Welcome to EtsyTricksy … A Conspiracy of Silence

Today a relevant post was removed from the Etsy  “Forums”.   It was a honest post, pointing out that twenty identical factory-made necklaces were blatantly advertised on the first Etsy Search page.   TWENTY necklaces which could be purchased at AliExpress for $4,50.  Twenty shops clearly violating Etsy’s rules for Handmade items.  Twenty obvious re-sellers of factory produced jewelry.

Here’s a segment of the Etsy Search page for Turquoise Bubble Necklace.

turq necklace 2

Within fifteen minutes the original post was pulled.   Fifteen minutes.   Several of the other replies to the original post were also yanked.   Nothing in the post broke any Etsy forum rules … which are considerable.   Nothing.   Except it was a topic Etsy wants to keep quiet.  And the poster clearly showed how derelict in their monitoring of resellers on Etsy is.  It takes days for Administration to remove a glaringly obvious re-seller.

But mere minutes to censor anyone who questions their laxity towards people who break the most basic rule.   That the sellers should HANDMAKE their items.

Here is the Thread  in question  … minus the censored Original Post.


Originally I had planned for Etsy Tricksy to be a blog offering suggestions, little tricks and help to people setting up Etsy shops.   I had planned to temper my criticism and balance it with the very good elements of this highly successful world-wide site.   Then I began to read very disturbing complaints.   I began to see shops disappear, familiar voices on the forums silenced and blogs cut off after a month or two.  Something sinister seemed to be operating.

How could any company in America in 2013 possibly operate under an iron curtain of silence?  How could any company possibly not be apprehended for misrepresentation?  Why have none of those people whose lives were decimated in moments by a sudden closure of their shops, not spoken up?  Beyond a short angry tirade in one or another little-read and little publicized blogs?   Why are people not speaking up?

So I changed the direction of EtsyTricksy a bit and trimmed my sails.   Now I’ll be a little less generous and a lot more vocal.

Climb aboard,   The ride is just beginning.



36 Responses to Home

  1. estyfacts says:

    Great post!! more people are starting to speak up and way more people are listening now than before. But yes, is vital that more folks speak up, etsy has been getting away with gross misbehavior for way too long, they have to be stopped, people have to spread the word and boycott this company, so that they are forced to change their ways and stop abusing sellers and buyers.

  2. etsyorphans says:

    Etsy has been shady since the start. Back in 2011 there were so many people speaking out, and they disappeared it seems as they accepted their abuse and went on with their regular lives.
    I declare myself to be an advocate against etsy’s injustice. With the power of courage and the inspiration of a common cause, people united in mind and spirit can put an end to Etsy’s abuse and indignation.

  3. trin1066 says:

    Also, on top of OTHER changes Etsy has made to the site (easier bulk posting for example, easier reposting an identical of a sold item…. etc) the new version of their feedback system is totally weighted in favor of mass production sellers (factories, sweat shops, importers) selling large quantities of identical items… and weighted AGAINST the handmade, OOAK, vintage finds and supply sellers working out of their homes.

    There’s so much weight given to ONE negative or neutral feedback to a smaller shop (only the last year of feedbacks now results in the average) that buyers who were using the older system to extort free items, (or in one case claim a non-receipt, get a replacement item, and THEN the first one arrives… AND gets a refund… AND leaves a negative review.) from newer sellers, can now do the same thing to any of the smaller sellers. (If your shop sells only a hundred or so, or LESS items a year, ONE negative or neutral can destroy your rating.)

    Yesterday an announcement threw the sellers the tiniest of crumbs, and then shut down the only thread for discussion of feedback problems. Sellers can now respond to buyer feedback… but buyers still do not accumulate feedback of their own or have an established reputation of their own, there is still no fix to the extreme weight of even 1 negative on a small shop.

    Etsy’s AIM is to become even more like Alibaba or AliExpress than Ebay….

