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Mon Nov 10 2014 13:04:45

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I have been selling vintage clothing for nearly 5 years very successfully on Etsy. Until now. You see, things have changed a lot with Etsy, and I know about how startups work, evolve and eventually either turn into a huge success...or die.

Something is different here. Something cruel and wrong.

Sellers who have put all of their eggs in one basket (many of us did this, because we were promised that Etsy would keep to its roots - stay handmade and authentic, a REAL community) and now, to put it lightly - we are screwed. Etsy has changed so much over the last year, sellers have seen drops in revenue that are monumental.

I can speak personally and say that for the last 4 years selling on Etsy, I have always grown my business by 30% each year - now I need to make $20K by the end of the year, in order to be EQUAL with last year's revenue.

But this isn't just about me. This is about all of us. And finally, Etsy is acknowledging they screwed up, but in a very strange way. They are blaming the sellers. I highly recommend you read through this thread in the Etsy Forums.

There is a lot of complaining...yes. But there are a few people who nailed it. Etsy doesn't care if you or they make money through sales. They are now offering paid advertising, which will bring in HUGE bucks. Enormous.

Now, think about this. They are ripe for an IPO next year, and they want to show a HUGE profit. But at what expense? The expense of the people who have dedicated their lives to their businesses.

It's a really scary time for a LOT of sellers right now on Etsy, all of us. Big to small.
D.




Comments (32) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Nov 10 14:48:56 2014

Just remember, once a company has goes public, it is all about the shareholders. This is what ruined eBay and LinkedIn.  Monetize, monetize, monetize, and then monetize some more.

The big boys running these companies are all over this because they become incredibly wealthy.  They are concerned about their wealth, not yours.

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 10 15:23:50 2014

All Your Eggs In One Basket......

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Nov 10 16:40:44 2014

I was considering listing on Etsy again, and then I read the comments on the Forum linked above. I guess there's not much point trying to sell there if sales are as bad as people are reporting.

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

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

Mon Nov 10 17:43:20 2014

It's a public relations nightmare and actually an international faux pas of sorts. Etsy touts "transparency" Really? One lady posted that an Etsy team was in Israel last year, showing people how to set up Etsy shops and (of course) "quit your day job." Some did; and they got screwed. Huge downturn caused by the search problem, resellers, an uninviting and hard to navigate landing page, and a really juvenile system of "hearts" and "favoriting." Seriously??? So much for the "new Etsy Economy."

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Nov 10 18:05:22 2014

"Etsy is acknowledging they screwed up, but in a very strange way. They are blaming the sellers."

Isn't that EXACTLY what JD at eBay did when his "disruptive innovation" didn't work out?  Not verbally, but in actions.

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 10 20:21:51 2014

@iheartjacksparrow
the thing with etsy is that the fees are so much lower, and the stress level is 1000 times lower than ebay. Yes, it isn't what it used to be, but .20 for 4 months isn't bad, and NO defects!  

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Nov 10 21:34:18 2014

@fashionista - But on eCrater, where I am currently selling, there are no listing fees. And unlike what people are posting on the forum, my items on eCrater get a huge number of views each month, and I'm getting sales there.

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

by: marcello This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 11 00:15:44 2014

The fish rots from the head down.

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

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

Tue Nov 11 03:09:33 2014

I've been on Etsy since 2008, think that I might have something that might move on Ebay, and both eCrater and Bonanza have been on hold since sometime last year.

I have written Etsy board members on 2 occasions and have seen them make efforts towards implementing my ideas.

One of the HUGE problems within a corporate environment is that the people doing the day to day operations from the janitor all the way up to either Chad or Maria, THINK LIKE EMPLOYEES, and part of THAT scenario is covering their a$$e$, and yessing the board to death.

After Maria got axed and Kalin was put back, I can remember some messages going back and forth between me and one of Etsy's tech people who was working on whatever the current "improvement du jour" was. The tech guy told me that kalin was essentially freaking out about deadlines, which IMPLIED that Kalin had to answer to someone.

