Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Fall of Handmade on Etsy

So, we all know that resellers of mass-produced goods on Etsy has gotten out of hand. And many of us are aware of WHY that is. Etsy makes money from the longstanding resale shops and doesn't plan to ever give them the boot. Etsy is "not aware" of any resellers on the site, yet they coach resellers to be compliant, and now the question is "What exactly is 'legal' on Etsy?". Everything, basically! Quit Your Day Job and start selling the wholesale shit you can find on Alibaba and Tabao.

And don't forget the insane mark up! You win, Etsy wins, the buyer loses. It's all good.

There are several threads in the forums about this, some of which have been closed by admin. Rob White's thread, (it's a doozy) now closed.

And the "CEO", Rob Kalin came back from the dead here on page 8, also now closed. He quite obviously plays "stupid" in both of his posts. How fucking convenient.

Seriously? He might as well have just posted "I'm a fucktard and a sell out, and I've had better things to do with my time than write up your fucking roadmap. Didn't you know that was just another ploy to get you assholes off my back? Silly you for expecting so much from me and Etsy. Your problem, not mine. Now, run along, keep feeding us $0.20 and pay your fucking bills or we'll cut you."

Etsy sellers (at least the ones that are in the know) are in an uproar, some are closing shops, putting them in "vacation mode" and finding other outlets and venues that truly support handmade. Sure, resellers are EVERYWHERE these days, but at the very least, other handmade sites don't PROMOTE them! And, sadly, some sellers remain hopeful because they depend on the income Etsy provides, or they're just plain ignorant to what goes on.

And so, the dream of true handmade on Etsy continues to die a slow and painful death. People's dreams of making a living by working from home are being squashed with nary a concern from Etsy.

Next up: Etsy goes public, sells out yet again and/or becomes an eBay sister site. Or, the site totally "crashes and burns" in a great ball of fire. My money is on selling out again, but I certainly wouldn't complain if it were to crash and burn. I'll totally break out my marshmallows for that. In less than a fucking heartbeat.

And Etsy claims to actually be "working". I call bullfuckingshit. Still no coupon codes or batch edit. Hmmn.. Still taking in FVFs from those sellers that issue partial refunds for sales, I see. Non-paying buyers can STILL leave feedback, and items that haven't actually sold are still being removed from the shelves. Rifuckingdiculous.

Step aside, Etsy and let the other sites continue to pick up where you left off YEARS ago. One in particular seems to be doing a much better job, actually cares about their sellers success, well-being and sanity.

So FUCK YOU ETSY, and the horse you rode in on.




85 Comments:

Tara said...

And that's why I moved to Hyena Cart. A site by moms for moms...not hipsters.

jolav.blog said...

No surprise I only found "comforting threads" in the forims about this - of course, they all eventually spiralled out of control and cheerleading mode into reality. Amazing, how many sellers are still worshiping Etsy and the CEO - and how they think he "came back" to make sure Etsy remains Handmade... Can't help, but think they're Etsy's paid agents. lol...

Factories have for ages been on Etsy left, right and centre (and the buyers are actually BUYING from them), listing 24/7, dozens of cheapy items at the time, even a complete fool would figure out that crap is not handmade!. So, in a week from this new rule setting in, there'll be nothing but factories on Etsy. Other sellers won't be able to relist often enough to ever get noticed...

Jamy said...

That was brave of Etsy to hire a dog. Rob White and DanielleXO should be worried that the dog might take over their jobs. I'm sure a dog could do a better than either of them.

norobforme said...

The day that Jim Breyer, president of the Board of Directors of Walmart gave etsy money and was then invited to sit on the etsy board by Rob was the beginning on the end of hand made on etsy.

In some catagories there are hundreds of factory resellers. Of course, HeyMichelle has made them compliant by calling them collectives.

Etsy is so fucking smug they even redefined the word collective.

toosadtocare said...

Thank you for writing this post. It's a sad day when I have to sell my skirts(sewn by me) next to an etsy shop with over 230 items made in China for 1/4 my price. There are lots of these shops.

I cannot even buy the fabric for that. And how old are the factory workers 10? 12?

Maybe the New York Times could investigate the factories while they expose etsy.

I would ask how the hipsters sleep at night, but I think they are in those phone booths or playing ping pong.

Shame on Rob, shame on him.

The Funny One said...

Wouldn't you love to be around the conference table at an Etsy-free-lunch weekly event and hear what they're talking about? Certainly NOT their reputation (=reputation of real handmade. They send DXO to give seminars on "successful selling" at indie craft events around the country! How's that for reputation?!?

Etsy has proven to all sellers, faves and not, that they are about 2 years behind the development of most other handmade sites, and will never catch up because they didn't correct the many mistakes they made a long time ago -- which is to base their entire profit on listing fees and new sellers rather than site integrity and quality assurance.

Etsy has a lot of money, yet they refuse to hire an outside, experienced company who could eliminate 80% of resellers in about 2 weeks.

Why not? Because Etsy has no plan in mind. They never did.

They have no idea what handmade is, never did, and never will. (But they sure are walking away with most of the money!)

FantasyClay said...

There free for all lunch will just have food flung about. If anyone brought up resellers, I'm sure the answer is- shhh- if we keep the reality distortion field up, enough people will believe us.
Fuck those don't - we are so cool no one can match us anyway.

handmadedog said...

Wait is that true? Etsy is in bed with Walmart?

Wait, there's no reseller problem. We're all collectives now. Don't you love how Rob White, company man, has completely sold his soul?

Stella rewrites dictionary definitions and Michelle carries out the instructions. Is this for real?

Thank God they have that dog to do PR.

The Stubborn One said...

OH YEAH! Etsy is definitely in bed with Walmart...Twitter and FaceBook as well. Isn't that nice?

Diana said...

You can also check out my new site http://efreeme.com. There are no fees for sellers and we're working on some cool ways to keep resellers out.

WantGoodAlt said...

I think Etsy could easily fix this issue by reviewing Sellers, like Markers Market does (at least for now) they'd catch a lot resellers right off the bat.

Yet, I'm not giving up on Etsy, they're making improves, not as many or as fast as I'd like, but they're there. *big sigh*

Avoid the forums, avoid DanielleXO, pay as little money as possible to continue selling.

