Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WoolyBumblebee Speaks Out

We have an e-mail WoolyBumblebee has sent us, detailing what she went through before she was brickwalled, and why she was brickwalled. We are posting it, in its entirety with her permission.

HeyEB!

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to explain, in detail, to the whole EB community about this whole disgusting ordeal of me being booted off Etsy permanently.

OK, where to begin?! Man, this is going to be long, but I'll try to be as clear as possible about the whole thing, LOL!

It began a few months ago when I had been very vocal in the forums about some issue... I mean, lets face it, Etsy screws up so much lately it's hard to remember what I was bitching about, but anyhow, I was bitching on the forums about something that pissed me off. Sorry if I was vocal in the forums and pissing off some of the cupcakes there, but I care deeply about ALL handmade sellers and the ability for us ALL to run our businesses properly on a supposed "handmade" site that "supposedly" cares about the integrity of the artists there.
Ok, so after my bitching in the forums about what ever it was, they muted me and blocked my account. This was the FIRST time it ever happened in all my selling years on Etsy since 2007. They didn't close my shops, but they blocked me from having any access to my items, shop, and the forums.

The reason for that first closure was that apparently I had an "undisclosed account" from 2008 which broke the odd TOUs about having multiple accounts on Etsy (I still don't get why we have to disclose buyer accounts, but I digress).

The account that was in question was so old I had forgotten it even existed. I mean, lets be honest, 2 years later and I was supposed to remember a random account that I had opened for buying purposes only? Come on! I can't even remember where I put my fucking car keys most days. So I told them to close that useless account and PLEASE re-open access to my other active ones. This whole mess took 3 days of aggravation to settle, and many lost sales, (I sold on average 5-6 items daily in one of my shops). So they did finally close that account, but no apology for their HORRIBLE customer service or the fact that I lost about $75.00 in sales over that time period.

See, when you contact customer support via "chat", it's not an actual "chat", it's a holding pen where your message gets held in queue for the person handling your case. If that person is not there, then tough shit! You have to wait hours, days, or possibly longer. It's a shit system that does not help anyone who has an URGENT issue that needs attention right away. These are our bloody BUSINESSES! Not someone calling to inquire when the next shipment of plush moustaches are going to be available.

After all that had been settled I knew I was on their dreaded black list. I knew they'd be watching me, and I even knew they were monitoring my convos. YES! They do that on there. They will even go into your account if they feel like it. Believe me, I have proof of that when they logged into my shop recently and deleted my announcement. But I'll explain that later.

So, a few months went by with me tiptoeing around not wanting to upset the great Etsy Gods. But of course Etsy just can't seem to keep it's own shit together and fucked up big time AGAIN by allowing everyone's personal names to be shown in the treasuries. It was a damned disaster! I was pissed beyond belief, as were TONS of other sellers. And we all had a right to be pissed! Our personal info, which we entrusted to Etsy to be kept private, was made public for the whole world to see. They broke their own precious TOUs big time! bigger than any account holder could have that's for sure!

So along with my fellow sellers I was ranting in the forums once again. I guess that's where the Etsy police began to monitor me again.

Then Etsy went and did another epic fuck up and posted an article about the evils of coral. It was written by a NON-ETSY SELLER who mass produces her crap and had nothing to do with the handmade movement. Etsy even linked to her off-Etsy shop! Way to drive sellers out of our venue. By linking off site many of us sellers were completely outraged and decided to link outside our own shops in protest and to see if we could get away with it, since Etsy obviously was not that bothered by it if they were doing it right?! But that was when I learned Etsy will actually go INTO your own personal shop and remove the offending messages. They went into mine and deleted the whole thing, then sent me a warning AFTER they violated my shop privacy and went in and did it. Is it so hard to just ask me to remove it myself? I mean, how the hell do I know they weren't in there poking around in my other personal stuff like convos etc...

So, back to the TOU breaking article they put in the Storque. Of course, this spurred pure outrage by many! We banded together to point out the obvious, again, to Etsy.

