Thursday, August 19, 2010

Apparently Etsy can't ban people who buy out shops

So, a great and lovely gal wrote us earlier about her shop being bought out not once, but 3 times by a sock puppet account, which has forced her off of Etsy.

Etsy Admin told her that they could not help her and that user's couldn't be banned from using the services. We all know this is an outright lie, since many users have been banned, brickwalled and stalked through their other accounts or accounts of their friends and family.

She's currently selling at which is her blog and she also tells her entire story there. And a update here.

So, what do you lovely readers think?

(EDIT: Links should work now - Cranky)


Diana said...

Hi Sneaky, I think the link is broken. I found this though:

Wolf said...

Can't or WON'T because those sock puppet accounts bring them lots of money otherwise?

This doesn't surprise me, what with the haphazard way they roll out changes/upgrades/etc untested and bug ridden, that they won't devote anyone or anytime to actually helping sellers. That'd entail actually having someone do actual work there.

F.W. said...

That's awful! Even on eBay you can ban sellers- at least it was that way when I used to sell on eBay.
I just can't figure out what the non-paying buyer is trying to do- shut down the shop on purpose? If they are able to get away with this and at the same time other sellers can't warn each other about the identity of this person, then everyone is vulnerable.

Cosmic Yuk said...

They can't ban a sock puppet account? since when? A sock puppet isn't only an account used for posting in the forums, it's an account used to cause trouble. It is likely an undisclosed account of a seller as well. And if you back it with fake information, then it is not a viable account for any other purpose than to cause trouble.

There is something seriously wrong with a process that protects abusers and forces shop owners to have to close their shop in order to protect themselves.

I imagine they are thinking that once paypal is successfully integrated it will stop this kind of behavior, but it doesn't excuse their lack of protecting the seller in the interim.

Anne said...

I'm stunned speechless. Has anybody called them out on this? How often does this happen?

donteatthe cheese said...

Here's the correct url I'm not sure why the one in the post isn't working.

I read about this on the forums.

My guess is etsy knows exactly who bought her shop out and is protecting them.

There is a shop on etsy from NY, blinkphoto who is a pure reseller. I know of 6 people who have reported her. Do you think she has a relative on the payroll?

The favoritism stinks like bad cheese.

Kitten said...

I want to read the story, but the link doesn't bring me to a page that exists. Could you try posting again?

Cat Power said...

The URL you posted does not go anywhere. I even corrected the
.ca to .com, and google could not find it.

Would really like to see what this gal has to say.

Not Impressed said...

I had a charmer buy some 20 + items from both of my shops more than once - I think 4 or 5 times - and each time I wrote a detailed and polite note to admin to have this corrected / the buyer stopped. She had a history of non paying, the negs to reflect it.

Eventually even her HUSBAND got into this, buying and not paying for things. There was no malice intended, as far as I'm aware for my cases. The hubby account on the third or fourth try figured it out and paid for a bunch of items.

The original account has now converted to a seller account from South Africa with a lovely 70% feedback ratio.

Before this, in both shops, I'd done fine with a half dozen unpaid for items in 3ish years.

Kitten said...

I can't believe they won't police their website for fraudulent charges. I'm glad I'm not a work-at-home seller relying on etsy with incidents like this.

Violets new Vintage said...

I feel sad for any seller who has to go through this type of problem with a vindictive person. Its just a reminder that we are on our own and should keep our other selling places active and up to date. While I'm posting here I will add that *anyone who has their Etsy shop link on their Facebook page should go over and take it off. After the wider page change it doesn't work anymore.* (all distorted)

WTF said...

They can ban whoever they want. They've done it over and over. So why the total bullshit telling this perfectly nice and reasonable seller that they cannot?
The only thing I am glad to see is that they HAVE removed the negative feedback from her empty shop.
It's a total disgrace. I'd LOVE to hear their reasoning. Oh Wait, There isn't any reason.

Anonymous said...

If they can ban people just for people vocal in the forums or having a link in their announcements, why not sock puppets.

Short-Lived Hope said...

Etsy can (and sometimes will) shut down sock puppets like this.

But the operative word is Can. And occasionally Will.

Most often, nothing happens because the Content team is busy playing ping-pong, chatting in their plushie phone booths while twiddling with the Leggos, and maximizing user input by sorting emails rather than reading them.

With over 100 full time employees, it's simply a matter of priorities. I am a part owner of a company with over 90 employees, and we manage to publish over 40 small magazines and 7 websites. Etsy should be able to successfully manage 1 website with as many people.

If Etsy wanted to control these things, they could. Because it isn't their priority, they fall back on the excuse that there just isn't enough time and staff to do it. Children, managed by children.

Twenty-something management thinks this is enough to satisfy the masses. They don't realize "the masses" are business people with greater expertise than them - bu-buy Etsy. I know more than you do, and that's why I didn't stay very long...

The Stubborn One said...

Check THIS out! Sorry I found it so late. I'd have LOVED to comment on this one. GO NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL! About effing time.

The Stubborn One said...