What's the real alternative at this point? Had hopes for Artfire, but looks like complete crap! Plan to: sell offline if you can, get your own website, too.

Basically don't make Etsy your only selling out, that's what I've seen from the big name sellers.

RRobin said...

Quoting toosadtocare...
"Thank you for writing this post. It's a sad day when I have to sell my skirts(sewn by me) next to an etsy shop with over 230 items made in China for 1/4 my price. There are lots of these shops..."

And right on cue, a reseller from China was just on THE FRONT PAGE with this:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/51751155/sweet-blossoms-dress-hand-painted-green?ref=fp_feat_2

woolies said...

One in particular seems to be doing a much better job, actually cares about their sellers success, well-being and sanity.


Which one? Please let me know, so that I can move over there.

icrackmyselfup said...

Since they killed handmade, it'll be fun to see who buys etsy. I don't think it would pass muster to go public. I'd much rather see Google or Martha Stewart buy them.

Within 30 days they would fire the current etsy staff, who would then try to set up shops to make a living, oh yeah. They don't make anything.

sark said...

I am so glad I spent the entire weekend gonked out of mind between an endless & ridiculous wedding put on by an absentee bride & groom who left their "guests" out in the 90˚ windless heat of a July afternoon with nothing to do and too loud Laurence Welk style music for 3 hours. Rudest wedding I have EVER attended. I wanted to punch the bride by the time, 2 hours after "dinner" had been served when they finally reappeared (wearing the same clothes — it wasn't like there was a costume change) to cut the cake.

Yes, after 3 hours in 90˚ weather I unabashedly heckled the bride an groom who seemed much much less charming when they were putting on the "cake show." That fucking cake sat in a 90˚ room for 3 hours. Cut it and let me fucking leave.

Anyway, if etsy had a wedding, I imagine it would be like my experience this weekend.

Of course, I also heckled the bride during the photo that was finally taken of us together 3 hours into this shindig for which I was happily not smiling.
It will only be apt for her and her asshole fucktard groom to have to spend the time to edit me out of their photos since from the time I arrived at 3:45 to the time I gladly stalked out at 8pm neither of them could be bothered to say so much as "hello" or "goodbye" much less "thanks for coming." There were maybe 50 people at this wedding.

Again, my wedding experience seems very much like etsy... right down to the fact that it was outdoors, and when we finally ate, our couscous, unidentifiable vegan salad, pretentious vegetable dish, and dressing free fruit salad were immediately swarmed by insects. Neither the bride or groom bothered to eat any of this "feast."
God, I hate fucktard hipsters.

Thank you, the Stubborn One, for "Rifuckingdiculous" — greatest new word I have learned this month. If only I sewed or embroidered or something ironically crafty like that, because, by god I would have a shop with "Rifuckingdiculous" items!

I fucking give up. I admit it, I'm an unrepentant apathist... because I can only be bothered to flag the Hong Kong painting reseller every 10 days or so when I notice he had reappeared, and then wait 3 days for some wannabe hipster fucktard to stop stroking their fake mustache and take it down... so that he'll pop back up 2 days later.

Etsy staff are inept, incompetent and a bunch of fucktards.

It does chafe my ass a little now that you can "search" the treasury. I think I'm just going to tag everything as "wedding" "lirola" "curation nation" "beige" "bicycle" and "Mustache"... oh, and "terrarium" and "owl."

Because now, we're just going to start seeing the same boring stupid shit by the same boring, fucking awful favorites that we had to endure before the redesign.

I would love to know why it is that etsy has to be such total douchebags about everything, seriously.
Is it a matter of personal pride to be self centered and incompetent simultaneously?

The Stubborn One said...

If you're serious about business and do a little research, you'll see that Artfire started with a solid foundation, solid coding/programming and are taking huge strides. You can expect the "ugly" front page to disappear soon, and no FP favoritism like we see on Etsy.

Before I go any further, let me say that NO, I don't work for Artfire. I'm an artist/entrepreneur, a fairly well-known Etsy seller and have never had all of my eggs in the fucktard hipster basket. I came to my senses long ago.

ArtFire provides a business hub so to speak. Basic accounts are free w/ unlimited listings, but have advertisements. "Pro" users pay a monthly fee (those that signed up early on get a better price than is now offered) and are given a plethora of tools to make selling and promoting easy. Batch edit? Outside links? You bet your ass! Beta-testing? COUPON CODES?? FUCK YES! They've enabled "browse in your currency", and have added a copyright that pops up whenever your mouse hovers over a picture. Now look who's trying to play catch up. Plus, my Artfire studio is much prettier than my Etsy shop. Bigger banner, layout options. I can even have a live chat "widget" in there if I want, for fuck's sake!

And there's MORE, but those are the tools and features that to me are worth the fee. People complain about the lack of traffic? It's INTERNAL traffic they're complaining about, which ArtFire DOES NOT promote at such a high cost like the fucktards over on Etsy does. You promote, bring in buyers to Etsy and they snatch them away once an item has been clicked on, then they sell that traffic back to you in the form of a "showcase". Fuck that shit, man. I stopped the expensive inhouse advertising long, long ago. It's utter bullshit and a crapshoot.

Etsy fucked up with Google, and now you rarely see any Etsy listings in search unless your serach includes the word "Etsy". Artfire on the other hand, provides all the Google love you could possibly dream of. I love my Google Alerts, which come about 5 mins. after I've listed something on Artfire. Haven't had one for an Etsy listing in months upon months. And Artfire provides actual, bonafide, fast customer service.

The way I see it is: Artfire is still young, but it's maturing quickly and is more of a man than that pimply little adolescent brat we call Etsy. I personally need a real man to rock my world, and he does it to me every time.

Another site I see picking up a little momentum: CraftIsArt. More tools than Maker's Market, and not nearly as bland, but not quite as spicy as Artfire. I've got a few picky taste buds and don't dig bland, but I'll eat it as long as there's something spicy on the plate.

So yeah, before you knock Artfire, do your research. They are second in line after the fucktards and building speed.

The Funny One said...

Being "for" or "against" Etsy isn't the issue, because Etsy has no respect for sellers, be they faves or non-faves. If you add to their bottom line, they love you, but will drop you when the next fad comes along in a New York Minute.

