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Wed Oct 30 2019 10:55:35

Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply

By: Ina Steiner

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Borrowing a page out of Butterball's playbook with its annual Turkey hotline to answer people's questions about Thanksgiving cooking challenges, Etsy is opening a hotline for holiday shoppers looking for gift ideas. And in a unique twist, callers to the hotline will also receive an Etsy gift card.

On Monday, Etsy tweeted, "Our first ever Holiday Hotline is coming! On November 5 from 12-3 PM EST, call in and chat with one of our present pros for gift-giving recommendations."

In a post on the Etsy blog, Dayna Isom Johnson explained the feature.

"For the first time ever, Etsy is launching the Holiday Hotline. On November 5th from 12-3pm EST our team of experts will be (wo)manning the phone lines to take the guesswork out of gift giving. Be the hero of the holidays by letting our gifting gurus surface Etsy items handpicked for those hard-to-shop-for friends and family on your list."

Johnson continued, "But wait, there's more! These gifts will ship for free!"

It appears Etsy "gifting gurus" fielding the calls will restrict which items it will recommend, though Johnson doesn't explain curation criteria other than mentioning the free-shipping requirement.

While some sellers who don't offer free shipping may not be happy about the restrictions, they may appreciate the hotline marketing campaign's potential for drawing attention to Etsy, reminding shoppers to think of the marketplace for their holiday gift-giving needs. Etsy is marketing the hotline on social media, and the campaign may get attention from reporters and feature writers working on holiday stories.

Johnson explains how the hotline works in the post: shoppers call the toll-free number (844-990-0569) from 12 - 3 pm EST on Tuesday, November 5. Etsy will ask who the caller is shopping for, price point, and unique traits about the gift receiver. Etsy will suggest some "truly special gifts," followed up by an email with the suggestions.

Etsy is also leveraging the campaign by requiring callers to have an Etsy account.

Johnson wrote in her post, "The people in your lives aren't cookie cutter, and their gifts shouldn't be either. With 60 million items our team is sure to find something that you will be excited to give." 

She noted she will be among the Etsy employees fielding calls on the hotline next week, and Etsy is leveraging Instagram for the hotline campaign with a holiday sweepstakes.

According to the terms of the sweepstakes found on this page of the Etsy website: "To enter the Giveaway, an Entrant must visit the Etsy profile page on Instagram, find the Promotion Post and post a comment with a holiday gifting question in the comments section of the Promotion Post"; five winners will receive $50 Etsy gift cards.

Let us know what you think of the Etsy holiday hotline, and if you've seen any other holiday campaigns from online marketplaces that have caught your attention.

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Perminate Link for Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply   Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Oct 30 11:24:12 2019

"It appears Etsy "gifting gurus" fielding the calls will restrict which items it will recommend, though Johnson doesn't explain curation criteria other than mentioning the free-shipping requirement."

That has to be illegal. Everyone pays the same rates in fees, so they should be offering ALL of the same services to ALL sellers...period!

Watch, when it's all over, Silverman will come out and claim that shoppers DO prefer free shipping because maybe five people, if even that, used their hotline just to get the free shipping. That's their MO -- dangle a carrot to make them do what you want so you can get the numbers to prove what you want them to.

That's Etsy's idea of spending marketing dollars -- free shipping on the house! Unless, of course, they can find a way to make the sellers pay for it. Oh, that's right...a majority already are because they refuse to offer free shipping!

Take your hotline and shove it, Etsy!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Life During Wartime

Wed Oct 30 16:01:34 2019

Am guessing that the ''hotline'' operators will be recommending the same small number of sellers that Etsy promotes year after year for the winter holidays.  Maybe with a few selected sellers of newly on-trend items.  

Etsy has been playing with a guided shopping experience for most of the past decade.  They have never been interested in matching a shopper with something unique that would please a gift's recipient.  Instead, Etsy is interested in pushing it's select trends whether it's what you want, or not.

In my own case, Etsy keeps urging me to purchase ''personalized'' jewelry, a style I consider vulgar (to put it politely).  And the push to buy this is sometimes as a purchase for myself, sometimes as a gift.  One size fits all in the Etsyverse.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Oct 30 16:57:01 2019

So Etsy has admitted they will only be suggesting sellers/sellers' items that ship for free. I have a mental picture of a hotline person reading from a script ("What's your friend's favorite color?", "Does your friend have a hobby?"), and then looking at a computer screen to see which pre-selected sellers offering free shipping would fit with the caller's needs. If I was still selling on Etsy and not offering free shipping, I'd be outraged that my items were being excluded.

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by: Lisa This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 30 16:59:57 2019

etsy needs to go juried. get rid of the crap and stupid 90s listings...CDs aren't vintage and cheapen the site, There would be no need for a hotline if etsy would just get rid of all the dumb stuff

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This user has validated their user name. by: Life During Wartime

Wed Oct 30 17:22:39 2019

Lisa, anything manufactured before 2000 is now 20 + years old, and vintage according to Etsy's published guidelines.

Of course Etsy has never adhered to its own rules about the 20 year thing, so -- yeah -- the site is infested with newish stuff barely 10 years old, at best.

