Etsy losing "vintage" and "handmade" labels

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/07/10/etsy-removes-vintage-and-handmade-options.html

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Enshitification FTW

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How disappointing, there are a few sellers I follow in there that I know their products are handmade by them and that’s been what drew me to them. Removing these categories is definitely a red flag

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Sure seems an unavoidable ‘law of business thermodynamics*’… “Hey! let’s establish a company that does good things done right and makes a profit to boot!” …[founders get old, or just sleepy by the pool]… → “Let’s maximize profits whatever it takes!” (for some reason H.P. and Boeing leap to mind) -sigh-

(*what single letter should replace entropy? … Δ$ > 0 ?)

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The fuck? I haven’t used Etsy a lot, but the handmade and vintage stuff was the only stuff I thought was cool. Why remove it as a search option?

Fucking idiots.

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Does it matter? Their search hasn’t worked the way it should in ages. It always steers you to the same vendors.

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I’m torn: I’m not selling on Etsy for the reasons outlined in the article, but somebody who has copied my (very niche) product and (very small side-hustle-y) business model is. Not sure if I should bite the bullet and take the fight to the copycat, or remain ideologically pure and righteous.

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What a fuckin’ drag, man. Can anyone suggest a good Etsy alternative?

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(*what single letter should replace entropy? … Δ$ > 0 ?)

The visual pun (‘S’ stands for entropy, normally) is great

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This is actually a good thing. They aren’t just dropping the tags and letting it go feral.

A policy update announced today creates four new classifications for items for sale on Etsy: “made by,” “designed by,” “handpicked by,” and “sourced by.” All products need to fall into one of the four to be eligible for the platform.

Now I can just filter on “made by” and be done with all the other shit.

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Because there is more profit in becoming just another Temu. Or at least that’s what the management believes. And sadly, they may be right, at least in the short term. In the long term, this probably puts Etsy on the road to bankruptcy and, eventually, literally selling their IP to Temu in the liquidation of assets phase.

Sure. Just be prepared to wade through a thousand companies with names like STOREJEES, AUTOMET, Trendy Queen, and so on, all selling the exact same products with the exact same photos and descriptions, and good luck finding an actual independent maker. I didn’t make those names up, by the way. Just go on Amazon and search for any clothing. Finding a legitimate, non-sweatshop garbage clothing maker is like finding a needle in a haystack. Even if you know the name of the company you want to buy from, Amazon will still serve up sponsored trash when you add a company name to your search, plus you’ll also get third party sellers selling the name brand stuff, and good luck with that because most of them aren’t actually going to sell you the name brand stuff.

There might be a silver lining, though. This should be an opportunity for brick and mortar stores. The online retail marketplace is rapidly being taken over by complete trash. I think there’s a chance for brick and mortar stores to make a comeback.

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Pour one out for the long, lost “Regretsy” site that predicted all of this.

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I’d be curious about who is responding to what incentives here:

It seems like Etsy, and its ‘traditional’ user base, has a great deal to lose if it becomes known as the home of artisinal drop shopping/basically boutique temu: without any particular cost advantage that’s just wading into a ruthless compete-on-price zero margin knife fight, which seems like a terrible plan.

Of course, for individual bad actors among sellers, or Etsy HQ looking to cash out reputation for short term margins, there’s an obvious incentive to try to take advantage of having a reputation that supports higher prices while quietly moving to a supply chain that lowers costs and hopes that nobody notices.

Is this Etsy HQ throwing in the towel in their fight against motivated bad actors on the seller side? Voluntarily and more or less cynically looking to cash out the reputation and call it good? Some combination of the two? Someone actually drinking the kool-aide about a glorious synthesis of creative, sustainable, creator-driven small scale manufacturing and stuff?

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I am sure there are way more sales of imported bespoke looking goods, vs actual handmade/vintage goods.

But if it’s just a search category, how is that costing them money?

It’s very frustrating when companies just decide to alienate who got them to where they are today.

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This may be the day Estsy finally died and became just another eBay copycat.

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Depending on what one is looking for its often better to find artists and makers on various social media platforms (or local events) and then see if they have personal shops online outside of Etsy. There’s a few i have bookmarked, and i’ve found some cool makers during local events.

Etsy going further into their mass goods direction does make it to where one will have to fall back on doing a lot of searching to find gold. It’s not the worst but sometimes i just dont have the time or energy to put in that kind of work to find something.

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I’ve heard they also crack down on tame adult novelties, and have recently been pro “AI” art.

Not sure if that latter will be too protested here though, as BoingBoing itself regularly uses AI art for its articles, which makes me sad.

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They’ve seriously cut back on that recently. It’s mostly vaguely related stock photos now

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Michaels is opening a new online service that is supposed to be better than Etsy. I have friends who have tried selling there and feel pretty good about it.

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This happened to our local craft and food markets. Local and individual sellers diluted out by more and more cartons of landfill shipped in from afar. Eventually jumps the shark and frustrated people set up a new market.

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