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Fri Apr 19 2019 23:59:13

Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy moved its forums to a new platform in January, a transition that sellers have reported has been disruptive. A reader now says that active Team leaders are wondering about the future of Teams (Etsy's name for groups), which are also housed on the new platform powered by Lithium.  

One sign they point to is the recent departure of Etsy Senior Community Marketing Manager Kathryn Fink, who had worked on Etsy Teams. According to her LinkedIn profile, she "developed strategy to leverage the 400k Etsy sellers who have joined peer-to-peer, volunteer-run business groups." 

Another sign that concerns some Etsy Team leaders: the inability to create new Teams, as reported on the Bugs and Technical Issues board. The reader also said she was concerned about the rise of spam accounts starting to spam teams.

Now that the discussion boards and groups (Teams) have been live on the new platform since mid-January, we'd love to know what sellers think of them - are there new features you find helpful? Any features you miss? Do you feel as this seller does that Etsy is under-utilizing the forums: "I always thought of the forums as a kind of coffee talk, idea generation, problem solving place. But Etsy seems to think of them as an Etsy marketing tool for growth."

Where do you go to discuss Etsy issues with other sellers, and have you experienced any issues with Teams?

*Edited 5/2/19: edited to clarify that Kathryn Fink departed the company voluntarily.



Comments (21) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?   Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 20 06:24:23 2019

Etsy is not the “friendly site” it was any more. Seller interactions seem to be monitored and censored in Forums and Teams. Etsy has a problem with Wall Street. Etsy’s FVF increase (3% to 5% and 5% on costly shipping) last year resulted in a “great” profit increase that can not be duplicated this year. To me Etsy’s search has not been able to properly handle the increase of OOAK items. Crafts are being hidden.  

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 20 08:28:42 2019



As HappyOne has said, profit increase that can not be duplicated this year......

unfortunately they will need to , and for certain they will find a way, just like last week's forced etsy pay.

etsy has used almost every dirty trick in the playbook, just like ebay, we would never go back, as a seller or buyer, they will never stop trying to take more and more

Perminate Link for Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?   Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?

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

Sat Apr 20 11:28:39 2019

When I was an Etsy seller I never bothered with Teams.  Yes, I checked out all the Teams supposedly for sellers of Vintage, but most of them morphed into Teams for ''vintage lovers''.  Which meant that sellers of brand new mass made ''vintage style'' products and new craft items would be included in Team promotions.  No way was I going to waste my time promoting fakes.  

The Team concept was ruined over a decade ago when the purposes of a Team were relaxed to allow literally anything, instead of being focused on what you make/sell or networking with sellers in your local area.  While sellers (like me) could be perma muted for non-offenses (nothing that was actually against the rules), Asian scammers could join the Etsy community and right away start a Team about nothing relevant to Etsy, while spamming the forums as well.

Since the Forums have moved over to Lithium, I discovered that I had become un-muted by accident.  So funny!  I'll be glad to tell Etsy how it happened for maybe $5K?  I have my eye on an expensive new couch.

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 20 11:59:35 2019

I see etsy changed their forum,, you now need to be signed in, before you can view it.

Most likely trying to hide all the negative seller comments, from the general public, shareholders, etc,

They have really turned into one nasty greedy company, with only one vision, to take as much from their customers, without providing anything for it,

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Sun Apr 21 14:06:02 2019

"developed strategy to leverage the 400k Etsy sellers who have joined peer-to-peer, volunteer-run business groups."

Is Bob Kupbens their new spin writer?

Etsy - We want to be ebay
ebay - We want to be Amazon
Amazon - We are G-d

Perminate Link for Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?   Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 21 16:10:10 2019

As a former business owner with employees - now just self employed - for the life of me I do not understand why any of these selling formats have community boards. Their simply full of disgruntled sellers wanting a place to vent. Very few of them have positive threads these days as corporate america continues to beat - cheat and intimidate. The posters often feel that if the do post unfriendly threads their chastised by corporate so why have them? There are enough hate groups now on Facebook they can just go vent over there.  If you owned a business and had such an unhappy employee wouldn't you just show them the door? I would. Ebay's "Help" boards are particularly hateful and I get depressed just reading them - I don't actually go there for help anymore - just get rid of the danged things - I think they are counter productive.

Perminate Link for Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?   Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?

by: Violets and Wine This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 00:42:37 2019

Ooohh, I think the above posted ("Whatever") has been heard from before. A business owner but not a self-employed peon like most of us, eh? His take is not surprising, then.

But anyway: I found teams to be worthless in terms of help and getting publicity/sales. Using the team name as a tag? Not at all useful.

Still, Etsy is clearly headed in a non-individual-creative trend and directly toward Made-in-China crap to please the Wall Street investors.

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 01:32:25 2019

Etsy seems to be the darling child of Wall Street, apparently a transformative miracle in the making. Shopping has become SO fun there now - my last two purchases were drop-shipped from China.

Forums are a good place to get information and assist others, talk shop, etc, -but they're so scattered now and are broken up into such Etsy-Twee categories that it's hard to figure out where to post, and if you post in the wrong place, you get shut down.  Lithium killed the once thriving eBay forums and I suspect this will happen to Etsy - some of those first page threads are a week old, now. That didn't happen in the old very functional Etsy boards. Don't know what the purpose is, but since the CEO seems to want Etsy to be an eBay Mini-Me I'm not surprised that Lithium was brought in. I loved Etsy, purchased items from amazing people, and enjoyed selling there for several years - had lovely customers. It's not really going in a direction that I'm prepared to go - maybe I'm just burnt out on selling.  

