Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Circle Jerk Etsy

Dozens of forum threads started by sellers over the past 4 days shows that people are confused about the whole concept behind Circles, circling, email notices, opting out, and boy oh boy is that generating hundreds of thousands of clicks on Etsy!

Just what they wanted! More clicks, no sales.

The addition of Circles to a sellers’ Shopfront in the lefthand column above Feedback gives the impression (and no one knows because Etsy isn’t telling) that Circles are going to be used as and seen by buyers as a “rating system” for seller performance.

Since Circles were added, Etsy Admin have been hard at work posting reminders for sellers to rack up their Circles-numbers, but no one seems to know WHAT that means. Most sellers have no idea WHAT Circles are.

Are they a ratings system? Are they required? Do they get you accepted by Teams? Do they lead to FP and FS features on your store? If you have no Circles are you a deadbeat? If you have 350 Circles, are you a better seller? Have better products?

And no one seems to know HOW TO TURN CIRCLES OFF!

Many sellers are asking Etsy to REMOVE Circles from their storefronts. They don’t want this feature glued in place on their shop page. They don’t understand the feature and fear it may confuse shoppers enough to stop shopping.

What the hell do Circles have to do with selling and making sales?

No matter what, Etsy isn’t reading or responding to forum posts and questions, so we need to find other ways of publicizing how Etsy IS NOT LISTENING TO ITS SELLERS!

Tell us what you think.


for the hell of it said...

It might not be possible to remove "circles" from your shop's homepage, but it's an easy enough task to remove anyone who does circle you.

If you go to the actual list of who has circled you and click on the persson, there will be a "block" function showing in light gray print. Click "block" and POOF! One less circle.

It just seems to me that if these features were as good as the site would lead us to believe, that, ...

For starters, it would NOT be necessary to foist them upon us, because what seller wouldn't jump at a real opportunity to increase their online presense.

Why the rush?

Why the need to make all these nasty features either mandatory or opt out?

Why the vaguaries when offering explanations?

Why the "We think you'll love it."

Don't they know, or have the confidence in their own supposed convictions?

Seems to me if these features were so F'ing wonderful, they could very easily be kept at an OPT-IN status. Sellers would discover for themselves, any merits and willing decide for themselves that these are indeed wondrus features and choose them for themselves.

The whole email thing was proof of that. people are now having problems who changed their emails to have an Etsy specific addy. Poor little Etsy is getting confused and sales are NOT being processed properly, because the old addy has been stored.

As far as appealing to anyone, the decision makers need to be approached, and THAT, in my oppinion, is Breyer.

Ulalá said...

I'm one of those sellers who doesn't know what circles are for :S

I've read that some sellers are circling buyers: http://www.etsy.com/teams/7714/ideas/discuss/6808614/

Leavin' the Hipsters Behind said...

I don't know what circles are. I *think* it's like a connection or friend. Maybe people and Etsy want it to be used as a mark of validation?

Who knows...all I know is, is that I have no interest in making connections or friends on Etsy. When I did that I only came across backstabbing Brooklynites who were about as happy for my success as the runner up for Miss America would for the girl wearing the crown.

AngryEtsySeller said...

It makes me angry. :'(

The Funny One said...

Great point, Leavin'the Hipsters, because if Circles are a popularity contest, they are merely an extension of Teams --- which is an extension of Etsy faves, but now sellers are doing all the work.
I bet Admins will start using the "most Circled" shops to pick (lazy as they are)their next crop of faves for FP and Dorque ditties, then they really have nothing to do all day at "work."

It's another scam. Etsy likes to be the head high school honcho, now sellers will do the cherry-picking for them.

High school run amok. I wouldn't waste one second Circles, half a second on Teams, or a nano-second on Etsy.

sark said...

The fun part is that I have email notification. In a comedy of errors, what's funnier is that I just went through my email account last weekend and tidied everything up and deleted a bunch of crap. I got my number of unread emails all low... and then circles came, and now it looks exactly the way it did before.

