Monday, March 8, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum

The Etsy header became all confuzzled. And the glaring neon of the new font led me to a dark place called the Storque...

where Rokali has provided a roadmap of what Etsy is certain it can accomplish in the next 2 months.

The first thing on that map was rolled out today to much fanfare chagrin - the wider page and new Etsy header with teeny tiny font. Yes, it is less distracting from the shopfronts, but the lack of testing prior to roll out is, well, what we would expect.

Let's see how well the switch to Paypal Express Checkout goes:

we’re going to require payment for an item before marking it as sold on Etsy. To do this, we’re migrating to a new payments platform at PayPal called Express Checkout (EC).

The biggest change is that a buyer will go to PayPal and authorize the payment, then come back to Etsy in order to actually complete the transaction. ...

Our ideal Checkout is to have a single payment cover all purchases, even those from multiple sellers. This is on the horizon, as PayPal readies their split payments feature for Express Checkout.

There's also the pesky detail of it being integrated properly on Etsy's end. Oh the adventures we're about to have *sigh*


ummmmno said...

I'm not sure there's enough TUMs on the planet for me to go through the changes...really. First, the little drop down menu thingy is, well, its easy to use for us seasoned pros who know how to use etsy's stupid ways, but for those who accidentally wander onto the site and want to type in a search...there's no blank box...oh what to do what to do. Those poor unsuspecting vicitms will then have to search for hours on end in whatever dropdown menu thing they choose, until they finally realize they can type in the box that already has writing.

Ack...the top is not any less inconspicuous than it was before...the buttons are bigger and I don't see our banners getting any bigger.

Whatev...I still think they need to work on things before they roll them out...

Trametes said...

In the past few months I've had 2 potential customers (that I know of; there might be even more) bail out on completing a sale in my shop due to wonky checkout.

I wonder how many more customers I'm going to lose now?

Britton said...

Don't forget that the site is FUCKED and broken, like everywhere! And let me say ... as a busy seller, they just fucked my shipping day.

Fucked it in the ass.

juditsd said...

confusing....Maybe I'm in the Monday mood - but I don't like it!:)

The Funny One said...

Based on the 40+ page thread (so far) I'm surprised there aren't more comments on the fact that everything-Etsy is much more prominent on all shop pages, and the shop itself is smaller, including the thumbnails and banner. S M A L L E R than anything with "Etsy" attached to it!
Which confirms what most sellers know already -- Etsy doesn't test or announce changes because they're all changes that BENEFIT ETSY and the brand, NOT the indivual sellers.
Because Etsy threw every seller (except their few chosen faves) into the East River a long long long time ago.
Nothing is going to change that benefits sellers. It's only going to get worse.

At Least It's Not Friday said...

Oh, fuck.

Andrea Q said...

The Funny One, my shop doesn't look smaller. My banner is still the same size.

WindysDesigns said...

You know what? I'm reading all the complaints and looking at the changes and proposed changes and it suddenly dawns on me that I don't really care anymore.

I will say that the color scheme, especially in the forums is exceedingly difficult on my eyes. It's not just the neon blue text, it probably wouldn't be quite so bad if there were more continuity in intensity and not such a stark contrast, it's difficult to adjust my eyes. And I can barely see the faded text in the search box.

As for the search box, before I read anything about the changes, I noticed the header had changed and it didn't take me but a second to figure it out. I actually think it's an improvement, because if kind of forces you to click on the drop down rather than just typing in a blank box that is defaulted to handmade. People complained because they didn't think the dropdown was obvious enough, well, now it is. If it wasn't so durn faded, that is.

Meh. whatev.

The Righteous One said...

What The Funny One mentioned was part of the glitch. The final product is actually a smaller Etsy orange and bar, but yeah every page was overrun and pushed upward for a bit depending on the browser and refresh dexterity of the viewer

beth said...

