Thursday, June 23, 2011

etsy: no longer where the cool kids are

new etsy banner

i'm hearing more and more grumbling about etsy. i read an article not long ago, comparing it to a flea market, whereas big cartel is like a little boutique or a gallery (admittedly, the article was written by big cartel, but frankly, they're right). and then i read this over on afiori (go, read it now, i'll wait....). and it seemed like the last straw to me.

when the items i have on etsy already sell or if they expire, i'm not relisting them. i'm moving everything to big cartel. they take only a flat fee per month and not a fee per listing or a percentage of your sales. yes, you have to do more promotion of your shop yourself, but with etsy, we have to do that anyway. it's not as if we actually get much benefit out of being there, especially in light of recent (and unpublicized) changes.

i liked the circles thing at first, but now i find that it has turned up the volume on etsy to the point where i actually avoid it because it's too much.

for awhile now, i've felt lost in the crowd and the crowd is of increasingly shoddy quality with all of the supposed "vintage" stuff that's there. i don't like the way they ignore cases of clear copycats. i don't like the way they shut down conversations in the forums with chirpy "let's all get along" BS responses. and don't even get me started on their lame tweets. but mostly, i don't like they way they ignore their customers. and i really don't like what i read on afiori about their latest "improvements." (giving you another chance to go read it).

maybe what would make those greedy wanna-be mark zuckerberg new yorkers behind etsy listen is if we all did start leaving in droves. lilfish, whom i respect immensely, already did and i'm not far behind. why don't we all sell our handmade wares, made with integrity in a forum that also has integrity. i don't think etsy can say that anymore.

that said, i just activated a free shipping special on everything that's left in my etsy shop - since i've already paid to have the items there, i may as well take advantage of that - so if you had your eye on anything and my rather high danish shipping costs were stopping you, make haste to my shop, it won't be there for long!!


Maria-Thérèse ~ said...

Thank you for writing about this with more very valid points. WHY is it that we are supposed to accept BS replies from "admins" - ie our... pals?? and they never seem to sort anything out anyway.

I just delievered a translation to an office in my town (Härnösand, Sweden) and asked to view Etsy on their computer. It defaulted to El Salvador, just like mine. I pointed this out to Etsy a year ago but got cutesy, joking replies that perhaps the universe is telling me to move and other crap.

celkalee said...

I have heard more and more about the Etsy issues. The copycat issues is huge for me and their fee structure is downright greed. My DIL and her sister were planning to set up an Etsy shop and now are researching another venue. I think my little confirmation to post word is absolutely perfect for the subject. It is......yabum...yes, really!

Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Thanks Julie and Maria Therese for pointing this out. I was unaware of this new change, but for me it matters not. I've been on Etsy since 2006 and for a very long time considered it to be the best thing since spice racks and then things began to change and wasn't. I worried about leaving, for the reasons you point out, J. It turned out the be a good move for me.

I still shop there and sell off some of my destash supplies there but for my work... I just can't do it.

Rhianne said...

I'm currently in the process of winding down my shop too as Etsy is far too much effort for me, I hadn't thought of using another platform though, good idea!

stephanie said...

I read an article in Inc. magazine not that long ago about the CEO of Etsy and he seemed like a jerk. I'm not really surprised that the company doesn't listen to the people that actually matter (or should matter) when it comes to making decisions. Congrats on making the move away!

Jess said...

Interesting post. It is definitely something to think about - even if one isn't having personal problems with Etsy, there is an association with it regardless. I can't tell you how many times I've told people I have an Etsy shop and they ask me if I've seen Regretsy. Don't get me wrong, I like looking at the train wreck as much as the next person, it's just the association that comes along with my things.
Thanks for staying on top of things and sharing - as always, a thoughtful post.


Anonymous said...

I've always felt a little confused when I look around on etsy. Maybe you've explained why.

Numinosity said...