  4. Crysta Icore says:

    I saw something dramatic with my own shop once I started becoming more vocal about resellers this summer, my sales STOPPED. I have had a regular flow of sales, nothing amazing.. 2-4 sales a week. I had a great routine and kept busy. But after I started becoming more vocal and had a very successful thread about resellers hurting the true indie artists my sales and views came to a sudden STOP. I am not just saying they trickled down. Everything came to a full on stop. No sales for weeks, views down to 10-20 a day instead of my normal 150-250 a day. I hadn’t made any changes to my routine, I was still advertising and doing everything as before. But I truly saw how speaking out slapped me around.

    Last week I got the survey. The majority of the survey was all about resellers and asking if I thought they did a good enough job of monitoring resellers. Obviously they knew I had raised a fuss and were letting me know about it.

    Hopefully it won’t be enough to put my shop out of business.

    • The same thing happened to me. Suddenly my sale-a-week STOPPED. Views dropped 75% or more. I didn’t want to believe that Etsy was being to childish and petty as to do that to shops… but I now believe they are.

      I’m in the process of moving everything to a standalone site hosted by Supadupa (who have been everything Etsy is not in terms of fast and brilliant customer service). I have to learn how to promote, but eventually I will be free of Etsy,

      • Crysta Icore says:

        That is very cool. I am in the process this week of putting everything on clearance on Etsy. I just need to figure out what is next. I wish wordpress had something that allowed selling here.

  5. soorkidum says:

    This is rather chilling. I have had this suspicion myself. I have a shop on Etsy and when it began my views were very high. Suddenly after I was “muted” everything came to a standstill … from a hundred or more down to five or ten. True I had been active in the forums, which obviously contributed to views. But the decline was huge. The only thing constant is a very high ratio of views to favorites.

    I just got another copy of the survey from yet another source … identical to what I’ve posted above. So it’s pretty clear that they’ve targeted you for another entirely different survey.

    The problem is that Etsy is huge … and just waits us out. They’re letting threads die. Notice how they allow them to run longer than usual … which is to give the thread time to die out. The other problem is that when people speak out in their off Etsy blogs, they sound like they’re ranting and raving. Read some of the complaints to Consumer Report agencies.

    There has to be an organized opposition. The only person to come close in her wonderful humorous way was April WInchell with Regretsy.

    Or …. this is a slim hope ….. someone within Etsy management will spill the beans. Surely there will be someone with conscience who eventually speaks out. Because it’s becoming pretty clear that there are dark dealings at the heart of Etsy. And not enough people are speaking out. I have other commitments and every day question my wasting of time on Etsy. I don’t need the money and I don’t need the hassle.

    But what I’m seeing is so WRONG ……

  6. If only more people would do what you have done with this blog. I am so upset with Etsy’s muting and closing threads and posts. I think I am in a dictatorship. How can they possibly hide what is so blatantly obvious. Thank you for doing this.

    • soorkidum says:

      Many people have tried. There have been some excellent blogs … but they’ve faded away after a few months. Please keep the momentum going and circulate this link if you can. I’ll keep posting … It’s been a dilemma for me because my regular blogs are all dealing with spirituality and teaching. In this one I have to come out with my boxing gloves on. But I’m trying to do it with a little wry humor … a homage to my friend and mentor, April WInchell of “Regretsy” … who signed off on her blog in January. She was the strongest voice for integrity and honesty we’ve ever had.

  7. carolbabs says:

    As a buyer-only on Etsy, I loved the original concept – genuine handmade, true vintage, and supplies for artisans/crafters. However, Etsy has changed, and not for the better. They have redefined words such as handmade, co op, and vintage so that just about anything can, and does, sell on Etsy now. Want a new iPhone, shop on Etsy. Want a store-bought charm, on a store-bought chain described as handmade, shop on Etsy. Want one of those “handmade” bubble necklaces as shown above, shop on Etsy.