Goddamn it etsy! WHY?! My sales have been NIL today because of this bass-ackward change. Gotta love the warnings that etsy gives every time they have a new idea, right? What warning? Oh, there was no warning. Here's comes the F5 tornado, bitches. Head to the cellar!

1. You can barely even see the fucking search menu.

2. The "shipped" box is fucked.

3. Banners are now stretched.

Doesn't Etsy have a goddamn beta site that they can try this on before springing it on sellers?

TooOldforEtsy said...

I have trouble giving a shit anymore. Seems like every time there is a callout brou-ha-ha, the site gets fiddled with somehow.
Call me cynical, but diversions from major issues have been so predictable over the past three years that I expect something flashy or different site-design-wise to drop on us just as basic issues push people over the edge into a callout frenzy.
It happens to often not to feel this way. Makes me feel patronized, not in a good way.

sigh... said...

New gray bar + orange Etsy box at the end = Cigaretsy.

RRobin said...

The search bar is not obviously a search bar.

One thing they still haven't fixed is searching within a particular shop. If you are in the list view of the shop, searching in that shop is the default in the search bar. But if you are looking at any item in that shop, the default reverts to "handmade."

Stupid, and confusing to people who aren't hip to the idiosyncrasies of the Etsy search mess.

RRobin said...

Too bad they didn't get rid of those insipid little drawings (and the person who gets paid to do nothing but make them all day), but at least they are off the log-in page.

The Righteous One said...

They did change the blue font back to the old, less glaring hue at some point.

The Funny One said...

Thanks for the updates, but my banner is still smaller and my thumbnails in the listings are smaller, even after the constant tweaks over several hours.

My conclusions haven't changed and I still want major changes to be tested and announced before they're implemented, fat chance.

As usual, while Etsy was screwing around with this change, I got 2 more monthly newsletters from 2 other sites listing (in plain undestandable language)a list of new site features with their (future) implementation dates and a list of upcoming attractions.

They say what they do and do what they say.

WatchingtheWheels said...

And as usual, seller tools have been blown off.

The new search bar 'might' work somewhat for the site's artisans, supplies and vintage are screwed. This new Etsy wonder is also designed to take customers out of shops, if heaven forbid anyone thinks that it will fine tune an in shop search.

There are sellers with inventories, who have just had their sales put into jeopardy.

A peculiar blue font is the least of anyone's worries. The shift in how Paypal functions is going to drive more shoppers out, too.

Question, do the sites mentioned that know how to communicate, have sales?

chickory said...

my dad tried to make a mercy purchase from my Etsy shop and became so annoyed by the check out process he abandoned ship.

i continue to be amazed that there are people who comment here that still have sales! somewhere in mid summer last year my shop just died on the vine. it was like somebody turned off the faucet.

i would sell at least two things a week but havent sold anything in months and months. i dont renew anymore, i know that is a total scam. theres just no way for me there - either i dont have the right look, or i simply cannot be found. and promote? not on your life. it would be like paying to advertise a mall, on the off chance somebody might buy something in my little store.

the front pages depress me. the featured seller of a few days ago with the naive little sketches made into prints had like 500+ sales. i just said: let it go. let it go..........

im letting my shop die...*joke* its already dead. and once, i had a lot of hope that etsy would be a viable source of extra income.

i read this blog for some sense of support - i dont know. maybe to be in the company of others that have that feeling of being in a relationship that just sort of fades away - and you never even know why it happened.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
shiny said...

So, the new paypal express thing...does this mean that etsy is moving to Paypal only? Paypal is not the only way to accept credit cards and many sellers have other, prefered, ways to do so. Also, what about cash or check options? Irritatingly, people are asking legitimate questions about it in the storque comments, but no answers.

monkeybuttpowder said...

if bonanzle gets their shit together and allows for a mass export i'm out. this is my livelihood and every reinvention of the wheel costs me money and customers.
this ship has so much potential but it consistently gets steered into the shallows.
ps where-tf are my hacks?!?

