Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Dec 27 2015 22:13:37

Did the Pre-Christmas Marketing Dilemma Strike Etsy?

By: Ina Steiner

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The tip came from a reader: "This may be nothing," he wrote, "but I suspect Etsy is having a very big cash flow problem or their credit with Google is no longer good. Either way this is pretty interesting." 

He pointed to a thread on the Etsy boards where sellers noted that the marketplace ads were no longer showing up on Google Shopping. That doesn't mean Etsy listings weren't showing up in Google search results in what's called "organic search." It meant that when a shopper did a search for something like "handmade mittens," Google wasn't displaying any listings from Etsy sellers in the Google Shopping widget.

Etsy moderators confirmed the issue, but thanks to the Christmas holiday, it's been difficult to nail down exactly what's behind it, as we explain in Monday's newsletter (available now here).

Etsy told us on Sunday evening, "We're always focused on maximizing seller return through GPLAs and strategically adjust our investment throughout the year, depending on seasonality. Last-minute holidays shopping tends to be done in person, as products won't arrive by Christmas with online shipping times." But she's going to get back to us with a definitive answer on whether the 3-day suspension of Etsy ads on Google Shopping was intentional.

Some online sellers say they shut down their listings and/or stores before Christmas, fearing that last-minute shoppers will have unrealistic expectations about shipping delivery.

And indeed, as in past years, some shoppers did not get their online orders in time for Christmas, though it was nowhere near as bad as the disaster of 2013.

But was that what was behind the 3-day shutdown of Etsy's Google Shopping ads (PLAs), or was there something else going on?

We'll provide an update once we know details behind Etsy's suspension of Google Shopping ads. In the meantime, let us know if you were impacted and what you think of the Pre-Christmas Marketing dilemma.




Comments (39) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Did the Pre-Christmas Marketing Dilemma Strike Etsy?   Did the Pre-Christmas Marketing Dilemma Strike Etsy?

by: Biglouis This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 28 01:37:10 2015

My trade being mainly international I always shut down my stores about the 14/15 December to avoid the last minute stress of buyers with unrealistic expectations. I was once told by a whining buyer that I have ''ruined'' her daughters Christmas because the package failed to arrive in time. I was tempted to tell her to get a grip. Compared with all the very nasty things that can happen in life (death of a loved one/being mugged/house burns down, etc) not getting a gift in time is a pretty small disappointment that adult people should learn to handle in a mature manner.  

Perminate Link for Did the Pre-Christmas Marketing Dilemma Strike Etsy?   Did the Pre-Christmas Marketing Dilemma Strike Etsy?

by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 28 03:40:10 2015

Why bother with an ?official? update from Etsy? They've been dodging the reality bullet since I've been using the site.

Their staff is THE roadblock for their seller's success.

There are people who seem destined to mess things up. I don't know what type of psychological conditions create this, but the staff of Etsy seems handpicked to have this trait.

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

Mon Dec 28 05:03:20 2015

Exactly Wheel;s.. Nothing but lies and had no one complained.. there would still be no google shopping with Etsy. Many have stated this has been going on since early December. It is easy enough to check your shop:

https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=shopping&tbm=shop>
Ecrater
has no problem getting you included in google shopping, perhaps Etsy should call them for tips on how to do it? the 500 programmers at Etsy need IT lessons? most likely this was a money issue and they wanted to see the reaction of the sellers.. next will come selective shops removed and only selective items will be submitted to google shopping. you better believe it will be watched and posted on the news services if they do. Like i said little ecrater has no problem with google shopping submissions (100% if legal) but Etsy does? what does that say about Etsy's financial and programming expertise in this situation?

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

Mon Dec 28 05:13:20 2015

to check your shop just enter your shop name in the above url and check it often if you are selling on Etsy. example place  the name yournamehere.etsy.com in the search bar of google shopping.

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by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 28 08:00:19 2015

:) Hi Rabbit!

I "know" we know each other from Etsy's forums, ...

Has Etsy done another quarterly statement for Wall Street, yet? They might need to start showing better numbers to appease the companies that are now advising SELL!

MY sales are half of what they were last year, but I had attributed that to their incessant experiments with search and the abysmal half baked drop down options given to the sellers as they attempt to list an item without proper tools.

Etsy seem hell bent upon reinventing wheels. They might do better if they put their efforts into learning how to go about things properly first.

Most other venues seem capable of working within industry norms. NOT Etsy and their culture that FAILURE IS OK.

