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Thu Sept 25 2014 21:45:38

Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

By: Ina Steiner

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I'm hearing from sellers who are unhappy with some of the changes going on at Etsy. One is the new homepage, the other is the ongoing testing involving search, particularly those impacting the supplies category.

We report on the new Etsy homepage in this article in Friday's newsletter. Etsy announced on September 10th a new way of displaying items to visitors to the home page: instead of featuring a group of Treasuries each day, Etsy is now serving up personalized homepages. Each visitor sees items depending on what Etsy has determined they may be interested in.

Some Etsy users are against the change and have launched a petition in protest.

Also concerning to some sellers is a test Etsy is running that apparently de-emphasizes the supplies category.

One reader wrote in saying she's devastated by the tests. "I am a supply seller and have had very few supply sales since they've done this. I list in the handmade supplies/commercial supplies categories and sales are very slow. Etsy removed the supplies main category section and claims it to be "an experiment."

She linked to this discussion on the Etsy boards.

Let us know what you think of the changes Etsy has rolled out (and the testing) and how they're impacting your business. Be sure to include a note about the kinds of items you sell for context.



Comments (22) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Sep 26 06:26:32 2014

"Each visitor sees items depending on what Etsy has determined they may be interested in."

This is the HUGE mistake that companies like Amazon, Etsy and eBay are making.  As a buyer I want to see what I am looking for, not what they THINK I am looking for.  When they take it one step further and favor certain sellers over others when using this technology it makes it even worse.

What a shame that a site that so many thought truly cared about those who built it from the ground up seems to be following in the footsteps of eBay.

Money and greed corrupt.  The minute this company goes public, small sellers might as well pack it up and leave.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri Sep 26 07:12:18 2014

Maybe I don't understand the psychology:  Showing me things that I might like because I was looking at or purchased similar items?  I find that I was looking at a similar item because I wanted one...and I bought one.  Now I am no longer interested in the items(s).

However, Sometimes I see something I didn't know I wanted/needed and I click 'n buy.

So the point is, don't show me things I already bought, I don't need it anymore.  Show me random things that I might discover I need.

Oh, and don't THINK for me!  In spite of what these companies imagine, I CAN do that on my own and it insults my intelligence when they think I need them to do it for me!

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 26 07:39:33 2014

Buyers should be allowed to shop and see what they put in the search....
If you are on the internet searching on google and shopping for a item. You get pounded with ads for that item it is absurd, you may have already bought the item and in most cases it has been the case. Show buyers what they want not what you want them to buy

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Sep 26 08:52:55 2014

OnlyPollyPocket, you make a good point with "Oh, and don't THINK for me!".  

These companies still assume machines can think.  They can't.

I've heard many of my friends and relatives tell me that they "just gave up" searching for what they want on eBay and other sites due to the fact that they can't find what they actually want---they are seeing stuff the algorithm "thinks" they want to see.

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 26 09:39:03 2014

Ugh. As soon as these programmers finally realize that they can not replace the human brain things will be better.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

by: Russ This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 26 10:38:50 2014

Save curations for after a search...I don't want to see MeMaw's vintage Tupperware collection for sale and if I did, I would key the word into ''Search'' and take it from there.

Since the popularity of Pinterest, every ''venue'' had to get a piece of the action...let it be.  A mere testament to the ''brains'' behind venues such as eBay, etsy and all the others that beat the same drum...to death!!

Thankfully, trends such as ''curation'' rise and fall...this too shall pass...until the next trend takes hold.

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 26 16:01:49 2014

I don't understand when they show you stuff based on stuff you looked at or bought previously.  If I already bought ONE thingy, I don't need another of the same thingy.  ALSO - I never buy on line - rarely, anyway.  Most of stuff I look at is for research on stuff I already have and want to sell.  The thought that they can mine your mind is ridiculous.  NOW?  Every webpage I go to - I get an eBay ad banner showing what I last looked at and to come to eBay to find 'more like this'.  And I clear my cookies and temp web pages all the time, yet, they are still there.

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 26 16:03:25 2014

Russ - I don't get how Pinterest works at all.

