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Sat Nov 15 2014 21:53:03

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from Social Media

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I have been an eBay seller for 13 years. I have been on Etsy for 5 years. I am beside myself over the direction each of these companies are taking in their ecommerce platforms.

Neither venue is working for me any longer. Sales are near zero at either site. 4 years ago I was making 8,000 dollars per month from both venues.

eBay's crushing seller policies, site glitches, broken search engine, broken checkout, CS calls with 3 hour wait times, hacks, have all created one mess of a site, and the attitude from eBay is "oh well" "move on if you have too".

Etsy has now changed their search, and there are currently 45 pages of upset customers in the forum wondering what is going on. Certain sellers are dominating page after page of search,....while others get left out entirely. The CS people say to SEO, and check your tags. I already did all that, and it was working great until a month ago.

Why is this happening? Why all this change...this seemingly ideological shift? Why can't eBay or Etsy just charge for a listing and show it to the world 24/7, for the time period we pay for? It really should be that simple.

Instead we are told to market in social media, and SEO our socks off to try to get exposure for items we pay a company to show to the world, but aren't.

So, what is this new ideology that is taking over ecommerce? Is it driven by huge $$ paid by Facebook, Pinterest, and other SM sites to these selling venues? Is it just stupidity from hiring CEOs that have no ecommerce experience whatsoever? Is it a subversive government plot to destroy small businesses in the world? Have aliens landed and are they attacking ecommerce first in their quest to take over the world?

I know the last scenario is laughable, but that is how little this makes any sense.....that the laughable begins to seem plausible.

I am dejected, defected, depressed, and dirt tired of all things eBay and Etsy.
Robert




Comments (15) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

This user has validated their user name. by: windsorbear

Sat Nov 15 23:01:41 2014

... the alien thing actually answers a lot of questions ...

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 15 23:56:56 2014

Greed

At least on SNADbays part - Im not Etsy - so I cant say.

JD is a money guy - thats his background. Read his resume - he has ZERO ecommerce experience (neither does Wenig and many others over at SNADbay).

What he does have is an insatiable appetite for money - especially other peoples money aka sellers.

JD realized that maybe you could make millions but certainly not BILLIONS if you left things along (generic, organic). BUT you could make BILLIONS if you manipulate the system.

So, JD changed every part of SNADbay - its now a fake or counterfeit of what it was in 2006.

Why let listings be shown all over when you can charge people for it and then substitute other listings as you see fit. ITs like getting paid 2x for the same thing. But imagine if you could do that times 10000000000. Imagine Maxys selling the same shirt 10,000x. Thats what SNADbay does with rolling listings.

As far as fees and such - you steal every bit you can - and then when you get to the point where there is no more - you do it again.

Why should SNADbay get the right to charge you FVF on shipping? what does it have to do with them?

Why should SNADbay have a say in your return policy? ARe they your partners? No they arent.

Why does SNADbay destroy sellers with VERO? (why bite the hand that feeds you?)

Why pay for Google exposure when they can get YOU to do it for them?

Why have the worlds WORST customer service, then set up all your rules to be "escalted" to those same people?

ALL of this happens because of whats known as the "shrink wrap license". Simply - it means that by logging in YOU AGREE To what ever they want, when ever they want - and can do what they want to whom ever they want - "because you gave them the ok to do it".

Theres no lawyer(s) brave enough to challenge it in court, and the politicians wont help either. Most of them get kick backs from SNADbay via donations to their campaigns so they look the other way.

Magazines? News papers? they are too busy with iPhone 6, Ebola, Obamacare and illegal aliens to care one bit about any sellers issue with VERO or returns.

Industry magazines like TWICE dont even cover SNADbay unless something MAJOR happens that somehow has anything to do with them in the electronics industry - like when they hired Noah Hershman.

It sucks on SNADbay because it can - and it benefits those in charge and their Cayman Island accounts. No more, no less.

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

by: Biglouis This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 16 06:26:46 2014

There is another side to the so-called ''clumping'' (uber-domination) issue on Etsy which has been highlighted by a bunch of vocal whiners.