Some CDs were vintage on the day Etsy first appeared online.  Maybe you are thinking of DVDs, a technology about a decade newer than the CD?  

How about iPhones and accessories for them?  The iPhone is about a dozen years old, but has always been considered ''vintage'' on Etsy.

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by: TheStoneColdTruth This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 30 17:35:13 2019

Incredible waste of money, but what more would one expect from a site that's even more poorly run than eBay.

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by: fifilapew This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 30 17:47:52 2019

Hello everyone,
Off topic though still etsy related.

Any other etsy sellers have their payment disbursement delayed today Wednesday October 30th?

Mine should have been scheduled for Thursday morning deposit, it has been delayed 1 day to Friday.

Etsy is to report its Q3 today, October 30th.
Coincidence holding SELLER's money to bump up 'profit'...just saying!

Would love to hear if this was commonplace on site today. Happy selling y'all!

Perminate Link for Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply   Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply

by: Lisa This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 30 19:07:39 2019

etsy needs to change it to 30 years and older. i look at shops full of babysitters club books and mc hammer CDs and i am just so annoyed... have a yard sale, get off etsy

Perminate Link for Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply   Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Oct 30 21:22:11 2019

@Lisa, Etsy doesn't set the commonplace rules. Everyone knows that 20 years old is vintage and 100 years old is antique. Yes, it's hard to believe that CDs I bought in my 20s are now considered vintage, but it is what it is.

People really need to educate themselves better. Part of being in business is learning what you need to learn so you're doing things properly. Just because you don't agree with commonly accepted rules doesn't mean those of us selling CDs and the like have any less right to sell our vintage items than you.

So, pay attention to your own business and quit worrying about what other people sell to put food on their table. As long as they are following the rules, then you have no right to judge the rest of us.

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by: SellerGirl This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 31 05:51:52 2019

Not content to screw things up with Etsy search, Etsy is going to screw things up by only recommending things that ship free no matter what buyers ask for??  That's so corporate, and short-sighted.

Perminate Link for Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply   Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply

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

Thu Oct 31 07:45:07 2019

Yet another example of Etsy’s shameless corporate greed and criminality.  Only in corrupt NY state could a company like Etsy get away with their Ponzi scheme.  

Silverman& Co. have crossed the line.  They belong in prison.

#JAIL4JOSH

Perminate Link for Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply   Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 31 18:23:15 2019

@Lisa - save your wrath for all the Ali-Express rubbish on the site - that's one of the REAL problems.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply   Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply

by: Lisa This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 31 21:44:19 2019

@purpleiris your shop is a giant yard sale

i don't have much wrath as babylon puts it. a lot of the issues with etsy is they have turned into bonanza and it's embarrassing. when i am at a show or market and hand out my cards, it sucks i have to apologize for all the alibaba and yard sale crap.

Perminate Link for Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply   Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply

by: Writings on the Wall This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 31 23:13:57 2019

Who in the heck would ever call an Etsy hotline, anyway?  Yeah, call center people  reading from a script.....Good luck with that.

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by: Lisa This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 00:20:06 2019

seriously i was just thinking that.

Hello, i have to get a present for my sister in law.

What kind of stuff does she like?

I don't know, but I can't stand her

Well how about a 90s greatest hits CD?

SOLD!

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 11:58:34 2019

@Lisa, the shop you're seeing is just to sell my family's stuff. That was the business that was demoted to a hobby thanks to Etsy stealing my Google traffic for 8 solid months in 2016. I am now moving in a completely different direction to protect myself and my business from these crooks.

I had big plans for my Etsy shop, developing my own product line, but gave up on that venture after seeing how they killed my business. So, yes, my once growing business has been reduced to just selling the family's stuff and I've been forced to completely walk away from that business and create a new one.

I don't advertise it in the same circles (like here) to protect it from the same crooks who've killed my previous business. Although, my new business is set up in a way where they can't really touch it. It's on its own website now because I'm done with marketplaces until they get their mess together.

As for your reference to yard sale crap, that is NOT what I sell and you had best stop yourself right there, Miss Thing. I am extremely particular about what I'll put in my shop. You'd be surprised that my CDs became my best seller on there over my once best-selling collectibles.

You know, I could go on to say that a LOT of the handmade stuff on Etsy is CRAP. People are simply trying to make money off a hobby that they're not very good at. I find IT embarrassing when I sell quality items. Yet, I have never said that before now out of respect for those people. The only reason I'm saying it now is to shut you up!

So, tread carefully before you speak again.

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by: Lisa This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 18:05:39 2019

nice.

Perminate Link for Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply   Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply

by: Lisa This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 19:59:03 2019

isn't the main reason people shop on-line is to avoid people, save time, and convenience at the push of a button? all of which, talking to a hotline person is not.

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Nov 1 20:39:39 2019

@Lisa, yes, you're referring to my CDs being yard sale crap was very nice, too. They're all in like new condition, if they've ever even been played. So if I want more than 10 cents for my CDs, that's my prerogative and it's none of your business.

Perminate Link for Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply   Etsy Launches Holiday Hotline but Restrictions Apply

by: Lisa This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 1 20:53:50 2019

I am truly sorry

you are right, and you have every right to be upset

good luck in your endeavors  

L

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