Ya know, etsy really blew it. I was once one of their most loyal customers. I had close to a thousand sales in my two shops. 100% pos feedback and many repeat customers.
So how does this help a business to treat their PAYING CUSTOMERS like dirt? I already swung many of my etsy customers over to Artfire. I never would have done that but for etsy's many blunders.
Early this year. They started making changes that brought up a bunch of complaints in the forums. At first just site changes, design decisions and such. Not everyone will love everything, that's just the way it is.
Their first was to load up our profile page with dozens (if not more) ways to LEAVE someones shop. It's hard enough to be found in a site as big as etsy but then to make it so easy to accidently leave was just dumb.
Suddenly instead of a nice clean profile to read about a given shopkeeper, you get snipits of their shop, their favorite other shops, their treasuries, their oh... who cares? It was dumb. And people in their own forums complained.
Next came "circles." WHY???? So somebody adds you to their "circle." And I'd get an email each and every time! Circles someone elses circled circle circles. Oh come on! I want NOTHING to do with this facebook-esk nonsense.
Finally they made the emails something you could opt out of. Then briefly they made it so you could decide what clutter to fill your profile page with. But that quickly changed. Now go look at any etsy shop. "Circles" is right on their main page. Again it's a way to LEAVE that shop.
Ok all that is bad but all could have been tolerated. Their next and BIGGEST blunder was the invasion of privacy! Digging into OUR EMAIL accounts to find OUR CONTACT lists. Get this. "In order for your friends and family to find you easier." EXCUSE ME but my "FRIENDS AND FAMILY KNOW how to find me! This is data mining and was also ALL OPT IN automatically! And this time, not ONE PERSON in their forums seemed to like this idea. Not one! They LIT UP with complaints. I watched shops up and close right then. I personally removed my main email and set up one just for etsy. They should NOT have access to my personal contact lists. But.... when this finally went live, and I tested it with my now removed email, sure enough. It found me. It shouldn't have but sure as hell did!
I contacted Sean. One of the admins you can find in the forums who announced when this went live. I contacted him back in FEB! NO reply.
Lastly, and probably because now their forums, boards who I have said over and over were some of the nicest, fastest, most helpful useful fun forums on line, well no more. Every single topic was loaded with complaints, questions, requests to put things back. And probably because of all the complaining going on, etsy decided it was best to fracture the forums into tiny hard to find, even harder to navigate, "teams." To which you had to 'APPLY." And be APPROVED. And not by an etsy staff. Oh no. Anyone can start a team. And anyone can take on the roll of gestapo in charge of who can post, what can be posted etc. Not good! I joined a few just to try it but they were not the same as the public busy forum boards. So I rarely even tried to post anything there anymore. I kept going to what they left up of the main forums and every day there were people complaining.
I had hoped that etsy was still listening to it's "customers." They used to! So I kept trying to post my veiwpoint on all the recent changes. As were a LOT of people.
One morning, I watched thread after thread suddenly get shut down. For no good reason other than to shut up the complainers. With the ever so friendly suggestion to "go try a team." So one morning I posted yea... "how about the we don't care about you anymore team, or the shut up team, or the bite me team." Then suddenly one day, I was not able to post. Checked my etsy email and it seems I had violated some TOS about forum rules. They cited three posts. NOT ONE was in any violation. They said I had been warned before. Uh, NO! Replies to those notices go unanswered. I emailed many times. Several people. Even got on their live chat. Finally I tried Rob White who was once one of the best on there as far as help goes. Well he told me after looking more closely, only one of those three posts they cited really counted. That "bite me" remark. Now come on! I could see if that was directed at someone in particular but it was not. Then he cited my previous warning. An unfortunate argument I got into OVER SIX MONTHS AGO! In which I personally asked etsy to close because it got ugly. I had at that point well over 2400 posts in their forums. Usually helping someone or asking for help. And they had to dig up this and send me to my room for a week? LISTEN! I'm NOT a child!
The week I spent in time out, I went back to Artfire. Hadn't really spent any time there since they first launched. But they have improved. A lot! So ok, I'll do my morning forum surfing there instead of etsy. And started finding a whole lot of former etsy people who already got sick of the nonsense.
My week of time out over, and still no replies to many support issues I contacted them about. I posted in both my shops that I have had it with etsy and am moving. To which they promptly removed my shop announcements and my bio.