Regardless of what Etsy does there will always be whiners in the forums.

The sellers who are ''clumping'' are, for the most part, sellers who have a large inventory of similar items who just happen to have worked hard on their SEO. For example crafters who work in a niche area or specialist vintage sellers. Therefore a search based upon relevancy happens to bring up a larger proportion of items from one or two sellers who have good SEO and many similar products. Hence so called “clumping”. The vocal whiners, when you examine their SEO, often have short titles, few tags and could try a lot harder before castigating those who have been successful.

A number of experienced Etsy sellers have begun threads pointing this out, and attempting to help the less experienced with SEO tips. But there is a substantial “I am not going to change anything – I will continue the way I have always done it” brigade who are sitting on their hands and waiting.

Etsy's answer to “clumping” has been to introduce a clumsy ''quota'' system which unfairly penalises sellers who have a large inventory of similar items and now limits each shop to one slot per page. The result of many searches is now that buyers are inundated with many non relevant and often poor quality items. Whereas the erstwhile successful niche sellers see the bulk of their good quality inventory languishing at the back of search.

Etsy has no limit on the amount of shops an individual can open. Many sellers with large inventory will now split it over 2/3/4 shops to get around the clumsy and inept quota system.

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 16 07:22:26 2014

And there's no remedy, it only gets worst, corporate profits will override all.

A Company that takes a percentage of a sale (ebay, etsy, type venues) will continue to struggle between trying to find balance between being a large scale retailer, or keeping their suppliers aka sellers customers happy, but deep down, this business concept is extremely flawed, as the company is really in competition with it's customers, promoting and trying to sell ONLY products that make the corporation the most money.

if you haven't figured it out already, this should seriously be your wake up call.......
   
Now is the time to re-align your business, and if your going to spend 1 penny or 1 minute, advertising your products, make sure your website is the one getting the exposure, all clicks, inquirers, and sales should go directly to your site.


eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Sun Nov 16 16:11:07 2014

Maxmad is right. If sellers have to work so damn hard to draw buyers to their items, the money spent should go towards their own website. Start now, if you haven't already, to build your own business away from all these greedy SOBs. Make a plan for 2015 to be YOUR business, YOUR time and YOUR money.

If sellers have to do their own SEO and spend additional time and money to do this, it only makes sense YOU should benefit. If ebay, etsy etc were paying sellers a percentage, wage or salary, it would be a different story, but sellers are virtually paying out their yhing-yhang and getting less and less in return. It is the white collar version of slave labor.

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

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

Mon Nov 17 03:03:37 2014

Etsy has ALWAYS had a fouled up search. Etsy will ALWAYS HAVE  a fouled up search.

It is what it is.

It's a given that the venues are going to try to get sellers to do the circuit of social media. If successful, the venue doesn't have t spend as much on advertising. Backlinks get created strengthening the SEO to the site. I never looked into who the money was behinf Ebay, but the Etsy board of VC's are also heavily invested in the Social Media sites

Caterina is behind Flickr
Fred Wilson has money in Twitter
Jim Breyer is involved with Facebook.
Another boardy came from Getty Pictures.

As supposed business owners why don't you guys know this?

Another problem with Etsy. at least, is that they do not always eradicate old coding when they add in one of their kangaroo style improvements, AND this has always been the NORM, too.

I saw a show once featuring Meg Whitman. The BEAUTY OF THE ONLINE SELLING VENUE IS:

THAT THE VENUE IS NOT BUYING THE INVENTORY. This is a HUGE savings.

It is in the venue's best interests to encourage forums, and why they will show superficial favoritism to certain sellers or groups. IT FEEDS THE SELLERS EGO.

My approach to this is to list, and run. I learned eons ago that wandering the social; media world produced next to nothing with regards to traffic. I stopped doing it.

I learned eons ago to look upon any paid employee, CEO's included, as being just that, AN EMPLOYEE, WITH AN EMPLOYEE MINDSET.