Etsy decided to close any and all threads that even mentioned or hinted at the word "coral", and then corralled us all into one thread that is still up and going now. The plan was to hide us in "ideas" and keep us as out of sight as possible in the hopes that we'd get tired of the issue and move on. Thing is, we didn't, and the thread is still going after breaking the 10,000 post mark in it.

So I once again mouthed off! Can you blame me? Years of Etsy not listening to it's sellers (customers), lousy half-assed customer service, fixing things that don't need fixing and ignoring the things that do need fixing, breaking their own TOUs, and so much more... There is only so much I could take. I didn't need to be kicked in the ass by them anymore to realize they didn't give a shit about any of us sellers.

I went and opened all new shops on Artfire and Zibbet, and put my shops into vacation mode on Etsy. I was so pissed! I refused to give them any more of my business if this was how they were going to treat their sellers. And believe me, I was not the only one who shut up shop and moved all my items off to another venue. Many did the same in pure protest!

And then Etsy fucked up again 2 more times! OMG!!! I think they are going for some sort of new record or something over there. It's unbelievable!

The first dumb ass thing was they decided to fuck with our personal profile pages by truncating our personal blurbs and adding our favorites and treasuries to the page. This was a DISASTER! By doing that they were again showing how little we mattered and were again trying to lead people out of our own shops by allowing click-able links to other shops via our favorites and treasuries.

Many deleted their treasuries and had to privatize their favorites. It was another mad dash to fix our shops again and protect what little we had left. And of course I was livid! I lashed out again in the forums. Can you blame me? I was slowly being pushed over the edge, as were many many others.

The second fuck up was deciding to screw with pagination. They reduced search results to a max of 50,000 results allowed to be returned in any given category. While that may not seem like a big deal to some, that actually meant many who were paying to be seen on Etsy were now being hidden from sight. That was obviously bull shit because if someone PAYS for a service they should be entitled to it, and Etsy was not holding up to their end of the contract. You pay to list your items on a site and to have the ability for those items to be seen, no matter how far back they are in the searches. Etsy was now eliminating that and in the process taking fees for services not rendered.

So all this epic fucking up on Etsy's part was giving me a headache and burning ulcers! I am not the type of person to take crap and smile gratefully. I had been a PAYING customer on Etsy since 2007 with over 5000 sales in total! I deserved to have my voice heard! As did, and do, many others!!

So for weeks I supported those who forged on for a better Etsy! I wanted some accountability from Etsy! I wanted them to realize I was not going to lie down and take it anymore. And many others were doing the same.

We got called all kinds of things from the "cupcakes" on Etsy who thought we were being stupid. Many seem to think Etsy can do no wrong... Well I am proof that this is complete bull shit! There is a dark side to Etsy and when you land on it be prepared!

Etsy is going down the drain! Rob Kalin, Etsy's founder wants to make Etsy into a social networking site like Facebook. What the heck that means is yet to be seen. Many changes are coming, and it's scary to think what those changes might be. I started a thread on that issue before I was banned from Etsy if you want to read the article by Rob Kalin on where Etsy is headed.

So ya, I Tweeted and yelled! I was pissed! I love handmade things and the community of handmade artists! I love being part of something so down-to-earth and creative, it's a big part of who I am, and the part of me I am most proud of. It's a fire that keeps me moving forward and happy. I used to really love Etsy in the early years. But they shattered the one thing I used to love, and for that I can't forgive them.

So after all this mess, after all my supporting handmade, artists, sellers, and trying to make Etsy realize we deserve better they finally dropped the hammer and banned me! I was expecting it to happen eventually. I know Etsy doesn't like to hear the truth and can't stand having to apologize for anything. If you are familiar with Etsy's history you already know that to be true.

The big issue I have with being banned was they did it. Those ass holes didn't have the decency to at least give me some kind of warning, which would have been the MATURE and PROFESSIONAL thing to do. I would have had time to contact my customers and tell them I would no longer be available on Etsy and where they could contact me. I know for a FACT that Etsy can just block your selling and forum privileges because that is what they did to me the first time, so doing that for 24 hours BEFORE shutting everything down completely would have been the RIGHT thing to do!