    The old adage of “Buyer Beware” has become extremely important on Etsy. Buyers are being fooled into purchasing what they believe is handmade, but is in fact hand assembled, or mass produced.

    Sellers of the genuine article are hard to find amongst the crap, and have to compete against hundreds/thousands of cheaply made, mass produced items.

    And don’t speak out about it in the forums or you will be silenced. Buyers are also muted – I was. Etsy is not what it once was, or what it purports to be/

  8. soorkidum says:

    You nabbed it perfectly in your first paragraph … Etsy has allowed “handmade” to be watered down with too many loopholes in the guise of supplies and vintage and co-ops. I spoke up in the forums and offered valid solutions … which guaranteed me a muting. Very quickly I might add. Another friend picked up the gauntlet and they got him too … and made up a charge of being a sock puppet as the excuse. The muting is draconian.

    I am hoping someone with more legal background than I have will take up the challenge .. at least in terms of “misrepresentation”.

    We have to keep up the pressure. Toss this link around a bit and I’ll keep adding more snarky posts by my three feisty reporters. We all thank you for your support.

  9. Mandy says:

    Yes, buyers also muted. Me too. Even customers get a slap in the face. Imagine that kind of customer service in the mall.

    • soorkidum says:

      Sheeeesh ,,,, that’s the second comment from a buyer who’s been muted. I find that absolutely incredible! Etsy “muting” is draconian. Today a post was entirely removed … normally just the comment is removed …. but the OP and the entire thread vanished.

      I’m hoping more people will speak out here It’s hard to get the word out when SO many people and shops which have been muted have no recourse to publicize what is happening. Thanks for commenting.

  10. Carol-Ann says:

    And yet another buyer muted – I was slapped for 7 days because I happened to mention Bubble Necklaces oh and I did a treasury featuring them all, that was taken down fast too, that was in February of this year.

  11. FedUp says:

    After reading your blog and being one of those that has been muted; permanently, I find this all very disturbing. To me it reeks of Etsy committing FRAUD and silencing everyone who dares speaks up. Their new thing of redefining the word handmade should get the FTC involved and haul them all into court. They should be featured on the show, “American Greed” that CNBC airs. I can see Etsy on there. SMH

  12. If you would like to join in supporting a possible Class Action and/or Federal Trade Commission filings, please contact me at pomegranatefarm@gmail.com



  13. Apparently they’ve been conducting testing since September and many shops are experiencing major drops in views and sales, including my own. Also when someone finds your listing through Google, once they get to your page, there’s images of similar items by other sellers on the page and you have to scroll down to see the original item the person clicked on. Thus, they are redirecting your traffic and using your items as bait. Apparently opting out of Google ads has helped some shops get more views. Since finding out all this and the allowing of manufacturers in, I’ve started moving shop over to zibbet.
    I’m really interested in what the FTC will think because many etsy sellers are lawyers, were lawyers, or have spouses who are. Of all people, etsy should not be pissing off their sellers. It almost makes me wonder if greed has fried their brains making them all act stupid up in HQ.

    • I started over at Etsy in May. Was going great until September hit and then poof nothing. I had one sale in the first couple of days in September and haven’t had one since. After the policy change in October, I began moving my shop over to Zibbet. It less expensive, the community feel is better, customer service is better, and if I don’t sell anything- I’m not really out any more than I would have been staying at Etsy. I still have a few things over on Etsy, but they will be gone by January if not before. Very sad about the whole experience. Hopefully Zibbet will be the new handmade/handcrafted only venue. Looks good so far.

  14. John Major says:

    Another permamute buyer only here as well! I refused to stop bringing all the horrendous items for sale on Etsy to the attention of the forums. I was permamuted mid post, no warnings. I can no longer buy from a selling platform that has no morals or ethics and is happy to take fees from anyone selling anything. The rape T-shirts are only the tip of the iceberg of what is being sold on etsy. I got sick of reporting items over and over again and nothing being removed. Now I check into the forums to keep track of where the sellers are opening other shops so I can follow them to buy from them there.

