Handmade: Has the Well Been Poisoned?

Many of us can relate to this blog post giving one seller’s perspective on selling on Etsy.

Handmade: Has the Well Been Poisoned?

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11 thoughts on “Handmade: Has the Well Been Poisoned?

  1. My wait-and-see moment was Baligate. The Oct. 1st announcement was my nail-in-the-coffin moment leaving many of us in the awkward do I leave now or after the holidays purgatory. While I understand each business having its own plan and timeline in which to do things, what I don’t understand are the people claiming their Etsy shop as their only venue is their bread & butter, or they’re supporting x-amount of people with it yet, they’re digging in their heels, and playing the wait and see game with manufacturers closing in much tighter than ever before. I know I’m just regurgitating what everyone else has said … I guess I’m just stunned.

    It leads me to believe these people are either bigger liars than the board of directors or just REALLY that bad at business, and every success they’ve had on Etsy has been nothing but dumb luck. In the case that the latter is true, watch out, these people strike me as the type to throw children into the icy water to ensure a seat on that lifeboat!

    • Stormy, sounds like you and I think alike. Rather than a wait-and-see moment, though, I had a protracted wait-and-see year that stretched from Baligate to the changes in the Feedback system. With the advent of the Review system, I got a Big Cartel store and started setting up, drafting announcements, etc. By the asinine Town Hall meeting it was over for me. The only reason it took me a full 24 hours to close my shop was it took me that long to transfer all my listings.

    • Patty, I am moving my shop to Zibbet (some stuff there, some expiring listings still on The Evil E). I had a standalone shop too, and I sat down to compare costs/views…. by FAR Zibbet was the winner in views (the bottom dropped out of that back in August).

      I realized I couldn’t continue supporting Etsy (average bill about $25/month) plus Zibbet (I had a free account) and the standalone ($29/month) so I threw all the eggs into the Zibbet basket. It’s the best deal for me. I am hopeful that when they do the site rebuild that it will really take off. In the meantime, I am promoting like crazy (my own blog plus Pinterest, etc.). I’ve made two sales since opening in October, which I don’t think is terrible for a lower-traffic site than E.

      Like you, I cannot figure out what Etsy did to cut off so many people, and I KNOW they’re lying their asses off about it (“Nope, no problems on this end, work on your tags and SEO!”). They obviously made some change that is killing small shops and favoring the Chinese sweatshops. Meanwhile, do you ever hear anything from the admin that left Etsy when the shit went down (Marc and someone else whom I have forgotten)? Nope. They almost certainly had to sign do-not-speak contracts or wake up with a horse’s head in their bed.

  2. Patty, my response to your question could take an entire essay, but since I am insanely behind getting ready for an upcoming show, you will be spared War & Peace! In a nutshell: Big Cartel rocks. It is completely awesome – beautiful, easy-to-use templates, fabulous customer service and great SEO. Obviously, going from a Etsy with its built-in traffic* to a standalone is a huge transition, and you have to do your own promoting. But the feeling of having control of your own site is amazing. It feels so good. (Uh-oh, I feel another Youtube clip coming on.)

    I can’t comment on Zibbet yet because, though I registered (there and on Square), I was just too overwhelmed by the whole transition during this season (what Etsy was counting on, I’m sure) to get that together. But as soon as I get past this rush I plan on opening my Zibbet and Square shops. I might even consider the new Martha Stewart American Made handmade section of Ebay. I also hear that a handmade section of Amazon is in the works.

    That’s my 2 cents for now : )

    *I have to keep reminding myself that the heyday of handmade on Etsy was already over before the announcements. I was one of those who experienced sharp steady growth and then hit a brick wall along with those who posted in the “Has The Bottom Fallen Out” or whatever that thread was called.

      • Yes, the nostalgic part of me always thinks of Etsy how it *used* to be. But it’s not that anymore. I (and others) didn’t walk away from a vibrant, burgeoning handmade marketplace. I walked away at what I believe will turn out to be the tipping point at the top of the mountain, the “fall” side of The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.

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