238 thoughts on “Meet the man behind New York's other billion dollar internet company. This one makes money”

  1. The truth is Chad basically ignores the sellers. Customer service is non existent. If you say anything even remotely close to anything they dont like, they shut you up and even close your shop. If you point out the massive amount of problems, they shut you up, the resellers, the blatant copyright infringement that is allowed to exist ( yes they profit from it) they shut you up while those who continue to sell and break rules and laws are allowed to go along their merry way. If you e mail them for help or a problem (you cant call, no phone number exists that you can talk to someone) you are either ignored or wait days and even weeks for a response. They do absolutely NOTHING to promote the site. The sellers do all the work. Chad did not make Etsy what it is, its all the hard working sellers promoting and crafting that made the site what it is. Admin and Chad treat the sellers like trash.

    1. True Fred. I sell on Etsy and am making moves to go out on my own. Etsy constantly changes their rules and has absolutely no consideration for the seller. No customer service. They should be ashamed of what they do on the forums. If a seller says something they don’t like about etsy, Etsy cuts them out of the forums. If a seller has their own website, Etsy does not allow the seller to let buyers know that.I get disgusted every time Dickerson says Etsy is a people company. That is a lie, unless the people he talks about are him, his ego and a handful of people on Etsy’s staff.

      1. I totally agree. They just blast anyone off the forum who doesn’t like what they do and there are many of them. There is no worthwhile customer service from etsy, the sellers do it on the forums when they are allowed to.

        1. Agreed! I have two shops on Etsy, and will be making the move out very soon! What made Etsy great is that is supported the little handmade companies. Companies with one person running the show. Now there are resellers from all over the world who have factory workers. Etsy doesn’t care at all about what made them great! Good job idiot, you sold out for all the money those resellers bring you. You can find us “real” seller on Zibbet and Craftstar.

  2. Too bad he is not being careful about letting in so many factory made goods, because he is ruining it for the real artists, crafters, vintage curators and supply sellers. And the buyers who want genuine handmade, not Chinese sweatshop knockoffs.

    It’s fast becoming like that wonderful craft show that let in factory made stuff. After a short while the buyers get disenchanted and go elsewhere. Which leaves us who truly do handmade, sadly, watching our livelihoods evaporate.

    1. Etsy is moving from craft show to flea market. There are so many re-sellers on the site it’s ridiculous.

    2. I just read: “Etsy, technologically and culturally, is a platform that provides meaning to people, and an opportunity to validate their art, their craft,” Dickerson said.

      Now I read all of your comments and see how PR crafting can sway public opinion. it sounded like a bed of roses, after reading comments of good people like you, Annie, I see I was misled myself. Seems it does not smell of roses, Etsy just stinks.

  3. yea, it’s all good unless you are a seller on their site and need to get in touch with their customer service – nowhere to be found. they haphazardly close well running stores without any explanation, don’t reply emails and push well meaning clients away .. may be it’s just their NY way.

    1. Like when a sellers account got hacked a couple weeks ago, and Etsy was no where to be found! I don’t think that is a NY thing…I think it’s a a** thing

  4. This article paints a rosy picture, but there’s a deep undercurrent of discontent in Etsy’s *legitimate* sellers – meaning, its customers – the sellers of handmade, supplies, and vintage. The number of shops that aren’t supposed to be there (resellers) grows daily and Etsy does little to nothing to stop it. They are aware of the problem and pay lip service to fixing it, but the reality is that the resellers make them money so they look the other way.

    Basically, Etsy is alienating its user base and slowly, willfully killing what it was originally intended to be.

  5. This is a nice tribute to Chad Dickerson. Online stores are so much friendlier than brick-and-mortar stores nowadays, whose “customer service reps” actually seem to have stepped up the meanness even as their core customer base declines. They just don’t get it. And Etsy has been able to bring great art and crafts to us that snobby corner stores never could. What a brilliant guy. He earns the “erson” in Dick, when most people in the retail industry just keep to being Dicks. Thanks for the profile.

    1. I agree – this is a tribute piece on one man who is doing everything he can to get credit for 1000s and 1000s of crafters that he is taking credit for at the same time he is ruining their livelihood.

