Sellers Growing Increasingly Unhappy With Lack Of Professionalism At Etsy

Etsy.com calls itself “your place to buy and sell things handmade” and is a pretty cool website that we personally enjoy. The sellers who use the site, however, are getting all riled up after several stores were shut down without notice due to simple, easily-resolved complaints from buyers.

Reader Elizabeth writes:

Over at Etsy.com, there have recently been a rash of insanely unprofessional events, most importantly, the closing of several stores without notice and for no reason given, but clearly violating Etsy’s own written standards about the very stringent requirements in place before such a drastic thing should happen

She pointed us to a thread where Etsy store closures were being discussed. One seller with 15,000 positive feedback comments was banned after a single complaint:

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am trying to find out why my shop is gone. I have tried to contact Etsy about it and they sent me an abuse report from a customer who says they never received their order. Funny thing is I can’t find any record of the order in my PayPal account. So it appears they may have shut me down over an order that was never paid for. To all of my loyal customers I will continue to get all of your orders out from the invoices in my PayPal account until I can get this resolved. I am in shock that Etsy would shut me down considering I have almost 15,000 positive feedback. It appears there has been a BIG misunderstanding. I have sent several more emails to Etsy and have not received any response. Please be patient…I am still around!

The sellers are eventually able to get their accounts reinstated, but not without possibly being reported to the FBI’s cybercrime’s division:

A seller DID complain about me – a week & a half after the purchase date for not receiving their parcel, & I’m in Australia & he’s in the US! Instead of referring the buyer to me, giving me the benefit of the doubt or explaining on my behalf that assuming non-delivery was premature, Etsy banned me & issued the buyer with an FBI cyber-crime form to complain about me!

Forwarding routine complaints (or threatening to forward them) to the FBI seems to be a theme at Etsy:

This actually happened to me around Christmas time. I had a customer request a Custom Order & then Subsequently change her mind. I refunded her payment & never marked the item as shipped. About 2 months later I got an email from Etsy saying I did not ship an item and the Customer was furnished with the FBI Cyber Crime thing & my account would be suspended if I did not respond. I responded to the email explaining that she changed her mind & the Payment was refunded. About 2 days later I got the same email & responded agian explaining what happened. I even contacted the buyer (nicely – & asked if she was unhappy in any way with the way the transaction had been concluded & to doublecheck that she had received her refund).She said she had received her refund promptly & was very satisfied since it was she who had backed out of the transaction. She said she had not reported the transaction to Etsy in any way. In fact, she had left me Pos. feedback previously.

We can appreciate that Etsy wants to remain vigilant about fraud (obviously), but not every consumer complaint is “fraud.” Telling consumers to forward basic complaints about refunds and slow shipping to the FBI is inappropriate and a waste of the FBI’s time. Billing errors happen. Things get lost in the mail. If every customer service snafu warranted closing down the business, people would be asking “Verizon? What’s that?”

We wish Etsy and its sellers the best of luck sorting this out.

More shop closures – including a Top Seller [Unofficial Etsy News]
Two Seller Accounts Deleted Under Strange Circumstances [Unofficial Etsy News]
Unwarranted Accidental Shop Suspensions [Unofficial Etsy News]
Another Case Of An Erroneous Shop Suspension [Unofficial Etsy News]

Comments

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  1. consumersaur says:

    Would hate to see Etsy go the way of eBay.

  2. Bay State Darren says:

    Etsy

    Gesundheit!

  3. wesa says:

    Some of the problems could be avoided by the customer directly resolving the issue with the buyer, but the last story doesn’t fit that criteria. Sad. I just opened an Etsy store recently and this news doesn’t look good.

  4. shadow735 says:

    wow this is bad news for me and etsy considering I was thinking of opening a store with them.

  5. JeffMc says:

    Where do we get one of these FBI cyber crimes forms? Seems to me that if something taking a week and a half to travel from Australia to the US warrants one then next time Comcast messes up someone’s online billing then that would warrant one too.

  6. Bay State Darren says:

    If the person here really didn’t do anything wrong, this whole reporting to the FBI strategy could really backfire. IANAL, but if it didn’t show up in the PayPal account records, but you still sent them the refund and/or product and the other person’s filing a seemingly false report with the FBI, that would hopefully get them in trouble.

  7. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Uh-huh. Etsy is keen on creating their own competition, eh?

  8. alerievay says:

    I find this really odd, since my experience as a buyer has been the opposite. I filed a complaint after a seller failed to ship an item for about 3 weeks and lied to me about it. I subsequently resolved the situation by filing a Paypal dispute, but it took Etsy about 6 weeks to get back to me.

    Overall, I’ve had great experiences at Etsy, but the site management apparently has not kept up with the site’s growth.

  9. queenbead says:

    some of the fraud issues could be dealt with if they stood by their venue status and left all monetary disputes to be settled by paypal. Paypal, while not perfect, at least has an impartial and clearly documented dispute resolution system. This wouldn’t work for check/mo transactions, but I imagine those are the exception rather than the rule.

  10. BomaBoma says:

    You will find inconsistency and emotional reactiveness at the core of Etsy’s staff. They value creativity and being indie over knowing how to handle customers. While there are some truly great admin with level heads, the new and current forum moderator, has been muting people left and right while she, herself gets to make snarky and sarcastic remarks to the sellers. When she uses false logic to make an argument, she mutes the people who call her out on her “misinformation”. They’ve outright called sellers who have been banned through their own horrid research skills liars and are creating a fascist state where those who want the betterment of Etsy, but aren’t all buddy buddy with Admin, are now scared of posting any ideas and where many go incognito on other sites for fear of repercussions on Etsy.

    All in all, Etsy is ripe for a report from the AG, and for other agencies to step in. How they secured a $27 million collar investor is beyond me. Or they clearly aren’t watching how Etsy’s front line is handling the recurring revenue (customers). Maybe shaking the investors tree will result in the badly needed house cleaning that Etsy needs within its own walls.

  11. friendlynerd says:

    Ebay and now Etsy too…these companies need to realize that without people selling things, they don’t exist. Making it a free-for-all for scammy buyers out there is going to put them both under.

  12. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I’d never heard of Etsy before.

    OOOOOH! Look at the pretty, pretty yarn! WANT!

    They have to fix this. They have to fix this so I can buy pretty yarn (when I actually have the money).

  13. ancientsociety says:

    Wow, this is bad news. My wife and I both enjoy Etsy a lot, as buyers. Sounds like they’re starting to work verbatim from Ebay’s “rulebook”. Please keep us posted…

  14. yesteryear says:

    i think this is etsy’s way of getting around having to actually hire someone to manage this stuff. too bad – it’s an awesome site.

  15. BomaBoma says:

    Let’s not forget that Etsy calls these people liars, even though they are proven to be telling the truth.

  16. number13 says:

    i have a small shop on etsy, and it freaks me out that they’re closing up shops for simple misunderstandings. but at the same time, they still allow people to open shops that do not sell handmade goods. the best is this dude that is selling commercially-made mousepads with bmw logos on them – definitely not handmade!

  17. Melsky says:

    I’ve been selling my paintings at Etsy for a few years and been pretty happy with them. I have also seen them listen to complaints from their sellers on Etsy’s message boards about things and change their policies accordingly, and I really hope they will change the way they have been dealing with this.

    I would be really upset if this happened to me as a seller. I spend a lot of time and energy promoting my Etsy store.

    On the whole though, I think they are a good company. I wonder if it’s one overzealous person doing this.

  18. Melsky says:

    @number13:

    Yeah, the obviously not handmade stuff really bugs me too. I think getting rid of that should be one of their highest priorities.

  19. MissPeacock says:

    @number13: Me too, Number13. It’s amazing how much non-handmade/commercial stuff is on there, excluding the vintage and supplies that are allowed. They definitely need to hire more people…especially since they got that 27 million dollar cash infusion.

  20. smokeyjoe says:

    The fear of having one’s shop closed at Etsy for no good reason, or of being muted or banned from the forums for criticizing Admin is very, very real. The current change in forum “leadership” has had a chilling effect on many of the most intelligent and committed Etsy sellers, who find their concerns increasingly blown off in a juvenile way.

    I’ve been a seller on Etsy for over a year, so I’ve been around long enough to remember when things were different, the atmosphere was more friendly and everyone pulled together. Etsy has created the current “us v. them” feeling, and must take responsibility for the situation they’ve created through their lack of professionalism and basic business and customer service skills.

    Such a shame — this should have been a great, great site, and I’m really sad to see what it’s become.

  21. Eilonwynn says:

    It’s been awhile since I looked at etsy, but what I took away from it was that etsy was TELLING the buyer how to contact the FBI cybercrime thing – not contacting them themselves…. I could be wrong, though.

  22. gnomey says:

    This info comes as a surprise to me and I have to wonder if it is really true. I have had a shop on Etsy.com for over 2 years now and have never once had or heard of an issue like this. All of my dealings with support have been professional and I sort of like the hip vibe of people that run it. Etsy has been a great way for me to do what I want with my life. Every site has it’s issues, but overall I’m sticking with Etsy on this one.

  23. brepettis says:

    We’re actually very friendly people here at Etsy who work hard to maintain a site that gives people who make things a chance to support themselves by making things. Most of the info in this article is from a one grumpy person. I sit near the support people and it’s actually really really really hard to get banned from Etsy for being a grumpy person because we actually value constructive criticism and feedback. We’ve made over a dozen changes that have been suggested by users this month. Most of the people we ban are for non-delivery and that’s to protect buyers from deadbeat sellers. Etsy is something really special and it’s a bummer that a grumpy person can be such a public hater.

  24. chiieddy says:

    This is such a shame. I got a vintage Victorian purse for my wedding through Etsy and have had wonderful experiences with the sellers there. The seller had forgotten to send the purse, and I sent a simple inquiry asking what the status was with plenty of time left before it was needed. She was mortified and refunded more than 90% of the cost of the order. It was so unnecessary! I would hate for the site to become full of hoops for the people and artists trying to sell their works.

  25. purplepapaya says:

    I think most people have wonderful experiences on Etsy. When it works, it’s great! I love the attractive website, fun shopping tools, creative sellers, varying price points, you name it. As long as you don’t get into a dispute with a buyer or seller, and as long as you don’t need to personally contact a staff member, you’re fine.

    But unfortunately when things go wrong, they go very wrong. That’s been the case on a few issues lately. I’ve seen too many people that I respect receive less than desirable treatment by Etsy staff, so I no longer shop there.

    I too wish things could go back to the way they were 1+ year go. If things ever turn around, I’ll be back in a heartbeat!

  26. BomaBoma says:

    gnomey, it is true. These are real sellers, posting their very real stories. Not only about being brick walled but about being muted with really no reason. Im sorry that you’ve not followed along in the UEN or in the forums enough to know that this does happen.

  27. astrocette says:

    As a seller on Etsy, I can tell you that these reports are all too true. Any attempts to talk about it in their forums among other sellers are closed by administration due to “privacy concerns.” Even the thread started about this exact article has had two administrators threaten to close it for “misinformation” but the correct information is not provided.

    The first rule about Etsy club is that you do not talk about Etsy club.

  28. bohemian says:

    Please tell me etsy isn’t going to turn into ebay. I listed a few art items on etsy assuming it was more focused on the art and less fraught with frustrating scammy buyers and weird arbitrary practices.

    So now it is a total roll of the dice if you get an impatient or tweaky buyer like the one who freaked when something was shipped to Australia. Then you might be defending yourself against the FBI?

  29. anatak says:

    @consumersaur: Funny you mention that. There is quite a bit of uneasiness around Etsy shop owners due to the recent ebay fallout. A lot of ebay power sellers are moving to Etsy, unfortunately, they may be bringing some crummy buyers with them as well.

  30. elizabeth_m says:

    Feedback from one of the stores closed without any notification:

    cached on Feb 19, 2008
    Positive: 13,959
    Neutral: 29
    Negative: 3

    They were the 3rd top seller last month.

    Although they received an email about their shop being closed, they never received any emails prior to that, warning of violation of rules, or potential shop closure. How is it possible to get the “hammer” but never the other emails Etsy says it sent?

    This is part of the process Etsy claims to follow:

    “*Please note that an account suspension only happens when we have not heard from the person in an 80 day period. There are many out-going emails to prevent suspension from happening. Sometimes if a person doesn’t check emails, suspension can happen, but we can fix that right away!”

    [www.etsy.com]

    This is a seller with thousands of positive transactions, involving emails and Etsy convos every day. But somehow, official critical Etsy emails didn’t get through?

    Preposterous.

  31. elizabeth_m says:

    Here’s a marvelous example of Etsy first taking offense at someone’s comment, and eventually moving to accusing them of being a sockpuppet of some kind. The behaviour is simply bizarre. Etsy has so much going for it, in theory. The vision is marvelous. But the execution… so unprofessional, it’s boggling.

    [quote below]

    [etsynews.com]

    Here are the emails Kelly received from Etsy. I’m not worried about being shut down since I am not active on Etsy anymore and Kelly isn’t too concerned about being shut down at this point, so she gave me permission to share them.

    Here was her repsonse after she received her first email about being muted:

    While I completely understand your rules of not harrassing or personal attacks on members and admin, I’m not sure how I attacked anyone.

