Tag Archives | Etsy

Breaking up with Etsy

Everything changes. Facebook keeps changing how you see fan pages and now there are accusations it has changed their algorithm. Have you noticed on Facebook the same information keeps coming up? Well, that because the mathematical equation has changed. It has changed (in my opinion) because Facebook is now a publicly traded company. Since that is the case, money became a major motivator because  stock holders care about profits. How do you increase profits? Make people pay to show up in your timeline! Notice all the sponsored ads?

Etsy has gotten into the change game as well. Etsy has changed their browse categories. If you aren’t familiar with Etsy, Etsy was founded in 2005 as a marketplace for handmade, vintage, and supplies. The categories used to include things such as art, ceramics and pottery, jewelry, etc. Last month things changed. Etsy changed browsing to more vague terms such as men, women, kids, etc. I understand that platforms change and am not adverse to change, but my Etsy store views went from 1,200 (Oct 2011) to 241 (Oct 2012). Ouch. I began talking with other artists on Etsy and Twitter about their Etsy stores. A lot of artist’s stats were down, but said they would stick it out through the holidays.

This got me thinking. We don’t operate in a vacuum. When one website’s algorithm changes, changes will abound everywhere. I headed over the Etsy Forums, which is like an online message board for etsy buyers and sellers. I found a board posting about the new browsing and what a challenge it was for sellers to be seen.

I had enough. I typed that “Etsy didn’t care about the “handmade” sellers, because they made enough money off of vintage sellers.  Lately, Etsy looks like a bad estate sale.  The only way to get Etsy to change isn’t by signing an arbitrary petition, but by hitting them where it counts-their pocketbooks.  We as sellers either need to close our shops en masse or not pay our bills.” I went on to say “that I have spoken with artists who aren’t happy with the changes, but have decided to wait it out until after the holidays. That is what Etsy wants. Etsy knows that if they initiated changes right before the holidays, artists wouldn’t leave the site because they want the holiday revenue. By the time January comes around, Etsy’s hope is that artists will have cooled down and decided not to close their shops. That is what I call a calculated gamble. Etsy is becoming like Facebook, soon the only way one will be found is if they pay for the exposure.”

I felt good. I had had my say, but the next day when I went back to check any follow up comments I found that my comment was deleted! I couldn’t believe it. I contacted the original author of the post and she told me she didn’t delete my message, which led me to believe it was indeed Etsy.

Now I understand businesses need to change and grow, but why delete my comment? That was the last straw for me. Etsy was founded on a great idea, but they have gone astray. There is buy/sell (buy someone else’s work and sell it as your own), copycats galore, and just wait until Etsy goes public. I’ll keep the items I listed on Etsy up until they expire and I will keep my storefront up to direct people to my website, but my selling platform will be my Big Cartel store.

This is me as a kid. I was grumpy. This is how I felt when Etsy deleted my comment. Is anyone else having problems with Etsy?


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