    2. I’ve been a seller on Etsy since 2008 and I’ve seen it go through a lot of changes and growing pains.
      Though there are certainly problems and issues, I feel that some of the criticisms here are overly harsh.
      The truth, as i see it, is that Etsy is an amazing platform that has allowed many artists, artisans and crafters, as well as vintage-goods vendors, to reach a global market.
      I’ve been plying my trade for over 40 years – until Etsy cam along I had NEVER sold to anyone on the other side of the world. Now my sales map has pins all over the planet!
      They’ve made the market accessible. Though there are sometimes issues and miscommunications (as with any enterprise that involves more than one person) and glitches (as with any internet site), Etsy stands alone in its field and I, for one, am a truly grateful user! – Kathy F, aosLeather

  6. “Etsy, technologically and culturally, is a platform that provides meaning to people, and an opportunity to validate their art, their craft.”

    Really? Then why is the site over-run with resellers? Go ahead search for a bubble necklace and see what you find.

    Chad Dickerson is as far removed from this site as a “leader” could be. He has no idea what is really going on, and if he does – well shame on him. And neither does most of the administrators on the top level.

    Chad Dickerson is NOT the man behind Etsy. The thousands of sellers that are crying out for change are the men and women behind Etsy. Without us – Chad would be nothing more than a fart in the wind. And he hasn’t listened to “the people” in years. We don’t even have a valid shipping upgrade option to offer our customers!!

    Oh and by the way – the “your place to buy all things handmade” motto? It doesn’t exist any more. They do NOT in any way advertise or bring attention to specifically handmade products any more. They are embracing reseller goods. You might as well shop on Alibaba and save money.

    Rob Kalin probably cries himself to sleep every night knowing what his site, and his vision has become. It doesn’t matter what “alphabet letter” you put on it, I call Bullsh*t.

    1. As a buyer who loves the original concept of Etsy, and the truly handmade, authentic vintage and the great supply sellers that sell on Etsy, I am aghast and saddened at what Etsy has become.

      The site is overrun with resellers, and copyright/trademark infringers. Etsy does not police its site, they expect the sellers and buyers on the site to do that for them. More and more I am seeing and hearing of buyers purchasing goods that they thought were handmade because Etsy touts itself as a venue for handmade, the resellers lie and say their goods are handmade, so the goods must be handmade right? Wrong! Etsy has Terms of Use but does not enforce them. Buyers are being duped, and the honest Etsy small business are being hurt by the lies and deceit. Many speculate that Etsy turns a blind eye to this problem because they make money from the resellers and infringers.

      Etsy makes up its own definitions for handmade, collectives, and vintage, and they are much different than the commonly used definitions of the words. Most buyers, and many sellers, are unaware of what they are actually buying when they buy “handmade” on Etsy. Don’t get me wrong, there are many actual handmade shops and truly vintage shops on Etsy but they are becoming harder to find, and harder to discern the real thing from the factory made.

  7. Sure, it’s easy to make $$ hand over fist when you allow and even encourage rampant reselling and copyright infringement. But sellers don’t dare complain in the public forums, or they will be roundly slapped down and forbidden to post ever again. Silencing those who point out the very large elephant in Etsy’s room does not make the problem go away, Chad.

  8. The society Etsy considers reminds me alternately of animal farm where some sellers are more equal than others. And I keep wondering if the fact that some features sellers have been asking for for years such as managing multiple stores from one account or more sections are intentionally not implemented in order for us to open more account and inflate the number of users. And the blind eye to resellers and redefinition of the term handmade indicates that Mr Dickerson might not listen to his own message.

    1. I really, truly hope you are listening to your sellers, Chad and Etsy…

      The number one reason why you became what you are was because of the unique handcrafted items from artists, crafters, metalsmiths, quilters, sewers, stone setters…..the originality of the site. HANDMADE, VINTAGE, SUPPLIES…. no where in there was mentioned RESELLERS.

      It’s terrible to see resellers and manufacterers being pushed in handmade artisians’ eyes by the hundreds and thousands, pushing those who ARE going along with the original intention of the site. Time and time again it has been mentioned, questioned, brought up, but there it is…on the front pages, treasuries, listings, circling around and around.

      Instead of “fixing” feedback, can we please work on resellers? you’re going to turn into every other site online. such a very sad thing indeed. You really had a vision.