Etsy Admins just keep putting all their feet in their mouths every time they appear in the forums; they never fail. They have no in-house expertise for hundreds of issues and problems on the site, but lots of money to HIRE OUTSIDE CONTRACTORS with the expertise to fix them.

So, why don't they spend the money?

Because they don't want outsiders to know what a House of Cards Etsy is on the inside.

If you list on Etsy, the money you send them is money ill-spent. Count on it.

Thank you said...

Thank you Stubborn One. I opened there in the beginning, but never did anything with it. Planning to open a Pro account, and change all of my advertising to link there. Need a few days off of my day job to get everything accomplished. Within the next few weeks. Cannot wait. Thank you.

Cosmic Yuk said...

Etsy will always have it's koolaid drinkers, but I noticed they are diminishing and may become extinct. And their arguments supporting Etsy are getting more and more hollow.

\I could do with a little less hyperbole on both sides of the issue, but I understand why those who are questioning Etsy have become frustrated and some are rather shrill. When you see that that type of behavior gets results, it's kind of hard to remain calm and reserved and patient, assuming your voice has been heard. And Etsy has a long history of acting on stuff when the forums reach a fever pitch.

Nautilus said...

The Funny One said...
. . . they don't want outsiders to know what a House of Cards Etsy is on the inside.
------------------------------------
DING! DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!

Eveline said...

It's such a shame that the thread where HeyMichelle says that Etsy does not have any longterm resellers was already closed when I read it, I would've laughed in her face so hard!

Etsy only cares about Etsy.
It's a shock to see that not everyone understands that yet.

Anne said...

Stubborn One, I recently turned pro on Artfire and am already beginning to enjoy it. I haven't even begun to explore all the goodies. But the one that impresses me most is the little box to the right that lists search terms people are using to find my stuff.

FantasyClay said...

Personally I like Artfire's front page. They are not trying to copy etsy. No it is not the clean minimalist style of etsy; it is vibrant,front page includes all pro items listed and it works well for finding all markets- not just handmade

If think their point is to avoid having one style

minnie mouse said...

The best thing that could possibly happen to art and craft on the internet is for these god-damned assholes to go away permanently.

Unhappyincupcakeland said...

I am also a Pro Seller at Artfire and I love it. It saved my ass financially when Etsy fucked up with Google in March. As a vintage supply seller, I went from making good money to the pits in one day. If it were not for AF, I would be in dire straits....because nothing would have come in.

I deeply regret the fact I spent two months trying to get an explanation from Etsy about what happened and some assurance that things would improve. All we got was a bunch of happy talk saying that nothing happened...and that it must be our fault. Better pictures and all that, you know. One seller was told by LisaJune, who I'm pretty sure has NO background in design, that changing her banner would attract people to her store. So how come her banner was not driving people away before March 9th? LJ gave a lot of picture advice.

It seemed that most of us who were originally affected were very successful vintage and supply sellers. God, I hate to think how many hours we wasted studying Google Analytics and tweaking shit like our titles.

We also received a terrible bashing in the forums from the cupcakes. I really believed that Etsy would listen at first. Was I a fool to believe they would? Well, hindsight is 20/20 but now I would say yes. I was a fool!

I have also spent some time in mourning. I really loved Etsy once, just as I loved eBay once.

But as I was mourning, I picked up 90% of my Etsy shop and moved on to ArtFire Pro. It's been a wonderful experience, and I haven't even done everything I know I can do yet. I am not making the kind of sales and money that I did at Etsy, but I know that if I work hard and do all the steps of treating AF as a market hub, I will eventually do better. And AF will do better too. Their CEO and founder was a seller himself and is trying to make the site everything he ever wanted as a seller.

Yes, sometimes the Art Fire FP and the search are not pretty, but they do show the variety of items across the site. I much prefer that to the FP at Etsy. Those pages can be beautiful, but what good are they when many of the selected treasuries contain reseller items or mistagged crap? And then we have the issue of the same damn people over and over and over again on Etsy.

Even the some of the cupcakes, the most vicious bashers, seem to be singing a different tune now. Heheheh.

I read through most of those threads and I have concluded that Etsy is a complete sellout. I still will leave the skeletons of my shop there for my old customers, whom I'm directing to AF with a 10% off coupon.

headexploding said...

This issue will be gone by Friday. Etsy will be at the "eatsy" table or in the plushie phone booths counting their money, turning some over to the investors.

Meanwhile factories are now collectives and the children working in them are "part owners" How else could they sell on etsy, ebay and alibaba?

The real tragedy is that we sew the clothes or make the jewelry or paint the paintings right beside them.

sark said...

This is a little off-topic, but OMG, Unhappyincupcakeland — LisaJune has / had a website somewhere on the internet that showcased her photography... if you have ever seen it, then you would know what an utterly shitty photographer she is. If you enjoy very crappy instamatic poorly lit, blurry photos — then, yeah, take photo advice from an utter failure like LisaJune.

This is some of her artwork
http://ny-image0.etsy.com/il_fullxfull.79732600.jpg
I think the fact that the photo is BLURRY says everything that needs to be said about the "photo" advice of etsy admin.

Now the fact that the "jewelry" — because that sure as fuck isn't art — is a used condom really speaks volumes.

The Stubborn One said...

HAHAHAH, Sark! OMG. WTF. Let's hope she actually USES condoms for their intended purpose.

miranda panda said...

Pretty sure that's an unused condom, unless maybe rokali slipped it on.

Cosmic Yuk said...

Unhappy, don't beat yourself up too much, many more have gone before you to fight the good fight only to be met with pacification, silence, distractions, half truths and outright lies.

As many times as I'd see the handwriting on the wall, I would still hold out hope, but as VBJ said many moons ago 'hope breaks your heart on Etsy'.

While my heart is just fine, any enthusiasm and trust I had in them is gone.

EB ought to see if SherryTruitt will do an interview with you. It was her magazine feature that was pulled because an editor of the magazine bought faux handmade (or vintage) on Etsy.

If Etsy doesn't see that as a problem, then they are in terminal denial. If it happened once, it'll happen again. What happens when Martha Stuart or The View or GMA catches wind of this? No famous person is going to put their reputation on the line by recommending Etsy as 'your place to buy all things handmade, vintage and supplies'.

Hmmm...I feel a letter writing campaign coming on........

EtsySuxBallz said...