    My comment was about Daniellexo’s explanation of site policy. It’s laughable at best because it makes no sense at all. Your sellers want site policies clearly stated so they are not unfairly banned, muted, or brick walled. Do you really want this new admin running around the forum saying things like, ” Well we don’t really have a set policy so just do what you think is best until we decide if it is wrong or not” .

    If you don’t read the UEN, check it out to see just how many people are uncomfortable with this new forum admin. It’s quite clear from the forums that people are not happy with this new change.

    Etsy’s response:

    This is not up for discussion

    Her response to that:

    My concern is that, if people do not know exactly what they need to do in order to follow the rules and if admin are not on the same page when it comes to site policy, there are going to be sellers afraid of making one mistep and finding their store closed or their shop muted. How can sellers know what to do if site policies are not clearly stated?

    It’s a legitimate question and one that sellers have been asking for many months now.
    26 February 2008 11:15am EDT

    Etsy’s response:

    This last convo is a perfect example of how you should bring up your constructive criticism of Etsy in the forums.

    Thank you for your feedback in a respectful tone.

    It is the communities job to explain the policy as they are in place now – there is no need to attack them when they are trying to make the policies as they are as clear to those interested.

    We are always interested in what is concerning our members. The community goes to great lengths to document the ideas, criticisms, issues that are brought up in the forums.

    Here is our official policy on this matter:
    Etsy reserves the right to modify or terminate the Etsy service for any reason, without notice at any time.
    Which can be found in the TOU.

    26 February 2008 11:24am EDT

    Her response:

    Well just to make things clear, I am still unsure as to how I attacked this admin. If you go back and read exactly what I wrote in the thread you mentioned, you can see that my comment was not about Daniel but about her odd analogy. She seems to make these type of comments often that make sellers more confused about site policy. People wanted answers in that thread that would clearly state site policy and all they got from her was as I stated ” a bungled courtroom analogy”. It made no sense to the questions people were asking. People STILL do not know what the right thing to do is.

    I guess I just think this particular admin either needs to be clued in on correct site policy or you need to bring someone like Stella back who was professional in her manner and the way she responded to people in the forums. If she didn’t know and answer to something, she certainly wouldn’t just spout anything to bide her time.

    Daniellexo has made a plethora of rude, flippant and condecending remarks to many forum members and locks threads willy nilly. People are now saving them by making screenshots to prove that this admin is breaking the Etsy etiquette rule, not only in the forums, but through convos and emails.
    26 February 2008 11:35am EDT

    Etsy’s response:

    In addition, I’ve just looked at your account. You have no sales, no purchases. I’m wondering why you are here and so interested in our policies? Do you have other accounts you are not disclosing? If there is another reason I’m open to discuss it. If not its possible that this account can be considered a “sock puppet” and in that case we will have to delete it. I of course wanted to bring this to your attention first.
    26 February 2008 11:36am EDT

    She replied them telling them she was not a sock puppet, but a buyer and they have not respsonded.

  32. NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader says:

    Reader “Elizabeth” could be one of several people who were banned from using the Etsy forums. Sure there have been mistakes made along the way. Sure some situations could have been handled better, but I could apply that to any successful, young, up and coming business. The vast majority of sellers and buyers there are happy with Etsy, the proof is in the numbers. To make it sound like shops being closed for no reason is rampant and malicious is misleading at best. Those who are saying they are in fear of it happening to them may as well be in fear of being hit by lightning too.

  33. UpsetPanda says:

    Yikes. I was thinking of opening a shop, turning my painting hobby into something I could make some money from. Maybe not now then.

  34. brettt says:

    Open your own website, or sell on craigslist.

    Sellers have no legal rights on online auction or sales sites.

    Paypal is a bank that does not have to follow government rules. eBay is a tax fraud whorehouse. etsy sounds like ebay’s granola-eating sister, who smoked a little too much ganja, got paranoid, and grabbed a ton of FBI forms.

  35. The Cranky One says:

    In this case, as a seller myself with over 160+ sales, I think the members of Etsy are fine and Etsy itself is clueless and corrupt.

    I’ve actually NOT spoken out about my increasing frustrations on my OWN personal blog, one is not related to crafting, for fear of being “brick walled” because of it. No other site I pay money to has ever given me the sheer animosity I see doled out from those in charge. Esty at time seems to act vindictively (I’m using a pseudonym btw for the same reason) against those who seem to care the most about it.

    I’ve gotten confirmation of a seller blacklist, the one that Etsy said didn’t exist. I’m betting on I’m on it at least now as I was even muted today for participating in a critical thread last night.

    What I said wasn’t even all that bad. I have a recently established a store on Dawanda as well just so if Etsy shuts me down I’ll have a place to sell. And if they do, I’ll be happy to tell everyone around that they are to be avoided. I’ve brought them some decent money and many new sellers. I will stop promoting them, they don’t like their own members and the buyers are almost red headed step children despite making Etsy the money to begin with.

    Our biggest gripe on this issue is that they refuse to give any in writing policy for anything, because they could be used against them later, or require them to act in a set manner they may not want to subscribe to. It makes me think one of the main cats in charge has lawyers for parents who told them never put it in writing so you can’t be called on it.

    Etsy just got an investment of 27MIL. I hope the investor sees this will come demanding answers, requiring them grow up and act like entrepreneurial adults and stop running Etsy like a hippy commune with fascist tendencies.

    I’m honestly expecting a lawsuit soon from some of these ousted sellers. And rightly so, Etsy deserves to be sued for these reckless bad calls unless they can reign it in and act like a business serving customers instead of their own egos.

  36. modmoxie says:

    It’s a shame to see a handful of negative incidents soil Etsy’s good name. I’ve been a seller on Etsy for the better part of a year and have never had any problems. This is certainy the first I’ve heard of any FBI involvement! I’m sure the issues they’re having can be attributed to growing pains and will be worked out very soon. After all, Etsy is still a very young company. And there aren’t too many problems that $27 mil can’t cure!

  37. rosebud says:

    update on that seller with 15,000 positive feedback (100% positive) who was suspended over one “non-delivery”, it turns out the buyer had not even paid for the item. The buyer had trouble with the payment process, contacted Etsy for help, and Etsy’s response was to close the seller’s account. They did not reopen it for 3 days and did not apologize to the seller.

    Another seller with 100% positive feedback had their store suspended when they filed a dispute for non-delivery, they were the buyer in the transaction. Etsy got the two parties mixed up and accidentally suspended the buyer. They reopened her store but have muted her from the Etsy forums so she cannot promote her store, and have not apologized.

    These “mistakes” happen more often than Etsy will admit, the sellers reputations are irreparably damaged and Etsy never apologizes to the wrongly suspended users or makes restitution for lost sales. To rub salt in the wounds, Etsy makes public statements implying that the sellers who do tell their experiences (outside of Etsy) are lying.
    This goes beyond mere unprofessionalism, this verges on malicious defamation.

  38. smokeyjoe says:

    If you do decide to sell via Etsy, I strongly suggest that you register your own domain name, and have it set to forward to your Etsy shop. Publicize your own domain name, not Etsy’s. That way if Etsy yanks your store out from under you, at least you don’t lose everything — you can start again and it will be easier for your customers to find you.

  39. mandyF says:

    Unfortunately the ‘community’ at Etsy is living in fear. Intelligent discussion is being stifled (and has been so in the past) by random, deeply personal and reactive acts of muting and banning.

    Sellers wanting to air discussion or criticism of Etsy are forced off site, and what’s more, this offsite discussion is frequently done anonymously to avoid repercussions. This latter is not the paranoid act of a bunch of professional whingebags – the founder of Etsy has gone as far as to state publicly that offsite activity is used in judging an individual’s suitability for inclusion in the Etsy community (listen to Etsy’s Policy section here [www.etsy.com] )!

    This chilling revelation heralded a new chapter in the community by those who chose to listen critically. Etsy’s claim of wanting to assist artists live from their handcrafting is ringing hollow these days, and sadly has been an empty promise for almost a year now.

  40. pigeonpenelope says:

    i really like etsy. i hope no more issues show up like this. the one thing about that fbi cyber crime thing is that it can reverse. if they find the customer committed fraud, it will bite her in return.

  41. mandyF says:

    Smokeyjoe has the right advice for potential and existing sellers re: register your own domain and use it in your promotional business materials – you will feel a lot less vulnerable on Etsy that way.

  42. Joy L. says:

    They banned me… because I owed them a dollar. Well, $1.08, technically. Can’t argue though–I *did* owe them a dollar.

  43. Melsky says:

    Etsy talks about the problem here:
    [www.etsy.com]

    That’s a good idea about having a domain that just points at an etsy store. I wouldn’t want to just sell on my site because I’ve started selling more stuff to people who just found me on etsy, instead of people I send to etsy.

  44. evilbizatch says:

    All of this is true. I’ve been purchasing and watching Etsy for quite some time and the lack of professionalism exhibited by their staff is appalling at best. Sadly regardless of the problems people have with Ebay at least with Ebay they have spelled out policies that they adhere to and don’t just run rampant posting on forums and gluing items to fanny packs.

    Ironically it’s always great sellers that are “brickwalled” unexpectedly and not given any apology for the mistake on Etsy’s part while the real scam artists are still in business. I along with approx. 20 other buyers contacted Etsy for non delivery of items. It took Etsy 7 weeks, yes you read that right seven, weeks to even respond to my report. Guess what? That seller is still there ripping off others.

    The only thing I can hope for as the original idea behind Etsy was great, is that with this 27 million dollar investment the investors will become aware of the current situation and make some badly needed and necessary changes. I would like to see a massive lay off and some qualified staff hired on to fix the on going site problems. As it stands right now people continually make false purchases taking items out of sellers stores with accounts created that have addresses of ahs;’gfagfg. It’s sad really that they instead waste their time at the so called “Etsy Lab’s” creating fugly baby clothes and fanny packs when there are real problems with the functionality, UI and security of the site. Nothing is confidential at Etsy, so as they say buyer beware.

    Sorry for the rant but I do hold on to the dream that Etsy will be bought out by real professionals who will hire on qualified staff and stop worrying about making bumper stickers.

  45. evilbizatch says:

    Oh yes, let me not forget I was also told by Etsy after filing a non delivery report that I could contact the FBI. The FBI? You seriously must be kidding me? I can only imagine my email to Mr. FBI Investigator…

    Dear FBI,

    I did not receive my 20 dollar mass produced made in China item that I purchased on Etsy. Please help me as Etsy said to contact you, can you get my 20 back from this Nigerian scam artist?

    Thanks Etsy, I can sleep well tonight knowing that the FBI is so diligently working on the things that really matter.

  46. paulaberryjewelry says:

    I too am a seller on Etsy, and the atmosphere has been very tense lately. I have recently bought my own domain (which now just forwards to my etsy shop) and am dusting off my php skills to make my own online store. The admins use language (“Hey you! YES YOU!” as the first line of a recent announcement) and then mock you as old and outdated if you don’t find the rudeness amusing.

  47. creatura says:

    Very darn scary, a lot of the etsy support people need to get laid more often and stop exercising dictadorship with tea seeping ladies.
    You’ll think their youth and wit would save their asses but I guess not!

  48. lesbiansayswhat says:

    Funny, the one person who never sent me anything or even responded to emails took forever to get cancelled. And Etsy never bothered trying to get the buyer to refund me or anything. That took another headache with Paypal, who refunded me only out of sympathy for my issue, not because I was financially protected or anything. Hope they can find a balance between buyer-protection and open market.

  49. fat_chic says:

    I’m very familiar with the issues of Etsy, being a seller there myself. Etsy really is one of those “what you make it” places, and is unfairly held up against the Ebay standard and mindset – people basically want it to replace Ebay when it does no such thing.

    That said, the staff is very young, and are reinventing the wheel and coming to every situation as though they are the first people ever to experience it. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the staff in person earlier this year – their overeager to buck what they see as “traditionalism” and are making a lot of mistakes right now. One of their big mistakes is the inability to recognize that it is entirely possible to be transparent as a company while protecting your clients’ privacy, and they lack a single clear voice for communication.

    You can see how Etsy is handling this post here:
    [www.etsy.com]

    As you can see, that despite being an aggressively visual medium, they aren’t really connecting how their image affects people on an emotional level, as you will see from looking at the admin icons.

  50. creatura says:

    Etsy staff needs to get laid more often and stop playing dictator with teas seeping ladies. You’ll think they are hip and witty , instead they are unprofessional and ignorant of issues. They are creating an atmosphere of discomfort about etsy itself, someone else can use their idea and run with it somewhere else, and they are watching to see how baDLY THIS CAKE IS GETTING COOKED.

  51. rosebud says:

    brepettis , if your livelihood was damaged through no fault of your own, your shop closed due to a staff mistake, and then instead of apologizing for their mistake, the company called you a deadbeat in public, wouldn’t you be a little bit “grumpy”?
    This is justified anger. Etsy has damaged ethical seller’s livelihood and their good reputations.

  52. lovelygirl says:

    awwww. I love Etsy, I don’t want them to get ruined :(

  53. whatyoumacallits says:

    I have been a seller on Etsy for a little under 7 months now, I have 100% positive feedback, over 135 sales. My shopped was closed by mistake by Etsy due to a buyer who had made a non-receipt claim; that buyer was me. Altough my shop has been re-opened I have not had any official apology from Etsy.

    To rub salt into my wounds I have now been referred to as a “DEADBEAT seller” by an Etsy Admin in a comment above.

