Friday, November 5, 2010

POWER TO THE PEOPLE


Our time to stand up has never been more clear. Seller dissatisfaction has never been higher, and Etsy has never listened less then now.

Handmade existed before Etsy, it will be there after. While other venues get it and offer the service, features and tools Etsy doesn't. Etsy don't understand that it's sellers are more than a handful of dimes, they are ETSY'S CUSTOMER. And Customers have a right to ask for improvements, and question. They don't understand that silencing the "dissenters" only breeds more dissent and leads you to others asking more questions they don't want asked or have to answer.

Join us - our dear fallen, neglected, and righteously pissed off Etsians - for a strike and make them Etsy feel our wrath where it matters: the balance sheet.



ETSY SELLERS STRIKE!!!
STARTING: TONIGHT NOV 5 at 12Midnight
ENDING: MONDAY
NOV 8 at 12Noon
(all times Eastern US)


1: Put your stores into Vacation Mode.

2: Say WHY you are ON STRIKE at the top of your store announcement.

3: NO LISTING!

4: NO
RELISTING or RENEWING!

5: NO BUYING!

6: NO MERCY!



Feel Free to use this banner - or make your own! (click it to get it full size)




(Ye, we know this is a bad time of year for this, so doing it before it gets any further into the Xmas season is better. We need to hit while the iron is hot, as it were.)

49 Comments:

All Wired Up TOO said...

I'm no longer on etsy. I support your Strike..I won't buy during this time!

Lazy Bone said...

aww man...

I love to shop on etsy, but you're right. Selling there sucks donkey balls!

ohmeohmy said...

Hi,

I think strikies are great ideas when you can get some sort of media coverage. If it all incurs in a bubble (etsy) nothing is to be gained.

Also such a small % of sellers go on the forums.

There is no way to make admin notice you have closed your shop in protest. I mean with the truncated "welcome page", will it even get seen?

The nedia is our friend. If we get that secured thaen perhaps a srike will work.

FedUp said...

Haha! So hilarious seeing the confused posts start to trickle in. "Why am I only getting half the views". "Wish etsy would figure out what's going on!"

LOL, inform yourselves dumdums! esty is jacking yo ass is what's going on!

Don't worry, the truth will spread here soon. Spread like wildfire!

The Wicked Nun said...

We are sofa king in! Just tweeted this to my buddies to join up with us.

Eveline said...

Etsy has not been getting a penny from me for months now. Favourite sellers I look up on Artfire where I started selling myself. Etsy's ship is sinking, fast, and the sooner people will abandon ship the better. This strike is a great idea, I hope a lot of people will take it up.

Wooly Bumblebee said...

I wish I still had a shop to strike with ;P But I fully support this in every way!! Hit them where it hurts, in their wallets!

Ellie said...

I will be looking up people's other venues and purchasing from them there. Using Google, Etsy, that's right! Even though you freak out over what sellers put in shop announcements and profiles like a controlling abusive boyfriend, we can just look them up, you know.

The best way to make Etsy fade is to buy from people at other markets or through their E-Commerce sites.

SusanA said...

I have to agree with ohmeohmy unless a stike has some coverage no one will even notice.
even if 30% of shoppers went on strike, there are so many sellers, the buyers wouldn't even notice.
Odds are you might get a couple of hundred. It's barely a blip. Not that etsy would care anyway. They'll ignore it anywhere

The Funny One said...

rah rah sis boom bah!
Perfect timing, Admins knock off early on Fridays because it only takes 15 minutes to re-pick all their re-picks for their faves of the weekend who are the same faves they picked for the last 29 weekends, friends and relatives included. And knock out 4 infantile half-sentences for a couple of dorkies, ya know, it's really hard to get anything done after another free lunch in the Bklyn launching pad.

I mean, how many plushies can you lounge on and for how long?

Let's put a spycam at Headquarters on Monday morning, I want to see the cash register drawer for myself.

