• Confessions of a Milan Etsy Seller

    vintage by jolie

    and Contemplations of a Class Action Lawsuit

    I thought of suicide for their exploit.”

    Former Etsy Shop owner, Viceversashop_Milan, Milan, Italy, January 18, 2023

    This is an excerpt from a post on the Complaints Board website by a former Etsy seller in Milan when his shop was closed by Etsy. And I wonder, does Etsy even care when they have impacted someone’s life so dramatically that they contemplate suicide?

    I don’t think so.

    it’s time for a change

    You see by opening an Etsy shop, and depending on it to not only live, but to thrive and survive, sellers are putting themselves on the line everyday to keep the machine running, whether it is through their artwork, vintage curated collections, or handmade items of beauty.

    And when shops are closed without warning or an appeal process or valid explanation, lives are significantly changed. The irreparable harm that sellers…

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  • Confessions of a Milan Etsy Seller

    and Contemplations of a Class Action Lawsuit

    I thought of suicide for their exploit.”

    Former Etsy Shop owner, Viceversashop_Milan, Milan, Italy, January 18, 2023

    This is an excerpt from a post on the Complaints Board website by a former Etsy seller in Milan when his shop was closed by Etsy. And I wonder, does Etsy even care when they have impacted someone’s life so dramatically that they contemplate suicide?

    I don’t think so.

    it’s time for a change

    You see by opening an Etsy shop, and depending on it to not only live, but to thrive and survive, sellers are putting themselves on the line everyday to keep the machine running, whether it is through their artwork, vintage curated collections, or handmade items of beauty.

    And when shops are closed without warning or an appeal process or valid explanation, lives are significantly changed. The irreparable harm that sellers have been subjected to can’t be captured by algorithms or shareholder approval ratings. Etsy is playing a dangerous game that could be the difference between life and death for some people. Wipe away someone’s ability to pay their rent, feed their children, keep the lights on, or maybe most importantly kill their spirit, Etsy has failed miserably. Period.

    Who cares?

    Etsy will never know the immeasurable loss they have created by stripping away the dignity of their sellers. And my guess is, they do not want to know, and they do not care. After all, it’s not a profitable calculation. It is not relevant to the bottom line.

    Or is it?

    He said it, and how!

    The former Etsy seller in Milan suggests a class action suit: Complaints Board website: ” … We would love to create a go fund me campaign and connected petition to find as many contrihbutors as possible for a class action against Etsy for their discriminatory unreasonable practices that are sometimes considerable as instigation to suicide, …” 

    ” …  they should write a contract that is protecting both parts and not giving them the full powers of a dictator and their “workers” NO RIGHTS at all, not even to get an explaination when they are suspended.
    This is not a game, Etsy Trust&Safety.
    You are playing with real businesses, families, people.
    Somebody would kill himself for your medieval way to treat partners.”

    988 Suicide Hotline

    Etsy, do you see how how seriously you have affected so many? Please be aware and if anyone you know has been affected by Etsy’s unfair practices to the point of considering suicide, contact 988 Suicide & Crisis Hotline.

    Complaints Board Overview

    Even Shareholders sued Etsy

    Of course, Etsy is no stranger to class action lawsuits as can be found in a quick search. I find it interesting that even shareholders have initiated lawsuits against Etsy for various reasons. Others have filed class action lawsuits with infringements that include stealing data, the American Disabilities Act, counterfeit products and more.

    Keeping Commerce Inhumane

    Many complaints stem from fake reports by sellers involving copyright infringement designed to eliminate competitors. At the end of the day, the result is the same for sellers who have had their shops closed for real or imagined infringements. There is no “Keeping Commerce Human” that is purported to be their mantra. It is quite the opposite. As sellers we whispered into the void of nothingness, with a boiler plate email response that was irrelevant and insulting.

    Only the coolest

    My product line and inventory consisted of only the coolest vintage items of interest. But, like other sellers, I also encountered the impossibility of engaging in a conversation with Etsy nomads who really do not wish to converse once they have wielded their power of complete domination over sellers shops. One seller affected by Etsy’s unfair practices featured in The New York Post had this to say: “They literally have zero seller support,” said one Reddit user, who also was shut down by the fake Warner account. “They don’t have chat, phone and they NEVER answer the ‘e-mail’ feature.” 

    I would like to say, I rest my case. But we’re not quite there. yet.

    Bye, for now friends!

