Friday, April 23, 2010

From The Auxiliary Guild: So, here is the thing

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


notgonnahappen said...

Until etsy is public there will never be the need for commercials.
Do the math.

Listing and renewal fees on a $15 item, the site average price, (let's say your renew twice) are .60. If that item sells, etsy pockets .52 They make more money up front.

They are not going to spend money when new bright eyed sellers join every month.

Admin doesn't even need to do anything. People just keep showing up. Read the weather report.

I'm also betting fees will be raised soon. Etsy is a gold mine.

Painted Bull CrocDeli said...

" they hire (are they even getting paid?) a college class to practice on Etsy."

What, is this a joke? Did I miss something? WTF....Etsy really does suck ass!

I am glad y'all are back in full force....

-Painted Bull

Anonymous said...

IF Etsy ever decides to rebuild and possible have to close it down a short time, something tells me they would start in October and blow another Christmas season. They have wonderful timing like that.

What do all of them do? said...

A team of engineers. Their about page shows engineering to have 33 employees.

No excuse.

You are right though, the first of the sites to get mainstream on air advertising will win. You don't have to do major shows either. Etsy needs and insurgence of the people who buy for most households. The 18-35 demo called Soccer Moms. They need to advertise during the morning talk shows and on cable channels like TLC, Bravo, Lifetime, FoodNetwork, HGTV, Etc.

keepdreaming said...

Oh, could you just imagine if etsy were run by people who care as much as we do?

Who, maybe got a paycheck only if we sold something?

Commercials? Never going to happen. Ever.

Windy said...

Yeah, ok, what's your point? I and many other have been saying this for years.

Why would anyone want Etsy to advertise when the infrastructure can't support it, they don't get rid of current resellers and can't prevent new ones from opening a shop, they won't control tag and category abuse, internal search (such as it is) weighs recency over relevancy even though they are the ones who provided a 4 month listing shelf life.

Imagine going to Amazon and search for a book on.......oh, let's say soapmaking and the results returned were things listed in the last few hours and included soap, washcloths (because you can use them with soap), soap dishes, shampoo, earrings (because someone titled it 'soap bubbles').

Meanwhile, yes, there are a few actual books on soap making, but not a lot because they've sat on 'the shelf' for 2 months and aren't considered 'fresh content'. Never mind that the person searching wants to see them all so they can make a decision, they're practically forced to choose from the 2 or 3 mixed in with the irrelevant stuff because they think that's all there is.

Sound familiar????????? And you want Etsy to advertise this mess on national TV????????? You want them to think they've bought a genuine, made by the artist, handcrafted goodie that actually came from a reseller of mass produced goods? Or just as bad, you want thousands of people to see this crappy search, crappy goods and say 'never again'??? You want thousands of people who can't figure out how to pay, or worse, paid and their money went to another seller and now there is a huge mess.

You want Etsy to advertise and bring in millions of people who have never been here before, now?

I don't even want to tell my friends and family about my Etsy shop, the site is an embarrassment.

Oh and my theory is that they don't need 60 engineers to run this site, I think they've got a handful of them keeping things going and the rest are building a new site, from the ground up complete with all the tools we need and keep asking for and never get any acknowledgment about.

DeadGirlPoseur said...

I closed my shop today. I'm done with them.

ByNanasHands said...

Thank you, I needed a laugh today and you provided me with that....LOVED the visual of someone wrapped in a cowl holding a mustache with an owl...wouldn't it be wonderful if they tried to "sell" Etsy's purpose to a different maybe someone over 20 something...perhaps some older folks that HAVE MONEY!! :) Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

I would agree with Wendy.. I think advertising a troubled site is not the best idea. Even when I tell people about etsy I find myself editing my words because I do think the sellers have a lot to offer but the search system is really sub par.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much--I've been saying and believing for two months that Etsy does not give a F*(& about the sellers. Sellers are treated condescendingly and threads are moved or closed when the evident problems are brought up.