When Maria was at the helm, they were doing some sort of meet and greet somewhere, and there was a video floating around, and someone had asked her a question about one of the current site foulups. WELL, when Maria began her response, there were WAY TOO MANY "UMS" before she gave some sort of pat answer.<-- That's when "I" knew that whoever was working for Etsy was a bit intimidated by the Board, and there wasn't a single one of them willing to challenge any of the boards ideas.

And yet, "I'VE" done that very thing.

The staff of Etsy are between rocks and hard places (sellers and the Board)

Pissing and moaning in the Etsy forums is a complete waste of time, and all it will accomplish is to foul your mood and make you less effective in what you need to do for yourselves.

I was put on perma mute ages ago, and looking back it was one of the best thing to happen to me. Putting the link to find the forums at the bottom of the page helped even more.

I list things, and then go about my business.

Are all of you REALLY PO'ed at the venues or possibly really PO'ed with yourselves for believing their corporate BS?

The reason why these venues get so screwed up is because nerds figure out some code, then relinquish their rights when they go begging for VC money, instead of bootstrapping themselves into success.

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 11 03:52:04 2014

Yes I have also stayed away from Etsy because of the continued down trend that sellers are reporting in the blogs, facebook, etc.
What I would say to all sellers is never and I mean NEVER BUY from any ad on Etsy or any of the other venues.  And do explain and train all your family and friends to do the same. It might not help save us all, but it will take money out of the big boys pockets and maybe, just maybe, some of them will begin to feel the pinch or better yet, be slopped to side by having to resign and move on to wreck some other business with their blind, deaf and dumb stupidity.

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

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

Tue Nov 11 09:26:24 2014

Gosh, I only WISH I had time to elaborate, but I dont, so  I'll make it very short.

I was an eBay seller for 14 years. Talk about CRAP and a downturn in sales? You long time Etsians have no CLUE how GOOD a site Etsy is!

I guess if you've never been a long time eBay seller, you have nothing to compare it to, so you are seeing the negative.

As for me, I've had an Etsy shop since 2011, but Never kept much inventory in it (20 items or so), because I was so busy constantly FIGHTING to get ahead on eBay. This past August (22nd), eBay pushed sellers to the max with the new "defect rate", and hundreds of thousands of sellers closed up their eBay stores, including me!

I now have 200 items in my Etsy shop, and listing more every day! What Etsians don't realize is that when sellers left eBay in drones, many of them moved over to Etsy, and THIS is the reason for the downward trend in your sales. As for me, it's been a struggle on Etsy to manually list my eBay items onto Etsy, but man!, Etsy is such a non-stressful site. Where sellers cut each others throats on eBay, Etsy has a sense of community and belonging with their "teams". The sellers on Etsy turn into your friends, and that would never ever happen on EBay.

To the OP: I went to that thread and didn't see ANYTHING regarding "blaming the sellers". GET OFF THE PITY POT and fix your titles and tags! The Admin on that post was nothing but FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL! eBay would never in a million years tell sellers that they can request a personal look into your store to try and help you. They tell you what has changed, and you're on your own to figure it out.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE ETSY, and appreciate all the FRIENDLY HELP and hard work that the Admins do. You should too. Just because you've had it made in the shade for so long, it now hurts you to lift a pinky. Ouch.

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

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

Tue Nov 11 09:28:08 2014

P.S. After paying $59.95/mo. For a store on eBay, I see no reason I can't have a budget of $2.00/day on Etsy for ads!

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 11 10:45:33 2014

Whoa ... Fly on the Wall you have not been here long enough to know what's been going on and the constant changes that affect our shops.

Etsy is NOT ebay and its not fair to compare the two, and pretty short-sighted as well. Just because ebay is horrible does not make what's going on at Esty great ... its just become the lesser of two evils.