    This was my shop. Although Etsy dismantled all of my listings, they will not allow me to actually close the shop until I pay a disingenuous and false claim against me. I refuse. I will always refuse. In the meantime, I had saved some of my favorite things that are now listed on eBay, the rest I sold in two online auctions by MaxSold. And one last thing – Josh Silverman does not care about sellers.

    Yours truly, jolie

    all rights reserved

  • Etsy, Paradise Lost

    Little Grasshopper

    So for a long, very long time I sold antiques, collectibles, vintage, paintings and very cool found objects on eBay. My mother had shops in New York since I was knee high to a grasshopper, and we traipsed countrywide and into Canada for buying trips that included sales and auctions of massive estate liquidations when heirs could no longer afford to pay taxes on old mansions and estates. We really did have the treasure trove of good old beautiful things in one of the oldest settled areas in the country.

    A Damn Good Platform

    As brick and mortar stores and shops were replaced with ecommerce selling platforms, the love of the hunt did not change, it was the way we evolved to stay in the game, find awesome things and make a profit.

    eBay was it! I sold thousands of items on eBay for years. Of course there were growing pains, bits of chaos and the usual suspects when things were not quite right, but in retrospect, it was and is a damn good platform. I changed my format from a store to just listing my items on their own. When I took a trip to Europe, I discovered that I was not able to pause my account to vacation mode. I had to delete all of my items and when I returned I found it difficult to activate them.

    My Not So “aHa” Moment

    This is when I thought, aha! I’ll try Etsy. What could go wrong? I opened my store in October 2020. Honestly, I thought at that time Etsy had become all grown up while maintaining it’s child like spirit. You know embracing ideas and concepts like dreams that really could come true, artists who could create beautiful things and make money, or collectors who could curate a vintage collection to share with the world – and make money. My wild, blind faith in the idealism of Etsy, caused me to just dive in. Sure, I saw some complainers and whiners, but that’s wasn’t me or my style. I ignored the red flags.

    Bitch Slapped & Not Digging It

    Fast forward, and two years later I got bitch slapped by Etsy, not once, but twice. Call me smug, but nothing I have ever done or stood for as an aficionado or experienced dealer prepared me for this. It didn’t matter one bit, Etsy shut down my shop twice. So no matter who you are, I think it’s always a good idea to see what other people are going through every day, as they try to make Etsy a part of their creative process and livelihood. People matter. Etsy, I assure you, you have not even come close to keeping commerce human for thousands of sellers throughout the world.

    Real Reviews by Real People

    Here is a gallery of recent reviews by Etsy sellers who have experienced the wrath of the new and improved Etsy, found on Trustpilot.

    Dreamers, Not Schemers

    Oh how smug, but naïve I was. I think a lot of Etsy people (and former Etsy people) might be as naïve as me, so many are dreamers, not schemers. CEO Josh Silverman and the shareholders know it and bank on it, literally. Just have a look at the bare bones compensation for the brass at Etsy for its 2021 fiscal year, from its annual proxy statement to the SEC, from salary.com.

    Josh Does Not Care About Sellers

    If Etsy continues to shut down shops with blatant disregard for sellers, thus reducing its own revenue base which finances the Etsy machine, where is the money going to come from? Etsy acquisitions. Which again supports the idea that Josh Silverman really does not care about sellers: CEO Josh Silverman: “We need to do what our sellers need, not want,” Silverman says. “To serve the sellers, you need to obsess over the buyer experience.” Source: Forbes.com.

    Isn’t It Nice to Have Acquisitions

    Etsy’s doors will stay open with these acquisitions in their back pocket while they shutter countless shops. We’ll never know how many have been given the hatchet and final blow. But each time Etsy plays Russian Roulette with other peoples lives, real people suffer in countless ways.

    I Tell Ya, I Get No Respect

    Etsy radically assures sellers that their obsession must be dedicated to the buyers experience. In Josh Silverman’s world it is the only thing that matters. As a former Etsy seller, of course I cared, I cared deeply that every buyer was wildly happy about their purchases. This is a common thread among all successful sellers. And when a customer was difficult or dishonest I expected to be listened to and respected by the refund rulers of Etsyland. (I had a no refund policy, it is an unenforceable policy, be aware). There is no appeal process.

    Etsy Is Barely Recognizable

    But who better to embrace the vision versus today’s reality at Etsy than one of the original co-founders and ice cream maker Chris Maguire? Truly, one of the good guys, so you know that couldn’t last.

