Tag Archives: Etsy

Unfond Farewell

4 Oct

It took me four years to wise up, but I’m smarter now and Etsy won’t be getting any more of my money.  I’ve finally removed all of my inventory from Etsy.  I moved to a new venue, Storenvy.  You can find my new boutique here.

The fatal push was this chummy letter:

Dear Kat,

Over the past eight years, Etsy sellers have astounded us with their creativity, ingenuity and ambition. This is a marketplace we make together; we lay the foundation and you build on it. You’ve grown Etsy in ways we never predicted, but part of our foundation hasn’t kept up.

Sellers tell us that our policies for shops with handmade items have become confusing, intrusive and restrictive. It’s time to give those policies a renovation.

We believe Etsy’s foundation should be empowering to you. You should be able to run your shop in a way that works for you. We want to be clear about what handmade means on Etsy. It’s about having an idea for an item, taking responsibility for how it’s made, and being honest about it.

In our new, simpler guidelines:

  • You are welcome to hire people and collaborate from different locations.
  • If it makes things easier, you can use shipping or fulfillment services. You remain responsible for your buyer’s experience.
  • You can work with outside manufacturers to help produce your designs. We’ll ask a few questions about why you chose them and how you work together.
  • Re-selling — purchasing a new, finished product you had no role in creating and selling it to someone else unchanged — is still not allowed.
  • All manufacturers and any shop members who help make your handmade items should be listed on your About page, to foster trust with buyers.

We believe this is the most clear, fair way to help you succeed and preserve the values that make Etsy special. I know these are substantial and important changes, so I invite you to share your thoughts or questions with us at guidelines@etsy.com.




CEO, Etsy

Well, since he asked so nicely…

Dear Chad

I’m writing to say good-bye. Your latest move is too little, too late.

The top ten sellers on Etsy are all “Craft Supplies” suppliers. This means your highest revenue source for listing and renewing is “Craft Supplies,” not “Handmade” goods, and this means to me that Etsy has completely failed to establish itself as a marketplace for quality, handmade items. I have seen very few items offered in the “Craft Supplies” category that were made by the seller, and I know the difference; Etsy, apparently, does not.

A lapidarist is a fine example of a hand-maker of a craft supply; ribbon hand-dyed by the seller is another great example. Gemstones (precious or otherwise) machine-cut in mass production and commercially available hand-dyed ribbon are excellent examples of the “Craft Supplies” you allow to be sold on Etsy.

The hard step, and the right step, is to remove “Craft Supplies” and “Vintage” completely from Etsy. A lapidarist selling their hand-cut stones currently fits under both “Craft Supplies” and “Handmade”; a person who uses vintage materials to create something that didn’t previously exist is both “Vintage” and “Handmade”; these sellers would not be affected. However, an old ashtray, broken watch or Halston broach, machine stamped brass, or a strand of freshwater pearls will never fit under “Handmade” and should not be sold on Etsy. Why, if re-selling is not allowed, is there any category other than “Handmade”? Why are re-sellers not shut down? Why does Etsy not enforce its own policies, instead relying on its CUSTOMERS to do their policing? Just what is it that am I paying you to do?

As my “employee,” you’ve failed miserably.

Over and over your policy and decision to allow “Craft Supplies” to be sold on Etsy is defended. I understand completely; who wants to lose the lion’s share of their revenue by allowing only HANDMADE items to be sold on Etsy. Very short-sighted when what you need to be is visionary.

I won’t even bother to go into your restrictive shop template (one size does not fit all) or debauched rating system, or your super secret formula for “relevance” or the repetitive favoring demonstrated by your “first page”. Not even the gaming of the treasury system. At this point, I can’t think of anything positive to say about your company.

I (as one of many) have grown sick of Etsy pandering to its own greed and making self-serving decisions that frustrate users and complicate your platform. You really don’t know who your “customers” are, do you?

So you’ll get no more of my money, either as a seller or as a buyer; I’ve already transferred 100% of my stock to another venue. In a few days, Etsy will be only a bad, sad memory.

RIP, Etsy.


Sit-Out Success?

