Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coupon Codes on Etsy?’s another 5% “Test”!

Too little too late? Too little, too half-assed? In typical Etsy fashion, they roll out a fucked up widget just before the Holidays. Obviously, they don't remember moving out of Beta two years ago and the fuckery that happened with that

Etsy rolled out COUPON CODES (gasp!) to 5% of shops in this Announcement:

and in that unique Etsy-Way, what did Etsy not do? THINK IT THROUGH!

Sellers were quick to point out the obvious flaws in this thread:

... including one big huge Coupon Code must — to be able to set up a "ONE USE PER CUSTOMER" option. Or to include at least 2 basic options for setting Coupon Code amounts by either percentage-off and/or dollars-off.

This was Etsy’s response in the thread:

Each coupon code you create will be reusable by anyone for as long as the code itself is active. You may want to create one or a few coupons for seasonal/holiday specials for anyone, and then another few separate coupons for individual buyers whom you'd like to reward with an occasional discount. We will take your suggestions and the suggestions of others about this feature as we work to improve it.

Hey ho! It looks like Etsy forgot to check out its competition and see they way they’ve set up Coupon Codes that sellers find easy and quick to use------but it’s probably the same old same old at Etsy with the recent list of half-assed, never-tested rollouts, they never think it through like any seller would! They never take the perspective of the seller! They never think about the bottom line benefits to the seller!

Too little, too late? Too half-assed, too sloppy and too damn fail.

ADDED: In Three lightening phases of 15% 50% and 100% all sellers should now bave too0litle/toolate coupons codes that compete with no one but Fail.


Violets new Vintage said...

When I saw that E was trying to do coupons I just thought thank goodness I am on Artfire where everyone has access to coupon codes that really work. You can't trust Etsy to get things done correctly. (They also have resellers on the front page today)

foxaz said...

Another sad Etsy-fail.
You'd think with all the shops run by admin, they would have had a sellers perspective in mind.

Apparently they don't know jack about selling from their own shops.

California Girl said...

In a dysfunctional relationship, one person will continually keep the other one off balance by unpredictable behavior. Etsy is like that. No kept promises, no testing of anything, no level playing field for all users (you have to belong to the clique!). Just inappropriate "surprise" after surprise. Instead of addressing problems, Etsy just keeps creating new ones.

G33K GODDESS said...

Now that I am no longer in a position where I'm forced to suffer the consequences of Etsy's buffoonery, I just sit back, relax, and shake my head.

Is it really so hard to make an easy, useful tool for people who are working their asses off trying to sell their stuff in a competitive market during a deep recession? Really? As usual they just set up more and more hoops for their sellers to jump through, running them around and around in circles, when other venues make it totally straightforward and stress-free to enjoy their features.

Like I said, my business is safe now from their abuse and incompetence, so it's easy for me to just laugh, but I feel really badly for all the poor souls who are still "trying to make the relationship work", putting more and more time, energy, and money into it, just trying to gain a foothold, only to have E yank the rug out from under them all the time. And then they blame THEMSELVES when things aren't working out... It's just messed up.

I hope I will see a lot more sellers over on Artfire, because now that Etsy has perma-banned me, I can't buy from them, and I did a lot of shopping while I was there.

When you're ready to come over to the other side, send me your *working* *customizable* *easy-to-use* coupon codes, and I'll come running! :D

Lauren said...

You know how I read this?

"OMG! We're losing sellers! Guess it's time to actually do one of the simple things they've been asking for since the beginning."

And then they just rushed into it and failed horribly. I expect they'll soon take down the coupons thing, make a bunch of vague excuses about why they couldn't just fix it, and then put up another version that more or less works in the next few months.

Anne Onymous said...


I not only have great coupon codes on Artfire, but I have them for osCommerce on my personal site. The osCommerce coupons can be set up as regular discount coupons, free shipping, prepaid gift certificates--even "welcome aboard" codes forwarded via email when somebody registers. All that was done and tested by some group of devoted souls who just wanted to make a contribution to the software.
The Artfire coupon has several useful configurable options as well--and a little widget that lets me advertise it in my sidebar.

I'm beginning to feel like a fly on the wall in the Etsy software development department: Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod, everybody else has a coupon, and the natives are getting restless!!! What's the quickest, cheapest, dirtiest way we can roll one out????

I'm not doing any holiday promotions there at all, on account of I sold out of just about everything while at a show today.

I am used to it by now said...

Both my shops are in the 5% group that received this rollout. Can't use it because I need something that I can offer a discount on specific items rather than shop-wide. So, it's yet another Etsy tool I'll never use.

Christen said...

Cue the usual person defending Etsy like clockwork. Tell me I'm not the only one sick of his bullshit excuses for every single thing Etsy does.