    Etsy need to publically apologise for their mistakes instead of hiding behind policies they have copied and pasted willy-nilly around the place!

  54. mandyF says:

    brepettis – The assertion that Etsy is supporting craftspeople by helping them make a living selling what they make is not visibly supported these days on the website, where your livelihood can be taken away at the whim of an admin.

    And as for having to be especially grumpy to be banned etc – recent events have not shown that to be the case. One particular admin on forum duty has shown themselves to have a very short fuse, a lack of professional business acumen and an itchy trigger finger where instant muttings are concerned. Meanwhile as sellers, we have no simple button to push to mute her rude and unhelpful ramblings. I doubt if any of our complaints about her treatment of us would go noticed at the top.

    Although you state that banning a seller is as a result of non-delivery, the protocol for resolving this in house is apparently not followed. None of the recent shops closed reported a time line anything like that stated on Etsy in what masquerades for the site rules. One of the shops closed was apparently closed as a result of being the buyer in the transaction!!

    Something is seriously wrong in the kingdom of Etsy and it’s getting worse on a daily basis. Eventually more sellers will become aware of what Etsy is trying to sweep under the (handmade) rug.

  55. smokeyjoe says:

    “Grumpy”? “Public hater?” Holy cats, how old are you, anyway, brepettis? You sound like a fan boy defending Britny Spears instead of an employee of an ecommerce corporation.

    I don’t suppose you realize, do you, that your post perfectly sums up the PR-laden, happy-happy, “we’re all hip” attitude that is causing many of these problems at Etsy in the first place?

    This is to say nothing of the misinformation (a favorite word of certain Etsy admin at the moment) you’re disseminating here. One of the people quoted in the article (and she’s very open about how she’s been treated on Etsy) is magicjelly, a fabulous seller who was closed down for one non-delivery complaint that was groundless. None of the stated procedures were followed in her case. She is not a deadbeat seller, and she was closed down, and I do not believe for a moment that she was the only one.

    Please stop lying to us.

  56. TheoLondon says:

    I have been on Etsy for over a year and in that time one of their staff members forwarded my business email address along with hundreds of other owners’ emails to one another because they did not properly set the copy privacy settings correctly, watched as a seller was brick-walled because of a mob-mentality reacting to the location of the seller and what they sold, and witnessed one seller come out publicly saying that Etsy had treated her with favoritism. Several sellers were brick-walled after speaking out on the forums again unjust behavior.

    A member of another company has had to come on to the forums at least three times to justify their decisions in several really long threads after several sellers were rejected from their juried site whereas one thread attacking a blog was shut down due to business relations. A featured seller was chosen with a basic item line, dark pictures, and limited sales after they sent products to the Etsy labs. A seller who is in a relationship with a Etsy employee had her username changed after it was made clear that under no circumstance would username changes take place (this rule has since changed).

    They have hired inept administrators. The one who posted the email addresses also attacked users in the forums while assigned as a forum moderator. The current forum moderator makes sarcastic comments towards users while avoiding relevant questions. She also regularly misspells words and uses improper grammar while operating on a public forum a an employee.

    Site changes have become a great issue since emails concerning changes are not regularly sent out and users can go without the information. A discontinuation of the Vintage section was commenced and announced before an email was issued to the sellers. They had no concrete warning many were appalled by the occurrence that was overturned after an outcry. The Storque is a PR prop that does not provide full, relevant information and those who post comments that question the report or provide unappealing information (investor with ties to Walmart) have their comments deleted. Emails concerning the changes in fee guidelines and listing times do not exist.

    It would be nice to bring these concerns to Etsy but if so it seems that I and my shop would become targets that would be watched until the opportunity came where they could either mute or brick-wall me.

  57. ILoveBeads says:

    What I found incredibly ridiculous was that danielXO actually went into the forums, and publicly called out the sellers who were shut down.

    [www.etsy.com]

    She, and other admin shut down the threads where the shops are asking “where is my store” claiming it is a private matter and should not be discussed in the forums.

    Is it private though? Shouldnt the customers out there be aware that the shop is gone due to lack of communication from Etsy, rather than think the seller has up and quit without warning. A seller with over 15,000 positive feedback should have the right to let their thousands of customers know that they did not close their store, It should be known that they were left in the dark. And if Admin did not receive an email back, why did they not resort in the very communication devise they have…a CONVO?!?!? I am just blown away that this was not attempted.

    The thread danielleXO started said basically “if you would have followed these guidelines, then you wouldn’t have been shut down. She herself broke the Dos and Donts on etsy, and publicly called these shops out. INCREDIBLY unprofessional, and juvenile. Clearly admin was in a panic when they realized they made a HUGE mistake, so instead of dealing with the situation like professionals, they lecture these shops publicly, contradicting themselves just moments after they claim that it is a private matter, and should not be discussed in the forums. OUCH! Way to address the seller who is in the dark.

    That site, and the admin better start getting their act together, and start treating these top sellers who are putting money in their pocket with a little dignity and respect.

    Bottom line, this site is run by children. Or at least that is the way it seems. They better start putting in people who actually know how to run a business, and stop hiring these spoiled Brooklyn hipsters.

  58. deweydecimated says:

    I have a theory about the etsy admins and a bunch of my ex-boyfriends being in cahoots, and that’s about all I’m sayin’.

  59. fearofabrickwall says:

    That one grumpy person sure has come up with a lot of ID’s to comment on this article saying the same things.

  60. ILoveBeads says:

    sigh. when will they learn that this a business they are running?

  61. msmeesh says:

    Etsy could have been so fantastic, what an amazing idea and vision it was in the beginning.

    I have watched with sadness over the last few years at the way the site has turned out, what with the mistakes that admin have made and the disrespectful, condescending way in which some of them treat their members. I find the site is run in a very unprofessional manner.

    The sellers who have been mistakenly shut down this time have handled the situation with grace. They have not been apologized to and have had to endure admins of the site stating in public that they close shops of ‘deadbeat sellers’ and the like. Visit the UEN to see the ever growing list of shops that have been mistakenly closed down.

    I no longer contribute to the forums or buy from there, and I will most certainly be making use of my own domain name and other handmade sites out there to sell my items.

    Very sad indeed, it could have been great, so, so great.

    I do hope they pick up their game, it took a long time for them to lose my trust, because I so wanted them to make it. But this really feels like the straw that broke the camels back. I hope this 27 mill creates some radical changes in the way the site is managed…not holding my breath, but hoping.

  62. MechaBlue says:

    Etsy’s name, rightly or wrongly, is being dragged through the mud over this issue. Unless strong steps are taken to handle the issue, Etsy could find itself overtaken by a competitor.

    The most important question that, as a seller, I need answered: How do I know that I can trust Etsy?

    Etsy needs clearly documented and well-explained policies (we aren’t all lawyers), careful adherence to those policies, and professional behavior. With these, Etsy can be credible. Without these, Etsy can not.

  63. MyCreativeMuse says:

    I can’t understand, for the life of me, why they have allowed DanielleXO to police the forums for one more day.

    She’s unprofessional and downright nasty. Bring back Stella.

  64. NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader says:

    This has become just another boring forum for the same people who bash Etsy in the UEN (Unofficial Etsy News) and complain on Etsy to come over here now and do the same thing. Fortunately, all of this bashing will not hurt Etsy because your group is miniscule comparatively speaking, to the members who are very happy. Seems like y’all have made it your life’s mission to bring Etsy down ‘cuz they pissed you off. Anything from the UEN is not in any way, shape or form associated with Etsy. Everyone knows by know that it’s the same people who post there day in and day out with their complaints. Some of these posts are obviously from the same people complaining over there and on Etsy.

  65. Daniel-Bham says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard of Etsy. With such a first impression – they can forget about me checking them out.

    Such is the influence of negative word of mouth.

  66. treading_lightly says:

    brepettis, your post is a prime example of the attitude and response Etsy admins treat its members to on a daily basis, regardless of the concern or question that has been raised. No serious dialogue. No businesslike concern or professional representation. Name calling and mocking are the order of the day. Daniellexo, Etsy’s newly installed forum coordinator, is known for her flippant, abrasive and slovenly forum-manner. Example: “It’s not rude – just playful. You can read the written word in all different kinds of tones. Try to read it in a playful tone.” She *giggles* at serious concerns. She routinely baits users into frustrated exchanges. Then, she privately contacts them, through Etsy Conversations, or ‘convos’, to further threaten and harass. What’s more, Etsy has threatened (and has indeed followed through) to permanently mute and/or ban ANYone who publishes ANY exchange from ANY admin at ANY time, whether convo or e-mail, so unscrupulous admins (there are at least a couple) can be abusive with impunity. This is the Face of Etsy on the forums: [www.etsy.com]

    What a lovely, threatening smirk displayed in that admin avatar. Approachable? Concerned? Community-minded? Not a chance. With this admin, it’s all personal. And while she runs unchecked through the forums, offending at will, she tells members privately to be respectful and upbeat – or else.

    There are no clear policies. There are no checks-and-balances. There is no effective, consistent or reliable method or vehicle of communication. There is no appeals process, even when Etsy is clearly in error. “This matter is not up for discussion.” Is used to stop any attempt at meaningful discussion, or clarification, in its tracks. There is a complete and utter lack of concern for the membership – who are Etsy’s paying customers and clients.

    Etsy continues to violate its venue status by interposing itself as an inappropriate intermediary between buyer and seller, instead of allowing shop policies, and ultimately feedback, to prevail. From the Etsy TOS:

    “Etsy is a Venue

    Etsy is not a retailer. Although Etsy is commonly referred to as an online marketplace, it is important to realize that Etsy is not a traditional “retailer.” Instead, Etsy acts as a venue to allow an individual who complies with the DOs and DONT’s of Etsy to offer, sell, and buy certain handmade goods which comply with the DOs and DON’Ts of Etsy, within a fixed price format. Etsy is not involved in the actual transaction between buyers and sellers. As a result, Etsy has no control over the quality, safety or legality of the items advertised, the truth or accuracy of the listings, the ability of sellers to sell items or the ability of buyers to pay for items. Etsy cannot ensure that a buyer or seller will actually complete a transaction. Consequently, Etsy does not transfer legal ownership of items from the seller to the buyer.”

    “Feedback

    Integrity: You may not take any actions that may undermine the integrity of the feedback system. Etsy may, without prior notice, limit the number of purchases and listings, which you may place on Etsy based upon the level of your feedback. If you earn a low percentage feedback rating, your account will automatically be flagged for staff review, at which time your membership may be fully or partially suspended, and you may be unable to list or buy.”
    [www.etsy.com]

    This comment is very long, for which I apologize. But the list of grievances against Etsy is far longer – and growing every day. These missteps and errors and threats are well documented by targeted members, and witnessed by many, on and off site. The fear felt by many members is real. The attempt to censor intelligent and critical thinking and discussion is real. And the reprisals, retribution and revenge of the site admins are very, very real.

    Members voice their concerns in the vast majority of instances out of true concern for Etsy and a fondness for its vision and mission. To be treated with disdain and lack of respect is alienating the very community that has promoted Etsy and faithfully weathered its many growing pains.

    If Etsy doesn’t like the bad PR, they should take immediate measures to rectify their injustices and poor business practices (or as is more often the case, the complete lack thereof). If Etsy doesn’t want only one-side of each story to be told, why not appoint an admin to publicly address the concerns that have been raised, rather than allowing any random admin to sum up the entire company’s stance in a statement that accuses wronged members of being ‘grumpy’ ‘public haters’? As a collective corporation, which makes such glowing and altruistic claims, they really have no sense of decency. And it unfortunately reflects very poorly on everyone, even the scant handful of truly good people on staff there.

    For shame, Etsy. For shame.

  67. subwaystance says:

    Daniel-Bahm, I’d like to think people are a bit more curious than that. If not, I’m scared to see how you’re voting, if you make decisions based on such criteria.

    I also agree that this seems to be another gathering ground for those who feel they’ve been ‘wronged’ by Etsy. Stating claims, as TheoLondon did, about the motivation behind Etsy’s actions, without proving or even, really, attempting to prove, causation as opposed to simply correlation, doesn’t help. Yes, an Etsy admin’s wife had her name changed. Why? Because a very large company with a very similar name was threatening to sue her. She’d built up a huge clientele, and Etsy made the decision to allow her to keep that, and not confuse or alienate her customers. Did anyone consider that the ‘no name changes’ rule was changed in response to this situation, one they hadn’t encountered before?

    As far as a seller being featured ‘after sending admin presents’ – so many people have done that. They’ve not all been featured. Again – correlation does not equal causation.

    In regards to the people who were banned last year, they spent a good deal of time blaming it on another Etsy seller, telling anyone within earshot that this seller had an in with admin and had gotten these people banned. Now they’ve changed their tune, because it ties them to these cases and allows them to continue their crusade.

    Do I think Etsy administration behaved stupidly in these instances? Yeah. I’ve experienced some of their ineptitude and rudeness myself, on several occasions. Do I think that the feverish insults and clamoring to make Etsy look stupid at all costs is helping the cause? Not at all.

  68. smokeyjoe says:

    Etsy chose not to advertise in the mainstream media — the idea was that their growth would be based on organic, street-level word of mouth. That worked for the first while — sellers worked really hard to promote their shops (and therefore, promote Etsy). There was a sense that we were all working together towards the same goal — helping people who make things by hand make a living.