27 Sep

I don’t know how many sellers and buyers participated in the sit-out held on September 21st; I did.

How do we measure the success, if any, of the sit-out?  Not having access to Etsy’s financial information for that day, the next best measure is an Etsy response.  Could this email be it?

Hi Kat,

On Tuesday, October 1st at 11 a.m. ET, we’ll do something we haven’t done in a long time — hold a community Town Hall at our headquarters in Brooklyn. You can register here for the live webcast. I hope you tune in; we’ll be taking your questions.


Chad Dickerson
CEO, Etsy

T’would be nice.  However, I think I’ll “attend” to find out, and let y’all know what new type of bullshit the devil is trying to sell.etsydemonsign

Controversy at Etsy

7 Jul

Etsy has never been free from controversy since I began selling my handmade items in October of 2009.  Occasionally, I get roped into a fracas, and the current fuss over what stones can be sold on Etsy as “craft supplies” has me muttering under my breath.

I don’t understand AT ALL why “craft supplies” and “vintage items” can be sold on Etsy.

If you search the web for “Etsy,” you’ll see the following metadata (the key words and phrases that describe the contents of the page to help readers scan the page to decide if they want to read it and to help search engines find the page) displayed below the site’s web address:

Buy and sell handmade or vintage items, art and supplies on Etsy, the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace. Share stories through millions of items from around the world.

If Etsy is “the world’s most vibrant HANDMADE marketplace,” and craft supplies and vintage items are not handmade, should they be allowed to be listed for sale?  I can’t emphasize the word “handmade” too much.  Why, even Etsy’s metadata description above contains the word twice!  I was always under the impression that the purpose of Etsy was to provide an on-line venue for artists and artisans to sell their handmade work.

Here’s how Etsy’s “Press” web page says Etsy started:

Etsy’s Beginning

Etsy was conceived by Rob Kalin in early 2005. A painter, carpenter, and photographer, Rob found there was no viable marketplace to exhibit and sell his creations online — other E-commerce sites having become too inundated with overstock electronics and broken appliances. Ever industrious, he, along with Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik, designed the site, wrote the code, assembled the servers, spliced the cables, and launched Etsy on June 18th, 2005 after only three sleepless months.

So Etsy did start as a marketplace to sell handmade items.  Nothing is said about Rob wanting to buy painting, carpentry or photographic supplies, or wanting to sell 20+ year old paintings, carpentry or photographic items.

The original purpose of Etsy was to exhibit and sell artist and artisan handmade creations.  So how many of the items sold on Etsy are artist and artisan handmade creations?

Etsy issues “Weather Reports” each month providing some statistics; here is the report for May 2013 which appeared as a blog post:

Can you feel the refreshing breeze of community-driven growth? A 56.3% increase from May 2012′s to May 2013′s total of dollars of goods sold lures us into warm days ahead. (At the same time, items sold were up 44.7% year over year.)

The stats:

  • $102.9 million of goods (after refunds and cancellations) were sold by our community in May, 1.2% higher than April’s $101.7 million
  • That represents 4,391,101 items sold for the month, 3.1% higher than April’s 4,259,435
  • 2,855,505 items were listed in the month, 0.9% higher than April’s 2,830,804
  • 977,061 new members joined the Etsy community in the month, up 4,837 or 0.5%, from April
  • 1.37 billion page views were recorded on the site in May

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Etsy community in May 2013!

My goodness, that sure sounds good!  But what are these statistics really saying?  They’re saying that ETSY is making a shitload of money.  What is more important is to know which ETSY SELLERS are making a shitload of money.  Etsy won’t tell us, but Craftcount will!  Here is a snapshot of Craftcount’s “Summary of Top Sellers” (total number of all item sold) as of today:


Do you see anything suspicious about this data?  I do.  Since Etsy’s conception, the top ten supply sellers sold 1,902,418 items!  That is approximately 378% more than the top ten handmade sellers (501,272) and approximately 1,260% more than the top ten vintage sellers (150,922)!  It’s approximately 291% more than the top ten handmade and vintage sellers combined; that’s almost 3 times as many items sold.  So, of course, the top ten overall sellers are also the top ten supply sellers!