Etsy sucks big hairy mass procudced balls now. That is all.

GlitterCritter said...

So let me get this straight, "resellers" aren't allowed on Etsy, just mass produced things made specifically for that person? Or collective? Or company? And since there's no actually category to put them in, they'll go straight into the handmade search? Lovely. Really lovely.

The problem may be that strictly handmade, supplies and vintage don't make enough money to attract investment money from going public, but to use a strategy like dumping them into handmade is completely unethical.

kalin's phantom morals said...

The investors' opinions provide all the clues you need about the direction of Etsy.

Global market, 'platform', you know the people running Etsy have never been crafters or artists themselves, depending on that for income. They hired a bunch of college girls who wanted to run a clothing fashion blog for christsakes , They don't understand galleries, wholesale, retail of art/crafts or anything about you know, their business. And they hire people who have no fucking clue like themselves.

Etsy's owners for some reason won't be satisfied running the largest art/craft market on the web, instead the investors are jizzing over the possibilities, can Rob Kalin won't be satisfied unless he's a billionaire. Good luck. Let's turn it into eBay? THERE'S ALREADY A FUCKING EBAY YOU LOSERS Clearly a mini-penis compensation issue. If I was Etsy I'd try to focus on what I was doing and finish what I started, but they NEVER FINISH SOMETHING BEFORE MOVING ON. God I hate them.

Slave Collective said...

The problem is really very simple.

Etsy investors and board of directors have realized that the original mission of US white-women-indie-crafter sales is not one that will sustain increasingly growing profits at the speed and magnitude that they want.

However, International Trade Collectives (that is, mass market 3rd world production) is virtually unlimited in growth potential, because when the China cheap labor tanks due to labor revolt (which is beginning), there will be other Asian and African labor forces to replace them.

The future of profit is in "handmade collectives" which is the Etsy definition of 3rd world handmade indentured labor, but who cares? Hipsters don't have to worry about environmental or humanitarian sustainability for at least 20-40 years, until they grow up.

EtsyCustomerServiceFAIL said...

Kind of off topic, but check this out:

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6585310

They've got live chat help, apparently. But only at certain times and certain days. Yet they haven't POSTED THIS INFO on the live chat page??? Just in this forum thread? *headesk, facepalm*

How is this company still in business?? I ask myself this question several times a day.

The Stubborn One said...

WHOOPS. I think I accidentally rejected a comment.. From "Jen". Was one line, a question. Sorry! :( I hope she'll forgive me and repost... Nevermind the new bitch. Carry on.

for the hell of it said...

jolov.blog,

Kalin returned last year after a letter was sent to Breyer, highlighting all of last year's scandalous forum threads.

What WAS brought to my attention after the fact was that Maria was shipped out pretty quick. I do have to wonder if she didn't lie well enough to suit Accel.

I'm also banking on Kalin being reprimanded after his "faux interview", and chalking this up to his next to never shows.

Writing posts for here and within Etsy's forums, don't accomplish much. I would strongly suggest writing Wilson and Breyer.

Oh, and Ladies, a link to your blog was within the letter to Breyer. The Kalin interview was spin.

headexploding said...

The third member of etsy's board, and president is Caterina Fake from flickr, now hunch.

A few points: Why would Jim Breyer care if imports flood etsy, you cannot sit on Walmart's board and care a hoot about human rights.

The real people to write to are AuctionBytes who talks with etsy regularly and has a website or maybe the New York Times who might care, factories of women and children are cranking it out for etsy.

I love you EB, but that whole Rob interview was really to say fuck you to you and all the sellers who have him rolling in his millions.

One more thing, someone mentioned Sherry Truitt and that magazine placement. She's not the only one. Dig a little. Major magazines are beginning to see what etsy really is.

Real Simple still showcases etsy folk, but they ask etsy to vet for them and then choose from the list etsy sends. That's fact. They have no idea what we sell.

Gracie said...

Check out the "Air Plants" on the front page now . . how the hell are those considered HANDMADE?

intheshadow said...

headexploding is right, and it's not just the big magazines. A lot of places will skip right past you if you mention Etsy and shop in the same sentence.

Jamy said...

However, International Trade Collectives (that is, mass market 3rd world production) is virtually unlimited in growth potential, because when the China cheap labor tanks due to labor revolt (which is beginning), there will be other Asian and African labor forces to replace them.

The future of profit is in "handmade collectives" which is the Etsy definition of 3rd world handmade indentured labor, but who cares? Hipsters don't have to worry about environmental or humanitarian sustainability for at least 20-40 years, until they grow up.
========================

Won't last that long. In 1989 a similar situation with South American handmade imports (Guatemala in particular was popular). I can remember seeing handmade hammocks, pants, backpacks...you name it...oh and worry dolls out the yin yang. People couldn't get enough of that hand woven fabric and it went hot and heavy for a few years, then *Poof!* folks moved on to the next new thing and all those importers who had made it big were left hanging.

Etsy has only been around for a few years and while it is huge now, it wouldn't take much for it to succumb to the whims of the public once they get bored with the whole apple cozy, fake mustache and Blythe Doll phase. Bigger companies have fallen from much loftier positions than Etsy is in right now, because they got smug and arrogant.

for the hell of it said...

I have sent letters to Auction Bytes. Ina appears to be sympathetic, but the official Etsy PR is still cranked out and next to nothing from letters sent in.

Letters from Ebay sellers are constant and have achieved nothing.

Would the possibility of the FTC count towards anything? The government might not be in full agreement with Etsy's tendancy to attempt to redefine business terminology.

I am beginning to think that the factory produced goods are a necessity to keep the site in the black and that NO ONE involved with the site has the needed backbone to say so.

Would the factory produced goods qualify legally as fraudulant items as far as a legal "handmade" status?

Andrew Cuomo will in all likelihood be running for Governor. There is a NY state fraud form that can be filled out.

It may be time for venue TOU's to be more aligned with the now required clear language of financial contracts as is now the case for Mutual Fund prospectus and credit card agrreements.

subeeds said...

