Sunday, October 17, 2010

Etsy now Wants You To Be Credible and Post Your Real Name

Hello Folks..

Yeah, the coral thread will be posted on this weekend or early this week..

However, I was perusing this idea here:

So, now Etsy says you are more credible if you post your real name in conjunction with your shop.

Now, quite a few of us have had some horrifying experiences. I know I have, at the expense of some really crappy Etsyians. While it may be optional, Etsy is basically saying that you're not credible or trustworthy if you dont post your name in your shop.

Here's one woman's horrifying experience as good justification on why this should not even be sanctioned by Etsy:

What's wrong with just saying, "Hey, we have this new feature available, and while we think it would be neat for you to use, you dont have to use it?"

Instead they just sent the message, "Hey you, you are a loser and have no credibility as a seller if you don't use this feature, even if its totally optional."

Your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

I *legally* do business under my business name. It is a federally registered trademark and registered in my home state. As far as the feds are concerned, my business name is my legal name for tax purposes. What's good enough or the government ought to be good enough for Etsy.

How odd that this comes on the heels of their 2% slip up in the treasuries...

AbsintheDragonfly said...

Ugg. Just reinforcing the reasons why I just let my store be on it's own, don't go into the forums anymore, and am spending all of my time at Artfire...

F.W. said...

I can think of several good reasons why a seller wouldn't want to list her real name: stalkers, spammers, ability to link name with address, harassers, ability to be found by estranged (and strange) relatives, etc.
I can see the spam already and the weird emails/convos from pervs and the like. Just try posting straightforward pictures on Flickr and see what I mean. And there are no real names involved!
It's a bad idea all the way around. We don't need real names to order from Amazon or other large online retailers, right?

RRobin said...

Heh. Credibility lessons from Etsy? That's like taking ethics lessons from Hitler.

Let them put their money where their mouths are by putting their own real names -- AND THE FACT THAT THEY WORK FOR ETSY -- on their own shops. (And their boyfriends' shops. And their mothers' shops. And their sisters' shops. And their boyfriends' mothers' sisters' shops, etc.) And let them prove how dedicated these individuals are to transparency by posting their personal home or cell numbers there too. Maybe that way we can ignore the fact that the site still has no customer service phone number.

Also, each time a seller is on the FP, have a calculator saying how many times they have been on the FP in the past 10 days, 30 days, year and ever (lifetime). Kind of like those detailed feedback charts on Amazon or eBay.

Then maybe we'll take their "credibility" advice more seriously.

sark said...

I haven't stumbled into the catacombs of "my etsy" to try to find this one yet. But then, I am a lazy bastard, and well, my name is in my shop name. Probably because I sell artwork, and while there are the occasional exceptions - like theblackapple - the vast majority of people who sell artwork just plaster their own name on their own work... it just kind of comes with the territory, unless you're trying to be all "branded" like Lady Gaga or whatever, but, c'mon, unless you're 12 or you don't have the internet, then I think you kind of know her real name is Stefani.

That being said, not every artist just blithely or on autopilot registers under their own name... and well, not everyone makes art.

*you realize that I have my own basket of rotten fruit for all you tomato throwers, right?*

Some of you are artisans, and some of your thought long and hard about how to design, promote, and brand your products. And you didn't spend all that time and effort putting together whatever the fuck it is you cleverly built because you wanted to sign your name on it. And then, some of you apparently have stalkers. Both of which are completely valid points.

My name is already my shop name, so, meh. I would imagine, if you don't want to plaster your name all over your shop - you have your reasons, and likely, I'm not going to argue with them (unless this involves aliens or calling the President Hitler — I assume they're good reasons)...

The problem seems to be more in the way this latest "thing we didn't ask for" was rolled out, and the attitude of the staff & that of the average etsian.

And that problem is virtually the same with every fucking thing on etsy. You motherfuckers suck at empathy.

Obviously, if you're not a motherfucker, or don't suck at empathy - then you know who you are.

Resign yourself to the fact that the world is populated with idiots, some of them are on the staff, some of them are your fellow etsians. Do as you please, and don't let these mofos get to you. Whatever you do, you have your reasons.

