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Sat Oct 19 2019 00:14:26

Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?

By: Ina Steiner

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Conversing with artisans and crafters is part of the charm of shopping on Etsy. But in its bid to help sellers automate tasks to become more efficient, will Etsy lose the personal touch?

In July, Etsy announced it was giving its "Convos" feature an instant-chat style interface. In addition, it began displaying the seller's typical response time. Randomly checking two sellers today, one listing showed the seller typically responded within one month (ouch), the other within 24 hours.

Now, Convos are no more - they're called "Messages." Etsy explained on Tuesday, "It's got a new look that's easier to navigate and easier to read - and new tools designed to help you quickly compose personalized responses that could lead to more sales and more loyal customers for you."

But many sellers panned the new interface. Wrote one unhappy seller, "Our messages with customers are not a string of chat. They should be treated like emails where a message is sent by one party who then goes about their business whilst waiting for the other party to respond. They should not behave like a live chat eg "Hi, I'm Mike. How can I help today?""

Other sellers pointed out that messages no longer have subjects and there's no way to search and organize them.

Some sellers had display issues that appeared to be caused by browser incompatibility issues.

In addition to the new interface, Etsy updated "snippets," now called "saved replies," which allow sellers respond to buyers with pre-written responses, though they can be personalized.

"So much for the personal touch in responding to questions," was one seller's reaction, though other sellers may appreciate the new feature.

The changes are part of a push by Etsy to get sellers to respond more quickly to would-be buyers. The marketplace explained, "When buyers are considering a purchase, they tend to make that decision quickly. In our research, we found that most buyers on Etsy make their purchase decision within 24 hours of sending a message to a seller. When they received a prompt response, buyers were more likely to complete a purchase. Conversion rates were highest when buyers received replies from sellers within two hours."

Etsy also added the ability for sellers to add coupons in their messages to buyers.

"Many sellers use coupons to encourage repeat business. That's why we've made it easier for you to include a coupon in your buyer responses with just one click," Etsy wrote in its announcement. "While composing a message, simply click Coupons below the message to select one of your active coupons and add it to your reply."

A typical reaction from sellers who have lots of back-and-forth discussions with buyers - for custom orders, for example - is the following from this thread on the Etsy boards:

"Sorry - not a fan. Trying to scroll through message history is awful. All my saved messages no longer show the title. Attachments are above the message, not below. When I see a message that is new, the title does not show so I can't tell what it is about.  Showing a use name like "Laura" does not give me any idea on who/what it is about.  Most of my customers are sending 3-4 messages with one word before getting their message to me. 

"My shop is all custom orders - we use message/convos for all orders with much back and forth till the design is finalized. This new system is very very frustrating to use.  I know I'll get used to it, but ...... argh!"

The term "convos" seemed uniquely Etsy - although some sellers on the Etsy discussion boards said they had never liked it. Let us know what you think of the new Messages feature - Tuesday's announcement can be found in this post on the Etsy boards. And Etsy will host a "live walk through" on the Etsy Success Facebook on October 24 at 11 am ET.



Comments (26) | Permalink

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Perminate Link for Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?   Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?

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

Sat Oct 19 04:26:18 2019

Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?
Totally.
They are completely geared to mass produced junk.
Corporate has murdered Etsy.
They have our potential clients wary of the Chinese invasion.
I can tell you the market is Way Way Down for our creations.
Making a sustainable income on Etsy is NOT possible anymore.
Good thing I can still landscape.

Perminate Link for Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?   Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?

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

Sat Oct 19 09:37:52 2019

In addition,
The viewer traffic at Etsy is as Low as it was over 10 years ago.
I feel bad for the person who Just created the Best Stats routine since the original.....
Corporate has kicked the slats out from under all of us.
Abandon ship.

Perminate Link for Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?   Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?

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

Sat Oct 19 12:18:04 2019

I was never an ''artisan or crafter'' on Etsy.  As a vintage seller, I found communications from shoppers to be mostly far from charming.  In fact, a waste of my time.  Lots of request to ''reserve'' inexpensive items with low mailing charges -- if you don't have $15 available to make a purchase there are better things you could be doing with your time than shopping, girlfriend!  People making ridiculously low offers.  People who wanted me to rush an item to the post office because they needed it in less than 48 hours (often another seller less than an hour away had the same item listed),  And of course asking for info that was plainly stated in the listing's Description.  Mostly I just wanted to send them a link to that old school ''you are an idiot'' animation.  

I guess I should mention that I never had these experiences on eBay or other places I had shops.  Etsy culture is just not for me.

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
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Sat Oct 19 15:15:17 2019

I sold vintage on Etsy and they have definitely lost not only the personal touch, but they've lost touch with their sellers, as well. When the site is no longer mutually beneficial, they are completely out of touch and lost in their greed.

I've always had great customers on Etsy. There was one time a shopper used my 800 number to ask for a discount on something, which I immediately gave because I had just raised the price by that much the week before. So it was probably someone watching my item and wanted it for its previous price.

Other than that, I haven't had any hagglers. I try to keep up with the market value of items, but haven't been as diligent with that this year due to offline projects and obligations. Plus, I closed my Etsy shop earlier this year, so I haven't worried about it as much.

As for Etsy, they lost their personal touch when they made the disconnect with their artisans and vintage sellers. That disconnect began with the onslaught of mass-produced junk.

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

Sat Oct 19 19:02:56 2019

The only personal touch that Etsy has is when they reach into your pocket and steal your money.