    “How an Etsy founder turned ice cream maker feels about the e-commerce giant today”

    PUBLISHED TUE, APR 19 202210:52 AM EDTUPDATED WED, APR 20 20229:33 AM EDT

    Alexis Gebhardt, special to CNBC.com

    “Co-founder Chris Maguire tells CNBC of the company today, “It’s kind of more geared towards, ‘We’re selling stuff and we’re selling as much as possible, and that should be the driving goal.’ But it’s, you know, there’s not quite as much playfulness.” …

    “But as Etsy has grown well beyond its original goal – to create a sustainable place for people to buy and sell the things they make – it has become more difficult to maintain its do–it-yourself ethos. Maguire says being emotionally involved with the crafting community made the founders want to build something that would suit their needs, and today, while Etsy still makes sure that there’s a buyer and seller connection that goes beyond a transaction, he has noticed that the company has become more like a machine for making sales.

    “They had this playful aesthetic. And I don’t see that as much on Etsy now,” Maguire said. “It’s kind of more geared towards, ‘We’re selling stuff and we’re selling as much as possible, and that should be the driving goal.’ But it’s, you know, there’s not quite as much playfulness.” 

    “The success of our business model is based on the success of our sellers,” then-Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson told the New York Times. “That means we don’t have to make a choice between people and profit.”

    But that has become an increasingly harder line to walk as a public company with Wall Street on watch. The changes at Etsy go much deeper than the latest transaction fee increases. 

    In 2017, Dickerson, who had led the company since 2011, was ousted and board member Josh Silverman was brought in as CEO at time when private equity firms and hedge funds were amassing shares. The fears of a potential takeover were matched by fears about the company’s mission being lost.

    New York Times feature from 2017 noted that even as financials improved, in other respects, “Etsy is barely recognizable.” “

    Red Flags Everywhere

    I know I shouldn’t look back because I am not going that way. But I was personally subjected to an injustice by Etsy bots and ghosts that has affected my life in a big way. By sharing information about my experience, it is my hope that past, present and possible future sellers will do a bit of due diligence, weigh in on the pros and cons before taking that dive.

    I Shall Always Refuse

    This was my shop. Although Etsy dismantled all of my listings, they will not allow me to actually close the shop until I pay a disingenuous and false claim against me. I refuse. I will always refuse.

    Yours truly, jolie

    All rights reserved.

  • Josh Silverman, the Oz of Evil for Etsy Sellers?

    because our voices must be heard …

    vintage by jolie

    Wizardry at it’s Worst

    As a former Etsy seller, the almighty disembodied voice of leadership much like that of Oz, has taken me down a path of nightmarish swirling events of ecommerce realities, good versus evil, and the thunderous silence of powerful wizards, when things are not quite right, at a little old site named Etsy.

    As For Me, I’m History

    In 1964, the American historian Henry Littlefield argued that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a parable for the 1890s Populist movement — a campaign by disenfranchised farmers and factory workers to seize power from the business elite. Today, the story of Oz has the same resonance and deep meaning for thousands of Etsy sellers who have been maligned, pushed down, and eliminated from the Etsy selling platform for no valid reason, like me.

    Ordinary Conman or Great Wizard?

    In my story, I will call Josh Silverman the…

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  • Josh Silverman, the Oz of Evil for Etsy Sellers?

    Wizardry at it’s Worst

    As a former Etsy seller, the almighty disembodied voice of leadership much like that of Oz, has taken me down a path of nightmarish swirling events of ecommerce realities, good versus evil, and the thunderous silence of powerful wizards, when things are not quite right, at a little old site named Etsy.

    As For Me, I’m History

    In 1964, the American historian Henry Littlefield argued that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a parable for the 1890s Populist movement — a campaign by disenfranchised farmers and factory workers to seize power from the business elite. Today, the story of Oz has the same resonance and deep meaning for thousands of Etsy sellers who have been maligned, pushed down, and eliminated from the Etsy selling platform for no valid reason, like me.

    Ordinary Conman or Great Wizard?

    In my story, I will call Josh Silverman the 21 Million Dollar Man and CEO Wizard of Oz, Ruler of the imaginary cultural Kingdom called Etsy, who is highly venerated by his subjects. The Wizard is very reluctant to meet the sellers of Oz. But alas, when he grants an audience, he seems to be a disembodied voice.

    Eventually, it is revealed that this CEO nicknamed Oz is an ordinary conman from Ann Arbor, Michigan who has been using elaborate magic tricks and props to make himself seem “great and powerful”.