Not only did so many people fall off the face of Google in early March--resellers and picture thieves that have been reported months or even a couple of years ago continue to thrive. No flags are followed up on, and customer service inquiries are rarely handled within a month unless one gets fed up enough and "calls out" in the forums.

The board of Etsy is all about the bottom line...what will make the most money? TOOLS. Let's use Etsy to develop said tools...hey, look, distraction, ADD, we're all looking in a different direction now.

Oh, the sellers are complaining? Let's roll out some little shiny Treasury they will run off and play and leave us alone to do our programming and screw up the site.

Ren said...

For chrissakes. Even if they don't do a television commercial campaign (all the ninnies in the forums that bitch about it being "expensive," meh) - do a TARGETED, LOGICAL advertising campaign.

In old-school business, you spent most of your money on advertising. It was just the way it was.

This is what happens when you get young techies at the wheel of a company. Get a few REAL businesspeople in at the top and you'll see a traditional advertising campaign. I have worked in marketing for almost 20 years.

Marketing works. That's how Etsy knows about Windows and Apple and freaking Starbucks.

And I wish I could say this on the Etsy forums - FUCK YOU to all of you who whine and chastise business owners for wanting Etsy to advertise their platform. FUCK YOU. They are a multi-million dollar company. TV ads are too expensive?

I think I just laughed until I crapped a load in my mummy pants.

~Amenhotep IV

The Funny One said...

Maybe Etsy emits some kind of toxic fume that makes sellers stupid, because I don't see any other explanation for the blind trust that sellers continue to have about blowing money on Etsy if you aren't an oft-promoted-for-free fave. That's all Etsy is, and that's all it's been since 2008.

It's your "faith" and money that's perpetuating this scam, and in the meantime, the quality, pricing and reputation of handmade is going down the toilet.

The rent may be cheap (compared to other locations) but the landlord (Etsy) jumped ship a long time ago, "services" never materialized & the shoppers won't visit your neighborhood anymore because it's not worth the trip.

Oh, and the landlord made sure your store disappeared from the map, phone directory, and shut of his phone number (no customer service for 5+ years) and can't be reached, noway, nohow, not on this planet.

swampgirl said...

Obviously it's all about more sellers. They don't care about buyers. My sales have plummeted, but I've gotten several convos in the last couple weeks from brand new sellers who have asked for more detail on how I make certain products since they are also listing some in their shops. At least they're giving me fair warning that I'm about to be copied so I won't be that surprised later on.

Totally agree that whoever does commercials first wins. And they will certainly win my business by proving they're doing something to attract buyers.

Just a Jewelry Designer said...

I'm with Windy on this one..
W(ho)TF even cares about etsy anymore?? I said last week..when my last 9 listings expire..because they aren't going to sell..I'm done...

Viva la Art Fire!

Goat said...

I'm happy to hear someone else saying what I've beleived for awhile. Etsy isn't the best, they were the first to be successful, but they are hardly an industry standard.

Unless that standard involves lying, cheating and walking around with your twiggy arm glued to your forehead.

Traffic is just people. Etsy doesn't have the traffic, what they have is the handmeade version of Soylent Green.

They have a lot of sellers who buy from other sellers, period. And when the twerp shot out this "90 percent of all buyers aren't sellers' as if it were factual, I near about fell over.

I don't btleive the system will ever change and why should it? It works for Etsy. Wilson will find a way for it to work better for Etsy, but that doesn't mean it will ever work better for it's sellers.

Soylent Green, dude, these Etsy eaters need to wak up and face some real facts. Not made up drivel spouted on a Friday, ignored over the weekened and then moved to Etc. on Monday.

LastStraw said...

I've decided to let my shop go pretty much dormant, just enough renewing to make all those business cards worthwhile. I'm running faster and jumping higher and getting doodly. :-( Of course once I put out the Shop Closing announcement the customers showed up, both for in-shop things and for custom requests, but if the shop will be mostly for show I can still have those.