Cosmic Yuk said...

A seller strike? You're kidding me, right?

Look at the sellers whining about being muted and booted who as much as asked for it.

How exactly is anyone but a handful of people who know each other going to even know who is on strike?

I think you would get a lot more people to join in if you didn't take such a visual approach that put such a large target on their back.

I support a moratorium on listing new, renewing and relisting items as well as purchasing, but not putting the shop in vacation mode, and certainly not with your banner or any references made to being on strike.

However, that said, 2 days isn't going to make that much of an impact on the overall stats since many will make up for it come Monday anyway.

I also think that as much as people like to vent and complain, when push comes to shove they don't want to risk losing their shops.

In order for this to have any kind of impact, it would have to be widespread and for an extended period of time and I just don't think enough people are that dedicated to the movement to pull it off.

DancingWindDesigns said...

Well, since my shop has been on vacation for so long over their stupid crap, I will go and change my banner. Would love to change the avi to, but I like my coral one. LOL! I will also tweet and FB this blog post.

Can I suggest that people contact HGTV with a warning about etsy and the resellers. Ilike HGTV and would hate to see them embarrass themselves by choosing mass produced gifts from etsy while talking about what a great handmade online venue it is.

UgaBugaBowls said...

Ummm, herrrrmmm, weeeeellllll.... Ya know, normally I'm all over taking back your own power and sticking it to those who are sticking it to you, but honestly, I just don't see this as a good idea.

It's hastily put together so very few people are going to participate. Those that are going to are already not playing the renewing game and very likely wouldn't have had sales this weekend anyway since they aren't Etsy faves.

All you're doing is harming yourself really. By putting up this big banner and declaring yourself on strike, your customers really don't give a shit how you feel about the venue you are using to sell your stuff. Seriously guys, you're going to look like high school brats holding a protest against locker searches or something. Outsiders simply aren't going to care and all you're going to do is point yourself out to your customers as someone who is spending more time and energy on fighting some vague "man" (in your customers perception) than tending shop.

A better means of doing this would be to start organizing now to have a mass exodus on Jan 1. Hundreds/thousands of shops, shops that bring in big money to Etsy, suddenly leaving, shutting up shop, putting up banners saying "due to not wanting to be associated with the bad business practices here on Etsy, you can now find my shop at ...." If you have a legitimate gripe about services not rendered, everybody do a charge back for your fees at this time as well.

Serve yourself during the holiday season and get as many sales as you can. Don't shoot yourself in the foot to make some sort of drop in the bucket statement to Etsy.

Just leave and don't look back once you've squeezed every last dollar you can get out of them.

Sorry I can't be a rah rah person on this, but it really seems half baked and will do nothing but make yourself look whiny.

Anonymous said...

Etsy staff already hates me. I have been permamuted for a long time for pointing out staff errors, and temporarily closed down with no notice-- the only thing that saved me was some pulicity they would have lost had my shop disappeared.
I admit to being afraid of total banishment, which is always just over my shoulder.
I am a terrible coward, because people buy my stuff there.

Please, somebody talk me down! I want to participate but need a push.

PrettyDarnCute said...

I love it. But, no way are you going to get people to do this. I mean a lot of people. I will buy beers if it works.

DancingWindDesigns said...

Strike banner is in my Etsy shop-feels funny saying that. To me, it's closed, but since I haven't formally requested Brooklyn to close it, I guess it really isn't closed.

Strike on Fb-business and personal and tweeted, too. I'm curious how many people will actually do this.

Applauding Cupcake said...

Glad to see that the bitching has moved into something more productive. Due to the sheer amount of rage that I see here, I have no idea why you didn't do this a long time ago--it isn't as though there are no other options than Etsy; if you don't like them, if they're sabotaging your business, there's no reason not to just move on. I don't agree with most of what you post, but I am happy to see that the complaining is finally being backed up by a movement of some sort.

The Dangerous Mezzo said...

