Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri Mar 20 2015 08:49:31

Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy won't provide details on why it is pulling the popular listing-management tool BETSI from its API program - see details in today's EcommerceBytes Newsflash

But without explaining the move, it could scare away third-party developers who consider building tools for Etsy users, which could ultimately hurt Etsy by hampering innovation. Some of the best marketplace tools and features for sellers have been built by 3P developers.

There has been an outpouring from Etsy sellers who used BETSI, many of them saying they never could have grown their business without it, and who wonder how they will manage their listings going forward.

An Etsy spokesperson said she couldn't provide details about the decision "because this action involves an Etsy member's account," yet she indicated the developer of BETSI had violated Etsy Terms of Use. "Ensuring that members who build tools with Etsy's API adhere to our Terms of Use is a top priority."

Etsy's move shows the risk developers face in building a business on another company's platform - there's a long history of seller tools that have dealt with eBay's iron hand, for example. But it's nearly impossible to get third-party developers to go on the record about the challenges they face in dealing with the platforms on which they are entirely dependent.

eBay owes its success in part to tools developed by third parties that let sellers scale, and it frequently adopted features that third-party developers had innovated. A vibrant ecosystem is good for any platform, whether it's eBay, Etsy, or a platform such as Facebook.

The BETSI decision comes just as Etsy needs to scale as never before with its pending IPO, and it may find that it is shooting itself in the foot by scaring off developers instead of encouraging them.

If Etsy does not explain why it felt the need to pull access to its API, speculation will lead to fear, uncertainty and doubt among sellers and developers.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: Ephemera Dealer This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 20 09:15:47 2015

The way in which this was handled is shocking. Etsy gave the developer absolutely no warning, and the inference that he is violating the TOU is insulting and demeaning (he apparently is not at all.)

Betsi is an invaluable tool which I can't imagine Etsy will be able to replace, and more importantly the support that Graeme was able to provide was quick, effective, and personalized, something Etsy has seldom if ever done.

I, as well as hundreds (thousands?) of other Etsy sellers are dismayed and confused by the way this has been handled, and it doesn't encourage any sense of security with our shops on the site.

Time to branch out once more I think...

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 20 09:16:08 2015

Hmmm  Besti is a very nice tool to work with.

Going public....
Now, getting rid of certain 3rd party developers that help the sellers.
Sounds like the path of eBay.....

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 20 09:28:19 2015

I love Etsy. I love Betsi.  Betsi did what etsy itself could not provide to its customers.

Watch yourself Etsy.   Do not become the corporate asshole that ebay has become.  There is no need for it.

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 20 10:03:12 2015

Too late

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 20 11:17:34 2015

 Well , mabey etsy is following in deadbays footsteps. Seems these online venues are never happy unless they scramble their sellers brains. I dont get it at all.

Corporate jerks will always be corporate jerks. Most of them have no clue the damage they do , until its to late. Then like a yupee , they drive nice cars for their shortcomings. Desperation runs rampid in ecommerce these days.

Hey CEOs , don't fix it, if it is not broken. Nothing less that retards. Just stupid people!!

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 20 14:10:40 2015

I hope the developer of betsi has learned a lesson from this, or anyone even thinking of developing work for a company who has control over the work, as we learned a good lesson with ebay,  NEVER put all your business in the hands of any company,

Today's corporations are ruthless, and do not care who they run over, they can ruin you in a second, without even thinking about it.

Most likely etsy will use the work of the betsi developer for their own version, or will incorporate parts of it, guaranteed.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: dba2003 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 20 14:37:32 2015

I'm a long time Etsy supply seller and am just so sad by what's become of the site. In the last couple of years, it's turned into one that I barely recognize anymore. Etsy has removed everything that was fun (front page treasuries, time machine, pounce and so on).

I have used Betsi for a number of years and have always found Graeme to be helpful and responsive to all of my communications with him. I find it hard to believe that he did anything wrong.

I would love to see a new site that brings back what we all loved from our old Etsy. I believe that it would be wildly successful.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: b This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 20 14:52:36 2015

I am really appalled at Etsy. They have ruined a family's business in the blink of an eye, without warning. What was the supposed error on Blugrin's part? if it was that they were charging for a service that Etsy already provided for free, because Etsy implemented their shoddy version of bulk editing, that is laughable and likely open to lawsuit. Wherever Bluegrin goes, I will follow. I hope Graeme opens a selling site and puts Etsy to shame!

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: b This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 20 15:14:22 2015

I am going to put more effort into my Zibbet shop. They run on the same kind of platform as Etsy, are handmade and I can import my Etsy listings.

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: HandmadeByMe This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 20 15:41:06 2015

That would be great if Graeme opened a selling site. Imagine a new site with good coding and good customer service, wow!