Instead, I was left to look like I had shut up shop and run in the eyes of my customers. Nice! Etsy is trying to make me look like a scammer or something. How underhanded and disgusting! But thankfully I keep all my e-mails and can contact those I need to. Thankfully I can tell them to read this and see what really happened.

About 5 hours after Etsy slammed the door on me they finally sent an e-mail. Thanks for sending it so quickly Etsy (insert flaming sarcasm here).

This is a copy of their bull shit e-mail that I thought everyone should read, as well as my reply to them. I have hi-lighted some ironic and hilarious info in it:

--------------

Hello,

We have deeply appreciated your interest in Etsy and its Community. You have been an important customer. At this time, however, Etsy has elected to revoke your account privileges permanently. We do not make such decisions without great consideration, but recent policy violations committed by one or more of your accounts has brought us to the conclusion that our business relationship must now come to a close.

Policy violation:

- Redirecting to off-Etsy venues

- Multiple undisclosed accounts

- Multiple accounts closed for unresolved non-delivery complaints

- Replacing removed text in Public Profile

Your selling privileges will be suspended effective immediately. We ask that you or an agent acting on your behalf do not create new accounts on Etsy without prior express permission from Etsy Administration. We also ask that you close any and all active Etsy accounts. Accounts created or used without permission will be terminated without warning. The following accounts have been closed:

WBknits
WoolyBumblebee
seweasypatterns

Already closed accounts will remain closed. This letter should not be construed as a waiver of any rights by Etsy, Inc.

Best,
Brittany
Etsy's Support Team
http://help.etsy.com
--------------

Aww, aren't they so sweet! They even said that I was an "important customer" and "best" at the end of the e-mail so I won't feel so betrayed! UGH! And you can even see they admit they will shut things "without warning". Nice eh?! So be aware all who read this!

Here is my RESPONSE. I must warn, I was really mad when I wrote it so please excuse so much profanity in one place, LOL!!

Also, just so there is no confusion and everyone knows the history from the previous E-mail that Etsy sent:

The NDR's mentioned in their e-mail were by a customer who did not understand the fact that I was selling PDF patterns and not the finished items. She filed multiple NDRs and was a complete pain in the ass! I had refunded her and tried to communicate to no avail. That is what the NDRs are referring to here.

The "TOU breaking" they refer to was because after Etsy blatantly broke it's own TOUs by linking off site to another seller in the Coral article many of us decided what was good for the goose was good for the gander, and many of us linked off site in protest. We knew eventually Etsy would tell us not to. But we are bad like that sometimes ;P LOL!!

And the "undisclosed account" they speak of, well I already stated I had one brought up by Etsy which resulted in my account being suspended months ago. That issue was already taken care of and the account deleted, so they are just bringing up old crap that was already dealt with as an excuse to get rid of me.

Ok, so here is my response:
--------------

Bull crap! I have no more NDR's as they were all taken care of previously months ago by Jessica on your staff. I did NOT REPLACE ANY TOU BREAKING LINKS in my announcement after you advised me the first time so that is complete BULLSHIT. And NONE OF MY ACCOUNTS were never UNDISCLOSED! All my shops were CLEARLY linked to each other! Hell, that's how you were able to shut them all down so fucking fast!

All of what you have listed below is crap and you know it! The only reason you did this was because I have been vocal in the forums and you have been DYING to get rid of me! Good riddance! Like I need your constant bull shit! I have new shops on other BETTER venues where sellers are respected! If you at Etsy are so fucking concerned with TOU breaking maybe try looking in the mirror! Your all a bunch of two-faced ass holes! I am taking all my customers with me and will spread the word anywhere I can about how much I hate Etsy and how you are all a bunch dicks!
----------

So, there you have it! The whole sad story!

I really wish that I could have at least said goodbye to all my great friends on Etsy. Those that yelled with me over the years. Those that fought for what they believed in and stood up for what was right. And those that never ever gave up. I'll even miss the cupcakes that always gave me a good laugh ;)

Please, if you've learned nothing else from my journey, just make sure that you always have back-ups of all your e-mails, convos, sales, and shop info! You just never know what can happen in the future.