Indigo said...

Way to go Etsy and Happy Holidays to everyone!! Nice of you to roll out a a half assed feature a little over a month before major holiday shopping.


The Funny One said...

Dear E: You don't wanna know how much $$$ you lost out on with all the sales me and my ex-E buds are making on actual sales, sending coupons to our lovely customers, and getting immediate sales on mailed coupons....and that's only in the last 3 weeks!

See, we're on AF (and other sites) that give us ALL the tools we not only asked for, but the ones retail experts say are most popular with 2010 shoppers when they make their decisions to buy online.

All of which are conspiciously missing from E.

We have some final words for E: out of the loop, behind the times, out of sinc, on another planet, un-trendy, unfriendly, uninspiring and un-handmade! No (lottsa) sales commission fees for you, E! Bah Humbug!

I fucking love knitting said...

As someone that works at on a web startup myself, I can't figure out what is wrong with these losers. They release a seller tool that would be handy if it was out two months earlier, with bugs, lacking all the features that would make it useful, on November 15? What the fuck? Pardon my French.

There is no excuse for Etsy to be like this. Sorry, we don't care if you 'started in a living room' or fucking whatever. If the morons who ruin Etsy (oops - meant 'run' but that works SO WELL) would step aside, it would be a huge benefit to the art and craft world. Please, you losers have demonstrated you have no idea what the fuck is going on. Go away.

Crocheted Little Things said...

Gagging - it's all I can saying.

And, of course, enjoying my holiday season on Artfire this year

Jen (formerly PoorLittleCupcakes) said...

That is absolutely unbelievable.'s totally believable.

Eveline said...

So, is THIS the annual Etsy fuck up for the holidays? Please tell me this is it for this year!


I am not surprised at all that this is another huge mess, not tested properly and just rolled out without any thought behind it other than 'oh just get it out there, they've been moaning about it for so long this might shut them up'.

November is NOT for testing! A live site is NOT for testing. The 'thank you for your suggestions' comment makes me sick!

Lucy said...

I was running a percentage off sale at all of my stores on Zibbet, Artfire, and Etsy. I had a purchase on all three. On Zibbet and Artfire, no problems. The percentage off was clearly marked on the item, the order was paid for with the discount, and everyone is happy.

On Etsy, since they are doing coupon codes, the customer missed the code. I put the code and sale in my announcement because I don't have time to list it in every item that I sell. Needless to say not every customer checks the annoucement and the customer paid for the order without the discout or knowing that I had sale going on. I did end up refunding it through Paypal since it's a return/loyal customer, but the point is I shouldn't have too.

If Etsy wants us to run sales this should have been thought out a little better. It's still much easier to run them on Zibbet and Artfire, and much clearer to the customer. As it stands right now, the coupon code does me little good and just makes having a sale more difficult.

Chantelle said...

I am so sick and tired of etsy implementing half-assed work and people gushing their thanks for it. At least this "feature" works, which is saying something.

There are lots of people defending etsy, saying that they know that this implementation isn't perfect because it doesn't include such basic functionality as use-once, dollars off instead of percent, apply to only a subset of items, etc. What those people don't realize is that this is it.

The only time etsy has revisited a feature they've implemented is when there are bugs that make it unusable in its limited form. Think about it: when has etsy gone back and improved an application or feature? Never, that's when.

There's a huge amount of software development talent at etsy that isn't being used. If I put out the half-assed work they do I'd be embarrassed to tell people I worked at etsy.

geelizzie said...

I'm not even going to pay attention to Etsy rollouts anymore. I put an announcement in my Etsy shop that I'll be closed indefinitely after the holidays and to come see me on Artfire. I'm also sending out a coupon with all my Etsy orders for 20% off their first Artfire order. I was a little worried that the coupon code might not work correctly on Artfire but I directed one of my Etsy regulars to my Artfire shop, gave her the coupon code, and it worked beautifully! Plus, she didn't have to join Artfire to buy- an even bigger plus.
Psst...geelizzie on Artfire, use coupon code geelizzie for 20% off.

AbsintheDragonfly said...

You did mention that they read here right?

Interestingly, I use my username/shopname here. Even more interestingly, they put me into the 5% of shops having this "feature."

Uninterestingly, I tried setting up a coupon today? First of all, you can't edit it, you can't use the name of the coupon again if you delete it, and lastly, you can't specify anything. I don't want to offer coupons for something in my shop that I'm only selling for $2, which is pretty much "at cost" for me to begin with...

I'm glad I'm at artfire...I'm really amused at this Asshat attempt, at quelling the dissatisfaction that is threatening to send them all to the guillotine so to speak. "They don't like Etsy anymore? Well Let them eat cake!"

