I've had an Etsy account for 5+ years now. I did very well there the first 3 years, before Etsy did some changes to their SEO, combined with how Google crawled websites, etc, that caused many sellers' views to drop- including mine. However, I have never relied on sales from anywhere to pay my bills, instead, they help me to buy more materials to expand my repertoire and keep creating what I love to do. That's not to say I don't prefer to sell things, I would rather sell, than store the items I create, as storage is limited after all.
I had little to no complaints about Etsy until that point. I stuck with them through the fiasco that was the Version 2 release, where many were unable to even get to their shops for nearly 6 weeks. I took it in stride when some [now defunct] user convoed me about my chainmaille, blasting me for naming it what it was really called web wide,
telling me my items were trash, etc. In hindsight, maybe I should have reported him, but I didn't. I sent him snarky responses right back, which caused him to go off even more. I didn't complain on Etsy when I started seeing obvious copies of not only my items, but my listings too- I simply stepped up my game, changed my listings, learned new techniques. But it was when my views and sales started slipping drastically, I started sitting up and actually paying closer attention to what they were doing in terms of how sellers were seen, how buyers were treated, etc.
It was then I started branching out more. Granted, when I started on Etsy, I had also opened a DaWanda shop, a Shopify shop, and a Big Cartel shop. Only Etsy made sales, so I stuck with it and closed down- but kept the accounts- the other shops.
When my sales started slipping, about the time Artfire also came along, I decided it was time to branch out a bit. Etsy was getting too saturated for what I create and that meant, overall, we were competing with ourselves and undercutting our own prices just to make a sale at times. I reopened my Big Cartel shop, I got a buyer account on Artfire, I opened a 1000Markets shop.
I voiced my concerns about the search changes, the SEO, along with hundreds of others at the time. I questioned why Etsy was saying it wasn't them, right up until they finally admitted it may have been some changes they made.
I did reasonably well on 1kM. When they closed down, I looked at Bonanza/Bonanzle and decided it wasn't for me. I turned my Artfire account into a seller account and started listing occasionally there. I focused more on my Etsy shop.
But then Etsy started doing more and more that just didn't sit right with me. It wasn't so much the Forums, as honestly, in the 5 years I've been there, my participation was a drop in the bucket compared to many. I think it was more the apatheticness of Admin after awhile. When people start asking the same questions, over and over, with no responses other than from other users asking the same things, you tend to notice and wonder what's going on.
This past year I noticed there were a certain group of users who seemed to exist in the Forums just to rile people up. There seemed to be another group who existed just to counteract them. There seemed to be a certain Team who was so devoutly religious and seemed to have the ear of Admin completely. There are also those users refer to as 'Etsy favorites'. This happens on any site with a community or Forums.
Then Etsy started censoring Mature sellers. We had to opt out of the search that automatically hid those items in the Treasury. We didn't get a choice in that matter. If we wanted to see it, we had to change the settings so we could. I'm not a mature seller, but even I know enough to understand that IF
they start hiding who and what we can see with one group of sellers, which group of sellers was going to be hidden next?
It was then I started to be a bit more vocal about my concerns and disagreements with Etsy's actions. It was then I realized that my sales were not going to improve, no matter how low I went, no matter how much I promoted. It was just too saturated in the categories I listed under, with handmade sellers starting to compete more and more with resellers. I stopped listing new items there, I stopped renewing existing items, I paid more attention to upcoming changes.
I got used to the changes in where the column that had my shop name, profile links, etc was- I'm a lefty, I prefer that stuff on the right, honestly. I liked the change that allowed me to have 4 photos across instead of three. I got used to the changes to the announcement area. Yes, I voiced my concerns about them at them time, but I got used to them.
I was very vocal in my opposition to the Coral article in the Storque. Remember what I said about mature sellers being the first to be targeted? Well, it appeared that coral sellers were the next with that article. Yes, some things I said in the main coral thread were report worthy. They SHOULD
have been reported. Why they weren't, I don't know.
When Etsy changed our profiles to include links to other shops, taking potential customers OUT
of my shop, I drew the line. I'd had enough. Last year, I had maybe a dozen sales in the last 6 months. It was a slap in the face to see links out of my shop when I was trying so hard to get customers TO
my shop. I deleted all my listings, I made my favorites private, I stopped making Treasuries and deleted existing ones. And I voiced my reasons for doing what I did, in the Forums.