That, and other than briefly skimming one of these threads I have otherwise been ignoring this new catastrofuck, because, well, that's what every new "thing we didn't ask for" is.

You notice no one bitches when they stop putting repeats on the front page... you think they'd learn.

Imagine if they invented coupon codes or batch editing for prices so that people could effortlessly have sales...

Violets new Vintage said...

Etsy alienated /ignored artists like me years ago when they went beige. Etsy has a very strict check list of features that establishes a seller as acceptable and each month the list gets longer and the number of sellers/artists who can make the list gets lower.
I just accept this as fact and try not to lose any sleep over it AND I promote my Artfire shop vigorously! Thanks EB, love this blog. Betsy B

theexitdoor said...

After being called some rather interesting variations on "bitch" by one of these fine Etsy buyers because I refused to cave to her special demands, I closed my shop. I'd been on the fence to begin with, and had reopened my own website that had gone idle. This episode kicked me into action.
The amount of entitlement among Etsy buyers is incredible. And this is the problem with these clique-y mall venues-they don't take you as a seller seriously, they don't understand professional conduct..they think we're all doing this for fun money.
This woman was so malevolent that I cannot imagine what she would do with access to my real name. Etsy is, once again, playing with themselves. Hey, here's an idea-CREDIBILITY might come with a decent SEARCH ENGINE!

ChamberMaid said...

Just another way to open yourself to abuse. If you want to use your real name, do it! Otherwise, why do the so-called Etsy employees waste their time on shit like this>
Rhetorical question-- we all know why. They don't know how to do anything useful. Pushing a broom usually fools your manager, if you have one.

Anonymous said...

They have got to be joking, they don't even disclose all the shops each admin has. When they post their names and contact info- including phone numbers and addresses, then go telling sellers what to do.

I have no problems giving my name, people get it from paypal, etc but there is no reason to have to post it on a shop just so etsy might gain a little credibilty.

Reasonable said...

I think this is actually a good thing for Etsy to encourage. Whether a buyer or seller, I think having some information about the person you're doing business with is a good thing. Too many times, I think people selling online hide behind a created name, which only makes matters worse when problems arise in a transaction. This anonymity can even encourage people to not handle their business responsibly. This is why there have been laws introduced to require contact information in business emails, etc.

Perhaps a compromise would be best, like having only certain information accessible at certain points. Maybe some information can be shown upfront, and if you need more, you can get access to it through other methods. Like on eBay, where you can request your buyer or seller's contact info in case of a problem with the transaction. It lets you access their full name and phone number, so you can resolve any issues.

As for the thread you referenced, it is certainly an awful story, but it's also a pretty extreme situation. It's not exactly something that most people are going to encounter, so I don't think it really helps your argument against using your real name in connection with your business. I agree that people should have some privacy, but when you're looking to do something like run a business online, you have to accept that you are also putting yourself out there in some way. Even offline businesses have to deal with this, as with publishing contact information publicly when registering a business name.

tired etsian said...

My problem with this is not disclosing my name, though I hesitate too as it is shared with a prominent Porn star and really, would rather people look/google for me under my branded and advertised business name.

The problem is the whole social aspect they are going towards. Chit chatting with anyone and everyone, being friends, forming groups, etc, etc.

There are a few customers who after years of repeat purchases I have become friendly with. Not friends, friendly in that we exchange pleasantries a step up from thank you and your welcome.

I just see problems with Etsy encouraging the idea of being friends first then maybe have a business relationship. Friends often want deep discounts or worse, stuff for free. Thankfully my real life friends have never asked me for this, but I've heard many a seller complain about dealing with this scenario and I think it would be worse with the false 'friendships' a social Etsy would offer.

One reason I try to never voice my true opinions on things in the forums is that I don't want the backlash and potential harassment from the Etsy protectors. To do that and have my real name readily available to them. No. Not comfortable with that.

Just another reason to wrap up the holiday season at Etsy and then spend next year building up my other venues.

The Funny One said...