SK said...

the font on the header is way too fucking small.

No one can read it without squinting.

There must be 50 comments in that thread that Rokali started regarding how small the font is and how that makes it unreadable.

I do graphic design. It's less than a foot away from my face, and I have to squint at my 24 inch monitor. That is ridiculous.

I'm happy to have missed this thing about blue fonts, and whatever the hell they did with the search box that made it all fucked up.

Now if only some admin would discover my shop and feature it until it nauseates people, because I haven't had very many sales lately.

I actually kind of look forward to the treasury redesign, but only if it actually means that everyone can actually have them...
I then expect the people who think they're the shit because they always have a treasury to come to the forums bitching about how all the rest of us (the riff raff) have been let in.

I was happy to see the thread that someone started thanking admin for announcing which one of them we are supposed to actually convo about resellers basically die on the vine.

There should be no compliments handed out for what is essentially a non-solution. They sure as hell don't deserve any thanks.

How hard would it be to test things on multiple platforms before implementing changes? Surely there must be an internet cafe with some crappy old PCs somewhere in Brooklyn that they could send someone to and have them look over the site before just doing it and getting a giant backlash.

Does everything have to be done without the same considerations every time?


Jamy said...

Okay...maybe I misunderstood this...a potential buyer is expected to go to paypal BEFORE they buy something and authorize a purchase, and THEN they come back to your shop to buy the item?

What a monumental pain in the ass that sounds like.

WindysDesigns said...

You know, I truly feel sorry for those who still have hope in Etsy. Not pity, mind you, but the kind of BTDT kind of thing. I suppose it's good that a new wave of sellers cycle around every so often to keep up the fight.

But that's the problem, all those newbies of a few months carrying the torch may not realize they walk a very well trodden path, many of the same issues have existed for years.

I realize not everyone can do it, but the more I distance myself from Etsy, the easier it is to just accept it for what it is. I believe they are doing the best they can with what they've got. And for once, despite all the pitfalls and deficiencies that exist, I really think they are trying.

With all that is wrong with Etsy, it would be impossible for them to correct everything simultaneously, so I understand when with the 'one change at a time' pace it's frustrating.

And I'm not making excuses for Etsy, they've let far too many problems go for way too long so that now correcting them is a monumental task because of all the cleanup work they need to do in order to make the corrections worthwhile (such as resellers). NOthing they seem to do is a proactive approach but more of a reactive response to issues.

Right now, I feel like Etsy is this huge 1000 piece puzzle. We've been given a handful of pieces, only a few of which actually fit together, the rest just sit there waiting. Etsy has the rest. And Etsy has given us a glimpse of what a portion of the finished puzzle will look like and they're assembling their share of puzzle pieces on their end. From time to time we get thrown a few more pieces, some fit, some don't yet.

Eventually, Etsy will get their portion of the puzzle put together and then all our pieces will fit. I"m guessing the page layout thing, while inconsequential to many, is probably just Etsy piecing more of the puzzle together. It's importance may not be readily visible right now, but in time, we'll be able to see it's purpose.

The Righteous One said...

Jamy, many sites use Paypal Express. Basically you start checkout by deciding your form of payment, sign into paypal and authorize and then it takes you back to the purchase to confirm that you do indeed want those things. It really does seem to be the way to avoid removal of an item from the shop until it's paid for and to prevent buyers from having to pay sellers individually (go back and forth a dozen times) without adding more pages to the checkout procedure.

However, I highly doubt the integration will go smoothly.

Posting Person said...

I am a web designer by trade, and the new gray bar in the header looks wrong to me. Like they just slapped it together quickly or maybe even coded it wrong. The font is way too small, and having white text on a gray background doesn't really help make it legible.

I also don't know what the new "Shop" icon is supposed to represent. It makes me think of a ticket or a computer chip, not a store.

