Is It Time To Call It A Day on Etsy?

Just a little mid-week rant in passing.

I just saw Etsy’s front page and noticed this little set of baskets

Bargain Baskets

18 dollars for a set of 3 and 5.99 postage to anywhere in the world – from China of course

How can anybody possibly compete?  It would cost me more than that for the materials.

I know it’s within the new rules of the site and items can now be ‘manufactured’ by somebody other than the designer of the item  but it’s sad that the original spirit of  the handmade venue has gone.

I’m too cross to put a link to the shop……

              and it’s ‘Bienvenue’ not ‘Bienvenu’

                                                         –  just saying.

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  1. #1 by Trishia Jacobs on January 16, 2014 - 19:15

    I’m so glad to see you are selling on Zibbet, too! Zibbet swears they won’t sell out like Etsy did. They are Australians, not Americans. So…as terrible as this sounds… I believe them. It always seem to be about $$$ when it comes to US companies.

    • #2 by tialys on January 16, 2014 - 20:32

      Well Trishia, I am finding it slow on Zibbet but, to be fair, I am not doing anything to promote at the moment. Yonks ago, I won a free lifetime premium membership so it seems silly not to use it and I will perservere as they are sticking to their handmade guns.

  2. #3 by Carole Mayne on January 16, 2014 - 19:15

    Indeed…you are right.. who knows in 100 years what kind of charm 100,000 Chinese made knock-offs will have? (landfill!?) I will go on making my art the slow way, but concede that the internet has good and bad points..it is finding the balance in making and marketing your wares, isn’t it?

    • #4 by tialys on January 16, 2014 - 20:38

      Very true Carole.

    • #5 by Pam Selkirk on January 19, 2014 - 17:38

      I just stumbled on this post. I will say I’m really disappointed (and a little embarrassed as an American) with the new rules at Etsy. What I had loved most early on (I’ve had my shop there since ’08), is that people could actually find me without a ton of advertising. Now the site is just overwhelmed. Most of us are artists that try to charge fair prices for our goods. But does our experience not make us worthy of earning an hourly wage that exceeds that of the average (American) Walmart employee? This is where I draw pause. Thank you for sharing your frustration. Clearly, you’re not alone!

  3. #6 by sew2pro on January 16, 2014 - 19:19

    I love a mid-week rant in passing!

    You’re right. They’re probably cheaply made with stitching that comes undone.

    • #7 by tialys on January 16, 2014 - 20:28

      Let’s hope so!

  4. #8 by Wendz on January 16, 2014 - 19:22

    Yeah – I don’t know….I have a shop on Zibbet….haven’t listed much there though and no sales yet. Also just listed my first item on DaWanda.

    Etsy has deffo sold out but I make too much money there at the moment to give it up – but I reckon as the big mass producers take root I will probably sell less and less – hence my moving out to other pastures – also going to be opening my own web shop this year.

    It’s a real pain – this new Etsy policy – bottom line is profit though – who cares about quality and handmade when there’s money to be made? *sigh* I have also found a lot of my buyers treat me as if I were a big chain store – they make absolutely no difference between handmade and mass produced and some have the most dreadful attitude. Oh don’t let me start on online buyers!

    • #9 by tialys on January 16, 2014 - 20:56

      Hello Wendz – I’ve missed you! I am not leaving Etsy either as my vintage shop is still doing relatively well but I suppose that’s a bit safer from the mass producers – although there are always reproductions I suppose
      I think you are sensible to spread your wings a little as I am guessing things will get worse. Having your own website sounds exciting – make sure you let me know when it’s up and running.
      As far as buyers are concerned, I have found attitudes have changed enormously since all the changes. The problem is, they find you on Google, go straight to the item and don’t know – or care – that you are an independent artisan so treat you in the same, impersonal way that they might apply if shopping with a chain store. I have noticed, for example, that it is quite rare to receive feedback now – partly due to another bizarre change implemented by Etsy where the customer has to wait for a specified date until they can leave an evaluation (who would bother?) but also, I think, due to the increasingly ‘big business’ nature of the site. I do try to make the buying experience as personal as possible to hopefully remind the customer that they are dealing with a person and not a company. I believe there are still people who do go to Etsy actively searching for good quality, one-off, handmade items – let’s hope so anyway.