Stifler's Mom said...

This is off the coupon topic, but I noticed that mentioning "resellers" and "Front Page" in the same post is is now a thread lockable offense.

Sheesh, they carry censorship to a new level.

Unhappyincupcakeland said...

How's this for fucked up stupidity? I closed my shop months ago. I even have a note telling people I am closed and where to find me, with legal two click links of course. But I am one of the 5% of sellers who received the coupon test.

They didn't even run some data to see who is still selling. They couldn't think a botched up coupon code could entice me back. They just grabbed a bunch of people with shops, whether former or not, and sent it out. Idiots!

Oh, YEAH, they are losing sellers. With more to come.

God, I love ArtFire.

Anonymous said...

Test this shit in January, not November. Are they kidding? Gah!

VC for Me said...

My 2 points:

1) Has no one in all of the Etsy Admins & Engineers EVER USED a coupon or discount code when they've shopped, either online or in a store? Anyone who has ever USED a coupon should be able to recognize and apply the key attributes of one-time-use, limited-product-categories, and/or expiration dates.

What retailer creates "another few separate coupons for individual buyers"? I'll tell you who - Etsy, the pseudo-retailer who apparently knows that each shop has so few sales that they actually have time to create separate coupon codes for each of our customers. Can you see WalMart or Target doing this (well, actually, Yes, but they would be accurately bar-coded).

2) And this business of rolling new features out to 5% or 10% of members with every new push? Fucked. It basically is a CLEAR indication that Etsy does not follow the standard protocol *as devised by successful online retailers* of running a parallel system for code development and testing.

That means instead of testing and debugging their code before implementation, on the secondary site, like Pottery Barn or Home Decorators or eBay do, they just roll their half-assed code out live to part of the site, and see how ugly it gets. Then they fuck with it some more, and maybe roll out to 20% and see how many more people they piss off.

Then they have some meetings and make a judgment call on whether the people complaining matter, or if they are just grumpy haters.

The VC investors in Etsy are some seriously brilliant people. I'm stunned that they haven't looked deep enough to see how shaky their platform is. Perhaps the current economy has put too many little handmade glitter stars in their eyes.

The Funny One said...

Well said VCforMe and appreciate the comments here from people who were included in the lame 5% broken coupon code crap.

E clearly doesn't read their company-sponsored forums on any regular basis, other than to jump in 3 x a week and ban, mute and slam 20-30 people they never liked.

They would have already seen, in print, the 10 most needed coupon attributes 3 YEARS AGO.

For a joke, just take a gander at the Bug posts, what a cesspool.

Is anything, other than blatant favoritism and arrogance, in working order on E?

GotEtsy? said...


Here they explain, why they roll out stuff during the holidays. AND they mention how amazing it is they haven't yet had epic wide site failure (in months). Ya'll should comment.

Chantelle said...

Thanks for the link, GotEtsy? Funny how the comments don't appear immediately in that storque post... they're moderating them now. I didn't realize that they'd had to delete so many comments in storque articles that it's time to moderate them. I hope my comment (which is mostly questioning) appears there.

The Funny One said...

Dorque comments have been heavily edited and censored for years. Sellers who are justifiably scared to post in the forums seem to think Dorque comments won't subject them to harsh punishment, but many have found they are targets of the same heavy-handed tactics used elsewhere.

If any other company provided so many public platforms for public comments and found that a great percentage were negative, they would either (1) respond and fix the problems or (2) close down the public platforms to discourage negative feedback (open to public view). For reasons unique to Etsy, editing and censoring, a hugely subjective and labor-intensive effort, is their tour de force.

Could be that the huge increase in bugs is directly comparable to the extra manual effort Admins put into editing and censoring the rest of the site.

Cat Power said...

Editing and censoring is done to increase their sense of power over the "little people".

Why let a program screen comments, when they can have the delicious pleasure of being the one to smack the questioners and heretics who dare to voice negative comments regarding their brilliant new gizmos!

I bet they have a weekly pool to see who does the most closings and deletes! The winner, no doubt, gets a free hour in the plush phone booth!

Pineapple Soda said...

The Funny One said...

E clearly doesn't read their company-sponsored forums on any regular basis, other than to jump in 3 x a week and ban, mute and slam 20-30 people they never liked.

The people doing the forum moderation probably have really little communication or influence over the jerk-offs pulling the strings. Basically, their job is to shut down threads and move them around, that's it.

I love how the people who DO make decisions about designs and stuff (not necessarily policy) have a party line they practically cut and paste in every thread about their new poorly designed features: "We're testing and observing how this works. It's increased clicks and sales blah blah and we'll continue to make changes".