I hope some of what I have gone through has helped some realize Etsy is not all cupcakes, rainbows, and owls in cowls! As a newbie I thought Etsy could do nothing wrong. But as time went on my eyes opened, and I saw, and learned, a lot more than I realized was actually going on.

I am not one to blindly sell on any venue, and I don't think anyone else should either. Always research and dig for information about the place you sell on on a regular basis. It's amazing what information is out there waiting on the web for people to read.

Rob Kalin has made no effort to hide where he is planning on taking Etsy, and researching things like that will help you stay informed and able to make your own decisions about where YOU want to take YOUR business in the future. Don't ever join a venue to sell on and think it can never do wrong. Remember, every venue is ultimately a business looking out for its own bottom line, not yours. You need to do that for yourself, and staying educated and informed is the best way to do that.

To all of you left on Etsy, I send my support and hugs! I will still be lurking in the skies of Etsy and supporting you all in spirit, even if I can't access the site anymore to post my support along side you. I hope everyone succeeds on what ever path they choose to venture forth on, be it Etsy or any other venue.

Just remember that no matter where you are, you should always fight for what's right! Without fighting for change nothing will get better. If you don't demand for better you'll never get it. Remember, people will only treat you as good as you allow them to. And you all deserve to be treated with respect and common courteousy.

Each and every artist and crafter on Etsy deserves have the handmade movement supported, because that is what Etsy was supposed to be about. And it's what brought us all together there in the first place. Everyone deserves respect, communication, and accountability. It's not much to ask for, but apparently Etsy sees these things as of little value.

Bottom line, it's about integrity! Something Etsy has lost and, I fear, will not be getting back any time soon. But at least I know I tried the best I could, and I can leave Etsy with my head held high and a smile on my face!

WoolyBumblebee

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I now sell all my items on:
www.woolybumblbee.com
http://www.artfire.com/users/WBKnits

http://www.zibbet.com/TheWoolyBumblebee

34 Comments:

Indigo said...

WJW! I would love to say that I am shocked and appalled by Etsycorp's behavior...but sadly I am just appalled, sickened and heartbroken...

I hate Etsy, with every fiber of my being!

Anonymous said...

I must be anonymous (for now) since I am trying to retrieve all my listings before etsy shuts me down like ‘Wooly‘, but like with any militant organization, who knows when etsy the firing squad will appear for me.

My story…

Like ‘Wooly‘ it all stated with the recent flow of BAD changes on etsy and a few forum posts. I am not very outspoken in the forums, I am never there and don‘t have time usually, but with all the silly changes, I felt I needed to add my voice on these changes.

Within 1 month of speaking up on these things I received a no-no email from etsy on my shop account and I am no longer allowed to sell 1/2 of my supply stock. All because my items were not originally made for crafting…against etsy policy! My customers are angry!!!

My shop had (it is empty now) all types of unusual objects, miniatures, charms, and handmade items (nearly all were unique to my shop)….all ready for crafting, to be re-thought and twisted in to a totally new creation. Now, with etsy policy, only items originally made for crafting can be sold as supplies. I am glad etsy supports a ‘handmade movement’ made only with huge china exporters and walmart commercial goods! Soon the only supply shops will be mass produced charms, jumprings, plastic molds.

Soon etsy will be the true regretsy site or the sister site to feebay!!

Etsy has ruined the handmade movement....I am on artfire now and wish WoolyBumblebee lots of Success and I hear you sister!!

Wooly Bumblebee said...

Thanks EB for sharing my story and offering me a place to get my story out there to others! I really appreciate it!!

Anonymous, I totally understand and support you completely and offer you my total support! The more stories like these, the more the word will spread about how shitty Etsy really does treat it's customers!! (((HUGS)))

Tara (BoutiqueKarma) said...

I think its horrible that they closed WW's shop. She has always been a crusader for Etsy seller's rights. I see dark times ahead for Etsy.

The Funny One said...

We need more accounts of ex-Etsy sellers to be made public in order to provide another perspective to all the tech-mag reporters who give ink to Kalin's false claims that "customer service" is at the top of his list, a function that we all know does not exist at Etsy.