About 3 weeks ago, I put my shop in vacation mode with an announcment stating basically that I was tired of the way etsy was dealing with the reseller issue and I would reopen after etsy had dealt with it. (The deal with Sherry Truitt was the last straw for me). I also mentioned that if you wanted to find me, just google DancingWindDesigns. Part of the reason I did it that way is becaue I was fed the hell up with the condescending attitude that admin. has toward the sellers and part of it was to see if I could get some kind of reaction from admin.. I started a thread in Etc. about why my shop was in vacation-a few people said good for you for taking a stand. I posted in a few of the reseller threads. About 10 days went by. Then, I posted in a reseller thread that admin was monitoring. The thread was several pages long and somebody posted that 'we need a Norma Rae or something". I posted "go read my vacation announcment." Within literally 10 mins., I had an email from admin saying they had removed my vacation announcment. I emailed them back and told them no problem-but can you clarify why you removed it? Was it the refernce to etsy and the resellers or the googe me to find me reference? Of course, I'm still waiting to hear back from them on that one. I won't hold my breath.
I'm done with etsy. My shop is on permanent vacation and I will stick with AF. They are doing a better job of planning for the resellers starting with the Certified Handmade Artifact. I know it isn't perfect, but it's a start and more than the yuppies have done. I just don't understand the blind loyalty the kool-aid drinkers and cupcake eaters have towards etsy. Etsy sure has no loyalty to them and if they don't see it by now, I don't think they ever will. Me, I'm waiting for the day when etsy just implodes and comes out the other side as a yuppified ebay.

RRobin said...

Could some please explain the Sherry Truitt situation to me? I tried searching this blog, but got no hits (which I'm sure must be a search function issue, but that's another issue).

Violets new Vintage said...

I love the idea of the 'Handmade Artifact' on Artfire. As soon as I clean up my studio and get a good photo I'm getting mine! Artfire tools and things are so cool. Love AF

ExposeThe Fucktards said...

As much as I hate to see Etsy totally go down the tubes, this whole sordid mess would make an excellent investigative article for the NY Times. Exposing the fraud that Etsy is perpetrating on it's customers - both buyers and sellers, will be the ONLY thing that forces them to rethink the site.

All the constant promotion of the resellers, the ignored flags, the refusal to acknowledge that legitimate sellers are starving - it's all getting to me more than ever.

If it all came crashing down tomorrow and Etsy was exposed and all their lies were made public, I think I would almost welcome it.

If buyers and sellers loose all faith in Etsy, I think business on Artfire would go through the roof.

Cat Power said...

Anyone know a free-lance reporter who would be willing to write up all the misdeeds of Etsy and submit it to the NYT?

T'would do my heart good to see them called out for misrepresenting the site to the world at large.

The only leg they might have to stand on is the fact that they removed the tag line from the front page, so they can say they are no longer presenting Etsy as a handmade site...except in their old press releases and media coverage.

Christina said...

Here's the Sherry situation for anyone wondering....

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6579548&page=4#post-52959467

I couldn't find the original post Sherry made.

ohetsy said...

I found the original post from Sherry:

http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6574015&page=6

First you have to read the beginning of her post from that ass, Neat Things.

I don't know Sherry, but I've seen her work and her posts. This is bad, I wonder if anyone from etsy contacted her to apologize.

Oh, right. HeyMichelle says there are no long term resellers on etsy.

Angela said...

Wow, Etsy's got too big for its boots has it?? I HATE it when that happens.

For anybody in the UK looking for other places to sell their stuff, here's a list of UK sites like Etsy http://hubpages.com/hub/sites-like-etsy

Too many 'big boys' seem to get fat on the work of the little guy, then shaft him :(

I wish you all well ... happy crafting!

They can NEVER take your skill away from you!

LoopedOut said...

Glad I don't get those etsy find emails. Curious, though.
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6590369

for the hell of it said...

Just noticed this little "clause" in my Etsy bill.

Your account will become overdue if your bill is not paid within 15 days
(7/15/2010). Overdue accounts risk penalties
such as suspension of shop privileges or account termination, and may be sent
to collections.

************

For starters is this EVEN legal? I thought that there was a 3 month time frame before accounts could be sent to any sort of collections.

I did want to post this as a just incase warning, since their wondrous TOU grants the site carte blanche as it is.

Alice B. Toklas said...

Yep, there are no long term resellers on Etsy.

Because Etsy contacted all of them and gave them tips on how to rewrite their profiles to appear to fit Etsy's rules.

Nice to know the site is run by a pin head con man and greedy investors. Maybe they're right, we are all stupid - certainly we're all being taken advantage of.

Who knows, maybe Etsy will 'pull a Friendster' and someone will come eat their handmade lunch while they're dicking around with trying to set up a new China Mart.

Indigo said...

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be sent to collections, for my last .20, that would be freaking hilarious!!!

Now I almost regret paying my very last ever .20.

Dammit!!

sark said...

Hey, EB, rokali thinks you should check out this article
http://twitter.com/rokali/status/20316516010

http://scienceblog.com/37144/research-shows-what-you-say-about-others-says-a-lot-about-you/?

So, I wonder what this implies about the etsy staff?

You'd think the CEO of a company would have better things to do than make shitty off-hand insinuations on twitter... but then, it is etsy.

Teen Angster was determined to tell us all about the (false) dwindling supply of helium. You know, that's really worth the price of her salary generated by my listing / selling fees.
*sighs*

owlsandpie said...

So do people actually make a living on etsy? My friend wants to sell vintage clothing on etsy rather than finding a job. I'm doubtful that with the time and effort she will have to put in to it will give her a livable wage.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Stubborn One said...

How sweet of Rokali to acknowledge us.

http://twitter.com/etsybitch

Ella said...

I've sat with this and thought about the new schemes being foisted on the artist/crafter community and what to call them.

Etsy is a CORPORATION that answers to investors who demand 100,000,000katrillion dollars ROI for their "paltry" 5, 10, 15 mil initial investment "projects" (like Etsy).

The Fred Wilsons, the various venture capital firms who "invest" and do back-business with the Goldman Sachs, who do business with the JP Morgans and COLLECT RENTS all over the world, who now have their stubby, SOFT (because they push paper, not needles through material) hands all over handmade, have almost succeeded at helping ruin handmade.

These faceless paper pushers are RENT COLLECTORS who need more and more and more people to PAY UP, handmade crafters, artists, purists and sellers be damned. It has never been more apparent to me than now. Time to move on from Etsy.

walmart is on etsy's Board said...