I've already closed my shop, but I'm now officially on strike as a buyer, too. I will never buy anything via Etsy again.

I'll find my favourite sellers somewhere else and buy off-Etsy.

grannygirl said...

I left etsy a while ago too, I did however write a letter to HGTV this morning expressing my concern over their allowing sellers to sell fake vintage and handmade as real with links to this site and etsycallout.

eclipse said...

I don't think putting your shop in vacation mode will do anything to make Etsy feel it. You already paid for 4 months, so what do they care if you waste 2 days of it in vacation mode? It doesn't affect their revenue.
No new listing or renewing has an effect, and no buying has an effect, but vacation mode doesn't really.

FuckEtsy said...

Not enough notice to rally the troops.

And since Etsy has officially declared itself "Just Another Corporate Prick" who at EtsyCorp is going to give a shit if we do go on strike.
More mutings and shop closures isn't the way.

BOYCOTT ETSY should be taken to the shoppers, not the sellers,
and it should be a long term plan.
It's the only way to get the attention of the self indulging cupcakes.

Anonymous said...

This was posted in the etsy forums today. A woman was proclaiming to be the 'etsy police', as if they don't already have a full force without her!!

Poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)......

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

Eveline said...

This isn't so much about Etsy noticing, because you're right, even 30% of the sellers joining would not make that much of an impact on Etsy. I think it is more about getting the word out. Sellers are on strike! Something must be very very wrong over on Etsy!

Etsy does not care about their customers, but it does care about its image in the media.

Virginia said...

I'm already on permanent vacation but I changed my shop banner and message anyway. People need to know what is going on and Etsy needs to know just how many of us are fed up. Thanks for leading us into the fray.

Virginia said...

I have to disagree that a strike at this time isn't going to accomplish anything. I think this is a good time for us to make some loud noise.

Yes. Admin may shut down the shops of those of us who go on strike, but that in itself will help build our case. Cupcakes and media can easily dismiss Admin actions against a few sellers because Etsy is good at ringing their own bell and supporting their own point of view. But if they punish a bunch shops that go on strike for a few days because we want Etsy to start LISTENING to us, well, that's newsworthy.

I am not afraid of Etsy Admin. My supply shop over there was destroyed the second they instituted the search changes back in March. I understand that there may be some who cannot run that risk right now. I'm striking more on their behalf than on my own.

Boycott! said...

I think that a strike isn't the right word. Boycott makes more sense. And a planned mass exit on Jan first would be good. Planning helps people plan to do it. :)

Wooly Bumblebee said...

You know, the more that people keep saying "it won't make a difference", and so on are the REASON it won't make a difference.

Any one can have an impact if they really want to.

The more people that just do it and stop analyzing the situation, the more impact it will have!

Stop thinking YOU cannot make a difference, because YOU CAN!! One shop believes it, and then another, and so on! It happened on Ebay, and it can happen on Etsy, but only if people start believing in the fact that THEY themselves can make an impact and change things.

We won't get noticed by anyone, be it Etsy or the media unless we ALL start to make a unified fuss! And this can be seen as a first step. It doesn't mean this is the ONLY time we will or can complain and fight for what is right. But you ALL need to believe in the power you all have as individuals or it will never happen and Etsy will never change.

ebbandflo said...

i think this is a step too far. providing well-crafted constructive criticism of etsy is a worthwhile endeavour, revealing fuck ups, whistle blowing and double speak is sadly necessary ... but calling for a wholesale strike oversteps the mark - you go from being a critic to a militant. if individual sellers want to boycott then let them, but urging industrial action against an entity is frankly misguided and pointless

SusanA said...

If you've in vacation mode, no one is going to get to your shop anyway to see the onstrike banner.
Asmin will when some cupcake emails etsy about it. There is always suck up who is willing to do so

SusanA said...

@wooley Well my opinion really holds no wait. They closed my shop Dec 2009 for a non-existant link without any warning. Took me over a week to even find out why.