Then I changed my little avitar to a picture of a cat with it's mouth wide open with "etsy bites the hand that feeds it." haha.... Mind you and avitar is a tiny graphic, not on google or anything. Only on my shop or in forum posts. Well they removed it and "warned me again." Fine. What ever.
I decided at that point I was not happy there and was no longer listing anything. I upgraded my account on Artfire and almost immediately saw a spike in traffic. (Pro members do get better promotion than free ones.) I also decided it would be smart to copy ALL my past etsy customer email addresses. Again I had a lot of repeat buyers. Should I be booted they would not know how to find me again.
Now I stayed off etsy other than my daily check of sales, expired listings I need to move, and any notes I need to take care of. Then I got off. Only rarely ever checked their forums, mostly to see if all the complaining was still going on. And it was. Rather shell shocked over being muted, at first I was careful to only copy what others said and paste it. Say "I agree with what this person said." Can't mute me for that right?
Well.... in the midst of the complaining, I posted a link to an article where it states etsy hired a former ebay executive to sit on the board.
THIS POST is what they cited as a violation of their terms next. And muted me FOR LIFE!
And yes, I replied asking what rule that broke. Their rules are pretty simple.
Oh but this isn't all. Again it's not just me complaining here. I could still see the forums even if I couldn't post. I'd see the same people complaining every day then suddenly vanish. So I'd contact them directly only to learn they got muted too! It's a real sad when people in charge let power go to their heads. But the forum police there went a little nuts with the endless closings of threads, and now muting of anyone and everyone who complains. Don't FIX what people are complaining about. Oh now! Just mute the complainers. As if the problems will just go away!
If you think I'm crazy about all this? Test it for yourself. Go google "etsy" and "privacy" and see what comes up. Etsy has been really getting some horrid press over this. And now they are scrambling to enact some form of damage control. Know what? They need to be SUED!!!!! Making shoppers purchases AND NAMES public right there is enough to be sued over. And if I ever find a class action going on I WILL be delighted to take part!!!!
And now this. I have avoided their forums AND their teams. Focusing on my new shop on Artfire. I only had two months left, just sent out emails to ALL my past etsy customers with discount codes (see above) and to let them know everything on etsy is on sale 40% off. Thought I'd try posting that in the FOUR teams I'm actually part of. One team is a "cat avitar" team. (Side story but I had a picture of my cat on there. Had to do with an etsy person with a pregnant cat asking for help. In support everyone started uploading pictures of their cats. I just never switched mine back.) Anyway I posted my sale there. Got a few pages of posts, some conversations about business etc. Then I posted in a polymer clay team. No one replied. That's fine, not everyone cares that I'm moving. Cool. I posted in a Michigan peoples team, got a few replies, and finally I posted in etc. Now etc is the ONE place where anything goes! Can you believe it got closed? Holy crap! I wasn't JUST promoting Artfire. I was promoting clearance sales on TWO ETSY SHOPS!!!!! Etsy? Ya know? Promote etsy on etsy? Closed for "promoting." I emailed the BITCH and was booted off the team. Hey big loss there. That was my one and only post. Oh hurt me! Well today I went to log in, I DO have pending sales to attend to but nope. BOTH my shops have been disabled. And all I get is auto responders.
ETSY SUCKS!!!!!!! I feel SO betrayed. Countless HOURS wasted listing, promoting, telling people what a wonderful site etsy is. I TAKE IT ALL BACK! They are SHIT!!!! Just like ebay. Once good now SHIT!
Eh, I don't care. They actually might have done me a favor. I wasn't looking forward to checking in every single day to a site that makes my blood boil with contempt. This is better. I'll focus on Artfire and my other on line ventures and consider etsy a thing of the past. But I'd be delighted to see them get SUED!!!!! That whole privacy thing just might do it too. Facebook got sued and LOST. I'll keep an eye out for any class actions against them.
HOW CAN CLOSED DELETED REMOVED SHOPS BE GETTING HITS AT ALL??????
I wanted to just get past this but damn! I WANT MY INFORMATION REMOVED!!!!!!!
GOD ETSY SUCKS BAD! Anyone reading this and is thinking about maybe setting up shop on etsy? They WILL harvest your data. Your email contacts, your customers, your images, and everything else you entered in their data base. And apparently it stays there forever!
Be warned. RUN from etsy!
MORE ADDITIONAL June 2011
And again, I sent etsy another email. Sent to support, transactions, community at etsy. And as usual, all I got back were autorestponders.
So ANYONE thinking about etsy?
One final update, May 2015.