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recently, Etsy quietly announced an update to their app: etsy listings will now contain "similar items" by other shops.

this has created room for knock offs and copies and just crappy crap to be displayed right within a listing, alongside the listing, and even worse - to appear authored by the owner of the original listing.

In my listing for this (first image); we get this (etsy app image):


In my listing for this (first image); we get this (etsy app image):


"Meet the owner!"…are you kidding me?

aside from this crappy garage sale aesthetic that all shops now have, and the completely disingenuous motivation behind this change on Etsy's part making all shops look like all they sell is complete garbage related by keywords, i think this shows an even deeper problem at Etsy:

i think they honestly do not know what they offer as a website anymore. literally no one is selling on Etsy because they want their crap randomly displayed next to someone else's crap.

clearly they're trying to compete with the aesthetic and mission of websites like Amazon and eBay. they're, in my opinion, doing the exact opposite of what a website with so many artists behind it should be doing.

no titleno, i did not make this. and i am not the owner. i hate you, $1 to-do list person who copied my item tags.

Don't even get me started on what comes up when you search my shop name boygirlparty®

Maybe Etsy's out to a catered lunch (they literally get those twice a week…seriously, not kidding, google "Eatsy"), or maybe they're too busy celebrating the success of their stock options turning into actual money to care about how actually upsetting this is for sellers. Yep, because Etsy recently announced an IPO for Etsy stock and intent to serve businesses that can sell in volume for the benefit and interest of shareholders: their prospectus outlined they make more money from sellers than they do from the actual sale of goods.

Um, is anybody home over there? Etsy sellers, this is your cue to ask yourself: what in the actual hell is happening

i wish Etsy would open a curated section of their marketplace. Something like "Etsy Select" where buyers can purchase ACTUAL one-of-a-kind, unique items like original paintings. it would show Etsy's sense of vision and support of originality, rather than their lust to become the next amazon – which, despite the fact that the site is literally powered by a hundred thousand shops like mine generally working for below minimum wage because they're self employed, will never happen.

or, i wish Etsy would hire some people in marketing who understand what longtime, established sellers like me (because we're the lifeblood of etsy) really need: an occasional spotlight to Etsy's millions of customers.

some incentive to make us stay.

in other words: No, Etsy -- "Popular shops" are usually not those reselling Burberry scarves with 9 reviews or shelf shops with 4 items / 9 sales (but over 10,000 views -- i assume thanks to "Etsy Picks"):

 

but, as they make decisions like this, watch as they become the next eBay.
or, just open the app: it already looks that way over there.


PS: my parachute: http://shop.boygirlparty.com
PPS: the only place Etsy sellers can speak out about this is in the forums. Where no one goes ever.

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Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
serialkiller
Apr. 19th, 2015 05:44 pm (UTC)
So much yuck. As a seller why would I want "recommended items" from other users next to my stuff!? No wonder everyone and their mother is going to sites like StoreEnvy and Bigcartel.
boygirlparty
Apr. 19th, 2015 05:48 pm (UTC)
there are more problems, even. like: why isn't there a homepage anymore? and how did search get so completely broken that we can never find what we're looking for anymore? and why is there SO MUCH stuff resold from alibaba? and why are sellers who make 1M reselling from alibaba getting featured in the new york times?

i think etsy's amazing and could be so much better if they actually listened to us and met with us and made changes based on needs of their sellers rather than what they think they need to do to keep up with other e-commerce sites, but they don't.

here's my referral code to open a shopify shop, if like me, you're seeing some red flags. that's who i'm giving some of my $ to right now: http://www.shopify.com/?ref=boygirlparty

Edited at 2015-04-19 05:49 pm (UTC)
robyn wells
Apr. 20th, 2015 02:20 pm (UTC)
shopify
Does one use shopify as a platform on their own site? So instead of selling on etsy, ebay, etc., you use shopify to format listings that are housed at your own domain? Or do you have to have it at shopify.com?
boygirlparty
Apr. 20th, 2015 06:38 pm (UTC)
Re: shopify
Shopify's your own website (i.e. not part of a marketplace like eBay, Etsy, etc) -- you do have to log in on shopify's website to access it, but other people see it as your own domain: http://shop.boygirlparty.com is mine
lorigami
Apr. 21st, 2015 03:45 pm (UTC)
Sellers ARE upset, I'm upset. I've seen so many threads in the forums from other sellers who are upset. No one is listening.
Where do we speak out where we won't get muted? Or shut down?
boygirlparty
Apr. 21st, 2015 04:20 pm (UTC)
there's no option. it's - as my friend and experienced seller stated - led to a general feeling of complacency. but complacency is the step before uncontrolled rage, no?
lorigami
Apr. 21st, 2015 05:13 pm (UTC)
My friends are tired of hearing me rage about it, lol. Something about the 3 bird thing just sent me over the edge, and none of what has followed has helped.
It breaks my heart to be in this position after 10 years on Etsy. I remember handing out my business card at shows and people thinking that everything on Etsy was mine because they didn't understand the concept here in the south. Show after show, card after card, watching as more people said "oh, etsy, right".
It's motivating me to do things I should have done years ago, but it's still heartbreaking.

/rant
wolfcharm
Apr. 19th, 2015 07:12 pm (UTC)
I think Etsy needs to realize that users like that Etsy is different than the other e-commerce sites out there.

I love Amazon, don't get me wrong...but I absolutely hate ebay. Etsy is MY place to get those one-of-a-kind or custom projects that help me express my creative visions from wonderful sellers like you.

Best of luck being heard – I would hate to lose sellers like you.

Edited at 2015-04-19 07:12 pm (UTC)
boygirlparty
Apr. 20th, 2015 04:06 pm (UTC)
thanks so much for your note!

Etsy has been near and dear to so many people for so long -- buyers and sellers alike. it honestly breaks my heart to see them so disconnected from (and abusive toward) their core audience.
labrujah
Apr. 19th, 2015 08:55 pm (UTC)
Yep. been looking a lot at their changes lately and disappointed on many levels.

Back in the very beginning of Etsy, I started an LJ group called Best of Etsy which was just my picks and others' recommendations... maybe it was too early to get off the ground. Not that many people knew about Etsy back then. But, I sometimes think about starting a shopping blog along those lines...

As a seller, I consistently do better on Ebay than Etsy. But prefer the look of Etsy...my sales there have been low to flat ever since the 2008 market crash, and simultaneous knockoff problems which I never had on Ebay!
boygirlparty
Apr. 20th, 2015 04:08 pm (UTC)
there are other sites that do "best of etsy" type posts, but they just don't have the power that Etsy does. Etsy's marketing team doesn't seem reflective of the Etsy community. Like literally every email I've gotten from Etsy in last couple weeks has advertised matching outfits. Is it possible that *i'm* the one really out of touch, not understanding that every Etsy shopper is secretly just looking for a matching outfit to wear with their kid?

Interesting that you've had a better experience on eBay. that's shocking to me.
ghostworld00
Apr. 19th, 2015 10:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, they seem all about the money. Unless people start closing their shops enmass, I do not see things really changing. Of course, sellers have more options when selling online, but there does not seem to be a website that has built up such a following as Etsy.

However, if they keep this up, I see their days as being numbered.
boygirlparty
Apr. 20th, 2015 04:09 pm (UTC)
another well established seller was recently telling me that she's so disheartened with Etsy that it's transformed into complacency. I think that feeling is really common.
FreshieandZero
Apr. 20th, 2015 02:16 am (UTC)
total bummer
Thank you for ringing the bell on this - I did not know about this new "feature" and it makes me cringe. Especially because I have a well curated shop with nice photos and the yucky stuff they are showing as "similar" is almost like scratching a needle on a record when you scroll down to it.

Etsy is a very small portion of my retail sales, so it's viable for me to shut it down over this. I'm SO confused what is going through their heads over there. I've been on Etsy since 2006 - this is such a depressing change, right up their with their odd decision to "level the playing field" by breaking-er-changing their promoted listings system a few months ago (because advertising your stuff on etsy worked TOO well for some sellers).

It feels like with each new change, they're giving the finger to all of their handmade sellers - the ones who were so passionate about the site to begin with. Come on, Etsy. You can treat us better than this. Le sigh.
boygirlparty
Apr. 20th, 2015 04:13 pm (UTC)
Re: total bummer
EXACTLY. for someone who curated + works hard to maintain a certain level of professionalism, to have those "similar listings" at the bottom is such a slight. because there is literally nothing you can do to make your listing feel like your own shop if it's going to end with garage sale garbage from other shops.

Etsy also tried to "level the playing field" with their change to their search engine (in favor of "relevancy). And their removal of a central landing page all users experience.

So shoppers are ever reliant on things like Pinterest and Etsy Finds emails, which are far less level playing fields than the previous ones. So sad.

I love Etsy and have always believed in it - I know great people who work there and have worked there. But I honestly don't think they're listening anymore - or, whoever's in charge of these decisions: caring anymore.

Edited at 2015-04-20 06:37 pm (UTC)
tooiebird
Apr. 20th, 2015 02:28 am (UTC)
wow, i would be really upset with this decision. I was heavily considering closing my storenvy and switching to etsy (because of their recent change to make seller's to use stripe as their default option or whatever the deal was with that.) but now... ehhhh..

how is shopify?
boygirlparty
Apr. 20th, 2015 04:16 pm (UTC)
Shopify's so far pretty good. It's expensive, but much less expensive than Etsy. It's hard to get started / to import your listings (especially if you have a lot of them) but easy to customize & build on with "apps" you subscribe to monthly. But, their default payment processor is also Stripe, if that bothers you (they also accept PayPal and Google Wallet). It is odd to me that you have to pay a monthly fee to use Shopify in addition to a transaction fee. That's the part I don't understand.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

About Me

Hey, I'm Susie. I'm a painter, illustrator, crafter, musician, keeper of various pets and proprietor of the website boygirlparty.com

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