Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I was waiting for the March weather report to confirm my suspicions regarding the 'low view, low sales' threads that have been overtaking the Etsy forums for the last month or so.  I don 't doubt that some are experiencing a drop in sales and/or views, and that Etsy and/or Google may have changed something that had an effect on this.  The fact is, sales have remained steady with a slight increase, so this tells me that while some shops are definitely noticing a loss, others are noting an increase.

The thing is, I'm betting the ones who have seen an increase in sales and views have no need to come to the forums to find out why.  I think that it's natural for someone to open a shop and expect sales to increase over time.  People come to the forums to either connect with others or to report a problem of some sort, so I feel like this issue is being blown way out of proportion.  Again, not saying that those complaining about a change for the worse are making it up or exaggerating, or that something hasn't changed, simply that the issue isn't as dire overall as the forums would indicate.

An overall observation of the forums shows multiple threads with shops reporting drastic drops in views and sales starting on specific dates in March.  Most, if not all, of the threads contain the same people reporting the same information, but as they drag on, newer sellers are jumping on the bandwagon to report similar findings, some long standing sellers coming to the forums looking for a correlation to their observations of a sudden drop in views and sales, and a fair number of sellers with no real history or data chiming in just in case the reason their listings aren't seeing the kind of views they'd expect or they aren't selling like they thought they would might be the same.

Then you have Rokali announcing that they made no changes on the specific dates in March, and that Google is introducing a change to their algorithm called 'Caffeine' that may or may not be affecting all of this.

Then you have pandemonium again because now all these people who are 'complaining' are just 'whiners' and 'need to take better pictures, write better titles and descriptions and/or go elsewhere'.

Then, LisaJune opens a thread asking for sellers to post if they've experienced this phenomenal drop in sales and views originating on those specific dates in March so that the engineers can look into it.  She get's to 1000 posts and the thread is closed.  Of course, you have that same mix as in the other threads, some with data, some without, and plenty of twitching, head-desking and shiny distraction innuendo.

Then you have a thread started several days after LisaJune's thread was closed.  Wanting to know what the results were from that thread.  Nothing impatient about THIS crowd.  One poor engineer reported that after looking at 20 shops in that list, only 2 showed any drop  one showed a significant enough drop to mention.  Of course, then you have people demanding to know what criteria was used to evaluate this, because we all know that Etsy will just skew the numbers in their favor or even outright lie about it.

Just another day in the forums, there's a problem, people demand answers, they speculate and form conspiracy theories because they don't get answered fast enough, and when they do get an answer they still aren't satisfied because it isn't what they wanted to hear.  And laced throughout it all, like weaving random golden threads in a tapestry, you have your sighing, twitching, drinking, popcorn, pennies, pebbles and snide remarks about Etsy admin's maturity, hipness, intelligence, age and experience.

A few brave souls try to hang on to any kind of positivity they can and share it with the rest and they are shot down like AKA-47s firing on a colorful hot air balloon.  They aren't having any of THAT!  No sireee, there is "A PROBLEM" and there will be no one allowed to look for silver linings and God Forbid that someone else may not be sharing this problem.  Stomp those out immediately, because they are dismissing the concerns of massive hordes of sellers who KNOW SOMETHING IS WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


PussDaddy said...

Oddly I was just thinking about you when this blog post of yours popped up on my dashbord, so that was very convenient.

Yes, it is hard to tell really what actually is going on when this stuff happens because you have your regular serial bitchers who that is what they do no matter what, then you have people who really do not know a thing about it but are just jumping on the band wagon and agreeing that this must be why their sales tanked but in reality have no fucking clue, then you have the popcorn passers/penny tossers who just muck things up with their silly assed off topic comments and hissy fits, and it is hard to tell what is real, what is bitching due to habit, and what is supposition, and what is just boredom so let's yell on a forum thread for a while.
One person who I see bitching all the time I was surprised to see her say the other day that she doesn't even have GA hooked up. If she isn't willing to hook up GA and figure it out then what else is she not willing to do to help herself? Even I have GA and I only have a blog. Granted I don't know everything about it but at least I made an effort to learn.

