Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Etsy Happiness Factor

If you haven’t read Chad’s update and so-called “plan” for the next few months, you’ll have to look for it in the Etsy Blog here.

Which brings us to a laundry list of yet another plan, another list of projects, and another pie in the sky announcement about some things that sound a little patronizing. A Seller Happiness Team with no sellers on the team?

Let’s take them one at a time.

Preparing for the Holiday Shopping Weeks

Nice idea, been there, done that. Etsy has talked about this every year without coming up with the goods. Timelines? No. List of tasks and due dates? No. Etsy makes these kind of vague statements every year and NEVER FOLLOWS THROUGH because they forget all about in a NY minute.


It looks like relevancy will be the default search mode, but without any details, Chad, we have no idea what you mean. Since Etsy has been screwing around with search every week since January 1st, you may point to relevancy today, but 3 weeks from now, will Etsy start experimenting with anything that strikes its fancy?

Bring More Shoppers To Etsy to Shop

Again, no details on any plan with any specifics. Since Etsy doesn’t DO site advertising and marketing, just how do you intend to draw more shoppers to the site? This has been an issue with sellers for years, so what’s up with that, Chad?

Seller Happiness Team

This new team will include people from all over the company with a focus on making running your shops on Etsy both delightful and rewarding. We’ll be engaging with the seller community more publicly and more deeply with a unified cross-disciplinary effort from teams across the entire company. The first task of the Seller Happiness Team is determining how we will measure happiness in the seller community so we can set a baseline for how we are doing, and then improve upon it.

Looks like “people from all over the company” leaves sellers out of the equation! Which gets to the heart of what’s wrong with Etsy’s current relationship with sellers — no one in their right mind would say it’s a pretty picture. How does Etsy propose to “determine and measure seller happiness” if it continues to ignore what sellers have been saying in the forums for years?!?

Does “engaging with the seller community” come AFTER locking threads with a public spanking? After sellers are muted, banned and.....perma-muted? After Etsy publishes an entire page of all the ways Etsy plans to continue silencing sellers it doesn’t like?

The Reseller Problem
...I’ll be focusing more of the company’s energy on understanding and addressing the core issues that lead to resellers being visible on Etsy. We’ll definitely continue to step up enforcement, but we’ll also be doing more work to address the root causes of the problem.
This statement is troubling because it reads like Etsy still hasn’t figured out what the “reseller problem” is and why sellers are so incensed about Etsy’s unwillingness to follow its own TOU's. Stepping up enforcement only works when Etsy applies and follow its own rules.

It sounds like Etsy doesn't know if it's a site for handmade!

The root cause of the reseller problem on Etsy is three-fold. The first, Etsy sure looks like it doesn’t take the reseller problem seriously because there is a fundamental lack of understanding at Etsy as to what defines the handmade product. The second is that Etsy has provided a fertile playground for resellers because it lets them operate for months and years before taking any action, resellers know this and load up their listings. Third, Etsy keeps pissing off a lot of sellers for lousy lip service, a joke-of-a flagging system and for flat out ignoring the issue for years!

Which brings us all right back to the Seller Happiness Team, which by the way, doesn’t have any sellers on the team! How about bringing a couple of the more well known and outspoken sellers into the fold to help fix things, Chad?

Sellers have had 15 to 20 major issues that they have begged Etsy to address for years — so familiar to most that many could list them for you off the top of their heads. Blog posts, announcements, vague lists with no due dates, promises, pie in the sky - whatever.

It’s still Etsy’s List ---- not the Sellers’ List! Get it? Or are you still not listening?


Buster said...

*Squeals* I cannot WAIT to have a more delightful Etsy Experience!!!


happyhorseshit said...

Maybe the happiness team could tell us why the current featured seller is the FS for the 2nd time. She has two shops.

Not happy.

sosohappy said...

I was just coming here to tell you how happy I was that the current featured seller was the featured seller before. I see someone beat me to it.

So when does this happy team meet? And, do they read this blog?

ohbrother said...

I read most of the posts here, but have not commented until now.

How ironic that Chad's happiness post would come at the same time with the featured seller fiasco.

I know everyone will blame etsy, but knowing the climate of the site, don't you think a seller who has already had the honor would have the character to tell etsy when they asked again?

Chad is more of the same. Vague buzzwords. No plan. No time line. Nada.

The Funny One said...

The whole concept of a "happiness team" reeks of another highly paid consultant who gets big bucks for retread-ideas from the 1950's - what a chump for putting it in print. I hope he gets laughed off the next tech-head dais. Pull his invitation!

Etsy repeats their Faves all over the site (not just FS)at the same time. Faves are almost always repeated on the FP, a post in the Blog and a Finds email all within days of each other.

Their Faves bias is no different than their reseller bias. Despite years of obvious favoritism and multiple admissions that it's true - Etsy's Faves are bigger and more obvious than ever before.

Faves keeps the Etsy Trend Machine in business.




Sorry, I think I'm screaming.

Anonymous said...