Brittany could be gone tomorrow, and 5 other newly hired Admins will send out 100 new seller-busting emails with 100 new rules because Etsy has no rules. They have personalities making personal judgements.

Other than the fact that Etsy still has no real CS function for sellers for 6 long years, we also have to remember that voicing dissastisfaction in the Etsy Forums is putting yourself in much closer touch with Etsy's irratic behavior. Voicing your opinion on Etsy has no effect on Etsy and has probably created a list of things Etsy will never do because, deep down, they hate sellers.

6 years of ineffective "public discussions" is nothing more than an excuse for Etsy to do whatever they feel like doing, which is 99% not good for most sellers.

And I just finally figured out why Etsy has no CS: read the Seller Handbook and you'll see a huge list of contradictory rules, huge pockets of conflict of interest, and blatant protection of resellers. Etsy can't do CS because they don't have any rules to refer to!

knitsteel said...

I left Etsy on my own, after being there since 2006. The changes suck and the way they treat longtime sellers is appalling. I'm on artfire and zibbet now and much happier.

I'm sad that the idealistic Etsy I joined back in 2006 has turned into such a rotten place.

knitsteel said...

p.s. I got full page screenshots of all of my etsy feedback before I finally asked to have my shop shut down.

Crocheted Little Things said...

Sorry you had this horrific experience, wish you much success on the other venues

Evermore Organics said...

Wow. The businessman side of me wants to say that the response sent to Etsy was totally unprofessional and that no one listens to people who swear like that. However, another part of me wonders if it even matters. Though it may be why Etsy doesn't take us seriously.

Either way, Etsy's treatment of us is horrible which is why I bailed long ago. Its a private company, not the government. It doesn't have to listen to us. Other companies do the same thing, so I don't know why people think they're gonna stick around and fight the good fight. Etsy is just laughing! LEAVE.

ALSO! THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. Has anyone read Etsy's privacy policy? That is a legal document that they have to be held accountable for. If they have violated it and you have proof, you can sue them. However, you can't sue them for favoritism or any of that other crap we bitch about. READ THE PRIVACY POLICY.

G33K GODDESS said...

Hey WBB!

About 45 minutes ago I got booted, muted and banned permanently from Etsy. I got the same damned email, but they didn't tell me how I have violated TOUS AT ALL. They just said fuck off, and that's that. Good FUCKING riddance. I had already closed my shop, imported to Artfire, and said goodbye to my friends. There is seriously something wrong over there in Etsyland. -Joan

Anonymous said...

Yes, I make sure that with every new listing I transfer a copy to artfire as backup. It's really just a matter of time. Especially when there are so many sellers willing to rat you out and help them. I was reported for having one item in my artfire shop that I had on etsy (I had a link in my announcement)

Funny enough, the email said second notice, when they never sent the first. The email was also sent at a really weird time , on the weekend. I wasn't supposed to see it, they would have said I had 2 warnings, and would have slammed the door shut on me.

They've got some egomaniacs at the helm, I'll tell yo that much. Sorry to see you go, woolly, but we'll be keeping you company on other sites soon enough, the firing squad is leveled at many of us.

Indigo said...

I think Etsycorp is cleaning house of all the dissenters. Probably trying to freshen up for forums, for another onslaught of doe eyed, innocent cupcake brigade, at .20cents a pop!

Oh and with HGTV getting on board, they don't want any messy P.R. *headdesk*

I just heard about another shop shutdown...and so the cycle begins again.

Stiflers Mom said...

There are several recently booted sellers posting on Artfire right now. Check the "I'm Done" thread.

Best comment so far: WHAT SHITTY HIPSTER DOUCHE BAGS!!!!!

hag said...

typical etsy bullshit, nothing surprises me anymore.

Plumeria said...

Hi WoolyBumblebee, it is disgusting what happened to you, but it no longer shocks me. I expect this from Etsy nowadays. My eyes are wide open to what's going on. I'm so glad you have found alternate venues for your items.