I don't know why there is this big lack of sales. For some people, the ones you see bitching regularly I would say that maybe their obnoxious forum perona may be a reason. Maybe it is because people are getting out now that the weather is nice and not in the house cooped up to keep warm from the winter cold with a computer to keep them company. I know I have been gone a lot from my house and out doing stuff the last 2 or 3 weeks and not on line buying stuff.
Maybe google did change, maybe Etsy screwed it up somehow, I don't know. And maybe, at the chance of being boo-ed and hissed at, maybe there is not as big a demand for handmade as a lot of people think there is. And maybe if someone does find Etsy and handmade maybe all the bitching and back stabbing and sneaky underhanded stuff that goes on is enough to make new buyers say screw it who needs the drama and go somewhere else to buy?

I do know that not long ago I woke up and google search looked different to me. I even pointed it out to my husband that it wasn't displaying as it usually does, but it has been a while and I can't remember exactly what the changes were now as evidently I have become used to them now. I just know it was different and I noticed it. I don't know that is has to do with anything though but neither does anyone else as you will notice this OP started a big thread with what someone else had said and neither one of them were right and admin had to step in and say so


and these sellers have both sold for a long time so if they have no clue what they are talking about I highly doubt that not many do have an idea what they are talking about. The problem is trying to figure out who does actually know something about whatever.


WindysDesigns said...

I've been on Etsy close to 4 years now. I've invested blood, sweat and tears (not to mention money) into my shop just like the majority of people who have been there for any length of time. I understand how it feels to not want to 'give up' on an investment, but at some point, you have to re-evaluate the importance of any given venue.

It sure looks to me like too many people are too dependent on Etsy for their livelihood, and are going to be left out in the cold if they don't start focusing on the business side of things instead of the touchy-feely 'community' crap.

Etsy is and always will look out for itself first, and sellers will be much better off if they'd just start using the site 'as is' instead of constantly and incessantly expressing discontent with this or that.

Bugs and technical issues? sure. Features? sure, suggest away. But the constant harping is just wasted energy and I'm noticing a few people have decided that it just isn't worth it anymore.

PussDaddy said...

I just don't think that it is possible for every one who wants to to make a living by selling their stuff on sites like Etsy. Some succeed, some don't. Those who do, if you look, a lot of them tend to have items that don't look as "handmade" as some do, they look like stuff you could buy in a store or as good as stuff you would buy in a store. This tells me that though people are coming to a handmade site they still prefer items that don't really look handmade. There are exceptions of course. And yes, there comes a time when you say this isn't going to work out and I am not going to make a living from this, and you re-evaluate. I understand a lot of people live where there are not many jobs though. However that doesn't add to or take away much from an ability or not to sell on a on line venue unfortunately. I do however feel badly that there may not be jobs where they live, but you would think that after 3 years (I am saying 3 years because that is about how long I have been on Etsy) people would figure out something-move to where there are jobs if you have to-a person could do a lot in 3 years to change their lives. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to survive. I also understand some may be handicapped or whatever and cannot just up and move willy nilly, it isn't always that easy for every one. And for some all the concentrating on the business side of things is not going to help them, I mean after all how many successful companies who make crocheted radishes and cucumbers for example have you heard of lately? How many people who make purses out of old clothes or T-shirts have you heard of striking it rich lately? Sure there are probably some, I just can't name any.


PussDaddy said...

When it comes right down to it there is no guarantee that Etsy will not be sold tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or whatever to someone who will then have their own ideas of what to do with it. There is no guarantee that Etsy will even exist in 3 months, or a year, or whatever. Unless you own your own business you are unfortunately at the mercy of the business decisions or lack thereof of others some times.