      …then again, I suppose that’s the idea, right? The new testing of the front page doesn’t indicate Handmade ANYWHERE. Where are the categories? Where IS the Etsy difference?

      I really really hope you are listening, sir.

  9. Mr. Malik – before you go getting all starry eyed, perhaps you should read these tidbits:





    Or just have a look for yourself. http://www.etsy.com/search?q=j%20crew%20bubble%20necklace

    If this man cared about his site, the focus of his team would be site integrity. When it gets so blatent that even the BUYERS are complaining, it might be time to stop tooting your own horn and pay attention to the people who made the site what it is.

  10. Etsy was created by the sellers- Etsy will be destroyed by the sellers. Etsy thinks they created themselves.. LOL

  11. Can you imagine the real stats on Etsy?

    add these two factors:

    1) shops with closed signs, multi shop same owner, shops with 1-5 items

    2) resellers… illegal resellers.. yes etsy depends on their stats

    compensate for these two factors and etsy site is down 50%

      1. Om, the fact that the comments on this post are carbon copies of one another should be indication of one thing: this is a vocal, noisy minority of sellers.

        1. Dickies – First, I’ve seen no “carbon copies” of replies. Yes, there are people posting about the same issues, but that just means that more than one person sees the issue. These people didn’t just decide to take a little break and bash Etsy around the water cooler.

          Second, when you say “this is a vocal, noisy minority of sellers”, do you mean that a minority should not be heard? …that a minority should never speak up? …that a minority opinion is of less value? What, exactly, do you have against minorities?

          Third, and last, do you work for Etsy?

  12. one last thing

    Does the world know yet how many people you have permamuted in your public forums?

    over 5,000 people yes… that is FIVE THOUSAND REAL PEOPLE YOU REMOVED FOR SPEAKING OUT!!!

  13. You could do everyone on Etsy a favor and write the truth about what has happened since Mr. Dickerson became the head. If he made Etsy what it is today, a reseller site, then he should be ashamed of himself destroying a great marketplace for handmade, vintage and supplies. It is now a marketplace for resellers. Do your homework Mr.Malik and tell it like it is. You will be doing all the buyers and legitimate seller a big favor.

  14. I can see a lot of deceit going on. Looks like Chad was deceived by the dribble the PR person wrote for that interview. You, Om, have been deceived by all the smoke and mirrors. The worst deceit of all is that on the buyers who believe they are buying handmade or vintage items, only to discover they bought junk they could have bought at a local flea market.

    Things are not what they appear at Etsy. Handmade items and the artisans that create them, the reason Etsy exists today, are no longer their focus for the future. They have turned a blind eye and seem to have embraced all the resellers that are continually reported, yet they allow to remain. They believe a single picture of someone sitting in a break room table with a bunch of supplies is part of a collective and is assembling the item. While in the background you can see out the window they are in an industrial complex. I forget to mention they are even so bold now as to state they are factories. You can give a link to their company’s web site where it says they have 500+ employees and are in a 10,000 sq ft building. Yet they make a housewife disassemble a true handmade item, and take dozens of photos to prove their item is handmade. This is WRONG!

    Vintage sellers are competing with resellers who just throw the word “vintage” into the title and description of new items. Even with proof from links to the manufacturer’s online store showing it’s a current item and the seller is using the site’s photos, Etsy does nothing. Shall we also talk about those selling private label items as homemade?

    There was a max exodus in 2008 from eBay thanks to their new feedback system and the introduction of the big box stores. eBay is now filled with resellers, dropshippers, and large companies. The small seller doesn’t stand a chance. If Etsy keeps going the way it is, history will repeat itself on yet another site and will be eBay’s poor cousin.

  15. Well Mr Malik, I have never visted Etsy. i was going to after reading your article but then I read the comments. Sir, are you going to at least reply to the general drift of the comments posted here ?

    Do you intend to do a proper follow up article like a true investigative journalist, probing into the claims made by the obviously angry sellers who posted here ?

    I see only one positive comment posted by someone who sounds like they have never visted the site. This looks like it could be a real story that has a chance of making a difference to the artisan sellers dependant on Etsy for their livelyhood. How about arranging another interview with Dickerson and put the concerns raised here to him and report on his responses? Here’s a chance to be a real journalist Mr. Malik.

