Sunday, March 27, 2011

On Etsy

Serious stuff here for a moment...

This weekend I deleted my Etsy account.

As you may know, if you're a longtime reader of Craftykix, I had an Etsy shop that I closed up last year. It was an experiment, really. I had about 5 sales, spread over about 10 months. Not big money by any stretch of the imagination.

Personally, I did not find Etsy to be worthwhile. There are some Etsy shops that are doing very well. I was not one of those shops. In order to make a decent go of it there, you have to put craploads of time and attention into your shop - making, promoting and maintaining. There is SO MUCH STUFF on the site that unless you have a truly unique product, you will get lost in the mix. If you're not constantly putting something out there and pushing your product and driving people to your shop, you're not going to be heard and won't make a sale. It's a lot of work for something that is a side venture for an already busy person. Someone whose primary job is their shop would obviously make that a priority. I'm not an aggressive salesperson. I'm not a salesperson, period. So yes, I know that it's primarily my fault that I didn't do better. I get it, big deal.

Some of you may have heard about the "Circles" mess that hit Etsy earlier this year. Essentially they're trying to make it into a social site with sales instead of primarily a sales site. They wanted you to import your addresses from your address book and you could see what your friends were buying and they could see your activity. The thing is, your accounts were instantly included when they rolled it out. You had to opt OUT of it. In my opinion, that was a bad move. What I buy isn't really anyone's business but mine, and I'm sure most of my friends feel the same way.

(side note: I'm not a huge fan of everything I do online being interconnected. There are times and places for certain things, and I don't think that my bank needs to be connected to my Facebook page or my school to my Twitter feed. Boundaries, people.)

Anyway, there was also a recent kerfluffle about people's activity showing up in searches where people could see everything you buy anyway. Apparently after the mass outrage, Etsy corporate came out with "that was only in Feedback" statement or something. It was not handled properly, that's for sure.

Anyway, being that I don't have a whole lot of extra time or expendable income lately, I don't do a lot of shopping on Etsy anyway. Anything handmade, I usually make myself anyway. I came across some sites last night during my surfing that are showing a different side of Etsy. Stories from actual sellers and Etsy users that do not portray the company in a friendly light because of their abuse of their users.

(EtsyBitch and Quotes from Pissed off Sellers were the main reading, but there's obviously a LOT of disgruntled users out there...)

I can't really stand behind a company that claims to promote and champion individual small businesses and then tramples on them at the same time.

Deleting my account wasn't as easy as it was supposed to be. I had no outstanding bills or Non Delivery cases, but I still did not have the "delete account" option in my account settings, so I had to go through the support team. It didn't take long, but that seems like a pretty big glitch in the user interface functionality, to me.

There are other craft sales sites out there - Artfire, for one. I think if I chose to try a store again, I would probably do it through them.

I'm not judging. Just because it's not for me doesn't mean it's not for others. If you've got an Etsy shop, good luck to you. I wish you success, just make sure they don't screw you over.

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