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Reddit Bans Overeager Etsy Sellers

Reddit has “soft-banned” Etsy links due to what the site says is a recent rise of spam posts by apparently overeager sellers who don’t follow Reddit’s rules when promoting their listings on its site. Reddit is an irreverent social-networking site where people make posts, often with links to news, humor and politics, and users comment and vote the posts up or down.

Etsy sellers have been discussing the benefits of posting on Reddit over the past few months. You can find posts on Etsy discussion boards written by sellers who discover traffic coming to their listings from Reddit and discussing whether they should be proactively advertising their items on the site. And there’s the rub. Reddit has rules about self-promotional posts. Sellers experienced with the site warned sellers new to Reddit to be cautious and to consider the ratio of non-promotional to promotional posts they post.

According to the moderator on Reddit’s Etsy subreddit yesterday, “I was just informed by a Reddit admin that they are soft banning all Etsy.com links due to spam. What this means is that if you submit a link to Etsy anywhere on Reddit it will go into the spam queue and not be publicly posted until a mod has approved it.”

An Etsy seller told EcommerceBytes, “This has happened because a recent spate of posts on the Etsy forums where people bragged about posting their own stuff on Reddit and getting hits. As a result of this policy change, sellers such as myself who organically get 100’s of hits from Reddit will no longer see them.”

Before the ban, Etsy sellers had said Reddit posts could result in significant traffic to listings, but they weren’t sure the traffic actually led to sales.

One Etsy seller wrote recently, “I’m too scared to post on reddit. It’s a pretty harsh community at times, and if you do anything wrong people seem very eager to jump down your throat. Also, totally afraid to post in the wrong subreddit, and the etsy section seems to be basically for sellers only.”

Another seller agreed. “Every time someone posts some of my items over there, the response is a lot of rude people who I honestly wouldn’t want as customers because it’s too much drama and negativity for me. Not saying that there aren’t some great people I wouldn’t mind working with. But from what I’ve seen it’s not the audience I want.”

Sellers can still post links to their items, but Reddit’s Etsy subreddit moderator updated the sidebar to read:

“You may post ONE SHAMELESS PLUG PER WEEK for items created or sold by you only in the marked Share Your Stuff thread. This week’s thread is here. Etsy.com links are currently being spammed by Reddit so to get your item approved it must be posted in this thread.”

Read more about the ban on spam on Reddit.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.