I boycott Etsy completely already, I haven't bought anything there in ages. Even by last Christmas, Artfire had filled up enough to fill my shopping needs. Don't need or want Etsy, but this sounds really good but unless you get enough people to stop selling so it effects buyers, not just stop renewing- that doesn't effect buyers.
Sellers stop renewing ever and let all listing expire and then buyers can't buy, that's when it will hurt.
But there are 17 MILLION products, it will take a lot to make a dent

Good Luck said...

I appreciate the intent of this, but without any media coverage and without a large number of sellers (or a big seller) doing it, I doubt it'll get anything changed.

Goodness knows how many boycotts and similar actions eBay sellers tried to organize, but they never got anything done.

They'll just continue getting their money from the rest of their sellers.

Muffins said...

"calling for a wholesale strike oversteps the mark - you go from being a critic to a militant....urging industrial action against an entity is frankly misguided and pointless"
---------------------------

The US has a long and honorable history of strikes and peaceful resistance against dishonest or corrupt behavior by 'entities', whether in government or the private sector. To call a striker 'militant' is ignorant at best, fascist at worst.

Although I agree that this strike could have been better planned and more inclusive, it's definitely a step in the right direction.

I've already pulled my shops. And I believe ultimately that is the only action that Etsy will care about - the loss of a large percentage of vendors. I don't wish for this, obviously, but I do think that it is inevitable and will happen eventually.

Make no mistake. Etsy notices the rage. But until they start seeing the lines on the charts dropping significantly, they won't care.

Sadly, I think that the Etsy beast has become so huge that the admin team structure supporting it has essentially collapsed, and it looks like there was never enough competence in planning so that the support structure could grow symbiotically with the product. The incompetents who are left are paddling like mad simply to stay afloat and justify their jobs, throwing out distraction after distraction to lessen the focus on their failures. Take the technical problems, lack of solutions, useless and harmful 'improvements', poor/no customer service, users dissatisfaction, etc. as simple realities. There is no need to prove that gangrene is setting in when it is so self-evident.

BTW - if a Cupcake Applauds, does she make a sound?

G33K GODDESS said...

I think that anything we can do to raise awareness that there are some serious, serious problems with the way Etsy is run, is a good thing. I had literally NO idea for 6 months that Etsy had screwed over so many people, that it was not a cuddly-wuddly happy place pioneering the sale of handmade goods. I really wish that before I set up my shop there and spent about a thousand dollars on fees, I had heard the stories of why Etsy sucks. Our voices need to be heard, and for that, we need to be seen.

I absolutely ache over every dime I paid to that lousy company, when there are so many options out there that work just fine. I got suckered. People need to be made aware of Etsy's dirty dealing!!

The Righteous One said...

Just a reminder - no personal attacks on other Etsians or commenters.

Everyone has a different idea of what is and isn't appropriate for criticizing Etsy, we can discuss it without accusations aimed at each other.

Also, please do not use the comments here as a way to callout people from Etsy forums. We will not let those comments through.

Cosmic Yuk said...

ebbandflo said...

i think this is a step too far. providing well-crafted constructive criticism of etsy is a worthwhile endeavour, revealing fuck ups, whistle blowing and double speak is sadly necessary ... but calling for a wholesale strike oversteps the mark - you go from being a critic to a militant. if individual sellers want to boycott then let them, but urging industrial action against an entity is frankly misguided and pointless
_______________________________

This is also what I was thinking. Something about EB calling for the strike really bothers me. It's putting the sellers out on the firing line with virtually no risk involved for EB.

It feels like sellers are pawns being used between EB and Etsy in some sort of bizarre battle.

While Etsy bitch has an obvious slant and agenda, It's my feeling that it should stick to reporting and let the readers sift through and decide what, if any, action they need to take.

I also think sellers need to be very careful. What really is the point in striking? If Etsy isn't meeting your needs, then move on already. If you've suffered years of abuse do you picket outside your house or do you get the fuck out?

