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Thu June 13 2019 10:23:42

Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy sellers asked us to look into reports that their listings were showing up on third-party websites, but were showing as "unavailable" - a seemingly good news/bad news dilemma. 

They pointed to a thread on the Etsy discussion boards from mid-May titled, "Shocked to find Martha Stewart's website listing my items, claiming I'm out of stock.. you too?"

A seller explained, "I noticed that I'm listed on Martha Stewarts website and you may be too...yay!! Except that her website incorrectly claims that I'm currently out of stock. I've contacted her techincal support to no avail. I'd love for her website to say that my item is available rather than redirecting to products sold by Amazon, Walmart and Wayfair."

She wondered, if it was "an Etsy issue or a Martha Stewart issue."

We sent an inquiry to Etsy this week, and a spokesperson said they were looking into it. They then pointed us to a response they posted on the thread yesterday that explained it was an affiliate-related issue.

Etsy staff member hturnes (presumably Hannah Turnes) wrote in her post on June 12th:

"Product listings often appear on third-party publisher sites that are approved to participate in our affiliate program. We're aware of a recent issue that has caused some active listings to appear as "unavailable" on an affiliate partner's sites. We’re working closely with this partner to resolve this as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience."

However, in the 19 pages of the still-active thread, some sellers say they are convinced it's an issue of a publishing company using Etsy listing information as bait to send traffic to their magazines' websites, with sellers receiving no benefits.

It isn't clear from the Etsy moderator's post what the resolution would be.

Some sellers said they had contacted Etsy long ago about the issue; and it isn't clear if Etsy has been paying affiliates for what appears to be links to ghost listings.

Keep an eye on this thread, some sellers said they had contacted a lawyer about the problem.



Comments (11) | Permalink

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Perminate Link for Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait   Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 13 11:26:46 2019

Not really sure why sellers over there are surprised or distressed. Etsy has all the eBay management rejects running the joint - don't they get it? It's CORPORATE AMERICA now - just as ebay was once upon a time when a company goes public it's over.  Their sole objective is to abstract and much money as possible before they completely collapse the site. I have things on etsy (not many) just post them there for verbiage to my own website. The more I read about etsy I'll just let them run out now. They will run out because hell would freeze over before I could sell anything there lately.

Perminate Link for Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait   Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait

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

Thu Jun 13 13:22:10 2019

This has been happening for about a year now.  Maybe longer.  When I am blogging about various Etsy resellers, and searching Google images for their Chinese products, links show for that image on sites like Better Homes and Gardens, and Martha Stewart.  Often the item shows as "out of stock" or maybe "not available", which isn't the case since it is an active Etsy listing.   But the image had to be linked there at one time to have been noticed by Google.

Perminate Link for Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait   Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait

by: LoriG This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Jun 13 13:38:27 2019

I have had email correspondence regarding this issue from Etsy and from the ''publisher'' of the Martha Stewart sales site. All of the communication I received was labeled proprietary and forbidden to be forwarded/copied/etc. (an NDA).

Incidentally, in addition to the Martha Stewart sales site our Etsy listings have been shared in a similar fashion with other of the publisher's web magazine clients, ie. Real Simple, Parents, People, Best Time, and more.

When last I checked, most of my own Etsy listings are were longer being hijacked. Hopefully, it will remain that way. (thank goodness for screen prints)  But others are still finding their listings shared.

Thank you eCOMMERCEBYTES for looking into this and bringing it to public attention.

Perminate Link for Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait   Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Jun 13 17:46:48 2019

I think a lot of sellers are confused about what an affiliate program is. Since I've been on Etsy, I have always seen sellers reporting their listings being ''hijacked'' by third-party sites, particularly those on Shopify, when that's not what's happening.

When a seller signs up as an affiliate, they have been given permission by Etsy to sell the products on their site for a commission. It's one way to get the Etsy name and its sellers products out there -- and to increase sales for its sellers.