      1. If Mr. Malik is a “professional” and does his homework he will discover that he is not being trolled. Even though Etsy deletes and edits their forum it still speaks for its’ self. By the way, you should run your work through spell check before you post it Mr. Malik.

  16. These people are all telling the truth. Lots of them have been with Etsy since it’s inception. They were a part of the hand made dream. They are watching Chad turn his back as that dream unravels. Etsy doesn’t care. Etsy is now about money. Little artisans do not make a lot of money but the resellers do. This is why those who have opposed this change are no longer allowed an Etsy voice in the forums. Each voice which speaks up asking why….
    ..why no attention paid to resellers?
    …why shut down a store that knits booties because the artist did not take good photos of her process to prove she is not a reseller when you can search the word bubble necklace and see thousands of resellers ….all making Etsy thousands of dollars each day?
    that voice is then permanently muted/silenced.

    Are you really truly ready to hear that this beautiful corporation has so much ugliness just under it’s surface?
    Can you hear it? Or will you be just one more person who got a good interview and walked on?

  17. Chad Dickerson should be absolutely ashamed of himself for opening Etsy’s floodgates to cheap, factory-made goods while blatantly lying about it in puffy PR pieces such as this.

    He has squandered Etsy’s cache as a brilliant little gem of a site where buyers could find beautiful handmade goods from all over the world. All that’s left is the ghost of what once was and a gullible public that hasn’t yet caught on to the fact that Etsy’s “handmade” credo is nothing more than window dressing. Once they catch on, Mr. Dickerson will be seen as the huckster he really is.

  18. Hey Mr. Chad,

    How would you like some artisan created, hand made, Thomas Kincaid prints, direct from the wholesaler in China?

    Yeah? Okay, here ya go:

    1. https://www.etsy.com/listing/153885555/holiday-oil-painting-the-good-life-fine?ref=col_view

    2. https://www.etsy.com/listing/159889406/sunset-lure-of-the-wilderness-landscape?ref=col_view

    3. https://www.etsy.com/listing/153875006/landscape-oil-painting-fine-art-giclee?ref=col_view

    4. https://www.etsy.com/listing/157626463/deer-waterwheel-trees-rivers-forests?ref=col_view

    That’s considered handmade, right?

    How about some vintage cake stands for your next party? Here are some I found on etsy:

    1. https://www.etsy.com/listing/159731762/milk-glass-jadeite-10-pedestal-cake?ref=col_view

    2. https://www.etsy.com/listing/159732072/milk-glass-jadeite-9-pedestal-cake-plate?ref=col_view

    3. https://www.etsy.com/listing/158533902/milk-glass-jadeite-12-pedestal-cake?ref=col_view

    4. https://www.etsy.com/listing/121069578/6-jadeite-cake-stand?ref=col_view

    All from the these new wholesale websites:














  19. Please do not let etsy mute and remove the facts here like they do in the forums.

  20. I have been buying on Etsy since 2006 and opened my first shop in 2008. There have been a lot of changes over all these years. Some of the changes have been very difficult to adapt to but all have turned out to be good. Maybe I can see this since I have been working in IT and in other parts of the business world for over 40 years. I can appreciate the vision and talent that it takes to grow a company to this size from fewer than 50 employees in 2008.

    There are many Etsy sellers who have a much better attitude than the moaners and groaners that have made so many posts here in response to this very well written article. (No, I am not “brown nosing”). I am sorry to see that so many negative and ill-informed people are venting their frustrations here. They should be finding ways to make their Etsy shop a success instead of looking for something else and someone else to blame for their own lack of success.

    Etsy has addressed the problem of the so called resellers and has put systems into place to identify the Fake Handmade shops much faster than in the past. I have seen the progress in this area and it has made a tremendous difference.

    1. Mary – I do not see how you can say they have addressed the problem with the resellers. They close one down, and a week later, they open up under a new name. Out of the 45+ shops I and others have reported, not one single one has been closed. The reseller problem is not getting better, it’s getting worse!

      1. Very true! Obviously Mary does not sell handmade jewelry or she would be aware of the millions of pieces of unaltered, mass produced, made in China crap that is being passed off as handmade on Etsy.
        Resellers are a huge problem on Etsy but aren’t being shut down because Etsy gets their percentage of the sale.