    Then Etsy came out with the Gift Guides in the late fall of 2007.

    Essentially a juried part of the site, the GGs were handpicked by Admin. Not only were some (admittedly wonderful) sellers included many, many times, but items from Admin members’ shops (yes, many of them have shops) were also included, many of them multiple times as well. A link to the Gift Guide was placed right at the top of every page on the site, and, in spite of pleas from the community, Etsy at first refused to include a link to the rest of the site from the GGs, or even a simple text acknowledgment that the rest of the site was also a great source for gifts. (This was eventually changed, but only after Christmas. Coincidence. I don’t think so).

    Sellers included in the GGs were encouraged (by an Admin article in The Storque, Etsy’s PR mag) to list multiples of items in the GGs, so that when they sold, they wouldn’t be bumped of the Guides. Oh, and Etsy didn’t rotate items or anything like that. For the first few months (and this was stated Etsy policy, or as close to policy as Etsy ever gets) items stayed in the GGs until they were sold. No rotation.

    The outcry was huge. Etsy was stubborn.

    And that was the moment that I stopped being an Etsy cheerleader (which I certainly had been) and became reluctantly critical of the site I had grown to love.

    I no longer promote Etsy. I’ve set up my own ecommerce site and direct my customers there. I’ve taken Etsy’s URL off my business cards, and use my own domain name. And I’m not the only one.

    Word of mouth built Etsy, and word of mouth can destroy it.

  69. Alli-x says:

    NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader, if one day your shop is closed in error, you get accused in public of lying by other Etsy members with the same being alluded to by Etsy staff, or if this happens to a friend of yours, or if you or a friend gets banned or muted for an unfair reason along with the many others this happens to, or you are on the receiving end of a harassing convo or email from an Etsy admin, then you too will feel much the same as the growing number of disenfranchised Etsy members, many of whom are far too scared to speak out on Etsy itself.

    You will also be frustrated by the newcomers who deny that any of this is true and think that Etsy is just fantastic.

    If you choose not to see or accept what is going on right in front of you, then I can only hope that you don’t come to realize that it really is true by way of it happening to you or someone that you care about.

  70. green_jeans says:

    Let me begin by saying that I am no Etsy cheerleader. There are many things that need to be fixed (including firing the highly unprofessional DanielleXO). However, some sellers pound issues into the ground even after admin have rectified their errors. Magicjelly, how many times do we have to hear about how your shop was accidentally closed??? Seriously, give it a rest. These same people that bitch and moan *all the time* still have shops there so they can’t be that unhappy. They are just attention seekers, IMO. If you are so unhappy, start your own shop with your own domain and get the hell out of Dodge.

  71. Alli-x says:

    Referring back to a post way up higher, it’s offensive to those sellers quoted in this article who had their shops closed for no reason other than Etsy error for an Etsy staff member to accuse them all of being ‘one grumpy person’. Does this mean that the 20 or so shops closed in the same way to date that we know about are all the same person too?

    This is so depressingly typical of the attitude of Etsy staff.

    Etsy has screwed up big time on numerous occasions on this front alone (closing shops with zilch communication due to either a problem the seller knew nothing about or due to a mistake made by Etsy) – quite apart from all of the other screw ups.

    What any company with even half a clue would do in this situation is to make reparations with those who have had their reputations and businesses damaged and letting the community know that mistakes were made and what steps are being taken to prevent them from happening again.

    But at Etsy they just play the blame game and assume anyone with a grievance is just some nasty person they need to silence.

    Then they allow and even encourage that myth to perpetuate amongst their own community so that many especially less experienced members truly believe that anyone who has been banned or muted must indeed be an evil person who nobody should listen to, even if they know absolutely nothing about what has gone on.

  72. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    …all of this bashing will not hurt Etsy because your group is miniscule comparatively speaking, to the members who are very happy.

    @AnotherEtsyCheerleader:

    1) So you’re OK with making your customers unhappy as long as there are some happy customers?

    2) This is not bashing. It’s not even close. There’s a difference between complaining and bashing.

    Some of these posts are obviously from the same people complaining over there and on Etsy.

    So what? Doesn’t that make sense? You’re probably one of the people defending Etsy in that thread in their forum about this article. I don’t see why it should matter that people have said the same thing somewhere else.

  73. fat_chic says:

    @NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader
    “This has become just another boring forum for the same people who bash Etsy in the UEN (Unofficial Etsy News) and complain on Etsy to come over here now and do the same thing. Fortunately, all of this bashing will not hurt Etsy because your group is miniscule comparatively speaking, to the members who are very happy.”

    @brepettis
    “Etsy is something really special and it’s a bummer that a grumpy person can be such a public hater.”

    What these are doing is a psychological practice called “minimizing.” By asserting – without any factual support – that it’s just “one or two people” they are basically in denial that there is a real problem. Humility goes a long way in straightening out these messes, as do sticking to the facts. Trying to say that people’s experiences and feelings don’t matter, however, when it comes to what ultimately funds your paycheck (investors won’t last forever) is dangerous ultimately to your job and business security. Sure, you can’t answer to the whims of one person – but if it ended up on the Consumerist, it was most certainly not just one person complaining.

    I’m not an Unofficial Etsy News complainer. I rarely read it or post to it. I am a seller, and I do a fair amount of business there annually. I have sat in on local and extende street teams, and yes, there’s a LOT of complaining about Etsy’s unprofessionalism. While usually the complaints are more of the variety where people expect Etsy to do for them what they should do themselves, I’ve been hearing more and more really legitimate complaints about the way Etsy handles some things.

    Etsy doesn’t know everything. That’s OK. Etsy doesn’t do everything right. That’s also OK. Etsy is refusing to acknowledge that it has acted wrongly, and that’s never OK. Seriously, even Exxon had to apologize after the Valdez crashed – if you do it before you slick the ducks, you might even save yourself legal action and fines.

  74. mandyF says:

    Minimising? OK

    Well, I’m seeing more and more voices on the forums declaring themselves unhappy with what Etsy is doing. These are new voices too, not the same old, same old, and some of them come from unexpected sources.

    Although only a small fraction of Etsy customers (sellers and and buyers) come to the forum threads, there is a growing air of disquiet. However, Etsy is doing a great job at managing the dissent – people are now too afraid to post anything remotely critical unless they can do it anonymously offsite (as I myself am sadly doing).

    Rob Kalin – this is a great community you are building! Makes me glad I’m not in your ‘in crowd’.

  75. smallbizowner says:

    Let me get this straight re: the comment by a supposed Etsy employee brepettis posted at 01:46 PM on 02/26/08

    Let’s say I call my cable company or my wireless provider or my mortgage company or any other service provider and ask a question, voice a concern or share a complaint.

    They tell me that I’m just “grumpy” and shouldn’t worry about the issue I’m calling about because they are a “cool” company and this is a “friendly” customer service rep?

    Give me a break.

    Customers want their questions answered and their concerns heard and addressed in a professional manner.

    If I call a company with a question, concern or complaint I should never, under any circumstances be told that I’m just “grumpy” and that I need to get over it.

    Also, why is a selling venue inserting themselves in a transaction in the first place? If payment is made with Paypal or a credit card and there is a problem, the buyer should deal with Paypal or their credit card company to get their money back. Etsy needs to stay out of it.

    Years ago I did customer service training and the very first thing people learn is that they need to take the customer seriously, do their very best to communicate to the customer that their voice is heard and that someone does care and will try to help.

    If the customer is angry the very best thing a properly trained customer service rep can do is to be empathetic.

    Myopic companies who do not listen to customer complaints don’t last long. Customer complaints are the number one way for a company to grow and improve.

    For every person who does complain there are dozens who don’t and just leave.

    “Complainers” are a gold mine for serious businesses.

    At this point there are more and more reports of Etsy banning people permanently from posting on their forum. Why have a forum if you only want to talk about rainbows and unicorns?

    They just got $27 Million in VC. That sounds like serious money to me. It is time to become a serious business.

  76. smokeyjoe says:

    Etsy Admin are, seemingly, not subject to basic Etsy site rules, like full disclosure of all shops. There’s an Admin member of the corporation, daniellexo (the current Forum Conductor, whatever that means) who has three identities on Etsy, but who has only disclosed them all in one of her profiles. This is absolutely against Etsy’s Terms of Use, but then some members of Etsy are more equal than others.

  77. rosebud says:

    I don’t actually dispute that there are many happy or satisfied users of Etsy. I was happy and satisfied too, once upon a time. Many current critics were once Etsy cheerleaders. Many people are self-absorbed and will remain complacent until they are directly injured or a close friend is directly injured. But there also is a tipping point, a critical mass. Concern for the treatment of others, concern for general decency and fairness are not completely obsolete. Will you wait until it is your shop with the brick wall before you open your eyes?

    I don’t have any loved ones fighting in the Iraq war, I am generally personally unaffected. But when I see and read what is happening, I cannot come to any other moral conclusion but that the war is wrong. Some things are just wrong, whether they affect me directly or not.

  78. wowjustwow says:

    NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader, I’d be interested to know how you have access to UEN’s visitor logs to prove that their audience is “miniscule” as you so claim. Surely you realize that the number of comments on an article or thread doesn’t reflect the number of people reading. This Consumerist article has over 8,000 views, but not 8,0000 comments. Follow?

    P.S. Your pompoms are showing.

  79. NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader says:

    Someone up there said I’m probably one of those people defending Etsy in that thread over in their forum.

    Actually I’m not.

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who the “reader quoted” in this article is. To make those claims without disclosing the history of said “reader” with Etsy is very disingenuous to say the least. It would be very interesting to see some of the public’s response if they knew that the source quoted in this article was someone banned from Etsy forums. Puts a slightly different perspective on it.

    Of course, you will all say, that it wouldn’t matter because you would all still come and post yout exact same thoughts, opinions and experiences and the reader’s backgound wouldn’t matter. If that’s the case, why wasn’t that little big of the reader’s background part of the article? You know what they say. Consider the source.

    And I never said that none of those things happen. I just said that to go around telling everyone the sky is falling and you’re next because it happened to me, is misrepresenting the true situation. It isn’t some rampant and malicious plague on Etsy. I am in no fear whatsoever that my shop will be shut down. If it ever does happen and it’s an honest mistake, I can deal with that without becoming the harbinger of doom for everyone else.

    And too bad that some people are getting tired of hearing about Magic Jelly’s shop closing. Because she does appear to be a great person who has now become the martyr or poster child for your cause. I personally don’t think that’s to her benefit in any way.

  80. BomaBoma says:

    I think you’re missing the point.

    Many of us are outraged because Etsy has handled this and many other things regarding communication very badly. From mocking people on the forums, to taunting them via convos and all the way up to over reacting in an e-mail and muting someone for 30 days (which has been overturned, but that does not rectify the first act). This also includes insinuating that those who have had their shops closed this last week are deadbeats.

    All of these errors are at Etsy’s doorstep and not those of the sellers who have been brick walled, mocked, harassed, and just generally treated like scum lately by the front faces of Etsy. If they want to be taken seriously, they cannot have things like this happen without a darn good reason. If they want to stand out above the crowd, they need to be phenomenally better than they have been in the past few months.

    Having great and solid customer service with competent individuals is an asset, not something that isn’t un-hip or uncool or gone out of style in the 80’s. This is what we’re talking about. Having competent individuals running the face of Etsy, whether it be QC, CS, QA, or the forum mouthpiece, you need to make sure that your error rate is close to zero. This has not been happening lately.

    What we’ve been getting are reactive emotional responses from employees who instead of pulling for change, are defending their friends and calling those of us who have been hurt or smeared names.

  81. BrickWalledOnEtsy says:

    I don’t think anyone has mentioned the fact that Etsy went MANY months without deducting sellers fees through automatic deduction even though this was considered to be the primary avenue for making Etsy payments. (Was it 6 months or longer that they did not deduct fees?) They then slammed sellers by deducting large amounts at one time. Many of these sellers were not aware this was going to happen. Then to make matters worse many sellers had fees deducted from their bank accounts twice due to an Etsy error. Many of these sellers racked up extensive overdraft charges due to the way this situation was handled.

  82. Alli-x says:

    “the source quoted in this article was someone banned from Etsy forums”

    You’re making the error of assuming that that somehow being banned from the forums is solid proof that a person is bad. But that just illustrates you actually don’t know what is going on here and put an awful lot more faith into Etsy’s judgment than they deserve.

    Did you know that people have been banned from the forums without any explanation and some without even a prior warning? That when they ask why they were banned Etsy refuses to tell them? That many of people banned have been critical of Etsy in the forums previously? That a number have been banned after reporting Etsy staff for poor behaviour?

    So let’s say that your assumption about the source of this article is correct, what does it matter if that person was banned? Those bannings are just another pointer at Etsy’s general ineptness and unethical behaviour, particularly given that the reasons have never been explained to those who were victims of them.

    Additionally, the bulk of the quotes in the article above come from sellers whose shops were closed by error and which have now been reinstated. They aren’t quotes from anyone who has been banned from the forums, nor are they quotes from people who I’ve ever seen say a bad word about Etsy prior to last weekend. One of them is a seller with over 10,000 positive feedbacks. Are you saying she’s a bad person too? Or that Etsy’s judgment in closing her shop for never sending a parcel to a customer who had never paid anyway was also perfect?