The link to your website in the main post here leads to an error page. Although I was able to find it eventually, your link to your Knitting and Fiber Supply Shop doesn't work. I was looking forward to seeing what kinds of fibers you have in stock.

Tired of Fools said...

Sometimes the bad things in life turn out to be for the best. For those banned from Etsy or choosing to stop the insanity and leave on their own, life will improve greatly. Put your hearts and your efforts into your own websites and venues that truly support handmade, vintage and supplies.

Who needs to support a site that appears to stay up nights thinking of ways to stick it to the hardworking, ethical people who pay their salaries. I no longer worry about where Etsy is heading and I have no wish to participate as they flush the entire site down the toilet.

I'll be watching for you all on Zibbet and ArtFire. Be happy that you got out when you did as it's only going to get worse in Etsy's plushie little land of cupcakes.

Anonymous said...

I smell lawsuits in the air.

Suing Etsy, the loveable place for all things hand made vintage supply and factory imported, will really, really hurt their PR.

Ebay getting sued was never a big deal, but when it hits Etsy, it will impact the company severely.

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant marketing strategy Etsy! Trash your own reputation in cyberland, and attract more trashy factory-new-vintage sellers and dollar store resellers to the site.

All those people you shit on have access to the web you know!

IDIOTS

Stiflers Mom said...

Indigo: Oh and with HGTV getting on board, they don't want any messy P.R.

--------------

They finally closed the "Coralgate" thread, so prolly you are right, they are kicking dissenters to the curb for the sake of HGTV.

Amused Cupcake said...

From all of us cupcakes, we wish you all adieu :) I will be more than happy to do business on a website where there aren't frenzied people freaking out over every little thing--especially for things like favorites and treasuries showing up on your profile. (Did you know that customers won't click away if they want what you have to sell? Did you know that OTHER people will have links to YOU on THEIR profiles and you could get traffic from their customers that way? I mean, think it through before you get hysterical, mon dieu.)

WJW, I'm genuinely sorry you're so upset.. but I wonder that none of you seems to think that your vitriol toward Etsy may be a wee bit unprofessional for businesspeople.

disheartened said...

Sorry about all that Wooly, that is exactly what I've been afraid of happening to me for years.

A few years back I was complaining to them about something legit, someone stealing my exact listing wording. They said they spoke to the seller who did take it down, cool. A week later the seller put my exact wording of my brand new listings up! I complained, and the response was, although couched in different terms, "Quit complaining or we will shut you down".

Subsequently I learned that seller, who eventually took their shop in another direction, was a good friend of one of the admins.

Anyway, I heard it loud and clear and shut my pie hole and never flagged or complained or even complained on the forum again. I've also rarely been featured on the fp, finds, etc and when the orig. Gift Guides were up, an item of mine was there, then the next day mysteriously disappeared, not sold just gone, even though they said everything would stay on until sold. Hmm. Also the few times my item made it to the fp (must have been an oversite) it was almost immediately "bought off" by a fake buyer. blacklisted? I think so.

I've HATED living like this, totally afraid to speak my mind and knowing for certain there is a blacklist because others that make similar items to mine ARE featured here and there.

I've had my items on AF, my own website and many more venues for years, but don't get the sales I do on Etsy so have had to stay there.

I'm quite sure the new "teams" thing is yet another big brother move. They are having discussion boards and everything there, I'm sure fully monitored by admin. How do they have the time to do all that when there are other things (for ex. multiple shipping options) that NEED to be on an ecommerce website?

social site? who wants it when it's all monitored and deleted and filtered down to pap?

I think it will be going public, upon which any admin with intelligence will wait till their stocks go up and then sell and make their million and then quit.

Stiflers Mom said...

Cupcake: WJW, I'm genuinely sorry you're so upset.. but I wonder that none of you seems to think that your vitriol toward Etsy may be a wee bit unprofessional for businesspeople.

---------------------------

People tend to get vitriolic when they'be been fucked over.

jenjasmine said...