    Follow the Yellow Brick Road

    One day his Ebay balloon sailed into the Land of Etsy and he found himself worshipped as a great sorcerer. As Etsy had benevolent leadership at the time, the Board of Directors replaced many of them to compete with Amazon and Jeff Bezos. The Wizard Silverman became the Supreme Ruler of the Etsy kingdom and is doing his best to sustain the myth.

    Wiz Silverman’s “great and powerful” trick was to simply follow the Yellow Brick Road. The Yellow Brick Road is a metaphor for the gold standard, and who better to line the pockets of shareholders (on the backs of sellers) than the CEO Wiz leading his pack down the golden yellow brick road of victory? His trick? Stick it to the sellers, the heart and soul of Etsy who are stuck in Emerald City with no other place to call home. But, It was a difficult 2022 for Etsy after all, with shares tumbling over 60% YTD. So sellers should expect to pony up, more of that burden of loss will fall on their shoulders, again.

    Who Loves You Josh? Shareholders!

    Silverman raised sellers fees in April, 2021, with an overall hit of about 30% to the bottom line for sellers. So, some sellers closed their shops, briefly, in protest. The Etsy mini strike made a little noise, a little fluffle for about 5 minutes that eventually amounted to nothing. Of course.

    But, the Shareholders loved Silverman’s plan so much that they gave him a ludicrous compensation package of $40 million in 2022. A big bump from the $1.9 million package of 2021. Etsy sellers must be perceived as unenlightened hopeless victims of circumstance like rusted Tinmen, cowardly Lions or hapless Scarecrows who lack brains, courage and heart by the Etsy Emerald City elite. How could we have known that the platform we loved and the people we trusted, would become the disembodied voice of a “leaders” who do not care about sellers?

    Emerald City, for Shareholders Only

    Emerald City like Etsy represented a place where dreams and hopes could be fulfilled. Little did the innocents know that their dreams and hopes would be sidelined as the site has morphed into an unfair, unfamiliar, unsafe place for reputable sellers.

    Josh Does Not Care About Sellers

    The Wiz Josh in recent Etsy “improvements” initiated a “Buyer Protection Program” that is insufferable and insulting to honest, committed and proven great sellers. And, it isn’t just the indignation of being subjected to abusive buyers, but more significantly by Etsy Munchkins who can and will bury your business if you ruffle feathers or stand up for yourself. Or, the Etsy Munchkin Lollipop Guild (The Lollipop Guild is seen as representing child labor) who ignore concerns, requests and send boiler plate responses as sellers lose their rights along with their dignity. Check out this blog by Abby Glassenberg – It appears that Josh Silverman doesn’t actually engage with sellers in “real life”. The Wiz Josh does not care about sellers.

    Supreme Ruler & Myth Maker

    The hopes and dreams of Etsy’s Emerald City became aligned with the absolute power and money bonanza for Etsy’s CEO, top brass and shareholders, not their base camp for which they should be celebrating, supporting and sharing the wealth. Instead, daily, sellers are penalized for making scratch money, who must be prepared to be on the defensive to save their reputations and businesses. That’s just bad business. In the meantime, the elites in the shadows are solely in the game for money, and that’s a damn shame. The Wizard might reflect on this if he were to leave his Emerald City Tower and hit the streets to discuss what is real for sellers in the trenches. That, I would call a “Keeping Commence Human” moment. We will not hold our breath on this one.

    Becoming Invisible in the Land of Oz

    There’s no way of knowing how many of “us” have been broken and slammed by Etsy, but probably enough for Etsy to engage in heart warming story spinning. Oh, there’s a ton, and not a peep about how they might revisit the selling experience. A bunch of money goes into hiring PR people who put a spin on the reality of what actually happens behind the scenes making Etsy appear as a good neighbor and a good business citizen. Thousands of us who have no voice when bad things happen wake up to a happy PR spin to drown out our voices and one by one, we become invisible.

    Toto Had It Right

    Hundreds of sites are routed right back to the Etsy machine and the disembodied voice of “leadership”. What lies behind the almighty voice of Oz? In the iconic Wizard of Oz story Toto the dog notices that this powerful wizard is actually a meek old man behind a curtain operating a machine that creates the illusion of an almighty and powerful figure.

    Which makes me wonder.

    The Munchkins Shut Me Down

    For me, after two years of selling on Etsy, 444 sales with over 100 five star reviews, the Munchkins of the Lollipop Guild closed my shop down. Not once, but twice due to Wizard Silverman’s brilliant “Buyer Protection Program”.