I also wonder about the choice to reduce the search bar as they did, tucking it off to the side instead of keeping it front and center. For a site that pretty much requires a search to find things to buy, this seems like a poor choice. It's more compact, but at what cost?

As for the PayPal changes, it sounds like Etsy is making plans that rely on features that don't even exist on PayPal yet. The current Express Checkout only supports one-to-one purchases, as in one buyer and one seller, so I guess we'll have to wait and see what this "split purchases" offering will be.

I do think they used the wrong language when describing the new checkout, saying you "go to PayPal and authorize the payment." You are actually submitting your payment at that time, so I think their phrasing is confusing.

someone whom Etsy treats like shit said...

Oh, fuck.

Rob Kalin is back and he isn't going to rest until he has fucked up every little thing about the site.

Julie said...

Seriously - I'm sick of etsy. I've shut down one shop and am letting a second one die. My third shop is dwindling as I look for other places to sell and I'm pushing my artfire shop.
It's not just sellers they're losing either. I am getting married in a couple of months and have been buying a shitload of stuff for the wedding. It's a big affair. I have bought some things from etsy, but I look on artfire or ebay first. If what I'm looking for is on there, I'll buy it there before I throw more money at etsy.
Etsy is not my first place to look any more, it's my last resort.

rosita said...

Supply sellers are furious.
The dropdown selection does not even mention them when you search from your hearts page or the time machine page. Only handmade and vintage appear there, no supplies, and no all items boxes.

Eveline said...

Two words: beta-testing (ok, that might be two there already) and communication. Etsy will never learn because they simply do not care.

RRobin said...

Etsy is definitely not a user friendly site unless you already know your way around.

It was and remains counter-intuitive.

If they want to bring in new buyers -- which they must do to stay afloat -- they are going to have to fix a lot of things on the front page.

Otherwise, people will be turned off in the crucial first seven seconds.

As it is now, if a new potential buyer is not interested in any of the items in the front page treasury, there is nothing to convince them to explore further.

If only said...

Well I see that they've tweaked the changes a little since they first went live...they've added the word 'search' to the search bar's text, which I think makes it much clearer. I've seen sites with text like this in their search bar, so that doesn't faze me.
I didn't see (or possibly notice) the 'neon' blue that is being talked about - but glad it's gone all the same.
Agree wholeheartedly that they need to increase the size of the text on the 'buy', 'sell' etc buttons.

What REALLY worries me though, is that having been told we were going to have at least a month's notice of any changes, this was yet again rolled out with apparently no beta testing whatsoever! If Etsy would only learn from their mistake of continually making site changes without first consulting it's customer base (primarily, sellers) - then there would be no need for them to re-change the site's banner etc.

I'm glad they're wanting to address the non-paying buyer issue, but this doesn't seem thought-through - for example, what will sellers do now if they want to give their buyer a discount code? The partial-refund method is flawed. What will sellers do if the customer asks to pay in another currency than USD? This is a very frequent issue for Etsy sellers outside of the USA. I see that yet again, currency conversion has been pushed back on the agenda...they've been promising it for literally 5 years!

Sigh. I love Etsy in many could be such a wonderful site if only they thought things through more, communicated and beta tested. If only...

Orange said...

One good thing: no more Etsy logo in my shop

Zialaomongoaroa said...

There are so many bad ideas in the 'roadmap'. And Etsy has proven time and time again that even when they have a good idea, which isn't often, they botch it in at least three ways.

Agreed Eveline, what's up with the testing? or thinking? So often they roll out some new change and then backtrack on it, or look in the forums now where it's like 'post pics of how screwed up the site looks for you'. People get paid for this? Oh yes, and they have full benefits and weekends blah blah

NotDoraAsshole said...

The topper for me, is after asking for days, finally being told that yes, we will need new banners. But hey, we'll be sure to give you a heads up!

Part of me wonders if they even realised this would be a direct result of making the site wider.