Not surprising since the FP is now "personalized" without ever asking visitors if it was ok to mine their usage data and manipulate how they navigate the site. Did Etsy add an Opt Out or Opt In? NO.
As far as I'm concerned, Etsy invaded my privacy and crossed the line when they started shoving their limited and uninformed style aesthetic down my throat that turned me off to any seller they like forever.
Etsy wants to be FB and are so sorry they missed that boat (and have been out of the loop for so long they have an altered reality) that they tweak the site based on "gee, that sounds neat" ---- not only is Etsy extremely stupid, they're dangerous.

Cosmic Yuk said...

What is the big deal? If you don't want to use this feature, don't use it. If you feel you have a good reason not to publicize your name in your shop, then don't do it. I don't need to know the gory details, we all have to make the decision to use or not use it based on our own circumstances.

What if someone posted a great, heartwarming story regarding posting their name online, like they found a long lost relative, their best friend in high school or a child they'd given up for adoption 30 years ago found them because they put their name online?

Is my scenario more valid?

So, you feel that Etsy is casting aspersions on your credibility because you can't or don't want to publicize your real name? Well, I can't tell you how to feel, however, I might advise you not to take it so personally.

It's simply an option that might be of benefit to those who utilize it. It doesn't automatically mean that those that don't are up to no good. Etsy's statement just poses a potential benefit to those who may not have considered linking their name to their shop before. It CAN lend credibility. It CAN say that you stand behind your product in a more public way. But it's just one piece of the pie. Having a name doesn't in and of itself make you more credible, having a well fleshed-out shop with a profile and policies, feedback, clear product photos, informative descriptions are equally, if not more important.

So use it or don't, but please, dispense with the drama already, for me it's a huge turnoff.

The Sneaky One said...

Cosmic, the problem is that Etsy is insinuating, that those of us who choose to not to want to use the feature are less credible than those who do. Did I somehow not make that clear in my post? Or do you choose to skim it over because you don't think its that big of a deal?

I might get behind what reasonable said, is that the information is released only if you have a dispute with the seller. Otherwise, no way, no how. I've been abused by too many mindless Cupcakes in convo, by phone and in email to ever want my name publicized just to seem more "credible" by Etsy's standards.

invisible elf said...

There are several admins who don't even disclose their full names. Who the hell are people like 'l8ramin', for instance? Typically these people have profiles with informative statements like 'i make software at etsy in NYC'.

How can we trust them?

RRobin said...

Quoting sark...

"unless you're trying to be all "branded" like Lady Gaga or whatever, but, c'mon, unless you're 12 or you don't have the internet, then I think you kind of know her real name is Stefani."


Pardon me, but I think you may have to BE 12 to know her name is Stefani. I just learned that factoid here, now, and I bloody well have the internet, thank you very much. I just don't listen to or take any interest in pop music and its stars.

anti monkeybutt said...

wtf etsy? sounds like ebay and their talk of protecting innocent buyers from big bad scammy sellers.
scammy sellers are unwilling to share their info. *drink the koolaide*
only con artists are unwilling to post their real name. *drink the koolaide*
the world if full of wonderful people - no need to protect yourself.
*drink the koolaide*
just wtf.

Amenhotep IV said...

This is totally what caused the treasury glitch. Don't you know it. They were fiddling with how to display names.

As for the names? Why do they have to phrase it like it legitimizes people if they plug a "real name" into a new form spot.

We could already choose to use, or not use, our "real names" anywhere we wanted, at any time. By typing. With a keyboard.

The actual feature of having your name pop up if you want it to does not bother me.

What bothers me is that the Etsy staff worded it like you would not be legitimate if you didn't fill out a real name in the spot they wanted you to put it.

And what's all the BS about your profile NOT being about business--but about you? Who gives a fuck what cereal I like.

Cosmic Yuk said...

Sneaky, I didn't skim your post, I read it thoroughly, including both links. I find it rather insulting that you would make such an assumption simply because I don't share your view. I don't get that insinuation from this statement:

"Using your name on Etsy can help people you know recognize you, and can establish credibility and engender trust. It's a way of saying, "With my real-world identity, I stand by my work and my activity in the Etsy community." Using your name is optional."