  83. smallbizowner says:

    The fact that more than one or two people were closed down accidentally and/or without due process and the fact that these mistakes span a year or more indicates that there is no useful system in place to prevent mistakes. That is unacceptable.

    How many people who had their stores deactivated not say anything at all? Is the number of affected sellers actually higher?

    There should be clear policies, clear procedures and any shop deactivation should include several warnings and a review process of two or three layers of personnel. Only one person should be able to actually “pull the trigger” to provide accountability and prevent mistakes.

    Additionally, people who have complaints, voice concerns or try to discuss important issues are taking time out of their lives to try to improve the system. If they didn’t really care about the company they would just pack up and leave. They are an asset.

    For Etsy as a company, Etsy personnel or other sellers to denigrate these people, call their motives into question or call them “haters” is a mistake, it’s also unkind and unnecessary.

  84. smokeyjoe says:

    “t would be very interesting to see some of the public’s response if they knew that the source quoted in this article was someone banned from Etsy forums. Puts a slightly different perspective on it.”

    Not at all. You’re assuming that because someone has been banned from the Etsy forums that that person must have done something very, very bad which makes them a suspect source of information. People have been banned and muted in the forums because they look at an Etsy Admin crosseyed — recent events have proved that, amply. And (as smallbizowner points out, these are just the people who have gone public). It’s typical of Etsy’s party line to smear everyone who has had a shop closed or has been banned or muted and to call them deadbeats and troublemakers. Not true.

    “And too bad that some people are getting tired of hearing about Magic Jelly’s shop closing. Because she does appear to be a great person who has now become the martyr or poster child for your cause. I personally don’t think that’s to her benefit in any way.”

    I’m sure your concern for Magic Jelly will move her deeply. She is a great person, and she deliberately made her story public because she was tired of people like you saying things like “consider the source”. She had seen one too many thread where people blindly labelled everyone who claimed to have had their shops closed unjustly “deadbeats” and “liars”. She was sick of it, and came out with her story to prove them wrong. Why is it not to her benefit to tell the truth? No stigma can attach to her because she had done NOTHING wrong. It was entirely Etsy’s mistake, and since she very bravely told her story, we’ve learned that it’s not an isolated error.

  85. smallbizowner says:

    One Etsy employee in the forums the other day said basically ‘there were reasons’ these people were shut down which cast aspersions on those people.

    The problem with that statement is that one of the people who had their store closed reported a seller for non-delivery.

    Instead of closing the non-performing seller’s store, Etsy *mistakenly* closed the *buyers* store…yes, they closed the store of the person who did not receive what they paid for by mistake. They got it backwards.

    Anyone who thinks that kind of mistake is OK or should just be ignored has their head in the sand.

    Also, that buyer – who’s store was accidentally closed – is now also banned from their forums. They didn’t do *anything* wrong and their store was *mistakenly* shut down and they are banned from Etsy forums.

    Sounds like damage control to me.

    It’s not working.

  86. outtolunch says:

    The examples of store closures is really only the tip of the iceberg. The issue is really how Etsy deals with most sellers & seller-accounts when a conflict occurs. The tools and tactics include intimidation, written threats, and other methods of harassment. In the last few months, many seller-account issues are immediately couched in personal terms and dealt with as if they are solely a personal attack on an employee rather than actual violations of policy. Rather than referring any and all seller-account conflicts to an impartial mediator, the conflicts are handled by several employees at the same time, appear to be based on a changing set of rules, and are also couched as personal attacks rather than simply notifying the seller-account that they have violated a site rule. In this kind of atmosphere, sellers are resorting to posting on the chat areas of the site as well as other sites that have sprouted up around Etsy – because they can’t resolve their issues in any efficient and fair way.
    This story goes way beyond “unfair store closures” because it is really about the fact that an atmosphere of distrust and disrespect has polluted the site. This is not about a few “disgruntled seller-accounts” – this is about using unethical and unbusinesslike tactics to force members to follow and respect rules that are set up to make selling on a community site like this possible. The company is 100% responsible for setting up those rules, and following those rules themselves. This “unrest” did not pop up over recent store closures – it has been building up for months.

  87. NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader says:

    You are all missing the point of my comments. Nowhere did I say anyone was a bad person. Nowhere did I say these things didn’t happen. Nowhere did I say anyone deserved it. Nowhere did I say Magic Jelly wasn’t speaking the truth or that she put herself up on a pedastal.

    My point is that even if all these everything you all IS true, that it isn’t the end all or be all of everything, as is being presented by certain people.

    And it certainly IS relevant to know where the original source for this article is “coming from”, so to speak. That in no way indicates anywhere that this person is a bad person. When I read about claims that a person makes publicly, I like to know what their relationship is with regards to that story.

    My point is that of course, as in all businesses, mistakes need to be addressed. And Etsy has not always done so with care. But there is a group of people who seem obssessed with making it out to be something that it isn’t—–rampant, random, malicious and will bring Etsy down. If you don’t believe me, go back to UEN and read some of the comments when some people were banned from the forums. There was talk of organizing and doing something to punish Etsy. That to me, is extreme.

    I do hope Etsy addresses issues that are bothering alot of people. I take exception to the fear mongering.

    Definition of fear mongering: Fear mongering (or scaremongering) is the use of fear to leverage the opinions and actions of others towards some end. The object of fear is exaggerated; those the fear is directed toward are kept aware of it on a constant basis.

  88. rosebud says:

    I keep hearing the cheerleaders say “consider the source” when they hear criticism of Etsy. The source in this case is irrelevant since they directly quoted public statements by other parties. Why don’t you also “consider the source” when you read public statements and excuses by Etsy employees? Why not apply some critical thinking to Etsy’s statements too?
    Why do you immediately assume that everything Etsy admins have said is true?
    Don’t you think a paid employee (with stock options) has a vested interest in keeping their job and covering up wrongdoing by their employer, or by themselves?
    Use common sense and apply the same critical thinking to EVERYthing you read, regardless of the source. Pay attention to contradictions, inconsistencies, and do your own research on verifiable data such as the feedback records of the closed shops.
    Consider the FACTS.

  89. creatura says:

    I am also a seller at etsy, nothing wrong was done to me, but i keep seeing with my little eyes how Admin. slaps people around and damages their reputation, which selling in an online market place, is everything, I think someone is soon gonna take etsy to court and the rest of the sellers will pay more bills.

    I had such high hopes, even if I don’t sell much at all, at least I had the pleasure of putting up my stuff to be checked, but now it feels like a boyfriend who has been sleeping around and can really trust it.

    Sucks, the original idea was so cool.

  90. BomaBoma says:

    Then Etsy Admin should also be acutely aware that scaremongering others into silence is also not a good business practice. Hold both sides accountable, and all that jazz.

  91. creatura says:

    Guess what, a bigger newspaper is checking on this forum…

    I hope we fall standing up

  92. BomaBoma says:

    creatura, the original idea is awesome. Mind blowingly so, but the execution by Admin is freakishly lacking.

    Notanothercheerleader, there’s fearmongering going on with both sides. Many on Etsy see how others are treated and are scared into silence or into anonymity. So, please don’t act as if UEN is the one who is wrong in that regard.

    In any case, business practices need to be changed, house cleaning needs to happen. Liabilities need to be let go. Most of all, it needs to be realized that customer service can make or break a company’s reputation. If they really wanted to be such a revolutionary company, they would understand that providing the best customer service possible by people who are trained to do so with experience would be infinitely better than hiring the most indie/handmade people to learn these positions.

  93. whatyoumacallits says:

    @NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader:

    Lets just forget for one second here that I was ever a seller on Etsy.

    As a buyer I opened a non-delivery claim, with Etsy and with Paypal. I heard nothing back from Etsy, and the whole dispute was finally settled through Paypal with my goods being received. When this happened I immediately emailed Etsy with the update and requested they close the case. A reply was sent stating case closed.

    (A Month Later)
    I check my emails and find a message from Etsy saying my account is closed, nice knowing you. I replied back to ask why, I hadnt requested my account to be closed.

    Now, if that BUYER came into the forums for help, how would you treat them? Is this how you want buyers to be treated? How many buyers has this happened to who just didn’t bother returning? How many buyers has this happened to who now tell all their friends about there bad experience with Etsy??

    I am not an Etsy hater, I just hate bad business!

  94. nardo218 says:

    @brepettis: Well, apparently not. Corporations never get anywhere by apologizing away their bad behavior.

  95. ILoveBeads says:

    NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader, since you love to make assumptions, I am going to make one about you right now.

    You are not an another etsy cheerleader because you are the player on the team. Stop playing defense, and take a look at the big picture. If an entire article, with this many comments doesn’t open your eyes (amongst the dozens aside), then all I have to say is time will only prove your ignorance.

  96. rosebud says:

    ILoveBeads, I think you have a good point.
    “NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader” displays very similar writing style and spelling/grammar errors to a certain Etsy admin, whose favorite word lately has also been “fearmongering”.
    At least brepettis identified himself as an Etsy employee.

  97. elizabeth_m says:

    @NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader:

    Sooooo many logical fallacies…

    Fallacy: Appeal to Spite [www.nizkor.org]

    Fallacy: Circumstantial Ad Hominem
    [www.nizkor.org]

    Fallacy: Guilt By Association
    [www.nizkor.org]

    Just to start. You can make as many statements as you like about me, or anyone else who has issues with Etsy, but that doesn’t make the claims false.

  98. elizabeth_m says:

    @subwaystance:

    “In regards to the people who were banned last year, they spent a good deal of time blaming it on another Etsy seller, telling anyone within earshot that this seller had an in with admin and had gotten these people banned. Now they’ve changed their tune, because it ties them to these cases and allows them to continue their crusade.”

    I think perhaps you mischaracterize. Even if one accepts your assertion that banned members blamed a seller who had an “in with admin”, both that situation and the current problems are directly related to to the lack of professionalism of Etsy’s management and staff. These are consistent positions, and in no way involve “changing their tune”, as you put it.

    Second verse, same as the first.

  99. NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader says:

    Once again, you miss the point completely. Or you just don’t want to address it.

    I never said anyone made false claims. My point, for the last time, is that certain situations that have occurred on Etsy, are being used in a way to scare others into thinking they will be next to be shut down for malicious reasons on the part of Admin. And you are leading people to believe that it is rampant yet you provide no stats to support that claim. And I don’t mean people posting it happened to them. I mean real stats that give numbers.

    Has it happened? Of course. Most people are painfully aware of that. Does that mean people need to be afraid? Not in my opinion. Nor the opinion of many sellers I know and have discussed this with. Most of whom don’t post in the forums and don’t care to because either they just aren’t interested in participating in the forums or they want to avoid being jumped on by people who are obssessing over this.

    And no, I’m most definitely not an Etsy Admin. I am merely a member of Etsy.

  100. SellingOut says:

    NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader says -
    My point, for the last time, is that certain situations that have occurred on Etsy, are being used in a way to scare others into thinking they will be next to be shut down for malicious reasons on the part of Admin. And you are leading people to believe that it is rampant yet you provide no stats to support that claim.

    For me, I am NOT afraid my store will be shut down … it already is. I closed it myself. I have been an Etsy member for almost two years. I once was a cheerleader, but quickly saw the holes in the boat after V2 launched.

    I follow this story and do comment where I can about how Etsy Admin are abusive to their Sellers. THAT is a fact. I have seen it, reported it and been following it.

    Why does it concern me ?
    I would like to sell on Etsy again ( I have not been banned from the site ) but I just can’t seem to justify giving one penny to Etsy while their Admin continue to treat people badly. I even stopped buying for a while, but I couldn’t blame the wonderful sellers for Etsy’s actions, so I do continue to support Etsy Sellers with my money.

    I ADMIT I *would* like to see Etsy bought out and see a cleaning out of inept Admins, then I might possibly fill my store again and have fun selling my wares.

    See, selling on Etsy was a hobby for me, but as I saw and heard about more and more of my friends ( both Sellers and buyers ) being treated with such disrespect, I just could not support the dream anymore.

    I would STILL love to see Etsy thrive, because I BELIEVE in the dream. I just have lost faith that it will do so with it’s present management.

    I do not want to see Etsy the company fail … but I will admit that if Etsy Admin continue to belittle people who happen to have more experience in business than they do and continue to turn a blind eye to their own mistakes and live in denial, then YES, I would love to see those same Admin lose their jobs as Etsy investors realize they are a liability to the company.

    I am not being vindictive. I just want Etsy to succeed, as a company. I would hate to see it all come crashing down into a heap because the leaders could not see anything but rainbows, unicorns and haters. The world isn’t that simplistic. A company won’t succeed just because it’s ” cool “. They need to have AT LEAST ONE MANAGER with a fair number of years of business and communications training !

    I will celebrate the day when Etsy actually IS what it has wanted to be. There is still a long road ahead and the buggy has four flat tires. Let’s not try to drive past the service station. It’s time to bring the buggy in for an overhaul.

  101. outtolunch says:

    The focus needs to return to Etsy’s unbusinesslike, and in some cases, unethical (and slanderous) communications with members of the site – sellers as well as buyers.

