My Last Week on Etsy
I'm certain most people who sell their wares online hit speed bumps the size of a Buick. Well, I hope most do, because if I'm the only one who ever had a week like last week, then I'm in BIG trouble. :)
The Worst Week on Etsy Ever began on Monday when I found an exact replica of my shop had sprung up over the weekend. The name, the text, the format and the business model had all been meticulously ganked by another Etsy seller. The horrid copy/paste job of my shop text was so obvious, I had to laugh. I wrote it - I know when someone pastes it and changes just enough to pass Etsy "rules".
Cuss. Move on. Can't do anything about it.
Within a few days, I learned all about a friend and her brick wall car crash with a Chinese factory reseller. Dr. Brassy had discovered her trademarked jewelry was being reproduced on, you guessed it, Etsy. Her complaint led Etsy to force the counterfeiter to remove the trademark name, but not the jewelry. You can read all about Dr. Brassy's head exploding here on her blog.
Cuss. Growl. Spit. Move on.
And then I read the Etsy thread heard around the world - you may know the one. The thread in which Etsy flippantly announces major changes to their feedback system. Here it is, if you'd like to peruse before continuing with my personal rant on the subject. It is 10k comments strong, so settle in for long one if you dare. :)
My first impression was dumbfounded shock. Once I stopped blinking, picked my chin off the keyboard and came back to reality, I realized one very important thing - I can't let these people dictate how my art is sold for one more minute.
Cuss. Growl. Spit. Scream! NOT ANOTHER MINUTE!
Their new review system was either not well planned, or it was and Etsy has something against small time sellers all of a sudden. I have theories on both, but I'd rather see how it all plays out before hyper-bashing the platform that helped me get started. I do know the Chinese reseller issue is the big fat thorn in Etsy's side that few talk about and even fewer know about. For this reason, I'm very uncertain where Etsy is heading right now. This change in their review system made me feel even more so. Uncomfortable, even. I don't feel welcome there.
The system opens huge holes for mistakes, internet buying scams and feedback extortion. A small-time seller on Etsy who may not receive a lot of feedback is a sitting duck for dishonest buyers to purchase their wares with no intention of ever being satisfied or even paying for the product. By taking away a seller's right to rate a buyer, they've sewn our mouths shut. No public defense, no standing up for your side of the story - no voice. I have a big voice. I like my voice. :)
The possible, eventual loss of product, time and reputation is what sent me running. Placing the future of my work in the hands of anyone other than myself and my honest customers was unacceptable. A large scam order could sink me for months as I depend on orders for supplies for future product. I couldn't afford even one transaction gone bad, if that makes a bit of sense.
I don't care about stars. I care about customers. I do have a great rating over on Etsy as of this writing, but it doesn't matter to me. What matters is that I am still here, for all of you, my darklings, my regulars, my friends and future customers. Only I can control that fate, and I think I have by moving to my own secure selling platform here on IndieMade.
My greatest wish is that all of you stick with me, provide me with input on the changes and help this odd little greeting card shop thrive, far away from the corporate madness. I thank each and every one of you for being here during this new journey for Immortal Visions.
Love and Craft,