For Rob Kalin:

The way you treat others says a fuck of a lot more than about you than what you SAY about other people. You treat us all like we're idiot little pawn children and YOU are the fucking eye of the fish. Fuck you and your arrogant shit. I would throw a party if Etsy collapsed, mainly because I'm so sick of your arrogant bullshit. Etsy shoots themselves in the foot, shoots us all in the feet over and over again due to your arrogant ignorance.

RRobin said...

On the front page of Etsy right now is an item for $75 -- plus $5 shipping -- consisting of "100 aged shipping tags:"
http://www.etsy.com/listing/51954017/aged-shipping-gift-tags-large-100?ref=fp_feat_9

No wonder so many people think Etsy is a joke. Anyone outside the rarefied confines of DUMBO, Brooklyn, knows that you can buy a box of 1,000 identical tags for less than $20 at Staples. Dump them out of the box and kick them around the basement floor for a few minutes, and they will be "aged."

This is reselling that really stretches the definition of "handmade."

And whatever happened to that new "prices must be reasonable" TOU?

FantasyClay said...

Etsy has to answer to the company that invested in it. It is all about the financials but what isn't. They are just too hip and indie to admit it.

Day one that it is what I liked on Artfire. They have always said, AF was their business and would run it as such. Tony has said many times, money was factor in projects but that hasn't made the site less "handmade". I prefer that they treat the site like a business because that is where I'm doing my business. Etsy seems to forget that about their sellers

sarah said...

Love that 'to EB' crap. There really aren't words to describe what a despicable person Etsy's CEO is, and it colours the whole company. 'Shame on them' isn't enough. An honour suicide might start to set things right.

Anne said...

Hunh. Here's what I've been doing these past two weeks:
1) I quit making the stupid little pendants and rings with owls and bluebirds.
2) I went to our local trader and bought strands and strands of the antique African beads I love. I also ordered a bunch of actual Swarovski crystals, which I also love.
3) I commissioned somebody on Etsy who needs the cash/does a good job to make me new banners and business cards.
4) I re-worked my own websites with the new banners.
5) I re-photographed everything to my OWN standards--in other words, I quit trying to follow all the Etsy conflicting weekly advice about photography. (What the hell DO they want???)

In short, this was the week I went back to being true to myself, the things I love, and my own instincts. It's been a lot of hard work, and it's cost me some real money, but I am suddenly feeling "happy, kind-hearted, and emotionally stable." I've also seen quite an uptick in sales. My next step is to translate all this to my Artfire studio.

I'm going to hang on to my Etsy shop because I truly value the friendships I've made on the local street team. But I'm not wasting another second trying to live up to whatever their standards are. I think my own standards are better and more rewarding.

BLEEP said...

That twitter was passive-aggressive. No balls Kalin rides again!

Cosmic Yuk said...

Kalin's link was so telling.

Kind of reminds me of 'if you have to tell everyone how classy you are, then you really aren't'.

I think most people can draw conclusions without being sent a link to a saying.

And using the same passive aggressive tactic of pointing out the obvious, what does sending a link to that saying say about the sender of that link?

It says he's petty, immature, vindictive and arrogant.

And congratulations Anne on being true to yourself. Before I came to Etsy I had my own style. It didn't take long to become assimilated into the 'Etsy Style' and morph into something completely different than I was. It took awhile, but one day the realization hit me that I was miserable and I blamed it on Etsy and the forums and anything else that was handy.

It dawned on me one day that I had traveled so far off my original path that I suddenly realized I had lost myself.

Like you, I'm back on the path I had originally set out on, it was what stimulated my artistic side and got me into making things in the first place. I hope more people who fell off their original path in order to fit the Etsy vibe find their way back and start creating in their own voice again.

Susan said...

Hey Eb- not to complain but how about a new post?

Bonkers said...

I'm happy that EB is posting as it's members see fit, not just to keep the blog updated, IMHO.
In other words, Etsy is pretty much SSDD......

I wanna hear you bitch said...

EB-- what's up? Why are the posts here so infrequent?

Horace the Blimp said...

Nah, Etsy is SS,DY. They have never improved, actually they seem to be worse now.

Pity the poor fools who complained about Maria... seriously, you think Rob Kalin is better? She might have been a bit ineffectual, but at least she wasn't a ... whatever the hell he is. Crazy. Arrogant. Incompetent. Deluded. Egotistical. Vindictive is right... it's really disgusting how the people at Etsy conduct themselves. Grow up, you stupid fuckers.

F.W. said...

Talk about an issue that won't gain momentum on Etsy forums! I've witnessed several thoughtful posters being reprimanded by folks from the dream-big-pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps school of corporate mindset just because they brought up two taboo subjects:
1. That Etsy thinks reselling is fine and is in fact interested in promoting "global" (read: third world wage slave crafters) handmade items.
2. Too many crafters who do make handmade items list them at rock-bottom prices, thus making the market as a whole take a downward tumble.
I'm telling you, if you suggest either of these things, they will imply that you are wearing a tinfoil hat or that you need to "social network" or "take better photos."

Etsyian said...

..... This site is unbelievable to me. If you don't like Etsy, find another venue. It's not Etsy's job to promote your shop, to make sure you get sales, to make your life easier. You pay $.20 per listing and for that, they host your item and provide a web page, a shopping cart, a way for buyers to contact you, a search engine, and some publicity just by being connected to Etsy. What more do you really want? Do you want them to make your crafts for you?

COULD Etsy be better? Yes, of course. But in the end, if you're putting up your listings and sitting back and waiting for Etsy to do "their part," you're missing the point. It's your job to make sure you're getting sales, and it's your job to make sure that you can make a living off of your handmade lifestyle. If those resellers weren't selling on Etsy, they'd be selling somewhere else--like eBay. And guess what? Even if they're on a different site, they are still your direct competition. You, as a crafter and a seller and a marketer, have to figure out how to beat the competition. It's your job to make sure you get sales. It's not Etsy's job.

There are things, of course, that would make Etsy more functional as a website. But if you ever hope to get them, every time you make a post calling them sellouts, every time you make a post calling them idiots, every time you "call them out" using combative language and profanity, you're making double-sure that you never get what you want from Etsy. They are a company but they are also people; you might be pissed off about the site, but choosing to meet them head-on in this manner is just as irresponsible as Etsy not listening to seller needs.

