EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
Your emails to EcommerceBytes
For consideration, send your email to ina@auctionbytes.com with "Letters to the Editor Blog" in the subject line! Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear in the blog.
Thu Oct 17 2019 17:02:46

Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy Ads

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina,
The email is regarding a blog that you wrote about, "Etsy Adds New Features to Its Seller Ad Program." I happy to see that someone is paying attention out there to the Etsy world. 

In the past, we as sellers used to have the ability to set our cost per click and know what we were paying; this allowed us to live within our budget. At this point, we do not know what we are spending per click, we can not set our budget per item, and we do know where the real budget is going.  

I can not speak for the others in my group, but for myself, Esty is taking 50% of the overall cost of the item in just advertising. One of the others in my group is spending $1700 a week in advertising only to make $4100. My sales have gone down 61%, but the so-called traffic click is high. 

I currently do not know if I'm paying .20 for a click or $4 a click this data has been taken from me. This leaves me unable to monitor my budget of if that click is really worth what I'm selling items for.

We are starting to monitor the data that we have currently available. The old way was we were able to set the price-per-click it was also a way to help keep Etsy honest.
Signed,
Anonymous

Note from the editor: this is an excerpt of the letter, as the reader was concerned about anonymity.



Comments (19) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 17 18:13:56 2019

Our advertising cost has nearly tripled and our clicks are down 50%, and the revenue supposedly generated by ads has cratered by 50% as well.

I also have noted that although supposedly Etsy places our ads on Google for a fee, all the ads Google shows drive traffic directly to the Etsy home page, not my shop.

Once on Etsy listings are shown based on Etsy's search algorithm - this Google 'ad spend' doesn't benefit me in any way.

I'm unable to decide how much to pay for an ad any longer - they do that for me without my consent.

I used to commonly see that Etsy's 'recommended bid' per click for an ad exceeded the total cost of the item, and I have no way to know if that's their approach now.

I've had to completely remove most of my listings from this program which is extremely difficult, you can only to it one listing at a time, and they don't sort according to price or age of listing, which means a listing has to be 'tagged' with an ID code in the title then manually searched and removed on by one. With 1500 listings this took over a week.

Also, the words 'Maximum Budget' is meaningless - they've exceeded my daily limit by 2-3X repeatedly.

I've had to almost entirely shut down my ad program. It's a huge cost with absolutely no benefit whatsoever.



Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 17 20:31:57 2019

OMG, what on earth are you doing paying etsy,,,,,,use the money to promote your own website, Google ad words have extremely detailed stats, full control of every cent, right down to targeting a single street,

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 17 21:22:00 2019

I'd have to say it's obvious you haven't really priced the cost of Google ad clicks any time recently.  

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

by: sellerchick This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 18 00:36:42 2019

I'm so glad someone wrote about this. I have been so frustrated and didn't even know where to start. I quit paying for all paid advertisement on Etsy a month ago because it was an outrageous waste of money. CPC of $2 on a $15 item in their "google ads" section.  And Etsy ads were a waste of money as well.  I actually started making more sales once I stopped paying for advertising and promotion. I wonder if the same issue that we had with Ebay promoted listings being hindered by ad-blockers is also affecting paid Etsy ads?

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 18 05:06:12 2019

Yes, Google Word Ad's can be Very costly, if you give them a blank check, and wildly target your Ad's, but there are tons of settings to target your Ad's to pinpoint your customers, EXACTLY,

I can only assume etsy is making money, on these Google word Ad's so etsy would and appears to be hiding the settings and the stats, to maximize profit for etsy,

As mentioned you would have to have a screw loose or really naive to pay etsy for this, without any real proof or control of where your money is going, plus the fact that you are really just promoting etsy itself, and other etsy sellers with your money,

You can't fix stupid sellers, and theirs a lot of stupid at etsy.

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

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

Fri Oct 18 17:16:08 2019

CPC (cost per click) is a TOTAL SCAM people !
They laugh behind your back that you fall for it.
It was invented strictly as another money grab.
Now, STOP PAYING for this nonsense.
You're making fools of yourselves....

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

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

Fri Oct 18 18:25:50 2019

Yes to everything that has been said.  The new ads are worse than useless- it's a total con game.  Here's a great article from a blog post that really explains the rip off:

https://www.merchlifestyle.com/blog/etsy-ads-10-reasons-wh
y-im-slashing-my-etsy-ad-spend-and-you-should-too/

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 18 19:55:08 2019

@Flying Childers

yes, very interesting article,,,, wow the etsy ad scam is even worst then I thought,

they truly have transformed into a despicable company , not to be trusted ,

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

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

Fri Oct 18 20:44:38 2019

max mad- I always enjoy your comments and am glad you read the article.  It really blew me away.  Josh and the rest of the crooks that run Etsy are the biggest hypocrites in the world.  
They pretend like they are the biggest social justice warriors, fighting for the downtrodden artisans yet they are no better than the thugs who mug little old ladies.
Another thing- why is there ZERO consumer protection for the SELLERS on Etsy and Ebay??   Why is it that these THIEVES can get away with ripping us off like this for MILLIONS OF DOLLARS??
We pay taxes too, yet we get nothing for it.  Year after year the thugs and crooks can steal our money and destroy our small businesses with impunity.  They are so well connected that they never get punished.

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

by: ssweet This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 20 11:26:31 2019

What etsy has done is reduced their advertising spending on google and handed that cost over to the sellers, despite and after raising transaction fees, as well as taking transaction fees out of the shipping charges. Etsy knew sellers would be unhappy about forcing them to pay for google ads and they did it anyway. Now the paid ads aren't working and they are costing more - once again this move was made to make Etsy look good to investors. It has hurt sellers. Every quarter Josh Silverman finds a way to take a little bit more of etsy's "fair share" from sellers. Remember when he spoke of his fondness for the handmade - said his aunt was a crafter? I wonder if he's taken from his aunt the way he's taking from sellers. Etsy is becoming unfeasible. A seller can't afford to be there unless they can mass produce cheap crap, or unless they are from another country. At some point this will all backfire. You can't bleed a turnip. An investor would be smart to take their money elsewhere.

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

by: ssweet This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 20 11:29:14 2019

"They pretend like they are the biggest social justice warriors, fighting for the downtrodden artisans yet they are no better than the thugs who mug little old ladies."
Exactly. Their commercials depict diversity and the human aspect of commerce. It's exploitation. The only ones being served by Etsy are Etsy and the investors. The makers and sellers have been reduced to commodities.

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

by: Marisa This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 21 00:35:54 2019

This is the worst change Etsy has made in all my years selling here.  Promoted listings worked well for me, but the new 'Etsy Ads' is a complete fiasco.  I think the nest couple quarters will look artificially inflated because Etsy has bilked extra money out of sellers still testing Etsy Ads out, but a good portion of sellers have already turned them off, or have decided to seriously reduce their advertising budget.  It no longer makes sense to trust Etsy for anything involving finances.  Sellers are better off advertising off-Etsy or, better yet, spending that money to direct traffic to their own sites now.  Etsy used to be a great place to sell.  Now when I picture corporate Etsy, I just imagine a bunch of clowns pushing buttons to see what happens.  

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

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

Mon Oct 21 01:03:49 2019

Etsy does not care if you lose money as long as you keep giving them money for nothing, they are not going to complain. It is sellers like you and your friend that have upset the profit line for everyone else. Now  it has finally trickled up, and is eating your profits too. Find another place to sell, and leave Etsy to go down the rabbit hole with the other venues that have crippled their search engines..  

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

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

Mon Oct 21 05:41:01 2019

Tiffee- that’s exactly right.  Etsy has disabled its search engine.  They figured out a way to show our listings as little as possible to the fewest number of people while they make the maximum amount of money.

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

This user has validated their user name. by: MainelyVintage

Mon Oct 21 12:10:40 2019

What I can see is how much I have spent on advertising for each item. That information compelled me to cease advertising my lower-priced listings.

Trying to improve ROI but I'm still not sure how this will shake out for my shop.

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

This user has validated their user name. by: MainelyVintage

Mon Oct 21 12:14:49 2019

I'll add that there is no way to filter your listings with the new Etsy Advertising.

I did find their feedback form on my unfruitful search for an easy way to find my lower-priced items blended in among 600+ items.

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Mon Oct 21 13:51:56 2019

I've definitely seen a drop since they changed promotions.
"Your traffic from Etsy search decreased 34.5%" Now why would that be? Starting to feel a bit eBayish. They need to take a long hard look at where they are going because from what I see, they're going down.

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 21 14:35:21 2019

Etsy is not 'going down' - at least right now - they're making money by the buckets and are Wall Street's darlings. Their methods stink, but that doesn't concern them, because we sellers are all replaceable.  

Perminate Link for Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A   Seller in the Dark about Performance of New Etsy A

by: WhatsUp2656 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Oct 29 09:00:16 2019

In my observation I see where sellers on the forum talk about they would pay $0.02 to maybe $0.25 per click. I’m sure that caused Etsy to try something new.

On a weekend, I would put up $20-$30 per day and put my click costs at $0.30-$0.50 and it paid off very well. I have to wonder if their investment into Google Ads has totally backfired on Etsy and would hate to think this is all intentional to rob the sellers.

It takes me back to the days of eBay when they started with promoted listings. This is awful to say and hard to even speak it, but this change has made eBay look like a walk in the park in comparison to what is going on with Etsy. I must wonder if it is intentional for Josh to get the numbers up that he promised in his last quarter. IF they are prevailing, then I think we know it is intentional. It makes no sense that some sellers who report on the forums that they normally would spend up to $4,000 a month with now no return. Perhaps the plan is to put the top sellers selling the most are doing well and the most valuable products. I guess tomorrow will tell us more of what is going on. If it is highway robbery, I would expect a lot of sellers will be leaving fairly quick.  



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.