You know, retread ideas from the 1950s could be quite a bit better than the crap that has gone on for over a year. Etsy is still focused on not having consistent rules about anything, letting factories from China and resellers in general over run the site, promoting their favorite - whether the people have any talent or not and squashing sales for everyone. No matter who is in charge, we can count on more of the same. Decline sales, bs and more cupcakery.

LimpBiscuit said...

The Happiness Team sits in a virtual circle and passes a vitual doobie. Hoe itonic, sarcastic, and so iconoclast!

Yes, and thank you to Sarah of the Storque for her Hobo WEdding theme. Research generally involves acutally reading about a time in history. Unless you are using your 3rd grader's history book, you gweebs.

May they fall apart when they get to the 'richer or poorer' part. That is going to get you some day.

Katy said...

I am glad this site exists. I have been feeling really frustrated with Etsy, ESPECIALLY since I started as a seller. I feel like I've had nowhere to vent, and as you stated here - it's because they don't pay attention to what we say in the forums. I rarely see admins pay attention or take action except to silence people. I only saw an admin respond and get the site to fix something when I saw someone post the sentiment of a possible lawsuit over the misuse of peoples information. *sigh* I have long been unhappy with the favoritism described in today's post. The Front Page has been the biggest example of that. Same People. Same Shops. Always.

for the hell of it. said...

:) And, yet, when I attempted to comment on the Happiness Storque article, I wasn't allowed. Maybe it's the mutee status, ... Ya' know, one of the UNHAPPY Etsians.

We all know that this dump is NEVER going to change. They mute enough people; one would have to think that they've had a few clues as to why the sellers are unhappy.

AND, this team is going to be internal, ... WTF? After ALL this time, they honestly expect us to believe that they even begin to understand any level of normalcy.

:) I think that everyone should write letters to the board. These idiots at least have business degrees, as opposed to a bacherlor's in English like Chad.

You're taught the UNHAPPY CUSTOMER stats in business. You're taught that a VOCAL unhappy customer is an invaluable resource towards creating effective change. You're taught that a PO'ed customer tells more people about their unhappiness than a satisfied customer is apt to talk about the good.

I wouldn't mind some 1950's standards being introduced. There were consequences for failure, back then.

SkinFlicks said...

No mention of the so-called Content Team. Are there "experienced, knowledgable" workers on that, too, and how many are there?

foxaz said...

for some reason, the Etsy Seller Happiness Team reminds me of Chinese food. But not nearly so tasty.

Now if they'd called it the Seller Satisfaction Team...

Tricia Rush Richner said...

Removing anyone making sales takes away their profits as well {as in resellers}. They are still generating profit for the company.

Seinfeld said...

sosohappy said...
I was just coming here to tell you how happy I was that the current featured seller was the featured seller before. I see someone beat me to it.

So when does this happy team meet? And, do they read this blog?

Oh. Fantastic.

And I'm sure they joined up YEARS after I did. Years after most of us, I bet.

And, they're so wonderful, their shops get multi-featured.

I sure hope Chad reads this blog.

Want sellers to be more happy? Cut shit like this out.

Oh wait. I forgot. My stuff is clearly shit and doesn't deserve to be featured, even though thousands of buyers say otherwise.

Cat Power said...

When I read that blog post, I nearly barfed! Happiness Team is a bit of an oxymoron, don't you think?

Not a hell of a lot of happiness going around in the actual handmade community. Now the reseller community is all smiles all the way to their China, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, and wherever else they have come from!

Chad talks big, but I doubt that anything will change enough for me to want to go back there to sell.

I commend those of you who can actually sell there, despite all the stone walls placed in front of you.

Rose said...

Happiness Seller Team equals champagne toasts, mustache on a stick, cupcakes, koolaide (possibly electric), marijuana vending machines in every plushie booth and squeeling laughter while half the team heads to the forums to perma-mute and the other half makes sure the faves are kept front and center on the site.

That's how I see Etsy these days. It's gonna be hard to shake it.

I would enjoy NOT being cynical about Etsy and being proved wrong (for a change).

I won't hold my breath.

none of his business said...

Oh for god sakes. I am so fed up with that child what's-his-name who keeps imagining he is competent to run a business or a project of any sort. Isn't he rich by now off of all those billions of relisting fees? Can't he just shut up and go away, already? Retire to his play pen, for example.

Sick and Tired said...

In my 5 years on Etsy, I've NEVER been as upset as I am currently.

If you are not breaking Etsy’s tagging rules, you are being punished in relevancy searches.

Etsy says you can’t tag your silver earrings as “silver earrings” (one tag), but ALL of the most relevant listings when you search for silver earrings do just that. If you’re following Etsy’s rule and tagging as “silver” and “earrings” (separate tags), your listings are going to come up in searches behind those breaking their rule.

I'm told I can't tag nursery art prints as "nursery art prints" (one tag) but if a buyer is searching for "relevant" art prints...they are being handed -- by Etsy -- listings doing just that.

The Funny One said...

No matter what Chad lists from here to hell and back Etsy is never going to follow through on one item. Etsy's SOP is to yak about the list for 2 weeks, decide they're all "too much work" and drop 'em in a flash.