They have made a mess of things with the new 'front page' and how its searched internally and how its indexed by Google and that's the truth and the way it is.

The landing page is a joke with only sellers and their likes showing up.  That means its a love fest among sellers and little to no contact with buyers.  They've admitted their search is messed up and that they are allowing shops to multiple list the same things over and over again (something which ebay does not allow.) That, their search makes those people more relevant and you see item after item from them.  

Titles and tags can't be the whole story and you know that.  they can be perfect and still your items don't show up.  

There may be good views but its all others shops and treasuries likes and such.  There is little to no conversion for most people.

There are thousands of sellers complaining of the same thing ... so its not in anyone's imagination.  

When you've been selling and suddenly you're not, there is a reason that goes well beyond what you may or may not be doing.

Good grief ... blame the victim mentality is getting so dang old.  

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

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

Tue Nov 11 10:53:14 2014

SammyCat, if the numbers of items and/or sellers on Etsy quadruples in a month, then of course sales are going to slump. I wouldn't blame Etsy for this. IBlame eBay and the way they treat their sellers, which is why ebayers have turned to Etsy (and that includes buyers who are sick of ebay's security risks and site outages. Etsy needs to ADVERTISE more, is all. Just my opinion though!

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 11 11:02:00 2014

I agree that they have to adverise more and not rely on this hearting, fav'ing and treasury business which really only makes us feel like we are doing something but does not reality reach the buyer.

Part of the money (certain percentage) from the millions of us pay to Etsy should be going to advertising / marketing.  

They sold over 3 billion items last year and that means billions in profits ... surely they can afford to spend some money on the site and the sellers to promote.  

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 11 11:04:02 2014

However ... they messed things up with this stupid new landing page with an algorithm that shows you things similar to what you liked or fav'd and stuff from other sellers which is mostly things from the teams they belong to.

Its like spinning your wheels and seeing the same people and view over and over and over again until you want to scream.  

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Nov 11 11:53:59 2014

As others have rightly pointed out, when a company goes public, corporate concern for buyers and sellers takes a back seat to addressing the concerns of their Wall Street masters and investors.

Executives and management will never accept responsibility for their poor judgement calls and failed decision making processes.  If they did, Wall Street and investors would be calling for their heads on a stick.

In order to protect their jobs as well as their often bloated compensation packages, public companies must always find outside influences which are blamed for the company's failures to justify those failures and prevent a mass exodus of investors.

As such, executives at public companies such as etsy and ebay make scapegoats out of their customers ( read sellers ) so that the pressure does not come down on those actually responsible for making poor decisions.

This has been the road map at eBay for years, and sadly etsy is following the same model.

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 11 14:38:43 2014

I called it two years ago with the changes then that they were either going public or getting ready to sell.  

We have to face the fact that this isn't about anything other than making money for a select few and Wall St.  

I totally agree ... however, there may have been a mass exodus from Ebay to Etsy, but that is not to say that if people don't make money on Etsy they won't bolt too.

Its a slippery slop these people are playing on and it could just as easily backfire on them if they can't show the profit they need to.

Many hear have already said that the new promote that they are paying big bucks for didn't make a difference and they dropped it.  Others will follow I am sure.  Then what?  

They have to fix what's wrong so everyone can have their fair share of buyers and money ... including them.

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 11 16:32:31 2014

How sad, once a business goes public, it's all down hill.

Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?   Is Etsy's Pending IPO Impacting Sellers Now?

by: Biglouis This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 11 18:00:15 2014

Anyone who makes Etsy (or any other Ecommerce site) their only income stream is on a hiding to nothing. The wise merchant has multiple income streams including not only other Ecommerce sites (including own website) but also realworld venues such as craft/antiques fairs, markets, B&M store etc. The old adage of ''never put all of your eggs in one basket'' was never so true in these precarious times. Rather than sitting on your duff and blaming Etsy diversify.

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