The die is cast. Etsy isn't going to change, they've gone too far to go back now. The amount of energy spent complaining, trying to change and ultimately trying to 'hurt' Etsy is wasted. "success is the best revenge", so spend your energies building up your business elsewhere so that you don't 'need' Etsy.

Also remember, just because YOU may be done with Etsy doesn't mean everyone is. If you really care about your fellow sellers, as many have professed, then how are you helping them by trying to bring down the site they may be successful on? that doesn't sound caring at all to me. It sounds selfish and self-centered and very childish.

Looking after your own bottom line, maybe cutting off your own nose, thinking of only yourself and how it affects you.

Hmmm......sound like a venue you know? How are you really any better than they are?

Former Union Organizer said...

Strikes are very powerful when used in the right way. This is not the right way.

People who support themselves from sales they make on Etsy need to participate. Their revenue loss would be greatest. Those who support themselves would need to be prepared.

Having organized a strike before I can say it is not done lightly. People prepare by saving money, freezing food, etc when it's serious. We even served pb&J sandwiches to strikers and their families when on the picket lines because some literally couldn't afford groceries.

Getting a few people who already abandoned their shops or who sell a couple of things a month as a hobby to go on strike is useless.

Organize for real and this will be worthwhile.

The Righteous One said...

"While Etsy bitch has an obvious slant and agenda, It's my feeling that it should stick to reporting and let the readers sift through and decide what, if any, action they need to take."

Since when were we journalists?

Really, it's the "oh people shouldn't do that" that keeps Etsy in power. We're constantly whined at "bitching doesn't do anything", "stop complaining, nothing's going to change" Well fuck, then we do something and it's "oh you shouldn't be doing anything".

If people like paying Etsy with nothing in return then they can go right ahead - if they don't then they can pull up their pants and tell Etsy to go fuck itself by not giving them another dime!

Pissed off Etsy sellers aren't alone! That's the point (in a very graphic and EtsyBitch-like manner)

octofoxnot said...

I've been photographing stuff to list this weekend, but I could wait. Haven't sold anything in three months, but then only have 30 items. Here's an idea, etsy wants treasuries submitted for using on HGTV, how about making ones full of dildos, vulva things and the like.

Anne Onymous said...

I wish everyone all the luck in the world, and I hope you knock their socks off, but I can't do this right now. I'm afraid at this point that if I wheeze off the local street team, I won't ever see the inside of a live show again. This despite the fact that there are a couple of them who really deserve Etsy and who are probably the darlings of the corporate types. There are also some genuinely nice and hard-working people, people I like and admire, and I just need to watch myself. Meanwhile, my Artfire studio is growing and looks great.

I also agree that a strike, or a boycott, needs careful advance planning and as much publicity as possible in order to be successful. And I date back to the time when "(All) power to the people" was a current slogan. :)

G33K GODDESS said...

Cosmic Yuk said:
Looking after your own bottom line, maybe cutting off your own nose, thinking of only yourself and how it affects you.
_________________________________

That sword cuts both ways. There are plenty of sellers who stay and continue to pay Etsy despite Etsy's treatment of their fellow sellers, all because they think they might take a financial hit if they leave or try to rebel, or... uhhh... strike?

If you keep feeding Kujo, he's gonna keep getting bigger, and not any nicer.

Just sayin'

The Wicked Nun said...

I was the one who posted the Niemoller.

Until enough people get the balls to give Etsy the big "fuck you", we will be stuck bending over every time they need to make corporate changes.

I have been warning on the forums that a price hike is imminent and I am convinced this is the next step towards helping Etsy's bottom line.

If you are on the fence about leaving, take what you can and get out NOW.

It won't be getting any better and soon there will be no one left to speak for you.

LaDrek said...

yes, and "up against the wall, motherfucker".