I abandoned my shop for almost a year and now get a bit trickling in from time to time, always thinking I need to give it the big push and constant upkeep, it seems that my computer and photography issues always get in the way and I focus on in person sales.
I am continually wondering if it's worth it to ramp up my shop....Big Cartel you say?
Thanks for helping to expose this issue that I was unaware of.
xoxo Kim

One Woman's Thoughts said...

I have been on the fence about joining up with etsy for some time. When I navigate through the site, it is inconsistent with my searches at times. And I know that shoppers can be impatient. I have heard more grumbling and unhappiness which makes me very hesitant. Then again, I know that there are still artists that seem to do well though.
(My hesitation is that my artwork prices need to be higher to make a profit than what I see as their bread and butter artists. Not that mine is better by any means, but I don't see the sales numbers very high in things similiar to my work. I have also put money into framing and my sizes are quite a bit larger than many which also adds to S&H charges.)

I'm interested in what and where people are having success with selling their work.

Artsnark said...

I hope you don't mind, I added a link to this post on my blog post tonight about the new filter. Etsy's new region filter - how to set yours

ImplausibleYarn said...

I've been having very similar feelings when it comes to Etsy. I'm glad you explained it out so well the things I couldn't express.

Tumus said...

This is so frustrating. I was pretty livid after the last "feedback privacy" thing when viral. The CEO did NOT act like a grown up responding to some of the comments made. I mean really, how are you 12 years old and running a company? I worry about moving and really having to challenge myself to market wisely. I have been sitting on a Big Cartel move myself as the lure of keeping more of my money with less overhead is SO tempting. Seriously if I hadn't seen this thread over on Lilfish's blogroll I would not have known about it either......I mean it's not like we get important emails or anything (lol..sob)

Plush Possum Studio said...

Can someone tell me how often any seller must re-list, thereby spending more capital?
Having explored the etsy site only somewhat since about a week ago, I guess I missed that part--if it shows for any prospective seller.
They've obviously forgotten where the real talent lies in the heart of the artisans there. This is sad news. I was really hoping for a community focus such as we'd once heard etsy could provide with efficiency.
This is really a heavy issue my partners and I will have to discuss before making any new move.
Your help has made our security more assured.
I can't thank you enough.

Deb said...

Thanks for this post. Interesting point you make about circles on Etsy. I liked them to start with too, but it quickly got quite overwhelming and I started to feel lost as well, to the extent I have now removed everyone from mine and don't participate anymore.

I really hoped that I could stay on Etsy this time around, having tried and left and come back in the past, but this has me seriously doubting that. I have been working very hard on my own website the past few weeks, and now focus all my marketing etc there.

Deb x

Perez Hilton Sux said...

Etsy has become a nightmare for me I opened a couple stores on there and if one store has an issue they close all of my accounts. The customer service at Etsy has been horrific, they are really rude and do not care if you have time or money invested in advertising, just one customer shut down all of my stores, why?
Because she could not get over on me, she was trying to get a $5 FREE pair of stud earrings, can you believe that?

Unknown said...

I was selling on ebay and Etsy looked more fashionable. I find their lack of a simple shipping calculator insane..I agree with you and now I am relisting my stuff back on ebay I like to make money that's why I am selling...

a blog about the little things said...

I've been considering leaving Etsy for a while now, too. I haven't enjoyed the changes made on Etsy, nor having to pay an insertion fee + a sold fee (on top of the PayPal fees). It gets a little nuts. More to the point, though, Etsy keeps making changes that do not aid the honest hard-working Etsy shop owner.
I'm looking into Big Cartel. It seems a lot of Etsians are doing likewise. In fact, some are even talking about opening their own online marketplaces with like-minded shop owners.
I hope something changes with Etsy, though, because it has done a lot for me & given a sense of community I haven't found elsewhere.
Thanks for this article, and the link to afiori's post! My eyes are open even more.

a blog about the little things said...

I had another thought I wanted to share: even if I left Etsy as a seller, I would still be a buyer. I like to support the artisans there. I always have, long before I opened my vintage shop. The management of Etsy may be questionable, but the individual artists that are trying to find their way in a marketplace still deserve patronage. (in my opinion :)