    • Carol-Ann says:

      Hi John Major – I remember some of your posts, you were quite a prolific buyer weren’t you?

      I became completely fed up with Etsy, not so much because I was temporarily muted but because a Swasticker pendant that I reported time after time was never removed, I found the listing revolting and the fact that Etsy refused to act disgusting, which is why I closed my account.

      I’m now happily shopping at Zibbet!

  15. I AM onboard and here is my blog featuring the bubble necklace treasury I created after the original was taken down http://debrasdivinedesigns.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/why-my-etsy-sales-have-died/

  16. Jewl gurl says:

    Yesterday, the same takedown happened to one of my treasuries (within 20 mins) and the thread I posted about the reseller prob: https://www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/13306874/page/2

    I did blog about it. You can see the screen shot of it here: http://bezartsblog.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/i-am-a-dissident-i-cannot-help-it/

    Etsy is failing! Pretty much in every area, except where their seemingly main objective is concerned, which is: “Let’s make as much money as possible – however we can and if we have to sacrifice the little store owner – so be it.”

  17. soorkidum says:

    Good job on the screenshot. Everyone who posts a Treasury should take that screen shot. It’s the only evidence you’ll have after the Etsy “intergrity goons” pull it. And here’s another kicker. They’ll erase it from anyone who has “favorited” it too. They’ll literally swipe it right out of your personal lists. How’s that for technology … and deviousness.

    Keep the pressure on. I can see viewer stats soaring in the last week.

  18. If you’ve read the old, now abandoned, blog Callin’ Out on Etsy, you might remember that Etsy’s staff has been protecting, coaching, and allowing resellers for years. I have an informal list, always incomplete, of shops reselling jewelry on Etsy. I just add them as I see them, when I have a moment. My current count is around 350 shops, but new ones open every day. .

  19. Linbo says:

    Someone on the forums just posted this HuffPost Live video. Etsy’s cat is out of the bag nationally it seems.

    • soorkidum says:

      It’s a good clip … wish it had hit the Huffington main screen though.

      The cat mustn’t be allowed to crawl back into the bag. I imagine Etsy managers are cringing a bit now each time another Etsy news article comes out. It’s pretty evident that the “replies” will be overwhelmingly negative, no matter what the original slant of the piece. Every Etsy reference gives fuel to the angry sellers.

      We must use this fuel and share links and comments and keep the pressure on. Dickerson has to be forced into a corner where all he can do it hiss and scratch. Then maybe either there will be a shift in management … or Etsy will revise its clearly devious and manipulative policies. Imua!

  20. Etsy continues the March of Blandness with the newest thing they are “testing” (which means if enough people HATE it they will make it the newest “improvement”). It seems they are now going to take away SHOP BANNERS! The screen shot I saw was horrid, nothing to distinguish it from any other shop, very “new site” looking, cheap…IDK it gets harder and harder to stay there but after trying so many other it seems like it’s the only game in town.

  21. Sara says:

    A permamute buyer here too. We care about etsy too and we are not stupid. They have ruined the ethos of etsy. I no longer purchase there.

  22. Je ո’aі point terminé de lire cependaոt je redpasserai ans la soirée

  23. Un intense гemerciement aau créateur de ce blog

  24. H says:

    wow…found this while searching the internet to find out why Etsy doesn’t have their “weather report” anymore…the sad thing about this post (and the fact is still true…turquoise bubble necklaces all over the place, all the same, and still available from Alibaba) is that it stands to reason that if somebody new to Etsy is looking for something unique and has this experience they would be sure to think…”well, not so special after all, back to Ebay where it’s cheaper”…so that sale is lost and there sure won’t be any recommendations about Etsy either…it’s gotten really sad…and by the way, no weather reports and I can only assume it is because the numbers stink and they don’t want anybody to know how bad it really is

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