As far as Reasonable's post goes, if you have a dispute with a seller now chances are good you already have their real name and address from the invoice or paypal. the purpose of having the option to put your name in your shop has nothing to do with disputes, but a step toward fulfilling their mission of connecting makers with their customers.

If and when the time comes that we are given space to put pictures of ourselves and our work space in our bio, will we be met, yet again, with all the stories of why it is dangerous for some people to put their pictures in their bios?

If Etsy suggests that you do this because it shows potential customers there is a real face behind the computer and just how hard you work at your craft, will those who can't or won't claim etsy is insinuating that they don't work as hard at their craft? Or perhaps may not even be the artist behind the shop?

Talk to me when they select those shops who put their name out there and elevate them in the search results, or are given special privileges the rest are not. And then I'll change my view.

Anne said...

I don't understand how using one's real name leads to greater "credibility," or how not using it makes one less "credible." As soon as I started reading this post, I began to think that the whole thing whole thing is some kind of flap designed by the Etsy powers to deflect our attention from some new disaster that's going to be winging towards our heads out of right field. As with all the other recent clusterfus, they just don't take the time to think things all the way through. My business name has been my business name for ten years. It's in the phone book, the bank knows it, and so do the tax people. I guess I'll ignore this one.

Eveline said...

While I doubt that providing (potential) buyers with your real name will make you more 'credible', sellers who wanted their real name linked to their Etsy shop could already do so in their profiles and bios.

Now Etsy has invented this new spot for you to put that info, where you can't change it yourself if you want to (you have to send an email to Etsy, and we all know how quickly they respond to those!) and on top of that they make it sound that even if it's optional, if you don't, you don't 'stand behind your work' and your credibility is at stake.

The Funny One said...

We may disagree about this latest Esty-distraction crap but we can agree on these points (1) Etsy nevers asks sellers what they want, they just announce and impose; (2) Etsy never explains why they constantly make changes that have nothing to do with selling because they have zero respect for sellers & (3) Etsy has no idea what it is or who it wants to be but it has nothing to do with seller-sales-success.
It has everything to do with enhancing the profiles and sales of their few fave sellers while fleecing the rest of the pain in the ass sellers who fork over millions of $$$ in listing fees without ever making any sales on a site that obviously has too many cooks in the kitchen.
Etsy is not about selling, and it's an insult to sellers that they have ignored the fact that we are at the beginning of the holiday sales season in one of the worst retail years in history.
While Etsy is trying to be Big Brother, what the hell are they doing to help sellers sell between now and Dec 24? Nothing, not a peep!

Martha said...

I just went to my profile to check it out - I edited my name, then saved it... and it appears you are not allowed to change your name once you submit it! You have to send an email to Etsy and kindly ask them to do it - WTF?

"If you provide your name for public display and then decide to change or remove it, you can submit a name-change request. Etsy reviews each name-change request that is submitted, and your request may take a few days to be processed.

Note that your name can only be changed a limited number of times."

soothsayer said...

Like "Temple St. Clair" ???

What a laugh. As if there is or ever was any human with this name.

Castle St. Rainbow said...

For real. That is the dumbest fake name I ever saw. Porn stars have more realistic names.

Sick of Idiots said...

I'm highly suspicious of this latest change thrust unasked upon Etsians because they have set it up that we are unable to change it without waiting on admin to get around to us. We all know how well that works!

Many of us opted to put our shop names in this space and Etsy wasn't very happy about that. That tells me this is leading somewhere I don't want to go.

I also highly resent Etsy's inference that I am not a reputable person/seller because I refuse to put my name in my shop. This is yet again Etsy damaging sellers instead of supporting them.

I'm in the group riding things out until January. I no longer feel Etsy can offer me anything but more headaches. Time to move on.

Wolf said...

Just the fact I sell my items is enough 'credibilty' and shows I stand by what I create.

My real name does not need to be attached to them, in my opinion.

If I wanted my real name out there, I'd have not gone through all the trouble I go through every few months to ensure it's NOT out there. I have a pseudonym for a reason.

no more etsy bill said...

So over etsy. Bait and switch shiesters.

They are not a venue for artisans.
The have obvious contempt for genuine professional sellers.

Eventually serious shoppers will figure this out.