I bet whoever is reading this now probably feels a little put off by the argumentative tone that I've taken heretofore. If I came in calling you guys fucktards and idiots, you'd probably feel even more put off. That's how the people managing Etsy feel when they read this blog. Instead of saying, "Wow, they make a really good point," they say, "Fuck them, I'm not going to give into the demands of these whiny assholes. Fuck 'em! What the fuck do they know?" Because your approach puts them on the defensive. When people are on the defensive, they dig in their heels.

Pick up a copy of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. It may be the most eye-opening read you've had in awhile. Handle Etsy the right way and you can get any- and everything you want. Handle them badly, and you will get nothing.

Etsyian said...

(part 2)

There are things, of course, that would make Etsy more functional as a website. But if you ever hope to get them, every time you make a post calling them sellouts, every time you make a post calling them idiots, every time you "call them out" using combative language and profanity, you're making double-sure that you never get what you want from Etsy. They are a company but they are also people; you might be pissed off about the site, but choosing to meet them head-on in this manner is just as irresponsible as Etsy not listening to seller needs.

I bet whoever is reading this now probably feels a little put off by the argumentative tone that I've taken heretofore. If I came in calling you guys fucktards and idiots, you'd probably feel even more put off. That's how the people managing Etsy feel when they read this blog. Instead of saying, "Wow, they make a really good point," they say, "Fuck them, I'm not going to give into the demands of these whiny assholes. Fuck 'em! What the fuck do they know?" Because your approach puts them on the defensive. When people are on the defensive, they dig in their heels.

Pick up a copy of "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. It may be the most eye-opening read you've had in awhile. Handle Etsy the right way and you can get any- and everything you want. Handle them badly, and you will get nothing.

The Sneaky One said...

Dear Etsyian,

Obviously, you've never read through this blog. We've had many conversations with Rob Kalin, one published here. We were nice and cordial and talked over Skype. Guess what?! He blew smoke up our asses, just like he blows smoke and glitter up your little happy and dewey-eyed cupcake ass.

We've been featured in Fortune Small Business, and we are known in local media outlets. Whenever someone is looking into Etsy, we get contacted.

So, obviously, we're doing something right. Including being an outlet for users who are fed up with the antics at Etsy. Since we can't post there without being muted.

Enjoy being a happy little cupcake, until they fuck you over, like they've fucked over everyone else.

F.W. said...

As I mentioned before, a lot of this comes from what I call Horatio Alger-bots.
Usually they start off by saying that Etsy owes no one anything, which is meant to imply that those of us with complaints are lazy and not pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.
Then the other implication is that people who are complaining are failures at selling on Etsy.
Then comes the usual generalities such as "take better pictures" and so forth, kind of like suggesting that an unemployed person 'get a job.' Next will be suggestions to buy Who Moved My Cheese, a book that I often warn friends that if you see a copy on your desk, you are about to get laid off.
All I know is that a large site like Etsy should not be a struggle for sellers to use SEO. When I search Google, lots of stuff from eBay comes up but rarely Etsy- why is that? I would like to know.
Unless we are willing to spend tons of bucks to hire someone to put us in the e-commerce limelight (or make items that fit the Etsy style) most of us continue to be invisible to search engines, despite having our own websites, tweaking our keywords to death, spending time and money on photos and constant re-listing.

Cosmic Yuk said...

You know what Etsian, I'm guessing you are a relative newbie to the site. Had you been there as long as I have been, you would know that it was not always like this.

there was a time when we appealed to Etsy in a constructive and civil manner. You know how they responded? Exactly the same way they do now, by ignoring, by being spiteful and by avoiding answering the real questions.

The fact is, we are fucking tired of being swatted away like an annoying mosquito.


Respect is a 2 way street, had Etsy done anything to earn our respect, they would be treated in a respectful manner by their members.

It's been very apparent for some time now that the only thing that seems to get any reaction from Etsy is when the shit hits the fan. they have established this pattern, not the members.

And of course, the old 'love it or leave it' comment. How original.

Some have left Etsy. Others, like myself, continue to hang on with a bare bones shop in the hopes that the vision and promise that we signed up for will become a reality at some point. That someone, somewhere will be able to see the value in what Etsy once stood for and be able to turn this ship around.

You said "You pay $.20 per listing and for that, they host your item and provide a web page, a shopping cart, a way for buyers to contact you, a search engine, and some publicity just by being connected to Etsy. What more do you really want? Do you want them to make your crafts for you?"

I don't think it's as simple as you're implying. There is an expectation that the site is not going to sabotage a seller's efforts to be found, either on the site or on the net. How many shops are not being indexed into google shopping? How many of the ones that are know if any of their listings have been rejected for one reason or another? Why is a site that has 4 month listings encouraging the practice of renewing those listings prior to their expiration? Why is the search based on recency instead of relevancy? why are people allowed to abuse tags and categories and screw up an already poorly designed search engine? Why does the search always default to handmade even when you're in someone's shop? Why can people buy from you but not pay, and still have the ability to remove the item from your shop and leave you feedback? Why are features that are rolled out so full of bugs that cause major problems for their users, often to the point of having to roll it back?

I could go on, but either you get it or you don't. I can't vouch for Etsy Bitch, but I can vouch for myself. I am sick and tired of the current Etsy CEO and administration and I bitch because I am hoping that this dissatisfaction finally reaches the eyes and ears of someone with the power to change the status quo.

And if it doesn't, at least I can say I tried.

Cosmic Yuk said...

You know what Etsian, I'm guessing you are a relative newbie to the site. Had you been there as long as I have been, you would know that it was not always like this.

there was a time when we appealed to Etsy in a constructive and civil manner. You know how they responded? Exactly the same way they do now, by ignoring, by being spiteful and by avoiding answering the real questions.

The fact is, we are fucking tired of being swatted away like an annoying mosquito.


Respect is a 2 way street, had Etsy done anything to earn our respect, they would be treated in a respectful manner by their members.

It's been very apparent for some time now that the only thing that seems to get any reaction from Etsy is when the shit hits the fan. they have established this pattern, not the members.

And of course, the old 'love it or leave it' comment. How original.

Some have left Etsy. Others, like myself, continue to hang on with a bare bones shop in the hopes that the vision and promise that we signed up for will become a reality at some point. That someone, somewhere will be able to see the value in what Etsy once stood for and be able to turn this ship around.