They are 'exploring options' to make it 'less difficult'. WTF? Exploring? Do I fucking LOOK like Dora?

Although I'd wager she has a better map. And her moneky would do a better job running the damn thing.

Great for the banner makers. I guess.

sillygirl said...

Notice that etsy's tagline is gone with no mention of what it will become. This is why I think that is.

Today on a semi popular blog,
there is a guess blogger talking about how she outsources her products to India.
The blogger says "I love her etsy shop, look what she does to make her product quicker and easier and less expensive."
The perfect etsy seller these days.
To buy and sell all things handmade. Not so much anymore.

zappo said...

There are no options in the world that could make redoing 80,000 banners less difficult. The banners from the 'bannerator' could be redone automatically, *if* they had saved whatever specifications went into making them - which I'm sure they didn't. Other than that, it's not possible to stretch banners without making them look awful.

They could always just have the banners over to the left and some other element on the side bars to the right of it.

EtsyEmployeesShowerTwiceAyear said...

Hey! They just hired in some slick unshowered new hipsters for the design team! Look at how small, minimal, and bland they can make a navigational area!

Rock on, tiny buttons and wrong-as-considered-by-any-standard-of-website-design placement for a search bar!

I should start a thanks thread, thanks Etsy, for blowing off all the things that sites like you will still have to dangle over your heads another 5 years from now!

(i.e. - coupon codes, forums sans any editing/navigational tools, batch editing, draft listings, and everything else I've missed and Etsy's missed bothering to do anything about since inception)

They hired in more people, which is good, but unless these people actually do anything useful (wider site layout? who the fuck cares? that's a glaring misconception of priority, but probably the easy one on the list) they've just rounded out their in-office chair hockey teams...

reminds me of this book cover (sad but true)

SeethingBeads said...

We're competing with blatant re-sellers and out-sourcers and now we have to all take the time to change our banners??? It really doesn't look like Etsy intends to make anything easier for its sellers. Maybe they're just trying to weed out those of us who can't afford to outsource production or hire someone to make new banners for us.

Hmmm... that might actually work. I think I'll spend my time working on my own website instead of a new banner.

Eveline said...

The site is a huge mess at the moment but hey, let's celebrate opening an office in Berlin!


WatchingtheWheels said...

monkey, I can't recommend Bonanzle. Something went south over there after a major cat fight in the comment area of a WebProNews article. I had a good start up til that point. There is also way, way too much emphasis being put on the games and selling for less, with the rationale of, "You're not paying Ebay fees"

I keep hoping that Bonanzle will shift a bit, because they do have decent features but have really taken on a bargain basement mentality. I also wonder if the bulk of the membership are repeats from onlineauctions which also had a rep for way too much inter-seller sales.

There is a handful of sellers who seem to get sales, and even these if you check out feedback, are mainly to each other, often at unrealistic levels of discounting.

Let's face it, it doesn't matter who buys or what's sold, the venues get their fees.

Does anybody have experiance with Ecrater?

Does anyone have recommendations for good web hosting services?

melamine 4 lyfe said...

re: EtsyEmployeesShowerTwiceAyear

I know. It doesn't appear that Etsy will ever get the idea that it's target market IS NOT 28 year old men and women who live in Brooklyn and wear oversized dark glasses. And yes, their new header design is wrong in so many ways that I dread to see what that hideous little imp will be doing to us in the rest of this year.

foxaz said...

I don't like the new look at all; it's bland and ugly.

Schaz said...

Off topic, sorry, but there's a letter from an Etsy seller on "Emails from Crazy People" you might get a kick out of:

The Sneaky One said...

RRobin, this isnt EtsyCallOut, so please dont call out sellers here.

RRobin said...

This is the third time I am writing but somehow my comments are not making it through -- hey there, bitches! WTF?

(First time I wrote the tally was 40, then 42, now 45.)