Etsy is less and less relevant as the months click by.

The jig is up hipsters.

invisible elf said...

Don't forget, their new, improved profile pages will be out soon! I'm sure it will have a prominent space for your name. Probably they're plotting to make it look crappy if you don't put in your name, like it will say

"My name: ______ __________" and just have big grey spaces where your name goes, if you haven't filled it in, to manipulate you into adding your name. We are, after all, sulky teenagers and Big Rob Kalin, the EYE of the FISH, knows what is best.

So, come on Etsy - let's see all of your employees names. How do we know *with whom we're working*? How can we check if you have anyone with a history of fraud, identity theft, etc. when we don't know their names? (ha, the joke is that Rob Kalin (if that's his real name) probably knows more about those topics than everyone else working there)

HIpstersKnowEverything said...

I know it's off topic, but this Admin notice didn't even come close to dealing with that Storque article on coral. It should be taken down. Since WHEN don't people know that red coral is endangered?? (Plus you don't need legal tender to do a quid pro quo and what about the callouts and the use of a non-Etsyian manufacturer as the focus? HUH???)

"Etsy Admin
julietgo says:
Hi everyone,

I'm Etsy's editorial director and I want you to know that I and all the blog editors have been carefully reading and discussing your feedback on the coral preservation article. Our aim in publishing this blog post was to raise awareness and provoke reflection about an under-recognized issue. It was absolutely not our intention to call out or cast a negative light on any Etsy seller. We come to work every day trying to build a better business for you, truly! So to anyone who felt unwelcome, my apologies. Our policies about what can be sold on Etsy are unchanged.

To clarify regarding questions that have been raised about our editorial policies, there is no "pay for play" on Etsy. No one can purchase editorial coverage.

Posted at 5:02 pm, October 18, 2010 ET - Report this post:

YEP, I am sure you all convinced yourself that you were completely justified in not only being thoughtless beforehand, but still being completely clueless. Who are these editorial interns qualified to teach US ANYTHING? They sure learn nothing from us.

UgaBugaBowls said...

I deal with thousands of companies every week. I have some strong brand loyalties.

I call USAA every couple of months to see if I can consolidate more services with them (insurance, banking, etc). Haven't got a clue what the CEO's name is.

Every couple of months I stock up on my cd's and mini dv tapes from a seller called Precision Media. Haven't got a clue who works there.

I know 3 names of the heads of companies that I have ever worked with. Rob Kalin, because he's such a notorious dipshit. Seriously, when that article in Reader's Digest came out a year ago, that was my introduction to the guy and he was SUCH a douche that the name stuck.

And then there's John and Tony at Artfire. Their last names are, uhhhhhh, wait, don't tell me, oh it's gonna bug me all day! I can picture their faces! Oh screw it. I only know them because Tony comes into the forums and helps us out all the time and sometimes he references John and they do the podcasts together.

Your name has nothing to do with your credibility. It's all about the brand name. They would know that if anyone had passed a Business 101 class.

No one asked for it, some hate it, it does nothing positive. Therefore, not a single minute of development time should have been spent on it. They could have spent that time learning how to plug in a damn phone that customers can call.

F.U.E said...

fuck etsy. they've lost all credibility.

Jamy said...

They're just saying that now because they fucked up and put people's real names and info on those treasuries. Now, rather than owning up to the mistake and taking FULL accountability for how irresponsible it was, they're saying "Well if you are a legitimate business, you should be posting your real name anyway."


Jamy said...

Interesting. I just checked the link to the BBB from that article and Etsy has a B rating with them. I'm surprised it's that high, considering all of the unethical crap they've been up to.

The Funny One said...

Take a page from the FB playbook - real names are more data-mineable and therefore Etsy can make more $$$$ selling seller name data to advertisers. Store names have no value for this purpose.
Etsy is collecting data without any opt-out, and they'll surely sell it to the highest bidder.
The goal is to soak the most profit before the site kills itself with all the unsupervised online behavior of its unsupervised employees.

Any other legitimate company would have fired that "coral my ass" twit on the spot.

worn out said...