If 200 people can all go home & not figure out that an all-internal Seller Happiness Team WITHOUT sellers is the stupidest Etsy idea amongst hundreds of stupid Etsy ideas - what else can anyone expect?

A two year old would have seen through this stupid insult in less than 30 seconds.

Fashion Girl937 said...

Let's see Chad no advertisement for the site ..Poor Promotion

Where is all the money I spend for my shop go??? For your recycled are uncycled underwear !

This is a serious problem on Etsy

Anonymous said...

Did any of you get to see the "Made In China" article of August 4 on the etsy blog,before they pulled it a few hours later. Etsy also shut down a discussion on the forums in Bugs about it, the thread was 'Made in China blog post gone?'. My jest of it , was that it was trying to explain away what we think of as a reseller, as possibly companies hiring people to make the things by 'hand' in their spare time at home, so it's ok and all is well. It pissed me off and I made a copy to wordpad, if you would like to see it. I haven't been able to find it by googling after etsy pulled it.

lucypie said...

Did anyone here see the article on the Etsy blog called "Made in China". Etsy pulled it after a few hours. There was a forum discussion asking where it went and etsy piped up with this :
mtraub says Hi everyone,
We appreciate that you're eager to participate in these complex discussions on the Etsy Blog. The post was prematurely published, as it has not yet gone through our full editorial process. We apologize for the confusion, and hope you will share your thoughts once the post is finished and back up!
Posted at 5:31 pm Aug 4, 2011 EDT
And when the posters started disscussing the content of the article, the forum was closed. The forum was in bugs and title "Made in china blog post gone?"
If you would like to read what etsy had on the blog and the comments that were made before they removed it. I copied it in wordpad and could put it up , if you like. Copied it cause it pissed me off, the article was really pushing the message, that things you might think are made in a factory may really made by home crafters and other bs. I have a shop on etsy.

CrazyinNY said...

After a friend of mine complained about this new "relevancy" search, I did a little experiment. My friend sells beading patterns. I typed in the keywords that used to bring me to loads of her gorgeous patterns, and - look at that! The first seller who pops up with those search terms is in gross violation of copyright law.

Etsy, come on. Get your shit together. You are a multi-million dollar corporation. Oh, wait, I just answered my own question.

Handmade Artists' Forum said...

Handmade will never be able to compete with resellers, ever. That is why we don't allow them.
The handmade artisan deserves more credit, so they shouldn't have to go up against mass produced.

Velamint said...

Lucypie, I for one would love to see that article. That's horrifying.

lydiajane said...

I am glad I found this site, but I must admit: it makes me very sad. I've been following etsy since it first began, thinking that, one day, I would be ready to post my own handmade art there. Reading thru the posts, now I understand why the Chinese feather hair accessories are so cheap - I can't compete with their prices! Resellers - not what etsy is supposed to be about, yes? I've looked at a few of the alternative sites, but none have struck my fancy, like etsy did. What's an artisan to do to put her work out to the broader public? SIGH, such a shame.

The Funny One said...

Waiting to hear so much more about this Happiness Team or did Etsy already forget?

Caught up in rolling out another very buggy search experiment, did Admins move on to something else? A beefed up team ready to crack knuckles with wooden rulers?

We should start a seller scorecard. Let's list all the promises Etsy has made since 1/1/11 and count all the ones they forgot to do.

My prediction - 5% done half-assed, 95% gone the way of the dodo. Extinct.

the new one said...

Okay, so has the happiness kicked in yet? I can't tell, because they suspended my shop last week with no notification and no communication as to why. So, naturally, I'm out of the loop.

I had no idea how f*****d up Etsy's management was. I was living in ignorant bliss until this happened. (I was completely unaware of the politics and, well, everything. I just ran my shop and was perfectly happy.)

After I was suspended, I was shocked and bewildered, desperately trying to figure out what I had done to deserve it. Whatever it was, I wanted to make it right. I just needed them to tell me... Pleeeeease, answer my emails! Anyone! Waaaaaaaahh.....

Then, yesterday, I came across your blog and discovered that this crap happens all the time. This news was both soothing and discouraging. Liberating, really. Because now that I know that they are irrational and make idiotic business choices, I no longer expect them to make sense. I can still hope, but I'm free from the disappointment of unrealized expectations.

I had already decided not to trust my financial future to Etsy any longer. Whether they open me back up or not.

Thank you, Etsy Bitches, for opening my eyes. I am proud to be counted a bitch among ye.

myeuropeantouch said...

Resellers.....Hahahaha....I am one of the handmade girls and can proof it with the exception that I could not take pics of myself making my Mosaics.
and here all handmade itmes I sold

A etsy hired helper(seller) from
the Integrity team shut my shop down, claiming I do not sell handmade.
Insanity embrace etsy....

myeuropeantouch said...

Oh I forgot to mention too, no questions, emails answered as to why, how, which item, displeased them so, that they had to threatened to shut me down.

I was lucky enough to raise a lot of Hell in numeorus forums and wrote to the CEO.....before they totally shut me up.