    Etsy’s communication language is often offensive, scolding, sarcastic, inflammatory and inappropriate.
    Punishments are levied against seller-accounts that can include everything from being refused entry to chat rooms and community boards for various periods of time to actual store closures. And a store closure is announced by displaying a graphic of a Red Brick Wall in its place.
    This increasingly unbusinesslike activity on the site has created a level of hostility that has turned any communications between sellers, buyers, the public and the company into a bullying contest.
    It does not matter if this involves one percent of the stores on the site or 10% of the stores on the site. The fact that these tactics are in play at all is the issue.
    Bad publicity is a result of bad communication, bad customer service, and bad-business practices that undermine the now-fragile ecommerce purpose of the site. If the members of the site have little trust in the site-host company, how does that translate to consumers who go to the site to shop and buy?
    This tension between a host company and its members and buyers has been played out numerous times in eBay, and probably results in long-term damage to the “trust factor” so essential for ecommerce to thrive and prosper. And long-term damage may never be repaired.

  102. dissolution says:

    I’ve been an Etsy buyer, and only a buyer, since the beginning. I’ve only had good experiences — I’ve left only good feedback and received only good feedback. But what I’ve been reading the last few days makes me never want to buy through Etsy again. I am resolving that in the future I will ask sellers through the “Conversations” messaging system if they sell through another site that I might use instead.

    Etsy, as a brand, is more about style than substance. This is demonstrated in the development of fancy Ajax display trickery while the internal messaging system, search engine and message boards are primitive to the point of barely useable. And it’s seen every time they hire a new early-20-something hipster to take on responsibilities that truly require a person with professional experience and maturity.

    Etsy could’ve been so fantastic. Such a disappointment.

  103. ILoveBeads says:

    NotAnotherEtsyChearleader says:

    “certain situations that have occurred on Etsy, are being used in a way to scare others into thinking they will be next to be shut down for malicious reasons on the part of Admin.”

    YOU dont see the point of this topic either. This was not meant to put fear into the seller/buyer, but rather to inform the users directly and indirectly affected. Since admin has done everything in their power in the forums to stop any thread that may make them look bad, this (amongst other sites) have become the venues to discuss it.

    Nor is the point of this whole article make admin look malicious, now you are putting words in peoples mouths, once again making assumtions. This is to point out the blatant, public unprofessionalism that has been taking place on the site from the get go.

    unprofessionalism = failure.

    and until the head of etsy can figure out to hire professional adults, rather that immature “lets just all get along but shut up anyone who might make us look bad” BRATS, the site will continue to head in a downward spiral. We are not making assumptions here or there, the proof is in the forums.

    They have made themselves look bad in not just this situation, but MANY, and those who are affected, or even have an opinion that differs from admin are pretty much banned from talking about it on the actual site, and now many are in fear of getting banned like a person has mentioned above…for good reason. This person above told admin privately what she thought they were doing, and how she felt it was wrong, and in responce, they ban her for a whole month from the forums…Oh yeah, that is REAL proffesional.

    Take that blanket off your eyes, and take a look at the big picture. This site needs to be run my professionals, bottom line, end of story.

  104. BomaBoma says:

    True, its not about scaring people from those of us who are adamant that things change. We see Etsy failing at the principal source of making Etsy a long term success. Face it, you cannot hire hipsters with little to no CS training and experience to run a department dedicated to such. We’re talking about professionalism here, not scare tactics. There’s such a lack of respect from Admin to the sellers and buyers of the site, that it is damaging their business. Doesn’t matter if its 1% or 10% their error rate needs to be as close to zero as possible and their treatment of others has to be outstanding. You can’t be just human in the CS part of a business, you need to be super human and have the ever famed “world class experience” from your staff.

  105. smallbizowner says:

    This isn’t about fear or fear mongering.

    This is about a balanced view of a company rather than “evangelical” support no matter what bad behaviors or snafus are demonstrated.

    Some people seem to think it is acceptable for Etsy to function outside regular business standards. That somehow the mission transcends their day to day operation and interaction with their customers.

    If I am paying for a service I expect certain standard requirements to be met. Professionalism, clear policies, respectful staff, information about things that aren’t working or announcements of new features, notification of changes in the TOU, etc.

    As an example, they weren’t billing their clients monthly and that went on for months. Their autobilling didn’t work and when they finally got the autobilling going again some people’s bank and credit card accounts were overdrawn and/or frozen (due to multiple months bills being put through the same day) because they didn’t handle the implementation correctly.

    Not to mention the fact that since people thought the autobilling was working and Etsy never sent a broadcast email to all account holders that it wasn’t, sellers were faced with very large bills.

    The above situation is just unacceptable for a company of this size…well, any size really.

    Don’t mess with people’s money. Don’t change your TOU without notification. Do treat your customers with respect. Do have specific and clear rules, presented simply and abide then by them.

    Pretty basic stuff.

    Again, this is not about fear, it’s about the reality of using this ecommerce website.

  106. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    My point, for the last time, is that certain situations that have occurred on Etsy, are being used in a way to scare others into thinking they will be next to be shut down for malicious reasons on the part of Admin.

    @NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader: I’m not sure where you got that idea. Nowhere in the OP does it even imply that this is malicious. Nor does anyone say that it will happen only that it could.

    And you are leading people to believe that it is rampant yet you provide no stats to support that claim.

    The reader quoted did use the word “rash” but in reference to “unprofessional events” of which store closings were only some. But then I’m not sure who you mean by “you”. The reader or Consumerist? Either way I don’t see how you expect them to gather statistics.

    And I don’t mean people posting it happened to them.

    Did I mention that this is Consumerist? :)
    If you don’t want stories from people posting that something happened to them you are in the wrong place.

  107. BrickWalledOnEtsy says:

    NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader said: “I never said anyone made false claims. My point, for the last time, is that certain situations that have occurred on Etsy, are being used in a way to scare others into thinking they will be next to be shut down for malicious reasons on the part of Admin. And you are leading people to believe that it is rampant yet you provide no stats to support that claim. And I don’t mean people posting it happened to them. I mean real stats that give numbers.”

    It doesn’t matter if something wrong happens one time, one hundred times or one million times!!!! IT IS STILL WRONG!

  108. smokeyjoe says:

    smallbizowner said: “If I am paying for a service I expect certain standard requirements to be met. Professionalism, clear policies, respectful staff, information about things that aren’t working or announcements of new features, notification of changes in the TOU, etc.”

    Precisely. Instead of treating their customers (sellers) with respect and professionalism, Admin (and their cheerleaders), when pushed by users to state clear policies and procedures (for example, in the closing of a shop) often point out that the bottom line on the site is that Etsy can shut anyone down for any reason at any time. It’s “their” site and they can do anything they like to us.

    As an example of the contempt with which Etsy holds its sellers, Etsy Admin created a Chat Room entitled “whos/next/brick/wall”.

    Unbelievable, isn’t it? It’s been up for days. You can still see it (as I post this message) here:
    [www.etsy.com]

    A fish stinks from the head. This has to have been condoned by the people who run Etsy, and Rob Kalin has to take final responsibility for the mess he’s caused by not hiring professionals.

  109. green_jeans says:

    smallbizowner said: “Not to mention the fact that since people thought the autobilling was working and Etsy never sent a broadcast email to all account holders that it wasn’t, sellers were faced with very large bills.”

    So if there is a snafu with any of your bills at home, like electricity/water, etc., and they stop billing you, you just ignore it? Do you not check your bank account or PayPal account to see what is clearing and what is not? If you are a big seller, or any seller for that fact, are you not checking your Etsy account to see where you stand? Yes, they made an error, but don’t act ignorant about the fact that as a business owner, you are JUST AS RESPONSIBLE for keeping your account in good standing regardless if their system is working or not. That’s how it works in the real world. I am a seller too and I always paid my bills with PayPal *before* they were due so even with their error, I was not affected. I don’t rely on others to hold my hand and lead the way. There is more to business than making pretty things.

    Time and again you hear complaints about admin being inexperienced, but I think the same applies to many of the sellers on the site who have never run their own business outside of Etsy.

  110. elizabeth_m says:

    There’s no way to *get* statistics, when coming forward entails real risks of retaliation and negative publicity.

    I posted in the fora after some of the earliest brickwall issues, asking dispassionately (I even had someone else check the wording :) for anyone who had experienced a shop shut-down to contact the UEN (I think? might have been me), anonymously or otherwise, to get a sense of how many stories might still be out there.

    Rob Kalin contacted me personally to tell me to stop whatever it was I was doing.

  111. BrickWalledOnEtsy says:

    Many of the people who were FINALLY autobilled by Etsy had money taken out of their accounts twice. This had absolutely NOTHING to do with sellers being irresponsible and not keeping track of their accounts. And……most people know when they are going to be autobilled by a company who provides them a service so that they can prepare accordingly. Many sellers had no idea when the autobilling was going to happen. Some of those sellers owed large amounts of money. I know I do not leave large amounts of money sitting in my checking account for long periods of time. It’s just not a wise thing to do with your money!

  112. smallbizowner says:

    It think its funny (not hahaha funny) how people keep putting words into other people’s mouths in the comments.

    I’m not ignorant nor am I acting ignorant.

    I never said the sellers bore no responsibility.

    That wasn’t my point.

    My point was that a very large company was not billing their customers monthly, thereby not collecting their fees and that company did not inform their customers that their autobilling system wasn’t working.

    That’s it.

    I can’t imagine any company not billing for services for months. That’s just irresponsible and inexplicable.

    Now, if you would like to discuss inexperienced sellers on Etsy then perhaps you could start a new topic.

    For now, this topic is Etsy and it’s business practices…or lack of business practices.

    This kind of emotional response to a logical discussion is very evident on the Etsy forums by some members and some staff.

  113. mandyF says:

    re: the autobilling

    Many sellers didn’t go in and pay their bills as they were constantly told by Etsy that autobilling would be up and running soon. Then the next month would come and go and there would be another promise regarding autobilling working ‘soon’.

    After so many half truths and misinformation from admin, the non-autobilling became a bit of a joke. It was also around this time that customer service levels plummetted and sellers were left wondering what exactly they were meant to be paying for.

  114. smokeyjoe says:

    And Etsy is currently considering building its own in-house payment system?

    Just imagine …

  115. smallbizowner says:

    Also, those “notifications” that mandyF speaks of were made on their Forum which Etsy says only 1% or 2% of their customers use.

    No emails were sent to the full customer base until the autobilling was re-established which was after a period of months.

    That hardly seems like proper disclosure or useful communication or standard practices around issues of billing and finances for a large company…well, any size company, really.

  116. NoLongerAnEtsyian says:

    It is a shame the administration at etsy is continuing to ruin what was once a site with such promise. I haven’t been a buyer or seller on etsy for some months, I truly hoped they would get their act together, but unfortunately things seem to be worse than when I left.

    As for the random store closings, yes…they do happen to more people than you think, people who are hesitant to come forward and share their stories publicly. I was the victim of one of these “mistaken” closings, as was someone who was on a street team with me. Neither one of us wanted to come forward, because quite frankly for every person out there who is sympathetic to my story there is someone one else who is ready to drag my business name through the mud, simply because they assume I must have done something wrong for etsy to take such drastic measures. I’m not interested in seeing my name brought up again & again when these things happen on etsy (and they seem to happen fairly often).

    When this happened to me I relied on the income etsy provided and couldn’t afford to leave. My store was reopened (without a single apology from etsy) but for the next few months I lived in fear of that brick wall and the sudden loss of income it would bring.

    Then the auto-billing fiasco happened. Auto-billing was down for months, people were confused…some assumed they had been billed only to discover they owed money, some people had in fact paid manually and were being told they still owed money by etsy’s billing system. Many of these people were posting in the forum, trying to figure out what was going on. I paid close attention to this whole ordeal, because etsy had my credit card number and that made me VERY nervous. I was shocked to see some etsy admin actually post private details about seller’s billing history in the forums, announcing to the whole of etsy that XX member who started the thread hadn’t paid their bill in 3 or 4 months. This was months ago (I’m sure someone posting here remembers) but I believe this happened in a few different threads and no apologies were made for this? I was so disgusted when I was this that honestly it was worth the loss of income to just close my shop…that is exactly what I did and I think that was the best business decision I have ever made.

    Etsy is a sinking ship, and if they don’t fix something soon they are going to reach a point where they simply can’t recover. Etsy needs to clean house but unfortunately the pattern of poor decision making, awful customer service and incompetence goes right to the top, all the way back to Rob Kalin…and rather than admitting mistakes and working to change them, I can see Rob hanging on until the bitter end, regardless of etsy’s fate.

  117. evilbizatch says:

    It would seem easier for Etsy to shut down the forums to hide their users discontent from the public and investor eye. However they continue to waste countless man hours on “locking” threads that show anything but love for Etsy. The reason they don’t just shut down the forums is simple, they rely on other users to help other users figure out the clunky site and how to use it. It’s laughable how on the consumerist commenters will post about lack of communication with other big companies but with Etsy there is no phone number, only email, and you will be lucky to receive a response within three weeks.

    Etsy should stop wasting money and man hours on hip/indie/noncorporate how to videos, blogs, making shirts with logos and focus on the real issue at hand, their product. While they continue to focus on the wrong stuff people can continue to “buy” stuff with zero checks and balances, removing stuff from sellers stores. Currently there is zero safeguard from someone creating a fake account and “buying” thousands of items without the intent to pay, removing those items from stores and from the eyes of other buyers.