Perminate Link for Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?   Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?

by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 05:27:48 2019

Come on - there were grave problems with Etsy forums before the transition!

Self satisfied and barely educated mods who censured posters on the say so of some slimy snitch.

Members perma muted for the most minor criticism and ''offences'' that would pass un-noticed on other forums.

Threads with thousands of postings deleted and hidden from the light of day.

What most people do not realise is that if you were muted (ie banned) from the Etsy forums then you could not post problems in the BUGS thread.  Yet you still paid THE SAME FEES as other members.

Etsy advertises these facilities as privilages. No they are NOT privilages. THEY ARE SErVICES WHICH MEMBERS PAY FOR.

Perminate Link for Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?   Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?

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

Mon Apr 22 06:40:47 2019

Rover- thanks for your post!  Many years ago I was banned from the old forums for reasons that I cannot recall.  Probably some minor criticism or remark.  With the fascist mods you never could tell what the rules were.

I too was shocked to discover that I was no longer allowed to ask for help or post bugs, not to mention the hit my shops took in sales.

I never went back and have zero interest in participating in the forums.  They are just another way for Etsy to screw the sellers and monitor the herd.

Every day it gets harder and harder to sell genuine handmade and vintage goods.  All of the top sellers are from China, with mass produced crap.

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by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 07:17:57 2019

the day etsy took over sellers money management , and started STEELING SHIPPING FEES , they became very corrupt and another pile of petty thieves steeling millions from their millions of sellers and buyers.

EXAMPLE: 1.00 stolen from a mere 1,000,000 people per day is how much per day? now times it by actual numbers. that is if anyone knows math anymore!!!!

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by: SellerGirl This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 09:27:48 2019

I don't find Teams to be that useful, more of a source of spam than helpful information.  Etsy has started allowing spammers to post thousands of offers for SEO and marketing advice, many of which link to fraud sites that take your name, credit card info and shop name and money without returning a single thing.  Why does Etsy tolerate this much fraud unless they are being paid to allow it?  I assume the spammer scammers are paying Etsy for the privilege of abusing the forums and teams.  

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by: ewegolf This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 09:28:17 2019

The primary intent for the change in the Etsy Forums was to reduce the amount of usage by sellers.  They have succeeded.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 10:20:09 2019

"Ooohh, I think the above posted ("Whatever") has been heard from before. A business owner but not a self-employed peon like most of us, eh? His take is not surprising, then."

Not sure where that post is going - no - sorry - just a single hard working self-employed seller like so many others. Trying to figure out how to earn a living.

On a different note. As a top rated seller - 100% feedback "concierge" support - my sales have hit the skids. I have never in 20 years on eBay seen sales so bad. Even c/s reps are telling me it's bad. So in the light of day monday morning are you considering selling elsewhere? If so where? Certainly the big 3 are simply choking the life out of themselves but where else  is there to go?

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by: RealHandmadeGal This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 11:41:49 2019

The long and short of it? Screw Etsy.

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by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 11:54:09 2019

Where else to go? Your own site, these days, its easier than ever to create, and the money in fees you save can go towards advertising.

People need to stop relying on these evil companies who pick and choose those who succeed and usually completely manipulated by China to help only China.

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Apr 22 17:38:21 2019

The quality of software is in free fall.  If it's not H1Bs seemingly paid by how many times they make you click, it's hipsters so obsessed with "clean" designs they won't stop until they've scrubbed away every feature.  The more prevalent technology gets, the less useful it seems to become.

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by: Alura This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 22 20:57:48 2019

I joined etsy is 2010.  In 2011 I opened the amazing Time Travelers team.  It was one of the best things I've ever experienced in my life.  
The team was dynamic, busy and fun.  For 4 years we had a blast.  
Then Etsy started changing.  It was pretty stressful for my teammates as we all discussed these things on our team page.
My team totally enhanced my etsy experience.  We became close and I have lifelong friends thanks to Etsy.
That being said-it's changed too much to make it worth staying and keeping shop.  Too many changes taking away all the reasons I loved being there.  Treasuries, chat, circles, teams and other features gone.  :(
I'm thankful for having had the fun experience it was.  

Perminate Link for Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?   Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?

This user has validated their user name. by: MainelyVintage

Mon Apr 22 21:16:21 2019

Etsy's teams are completely different than their public forums. Sellers administer them; all are different.

I still can't create a new team, or appoint a new captain... I reported the missing "create a team" button last Thursday. Another seller friend of mine told me she contacted them by phone today and they acted like they had never heard of the issue, had her send screen shots etc.

They are definitely not prioritizing fixing team-related issues.

I do agree that Etsy is killing teams. It is sad, because Etsy has thoroughly eroded the vibrant community that once existed.

Perminate Link for Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?   Where Are Etsy Teams Headed?

by: fusgeyer This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Apr 30 12:36:01 2019

Etsy is going to kill teams with this switch to lithium. I belong to several teams. One is actually very helpful and has a great membership. It is truly a place where like minded sellers can share information. But the changes to teams over the past few years and now the merge to Lithium has made teams irrelevant. We can no longer like and share each others listings on Etsy or through social media without going through massive steps. It is hard to navigate and the system is SLOW. Etsy is moving away from what it's origins were. It is no longer the place for artisans to sell their wares or for true vintage sellers to move unique vintage merchandise. It is quickly becoming a buy it now version of eBay.

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