@ Amused Cupcake

I found your post offensive for the below quote

WJW, I'm genuinely sorry you're so upset.. but I wonder that none of you seems to think that your vitriol toward Etsy may be a wee bit unprofessional for businesspeople.
******
Ever since the whole Nutmeg thing, the word "wee" makes me want to puke.

Also, the vitriol may be offensive for business people, but I think people here mean it to be toward "business' people.

Just go back to your ten FPs a month, or whatever you are getting, really, can't you see that you are barking up the wrong tree?

PS- does eb pick the word verifications, because mine was
ficsxu

G33K GODDESS said...

" Anonymous said...
Yes, I make sure that with every new listing I transfer a copy to artfire as backup. It's really just a matter of time. Especially when there are so many sellers willing to rat you out and help them."

___________

Yes! This is another very disturbing aspect. I think one of the reasons sellers get heat from E corp. after being outspoken in the forums is because if someone doesn't agree with what you say, or how you say it, they just flag you left and right, looking for reasons to get you in trouble. That happened to me a lot right before I got perma-banned. Another thing that is worthy of ire is the fact that they apply their "tou" selectively, and not equally or consistently or justly. Its easy to enforce it on ME, because they had every reason to want to be rid of me, but others do much worse, and get off scott free... including their own admin!

The Funny One said...

Amuzed Cupcake has a point about how fruitless it is to "rant and rave" in the Forums but let's look at 6 years of real history with this section.

It was originally set up to persuade sellers to provide FREE customer service to other sellers. It left Etsy off the hook and they never assumed the basic responsibilities of a online company to set up a CS function on the site, for sellers OR buyers.

After the first 2 years, the Forums turned into a different ball of wax, and became a sounding board for the inevitable abusers who show up on most un-monitored public boards.

It then turned into a platform for Etsy to discipline and punish sellers for a variety of infractions which shifted with the wind. Who in their right mind would use a public discussion board to spank its users? And get away with it for so long?

Despite the constant interference of no-nothing Admins in the Forums and snarky, nasty responses to seller questions, the Forums serve no purpose for sellers, less than no purpose for buyers, and are merely another tool for Etsy to impose its own form of strange censorship on the site, the sellers and the products they personally like to promote.

The Forums are a propoganda tool for Etsy Admins to reinforce their product-prefences and promote less than 1% of the 7 million products listed. (Note the recent cap on 50,000.)

The issue for anyone who posts on the Forums today is, you speak, you might get spanked......and that speaks volumes about what is wrong with Etsy. Bad attitudes towards sellers and avoiding their reponsibilities for the people who drop millions of dollars in the Etsy bank account every hour of every day.

Cosmic Yuk said...

Sorry, not buying it.

As I'm reading through your missive, I am struck by a number of things. You claim to 'care deeply' for handmade and your fellow sellers, but repeatedly refer to the 'cupcakes'.

I translate that to mean you care about your little tribe of emotionally charged loudmouths who don't know enough to STFU.

You talk about respect, but apparently it isn't a two way street. While I will admit that Etsy has performed some amazing fuck=ups of late, and a certain amount of objection (verified or not) is to be expected, you and others seem to display a rather disturbing lack of comprehension or impulse control.

When a dog continuously growls at his master, despite attempts to curb the behavior, sooner or later the master is going to get tired of it and administer a more effective correction.

You admit you were expecting to be muted or booted. You were certainly warned. Maybe they weren't very thoughtful of your circumstances when they closed your shop 'without notice', but I don't see that you afforded them much thoughtfulness either.

Yeah, Etsy often acts childish and impulsive, so that gives everyone the right to act the same way back?

You said: "Remember, people will only treat you as good as you allow them to. And you all deserve to be treated with respect and common courteousy."

Well, the same goes for Etsy, don't you think? If you are going to have a public tantrum in their forums every time something happens, then they have the right not to allow themselves to be treated that way, right?

You know, if you shit where you eat often enough, you're liable to get some of it in your mouth.

Stiflers Mom said...

Cosmic Yuck: Well, the same goes for Etsy, don't you think? If you are going to have a public tantrum in their forums every time something happens, then they have the right not to allow themselves to be treated that way, right?
----------------------

Other venues get along just fine without censoring their members, why can't Etsy let their customers speak their minds without slapping them down?