    I continue to be boggled wondering if the investors even know this? Especially when Etsy touts their “page views” are up when in reality it’s merely the sellers refreshing the forums or spending hours flagging sweat shop produced goods. Thankfully they aren’t trying to sell adspace, yet.

  118. rosebud says:

    We cannot give hard stats on how often this erroneous shop closure happens. No one but Etsy really knows how often these mistakes have happened. There are at least 20 cases that are publicly known, but it’s a reasonable assumption that many sellers do not come forward when this happens to them, since they are afraid of further retaliation by Etsy and afraid of having their names dragged through the mud by speculation. I know of several additional cases that aren’t public. In every case that did come forward to tell their story, there has been public speculation that they must be lying, or that they must have done something really bad for Etsy to close their store. They are guilty until proven innocent, and even treated as guilty after they are proven innocent. Even Etsy staff have said that mistakenly closed sellers are “deadbeats”. In the world of e-commerce, your good reputation is vital to your survival so it’s likely that the cases we know about are just the tip of the iceberg, and that there are many more victims of Etsy incompetence who are frightened into silence.
    So who is fearmongering, really?

    re:billing.
    For 7 months, bills were not autocharged. Every month for that 7 months, sellers did still receive the automated email bill saying their bill WOULD be autocharged. When the autocharging did not happen, the sellers did not receive another email telling them that, but Etsy did make announcements on their forums which very few sellers read. No one was ever emailed and told they should be paying their bill manually, they were repeatedly told that autobilling would be working again by ‘next’ month. (and the next, and the next) Every email bill said that you could just do nothing, and your bill would be autocharged. If you chose to pay manually that was your choice but it was never told to sellers that they SHOULD be doing this. These sellers believed what Etsy told them and did what Etsy told them. Then suddenly 7 months of bills were charged in one night, triggering many banks to call Etsy sellers with fraud alarms and resulting in double charges for some sellers. Even if these sellers did have the correct amount of money set aside to pay their bill, who on earth keeps a cushion DOUBLE the size of your expected bills?
    Shifting the blame for that billing fiasco to the users is absurd.

  119. outtolunch says:

    And to return to the subject of the lack of good business practices (which takes many forms – from account billing problems to the existence of forums that are used for everything but discussion between sellers)…………..I am grateful for the post here that points out that there sure is a lot of non-ecommerce activity on the site that takes a lot of manual labor to create and maintain.

    So, while all that effort is being spent on mostly non-revenue producing activities like newsletters with a large list of brand new daily articles, craft classes, and other brand new sections to divert attention away from selling and buying———-there go the rules, the etiquette, the courtesy, the focus and time spent on excellent customer service, stellar customer feedback, helping sellers sell sell sell sell sell sell.

    And making sellers so happy they are willing to spend time on their stores, fill them with excellent products, and extend stellar customer service to all those buyers ———well, who has the time?

    You can’t profess to be an ecommerce site, and then spend 2 years being a Chat Room, Crafts Discussion Board, and Crafts Daily Newspaper. Other sites already do that, and do it well.

    Either pay attention to the ecommerce, which is the core of “Buy and Sell All Things Handmade” and drop all the other sections that are not about selling and buying.

    What the heck? Etsy could have easily excelled at the ecommerce mission, but they dropped it a long time ago, lost interest, and now they appear to think the whole seller base is not worth supporting. What, attention span problems? Lost interest? Turned out to be way too much actual work? Throw away this incredible seller-base baby with the extracurricular bathwater? I would walk 5,000 miles to have a customer base like Etsy has. All those people interested in handmade!!!!!! What a concept!

  120. creatura says:

    can’t wait for an etsy admin. clean up.

  121. callistra says:

    I’m sorry, but I am still so stunned to see that a company that just brought on a 27 million dollar investment group has the mind-blowing juvenile stance of posting here about “grumpy” people and making a permanent chat room ridiculing who’s next to be shut down.
    [www.etsy.com]

    I have taken a screen shot of this and I will be sending it to their investors. They need to rein these people in before they get sued.

    I am a seller on etsy. I have to say that I have seen all of this first hand and it has been so scary that I am actively making plans to move myself away from the etsy site.

  122. The Cranky One says:

    I heard this guy speak on the radio today about his book (Simply Success Business Book by Jack Miller) and listening to him stress over and over how customer service is the one key to business success and how peopel are demanding better service more now than ever and if you blow it you will will find yourselves with an exdous. That it’s the cheapest investment you can make that reaps the most rewards.

    (He was Founder and CEO of Quill Corporation, that he sold to staples for BIG billions)

    I think we need to send his book to Etsy. Sounds like they could use the words of a man who built from the bottom up and knows “how it’s done”.

  123. whatyoumacallits says:

    SmokeyJoe says;
    And Etsy is currently considering building its own in-house payment system?

    With the inexperience of the admin running Etsy at this time it’s a scary thought that they have my credit card details on record!

    I would feel much safer if I was able to use PayPal to pay my account.

  124. rosebud says:

    The day Etsy mandates all payments for my merchandise go through them as a middleman, is the day I leave Etsy as a buyer or seller. They are not a consignment operation or a retailer.
    “Just a venue” means hands off my money.

  125. evilbizatch says:

    by outtolunch at 03:55 PM on 02/28/08

    Either pay attention to the ecommerce, which is the core of “Buy and Sell All Things Handmade” and drop all the other sections that are not about selling and buying.

    What the heck? Etsy could have easily excelled at the ecommerce mission, but they dropped it a long time ago, lost interest, and now they appear to think the whole seller base is not worth supporting. What, attention span problems? Lost interest? Turned out to be way too much actual work? Throw away this incredible seller-base baby with the extracurricular bathwater? I would walk 5,000 miles to have a customer base like Etsy has. All those people interested in handmade!!!!!! What a concept!

    ………………

    Excellent points. I see so many man hours used for “how to decorate your bedroom” and “making a plushie”. I was shocked the other day they had a chat room with video stream about “what is rss”. I wonder if the employees or management for that matter know how to run a real business?

    If they dumped all the extracurricular activities they could improve the site beyond my imagination. Have you ever tried their search engine? That’s when you really see how trying to be indie and hip fails.

  126. smokeyjoe says:

    For those who believe that “mistakes were made, but Etsy will do something about them”, I’d like to refer you to a revived thread currently on the Forums — it was originally from April 2007 and is all sellers being worried about the procedures for shop closures.

    [www.etsy.com]

    In that thread Admin members say that procedures are being worked on and that everything will be better after April 22 when those procedures come out, and that no one will be closed down for a single complaint.

    If anyone needs any proof that Etsy is fundamentally broken in this area, you need look no further. They’ve done nothing to change this problem in TEN MONTHS.

  127. fat_chic says:

    Is it looking to anyone else like @NotAnotherEtsyCheerleader is somewhat of a troll? The story changes just conveniently enough every post, and every time a factual mislead is identified, readers are somehow “missing the point.” I was terrible at the college logic classes, but @elizabeth_m called it pretty well.

    The point of the original post:
    1. Etsy staff has been acting unprofessionally.
    Have they? Even “closed” threads keep admin posts alive and well. We can find them and look for proof of whether or not public interaction is unprofessional. It would help if the kind hosts at Consumerist would let us post longer URLs, but I suppose we could use the tool of [www.tinyurl.com] to post here and sort the facts of the matter from a public view.

    2. Etsy staff has closed shops without explanation to those involved.
    I’m willing to accept for a fact that this has happened. I also have the OPINION that Etsy staff is fully capable of disclosing an explanation for what happened without violating anyone’s privacy, and of the opinion real damage control starts with private apologies.

    3. Etsy is going to go down in flames because of rampant staff behavioral problems.
    Maybe – I haven’t yet formed an opinion on this. Etsy has some great staff, and they have a couple of real stinkers that may not be in the best positions for their personalities – even if they think they want those positions. I do have the opinion that Rob is throwing hires at problems instead of solving them, which is not a great way to allocate resources; I believe slowing growth to preserve or maintain quality is always a good idea.

    What I’ve seen isn’t too confidence instilling, but I’m doing a modest business and I always have a backup plan because it’s just good business to have one.

    We really don’t have the whole picture, and that’s where Etsy is at fault. For the kind of business Rob says he aspires to, transparency is key – if you explain to people what your side of things is, they might still be angry, but they don’t start imagining things.

  128. creatura says:

    who dished out the 27 mil.?? what company??

  129. fat_chic says:

    The investors are Union Square Ventures, Hubert Burda Media, and Jim Breyer at Accel Partners.

    The details are in this Storque post (assuming tinyurl works):
    [tinyurl.com]

  130. fat_chic says:

    …and it doesn’t work. You’ll need to search under Etsy, News, and for the story titled “Etsy’s First Five Years.”

  131. creatura says:

    thanks fat chic

  132. treehousedweller says:

    Just wanted to say that it’s pretty much a standard proceedure to inform unhappy internet customers that ONE of their options is to contact the FBI’s cybercrime’s division. The fact that everyone is focusing on this particular fact, makes me wonder about all the other ‘facts’. Of course, it does make a more interesting story if the facts are bloated just a bit.

  133. goodfriday says:

    Etsy watcher here who was waiting for the big IPO.

    Sure there are three sides to every story but you learn a lot about a company and how it operates when you see how they handle their customers and themselves in public. Someone needs to send Mr Kalin some handmade common sense and maturity.

    Had hoped this company would be bought out and run with some dignity, instead it’s been a train wreck that just won’t end.

    The downfall began with the flea market crap and imported supplies dominating the site. The forum is a black eye, you quickly learn who not to buy from. The hawking of wares is embarrassing. The FDA needs a closer look here as well. It’s scary what some are selling in the food and cosmetic aisles…miracle cures and bacteria from unlicensed facilities. Oh, but it’s homemade!

    Etsy/Rob, you should have stuck to your original plan. Your competition is learning from your mistakes.

    Etsy may be Indie, hip and on Martha but it is already old news, it’s time to flush swimmy down the bowl.

    RIP

    PS, on second thought, since it could be a brilliant site, perhaps Rob should hook up with Martha. She knows how to run her empire. It would be a “good thing” for Etsy.

    Ask Emeril.

  134. smokeyjoe says:

    There has been a very long silence from the powers-that-be, but Etsy has finally responded to some of the issues raised in this article by calling (at the last minute) a “treehouse” meeting in a chat room at Etsy to discuss policies and procedures.

    It remains to be seen whether this will result in any real change.

  135. smokeyjoe says:

    Ah, I see there has already been a comment from “treehousedweller” :)

  136. ayecaramba says:

    I am an Etsy seller of over two years.

    In my experience, though the mission is fantastic, they’re so
    focused on building the handmade revolution, that they don’t think they
    need to learn how to run a business. There are some wheels that I don’t
    feel should be re-invented.

    One of my personal favorite Etsy-splosions was when the entire
    billing system exploded and hundreds to thousands of sellers got
    double-billed all at once…or got billed for multiple months of fees
    at once that Etsy had promised would be auto-billed months previous.
    Bounced bank accounts right and left…this is a situation where I’m
    sure the admins were a little stressed…but that doesn’t mean you
    should blame your sellers for your mistake. It happened to me…it
    happened to others. Yes, I still use the site, but it is a cautious
    relationship :)

    In my experience, depending on who you are dealing with in Etsy
    administration, the response you get may be friendly, angry, insulting,
    uninformed, pleasantly ignorant, or non-existent. The throughline is
    inconsistency.

    On top of that, they may tell you one thing…then turn around and
    insist that they didn’t tell you what they told you…and change their
    mind.

    There doesn’t seem to be a core customer service vision…there also
    doesn’t seem to be an awareness that the sellers ARE the customers.
    Even the ones that the admins don’t think are “cool” enough for
    them…I hate to say it…but it does feel like there’s an in crowd and
    an out crowd. I just avoid it all by focusing on my business now, and
    avoiding the Etsy drama.

    Etsy has provided the Forum for me to start my own business, and
    grow it at my own pace, which has been fantastic, and I am grateful. My
    hope for them has always been that they will quit reinventing the
    “running a business” wheel and hire some staffers with better customer
    service and system building skills. I wish they would take proven
    business systems and principles and tweak them according to their indie
    vision, instead of accidentally assaulting sellers with inconsistency…

    I certainly don’t feel that people need to be “afraid” of Etsy or
    their admins. But those who sign up to sell need to be aware that they
    may experience an uncomfortable amount of inconsistency with site
    systems, and admin reactions to issues that can come up in the normal
    course of business.

  137. evilbizatch says:

    I just had to laugh. When this article first hit, you saw the comment by “brepettis” on the first page, saying that Etsy is so great and this article is only based on a “grumpy” person.

    Hilarious today that Etsy announces that they just hired Brepettis. Just hired? [www.etsy.com]

    Really makes me laugh that someone just hired by Etsy has the attitude of users just being big “grumpy” meanies. You have got to be kidding me?

  138. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I just hope someone submits a follow up if and when the issues get resolved. I’m following a couple of threads in their forum but it doesn’t look like this is going to get fixed quickly.

    I don’t understand the users at Etsy getting upset with Consumerist but then the ones who are upset hadn’t read Consumerist before. They don’t know that this is one of the nicer (if not the nicest) “Company does something wrong” articles up here. This is not a write up for a company that is disliked. Try searching the site for “debt collector”.