Unfortunately, most of the sellers wind up being classified as "employees", too.

AS BUSINESS OWNERS, WHY HAVEN'T YOU PUT IN THE NEEDED INDEPENDANT RESEARCH HOURS TO FIGURE OUT THE REAL LAY OF THE LAND?

WHY, AFTER ALL THE YEARS OF INVOLVEMENT WITH ANY OF THESE GIVEN SITES DO YOU STILL GO RUNNING INTO FORUMS EXPECTED TO MIRACULOUSLY GET REAL ANSWERS?

Another little snippet of reality is that America is still creeping along with a trashed economy. There are soooo many people NOT earning what they need to earn, and trying to figure out how to buy groceries, whose prices have been running nuts for years now. Housing and utilities are also priority spending, leaving less $$$ for the non essentials.

For those of you who DID do well for sustained periods of time, count your blessings. Most sellers wind up with losses.

From day one, I basicly viewed the venues as a crap shoot, or as a roulette wheel. It was always going to wind up being, "THE LUCK OF THE DRAW".

I list items on Etsy because they have good traffic rank. I think that I finally figured out something that I could list on Ebay that will be profitable. :) Eventually, I will get around to experimenting with it.

eCrater, and Bonanza, lay around with deactivated listings. Ruby lane was ruled out as not feasible money wise, as was ?TIA?, and Artfire, was dumped after BS that was encouraged in their forums.

Oh, and Social Media is also encouraged by the sites because they've got money in them too, so are trying to build up traffic rank for any and all of their holdings.

GOOD business owners would know these things.

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

by: VintageLady This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 17 09:57:31 2014

Etsy has had this policy implied for years and it was expected that Sellers promote their shops individually on social media.
A while back, in response to a complaint about visibility and lack of sales, Etsy responded with a ''survey'' which included a question about ''how many days do you spend every day promoting your Etsy shop on social media?'' And that was way over 1 year ago.
What is happening with these venues? Incompetent administrations, coupled with the good ol' greed.
Sellers are only stating and making public a real state of affairs (as much as possible, in spite of the heavy censorship on Etsy). This is NOT whining.  

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

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

Mon Nov 17 10:08:39 2014

Watching- great post, you bring up a lot of good facts; however, please don't blame the Etsy sellers for believing the lies and hype that have been told to us by the Etsy administration. These people are professional liars if you will, who have managed to make millions of dollars fooling people with their BS. Most of Etsy sellers are small potatoes and just looking for a place to sell our wares at a fair price.

When you sign up with Etsy, you are entering into a contract with obligations for both sides. The problem is that Etsy has not fulfilled its part of the bargain.

Many people will be shutting down their shops after the holiday debacle.

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Nov 17 10:47:00 2014

"So, what is this new ideology that is taking over ecommerce?"

CEOs that don't give a rat's backend about you or your business.  It's all about lining their own pockets.  They just want your money.

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

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

Mon Nov 17 12:14:01 2014

eBay charges a hefty premium to sell there... A small physical store does not cost more than 10% of your GROSS sales to operate... unless you're doing it wrong!

Those of us who pay to have a ''storefront'', are paying a premium on top of that.  WHY should we have to sink even more time & effort into promoting our sales there... what am I paying them thousands of dollars for, if not for exposure?

-Bill

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

by: samanthanmignon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 17 14:45:13 2014

Flying Childers:
I was just fixing to tell Watching what I thought about his post.

He made some good points , like you said, but he needs to get off his high horse about how other "good" sellers should know all of these things.

Etsy and Ebay are the ones that deserve any blame, not the sellers for not being up on all of their underhanded little tactics.


Watching...using all caps and chastising small sellers, only makes you look small.  

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

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

Mon Nov 17 19:10:32 2014

@samanthanmignon, For starters I am aware of the CAPS thing. Where exactly did you see  NOTHING BUT THIS IN MY POST?

I emphasized a few sentences, and apparaantly hit a nerve in you, since you found a need to snipe at me. Are you hoping that YOU could impact how I think, or feel?

