Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Oct 24 2015 22:51:26

Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

By: Ina Steiner

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Many Etsy sellers are upset over a change to the way the marketplace displays listings, and a petition on Change.org is gaining steam, gathering over 2,700 supporters as of Saturday evening.

The angst that Etsy sellers feel about this change is reminiscent of how eBay sellers felt when that marketplace changed the default search from time ending soonest to "best match."

Sellers expend enormous energy trying to get exposure on search results, whether it's a search engine like Google or on a marketplace like eBay or Amazon. And when a host changes the algorithm that determines which listings to show ahead of others, it's a very big deal.

Etsy announced a change a week ago that made items from local sellers more prominent in two of its markets - the UK and Australia. Not only is now the default search, there's no option for shoppers to search without the local bias.

"Sellers all over the world are affected by this change and we are outraged," a reader told EcommerceBytes. "A petition has been started with over 1k signatures in less than 48hrs."

Another reader said the petition is asking Etsy to "stop manipulating search and visibility."

One French seller who signed the online petition wrote, " If Etsy is not Global anymore i will close my shop and try something else. 80% of my buyers are from foreign countries. I can't get why Etsy is doing this!"

The petition on Change.org explains the issue and states:

"While we agree that we would like more local exposure, we feel that ultimately shoppers should have the right to make their own choices regarding their shopping experience. This could be improved by adding a localized search option button on the search bar rather than manipulating the sellers and buyers into buying and selling locally."

The petition calls on Etsy "to remove the new local search preference algorithm and make Etsy once again a fair global marketplace."

Etsy responded to our questions about the changes in Tuesday's Newsflash, which you can read here.




Comments (19) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 24 23:47:04 2015

Don't hold your breath. Etsy is like Fleecebay. They do as they please when they please and how they please. They do not listen to any of the noise before or after doing whatever it is they want to do.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 24 23:54:50 2015

Less than 3,000 sig's on some online petition? Yeah, etsy's gonna get real worked up over that!

Sorry, but just like feeBay, they're not gonna pay any attention until business revenue is affected.

Of course, by then it's a little too late...they've then ticked off tens or hundreds of thousands of buyers, but that's the way these mis-management types operate.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 25 09:11:42 2015

I would agree, even a million signatures, is laughable to these companies,

Only way they change is when they loose money, otherwise your just a small disposable minion, who is powerless, and meaningless to their overall goal, your not even considered a customer,  

As etsy grows, and selects what sellers will grow with them, they will continue to destroy the dreams, and business's of others,

There is always another seller coming down the pipe, to take your place, and ready to spend money to try and sell their items,  

The sooner you can understand this, corrupt mentality, the sooner you will rid yourself of these corrupt venues, and instead of wasting your time fighting for change, use the time more wisely and invest in yourself
 

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 25 10:54:27 2015

They are definitely following eBay design.
Once they went public, they have to make money for the stockholders. They don't care about the sellers, which is their customers and not the buyers.

Try to set up your own website with storeenvy, tictail, or ?? and get to promoting yourself. I don't tweet, but I do Pinterest, Wanelo and such that I am comfortable with. I am ok.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Oct 25 11:01:53 2015

Do those petitions ever do any good? I'm constantly being sent petitions from Change.org to sign, and I think I've heard of one actually resulting the the action the petition was requesting. And I agree that no matter how many signatures they get, the executives are not going to change search back to what it was. They made the change to begin with because they thought it would help the site, or their bottom line, in some way.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 25 11:54:00 2015

Mind boggling the stupidity.

About changeorg, it works sometimes.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Sun Oct 25 21:25:45 2015

I'm not sure who they are making money for these days? Look at the stock prices.. they own most of the stock too so they are losing about a billion $$ in stock price loss for their shares alone. total share value went from approx 3 $$ billion to 1.2 billion. :-)

No, they will not care about the sellers' petition at all. they have shown this in the past. This company is run  by the BODs and they must have a plan that does not evolve the sellers..LOL

their plan seems to be working just fine. Heck I pan on buying this stock when it hits $1

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Oct 26 06:56:28 2015

With Amazon handmade now on the scene, Etsy is going down a slippery slope.

Not the time to tick off your sellers Chad.  You might want to do the opposite of what eBay has been doing over the years--you might want to actually LISTEN to your customers.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

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

Mon Oct 26 08:16:17 2015

The vindictiveness of Etsy knows no bounds. There is good reason for anyone who comments in the forums and criticizes to have concern. The flunky Admin just closed down a forum thread with over 14,000 comments complaining about slow sales and views.

It's not enough that the perma mute you, but they will stop your shop cold, dead in its tracks, and you will never know what hit you.

