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...feed your soul with art & creativity!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Is Etsy an Amazon Wanna Be?

I try very hard to keep my thoughts and blog upbeat and positive.  But something happened today/yesterday that really has be irked.

As an artist, I chose to have an account on Etsy.com to post and attempt to sell my artworks.  Over the past few years, there have been many changes to Etsy.  Some of those changes have been for the better and improved the look and feel of the site.  Others have really veered off course from a site that promotes art and crafts to what is beginning to feel like an Amazon Wanna Be.

The categories by which items are often found by searchers were drastically altered by Etsy staff and so many of my items from each of my four stores, Bohemian Art Cafe, Espresso Bar Designs, Ephemera Bistro and Flower Child Trends were completely obliterated.  Most of the categories I had previously used don't even exist on Etsy today as an option any more and just about every type of glass anything that I sell does not have a way to be categorized other than a very general "Arts" or "Supplies."

I'm so frustrated because I have spent so many hours working on setting up my stores, making sure that each of the four shops are offering specific types of items that I make without overlap, and just listing the items which takes hours when you take into consideration taking good photos and correcting photos to look as good as they can, describing and going through the insertion questions for each and every item.

I have to admit that for the past couple of years I have felt that Etsy was moving more to a mass produced market and away from the grass roots market of small artisans and crafters--so many more suppliers who make it impossible for small suppliers to compete, you can't leave negative feedback for them if you have a bad experience because they immediately give you negative feedback and fight to get your honest feedback removed so they look like they give good service even when they don't.

At 20 cents per listing (which comes to 5 cents per month) the question for me is whether the aggravation I feel is worth the admittedly small amount of money spent when I am having to constantly market my store so it even shows up anywhere near the front of search algorithms and not buried in the middle...I don't have time to join a bunch of teams and go around giving feedback and doing all the craziness that apparently some people do to make sales.

So, that being said, while I decide whether or not Etsy is for me, I've decided that I will be expanding my Square Market shop to include items that I have been posting on Etsy, as well as on Art Fire and Bonanza.  It's just such silliness and I don't have time for the silliness.  It takes enough time just to list an item or two a day.  I will be opening my shop on these three other sites beginning at the beginning of March.

I'd welcome thoughts from any readers who are also on Etsy and what you think about the new category changes, how you think they are going to affect you, etc.  Yes, I DID give Etsy feedback about what I found to be very problematic and am not just sitting here whining without trying to contact them first...but chances are they are not going to change it back to the old categories.  It is not, to my knowledge, even on the table as an option from them.  So irked I am and considering my options as to whether the Etsy as Amazon Wanna Be is the place for me to sell my artworks.