Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Etsy, What's Going On?
I don't know about you, but since Etsy went public and started selling stock options in April of 2015, the Etsy that I used to know when I began my business in 2007 changed. Of course, change is inevitable in life and business, but it seems to me they sold out from their original vision. When Rob Kalin started Etsy in 2007, he was dismayed with Ebay and felt they were too corporate and so he wanted to change the way commerce worked with a mission to promote sustainable products, handmade products and the supplies to make them, online. (Here is a good article from 2007 where Kalin talks about his beginning vision for Etsy - https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/184996).
Since "going corporate," Etsy seems to have left the handmade model behind. Yes, there are still many small handmade businesses on Etsy, but there are also MANY resellers selling products that they are purchasing all ready made from other countries, and trying to pass them off as products they have created themselves. Seems like Etsy no longer cares who sells on their platform. They are just looking to make a sale to anyone, from any seller, and they are even willing to set up competition between their sellers with their new "see similar items" link that pops up when your mouse hovers over a listing.
And now they are running tests continually that they say are going to help bring in more buyers, and consequently, bring in more sales for their sellers. Uh, sorry, not seeing any results there. Quite the opposite.
One thing I noticed recently that I find really disturbing is the results I get when I do a search on Google using my most popular keywords. I am not sure if you have tried this. I would recommend that you do. This is what I found.
So I clicked on four different listings of mine. Here are the results:
- one Etsy Studio listing was for Amethyst cabochons - when I clicked on the listing, it went to another suppliers listing, and for Peridot cabochons.
- another Etsy Studio listing for Amethyst cabochons took me to another suppliers listing, not mine, but at least this time it was for amethyst cabs
- another listing for Amethyst cabochons took me to the home page of my Etsy store, not the listing
- and the last listing I checked was for Smokey Quartz cabochons. When I clicked on that listing, it took me to a listing of mine for Rainbow Moonstone cabochons. And when you scroll to the bottom of that page, Etsy has "you may also like," suggestions for other sellers cabochons.
I don't know about you, as I stated above, but I really feel Etsy has lost it's way. Or just changed it's way. And as a long time seller, I feel like the changes Etsy has made and continue to make are for the benefit of themselves and their stock holders. My own personal opinion is that Etsy has lost the heart and soul of what made Etsy a unique platform for artisans.