Unless of course you figure that you're just a victim of "local search bias" or whatever line of BS they come up with that day.

Sellers beware! Etsy is not a free speech zone. Comment at your peril. If you want to keep selling stuff on the site, keep your mouth shut. I am saying this for your own good. Ask around privately what is really going on.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 26 09:30:51 2015

etsy seems to be taking a similar path as ebay, and by all accounts has an abundance of what they deem  non-productive sellers, etsy is now faced with this dilemma, weed out the non-productive items, or raise prices,

At this point I believe they have selected, to secretly terminate sellers, a long painful death, which is very easy to do since they can manipulate the search, they won't come out and say this, because they still want your listing fee, while they are killing you off, and don't want to scare off new sellers,

It's a very disgraceful tactic,


Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

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

Mon Oct 26 09:35:41 2015

Maxmad just nailed it. Sad but true. And White Rabbit brings up a great point about the stocks.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 26 09:41:18 2015

@Flying Childers
"The vindictiveness of Etsy knows no bounds. There is good reason for anyone who comments in the forums and criticizes to have concern. The flunky Admin just closed down a forum thread with over 14,000 comments complaining about slow sales and views."

Bonanza removes negative comments or negative threads so that no one can see them. Big reason with the forum changes. Any articles from here are always link to Bonanza's blogs and you need to log in to see them. (Any negative is removed and you don't see the full picture)

Use eCrater for your selling site.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Mon Oct 26 11:46:50 2015

My thoughts on Etsy is the BOD management is of questionable expertise running a company. They showed the world how they could take a viable fantastic business and turn it into something less than desirable. In a normal company the CEO would be removed if the stock price dived and the company showed it was rudderless. In this case the CEO is a figurehead with no personal control of the company (in my opinion) except in name. The BOD call the shots and owns the majority of the stock. They have clearly shown they care nothing about the sellers with zero interactions on a human to human level. The truth is they are in fear of the sellers. the attempts to replace the sellers with factory resellers has failed miserably.

The business model is one that supports Chinese factories being involved in the factory products offered in the forefront of the search pages. This is either through the joint factory ventures they offer or through Alibaba resellers selling factory goods purchased off Alibaba.All of this has failed miserably.

The search is rigged to help those they want helped. the reasons for changing this every year before the holiday season is obvious. This is of course all my opinion.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Oct 26 13:47:22 2015

White Rabbit says "My thoughts on Etsy is the BOD management is of questionable expertise running a company. They showed the world how they could take a viable fantastic business and turn it into something less than desirable."

Yep, and that is exactly what eBay did as well.  Word up to anyone selling on a site that goes public.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 26 14:10:22 2015

it's really sad to see etsy and ebay taking this route, but in reality, these classified ad style venues, that take a final value fee, have no choice, the money is made with the final value fee, and they really cannot make big money with items that don't sell,



It's really a failed business concept that cannot grow like stockholders demand, so they resort to in what I would consider fraud, (I can guarantee etsy will be adjusting their UA to reflect these changes)

Amazon knows this, and although their business model is similar, they have expanded with their own products and services, to bring in the money, without this type of underhanded tactic

Even when they started hand made, they knew enough to not just open the flood gates, to ALL sellers, that's why you need to apply, they are making the decision to weed out the under performers right from the start, which is a smart move.

We sell on etsy, and our items do ok, but we will never be fooled by etsy, and we continue to put most of our efforts into our own venues,

You will not get etsy to change, as long as they are making more money by manipulating, they will continue, don't waste your time trying to lobby them for change, it won't work, they have no choice in what they are doing,

 

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 26 18:14:57 2015

The Admin that Etsy is using to be the face of this change has this gem on her profile.

"I'm not terribly creative (but I'm working on it)"

Yes folks, this is the type of mind making decisions at Etsy.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

by: Thomas Denis This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Oct 27 06:09:41 2015

This will be the toughest situation Etsy to change local search basis.
Similarly Etsy grows, and selects what sellers will grow with them, they will continue to destroy the dreams of the seller.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 9 10:33:30 2015

I usually,....err, I mean ALWAYS want the federal government out of everything possible, but this is one instance where regulation is in order.

If we all pay( or even use the selling tools for free), there should be a guarantee that these venues will have to show all items from all sellers 24/7, in all geographic locations.

This is the basic premise of a selling venue in ecommerce. It should be up to the buyer to find what they want.  The premise that these sites know what a buyer wants is hogwash.

This needs to have government regulation asap.

Perminate Link for Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias   Sellers Petition Etsy to Change Local Search Bias

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 9 10:41:23 2015

....A better solution is for everyone to contact your congressmen about what these veunues are doing.



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