  139. isellart says:

    “We wish Etsy and its sellers the best of luck sorting this out.”

    Unfortunately unless this is settled on the terms stated by UEN editors regarding all policies, procedures pertaining to sellers and admin this will never be resolved. Any constructive criticism offered is presented by UEN editors in such a polarizing way that it is lost on most sellers who either ignore the frequent “my way or the highway” forum threads or feel their businesses are threatened by the constant, increasingly publicized negativity.

    I have been selling on etsy since ’05 and selling fulltime online since ’98 having grown my business on 3 separate start up venues. There will always be mistakes, missteps, unhappy customers and reworking of policy to improve. In etsy’s case the virulance of the core group of extremely dissatisfied etsy sellers, with a few added and subtracted as time goes on, in aggressively and continuously voicing their demands along with predictions of etsy’s demise should those demands not be followed stands alone.

    In the latest episode Etsy has apologized for the erroneous store closures and is reworking the policy which led to the mistakes. If the result is not up to par for those on UEN, editors and self proclaimed “permanently jaded” past users, we will get continuous criticism in the etsy forum, UEN and whatever blogs they can convince their claims are justified.

    This is done supposedly for the good of all sellers on etsy but I really have to question how beneficial it is to all of those who rely on income from etsy to live and pay bills to see what are expected normal growing pains/mistakes fairly common in any new business venture blown up into a form of extreme seller abuse and advertised as such on blogs like this.

    There are many things I would like to see improved on etsy and many things have improved since I joined and in all honesty I feel my business is more of a victim due to a small number of vocal unhappy sellers and their crusade in the name of all etsy sellers then I do of etsy’s missteps.

  140. creatura says:

    I really do hope etsy works out, not just for me but for all of us who have illusion in this great idea, Rob K make your staff professional and things will fall into place. Best of luck to all of us who want it.

  141. rosebud says:

    “In the latest episode Etsy has apologized for the erroneous store closures”

    Have they? Have they made public retractions of the “deadbeats” accusation, and have they stated the sellers did nothing wrong? So far all I’ve heard is that they PLAN to make apologies, (which is encouraging, don’t get me wrong), but not that it’s actually happened yet.
    I think I will wait to hear from the mistakenly suspended sellers themselves before I believe any true apology has taken place.

    A first step has been taken, it’s very encouraging. But there’s a long way to go still.

  142. isellart says:

    They are aware mistakes were made, they have asked the community for input into policy changes. Any apology to the couple of store owners who had their shops closed by mistake is private and none of my business.

    The public statement that mistakes were made and are being addressed is the extent of what is owed me. I am very satisfied with etsy as it stands today warts and all, it has provided me a platform for a full time living although I choose to also sell on other venues. None of the venues are perfect, all of them have made mistakes. Etsy alone has been the most responsive to the community.

    As in the past if etsy doesn’t change in the way editors of UEN demands they do we will never hear the end of it. We are in a recession here in the states with most forcasting a severe recession in the near future. Good luck to them if they decide articles like this is the way to deal with their overblown grievances.
    Etsy provides a service for many people who need that extra income and many others who sell fulltime. Agendas threatening the downfall of etsy should a certain list of demands not be met won’t be welcome.

  143. rosebud says:

    I think that since their shop closures were publicly viewable (any customer looking for their store saw a brick wall) , and admins made public statements they were deadbeats, then the apology/retraction should also be public.
    You can’t libel someone in public and then retract it in private.

  144. isellart says:

    Wherever you choose to draw your line in the sand if etsy does not act as you and UEN expects we will certainly hear about it ad nauseum. The majority of etsy sellers on the forums, a very small % of total sellers, have moved on from this.

  145. smallbizowner says:

    If Etsy dealt with communication issues properly and in a useful manner there would be absolutely no need for an off-site information clearing house such as UEN.

    Saying that only a small number of sellers had their stores shut down mistakenly so everything is fine is ridiculous.

    Sure it doesn’t bother people who haven’t had it happen. However, if it is your store that is shut down of course you would have an interest in specific policies, terms and if there is any way to have your case reviewed.

    As it stands no seller has any recourse and no rules are in place and no standard practices are in place to prevent it from happening again. That is completely unacceptable.

    Anyone who wishes to excuse Etsy over this is naive. Unless sellers come together and require useful policies and procedures then it’s all just a crapshoot.

    Since Etsy doesn’t do any mainstream advertising, sellers are left to bring in buyers that makes the Etsy/Seller relationship far more intertwined.

    The number of humans that are willing to put their heads in the sand because this is Etsy is astonishing to me.

    Wake up. Business is business.

    And are we so devoid of empathy that we can’t put ourselves in the shoes of another to see the larger issues and deal with them appropriately.

    Why must we vilify people who have been wronged because they speak up?

  146. isellart says:

    “If Etsy dealt with communication issues properly and in a useful manner there would be absolutely no need for an off-site information clearing house such as UEN.”

    A clearinghouse? On UEN I see etsy news followed by a bunch of negative posts about EVERTHING etsy by UEN editors, banned etsy members and disgruntled sellers. Any constructive criticism is buried in anger, resentment, making fun of those who don’t see the problems as they do, insulting admins including namecalling and just general bashing. This article was quite a coup for UEN.

    I choose to get my news through etsy and have no problem doing so.

    “Saying that only a small number of sellers had their stores shut down mistakenly so everything is fine is ridiculous.”

    First I didn’t say everything was fine. I said mistakes were made, acknowledged and the community was included in the decision making regarding policy changes to prevent further mistakes. What I did say was what is reported in this article as some gross version of seller abuse is actually something that has happened on every venue I’ve sold on.

    “As it stands no seller has any recourse and no rules are in place and no standard practices are in place to prevent it from happening again. That is completely unacceptable.”

    Pure drama. In the years I’ve been selling online every venue has made mistakes including shop closing errors, has had to revisit policies to prevent further mistakes and no matter how tight policies are if humans are involved mistakes will happen. If my store gets closed in error I’ll be mad but as long as steps are taken to improve I’ll deal with it. It’s a tiny risk on all online venues.
    Will I post in the forums in a panic- no, I understand from experience mistakes happen and immediate contact with whoever is in charge is not always possible.

    “Anyone who wishes to excuse Etsy over this is naive. Unless sellers come together and require useful policies and procedures then it’s all just a crapshoot.”

    Experience and perspective have taught me to look at what is the worst that can happen, prepare for it and move on. Etsy to it’s credit is one of the most open to the community venues with traffic online. It may be a crapshot for you but I’ve been doing this for too long not to understand the risks and benefits of selling on any venue online. The odds are most definately in my favor especially on etsy.

    “Why must we vilify people who have been wronged because they speak up?”

    I didn’t vilify any seller that was wronged. Those directly involved should expect an apology. The problem for some is that I haven’t vilified etsy either.

  147. rosebud says:

    “Wherever you choose to draw your line in the sand”

    Love these ridiculous militaristic metaphors.
    I just want common decency. I guess that is unreasonable to some people.
    Luckily, Etsy does seem to care about such things, or at least is starting to lean toward it.

    “I choose to get my news through etsy and have no problem doing so.”

    Do you also think Walmart’s corporate PR statements are a good and impartial place to get news about Walmart? Do you think Pres. Bush is a good source of information about the Iraq war? Companies have an agenda, Etsy employees have an agenda, customers have an agenda, innocent users who have been defamed and lost income have an agenda. You should use critical thinking to evaluate all sources of information, not just blogs.

  148. isellart says:

    “Love these ridiculous militaristic metaphors.”

    Actually in the english language it generally means

    “If you draw a line in the sand, you establish a limit beyond which things will be unacceptable.”

    [www.usingenglish.com]

    Although it does have it’s originas in the military specifically the alamo and the roman empire, common usage does not suggest a militaristic stance by the user.

    Using the origin to imply my opinion is somehow militaristic or morally lacking is a weak argument at best, a cheap shot at worst. Regardless it has nothing to do with my comment.

    “Do you also think Walmart’s corporate PR statements are a good and impartial place to get news about Walmart?”

    That was in response to UEN being a clearinghouse for etsy news.
    I know exactly how to evaluate news from different sources and how to apply it to my business and my life.

    I do expect to get updates, policy changes, etc. on etsy and have no problem doing so.

    I find the linked sources of info and hopefully facts are most important in judging the legitimacy of “news” on blogs. Exactly why all 4 linked sources for this article are extremely questionable for me. When verifiable fact is seriously outweighed by a particular agenda, I take everthing with a large grain of salt.

  149. smallbizowner says:

    Critical thinking is a lost art and the bane of apologists.

  150. isellart says:

    …and narcissists.

  151. rdtnyc says:

    DON’T KID YOURSELF. ETSY IS EBAY. IT’S NOW OVERWHELMED BY JUNK.

    THE DIFFERENCE IS THAT EBAY DOESN’T CLAIM TO BE ANYTHING BUT A JUNK YARD AND IS RUN BY COMPETENT PROFESSIONALS.

    ETSY IS RUN BY ANNOYINGLY NAIVE HIPSTERS WHO CLAIM SOME SORT OF MORAL MISSION THAT NO ONE CARES ABOUT.

    THE $27M INVESTMENT WAS BROUGHT IN TO FINALLY MAKE THE TRANSITION TO A FLEA MARKET. STAY AWAY!

  152. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Unfortunately unless this is settled on the terms stated by UEN editors regarding all policies, procedures pertaining to sellers and admin this will never be resolved.

    @isellart: According to you I should never buy from Etsy. Awesome.

  153. Gabbi says:

    Unfortunately etsy hasn’t learned from its mistakes. Sellers are still having their shops closed for no reason, and without notice. It would seem that the etsy policies are for the benefit of etsy administration, not sellers or buyers. Furthermore, racial profiling and discrimination against minorities is becoming more and more apparent with the store closings. For example, a Native American friend of mine who has a store on etsy named Little Secrets went on vacation last week. The second day of her vacation she checked her site only to find her store had been closed. It would seem she was accused her not making the jewelry she had listed. All 170 pieces! She is a very skilled silversmith and artesian who has been crafting jewelry for more than 40 years. There was no inquiry from etsy. No emails. Nothing. Her shop was just closed. To further add insult to injury she emailed them for three days and did not receive a response. There is no telephone number for etsy. She looked. Etsy is run by very power hungry little people. It had potential to be a great site. Too bad it went the way of self-important little white boys.

  154. pokie32 says:

    I was kicked off Etsy. I had a computer melt down in August, my ancient computer finally quit. Being 71 with an ill husband, funds for things like new computers are not easy to come by. Finally I got a replacement computer with the help of saving and a fantastic son in law. Much to my surprise when I tried to log into my account, I was told it had been deactivated. No problem, I just contacted someone on the help site and told them I now had a computer up and running and would be more than happy to pay my bill. It got kicked back and told me to sign in and try again, enter my username and password and guess what, I have been deactivated. I tried every means that I could come up with to get in touch with Etsy, settle my bill and get back active. No answer, nada, nothing.. I went to all the suggested sites to resolve any issue and every time I was told to sign in and give my password. Oooops, sorry that site has been deactivated. Ok, I tried emailing them an as soon as I typed my user name in a little lighting icon came on, I suppose saying, bad, do not accept. Etsy seems to be so careful taking care of their reputation for honest dealing that will do so on the backs of honest dealers. I saw where someone had emailed someone and got an answer. I just want to pay my bill, which they want me to, but I can’t because I can’t log onto my site. I have Paypal up and running and Ebay with out a problem. Got my credit card registered. Can someone just tell me how to find out what I owe. I understand I have been black listed and will never again be allowed to try and sell my arts and crafts. Mary, pokie32

  155. pink_bear says:

    I am in Japan and I sold mainly vintage dollhouse items, rare stationery and dolls from the 60s and 70s. I also sold handmade brooches that took me days to make. I woke up one day to see my entire shop deleted from Etsy. This was done without warning and I was sent no emails at all prior to this. I wrote to the admin there but they have not replied. Before this happened I had contacted support about 2 months ago for help, they did not even bother to communicate with me even then. The vintage items I listed applied to their rigid rules (also tagging) that the items had to be older than 20+ years. Moreover, these items were rare and sometimes dead-stock items that are hard to find.
    This kind of management is just so disgraceful and reflects so poorly on the image of Etsy.
    Just making a engine search on the two words ‘bad’ ‘etsy’ and I found a list of sources that revealed that there were many other users who experienced this sort of treatment before.
    I just wonder how their future is going to end up if they continue with these practices.
    This experience has left a bad impression on me and I’ll make it known to most of the handmade community in Japan.

  156. ThePlaypen says:

    Etsy is a poorly run online marketplace with arbitrary rules enforecement. No response is standard operating procedure from the Etsy support staff. They seem to have no business or marketing acumen whatsoever. Appears to be staffed entirely with wannabe hipsters and stoners. They can shut down a seller’s store without warning or viable reason. No appeal process or inquiry. Thus, they can and do confiscate all the sellers product images and descriptions, costing the seller thousands of hours of labor and money. Don’t forget that the seller has already paid for a contracted listing of a specified duration. Management behavior is borderline criminal. Class-action lawsuit being brought by sellers soon. Etsy allows unstable buyers to run amok who make multiple purchases with no intention of paying. Seller concerns are routinely ignored and as a result, Etsy has developed a reputation as a “seller-unfriendly” site.