    Today I contacted Etsy. Again, after several months of giving up hope that anyone in the Land of Oz would respond to me like a real, live Munchkin at the keyboard. Wouldn’t you know it, one of the Munchkins sent me a boiler plate response without reading one word I said. Huh! So, yes, I have a strong opinion about Silverman’s draconian rules that punish reputable sellers, like me.

    So, this is what it looked like the first time Etsy closed my shop.

    Closing Shop

    Here’s what: The first time Etsy closed my shop without warning it was over a package I sent to England.

    • The buyer asked me to track a package showing delivery to British customs, which I was not able to access from the states.
    • The customer did not respond to customs to have her package delivered.
    • The package was returned to me, arriving a few months later.
    • Shipping costs the first time around was an estimate before item was packaged and weighed. I lost money on shipping but I let it go.
    • I prepared the package for shipping again and let the buyer (Chasti) know what had happened and what the actual shipping cost was.
    • Following this, Chasti started two “Help With An Order” threads with over 200 messages, night and day for 3 weeks straight.
    • I asked for help from Etsy. I was told to work it out with the buyer myself. Naively thinking a logical conclusion would be made – the buyer would pay the actual return shipping costs.
    • I was told to refund the purchase including shipping.
    • The funds were not on my Etsy account card at that moment, and a second was on file for any outstanding amounts due.
    • Instead of charging the second card, Etsy shut down my shop with no warning. I had additional shipments to prepare, but could not use the Etsy shipping option.
    • One incident, after 2 years. My Star Seller status was eliminated, the algorithm activity dropped, false stats were posted. i.e.: response time, on time shipping, etc.
    • The manipulation of data by Etsy crushed my business. My year over year sales dropped by 63%, while my labor and and inventory increased by 50%.

    How naïve I was.

    Twice is Two Times Too Many

    The second time Etsy closed my shop, was the last time. It involved an antique 19th Century Qing Dynasty Imperial Court Robe. The buyer lied. Etsy punished me, and the voice of the almighty Oz remained silent as the Munchkin in charge closed my shop. I was out of state at the time due to mandatory Hurricane Evacuation Directive in Southwest Florida. I would not say this move was a good example of the Etsy “Keeping Commerce Human” mantra, but hey, it’s a great tag line.

    Look for my next blog to get the deets on the ridiculousness of Etsy’s second and final fail, for me. And by the way, if you’re still with me, and you happen to be someone who doesn’t quite like what I have to say, I say bring it.

    Yours truly, Jolie

    All rights reserved.

  • Ending Etsy.

    stand strong

    vintage by jolie

    Amidst the worldly comings and goings, observe how endings become beginnings. –Lao Tzu

    Let’s Get Philosophical

    And so, it’s probably fortuitous that as this year ends, doing business with Etsy shall also come to an end, permanently and with deliberate measure. New year, new beginnings. I’d call that Kismet.

    Observing Endings & Beginnings

    My shop was closed this year. Etsy should not have had that right, but it happened, (during a mandatory hurricane evacuation nonetheless). In the new year, no one will ever be able to pull that kind of trickery again. Because my things are quite special, you know, the non mass produced good old things that embody the spirit of quality, design, whimsy and innocence of times past, I’ll begin sharing these little treasures of goodness on my own website for starters, so stay tuned.

    The Sellers Dilemma

    I succumbed to the the ever changing and demanding…

    View original post 516 more words

  • The End of Etsy, a Survival Kit Odyssey

    vintage by jolie

    A Practical Guide to Becoming a Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

    Expect the unexpected, and be prepared. For Etsy sellers everywhere, here are some tips for the good, the bad and ugly truths about preparing for the end of selling on Etsy. You may think it isn’t possible that your shop could be closed by the Esty police, but it happens. Just like “other” unpleasant, smelly, stinky, dirty, rotten things, happen. It happened to me, and it can happen to you.

    Always Be Prepared, a Motto

    So, do these four things and keep them in your back pocket, just in case. It is time consuming and sellers already spend hours upon hours developing their brand, (especially when Etsy expects to do your own marketing) but do these things anyway. You can thank me later.

    1. Keep a file of all of your reviews. If Etsy decides to close your store for…

    View original post 1,314 more words

  • The End of Etsy, a Survival Kit Odyssey

    A Practical Guide to Becoming a Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

    Expect the unexpected, and be prepared. For Etsy sellers everywhere, here are some tips for the good, the bad and ugly truths about preparing for the end of selling on Etsy. You may think it isn’t possible that your shop could be closed by the Esty police, but it happens. Just like “other” unpleasant, smelly, stinky, dirty, rotten things, happen. It happened to me, and it can happen to you.