    2. Mary, I have to respectfully disagree with your post. I am a buyer on Etsy, a former teacher, and have a BS, an MS, and all classes for a PhD. I just need to finish my thesis. I am definitely not ill-informed. In fact, I make it my business to do research on sites before I purchase. I have found that what Etsy states as their policies vs the way the site actually runs are very different animals.

      I love the actual handmade sellers, the actual vintage sellers, and the supply sellers. As a buyer it is becoming increasingly difficult to wade through the supposedly illegal shops on Etsy – the resellers, the copyright/trademark infringers, and the “collectives.” It is also becoming increasingly difficult to ferret out actual handmade items. The “collectives” and resellers state their items are handmade. But they are obviously machine made, or made by possible sweatshops. Etsy MUST do a better job of policing their site. They have not addressed the reseller problem. If they have put systems in place, they are not working and need to be replaced. Etsy is not being fair to the buyers on the site that think they are buying handmade merchandise from the seller listed as the shop owner.

      To say that sellers should be finding ways to make their shop a success instead of looking for someone to blame their lack of success on, is unfair, unkind, and untrue. I know many sellers that are very successful that dislike the way that Etsy is run and what it has become. They are not just interested in their own shop, but are interested in Etsy as the venue that they sell on. The integrity of Etsy as a whole is at stake, and this problem is only getting worse, in my opinion.

    3. “They should be finding ways to make their Etsy shop a success instead of looking for something else and someone else to blame for their own lack of success. ”

      Like, say for instance, buying a How-to guide for SEO and such? This sounds like a plug for what you sell, Mary. Shameful you can’t empathize with users who are frustrated but I do understand that not a lot of resellers are selling guides to the internet these days.

      For me, it has nothing to do with whether my own shop is successful but I do feel etsy is misrepresenting the site as handmade, vintage and supplies when it’s not so. The resellers and fake vintage are taking money from unsuspecting buyers who have trusted etsy and that is unconscionable.

    4. You have seriously deluded yourself if you truly believe that what is being posted here is merely ‘moaners and groaners’.

      Yes, you are brown nosing. You are as bad as many of the sycophants in the now doubly gutted, farcical forums.

      For the record- I’ve been on Etsy since Feb of 2006.It is by no means my only online shop for a reason. Nor is it my most successful selling spot.

      I’ve been through the site wide blackout of Version 2. I’ve seen the forums be gutted into ‘Teams’. I’ve been through Coralgate, Storquegate and several other -gates. I’ve watched as resellers have slowly taken over many of the catagories with no effort from Etsy to stop them- they claim all those bubble necklaces are handmade, for cryin’ out loud! I’ve been harrassed in convos with no effort from Etsy to stop it.

      I’ve watched longtime, great sellers be muted for daring to speak up and out, no matter how politely they did it. I’ve watched sucessful sellers who dared to disagree with things Etsy was doing, have their shops literally disappear from search, browse, relevency, etc- I know because it happened to ME and Matt Quirk admitted it.

      So you can try and claim that what is being posted here about the real face of Etsy is simply venting from dissastisfied sellers, but you know what? It’s all true, no matter what sort of spin you try to put on it or how much you try to convince yourself and you know it.

    5. I for one was an Etsy success story but then came Chad Dickerson and with all his changes my shop is slowly dying.

      My sales have been cut in half since the introduction of the “Browse” feature. I’m losing about $5,000 to $8000 a month in sales and my Etsy fees were once $1,500 to $2,000 a month are now about $400 to $500 a month. How can a reduction of fees paid to Etsy in that amount every month from just one seller be good for them? Probably because they have opened up the floodgates for mass produced crap to be sold on the site.

      I’ve always said that we need to be careful of what we ask for because what we get is not always better than what we had. This is from someone that has been muted by Rob White in the forum for speaking my mind.

  21. Etsy is becoming a retail version of AliExpress where you can buy the same factory made merchandise one piece at a time instead of in wholesale lots. Oh, the true handmade crafts, art, vintage, and crafting supplies, are still around. But the reseller junk always seems to be stuck to the top pages in Etsy’s Browse feature (semi-curated filtered categories), like scum floating on a stagnant pond. Etsy actually showcases items which, according to the site’s rules, aren’t supposed to be for sale there.

