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Dec. 11th, 2013

A final thought.

On my On my perma mute in the Etsy forums that came down last night.

Several people keep apologizing for Etsy's actions. Don't. It had nothing to do with you. Besides, if they aren't muted already, more than likely, they will be next. There are very few Old Timers (sellers who've been there since 2005-2007 until now) left unmuted. Eventually, there will be none.

Others have mentioned that I should appeal. I don't think so.

The public forums have become a cesspool of unprofessionalism, of copyright riddled promotions, of childishly petty arguments reminiscent of high school.

The only thing I'm sad about was the fact that my comment, which had good, polite advice, was removed completely from the site. That's what they do. If someone thinks your comment doesn't fit their definition of respectful- which said definition seems to be extremely fluid given what gets removed and what stays- then it will be deleted completely.

Certain topics have been banned- mentioning China, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, or copying another's listings being a no-no is all now banned. A sense of humor and joking around is hit or miss- someone else received a 7 day mute last night for a joke they made to another seller in the public forums. The other seller found it funny, Etsy did not. ( This has happened before, users were banned for the word 'Cheese' in a humor thread, another user for saying 'Yippee, Diane!' to a user who had good news that the first user asked about. They both were perma muted.)


Advice from long term users, such as myself, is no longer welcomed, no matter how politely you say it.

Whereas, calling out other sellers, discussing feedback- which now has the person who left said feedback's name on it, so you can trace it back, various inane topics such as what you had for breakfast, what your pets did, what's for dinner, whether the boy you like likes you back (seriously), bullying, etc are all now allowed unrestricted.

Combined with their new policies of allowing mass manufactured items and resellers, and well, it's become a free for all.

I'd already curtailed severely my participation in the public forums- the teams are not so strictly regulated- so this honestly is no big loss to me. Besides, the end of January, my items expire and I will no longer be selling there. I wish the best for those who stay, but in my opinion, the site is crashing and burning itself. I do not want my business to be there when it happens.

See you on Big Cartel and Zibbet.



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Dec. 10th, 2013

Well, it finally happened.

*takes a bow*

One of the last of the Old Timers has fallen. Aka me.

Why?

Because I mentioned the 'C' word (copyright).

"The content you recently posted in the Etsy Forums was found to be in violation of one or more Community Policies and Guidelines.

Post:
You realize you're violating their copyright by copying their descriptions, word for word, right? When you get found out, they can ask Etsy to remove those listings. It's always better to come up with your own descriptions instead of copying others'.

The low prices might be your issue. People might see them and have second thoughts as to the validity of the item. It's worth raising them just to see what happens.

And of course, promote, promote, promote- off Etsy, blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.


Thread:http://www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13502088/page/2?post_id=200040035
(Don't bother following the link. They removed my post.)

Policies/Guidelines infringed:
• Experienced sellers can often look at a shop and quickly identify potential problems, but don’t use the Forums to tell someone they’re breaking laws or Etsy’s marketplace policies. If necessary, flag the shop for review by clicking Report on a listing or shop page.

This is not the first time we've needed to contact you about our community rules. Therefore, we are revoking your Etsy Forum privileges indefinitely, effective immediately. This impacts all your Etsy accounts."

Mark is rather flabbergasted. Me, I'm thoroughly amused.


And it's not even Thursday. \o/ (They usually mute on Thursdays or Fridays.)

I briefly considered appealing the perma mute. But you know what? Screw it, Etsy and their joke of a public forum isn't worth it anymore.



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Oct. 2nd, 2013

PSA- Downsizing

As of January 1, 2014, my Artfire shop will be closing. The account will be converted to buyer only.

As of February 1, 2014, my Etsy shop will also be closing, though the account will stay open so I can continue to support the Artisans I love there.


From a financial standpoint, my sales on Artfire have been essentially nonexistent for well over a year. The last order there was in June, before that it was Dec 2012. I cannot afford to keep paying for a shop that doesn't support itself. Etsy, I reopened in Oct of 2012. I have had exactly 8 sales there since. Again, it is not supporting itself.

So.