Cosmic Yuk said...

Part 2


You said "You pay $.20 per listing and for that, they host your item and provide a web page, a shopping cart, a way for buyers to contact you, a search engine, and some publicity just by being connected to Etsy. What more do you really want? Do you want them to make your crafts for you?"

I don't think it's as simple as you're implying. There is an expectation that the site is not going to sabotage a seller's efforts to be found, either on the site or on the net. How many shops are not being indexed into google shopping? How many of the ones that are know if any of their listings have been rejected for one reason or another? Why is a site that has 4 month listings encouraging the practice of renewing those listings prior to their expiration? Why is the search based on recency instead of relevancy? why are people allowed to abuse tags and categories and screw up an already poorly designed search engine? Why does the search always default to handmade even when you're in someone's shop? Why can people buy from you but not pay, and still have the ability to remove the item from your shop and leave you feedback? Why are features that are rolled out so full of bugs that cause major problems for their users, often to the point of having to roll it back?

I could go on, but either you get it or you don't. I can't vouch for Etsy Bitch, but I can vouch for myself. I am sick and tired of the current Etsy CEO and administration and I bitch because I am hoping that this dissatisfaction finally reaches the eyes and ears of someone with the power to change the status quo.

And if it doesn't, at least I can say I tried.

The Stubborn One said...

Points well worth repeating. :-)

for the hell of it said...

Cosmic Yuk, try writing Jim Breyer; I did. He IS the one behind what's going down now. My rationale was:

As a board member representing Accel's interests, he probably does quick perusals of reports supplied by whomever prepares them at Etsy. We've seen how well the actual staff handles ANYTHING, ... NOT, but if the numbers don't raise some sort of alarm, there won't really be much to worry about.

I don't know exactly what types of time drains are placed upon the entirerty of the venture capitalist/board member. I wrote under the possibility that Breyer DID NOT know some of the gory details. Luckily I was polite and non combative, and my posotion was to get the site running smoothly for ALL parties.

Jim Breyer is on multiple boards. He is scanning reports and figures. Unless told, the odds are against him knowing the gory details of any given comppany that he is involved with.

Most employees will yes any authority figure to death and do the do when watched, and go back to whatever bad habits as soon as possible.

I strongly suggest that other sellers write him. I believe that as the largest investor to date, Accel's money is counting as potentially more than the others.

For anyone who can see the wisdom of doing so, Breyer can be reached via:

jbreyer@accel.com

Fred Wilson's email addy can be found if you follow him on Twitter. He links most of his posts to his blog. His email addy can be found at its page bottom.

The Etsy staff is NOT going to respond in any sort of effective manner. This has been repeatedly proven. BUT, they're jump if one of the "shirts" cracks the whip.

The Funny One said...

Here's something worth repeating as well. I am sick to death of Etsy (a few other sites are just as guilty) of claiming that THEY OWE THEIR SELLERS NOTHING BECAUSE THEY ARE LOW-FEE. Or their god-awful lament that sellers have too-high expectations.

Sellers have been doing ALL of Etsy's marketing and advertising FOR FREE for 5 years! The other sites expect it too because Etsy set up a format and template that they mimic, which means the sellers get shafted, no matter what they pay for listings, sales fees, or site ads (the biggest scam ever).

OF COURSE sellers have expectations and they should have them! Etsy does NOT SPEND a dime on marketing and advertising. They spend those seller fees on over 25 people who get a salary for tweeting and blogging all day!

And plenty of "engineers" who keep tweaking the site with crap that nobody wants and shoppers hate!

Why sellers continue to "have faith" in this setup is why Etsy still exists---and the other sites keep copying a formula that is detrimental to 99% of the sellers on their sites.

....and 250% detrimental to handmade.

F.W. said...

I just had a realization this morning, though I'm probably really slow to catch on. I've been mulling the whole Etsy search engine invisibility for a while now. Then it hit me: what sense does it make to promote sellers being found on Google when you can charge 7 bucks an item for a showcase? It's kind of incestuous. At least the 7 bucks would be worth it if it bumped you up in the Google search, but no dice.

Etsyian said...

And, is that really the relationship that you want with the person you pay to sell your items? That you have to explode their threads and threaten to leave and take hundreds with you to get what you want? This is business, not hostage negotiations.

Etsy is not a full-service shopping center where you list your items and magically get sales, it is a tool for you to use and nothing more. For the money we spend on Etsy, we can't expect much more than that. People talk about ArtFire favorably as a cheaper, more full-service alternative, but the free ArtFire account doesn't give you coupon codes, features on the front page, shop categories (which we get on Etsy), a gallery of sold items (which we get on Etsy), et cetera. You can pay the fee (equiv to listing 75 items on Etsy monthly) and go pro; Artfire claims they get about 800,000 monthly page views; Etsy got 736,602,776 in July 2010. Do the math on that one. But if you're smart, you won't leave your page views up to Etsy or Artfire.

The Knitting Lady said...

Surprised nobody has mentioned iCraft yet. It's a wonderful site for Handmade Arts & Crafts. No resellers, vintage or supplies. If you fed up with Etsy for those reasons, then you should definitely check iCraft.ca
I don't sell on Etsy, opened an account there a while ago, but then realized I have to pay for relisting all the time. I think that's what stopped me from going forward with them.

AnniesArtifacting said...

I am actually surprised at all that was said on this post, but at the same time, it explains why I did so terribly bad at My Own Etsy Store. I didn't close it, but it's been empty since I stopped being able to afford the fees.

I had a few friends on Etsy that were nice enough to "like" my things to help drum up some interest, but unfortunately, those very honest and all hand made sellers are now Out of the Etsy Business and have had to go back to get "real" and regular Day/Night jobs as they were putting out more than they were making at Etsy-which is also what Happened to me.
The first and only year that my etsy store was operational,I actually was operating at a loss, and that's how my taxes were filed.
I had several "vintage" items, and after they sold, I had not one other person of interest. So, I've gone back to word of mouth, and fried of a friend selling and I'm making 3x's more than I ever could have with Etsy and there are no fees from Etsy or Paypal...
I think that Etsy is a GIANT RIP-OFF!!!! And It makes me feel so much better to find that I'm not the only one who feels that way!!!