Reading a bit further into the thread, it looks like it might not be so legit. Ah, well...a gal can dream. ;)

OH, please... said...

Admin Anee posted this when she shut down the thread:

"We fiercely value the integrity of the items on our site."


Oh please.

The Stubborn One said...

I know...right? They fiercely value resllers, old college roomies, owls, cowls, foxes and cupcakes. That's what. OH, and now scammers too apparently.

Gag me with a spoon, already.

had-it said...

I wonder if Etsy admin & forum mods go through a lot of toilet paper to wipe their mouths after all the shit that squeezes out.

Protecting "integrity" = can't discuss resellers, liars, sneaks, but won't protect good, rule following, honest sellers. Such a load of garbage. I'm not renewing anything & hardly buy anymore either. Such a shame.

Karley said...

Thanks so much for writing about my story!! I feel like such a fool for building my shop up over 3 years only to have Etsy fail me like this. I'm looking into re-opening on Big Cartel!

Because of my issue with Etsy, I have talked to at least 3 buyers and at least 5 sellers who have either left Etsy as well or decided against opening up a shop there. BECAUSE OF MY ISSUE! Etsy is so stupid.

had-it said...

Etsy IS really stupid! But now b/c of what's happened with you I discovered you shop. Screw etsy - you are better then them.

Side note: hadn't been on the forums in a while, and it was "nice" (HA!) to see its the same old same old. First thing I saw was a fight about the FP. So now there's treasury teams? Thousands upon thousands of treasuries but the same shops are on the FP multiple times a month. Right. No favoritism. Look away, nothing shady going on here.

Truthful said... were attacked. Jerks like the one you were dealing with target someone they don't like and do this kind of stuff to them. The goal was to make you close up shop. I am so sorry for your pain but as someone who has been in this business for a very long time I must tell you that I too have been there.

Cheer up and move on. Things happen for a reason and if you search etsy a little more I think you will feel happy that you moved on from etsy sooner than later.

S.T. said...

yeah, Etsy support is as incompetent as shit just like the rest of them. You'll get 10 different stories from 10 different people - if they actually bother to write back.

Like Warren Buffet says, you can't change a company's culture. He'd know. Etsy has always been sleazy, lazy, unprofessional and staffed by assholes, and always will be. It comes from the top. The arrogant, ignorant, weaselly con man who founded the place. I'm not religious but am hoping for divine justice because it would give me a huge sense of satisfaction to know he's going to burn in hell.

The Funny One said...

After reading the umpteenth small business article about integrity and ecommerce, YES, there are TOOLS that Etsy can buy or lease that will put blocks on any set of variables they choose, including fraudulent buyers and NON-PAYERS. And really bad buyers who leave an obvious trail of their misuse of the site, including seller harassment. Just pick up the phone and call eBay; they have a whole big dept that deals with this kind of stuff 24/7. They'll point you in the right direction!

So, Etsy, with all that money, what stops you from putting these READILY AVAILABLE tools on your site?

Get with it Etsy. Your reputation is looking mighty tarnished these days!

Of course, this doesn't solve the problem of Etsy's random harassment that goes as far as closing shops, but that's usually a personal matter. And what site is more blatantly loaded with personal bias than Etsy?

Dita Maulani said...

There's a thread on Etsy stating that Etsy should make a "block this buyer" option, started years ago. i just bumped it yesterday (along with many people who agree to make that idea happen) but there's no news yet about it from Etsy admin. Off to read her story on her blog.

RRobin said...

That problem could be alleviated in an instant if Etsy were to adopt industry standards that have existed on Amazon and eBay and other major e-commerce sites since, well, since the previous century.

That is: An item should not be removed from a shop or otherwise considered "sold" until it has been paid for. Period. Amazon operates this way. eBay's buy-it-now function operates this way. Etsy should operate this way, too.

Truf said...


Cosmic Yuk said...

Oh, you guys gotta see this:

They're bringing back the new checkout again. With sales tax!!! woohoo!!!

Wait, so you mean that once the new checkout is rolled out into your shop, it eliminates the Paypal settings you have set up? YES!!! so if you live in a destination-based sales tax state like New have to charge one rate for the whole state.

You would think a business based in New York would consider the tax laws in their own state!!! But no....Ericds says this:

Etsy Admin

ericds says:
beadinbythesea says:

Yikes, that is a problem for me if my Paypal tax settings cannot be applied with the new checkout.

Eric is there any chance that you will be adding more than one rate per state in the future?


Do you currently set rates for different zip codes within one state?

We're looking for feedback to understand how we can improve the tax settings in the future.

Looking for feedback? Are you fucking serious? You're rolling out another half-assed feature that screws with a huge segment of your membership!!!!

Does no one do any research? What are people supposed to do during the time you are 'figuring it out'? Overcharge? undercharge? refund the overage? eat the underages? You do realize that Paypal intends to charge for refunds, right? That you can't keep accurate tax records if you charge more or less than you're supposed to? And that it is illegal to do in some states?

Are you FUCKING SERIOUS ETSY??????????