Etsy losing "vintage" and "handmade" labels

My wife has been selling custom stained glass on Etsy for probably the last decade. She always complains about how it’s just getting worse, the fees keep going up, there are more scams, they make it more difficult to keep your ratings up , the customer service just gets worse, etc. Someone here mentioned Michael’s is starting a site similar to what Etsy used to be; I’ll have her check it out.

3 Likes

… the thing about cool-indie-artisanal-whatever is that, by definition, it just does not scale

The more “successful” it is, the more it grows, the more indistinguishable it’ll be from the same old shit it was rebelling against :thinking:

1 Like

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.

Unfortunately Etsy had already devolved into this, with very obviously mass produced items from overseas tagged as “vintage” and handmade dominating feeds and rendering the tags meaningless.

1 Like

Noting this for when we bring back the old rotating site mottos. Boing Boing: Vaguely Related Stock Photos

Boing Boing: Getting Its Money’s Worth From The Shutterstock Enterprise Plan

7 Likes

Hey, I much prefer it to Boing Boing: We shoved the entire article’s text into Midjourney and this is what came out

4 Likes

God, I miss Regretsy, one of the funniest things on the entire internet. I understand why Winchell couldn’t keep it going, but the archives have completely vanished — not even available on her personal website any more — and all that remains of its former greatness is a book.

3 Likes

It won’t last. it can’t. Michaels is owned by a private-equity firm called Apollo, and inevitably their entire focus is on making the company as profitable as possible on paper, which means cutting staffing to the absolute minimum and selling ever-cheaper merchandise for ever-higher prices. Once they’ve picked all the meat off the carcass they’ll dispose of it.

4 Likes

Their decision to become incredibly prudish so as to not offend payment processors! (and other pearl clutchers no doubt):

2 Likes

@HansL
I appreciate your words here, with real experience and real issues. Thanks.

I have a friend who was selling grown-from-onsite-seed (hand-pollinated!), custom-grafted small cacti on Etsy. It was his main storefront a few years ago. He’s still very committed to cacti, has a big greenhouse, still knows what he’s doing botanically… but being an independent small business person on Etsy has turned out these days to be a black hole of time and money for him.

:woman_facepalming:

:100:

[sigh]

Yikes! I am really sorry to hear. This kind of theft really bugs me. And fighting to retain one’s intellectual property rights is typically (i.e. (intentionally protracted) ) an expensive battle. I wish I knew of better options of getting justice, including getting you your rightful lost revenue/income.

3 Likes

There are two ways a category like “handmade” can go:

  1. You don’t police it. It costs you nothing. Drop-shippers just lie and put their products in that category, and you get customer complaints and (potentially) liability for misleading customers
  2. You police it. Doing it effectively costs a lot of time and effort, and thus money, especially differentiating from someone who is making their own stuff and a dropshipper who is ripping off their design. The end result is that you spend money to direct your customers to a smaller pool of sellers, and you’ll make fewer sales because those items are going to be harder to find and higher priced. So you’re paying to reduce your overall sales volume, and I’m guessing they have found that they get more money on volume sales than on boutique sales.

So, if the incentive is not to police the category, why have it at all and open yourself up to complaints?

2 Likes