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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Today Etsy Rewrote the Dictionary ... Their New Definition of Handmade

NOTE:  Seriously, if my Etsy shop BonesNelson is closed when you look for it here it is because the Etsy gestapo got me.  They do that.  Seriously.  No warning, they just decide that you shouldn't be allowed free speech and they kill your livelihood and then never, ever respond to your inquiries ever again.  Stories abound on the web about it.  

MY MY MY - So That's what Handmade means to you, huh?

In case you missed it, Etsy had a Webcast today.  It was one of their so called Town Halls and at that Town Hall it was announced that they would no longer be sticking with either the dictionary's definition of "handmade" nor even the general public's understanding of it.

I watched the webcast (as much as I could stand of it) and here's a synopsis:
Blah blah blah horrible music unimaginative PowerPoint display lame joke cutesy photo walk down hipster memory lane audience grooming "there will be phone support.... for SERIOUS problems only (so don't get too excited) YADDA yadda "we are all about helping businesses grow" (and) transparency more grooming "How awful is it to go to the Post Office, right??" and then BAM...HANDMADE is redefined to mean having an idea and paying people in factories offshore to make the stuff and even ship it directly to the buyers!
A mini poop storm followed from the online community, which Etsy was monitoring.  So the panel went into damage control mode.  The talking points were as follows:
"OK, What I'm hearing is that you are afraid of competition. "
Quite honestly, there's no competition to fear - we as independent artists cannot compete at all when our listings are hidden in between thousands of product listings from factories.  We'll never get seen.  Ever tried to search for something on Etsy?  You can't narrow down your search, all you can do is go page by page hoping that something catches your eye.  Etsy has a secret formula for selecting which items show up in their Search Results (admitted today by their Chief Technical Officer Kellan somethingorother.)  It's secret, so there's nothing anyone without all day to spend on it can do to figure the method out of the madness.  (especially if you're busy CREATING and not just phoning an order into the factory)

So be warned.  if you want hand made or if you think you're going to be supporting a sole proprietor who works his or her buns off creating and trying like heck to live on the small deneiro that artists have contented themselves with, think again.  There's a good chance that what you're so tempted to purchase is listed by a big faker who is fronting for a factory in Guanzu province paying people pennies.  In fact, I'll tell you what Etsy is clearly aspiring to:  They seem to want to take AliExpress's market share.  Too much money going offshore to that operation for Etsy's liking.


Oh, and one more thing - I'm (this is somewhat shameful for me) already "indefinitely" muted from the forums.  I spoke too harshly when they refused to take seriously the fact that sellers were not being notified of sales that were being made.  !!!!  (I still think that's a REALLY serious bug in the system!)  My shop is still active but in the last week views and sales have dropped dramatically.  Not just for me, either.  Read here:  I started you out on page 152, but you can navigate using the page numbers at the bottom when you get there.  And that is by far NOT the only thread on the topic, just the biggest  So..
Anyway my point is that much to my chagrin and constant worry I might not be there too long.  If my shop out and out disappears you'll know that it was Etsy that removed it, not me.  And you will know also that it will be because I have once again spoken harshly of their practices.  

On the bright side, though:  Link to my very very new site here:  BonesNelson

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