At this point all that remains for me is to work out which of the alternatives will work best for my particular medium, and so far online doesn't really seem to be "it" anyway. I'm just kind of bummed that I had to go thru the whole Etsy Experience, the headdesking and facepalming, to get to this point. Makes it hard to get new customer to take me seriously, sadly, and after I have all those business cards left to give out yet.

Ren said...

I should add that it makes me so mad that they don't advertise--because I would still like to see it all succeed.

I think if I didn't care, it wouldn't bother me.

It's just such an easy fix. A targeted advertising campaign.


Anonymous said...

I'll grant no other handmade venue is advertising either but I know ArtFire spends its time tweaking the SEO, getting links, they're working actively now for press, online and off. They are looking for local press and connecting artist with them.
They admit the money is not their for traditional advertising but they do their best getting AF seen in search engines. They are starting now to build up for Christmas.
Advertising doesn't HAVE to be traditional but it takes work. You can't expect sellers do do it all.

der said...

Just read on the forums that their is no from etsy abuse email.

Went & checked the contact page, and it's gone.

Gee, thanks Admin for the heads up!!

So now what if there is a problem between sellers/buyers?

with 33 engineers I could.... said...


They should contact the all volunteer, non-Etsy sanctioned Etsy Mentor team offsite at their Blog/Website.

At least that is what one of the admins recently told someone to do when they closed their thread asking for help. They even provided the link to the site to be extra helpful.

Nice of them to acknowledge they do not actually have a customer service department. The Etsy mentor team should start sending Etsy invoices.

Kelly said...

I remember when I first opened my shop on Etsy they were doing those ads in the now defunct Mary Englebreit's Home Companion. But they stopped doing them.

I suppose they figured they didn't need to bother since all the sellers were tweeting and blogging about it. Why should they put forth any effort into advertising when their paying customers do all the work for them. I am sure if the sellers decided to do an on air ad they would be thrilled. Bleh.

K9 said...

its sad because Etsy could have been brilliant.

WindysDesigns said...

Hope it's ok to link to my blog here, but I've been reading the forums and someone's post about wanting their .20 back suddenly got this song running through my head, so I fiddled with the lyrics a bit. Of course it's all 'tongue in cheek'.

Anonymous said...

They don't want to know about problems

BuckIt said...

If etsy was worth bragging about, they wouldn't need to advertise. But it isn't-- in fact, I direct my customers elsewhere.
I would never, ever recommend Etsy as a venue based upon the complete lack of really useful innovations.

Way back when, yes, but no more. Etsy is an embarrassment for me, but I do get customers so I stay. BUT I use it for my own devices. Quid pro quo.

kyuuketsuki said...


HA! Brilliant, just brilliant. Someone needs to record that.

(Though trying to sell the recording in an Etsy shop would result in a perma-ban on your IP address, which they magically cannot do to resellers)

Anonymous said...

They won't advertise because the site is owned by a cheap-ass con man. The founders think they are extremely clever, you see - skimp on advertising, and manipulate your members into doing it for you.

"Promote Etsy!" ... wait, who gets what out of that? Etsy gets rich and I get... ? Etsy? More competition? Wow, great. Maybe if everyone does that, Etsy won't have to advertise and can save that money to purchase male hookers, sushi and expensive record players.

The design of the site is ancient, but based on the changes so far, I have very, very little confidence in what is going to happen. I agree, some of the stuff that people have been using so far (featured item ranker, anyone?) is ancient junk that was total crap the day it was written, but for some reason, nobody has found the time to improve it.

Well, Artfire isn't anywhere near, not even remotely close, to Etsy in terms of traffic, funding, customers, etc., so I wouldn't count on that last part happening. they've been the only copycat site who has managed to get anywhere, though.

JRO said...

I'm as frustrated as the next person with Etsy's lack of seller tools and the ancient aesthetics, however, I do want to point out that Etsy did not "hire" a bunch of college kids to redesign or expand seller tools. It was a class project using Etsy's API, which is openly available. The story behind it is clear and readily available on the Storque.

Keep a bitchin', but in this case, bitch about something that's factual and not some skewed interpretation.