Using your real name also creates a spiderweb effect. If people search for you by your real name on Google, they will then find you on Etsy. Perhaps they sign up for Etsy to find you or because you're on there bringing in more people to Etsy. Doesn't matter whether they actually do anything on the site. It's all about the numbers.

trinlayk said...

If there's a long lost friend or schoolmate looking for me, they can google my "real name" and find me where I've set up to be found by that sort of person. (and I can choose whether or not that person is given access to post on that site.)

I do not want some people from my past to find my shop. I don't want an ex-coworker who simply didn't like me to affect my shop reputation.

Or the client from the day job who didn't like the decision that was actually made by my BOSS about their account to be able to trash my shop.

I wouldn't want the day job employer to be making decisions about whether I get a promotion or raise based on what they think of my ETSY work... or by how well they THINK my shop is doing.

Heck, I just don't want to, is a perfectly valid reason.

F.W. said...

I agree with Funny One. This is all tied to the idea of targeting specific individuals so that we can all be marketed to more effectively. Look at Facebook- as soon as you indicate a "like" up pops an endless series of ads on the right side of the screen with products that just happen to be related to the likes!
Etsy wants some kind of world where under the guise of "sharing interests" (which means in corporate parlance, sharing brand loyalties) and flimsy friendships or whatever, a larger corporate structure can more easily sell crap to you. On a smaller scale, they can further enrich the handful of favorite sellers on their own sites, or start Payola schemes like good ol' Temple St.Clair.

Cosmic Yuk said...

Well, here's a solution! Everyone put in the name Cindy Johnson. Or Jim Jones or something similar, a common name that no one would associate with you.

Would be great if everyone used the exact same name. This solution is two-fold, you can appear credible to the world and also screw up any data mining attempts. How valuable can those links be if thousands of shops are run by the same pseudo name.

Or, since it seems that the overwhelming response to the feature is negative (or in my case indifferent), then if no one uses the feature, it won't result in any benefit to Etsy. Or put in your shop name.

If ya think Etsy is screwing with you or using you, use them back. Don't try and reason with them, there is no reasoning with them. Did you think once they heard all the awful stalker stories that they would suddenly have a V-8 moment?

Stop acting like victims of an abusive partner and start fighting back!

Oh, Oh!!!! I know!!! use the name of the top sellers!!!! Everyone put THEIR NAMES in your spot!!!

You wanna fuck with Etsy? Now's your chance.

Or we could all be Martha Stewart!

Tula said...

I think the Etsy folks are spending too much time on Facebook. They obviously buy into the whole culture of oversharing that's rampant there.

I agree with Anonymous and others in that I am a *business* and I've spent a lot of time and money developing a brand. If I wanted my name to be my brand I would already have it plastered all over.

I've chosen my own marketing approach. They're always after us to market Etsy, and now they want to tell us how to do it?

Personally, I find people running legitimate businesses to be more credible than Mary Sue Hipster crafting fake mustaches in her dorm room. But I guess being responsible and doing things the right way isn't the Etsy way.

Salacious said...

Tula said...
I think the Etsy folks are spending too much time on Facebook.

Ever notice that Kalin is like this eviler little version of Mark Zuckerberg? I'm sure he wants to be just like him, but more hipsty.

eclipse (aka Craven Morehead) said...

I am so tempted to put something like "Craven Morehead" in there, but once you put it in, you can't take it out. You need to contact Etsy support any time you want to edit it.
WTF is up with that?

Zorro said...

@eclipse I know, they trust you to put it in the first time but not to change it? They don't understand 'thinking'. Typical Etsy.

Muted but not silent Maureen said...

Simple- If I had wanted my real name out there, I would have made that my username/shopname already like many others have. Because I am a grown up and can make those decisions all by myself for MY business instead of being led by the hand and told what I need to be more credible. If there is a problem with credibility at Etsy, it is not coming from sellers not posting their real names. It is coming from Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

My they even have a clue!!! With the big holiday season here, they choose this time to come out with this little gem!

I work hard on my shops for my customers (24/7) and to think all I really needed was my name to make me trustworthy!

I can't wasit to see the NEW shopping cart...I am sure it will work about the same as all their other 'FANTASTIC' ideas.