Etsy refuses to take care of itself under any circumstance.
Advertising: This is obvious. They refuse to advertise for no known reason. They claim that it's 'better' for grassroots advertising. I don't understand this at all. Ebay had commercials until they decided that EVERYONE knew so they didn't have to shout it out anymore. Amazon did the same thing. Clearly commercials bring customers. And I kind of think that even if they DID buy a commercial slot, instead of it being informative and drawing people in it'd be some crappy handmade commercial that shows a dancing doll or people wrapped in cowls holding a mustache and an owl and says HANDMADE ETSY! And nobody would know what the hell it was. Nobody would ever go check. We need an actual informative clear commercial. Otherwise, people aren't going to give a crap.
Webdesign: This is such a joke. There are complaints that are years old. Things that people are frusterated with indefinately. Honestly, I think that they have to redo the entire website. I think they can't fix it at this point because they didn't start in some sort of way to allow for this kind of expansion. I don't actually think it's that big of a deal. They need to hire a team of people to start from scratch and completely rebuild. And hell, I think everyone would be okay with that. They'd say, "we're only updating emergency situations on Etsy (such as when paypal money goes to the wrong person- oh wait, did they even bother to fix that?) And in 1.5 years we'll have a new and improved site up."
And if they can't move shops over (because well, they can't figure out a way to do it without using the exact same broken system) then they should just say that, "we screwed up horribly, this switch is going to be disasterous. So, to compensate for that, no listing fees for 2 months so you can move your items over by hand, and yes, we agree it sucks and we wish we had a better solution" Wow. People wouldn't love it, but I bet they'd survive.
But no no no, instead they hire (are they even getting paid?) a college class to practice on Etsy. Great. I'm sure they are really good at programming long term solutions. I bet they have all that experiance and stuff. Yeah. What a joke. It's grassroots programming. "Just call your friends and send in some snippets of programming and we'll pick what we love!" DOES THAT SOUND SMART? How can these people possibly be qualified to work on a system this big? How can they possibly be capable of planning long term, what if Etsy grows BIGGER? Etsy never ever planned for this kind of expansion, and it's running into problems because the expansion is overwhelming and breaking the system. Etsy cannot compete with other sites because other sites have planned ahead and incorperated features as functionally as possible.
Etsy did not and does not plan ahead, and they refuse to increase functionality and increase advertisements. Basically at this point, I think the first site to get commercials will be the front runner. Artfire has been nipping on the heels of Etsy, and if they pump up the advertising, then Etsy will lose what little upperhand it had.
Etsy is only on top because it was first. It's not smartest or prettiest or best. It was just first. And it's luck is starting to run out. And so are customers