ETSY pulled a Facebook and made a significant change that wasn’t needed, without warning, and has left many shop owners confused and upset.
Having run and ETSY shop for over 3 years, I have seen a lot of “improvements.” Most have been quite helpful. But today I find myself miffed/borderline angry. <center>
<a href=”//www.etsy.com/shop/InMyLife?ref=offsite_badges&utm_source=sellers&utm_medium=badges&utm_campaign=en_isell_1″><img width=”200″ height=”200″ src=”//img0.etsystatic.com/site-assets/badges/en/en_isell_1.png”></a></center>
Without notice, ETSY took away all of the feedback and appreciation photos I’ve left for my customers. Shop owners can no longer review customers. And customers can only review shops by rating their purchase & writing a comment/explanation. A simple click of “positive/neutral/negative” is no longer an option.
Anyone who has every tried to have someone fill out a survey knows it is basically like pulling teeth. Yes, we want people to rate their experiences, but it is such a small % of people that are actually willing to take the time to do so. The more you ask/require of them, the LESS they want to participate.
For the first time in at least a year, I went to the ETSY Forums to talk with other sellers. I wanted to make sure that I was not the only person who was confused and disgruntled. MANY sellers have brought up another huge point… a lot of power is shifting solely to the CUSTOMER, leaving shop owners with out a way to reciprocate and essentially out to dry. When ETSY was new, they made a point of saying we are independent sellers who “control our own business” and Etsy “does not have the say so over our business.” This most recent “update” has made a lot of sellers feel like they are losing the control and power they should have as a small business owner.
Sellers are threatening to shut their doors. I am not going to go that far. Yet. But the longer I am on ETSY, the more I see it changing into something I don’t think it was originally intended to be. When I started, YOU (the craftsman) were the sole owner of your (single) shop. You sold YOUR handmade items. It was a very personal thing. ETSY is a lot more popular now… the demand is up… so the supply is going up, as in a lot more mass produced type items as opposed to “one of a kind” items. Shops can be run by groups of people. Maybe shoppers do not care that they aren’t dealing directly with the designer/creator/crafter. But I’d like to think the shoppers are paying a premium for “handmade” because of that personal touch they wouldn’t get by shopping at conventional retail outlets.
I’ve been told I’m “too nostalgic” and that progress is necessary for business to succeed. I can accept change, and I can also move on, if need be. The changes to ETSY feedback did at least make me wake up and take notice to what is going on with the site. I just hope that, as ETSY continues to grow and grow, the small independent crafters do not get left behind.
If you are interested in learning more about ETSYs latest Product Announcement, here is the blog post that went out after the changes to feedback already went into affect.