It might have been better had Chad also been replaced along with Maria, after all he WAS CTO, when we had to deal with the Meta tags fiasco, and the other misfires of that year.

Perminate Link for Did the Pre-Christmas Marketing Dilemma Strike Etsy?   Did the Pre-Christmas Marketing Dilemma Strike Etsy?

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

Mon Dec 28 08:03:18 2015

I will add one last thing to this. This does not pass the smell test.

what would cause 100% of Etsy listings to not show up on google shopping? 36 million of them? Not just new items listed but 100% of all listings?

If they were to stop submitting listings for a few days to google shopping .. would that remove all 36,000,000 listings? NO

only one thing could cause this .. Google doing it. The excuse/lie Etsy posted could result in 10% reduction (3 days) but 100% no way.

all other sites listing including Ecrater are and were fine. so not a google site issue.

Most likly they ticked off Google.. not a smart thing to do. Look what google did to Ebay. :-)

My guess it was a payments issue. Etsy did not pay Google.

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

Mon Dec 28 08:19:16 2015

"Has Etsy done another quarterly statement for Wall Street, yet? They might need to start showing better numbers to appease the companies that are now advising SELL!" (Wheels)

YES. Etsy is in deep Poo stock market price wise and removal of Google expenses would help them on the next quarterly report but i do think it would be way to late in the Quarter to really effect the "income" of Etsy much which has been less than ZERO the last 3 quarters. this is due on 02/02/2016. it is about 30 days in arrears i think?

Perminate Link for Did the Pre-Christmas Marketing Dilemma Strike Etsy?   Did the Pre-Christmas Marketing Dilemma Strike Etsy?

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 28 10:10:04 2015

We also noticed they have removed our etsy product listings from google shopping, but this was a about a month ago,

Something is for sure going bad at etsy, the stock is in free fall, and loosing ground every day, they are for sure trying to stop the bleeding, and dropping google could be one of them,

It's too bad because we really had some good things to say about etsy, but unfortunately, they appear to be scatter brained, tearing up, and re-organizing and making bad changes without much thought, I personally don't think they will last. there is no way they will survive with how they are currently running, not good at all.

This is just another prime example of not putting all the eggs in any one venues basket, and if and when etsy fails (which they are currently well on their way) it won't affect our financial very much, we learned a valuable lesson with ebay, and we will never repeat that again.

And some advise for anyone waiting for things to get better, don't waste your time, spend the time wisely to get your products on other venues ASAP.

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by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 28 10:43:29 2015

"We're always focused on maximizing seller return through GPLAs ---> and strategically adjust our investment throughout the year, depending on seasonality. <--- Last-minute holidays shopping tends to be done in person, as products won't arrive by Christmas with online shipping times."

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Dec 28 10:59:17 2015

I gave up on Etsy back in 2008 when I wasn't getting any sales, but items not showing up in Google Shopping is very suspicious after the "glitch" a few weeks ago where sellers' money was not being transferred into their bank accounts. It really sounds like Etsy is having serious money problems.

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by: Noneya This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 28 11:44:54 2015

Annoyingly Typical - tell news outlets that it's intentional, tell sellers it's an accident.

And people wonder why sellers don't trust Etsy.  

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 28 19:49:50 2015

Etsy must have hired new programmers. I have long felt that the biggest problem is they let the newbies release code their 1st day on the job. Maybe it would be better if they got the hang of the site and learned how the different parts of the site work together first? I get very few views from Google. 365 views from Google for ALL of 2015 and 176 from GPLA for the entire year. Both Pinterest & FB bring me more Etsy views than Google & GPLA.  

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by: Interesting Antiques This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 28 23:59:47 2015

First Canada post 'glitch' or etsy didn't pay their bill, then not paying their sellers for days, and now  no google ads. I don't know for sure but  from a business point of view  etsy looks like a cash problem. Our sales with a couple of shops at etsy are doing 1/2 to 1/3 of last year. Sure some of it is due to the dismal economy BUT its also due to the idiotic decisions, so now it seems its hitting their bottom line. If the sellers are not selling then etsy's cash flow is being hit.
We are planing to close  after January.

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 29 00:27:00 2015

@InterestingAntiques, my Etsy sales are down about 45% from 2014. I thought it was just me until a couple months ago when I started comparing notes with other local sellers, then I started hearing about similar decreases in the Etsy forums. I had to move mid-year, rather unexpectedly so, although my shop remained open, I was preoccupied. And THEN, just as I was getting resettled, I'm 99% sure Etsy put my shop in a test because I didn't have a single sale for 5 weeks (late July to late August). There have been some individual weeks this year where I didn't make a sale, but NOT 5 consecutive weeks!  I've been in their tests before, but they're usually 2 weeks; makes me wonder if someone forgot to take my shop OUT of the test?!