What will hurt Etsy is losing listers to other sites, or people just not selling anything. This is probably one reason the shitshops selling massproduced garbage do so well-- the image is unimportant. They don't plan to be around long enough to give a shit about anything but profits. I wonder if the Staff there get profit sharing? If they do, they should be salivating at the concept of a buyout.

I still sell there. Amazingly, there are customers looking for something really special and if they work hard enough they can find it. The ones who fall for the bogus crap will be ripped off, that's all. Thank goodness there are a few discriminating customers who are willing to cull through all the drek.
Eventually, Esty will be Dreksy.

eclipse said...

Wooly, I didn't say that no one could make a difference, I wasn't saying that people are powerless. I just think that the vacation mode specifically is pointless. You already paid for 4 months up front, so Etsy does not lose anything whether your listings are visible or hidden during those 4 months. It has no effect on their "graph", even if hundreds of people did it.

Not making any new listings, renewals, and purchases will make a difference. Hiding your already paid-for listings is symbolic, at best.

28 Wenches said...

I haven't been selling on Etsy since September (well since before that but after their cart was broken for a month I decided I wasn't going to pay for basic service not rendered). I also refuse to buy on Etsy, and use it only to do product pricing research.

ebbandflo said...

FWIW i stick behind my original assertion and wording ie. calling EB a militant (note, not calling strikers militants).
In my opinion EB has stepped beyond reportage and factual disclosure. It, and the late Etsy News, are one of the ways in which I stay in touch with the Etsy machine since I am rarely in the forums these days (and there is still very little direct mailing out to the sellers from the site). I worry that direct calls to arms will hurt EB, never mind that a strike such as this is pointless, ineffectual, and limited.
I have never ever been called a fascist online (even in Google Alerts) so thank you for that first oh anonymous one.

And cupcake .... http://etsynews.com/49/an-actual-forum-violation-warning-you-dont-want-to-miss-this/?cp=1

i think not

Night Sky said...

My shop is still open on Etsy, but I'm letting all of my listings expire, which they are doing on a daily basis. It's almost empty. I've used my shop announcement to tell people to look for me on ArtFire.

I'm only promoting my ArtFire shop now, and am in the process of sending an email to every single buyer I've ever had on Etsy. The email is an invitation to shop with me on ArtFire, and includes a coupon code that is only good in my AF shop.

There aren't even words to express how over Etsy I am. Since I quit listing new items, I don't even bother to check my shop every day, or even several times a week. My stress level is much reduced, and I'm back to actually enjoying the whole process of making jewelry and selling it online. On ArtFire!

I miss what Etsy used to be, but it isn't coming back, so it's time to move along.

divapixie said...

Not that my opinion will hold much weight but here's my two cents on the matter.
If you want to make a BIG impact on Etsy and make sure to include as many people, buyers, sellers and would be buyers or sellers, then the thing to do would be to write up an article with as much information in it about the current practices (and malpractices) as possible. Then, that article needs to be circulated to as many media resources as possible.
The article needs to be done smartly. You need someone who can write well, without getting over emotional about any one side. Someone who will take the time to interview people on both sides of the issue and report the actual answers given by both. Allow the readers to draw their own conclusions. Trust me, people can smell and see through BS when it's there.
That's my opinion. Now, do we know someone who could write this article... because I am in no way a journalist.
Maybe there is a journalist from a news source who we could contact about doing the article. I'm not well versed in the internet media but I would think someone out there would be interested in this topic.
Again.... this is just my two cents. Take it or leave it. I just think this would be more effective. I'd like to write up an article on it for my own studio blog... so anyone wishing to contribute by all means contact me. I just don't think my writing is media worthy.

whatever said...

huh. i guess the more people strike, the better it is for those not striking, right? their new listings will be seen more, fewer choices, yay for not striking!

AbsintheDragonfly said...

much more effective etsy biatches: use this link, and spread it far and wide...

http://blog.auctionbytes.com/cgi-bin/blog/blog.pl?/pl/2010/11/1289230473.html