Circles are just a social ratings system like hearts and teams... although, I have to admit that it surprises me when I look at shops that I hearted way back yonder only to see they have a very low circle number, and I pretty much half doubt it's because they're sitting at their computer blocking people all damned day long.

In three months this will be old news, just like every new thing. So, I wonder what comes after circles?

Actually, no I don't, mostly because I just thought about it for a minute.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly why I'm giving my blog a make-over, so that people can shop straight from my blog without the hassle of trying to figure out what's what. Etsy has been making so many changes without explanation or purpose, and I'm tired of it.

Anonymous said...

Don't bother asking any questions on forums about this. Otherwise you are subject to THE ATTACK OF THE CUPCAKES. I used to think there were a few snotty people in the forums but lately its a disease affecting many. Some of the same old bunch of course but lots of new snot noses.
Artfire is a fantastic place. We need to grow it.

Barbra said...

Lack of clarity, lack of focus, lack of intelligence and plain old lack of caring is why I'm letting my items expire and shutting down my Etsy shops.

whatever said...

Etsy is trying to turn itself into a social networking site. Forums are no longer - you either have to join a team(s) - the vast majority of which are treasury teams - or go around like a crazy person adding shops or buyers to your circle. What this accomplishes is a total mystery.
Good thing I'm finally making some sales on artfire.

Leavin' the Hipsters Behind said...

Thanks The Funny One.

I just don't get Etsy anymore. I really don't. Even if I wanted to use Etsy as a platform to make friends, you *should* be there TO SELL THINGS AND MAKE MONEY and why on earth should how many friends or who your friends with determine if you get a sale?

oldcowboy said...

I have been seeing etsy go in a bad direction for a while, these features are just confusing for me, I just want to sell and make money, not sit and chat on the computer. I am letting my store die, I am down to 3 products and will be done soon, I went to the new website amdrm.com and have opened a store there. They are really asking for seller support and suggestions to grow. I am seeing good things and I have made sales. More than I can say for etsy recently.

nobuttsaboutit said...

There is an actual circle team on etsy where the captain deletes your post if she doesn't like it. Four admin hang out there waiting for their butts to get kissed.

Doesn't that just say it all?

Bubbles said...

I know where Etsy can shove their freakin' circles. >:(

t said...

I just got this message from one of my "meatspace" friends: she originally opened her ETSY account to buy from me... and well...

(I'm posting her comment without her name attached, as she doesn't want to get into discussions with other people from ETSY who she doesn't already know.

She's a engineer and one of the smartest people I've ever known, so it's NOT about "not knowing how to use the site.")

"... Separate comment - OK, it's a rant: I am sick and tired of being under increasing surveillance by every site I use, with the intent of tricking me into sharing information and/or squeezing every last dollar out of my hand. These overly-aggressive marketing techniques are obnoxious and marginally-ethical at best."

she was a buyer only, considering starting up a shop, and helping another friend set up shop:

Her concern started with the circle email notifications from total strangers...
she will probably be closing her buyer account, and looking elsewhere for where to put her shop.


I feel awful, because for YEARS now, I've been chatting everyone up with how great ETSY was...

Sushiyum said...

I haven't actually done anything on Etsy for months and my shop has been on vacation well before circles, but I keep getting people I've never heard of before adding me to their circle. Why? Are they just adding EVERYONE? I don't get it.

blueditty said...

Who cares?

They've decided to turn the entire site into Facebook for elderly conservative christian ladies.

If all you stupid sellers with an opinion would just go away quietly, they'd be very happy.

The Funny One said...

Racking up your total Circles sure smells like another layer of the Etsy Game that started in earnest 4 yrs ago with the Merchandising Plan. Etsy told sellers what to make and list, how to fake the product descrip. and actively steered everyone to list duplicate, price-competeting products in high multiples.

Which leads those who are willing to gravitate to the lowest common demominator (or why Etsy looks more like Regretsy every day).

Etsy abandoned real handmade 4 years ago, so why does anyone play their game? Are Teams and Circles getting you any real sales? The longer anyone lists real handmade on Etsy, the more their products, reputation & pricing goes down the Etsy rathole.