It's fucking creepy, in a Stepford Cupcakes kind of way.

Anonymous said...

I have been on Etsy for years...and I don't actually remember a time when they had any integrity.

Too chicken to use my name.. said...

Sorry to hear your story, Wooly - hopefully bigger and brighter things are in store for you away from Etsy!

I've been on Etsy since early 2006 and I've just about had it with all their crap. This idiocy with the profile pages is just one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. I just counted and there are four links on the profile page that all link to the profile page itself. FOUR!

Today I finally figured out what 'etsy' means: evil trying (to) screw you. ;-)

Thank the Force for EB!

Etsy is MY bitch said...

As long as paying customers see themselves as analogous to the "dog" and see Etsy as analogous to the "master", nothing will ever change.
He who pays the money is the master.
Etsy is our dog.
Do not ever forget this.

Anonymous said...

Etsy is MY bitch said...

As long as paying customers see themselves as analogous to the "dog" and see Etsy as analogous to the "master", nothing will ever change.
He who pays the money is the master.
Etsy is our dog.
Do not ever forget this.
____________

YES. People need to stop feeling like they owe Etsy anything other than the (exorbitant amount of) money Etsy charges them.

Wooly, I wish you the best of luck on your other venues!

As an aside, something I've been thinking about:
When are people going to realize that Etsy is not at all interested in getting rid of resellers? I see the posts all the time in the forums asking why reseller shops aren't booted. RESELLERS ARE ETSY'S DREAM from a management and profit standpoint!!! Resellers list, renew, and sell at high volume, and they don't complain about so-called improvements. In turn, this forces the "little guys" to renew renew renew to keep up, making more dimes for Etsy. Now they're booting the legitimate artists with legitimate self-owned businesses, because they are a pain to deal with. They want customer service, they want--gasp--to be able to call Etsy support? They want seller tools? Resellers just want to be left alone. In a way, it's genius, until shit hits the fan and the handmade mustachioed banner that Etsy hides behind rips at the seams and shows what is actually going on. It is becoming so transparent. Right now though, it seems there are still enough hipsters who want to be able to say "I bought this on Etsy!" because it makes them cooler than you. And man, is Etsy cashing in on that before their time runs out.

Because it's only a matter of time before enough buyers are duped by resellers, enough successful businesspeople like Wooly are booted, and the general opinion of Etsy shifts. I'm really afraid that we're all on a sinking ship. I am also concerned about what Etsy's inevitable crash and burn will do to the handmade movement.

Tired of Fools said...

Etsy is MY bitch said...
As long as paying customers see themselves as analogous to the "dog" and see Etsy as analogous to the "master", nothing will ever change.
He who pays the money is the master.
Etsy is our dog.
Do not ever forget this.

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

This is 100% correct. Anyone who thinks otherwise has, sadly, become brainwashed. Stop drinking the koolaid and use that grey matter between your ears.

I get so stinking sick of cupcakes posting in the forums thanking the almighty Etsy for providing them with such a wonderful venue.

WTF?

What is so wonderful about this venue?

When you sit down and actually look at it as a venue to sell your product and compare it to other venues and against your own website, it is clear how disgustingly short it actually falls.

As to cupcakes who feel Etsy deserves respect all I have to say is that respect is earned. Etsy has done nothing to deserve respect.

Act like an adult and run your business as an adult. When you do, you won't tolerate Esty craping all over you.

Morrigan said...

"Bottom line, it's about integrity! Something Etsy has lost and, I fear, will not be getting back any time soon."


Etsy Admin in general never had integerty in the first place. Check the archives here at EB. Same shit, different year.

WorseThaneBay said...

I was recently suspended. Was a member since Aug 2008 and sold 180 items and was accused of mass producing items. I could go on and on, but I have asked Etsy for all accounts they believe are mine with the final transaction list and a way to pay my bill. Let me know when the class action comes about. The rate they are going, how they treat sellers and how they suspend accounts that just listed a slew of items is suspicious. And don't get me started on resellers and counterfeit good shops that forever remain open.