      • #10 by Pam Selkirk on January 19, 2014 - 17:43

        Excellent point about feedback. I absolutely do backflips for my customers and take a good deal of time making it a personalized transaction. Feedback always helps me know that personalized transactions matter to people, but they are few and far between, making me assume the former coziness of the Etsy Handcrafted Marketplace has really gone by the wayside.

      • #11 by tialys on January 20, 2014 - 10:22

        Whenever I bought things on Etsy in the past, I always left feedback – usually as soon as I received the item – but maybe that was because, as a shop owner myself, I know the importance of it to both the seller and any future customer. However, with Etsy now not allowing feedback to be left until a specified date, and not sending any reminder, even I often forget to do it so what chance do we have of a one-off visitor to Etsy thinking to come back and leave an evaluation? Crazy!

  5. #12 by Lynne@boutschoisis on January 16, 2014 - 19:38

    I hadn’t heard about that etsy “new rule” – shame. Sadly, even Moda fabrics make numerous mistakes with the French words on their reproduction French fabrics – you’d think they could find a “native” French speaker somewhere with whom they could do a spell check …

    • #13 by tialys on January 16, 2014 - 20:23

      You would think so wouldn’t you Lynne. How hard could it be? It’s the same here in France though isn’t it, with the English language – plenty of English speakers living here and nobody ever thinks to ask us but at least it makes for some amusing menus.

  6. #14 by Jan Marriott on January 16, 2014 - 19:44

    the pisser is that its probably labeled ‘handmade’ as etsy’s definition of hand made is ‘ not the dictionary definition’

    • #15 by tialys on January 16, 2014 - 20:20

      It is indeed a ‘handmade’ item Jan. Strangely, I have just found another shop on the site, also shipping from China, selling the exact same set but at $25 – perhaps their staff have a trade union. They can’t spell ‘bienvenue’ either.

  7. #16 by tolmema on January 16, 2014 - 20:47

    I agree, Etsy has taken a sharp turn left straight into $$$ territory. There was a site called “Regretsy” that used to show not only ugly crafts but would also expose artists who weren’t even crafting their own items and selling them online. I absolutely despise Etsy and everything about it – however, it would take a mass exodus of handcrafters to make them change their ways…and even then, Etsy probably wouldn’t even notice because they’re too busy making mo’ money off of shitty manufactured goods. As if pricing your goods wasn’t hard enough – now competing with these people makes our pricing look even more “unrealistic” to buyers who are unaware of how much work is put into a handmade item.

  8. #17 by tialys on January 16, 2014 - 21:18

    Exactly. Competition is good but competing in an unequal marketplace is unfair when the marketplace concerned was set up to cater for the very people that are now being out-produced and out-priced, having served their purpose presumably.

  9. #18 by katechiconi on January 16, 2014 - 22:23

    With you on this one. And I hate it when I see mangled French, or Spanish, or Italian – or indeed English! Get it right, or don’t use it! And those baskets aren’t even very well made…

  10. #19 by Lyn on January 16, 2014 - 23:26

    I am so completely disappointed in Etsy. As a seller on Etsy for some years, I am now finding it is more and more difficult to have my handmade items seen, and have my nose-diving stats to prove it. It is starting to look like a buy-it-now only version of eBay. I left eBay years ago when they started putting the screws on the small storefront operator and found the perfect home at Etsy. Talk about history repeating itself! Fingers crossed that Zibbet upholds its handmade ethics …

    • #20 by tialys on January 17, 2014 - 00:04

      It is a completely different place now isn’t it? Hopefully, Zibbet will attract the buyers (and sellers) who originally went to Etsy for handmade goods but who now have to plough through the sort of stuff you can buy on any high street or shopping mall before they get to it. Let’s hope they’ve got a good marketing department.

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