Wouldn't surprise me if there was a cash flow problem at Etsy. Maybe Chad and the other top brass should do the noble thing and reduce their paycheck to $1 for 2016!

I will most likely stay with Etsy until or unless it goes belly up.  

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 29 08:10:53 2015

Most of our traffic from etsy came from google, so without google, well we just don't sell as much there, traffic has slowed to a crawl,

After our ebay fiasco, we learned that venues that takes a FVF will eventually stab you in the back, they cannot survive on listing fees alone, and need to manipulate to get the most FVF that's where they make their money, and if it means they place not so popular items to the back, that's what they do, and they secretly hide what they are doing, stringing you along the way, fix your photo's, no it your tags, wait your items are not good,  your price is too high, you need more items, they will say anything to keep you listing,

it's starts to get old for us since we know the game, but for many it can be devastating to be so successful one day, investing in inventory then have the rug pulled from underneath you,

It's really a scam, and we have a good laugh at what they do, since we do not rely on these sales,  the etsy boards are filled with horifiing stories of depression,

For example most of last year and this year our views on etsy for our store averaged around 20,000  per month, now with etsy manipulation and no google we get around 300 per month, if we were stupid, and did not realize this manipulation we would be devastated, instead we just feel very sorry for all the sellers dreams financials and families they are destroying,

ebay did the same thing, etsy is Now doing, don't be their next victim.

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

Tue Dec 29 09:11:07 2015

my thoughts of Etsy and their cash? they are paid for everything through DC and now they hijacked most everyone's paypal accounts. They could easily , one day just not pay the sellers and go bankrupt. and it is totally legal.

Perminate Link for Did the Pre-Christmas Marketing Dilemma Strike Etsy?   Did the Pre-Christmas Marketing Dilemma Strike Etsy?

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

Tue Dec 29 09:49:22 2015

I'm saddened to read all this Etsy bashing. As for me, I'm Sooo GRATEFUL for Etsy, and their search algorithm/strategies! Unlike eBay (which I sold on - F/T for 16 yes but QUIT them in 9/14), Etsy plays on a level playing field, and they are transparent with their sellers. One never knows 'which' switch eBay will flick on it off, at which time of day - they are a sneaky, crooked company!

Etsy only works if you work it. You reap what you sow.

I totally understand why Etsy wouldn't invest in Google shopping 2-3 days before Christmas. Would YOU? if you knew for a fact that online is DEAD? And who cares at that time anyway? As for me, I was actually happy to have no sales for a few days while busy getting ready for my own Christmas instead of everyone else's. Sheesh. You guys either need to count your lucky stars or move elsewhere. Maybe somewhere with 'greener' grass. BTW, I'm an Etsy seller since 2011, and also hold a LITTLE but of stock. Yes, I've lost half my investment, but I know Etsy is on the up and up, and that part will take care of itself in the long run. No biggie, b/c I have faith. Goooooo Etsy!!!!

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

Tue Dec 29 11:55:26 2015

The truth is- there is no way Etsy turned off Google- that is not possible- google did it. you can not turn off google shopping by not submitting for a few days. Etsy 's listing were turned off by google. Why? non payment or they did not do something google demanded.

Etsy is not transparent- they are liars.They cheat and steal from the sellers.scum.

Etsy stock? LOLOLOL not a smart investment.

Etsy's job is to provide customers.. this is not the job of the sellers. that is why they pay a fee.

The etsy search is a total rip off disaster rigged to assist a few. mostly factory resellers from China.

so if you think Ebay is a corrupt snakey company.. multiply that x 50 for Etsy.

Etsy deserves to be bashed.. they are a joke and the worst run venue.

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

Tue Dec 29 12:02:19 2015

I might add this is not the Etsy Forums so trying to censor the truth will not "fly" But feel free to do that on the Etsy Forums.

Freedom died on Etsy 5 years ago as did the spirit  and Culture of the Artist and Craftspeople that Created Etsy along with The original founders. Greedy Corrupt BODs and the puppet CEO now run things

Nor do we work for Etsy

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by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Dec 29 12:23:01 2015

MaxMad, how's your Etsy SEO? Poor SEO is probably why your views have decreased. If you want to share your Etsy shop name, I'd be happy to take a look and offer suggestions if I have any.  

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