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

Sat Oct 19 19:13:42 2019

The onslaught of mass-produced junk began more than a decade ago.  I have a link to an old ''call out'' blog, called Flaggy, and the first post was made in June 2008.  One of the shops called out was Idea2Lifestyle, who sold over 72K items on Etsy.  The shop remained open on Etsy until 2017, when the owner closed the business due to family matters.  The owner's closing statement (the shop still has an active link on Etsy) describes his business as ''fair trade''.  The roots of Etsy's issues with transparency and poor customer service go very deep.

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by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
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Sat Oct 19 21:20:30 2019

There were surely mass-produced junk sellers on Etsy when it still wasn't allowed. The onslaught I'm referring to occurred after they began allowing larger manufacturers claiming to sell their own items. You can rest assured that most of them are just dropshippers.

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by: heyitcouldbeworse This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 20 01:48:28 2019

etsy is like a quaint country store trying to keep their image while trying to do walmart type volume, can't have it both ways!

Perminate Link for Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?   Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?

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

Sun Oct 20 14:34:24 2019

HOLY COW !
Views are WAY WAY Down.
If it continues,
I'm outta there.....

Perminate Link for Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?   Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?

by: littlesaint This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 21 01:27:48 2019

If a seller is dimwitted enough to wait 24 hours to respond to an inquiry, that would be THEIR problem, not something that requires Etsy's micromanagement. I'm convinced there is an entire division tasked to keep the platform in a constant state of upheaval and confusion in an attempt to frustrate and weed out sellers who can no longer tolerate their asinine foolery. Their "personal touch" is the kiss of death for anyone trying to make a living by engaging with their experimental marketplace.

Perminate Link for Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?   Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?

by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 21 05:24:11 2019

Etsy "personal touch" is to grab as much of your hard earned $$$ as possible and to do as little as they can to earn it. A venue for mass produced junk and too bad for the honest crafters and vintage sellers who try to hang on there. I closed my 3 shops last year and have not looked back.

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by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 21 05:56:01 2019

I closed my vintage Etsy store this summer after several years there. It appears to be going down the rabbit hole Ebay went down, choking off the life of small sellers of unique items. The free postage strong-arm is particularly irritating. My fear now is that Ruby Lane--my best venue--will also begin micromanaging its sellers's businesses. Pretty soon, we'll all be back in brick and mortar.  

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

Mon Oct 21 06:22:23 2019

RCL- I have had a brick and mortar store for all the years I’ve been on Etsy.  The overhead is ten times what it costs to have a store online!
Furthermore,  it’s gotten MUCH harder to sell stuff on Main St.  People have changed their shopping habits forever.

Perminate Link for Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?   Is Etsy Losing the Personal Touch?

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 21 06:50:46 2019

it's very obvious that these greedy etsy leaders have never spent a day building something special for anyone.  you just can't run every hour to see what is on the computer , so you can ship right away.

they all set in an office on there donut butts , figuring out how to blackmail you for more money without doing anything but ordering more donuts.

they force all this crap on sellers and tell you in the same (message) , if you don't we'll hide your listings. they charged me every day for many days, and still hid the listings.

what kind of low life street trash in high priced suits and donut a**es do this ?? OH YEAH--low life street trash !!

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by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 21 10:36:40 2019

ETSY has the MADE IN CHINA touch...
I'm slowly closing stores there.
One goes in 3 mos.
Letting stuff expire, not adding new.
I'm done killing myself for ungrateful customers & greedy CEOs.

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

Mon Oct 21 11:46:01 2019

RCL -- In my opinion, you're pretty secure with Ruby Lane.  That venue went through the "reseller" issue in 2002 for both vintage/antique and handmade items.  The result for RL was a juried site.  The whole concept of RL is that buyers will not be deceptively sold a "fauxtique".  

Etsy's tagline about "handcrafted, vintage, custom, or unique" is just hype.  More than half the items listed on Etsy as handmade were neither designed nor crafted by the shop.  CEO Silverman says there will be a promotion of "customized" vintage -- which of course means NOT vintage at all.  Most items for sale on Etsy are not unique.  And customization is mostly personalized mass made products.

The current Etsy is set up to favor resellers, who aren't busy designing and making, or out on the road scouting for vintage finds.  Etsy wants to be like a catalog site, so for years has been treating sellers like their vendors instead of their CUSTOMERS.  Etsy has this relationship bass ackwards, if you know what I mean.

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by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 21 13:20:57 2019

Started selling on Etsy 7 years ago when eBay trashed my business there.  Etsy sales of my vintage items were slow but growing.  Always nice dealings with Etsy buyers.  In fact, this year I planned on finally dumping eBay and go big on Etsy.

But something on Etsy changed along with the idiot decision to force ''free shipping'' on sellers.  Etsy sales are stone cold DEAD!

Looking forward with dread to a lost Christmas sales season on both Etsy and eBay.  

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by: Fahrenheit451 This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Oct 21 14:22:49 2019

One of the MANY reasons I don't sell on Etsy.
Get your own site, and forget about Etsy and eBay. Your hard work will be rewarded with sales without fees. I use PayPal and Stripe for sales, and their rates are way lower than the two selling sites. Get yourself free.

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by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 21 18:44:42 2019

Sigh, corporate over-management, when will they learn to butt out???

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by: KinChaser This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 21 22:05:50 2019

E.T.S.Y. =  Endeavoring To Screw You!

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