Such corporate assholes. You could replace anyone on the Etsy staff with anyone else and you'd never notice, really. Their posts are all cut and paste corporate party line BS.

Chantelle said...

They let my comments through... and my comments have been repeated so I guess they're not averse to my continuous questioning.

One of these days etsy will get tired of me and my questions about why they're doing things the way they are. Until then, I'm going to keep questioning. Someone has to.

Anne Onymous said...

I didn't read past page one of the comments, but it's important to understand that the Storque article is about their network and systems engineering staff--their operations people. These are the people who replace sick servers in the dead of night, who ensure that network connections remain stable, and who generally assume responsibility for the hardware, network, and other infrastructure. These are the people who sleep with their cell phones under their pillows and generally have no love life. They normally answer to no one but themselves and God, and no one understands what they are doing.

They ought to be (and it sounds like they are) a separate entity from the software engineering or development people who are creating coupons, non-functional tax applications, and other assorted little bells and whistles. These people by rights sleep with their cell phones under their pillows when a new application is being rolled out. In between such times, they may have a love life. They function at the mercy of the sales and marketing people. No one understands what they do, either, but they by God better get it done quickly before the wolves break down the door.

In the best of all possible worlds, these two groups have exchanged home phone numbers and communicate easily when it is necessary--which it often is.

Etsy has brought their chief engineer out of the back room to assure everybody that the trains will be kept running on time. The first five thousand people to post comments have almost universally confused the infrastructure and network with the new applications that will (hopefully) be kept running on it.

I am beginning to dream of dusting off my resume and getting out of this. Being rousted out of a warm bed at 2 a.m. is somehow preferable to being at the mercy of people I'd rather not be at the mercy of.


Chantelle said...

Anne Onymous, there aren't that many pages on Chad Dickerson's article - only about 60 - so I'm thinking you're talking about other comments?

As far as the Storque article goes, it refers not only to the operations people who keep things running but also the software development changes.

Personally, I think it isn't the software developers who are determining the new features and their specifications. The programs that are being rolled out are so incomplete and lacking in robustness that no software engineer worth their education would be proud of that work.

tired etsian said...

I must be losing my mind, but wasn't this shop already a featured seller?

I tried looking in the archives but had trouble finding featured sellers after August of this year.

G33K GODDESS said...

On the topic of censorship-

I still find it astounding that Etsy would choose to ban me, not because I wasn't an awesome seller and buyer (I was), not because I was re-selling or breaking any rules nor guidelines about selling (I wasn't) but all because they didn't like WORDS I typed in the forums.

I wasn't spamming and trying to sell knock-offs of designer shoes and handbags, I was raging against the cupcake hordes and their petty little jabs and insults. And THAT was enough to permanently delete my account there an ban me?

It never took me more than 5 minutes to pay when I was a customer. I almost always left feedback after transactions. I never had ANYTHING but perfect, glowing feedback FROM my customers. All in all, I'd say I was a pretty decent member of the community.

But I have some choice words to say on the forums and ZAP! Kicked out on my ass. That doesn't happen when I rant in the Artfire forums.. or anywhere else I can think of... besides the totalitarian regime of Etsy!

Who want's to be in their stupid asshat hipster-douche club anyway? After seeing how they REALLY run their business, I'm thankful they forced me to buy and sell elsewhere.

Sickofit said...

If there was someone sensible in charge, maybe all the work these people do wouldn't be such a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.
"Be your own CEO" -- Anarchy rules at Etsy. So high school. But what do they care as long as they are being paid.

Anonymous said...

G33K Godess says:
I still find it astounding that Etsy would choose to ban me, not because I wasn't an awesome seller and buyer (I was), not because I was re-selling or breaking any rules nor guidelines about selling (I wasn't) but all because they didn't like WORDS I typed in the forums.
That's just par for the course there. You said sumthink bad about my teddy then - bam I hit you and get of my way. I want my Mommy

Melrose Place said...

Hey, looks like we have a new totally useless feature that is at odds with what people actually sign up for. 'Circle of Friends' aka 'Stalk Your Competitors'. Looking forward to Bitching about that, EB

JunkMostWondrous said...

Unhappyincupcakeland said:

How's this for fucked up stupidity? I closed my shop months ago. I even have a note telling people I am closed and where to find me, with legal two click links of course. But I am one of the 5% of sellers who received the coupon test.

They didn't even run some data to see who is still selling. They couldn't think a botched up coupon code could entice me back. They just grabbed a bunch of people with shops, whether former or not, and sent it out. Idiots!


I think the 5% bit must be a lie, judging from the number of people who were included in the supposed 5%. My shop also has been closed for months with a sign explaining why, but I was included in the alleged "5% group" as well.