It may have started to appear at that time that I was a member of that certain group of users who existed to rile people up. Granted, I know quite a number of them off Etsy, as online acquaintances, but while I may agree with some of what they say, there was the same amount of things several said that I don't agree with and never have in the years previous. Yes, I'm referring to those people call the 'ducks'.
By that same token, there are things that the users people refer to as 'cupcakes' have said that I will agree with, just as there are things they say that I vehemently disagree with.
And there are people on Etsy I will never, ever buy from, or interact with if possible, simply because their comments tend to rub me the wrong way.
I think for me, the Storque article was the catalyst to remove everything from Etsy and just be a buyer. Then came the new Findability and Circles. However, as a buyer, I don't feel my email needs to be search able by anyone I haven't had a business transaction with. And if I HAVE
had a business transaction with them, then they already had my email. That was good enough in my opinion. Again, I voiced my concerns over privacy in that matter. Same with Circles. When they were introduced, I deactivated it. But then they changed it to be on whether we wanted it or not, with no options to turn it off again. So I voiced my displeasure over that and took the steps others suggested to exclude myself, deliberately from the Circles and turned the Findability tool off. And I let it go.
I don't have a huge dislike or like about the new setup for the Forums. Do I feel they eviscerated them? Yes. Do I feel I don't need to join a Team to find something? Yes. My experience with Teams hasn't been the best, to say the least. Have I spoken up about not wanting to have to join Teams just to be able to post in certain sections of the new Forums? Yes, many times.
You know what though? Through all that, the vast majority of my comments had been respectful. Had been related to the original post. Unless someone was overtly condescending and rude to me, I generally wasn't back. Now, that was in regards to other USERS
. I have been openly disdainful of Etsy's actions. I have been openly condescending of some of Admin's actions. Yes, I admit that sometimes I have been disrespectful. Who hasn't, really?
So when I got that warning email 2+ weeks ago, I questioned it. I questioned it throughly. I find it extremely hypocritical that another user- a relative newcomer at that- could call someone like me, a long time user who voiced my disagreement over Etsy actions, and my concerns, a 'Troll' and told me (and others like me) to leave if we weren't happy, and *I*
got flagged for it.
I found it highly immature for another user to knowingly come into a thread where users were hurling insults at one another in complete fun, and then get offended when the same is done to them, only to have my comment said in jest, flagged and labeled as a personal dispute- when I had never had any business transactions or any other interaction with said person before
Was I a tad disrespectful when i said I didn't believe an Admin had actually read the entire thread before closing it and calling it a personal dispute as for the reason? Yes, I will admit that. And I will also state that I don't believe it was a flaggable offense. Others have said so much worse, blatantly and never had a thing happen to them. Yes, yes, I know- that's others, not me and everyone thinks they shouldn't have been flagged, yadda, yadda...
Am I unhappy that while Rob White did name three people in his response to my request for explanations, he also still did not respond to my assertion that there can be no personal dispute if a person has never had any dealings with another person before? A little bit. I'm also a bit miffed that they never replied to my second email.
Am I lying when I say that he named 3 people in that email? No.
Have I stated-ANYWHERE
- that he outright said, these are who flagged you? No. I stated that he named 3 people in his response. I did not say he explicitly stated they were the ones who flagged me. However, given the context of the rest of the email, I can say for certain that one of those three- and NOT
the Admin named- definitely did flag me.
Do I think Admin routinely falsifies information they say in the Forums and elsewhere pertaining to mutings and warnings? Yes. People have stated numerous times that they never once got warning emails before they were muted, despite Admin claiming they always send warning emails first. And they are rarely given the third degree to the extent I have been given across the internet.
I do not go to the Forums any longer. I have limited my exposure and contact with the website itself as much as possible. I have the shops I frequently buy from saved in my Favorites and go directly to them, buy what I want and leave. I am a buyer who has silenced herself in order to keep my account so I may continue to sporadically support those few shops I like there.
I do not have a hidden agenda. I did not and I am not embellishing anything about said emails. Rob White included three names in his reply to me. THAT
is what I have said. THAT
is what I stand by.
This is my side of the story. Such as it is.