Looked at another way, approximately 74% of the total top ten items sold were supplies, handmade sellers make up approximately 20% and vintage is only 6%.  Dang!

Maybe Etsy should change their metadata to read:

Buy and sell craft supplies, handmade, art or vintage items on Etsy, the world’s most vibrant craft supply marketplace. Share stories through millions of craft supply items from around the world.

So supply sellers are cleaning up on Etsy.  How is Etsy itself doing based its monthly weather reports?  Etsy collect 20 cents for each item listed and 3.5% of item price when sold from their sellers.  In 2012, Etsy grossed at least $37 million:


For a privately held company, they ain’t hurtin’.  Look what all those supplies, handmade, art and vintage items sold on Etsy bought them (Source:  Etsy Press page):

Etsy Entrance

Etsy Entrance

Etsy Phone Booth

Etsy Phone Booth

Etsy Conference Room

Etsy Conference Room

Etsy Lounge

Etsy Lounge

Reminds me of the plush digs at Google (see this post).

Now back to the fuss over selling stones (Etsy calls them rocks) on Etsy.  Here is their official position:

Hi everyone!

My name is Sarah and I am the manager of the Marketplace Integrity team. I’m going to jump in here to address your concerns about which rocks qualify to be sold on Etsy, and where we draw the line on craft supplies.

I’d like to take a step back first and address what qualifies as a craft supply on Etsy. As you probably know, a craft supply on Etsy is an item used to make something you might see for sale on Etsy. One of the key components in our definition of a craft supply is that this category is also defined by what it is not: “A craft supply is not a commercial item that, although it may be used in crafting, is ready to use as is.” This is the same policy that applies to items such as blank t-shirts or commercially made items such as doll house furniture. We understand that there are great crafts that might creatively incorporate these “ready to use as is” items (for example: a screen printed t-shirt starts off with a blank t-shirt; dollhouse furniture can be used in dioramas or multimedia art; rocks can be used in wire-wrapped jewelry). We’ve had to make a tough call about what qualifies as a craft supply on Etsy in order to preserve the category from being a catch-all for any and every thing in the world.

So getting back to the matter at hand, how does this apply to rocks on Etsy? When we talk about rocks, we have determined that if they are unaltered, then they fall under this delineation of “ready to use as is” (for example: a part of a collection of rock specimens, or as decorative objects in their own right).

So now that we’ve talked about what’s not allowed, let’s dig in to the ways that rocks can be sold on Etsy.

Rocks can be sold in the craft supply category if they take the format of a component commonly used to create something new. For example: beads (rocks with holes) and cabochons (flat backs) are welcome to be sold as craft supplies. Pendants, such as an already wire-wrapped rock or a commercially finished pendant that includes a rock, can also be sold in the craft supply category.

We allow rocks polished by the seller or hand carved rocks to be sold in the handmade categories. In order for rocks to be listed as handmade, the seller must have visibly altered the item.

You can see that we do allow many different types of rocks to be sold on Etsy in several categories. Thank you for bringing your questions about these types of items to the forums. If you have further questions about your specific items, you can reach out to the Marketplace Integrity Team for personal assistance: www.etsy.com/help/contact

Here’s my simple translation:

Stones can be sold as craft supplies on Etsy if (1) they are used to make something new, (2) they are not “ready to use as is,” and (3) they are commercially produced and manufactured items that (4) have not been visually altered by the seller.

Stones can be sold as handmade items on Etsy if (1) they are used to make something new, (2) they are not “ready to use as is,” and (3) they are not commercially produced and manufactured items because they (4) have been visually altered by the seller.

The problem appears to center around the selling of crystal points and raw minerals.  Unless the seller grows their own crystals and minerals artificially in a laboratory, crystal points and raw minerals made by Mother Nature and are (1) not visually altered by the seller; however, they are (2) used to make something new to be sold on Etsy.  This makes them ineligible to be sold as handmade items.  However, since Etsy has determined that crystal points and raw minerals are also “ready to use as is” because they can be displayed singly or in collections, so they also do not qualify to be sold as craft supplies.   Since I use raw minerals to make jewelry items, this pisses me off.