I sat down and crunched the numbers and decided that I would be better served by taking the money I am spending on Artfire and Etsy and dumping it into my Big Cartel shop instead.

That will become my main selling site from now on. My Zibbet shop will be my back up site, as well as where I will be destashing some things in the near future. Some things will only be available on the BC shop, but most things will be available on both sites, for your convenience

Yes, part of the reason I am shutting down the Etsy shop IS the new guideline changes and the direction Etsy has decided to go in. For me, that new direction is not what is best for my business.

As I said in the Forums there-

For those who are not moving and those who are moving off of Etsy-

Keep in mind it WILL take time to build your traffic back up to what it is here. In the grand scheme of things, Zibbet is fairly new and young when compared to Etsy.

And they do not have the venture capital Etsy does, so they cannot afford to do paid advertising. They have said they will do paid advertising as their budget allows. What comes first is the rebuild.

What can you do? Well, word of mouth. Promote the crap out of your store there and Zibbet in general. Every little bit will not only help them, it will help you. But you have to be willing to put the effort in. It took time to get the traffic build up to your stores here, it will take time to do the same there.

I'm a firm believer of not putting all my eggs in one basket. So, for those saying they can't afford to leave Etsy- diversify. There's no reason you have to up and close down completely here. Open a shop on Zibbet, Artfire, Storenvy, DaWanda, etc, or a stand alone store front type of place like Big Cartel or Indiemade or any of the other storefront sites out there. For every listing you make here, put two up there. Promote your new site twice as much as you do here. (Personally I'm a big fan of Big Cartel.)

Eventually you WILL have the traffic elsewhere and can start to close down your Etsy store if you so choose, or keep it as a back up site instead. But you can do it if you want to put the effort into it.

Keep in mind- no one is saying you absolutely have to leave Etsy completely. All we're saying is maybe it's time to start spreading out a bit. Maybe it's time to look for a personal site instead. Maybe it's time to grow your business on AND off Etsy.

But most of all- good luck to everyone, no matter what you decide to do or whether you stay or leave.




In the end, we have to decide what is best for our own businesses and for me, that means leaving Artfire and Etsy.

I do hope you'll follow me to my Big Cartel shop (they have guest checkout!) or my Zibbet shop. As always, thanks for your patronage!




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Oct. 1st, 2013

The latest Etsy Fail

I've really got nothing to say about it, because really, what's the point?

Etsy is no longer the handmade site many of us signed up on. Handmade, OOAK is going the way of the Dodo Bird on Etsy. I've stopped listing there, my items expire in January 2014- right about the time the new changes take affect. I've long since stopped promoting unless an item was in a Treasury. There's just no longer a point for me any more. I will be focusing on Zibbet and Big Cartel- mainly Big Cartel- from now on.

In short...

Rocks fell, Handmade, Vintage and Supplies died. Resellers, Mass Producers and Drop Shippers cheered.

That about sums it up.


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Aug. 27th, 2013

A long winded rant...

In response to this article, Chad decided to comment.

The following is my rebuttal and response as posted to his comment-

"You know the reason why such a small percentage of listings are flagged anymore? Because we the sellers are doing your jobs for you and we the sellers are fed up, so we stop the useless flagging.

You claim that premade items, ie mass produced, are not allowed, then go so far as to attempt to convince us that those J. Crew bubble necklace knockoffs are handmade when you know darn well they are not. And that's just the bubble necklaces! What about the knockoff pave cuffs, earrings and necklaces? You know darn well that there are resellers and you are blatantly not doing anything about it, other than to start calling them 'collectives'.

Instead, you feature them, like you did the boat furniture reseller, Ecologica Malibu. Instead you post asinine articles in the Storque, by people who don't even sell on Etsy, extolling OUR BUYERS to not buy anything made from coral, faux, legitimate, vintage or otherwise. You blatantly feature articles and people/shops that hurt your legit handmade, supply and vintage sellers and then try to cover it up.

Instead of removing resellers, you target legit sellers, such as the one earlier who made those wood boxes for electronics. He provided all sorts of proof that he was handmaking his items and you STILL shut him down. The term reseller has NOT become a catch all as you seem to think. We legit sellers know exactly what it means and honestly, many of us have given up on you in regards to them.