    Always Be Prepared, a Motto

    So, do these four things and keep them in your back pocket, just in case. It is time consuming and sellers already spend hours upon hours developing their brand, (especially when Etsy expects to do your own marketing) but do these things anyway. You can thank me later.

    1. Keep a file of all of your reviews. If Etsy decides to close your store for any reason, they own your content and reviews. You will not have access to them. Once you find another selling platform, these reviews will come in handy to establish who you really are as a legit seller, and overall good person, dedicated to the happiness of each and every customer.
    2. Keep a file of your photographs and item descriptions. For me, and most Etsy sellers, a lot of time, research, documentation and detail goes into creating a single listing. Researching and writing descriptions is time consuming and very difficult to replicate once they vanish under Etsy’s ownership. Your content DOES NOT belong to you. Always remember that.
    3. Set up a parallel account using a website domain name other than Etsy, (not Pattern, an Etsy owned site). If Etsy closes your shop you have an immediate back up platform to rebuild your business. You can keep the site unpublished until needed. I used my Google Business platform, vintagebyjolie to duplicate every Etsy listing. However, it’s attached to an Etsy link so this data is only useful to create a new website or to list your items on another selling platform. Handy, but creating a separate website would be an optimal back up plan.
    4. Learn when to cut bait. If the time invested in managing your shop is taking over your life, and return on your investment is a financial abyss, move on. CEO, Josh Silverman does not care about sellers. Per Forbes: “We need to do what our sellers need, not want,” Silverman says. “To serve the sellers, you need to obsess over the buyer experience.” Until there is significant change in leadership, sellers are in a losing game.

    Because, I Was Kind of Great

    Too many great reviews to fit here, but here’s one example of over a hundred reviews that I saved, once I learned that Etsy could and would retain ownership if I fell out of favor with the Etsy store police.

    Ground Zero Is Not An Option

    I know, it takes a LOT of time. But consider this, if Etsy closed your shop today, what would you do? You no longer have access to all of your hard work. I think I had about 800+ listings, each one different, each one unique. Starting from Ground Zero could have been an impossible task. But there is always a logical method to to reassess your business, and regroup in the face of Etsy’s totalitarian rule.

    Life Was Good

    As an example of my inventory and some really unusual and wonderful items in my former shop, these one of a kind vintage Polynesian Ceremonial cups were purchased by a very satisfied customer in Texas. They sold for $2,000. Etsy took a very generous commission on this sale. Although most of my sold items were not in this price range, a few were, with no issues. Life was good, everyone was happy.

    Until It Wasn’t

    A few months later, Etsy closed my shop (see the overview under “Closing Shop”), not once but twice because of Etsy’s passive aggressive buyer resolution style.

    Cha, Cha, Changes …

    I used rule #4 to capture and liquidate my inventory. With so many unique and crazy good vintage items and clothing I had in my shop, I first separated my best of the best which are temporarily listed on an alternative selling site. I liquidated the rest of my inventory through MaxSold, an online auction site divided into geographical areas in the US and Canada. In 7 days, every single item was sold and picked up on site. All neat and tidy. Genius.

    At What Cost?

    The same item(s) on Etsy could be hanging out in my shop for weeks, months, or longer losing revenue everyday. Combine that with the requirement to respond to customers immediately anytime of the day or night, expense of packaging and packing, free shipping and insurance to customers, 30% in Etsy fees, not including the sometimes surprise non optional marketing fees, it all adds up to a pretty hefty cut to your profit margin. I once paid Etsy about $100 for one of these ads.

    And, if you have a no return policy, under the recently adopted Protection Program Program it is meaningless. After some bad experiences and unwarranted returns, I instituted a no return policy. It DID NOT matter. Read that again.

    When Fun Is Not Part of the Equation

    I guess, I would have stuck around anyway, because I love the joy of the hunt and the thrill of a sale. It was Etsy’s attitude and lack of humanism and respect for the seller that was the last straw, the “Keeping Commerce Human” motto is laughable, when boiler plate responses are the norm. Sellers are not honored as an integral component of the Etsy experience. Baffling. It is jarring and a deal breaker.