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

This user has validated their user name. by: shabbychick

Fri Sep 26 19:20:09 2014

Yesterday I searched Etsy for ''Miriam Haskell pin'' one of the foremost designers of vintage costume jewelry. Maybe 2000 listings showed up. I was thrilled. Until I came to find out that more than half did not have Miriam or Haskell anywhere in title or listing!  The listings had nothing to do with Miriam Haskell. I am disappointed to find such a poor search engine at Etsy.

Although I really like selling on Etsy I definitely do not like the stealth paid for ads snuck in as listings at the top of the page and again smack in the middle for the page of listings with a tiny ''AD'' in the picture that looks like a watermark. You can hardly even notice it until you see that that row is out of synch with your search method...high price to low or ending soonest to oldest.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Fri Sep 26 20:15:10 2014

Listen CHAD : I told you cut out the Stupid Useless "Busy Work" that occupies the wholesale TALENTLESS PEOPLE you've let in.
Now you've gone and Done It !
My viewership is LESS than 10% of what it was. I used to receive over 120 views A DAY ! Now it's almost nothing.
I must say, THIS STINKS ON ICE !
Good thing I can mow lawns, plow snow, and garden, among Several other talents I have to bring in the much needed dough.
ETSY is on the brink of irrelevance.

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

by: artbits This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 26 21:17:49 2014

The following post was put in the etsy forums, linking to the petition at change.com. An admin quickly removed the link to the petition. LOL. https://www.etsy.com/teams/7718/questions/discuss/15352242/page/3

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Sat Sep 27 07:50:48 2014

--- ''Each visitor sees items depending on what Etsy has determined they may be interested in.''

Ugh! --- Yeah right... because when I'm shopping for Christmas gifts, I'm *only* ever going to give things that *I* would personally like to have.

Let's see... that would be: A handbag for Uncle Joe, a pink-quilted housecoat for my grandson, an antique oil lamp for my infant granddaughter, etc.

My! Christmas shopping is SO EASY when they simply *tell* me what I'm interested in! Why didn't someone think of this sooner? :-/

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 27 08:31:07 2014

UGGHH.

Seems they have gone off the crazy train rails as ebay did.

My Etsy sales have tanked because of this.

Programmers need to wake up.....THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO RUN ECOMMERCE SEARCH!!!!

iDIOTS!

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 28 09:13:29 2014

Views and sales are gone.

Why mess with something if it isn't broken???

How about spending the money on advertising instead of changing ''constantly'' the way the page looks or what a computer thinks you ''want'' to look at.

Why have listings pop up of sweaters when you type in silverware??

Appears that this is another company that cannot think for themselves. Looks like they are copying ebay.  Wonder if or when they will be hiding listings also???

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by: lostinohio This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 28 11:28:27 2014

I recently (this month) started adding to my etsy shop.  Sold some, then it stopped.

They are doing a lot of testing.  I hope they figure it out soon.  If they handle this right, etsy will really take off.

My ebay sales have literally stopped and I am a TRS with over 10,000 feedbacks, 100%.  ebay no longer works for one of a kind sellers.  Sad, really, since it was once such an awesome site.

Maybe I should move to China and sell cell phone covers.

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 28 17:39:59 2014

The Etsy search logic is COMPLETELY screwed up. Every time you select a category, like vintage, each search term requires you RE-select vintage. Antiques and collectibles are indistinguishable to the search engine; they should be two separate categories, not nested. Search logic is SO basic, and they blow it at the basic level. It is cumbersome and clumsy.

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 28 17:40:57 2014

LostinOhio, I am lostinny. Same situation exactly.

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Sun Sep 28 20:01:32 2014

HOLY COW ! THIS JUST IN : In the category of "Mid Century" items,
ETSY has CLOBBERED Ebay by a Whopping 2 THOUSAND One Hundred more listings ! That's a milestone folks.
Everyone (Ebay) selling vintage items of All Kinds > get over to ETSY right now and list your stuff.

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

by: fashionlove This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 29 05:06:53 2014

Another beyond brilliant Etsy innovation.  The Front Page/Treasury concept was becoming dated and useless on many levels.

Perminate Link for Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm   Etsy Sellers: Curation Trumps Algorithm

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Sep 29 06:09:31 2014

Freddy states "Why mess with something if it isn't broken???"

Would love for someone to tattoo this on John Donahoe's forehead.

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