178 people muted in the last two years? More like in the last 8 MONTHS. And that's just the ones who go to a specific Team and tell us that they have been muted. And when you do mute people, you mute them for things like saying 'Cheese' in a thread designed for fun. For things like 'Yippee, Diane!' that was a legitimate response to someone else, but Admin saw as snark without reading further. You mute for pointing out the flaws, no matter how tactful or politely it was done. There are threads and comments and posts everywhere that detail why people were muted and some of them are for the most innocuous things. You mute to keep the public face all happy and shiny. You mute to hide your flaws. And you know it.

What's the real reason behind blocking PayPal this last weekend? You can't simply claim its because you were testing an overlay when obviously, Direct Checkout worked fine. You know it was deliberate, you just can't admit it because you'll get the kind of backlash you are getting now about the asinine feedback system changes, if not worse.

Why don't you have a telephone number users can call with problems like other legitimate selling sites do? There is absolutely no reason why after 8+ years, you cannot have a working customer service number. Yet, you still have failed to provide anyone with a satisfactory answer as to why you refuse to have one. Instead relaying on emails and convos, days, sometimes weeks later , or not at all.

If you really do have measures in place that survey, test and monitor user satisfaction, then you are blatantly ignoring the alarm bells that have got to be ringing madly right now. You are being complacent. You can tell that by a simple perusal of the gutted forums to
know that your user base is NOT happy. Not even generally.

Call this a rant if you want. I don't. I call it a discourse on exactly how wrong and blind you are being to what's truly happening right in front of you. I call it a wake up and take off the rose colored glasses you are wearing before you run the site even further into the ground and all that's left IS the mass produced items and resellers.

And hey, look, my name is even on this, as it is on all my comments. I'll expect the retaliation against my shop any time now. "


Mark and I will be starting the process of starting up my own website and hopefully by the first of the year, well have it up and running. The feedback fiasco and the PayPal debacle have become the final nails in the coffin for me at Etsy. I will no longer promote that site. Instead I will be concentrating on Zibbet, Big Cartel and in time, my own website.

Aug. 26th, 2013

Oh Etsy, why...

It seems Etsy decided to run a test over the weekend. Said test TURNED OFF THE PAYPAL OPTION FOR SHOPS THAT OFFERED DIRECT CHECKOUT AS WELL.

You read that right. They BLOCKED PayPal for shops that offered the Etsy checkout option of Direct Checkout.


The fact that they even considered this enough to actually run a test on it, sickens me.

And we may never know exactly how many sales we all lost as a result of this test.

Of all the tests and changes Etsy has done these past 7+ years that I've been here, this has got to be by far the worst.

And the new 'star feedback' system- similar to what Ebay now has, where sellers will have absolutely no recourse against a potential buyer with a grudge- is a very close runnerup. Ugh.

The start of the holiday season is NOT the time for these sort of things!

Is it any wonder I've been promoting my Zibbet shop lately? Heh.



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Aug. 6th, 2013

You know what?

I'm really tired of the people who like to brag about reaching a set number of sales, and when you mention you haven't quite gotten there yet ON ETSY, they go off on a tangent about how they don't do spammy emails, don't do sales or coupons, don't twitter or use Pinterest, have the world's best SEO and great photos and if you just did what they do, you too would have that many sales...

Then you look at their shop and gee, all white, bland backgrounds- just like everyone else, which means they don't stand out. Price points that are generally under $10.00. Well no wonder you have so many sales in just over 2 years- you have cheaply priced items.

Well guess what, so and so? I DO Twitter, I barely Pinterest, I rarely do sales or coupons because they never do anything, I have good SEO and great photos that don't blend in with everyone else. And really, if I added together all my sales from the various sites I sell on and the sales offline, over the years, it's pretty darn close to 1,000.

But I cannot and will not price the majority of my items for what amounts to mere pennies for me and that means, in this economy, people still don't have the spare cash to spend on my sort of items.


TL;DR- Tired of newbie sellers with cheaply priced items and photos that look like everyone else's spouting bullshit that if you do what they do, you'll have as many sales as them.



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