  22. for all those complaining, instead of bitching, you migh as well try to make a difference in Etsy (or anywhere else): join a team, help others, make the community grow – Etsy is not perfect, is managed by humans, but still, we should only thank there’s a place like that at all.
    as for myself, I’ve always got fast and precise answers from the customer service, and my business still grows despite the resellers.
    sometimes the problem is YOU and what you do or DON’T DO, and not where do you sell on, or how the tool you use is managed. Yes, it’s easier to tell what’s not working and complaining, but really, go check the numbers and you might see that 1) resellers are not the majority of the shops and are not even closer 2) the mistakes (shops unfairly closed) a risible small % of the whole cases.
    we are talking millions of users, millions of transactions, a global platform, and people still expect changes to happen overnight (or overmonths) and a perfection that i wonder – do they have in their lives? do they always manage their shops perfectly? and their lives?
    I am grateful Etsy exists and it’s managed the way it is; and i’m even more grateful of the community that lives in it, made of caring, talented, generous sellers i wouldn’t known and met if not for Etsy.
    I can truthfully say, Etsy changed my life, gave me hope and I’m very proud to be a part of it.

    1. Any percent of unfairly closed businesses is unacceptable!!! When you say a small percentage – that makes me think you would think it is okay to accidentally close down 1 or 2% of the shops at Etsy. Jeez. This is what is scary. Etsy is not accountable to its sellers (customers) – and can close down shops whenever. That sort of thing, the instant shutting down of shops, is something I hear about all of the time. While 1 shop out of 100 shops might not be a big deal to you – or to etsy either, that is one person who might have a family that relies on income from Etsy. That is one person who just lost everything at Etsy’s whim and without notice. And part of the problem is that, much like you, Etsy does not seem to understand how insecure that makes people feel. You don’t do that to your customers, unless you don’t respect them, care for them, or need them. And that is what Etsy has been saying by their actions for too long now.

    2. Fran, you might want to take your own advice. Instead of complaining and bitching about what concerned Etsians are discussing, why don’t you try to make a difference somewhere? Changes do not occur without someone saying that change is needed.

      No one in this discussion has said changes are expected overnight, or that perfection is going to happen. I’m not sure where you came up with those ideas. But change is needed on Etsy, whether you believe so or not. If you choose to look the other way at inequities, it is your right to do so. It is also the rights of those who don’t look the other way, to voice their opinions.

    3. Fran, Plenty of the muted (often for pointing out resellers or offering helpful suggestions to etsy) are already on teams. And they are making helpful suggestions. I had learned from them what not to say in the forum; that some sellers get their own admin and Etsy coaching while some of us can not be found in the search never mind browse. I had learned from these muted people how to run my business without stepping on etsy’s toes. It used to be that many of these sellers did so in the public forums till they have been muted for pointing out resellers, TVP or simply the fact that Etsy is ignoring concerns of its customers.
      It might be a small percentage which is affected by Etsy’s unreasonable actions and odds are against it happening to you. But there are no guaranteed and when it happens to you I seriously doubt that the fact that you are a member of a minute minority will make you feel any better. And there being no phone number will not make a situation any better. Yes you can email. And if you are lucky they might even acknowledge your existence with a form reply not answering your question within 48 hours. That is if you are lucky.
      Welcome to the best of all possible word.
      I for one would like 24 hour phone support, be able to find my items in browse without spending hours trying to figure where they are hiding them behind ton of repeat pictures of resellers items.
      Oh and managing more than one store from one login and/or more sections and or nested sections would be nice too.

  23. Etsy is being taken over by Chinese flea market junk… don’t believe me.. just try and search for items there

  24. Whoa now! I beg to differ, fran. To be concerned as to where our business platform might be headed is not necessarily a bad thing, here. To progress as a whole in ANYTHING is to look at both sides of the plate…. there are ups and downs in everything. Wouldn’t it now, be a good idea to discuss, address and work on areas of concern?

    Since when was it a good idea to blindly go along with everything without questions or concerns?

    Someone who might personally insult these people who are raising good points about the site that could be improved isn’t a bad thing. But to turn and try and silence others or insult their concern by attacking them is not proactive. It’s actually quite childish.

    To simply close your mouth and cheer on a team who again and again has failed to listen to their fans isn’t in bad spirit. Brown nosing doesn’t change anything.

    Just because you may be scared to voice your own concerns, please don’t call others bitchers. You’ve missed the entire point.