As in my previous two, lost-in-the-ether comments, I want to start off by thanking sillygirl for this link:

by a featured Etsy seller who outsources her printed tote bags to a factory in India. And she admittedly that outsourcing was her game-plan all along, that she only hand-made the items for a short time in the beginning, until she got enough money to pay for the minimum order that the factories required.

It is fun to watch her respond to the comments by stretching the definition of handmade. She argues that what she does is OK because the factory is "fair-trade" and "sustainable."

Obviously Etsy-admin agree because they made her a featured seller.

So tell me, bitches, what happened to this comment the last two times I submitted it? Are you censoring because I am "calling out"? I e-mailed you privately about this yesterday and got a form response.

In the last two tries, I did mention the seller's shopname. Is that why you didn't print my comment? Like that's never done here! And, sheesh, even the hated Etsy forum doesn't censor until after the fact.

Anonymous said...

Hey Etsy - If it ain't broke, keep your god damned hands off it!!!

They don't even know what they're going to do. It's a work in progress. In one thread, Rokali said the banners would need to changed- although he didn't know to what size- they were working on it. Later he said they were talking it over, there would be an option to keep your old banner.

Lord design the whole site, beta test, then make changes. It seems like they are playing around with ideas and using using the site to beta test. Sellers be damned.

monkeybuttpowder said...

and the beat goes on.
did the road map say anything about driving views and sales head on into a tree?

thread after thread in shades of last summers seo search clusterfuckdom are being started with annoying frequency. sellers are wondering how and why their views, and therefore sales have fallen off the map since sometime around the 8th.

and just like seo last summer, the cupcakes and wide eyed muffins are wagging the chicken little finger and calling it a natural ebb and flow. periods ebb and flow, not sales for busy shops.

once a again something was broken while something else that wasn't asked for was fixed. yeay.

Linda said...

I love the change from "Custom" to "Request."

As if the former "Alchemy" wasn't totally fucked up with random bargain basement requests already, why don't we completely eliminate any reference to the fact that it's supposed to be for Custom handmade product requests, and just put the random moniker "Request" up there, so everyone will think that area is just for random requests for freebies, deals, knock-offs or supplies.

Alchemy was a sucky non-intuitive name, to be sure. Custom was a nice solution - it was a place to ask for Custom items. Request is just plain old ask for whatever cheesy deal you want.

Way to become even more ambiguous, you dopes. Just because Request is more of an action verb than Custom doesn't mean it's more effectively communicative. That area is now a downright unmonitored disaster.

Finally Fed Up said...

Ok, I didn't read the roadmap before now.

"— There are things we’re working on that aren’t on the list. This can be for two reasons: to retain an element of surprise, or because a project is large and long"

Are you fucking kidding me? To retain an element of surprise? We're trying to run businesses here, not birthday parties!! We don't want surprises! We want advance notice so we can adjust our sites and marketing plans!

Grow up you damn dopes! We don't want an element of surprise, and we do want to know what the large long-term plans are, and whether they fit into our own marketing strategies.

Unlike Etsy Admin, most of us are operating on long-range planning, so we aren't put off by the notion that some business items are large and long term. We are put off by surprises!

I can't figure out why they refuse to hire people with actual business experience. Every time they pull the "we're staffing up" excuse they go and hire ding-dongs with no business education or experience whatsoever.

I give up.

The Funny One said...

It's so obvious that Etsy employees are not regularly reading the forums, following the public statement of their CEO who says he never reads the forums.
The only activity that gets their attention are about-to-be-locked-hijacked-threads that are reported to them, and lots of noise, tons of noise, and even more noise. Noise about SEO (ignored for several months) noise about the Gift button and now noise about resellers.

But what does Etsy do? They turn it back to sellers with a huge list of tasks for sellers to do instead of doing their jobs.

It's the company's job to maintain and protect their QA, reputation, and brand name, NOT THE SELLERS!

Sellers are here to produce and sell, NOT maintain the goddamn site.