    Closing Shop

    Closing my shop in response to my inquires relating to buyers who are exploiting the Buyer Protection Program, and not honoring my store policies is just plain bad business, and insulting. See Rule #4.

    Here’s what: The first time Etsy closed my shop without warning it was over a package sent to England.

    • The buyer asked me to track a package showing delivery to British customs, which I was not able to access from the states.
    • The customer did not respond to customs to have her package delivered.
    • The package was returned to me, arriving a few months later.
    • Shipping costs the first time around was an estimate before item was packaged and weighed. I lost money on shipping but I let it go.
    • I prepared the package for shipping again and let the buyer (Chasti) know what had happened and what the actual shipping cost was.
    • Following this, Chasti started two “Help With An Order” threads with over 200 messages, night and day for 3 weeks straight.
    • I asked for help from Etsy. I was told to work it out with the buyer myself. Naively thinking a logical conclusion would be made – the buyer would pay the actual return shipping costs.
    • I was told to refund the purchase including shipping.
    • The funds were not on my Etsy account card at that moment, and a second was on file for any outstanding amounts due.
    • Instead of charging the second card, Etsy shut down my shop with no warning. I had additional shipments to prepare, but could not use the Etsy shipping option.
    • One incident, after 2 years. My Star Seller status was eliminated, the algorithm activity dropped, false stats were posted. i.e.: response time, on time shipping, etc.

    Twice is Two Times Too Many

    The second time Etsy closed my shop, was the last time. Maybe someday, I’ll share the ridiculousness of that selling adventure as well, but enough. Having fun selling the most wonderful things you will ever find is over on this platform. It is not fun. It is not fair, and it is not feasible.

    Changing The Soul of Etsy Forever

    Here’s my last thought of the day on the subject: From the Etsy Geeks blog: ” … Alienating sellers creates repercussions. In 2008, the eBay seller strike drove thousands of new sellers to the Etsy platform. …

    … The COVID-19 pandemic is most responsible for 2020 to 2022 Etsy profits. Not the arrival of Etsy CEO Josh Silverman in 2017. His first 2 years saw good but not great returns. The real explosion was pandemic-generated. And that’s why ‘new’ Etsy is being forced to expand. It wants to keep this trend going, fueling new moves through fee increases. And changing the soul of Etsy forever.

    However, Etsy Strike points a very direct finger at Silverman for Etsy over commercialization. …”

    Changing the soul of Etsy forever … I’ll leave that right there.

    Yours truly, Jolie

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  • Ending Etsy.

    Amidst the worldly comings and goings, observe how endings become beginnings.             – Lao Tzu

    Let’s Get Philosophical

    And so, it’s probably fortuitous that as this year ends, doing business with Etsy shall also come to an end, permanently and with deliberate measure. New year, new beginnings. I’d call that Kismet.

    Observing Endings & Beginnings

    My shop was closed this year. Etsy should not have had that right, but it happened, (during a mandatory hurricane evacuation nonetheless). In the new year, no one will ever be able to pull that kind of trickery again. Because my things are quite special, you know, the non mass produced good old things that embody the spirit of quality, design, whimsy and innocence of times past, I’ll begin sharing these little treasures of goodness on my own website for starters, so stay tuned.

    The Sellers Dilemma

    I succumbed to the the ever changing and demanding policies of Etsy, thinking it would somehow matter. I spent thousands of hours creating an an absolute one of a kind gem, a ridiculously irresistible find among the ordinary masses. And for awhile, fabulous buyers found me, speaking a mutual language of appreciation and respect.

    By my second year, with new policies in place, Etsy changed. After unpleasantries with opportunistic buyers, no support, actually negative support from Etsy, an increase to a 30% cost factor on each sale, and a yearly sales decline of 63%, I woke up. I was making less than minimum wage, and for what?

    Only to Be Insulted

    Per CEO Josh Silverman: “We need to do what our sellers need, not want,” Silverman says. “To serve the sellers, you need to obsess over the buyer experience.”

    Source: Forbes.com

    Okay Josh.

    Oh and there are a few other nuggets you can find if you dig a little deeper, but in a nutshell, Josh Silverman does not care about sellers. Didn’t his Ma ever tell him not to bite the hand that feeds him?

    Perception Is Reality

    But, at 40 million a year, plus all of the perks the stockholders have deemed appropriate, (following the April 2021 sellers strike) Silverman’s world is a far different place than that of Etsy sellers, who have made it all possible.

