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Wed Dec 13 2017 21:27:34

Etsy Confirms It Gives New Shops a Boost in Search

By: Ina Steiner

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Exposure in search is critical for online sellers, and Etsy sellers have expressed concern that the marketplace is favoring new shops in search results to the detriment of more established sellers. Etsy CEO Josh Silverman addressed the question during a Q&A chat session with sellers in the Etsy forums.

A longtime seller asked Silverman what Etsy would be doing to address "the sudden and very noticeable drop in sales drastically effecting long-time established shops." She said there was a widely held belief among sellers that Etsy is purposely featuring new shops on the first few pages in order to give their shops a quick "jolt" and a kick start.

Silverman said Etsy does boost new shops and new listings in relevant search for a very brief time to give them a chance to be seen. After this quick boost, the new items appear as they normally would in search results, he said. 

However, he noted, the practice has been in place on Etsy for the past few years, and he said it was a common practice in ecommerce and retail in general.

He was also asked about the problem of search clumping - which is when the same item (or items from the same seller) are featured heavily at the top of search results, providing a poor shopping experience and making it harder for other sellers to be seen by shoppers.

Silverman said clumping has been a hot topic lately. "Our system limits the number of listings per seller that can return within the first few pages of results for any given query. This allows us to help buyers experience the breadth of items available on Etsy, which, as we've learned through data and testing, increases the likelihood they'll make a purchase. We'll continue to analyze the data to make sure we're helping buyers find what they're looking for within our diverse collection of listings. We need to do a better job at delivering Breadth, and not just Depth. I agree this is an area where we need to improve, and we are making significant investments to do so."

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This user has validated their user name. by: MainelyVintage
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Wed Dec 13 21:58:17 2017

Not a lot of information - or surprises - in today's Q & A by Josh Silverman...

"...the search algorithm, the way we match search terms to listings hasn’t changed and our guidance remains the same, including recommendations for keywords, titles, and categories."

I'm thinking that sellers need to be patient and wait for the machine learning to do its thing and learn. Hopefully our items get served up in search results. Eventually.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Dec 13 23:00:31 2017

I've a neighbor who just started selling Etsy (hand knit baby items) about two months ago.

For the first two weeks it was amazing - like 30 sales or something, nationwide.  Then, suddenly, bupkis.  Hasn't reached that volume, even in total, since.  Lucky to get one or two a week now.  

So while this isn't really 'news', it is refreshing to see it confirmed.  

It happens on eBay too of course.  They don't have the nads to admit it though.  Besides, we can't have all that critically needed fresh meat being tainted by the same lack of fair visibility rot veteran sellers have grown wearilly disgusted with, can we?  

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by: Etsy Seller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 14 01:11:16 2017

In my tiny niche, I have several items in the first 25 (or the first page). It hasn't helped.
I see so many old shops doing very well with no tags, SEO or any 'playing by the "rules"'.  I see new shops that try so hard to get everything 'right' and fail miserably because they are still trying to sell to every last living person on earth...
Nobody is having fun on Etsy anymore. The predominance of resellers is sickening to real crafter artisans and the buying public.
More Etsy game playing helps no one.

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by: Louise This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 14 01:22:55 2017

I have had a shop since 2010 and did pretty good until two years ago. I have been running a 50% off on everything $30+. It is Dec. 13 and I've had ZERO sales and I can't even find my shop in Search that has 250 pages with 50% off on page after page of tiny items.

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by: Diogenes This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 14 03:51:50 2017

''Our system limits the number of listings per seller that can return within the first few pages of results for any given query.''

When this was introduced it threw vintage sellers with a large inventory and artisans who make OOAK items under the bus and nothing has been done to address this.

Giving new shops a boost is wrong wrong wrong when established sellers who built up Etsy are seeing their revenue diminish. New shops should be made to work to ''earn'' their place.

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 14 06:16:37 2017

@Diogenes - I am an artisan who makes 98% OOAK items and I can usually still find my things in the first few pages of search results. I am in a bit of a niche, however, and feel that my style & photography stand out from the competition. It's been a good year on Etsy!  

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by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 14 08:25:50 2017

Josh's latest BS session, oops, I meant "Q&A" was an insult to every serious Etsy seller who is trying to make even a tiny amount of money of that platform.  Who does he think he's kidding anyway?  

And I can't believe that Ina actually believed the LIE about how well you will do  if you fill in all the attributes and boxes on the listing form.  Sellers have been trying that one for many moons now, to no avail.

Here is the truth about Etsy/EXsy:  it doesn't matter how wonderful your item is, how great your photos are, how perfect your title is, how many attributes you fill in, how well priced it is- you will not get sales unless the Robot says so.  That is, unless the Robot allows your product to be found in search.

Merit is not rewarded.  Etsy is a place where you get "participation trophies" just for showing up.  

Etsy /EXsy is in a race to the bottom.  Josh is full of it up to his eyeballs.  The Emperor has no clothes.

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by: fifilapew This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 14 10:11:00 2017

Yes, give the new shops plenty of sales...just to rope them in to etsy games and fees!

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by: Gridlox This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 14 12:42:24 2017

The Etsy bait and switch

Started with ''laser focused on getting you more sales by doing fewer things better'' ended with ''As we approach the New Year we will continue to bring you more sales and doing fewer things better.''   Doing Fewer Things Better ?