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: Bridgette This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 20 17:37:56 2015

When I first saw this I was stunned, but recalling that I am dealing with Etsy, no surprised that they have no scruples when it comes to destroying someone's livelihood. They will pull the rug out from under you without so much as an email.  Besides the personal devastation to Graeme and his family, this just is not good business on Etsy's part.  Many of us depend on this bulk editor to run our stores, without it we would spend all our time updating our listings.  This is a great loss to both the seller and the Etsy platform.  I was an accountant for over 30 years,do they not see without the tools to grow our business it only hurts them financially also? What will they be replacing this stellar software with, surely not their own editor?  Much of what they have come up with in the last year has only made it harder to manage my store.  We all want to earn more revenue on Etsy and Etsy this is not the way to do it for either us or you!

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: fgilles02420 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Mar 20 17:53:42 2015

I only used Betsi Lite occasionally, but I certainly feel for those who depended on it.

What concerns me more is the concomitant loss of 'tools4etsy' although its back (temporarily) as of now. I screen every buyer who purchases from me, looking at their ''feedback left for others'' to see whom I'm dealing with. I haven't had to do it yet, but if I saw a buyer who had left a trail of bad feedback for other sellers, I'd have no problem cancelling the sale. Why invite trouble when you can avoid it?

I hope this is resolved and Blugrin continues as usual.

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: LeeLoo This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 21 02:44:22 2015

Every week there's some thing else, its a Never ending story with Etsy.

Every week I wonder how they can top the latest stuff up, but they have a keen knack on bettering them selves every time.

Getting quite expert at it really.
I'm buying shares in a Corn Farm - running out of Popcorn.

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: ShadeDog This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 21 08:47:32 2015

I have used BETSI since it was in BETA testing. My husband and I wouldn't have been able to grow or manage our Etsy shop to the size we have without it. Aside from the ham-handed way this was handled, Etsy is damaging the very sellers it needs to go forward...those that are successful.

Their ''teams'' of developers cannot match the work that is produced by Graeme. The recent ''innovations'' at Etsy oft-times have made it harder to manage inventory and sell. They do not listen to the community and respond as Graeme did. If you needed something added to BETSI to make work easier and you brought to Graeme's attention, chances are in a short time, sometimes overnight, the feature or ability to do what you wanted was added to the program. Etsy is no where close to that level of Graeme's customer service  or responsiveness. It would seem to me that Etsy would want developers of Graeme's stature helping the selling community achieve greater sales levels. Etsy doesn't produce tools that are even in the same galaxy as BETSI.  

I hope Etsy comes to their senses before it becomes another eBay. Harming as they have the 30,000 loyal users of BETSI just proves that they do not have the best interests of their selling community in their heart. I can't see how this possibly helps the IPO.    

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

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

Sat Mar 21 12:09:51 2015

LeeLoo, the preferred snack on Etsy is the venerable cupcake, preferably washed down with the Kool-Aid served up by other venues.

I know what Betsi is now.

Etsy has a bit of a rep for these instant shut downs.

The staff are little more than drones who dance as fast as they can to the tunes of the shirts.

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: retiredcatlady This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 21 14:28:45 2015

I don't understand why all these sites screw themselves over and their customers.  I think one of us should be running eBay and Esty

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sat Mar 21 15:10:58 2015

rhawk says "Do not become the corporate asshole that ebay has become."

Could not stop laughing after I read this.  That's a fact, and they seem to pride themselves on being that.

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Sat Mar 21 18:19:57 2015

As is the the case with JD & Co. they are going to show all who's boss not matter the loss. The former eBay has lost hundreds of millions if not billions since JD & Co. took over, that is of course until they got creative in finding multiple ways to cost both seller & buyer alike in concert with creative bookkeeping.

If Etsy holds its line re: this matter, they'll soon have to follow suit via the JD & Co. Handbook.

AgendaSwallowsAll, that is a reality

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

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

Sun Mar 22 06:02:51 2015

Etsy doesn't give a damn, folks.
The "Little Napoleons" and "Little Caesars" have grabbed control of the business and will now suffocate it.
Sellers are now nothing more than lab rats in the ongoing (sick) social experiment by big money (little bstd's) that (apparently) can't fill their Ham Fists fast enough with sellers' dough.
Can't wait for the backlash.
"Unwashed" vs Unshaven.

Perminate Link for Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool   Etsy Puts Innovation at Risk by Pulling Popular Tool

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

Sun Mar 22 10:57:59 2015

WANTED : beginning in 2015 : an America ONLY selling / auction venue comprised of :
1)BOTH Methods of selling :  
 Auction and INSTANT BUY.
 
2)ALL methods of payments : charge
 card, checks, money orders.

3)ALL open communication between
 EVERYBODY all the time. Buyer to
 Buyer, seller to buyer, seller
 to seller.

4)For individuals or businesses.

5)No Global shipping in or out.

 Name it "The American Shopping    
 Experience" or  T.A.S.E.

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