Anonymoose said...

This thing with the glass pipes is ridiculous.

Closed said...

Wow, just went to log in to my Etsy shop to close it (since reading the announcement that we could do that ourselves now).

Surprise, surprise. It was already closed. Etsy had done it for me (since Monday), with no notification or warning, or any email communication at all. I've never gotten any flags or warnings or mutings or anything.

That sucks. I had wanted to download my sales data before closing. Oh well. Fuck off, hipsters.

An Ex Customer said...

Nothing says 'community' like the way Etsy handles their own forums.

It would take a novel to explore every detail of the negativity coming out of this disgusting company.

TheConfusedOne said...

I guess I just really don't understand where all these people are coming from and what they are thinking. I hear everyone bitch about etsy but they continue to support them and follow each other like sheep. Someone please enlighten me as to why these people are so stupid, I guess I can understand the'hipsters' but why is everyone else ok with what goes on. Are they that stupid. I mean don't they see what is happening. And even some of the people moving to other sites, they go just because everyone else goes, blind leading the blind.

ClosingUpShop said...

Oh, yes, the thing with the glass pipes.... definitely bitchworthy!

Deeply Offended Buyer said...

Etsy has now made the real names of all sellers *and* buyers visible on their site. They are visible to anyone, registered user or not, and can be searched through google. All their favorites and their buying history are visible to everyone this way. There is a 48 hour delay for changing/hiding your real name. Administration has not notified buyers that their real names and buying history are now displayed publicly. There is a forum thread addressing this topic, and admin are refusing to comment on or address the breach in customer security. Here: http://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/site-help/discuss/6811996/page/1

I realize you do not post anonymous comments, but please make this news public to Etsy buyers. They have a right to know. Thank you.

shocked said...

Etsy is now displaying all buyers real names and buying history on their website. Oh my god HUGE privacy breach!!

Leibowitz said...

The best thing about the pipe controversy? Etsy had an OFFICIAl category for those items. The category has been there fore ages. And suddenly they are prohibited items.

The Funny One said...

Privacy and Etsy: If you gave them your Real Name, allowed your Favorites and shopping history to be viewable/shared, then you agreed to let that info be used by Etsy for their own financial gain. This info is more valuable than any listing/sales fees because Etsy can sell it to the highest advertising bidder (and is probably already being shared and sold).

You may want to read the series about Online Privacy in the WSJ which details the dollar value of each piece of info you share with Etsy (or any other site) --- and if you've used Circles, you provide another layer of content about you to Etsy so they can make a lot of money selling it.

Etsy isn't adding these features for sellers' benefit or to increase sales; they've added it so they can sell this information to marketers and advertisers.

If you're concerned about spammy Etsy emails now, you have no idea what's coming.

Anonymous said...

Usually clusters of people (e.g., like-minded handmade artists and shoppers) have been defined for targeted advert placement. Etsy may be looking for more ways to monetize, by placing some ads, targeting circles... (just see that link to replicabags4cheap.com pop up next to my shop banner - lol!) BUT, more likely there will be internal paid ads to target circles - new type of Showcase to be addressed to specific circles. Sites, such as ThisNext, or LivingSocial have that kind of model, where friends "share-advertise" to friends. The problem is, that Etsy is sooo not that kind of site.
If they are going with some paid ad options, all the other traffic to shops will probably die even furhter.
I am phasing out of Etsy...

Brigitte said...

confused circle member
I am new to etsy and circles were in effect when I joined 2 months ago. I have never understood their value to either buyer or seller.
The only thing I can see so far is that people who have added me to their circles can see all the activity in my account - they automatically see my favorites (if public), my favorite shops and my new listing activity.
All of this without ever having to click on my shop - lot of help that is!
I'd like to have my favarites public because it gives the buyer a chance to see what kind of things I s a seller like - but I will be opting out of having favorites public and will be opting out of the circles I get put into without my will.
Let people make my shop a "favorite" it would serve me better.