I also have a problem with this statement:

Pendants, such as an already wire-wrapped rock or a commercially finished pendant that includes a rock, can also be sold in the craft supply category.

A stone that has been wire-wrapped is a handmade item, not a craft supply, because the seller wire-wrapped it, thus making it visually altered (I don’t know of any commercially wire-wrapped stone products available in the marketplace).  I agree that commercially set stone pendants are craft supplies because they are commercial items that are not “ready to use as is” because they have to be strung before they can be worn.  And, in fact, a commercially set stone pendant that was purchased by an Etsy seller as a craft supply and then placed on a chain is eligible to be sold as a handmade item.  That makes no sense to me.  What is “handmade” about putting a pendant on a chain?  Especially when there are artisans on Etsy who hand make stone pendants (using metalsmithing, metal clay, wire wrapping, etc.) that don’t come with a chain.  Since Pendants and Necklaces are subcategories of the handmade jewelry categories, obviously Etsy knows that not all sellers string their handmade Pendants; stringing them removes them from the Pendant subcategory and into the Necklace subcategory.

I think Etsy should simply matters and only allow craft supplies that have been handmade by the seller to be sold on Etsy, or drop the “ready to be used as is” restriction and allow all craft supplies that can be used to make items to sell on Etsy.  Why they allow commercial craft supplies and commercial vintage items on their “vibrant handmade marketplace” escapes me.  Isn’t that why eBay exists, to sell commercially made items to the public?

Etsy, WAKE UP!regretsysign

Playing with Fire

14 May

Here’s a peek into my process creating the last in a series of mixed media necklaces based on the four elements of earth, air, water and fire.

First, here’s Earth:

Here is Air:

And Water (already SOLD):

As well as all the elements combined:

And here is the beginning of Fire:

Journey Through Fire

Journey Through Fire

No magical fire talisman collection would be complete without one of these eyes, so further progress is halted until these arrive and I select one that works with other materials I already have on hand:

Dragon Eyes

Dragon Eyes

The eye will be placed in a bezel and attached to the lava teardrop stone. My vote is for the first eye.

In this shot you can see just how jumbled and messy my workspace can get while I’m in the mode of creating; you can also see some materials I am considering for this last necklace.

Workspace with Work in Progress

Workspace with Work in Progress

Until later becomes now…FireSign


Who Likes to Get Something 35% Off? We All Do!

24 Apr

Here are just a few of the things I won’t be renewing once they expire, so get them before they retire!

Click on one of the items below or visit The Dream Faire to see all the goodies on sale…

ON SALE Bracelet Kumihimo Si…


ON SALE Bracelet Wave Rhubar…


ON SALE Tiny Fairy Offering …


ON SALE Art Glass Ring Wire …


ON SALE Chandelier Earrings …


ON SALE Elven Foraging Purse…


ON SALE Crystal Heart Bracel…


ON SALE Pomander Sachet Lave…


ON SALE Earrings Wire Wrappe…


ON SALE Wristwarmers Fingerl…


ON SALE Ring Grey Quartz & S…


ON SALE Bracelet Wave Double…


ON SALE Pouch Pixie Fairy Cr…


ON SALE Purse Pixie Autumn C…


ON SALE Necklace Choker Pink…


ON SALE Pixie Pouch for Litt…


Treasury tool supported by the dog house


Last Chance Retirement Sale

6 Apr

Even though an item in my Etsy boutique may have a lot of views and hearts, if they haven’t sold by now I’m going to retire them.  I might add them to my own jewelry wardrobe, or I might disassemble them to make new treasures.

These items not only will not be renewed when their Etsy listing expires, I’ve placed them on sale to help find them a home.  If you’re interested in these aging beauties, either check the “RETIRING SOON” section of my shop or click here.

Here’s a taste of what you might find:


Get Ready for Spring!

13 Mar

Even though Spring may not be ready for you, you can get ready for Spring, and get that happy light-hearted feeling, wearing one of my new lampwork creations:




It feels really good to be using up materials and supplies I’ve had on hand for more than 2 years!  So many ideas, so little time.SpringSign

%d bloggers like this: