Well, I’ve made a big decision. Maybe it’s not huge but it’s
a big choice for me to make. I’m going to move my work over to Artfire. I’ll
leave the items up on Etsy for now but as they run out of time I won’t be
relisting them. Mainly I’m unhappy with Etsy’s decision to put their name and
branding over that of their sellers and thereby terribly hurting the sellers
chances of making sales through Google searches. While the economy is down and
sales are lower part of this could, frankly, be biting the hand that feeds. But
who is doing the biting; the angry sellers or Etsy itself? By hurting its
sellers Etsy hurts itself and lowers its bottom line.
I’m not one of the Etsy sellers that made crazy sales; I don’t
think I ever will be. I’ve got several hundred sales under my belt and 100%
positive feedback over the course of 4 years. I’ve done well. I’ve been happy
for the most part. I love buying stuff on Etsy and showing my support of
handmade. I’m glad they’ve gone the nontraditional route and done as well as
they have. Here’s the BUT; their choice to put themselves before me in the Google
search is short sighted and fool hardy. Again, when it comes to bottom line
dollars, putting the cart before the horse makes no sense. Branding is important
but so is pushing sales. Sales are what make Etsy work, and keep the sellers
happy. Make your sellers unhappy and you’ve got an uprising. Similar to eBay a
few years back when they raised their fees to make themselves useless to
smaller sellers. (I have a rant on here somewhere about the fee structure) If
you head to the forums it’s full of vitriol and anger. I didn’t spend much time
in the forums until recently and all it did was confirm my nagging worries.
AS a long time online seller I understand how searches work.
The higher my listing appear in the searches the more likely I am to make a
sale. Make the internal searches hard and you frustrate and loose buyers. This
isn’t 1999, when the wild west was eBay and Google wasn’t a thought, it’s 2009
and searches are sophisticated and SEO is hugely important. Not only am I
frustrated with the SEO management, I’m frustrated with the miss-tagging of
items. Etsy writes in it TOU that they don’t tolerate misuse of tagging but yet
when items are reported it takes weeks for the item to be fixed. More often
than not, it never is. Items that are tagged improperly frustrate buyers. Ever
tried to search for a ‘zine on Etsy, go ahead try it. Search for chainmail.
Search for Leather Cuff. You’ll get a long list of items miss-tagged and have
to go 3 or 4 pages back JUST to find something relevant to your search. Frustrate
your buyers and lose them. It’s piss poor customer service to make the search
hard to use. I’m a seller but I’m also a buyer. I AM really frustrated witht eh
search. I can’t find anything when I search. I have to make multiple searches.
It’s poor customer service but it’s also a loss of sales and bad for my bottom
line and bad for Etsy’s too.
I like Etsy, and I’ll keep my shop open for quite some time
I just won’t be as active about updating it with new products, but you can
expect to see some new and exciting things on my Artfire shop. I’ll be doing
more experimental work with my recycled goods. I’ve wanted to do some fold up
paper books, do-si-do books and an assortment of other things too; similar to
my square cardstock books with retro computer paper in the middle. You’ll see
more specials, 10% off, 20% off and lowered shipping costs; because Artfire
makes that easy for me to do. More than anything else I want to have fun making
books again. I want to make more of the one offs like I used to, funky bindings
and unique one of a kind items and of course upcycled as well as my usual mix
of funky new material items.
I’m not giving up on Etsy, yet. I’ll give them some time to
figure out how they are going to fix this mess they’ve made for themselves. My
2 cents: Honor your sellers and move the meta tags to the end of the listing
title and make the search function work. When you do that I’ll be back in full
force, because Etsy, I love you but I can’t be with you right now, I hope you’ll
understand, and this doesn’t hurt too much. You see I've got this new chick, ArtFire.