    Brilliant move. While Silverman and Etsy peeps travel the world, posting stories about doing good, parties & more parties, new staff for obscure sounding positions, and staff dancing in the hallways, (those little rascals who close our shops), it’s all about PR. Perception is reality.

    Except for thousands of Etsy sellers. The sting of a business ending is real.

    Corrections

    It’s a bubble though, and history repeats itself. According to “pymnts” of this year: “… After experiencing what Etsy CEO Josh Silverman referred to as a “tidal wave of growth” over the past two years, the leading marketplace for handmade clothing, jewelry and other items is now facing an earthquake of sorts that has pushed its stock down 60% in six months to a two-year low. …”

    Hummmm …. haven’t seen this on the Etsy Influencers social media shout outs. Sellers beware. That is all.

    In the meantime, some upstart seller platforms are beginning to rise from the ashes of exploited artists, creators, crafts folk, collectors and those who will not be defined – who are developing an Etsy alternative. Keep your eye on Indie Sellers Guild and Artisans Cooperative. There are scads on blogs on the subject too.

    Back to Beginnings

    In the Etsy culture and the so called “Keeping Commerce Human” mantra, solicitously revealing to us what great mindfulness is given to their employees, and extended communities, isn’t it time for sellers, (and all the kicked out of the club sellers) to embrace being “Human” again?

    Etsy got more of our attention than our families, friends, partners, pets and the chance to meet new people out in the real world, because we were married to you. It’s good to be divorced from you. On to new beginnings.

    With love, Jolie

    All rights reserved

  • Goodbye Etsy …

    Shattered

    There seems to be a lot of chatter and general dismay over Etsy’s new deal that has shattered the lives and livelihoods for a whole bunch of Etsy sellers. Etsy Sellers of Reddit is a good source to discuss and verify the draconian rule of the almighty Etsy platform. I’m one of the casualties.

    Go MaxSold

    I decided to let Etsy close my shop instead of fighting an unwinnable war. I am beginning a new website to feature some of my favorite things. In the meantime, I have/had a LOT of inventory. I’ve sent thousands of items to an online auction site; MaxSold. This is my current Maxsold auction. Just do it, you will not be sorry, just get rid of everything (or almost everything) and start over.

    It’s to be expected that as a seller, you will wrestle with the injustice and loss bestowed upon you by some random person at Etsy, indiscriminately toying with your fate. I am telling you, Get Over It. Liquidate. Send your stuff to auction and start over on your own terms. Etsy owns your shop, you have no say in it’s future or demise. Etsy rules. Shop policies are meaningless, empty words. Be aware.

    No Silver Lining for Sellers, Silverman

    As much as seller’s try to satisfy every need, wish and desire of buyers, Etsy rulers require more, oh, so much more. Sellers are now expected to compete with Amazon. Wasn’t the whole point of this visionary platform to replace this idea? Wasn’t this the one place everyone could join in to become the alternative to Amazon? Buyers have the upper hand thanks to Silverman’s Buyer Protection Program and they know it.

    Follow the Money

    But, hey Silverman knows what side of the bread his income is buttered on, and it ain’t the sellers. It’s the stockholders of course who in 2022 rewarded Silverman $40 million a year plus a compensation package, a spectacular increase beyond a measly 1.9 million in 2021. This – after the increased sellers fees debacle and subsequent Sellers Strike in April of the same year!

    That’s What She Said

    And check this out from the Added Value Resource website: ” … The strike successfully shined a light on challenges sellers face on the platform and called into question whether the recent fee increase will really benefit buyers and sellers (as Etsy claims) or if the extra revenue will simply go to shareholders and executive compensation.

    Looking at that compensation chart, and the incentives provided by such a heavy emphasis on stock options, it’s difficult not to question where the priorities of the board and executive leadership really lie.

    While there has been no official direct response or engagement between leadership and the strike participants, COO Raina Moskowitz was clearly on the defensive and feeling the pressure of public scrutiny in a recent blog post titled Delivering Value To Etsy Sellers. …”

    Bullying on the Playground Karma

    Just bullying those who make Etsy what it is, or was is a karmic thing, so we shall see how this plays out. At the end of the day, shouldn’t the little guy, gal, artist, conservator, inventor or creator be given a fighting chance? Etsy is just one among endless deceptive opportunists and radical capitalists in the playing field. But, that is no excuse. And isn’t it a pretty idea that Silverman would give back a little (of that obscene amount of money) to artists, creators and entrepreneurs who just want to sell their stuff and stay in the game?

    Call me Pollyanna.

    With love, Jolie

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