Didn't work.

I am a small seller. I do not profess to being a business owner , or put on the ego driven airs that seems to run rampant in site forums.

:) BECAUSE REAL BUSINESS OWNERS DON'T GO CRYING THE BLUES. THEY DO SOMETHING, AND PART OF THAT INCLUDES knowing that venue forums are designed as yet another labor saving, and legal maneuver, of CYA for the given sites.

I was one of the acknowledged 700, back in, I believe, the spring of 2010, when Etsy had screwed up coding, then.

It has been their history to eventually wander into the threads and offer up whatever excuse they've chosen for a given foul up.  AND, only when those foul ups expand into the rest of cyberland.

Unfortunately Regretsy, Etsy B&^ch, and a few other of the let's out Etsy are no longer in print.

The bottom line problem with Etsy is that NONE OF THE PAID STAFF HAS THE BALLS TO SAY THE WORD NO TO THE BOARD.

It is the board that is calling the shots, and the staff then screws things up in their protect the paycheck, yes man approach to these people.

They are incapable of brilliance so opt for the baffle with bull, instead. They also like to utilize belittlements in their lame attacks, too.

''Sticks and stones, ...''

I believe it was brought up earlier in the response here. IF you re-read the TOU, the sellers essentially sign away their rights the second they click the agree button and sign off on the contract.

It is the responsibility to be aware of what you agree to. You can't put the BLAME on the site if you agreed to their antics, because you are now culpable, too.

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

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

Tue Nov 18 08:13:29 2014

In defense of the forums which I agree are mostly an addiction for some and a big waste of time, OCCASIONALLY you get some really excellent information from other sellers who have figure things out and share their knowledge. Often people will give a link to this blog although lately the Admins have been removing links to this publication as the comments are getting too close to home. I agree with Samantha- you shouldn't be so hard on the sellers! Except for the phony resellers, most people I know on Etsy are artisans or collectors looking for a cheap place to get found and sell their wares.

Etsy used to fill that bill, plus it was easy to navigate and the 20 cent fee was cheap. Like someone said, the SE has been broken for a long time and they are not able to fix it. They just don't have good tech people I guess- maybe they're too cheap to hire them.

In the real world, ETsy's breach of contract could be something that you could take to civil court, sue the b******s and probably win. I've seen many cases where people won a judgment who had a lot less wrongdoing than what Etsy does on a daily basis. Maybe there needs to be a class action suit to get the bad PR and maybe some attention. What Etsy is doing to their sellers is just plain wrong on so many levels. The ToU's are probably illegal on their face.

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 18 09:39:42 2014

@ watching.... For someone who doesn't put "on ego driven aires", that was quite a display of contempt for the very venues brought into question in the article. I do not understand someone who chastizes others for something he just so blatantly did himself.

eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S   eBay and Etsy Expect Sellers to Get Traffic from S

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 19 14:14:37 2014

Data collection and targeted shopping.

This has been allowed but it is NOT TO HELP THE BUYER- IT IS TO MANIPULATE THE BUYER.

Folks should be up in arms about it.

If you are looking for a bargain they will not show you cheaper stuff- they will use data from their sales history of YOU around the price points you have paid in the past, not CHEAPER stuff, but the same price points or slightly HIGHER.
AN EXAMPLE: Your cable companie will see the 3-4 shows you watch and will be able to create TIERS with your 3-4 favorite shows that will force you to increase your cable package to give you that 3rd show you like most- the packages will be manipulated around what you like to extract more $$ from you- that is what will be done with your data- it is not going to be used to HELP YOU, it is going to be used to extract more $$ from you.

Also, folks who are worried about that tax threshold for taxation are being brainwashed by ebay too- this is ALL EBAY PR and sellers appear to be swallowing it!

The 1 million dollar threshold WILL EFFECT BIG SELLERS and will SAVE small sellers if it passes.

Please see this as the truth that it is folks, the howler has never led you astray and I am in it for all of us.

MH



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