arbitrary standard of his choosing. He takes much, gives back very little, and expects her to be pathetically grateful for the little he does give.

That is Etsy.

We who linger are afraid to leave because we know that Etsy gets all the traffic. We are afraid that if we cut the cord our online businesses will fail. I applaud and envy those of you who have left and found success. That took a lot of courage and I am too scared to leave.

kyuuketsuki said...

forum rubbernecker -

This year's song should be something more like "Handmade got run over by a hipster" (after all, Grandma and her handmade goods were made with care died with the advent of big-box/boutique "Etsy style")

Other choices include:

-All I want for Christmas is a felt mustache

-On the first day of Christmas, my true love bought for me an owl and a cowl in a moss terrarium

-The Etsy-waif is coming to town