Sites like Shopify offer a tool for affiliate sellers to sell affiliate products from a variety of sites, Etsy and Amazon included. That's why you'll find a lot of Etsy products being sold via sites like those on Shopify.

This isn't something sellers should be worrying about because their products are being promoted on a variety of sites at no additional cost to them. I would be ecstatic if my products were being promoted on sites like Martha Stewart's. That's awesome!

It's a shame the listings weren't being automatically updated as they should be. That would be an issue on Etsy's end, which nobody should be surprised about considering how well known they are for creating problems with their incessant updates.

Perminate Link for Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait   Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait

by: ThebigR This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 13 19:14:38 2019

You pay a fee to etsy for google shopping and your items on google show sold out and they redirect your buyer to someone else. Can't get much more ebay than that...

Perminate Link for Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait   Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait

by: SellerGirl This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 17 06:50:30 2019

Sounds like stealing to me, either by Martha Stewart or, if by permission, Etsy. Those images we use in listings are covered by copyright. Martha can't use them without permission and compensation, especially since she's using them to steer buyers away from those items toward merch she's selling.

Perminate Link for Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait   Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 17 07:04:33 2019

Could it be a simple question of 'copying' an item when it expires versus 'renewing it.

IF you copy it, you get a new url and the old one becomes a dead link so to speak.

Renew it, and you keep the original url associated with that product.  

Pinterest is full of dead links from Etsy because people have copied their listing instead of renewing it.  IF it sold, the item would still show up, just promoting other people's offerings LoL.

I rage against the system over there but in this case, could it be something simple.

Perminate Link for Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait   Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait

by: GracefulAntiquesVtg This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 17 14:13:46 2019

Nope. Not simple at all.
The churn reference and this was the final straw for me.
I am moving all my items off both my shops.
Lost quite a bit in listing fees of items not done yet but I also have many screenshots to show ridiculousness of it all.
I am now as GracefulVintageNow on Bonanza.
Hoping to God they are not an affiliate of Etsy and will actually show my items.
Selling online should NOT be this hard and complicated.
I have sold 1000s of items on many venues online since 2002.
Graceful Vintage Now on Bonanza.
GracefulVintageNow.

I cannot wait for the Steiners annual venue rating of Sellers Choice Awards.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait   Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 17 15:18:38 2019

@sammycat - these are instances where the listings are live - that's where the upset comes in.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait   Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait

by: Fahrenheit451 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 17 15:38:42 2019

I have returned to Etsy to use as a secondary marketplace, still promoting my own sites instead of Etsy. I have been posting items without employing Google PL or seeing any interference in views or visits. When I post something on Etsy I expect it to be seen on Etsy, not some affiliate which is using the listings to pad their own site. Not only is it a waste of time and energy, I would not expect the items to show as "unavailable" or "out of stock". If Martha Stewart's IT crowd think they are doing themselves a favor with their brand of "comparison shopping", then they are unaware that the plethora of unavailable items will simply drive shoppers away. I suggest they learn fast and take down the affected listings pronto.

Perminate Link for Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait   Sellers Fear Publishers Use Etsy Listings as Click Bait

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Jun 24 08:36:30 2019

''Those images we use in listings are covered by copyright. Martha can't use them without permission and compensation, especially since she's using them to steer buyers away from those items toward merch she's selling.''

By listing your items on the marketplace, you have given them permission to use your copyrighted material to help sell your items. That's all they're doing and they're even sharing a part of their own profit to do it, not yours. You wouldn't even know if a sale came from an affiliate unless you delved into your Etsy stats and saw a visit from, say, Martha's site. Even then, it doesn't specifically say where a sale came from.

As for Martha's site, it doesn't serve her any purpose to list a dead affiliate link on her site because she earns no commission from it unless it sells. I believe it's the marketplace that controls the feed -- not the site it's placed on. Of course, I'm no programmer, so wouldn't know if there's a way to manipulate it.



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