Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Damnit Etsy....

Every time, I hear someone say the economy is getting better my teeth and jaw start to hurt from clenching my jaw.  

Getting better my ass.

Here this week, was what we will call a metaphoric 2' x 4' from the universe.  We had been hardcore about getting the fuck out of California (Fuck this state and its policies.  Next person to tell me it's a great place to live will be told to fucking pony up and come live here for a year.  When you say no, you will be unequivocally told to Shut The Fuck Up.) but after basically getting our car stolen... I have zero willingness to even come back and visit!

They need to wipe the slate here.  Seriously.

As is such, I started digging into my Etsy store to try and see what all was going on with these damn keyword processes... and stumbled across something that made me sick to my stomach and explained why so many of my sellers and I were struggling on Etsy.

"How Etsy Changed the Rules..."

Now here's the thing, when they first announced this policy change last year, it didn't seem to make a difference right away.  It wasn't until this summer, that many crafters from all over the world on Etsy started really noticing.  Don't believe me?

Just go to Etsy, right now, and type in something in the search.  The first two dozen pages on average and store ads from "outside manufacturers".  If you want to find an actual shop, keep digging.  Some times it takes until page 36 to start finding the actual handmade stuff.

Then one of my good friends on Facebook has this article pop up on her feed:  Alternatives to Etsy .
(THANK YOU GODS!)  So I start digging into this alternatives.

First one I'm examining is Bonanza.  (And no, not the old TV show.)

First thing that struck me was they have an annual package... there is no free option for a store listing.

The most expensive is Titan Plan.  (Titan... really???) Breakdown of it is as follows:

  1. $166.00 a year.  
  2. 50,000 shop items spots.  (50k items?!)
  3. Your items listed on Comparison Shopping Engines with 20 million + monthly shoppers.
  4. Advertise to targeted Bonanza buyers during checkout
  5. Account specialists review and optimize your booth
  6. Live 1-on-1 tech support
  7. Increases advertising page views and sales by around 3x, on 25 days per month
  8. Exclude items from Ebay import by price or category; buyers can type personalized text into the item view; Your items can be promoted in site search results; Sell downloadable files like music or ebooks with unlimited listings.
  9. "Magically" Item Image backgrounds 1k times a month.
  10. Google Analytics: Track Visitor Behavior .....(Yeah, you just read that right.)
I could go on but I think you get the point.  Now their cheapest annual plan is of course the Gold Plan.

  1. 17 dollars a year with a 30 day free trial.
  2. 25,000 items per booth. (25k?! Who the hell has that kind of inventory that's a homemade crafter?  A family of 12?)
  3. Everything else is identical to Etsy just about.
Now if you're a buyer, Bonanza looks great.  For sellers... best to have a decent income coming in already from a loyal customer base before becoming a seller on this site.

So which one is next?

Well let's look at aftcra.  American based crafters.  You can sell to the whole world, but if you're a crafter, you to live in the United States to sell on their site.  It's free to list, free to join, there's no annual or monthly fees.  However, they do take 7% commission out of each sale and your only option for money transactions is PayPal.  (oye)

It's an American run company, right out of Minnesota.  However, I am currently not going to say much more about them.  I got two listings to upload with no problem... then the create listing page just went down the toilet.  To save myself time, I tend to type of up item descriptions and measurements in Notepad whenever I complete a project and then upload listings twice a month, copy and pasting.  So either their site doesn't like copy and pasting or they have a create listing limit, which is not discussed at any point in any of their FAQs. I did fire off any email, so next round of seller site reviews I should have an update about them.

That's all the ones I'm talking about today.  I have at least two more that I'm going to be digging into.

So, back to what I was talking about at the beginning of this.

For a long time, Etsy for many folks like myself was our only source of making ends meet and many folks even managed to pay the rent.  Now that we're dealing with this, with Google search pulling shit with the keywords... well, this year has been a bad year.  For many, it's turned surviving to... well... not.

Why would Etsy do something like this?  To please their shareholders, who in their eyes, are not the 1 million shops on their site, that are paying .20 cents for each listing and renewal and 3.5% commission. 

Is it time for the Evelyn to the throw in the towel on Etsy?

Not yet.  I'll keep it maintained, but you bet your beer (or cider or wine) that I'll be either getting a new site somewhere else, or finally building my own website.  

Now pass one's of those beers... I need it.

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