Site doing fewer things better means the seller in trying to do more things to gain back the business they once had i.e. promo's seller services.  

New Etsy shops get boosted in search views and sales to make them appear as if they are doing well - ''false hope''.

shortly after many sales new shops then get clumped in search and thrown to the back of the search confusing the sellers into thinking why did I do so well to start now I am doing no business at all ?

Which of course makes the seller consider purchasing promo ads and other Etsy services ''Seller Services'' to try and get back the business they once had... sales down ? try a promo try pattern.


Seller Services revenue grew 30.6% year-over-year, driven primarily by revenue growth in Etsy Payments and Promoted Listings, and, to a lesser extent, Shipping Labels and Pattern, the less your shop is seen the less you sale the more you invest in seller services the more Etsy profits in no gross sales, now you have to pay pay to play.. your returning customers are hand faced with ''Similar items'' driving them away from your shop.

Which causes the successful shop to rethink .. why did I go from great to null causing more seller investment in promo ads ''seller services'' In hindsight the more Etsy manipulates the search damaging sales the more Etsy has to gain in sellers scrambling to buy up promo's ads ''seller services''

Buy more promos to sell more items to buy more promos to sell more items to buy more promos....

QUOTE -

''As I mentioned to Susan, we do boost new shops and new listings for a very brief time to give those shops a chance to be seen. That may explain some of the search results you’re seeing. After this quick boost the new items will appear as they normally would in search results. ''

-  Josh Silverman

New shops boost to the front of the line briefly to give them false hope, established shops are pushed to the back of the line in clumped none functioning search with not much option but to buy promo ads to be seen.

In theory with a search like this the only way a shop can stay in search is by opening a new shop every month as every newer shop would do better than the last.

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by: marcello This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 14 14:33:24 2017

Nothing new here, we knew about this dumb-ass Etsy move years ago. Thought this kind of nonsense would stop with the new CEO. Silly me, to imagine search functionality would be a priority. Nine years on Etsy and the 80% plummet in sales that started in 2014 continues.  The search manipulation is so obvious. Once a month I'll have 3 sales in one day compared to several sales on an everyday basis before 2014. Selling all my inventory on Ebay and packing it in, just not worth the time anymore.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: BuildingMyOwnSite

Thu Dec 14 15:09:26 2017

@Diogenes said:  “New shops should be made to work to ''earn'' their place.”
    Exactly.  You have to learn this stuff.  If you don't, you have to hire, or beg some help from the kids.  This lie is to keep newbies from quitting.

@Diogenes said:  “.....it threw vintage sellers with a large inventory and artisans who make OOAK items under the bus and nothing has been done to address this”.
    I have several tens of thousands of legit Antique, Vintage, & Handmade items.  FEW are much alike, even the hardware.  Decent titles, and the MISSING THOUSANDS of categories on Exsy would negate any problem with clumping.   Unless having my items “clump” is because I HAVE THE ONLY ONES that search can FIND!   Between this policy, and the lack of categories, I left Exsy when it became clear that they did NOT WANT to add categories.

@Flying Childers said:  “The Emperor has no clothes”
    Thanks for reminding me of my Favorite Exsy saying.

    I've got an idea.....   Why not add 5-10 THOUSAND categories that YOU ARE MISSING!   Use those to sort down to a reasonable 100-300 item results.   Buyers pick the 2nd, 3rd, 4th level categories.  Then the specifics, details, whatever (If they haven't picked them sooner)  When they load an item, enable MORE SHOP DEPARTMENTS???  GUESS WHAT, it WORKS!!!
    My idea to fix your IDIOTIC search algo's is:
●   To do what I described above
●   Plus, instead of “Boost”, to institute “Repression” algo's
●   Repressions are given to sellers of FAKES (domestic & foreign), RESELLERS, and LIARS

    ANY venue, with as poor search, and as little category division as Exsy, that leaves good honest sellers on the dreaded non existent pages above 250, needs a TOP to bottom overhaul.  This FARCE really should STOP!   MOST of the US seller headcount on Exsy, are good honest people, trying to SCRATCH OUT a few bucks, and DON'T deserve this continued untrue, unfair, unjustified, unwarranted, and  inexcusable treatment. Exsy, you are just a disgrace.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 14 18:57:40 2017

algorythm this algorythm that its all smoke and mirrors so that they can manipulate search and show buyers what they want them to see instead of what buyers want to see.

ebay does this for sure..a new name will get lots of sales then slowly die out.

its all rediculous and buyers themselves need to be educated on these tactics, and that etsy and ebay etc are lying to buyers.

If you search in ebay for the lowest price, you will NOT be shown the lowest price, you will be shown the lowest priced item that ebay wants you to see.

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

Thu Dec 14 19:55:48 2017

God forbid the best selling American Hand Made items be shown in favorable numbers and positions....

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Fri Dec 15 02:41:00 2017

You know, I have seen so many bad search functions on retailer pages (where there is no "noise" to suppress) that I have a hard time believing that item invisibility is entirely by design and not accidental.  Software everywhere has been lurching backward for the last couple of years as the skill level of developers being hired has fallen and ill-conceived "processes" have been put in place to cover up that fall.  In many cases, it's the equivalent of teaching to the test in education; any feature that does not have a Mickey Mouse test provided out of the box is stripped out or never implemented.  Small wonder that the result is so utterly broken and useless.



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