    Great on you, though.

  25. Dearest “Mary Walilko,” the “moaners and groaners” that commented on this article are not ill-informed. That is why they are speaking out because the PR spews this cotton candy rainbow interview when in fact there is a lot more that is going on behind the scenes in a negative way that the public is not aware of.

    Etsy HAS NOT addressed the issue of resellers. They are crawling around Etsy like roaches and multiplying at a fast rate. Perhaps in your rainbow colored world you want to believe that Etsy has addressed these problems, but in real life, they haven’t. There have been many sellers that have reported these shops and have kept track of them to see if they’ve ever been removed. Six months, still there; one year, still there. If by some rare chance they are removed, all they have to do is reopen under a new name and they are back in business.

    The real handmade artists of Etsy are constantly working on ways to improve their site, to build more business and be successful. Most are involved in teams and the community. However, when you have cheap knock-offs flooding the Etsy site, it makes being a success more difficult than ever.

    Just because the sellers here may sound negative to you, they are addressing real concerns that are not being addressed by Etsy. To have an article written on Chad that is all fluffy, one would think that this is an all handmade site filled with all real artisans selling their work only to find cheap factory made items flooding the pages. The front page of Etsy doesn’t even mention that this is a “handmade” site anymore. If that doesn’t say it all, I don’t know what will.

    The bottom line is, money talks. Resellers are bringing in the bucks and that is all the investors care about. They don’t care about the original vision of Etsy being a handmade site for artisans, they care about their bucks and that is all.

  26. Curious, Mary… what kind of handmade item do you sell? Is it a saturated category? Jewelry? Vintage ? Struggling with being found among all the vintage knockoffs?

    Because people are voicing areas of concern to our selling platform does NOT make them moaners/groaners… Most definately NOT ill informed. Someone’s head is too far up somewhere….

    Maybe some people simply think inside the box that is provided for them and are fine with that. Don’t insult those who have a broad, open minded, vision to be better.

    Excuse us,*motions aside* thank you.

  27. The commentors here who are sticking up for Etsy are either terribly delusional or in such fear of what Etsy has actually become and the direction that it is going, that they think cheerleading for Etsy will save them somehow, and that Chad Dickerson and the others running Etsy actually care about them. Wake up! Etsy does not care about you, it only cares about how much money you can put in their pockets. Etsy silences anyone who disagrees with their changes or “tests”, and they get particularly miffed if someone criticizes any of the Etsy administration, like when Marc Hedlund dropped the ball in a big way by not even catching the fairly recent huge privacy/security breach as soon as it happened. When he did finally comment on it in the Etsy forums, he simply called it a “bug”. Many were silenced (muted or perma-muted) from EVER speaking in the Etsy forums again because they criticized (rightfully so) his actions (non-actions) and he did not like it. There are literally thousands of Etsians who are permanently banned from the Etsy forums….most are those who helped build Etsy, and helped the newcomers with their wisdom, knowledge and experience…now forever silenced. The Esty forums have become a terrible joke. Etsy is run like a dictatorship, there is no freedom of speech there and favoritism is rampant. Chad Dickerson and Marc Hedlund have done serious damage to Etsy with their childish “code as craft” crap. There is no customer service to speak of, and Etsy has become a haven for resellers. Etsy was built on the backs of the truly handmade and vintage sellers, but Etsy no longer cares about them.

  28. Yep. This thread is indicative of the crafter’s heaven that Chad and Marc and etc. Built. Where is Kalin? He wasn’t perfect but he had a vision that included the actual artisan.

  29. Really?
    The site should be called FLEAtsy…all it is is a giant flea market!
    It’s really sad…it started with an amazing concept that has been so bastardized that it is unrecognizable.
    Chad Dickerson and his minions in etsy administration nothing but contempt for the sellers.
    I’m only a buyer there, but I am so over it.

  30. Mary Walilko and her comments are indicative of what is happening at etsy right now. Please note that she is one of the few commenters who are not afraid to reveal their true identities. That is because if you disagree with etsy, you will eventually be muted and have your shop closed. If you agree with etsy, you will have your own team and gain straw boss notoriety. What is interesting and worth noting is that etsy forums allow people like Mary to be rude and unconstructive to other people, as long as she kisses etsy’s hiney, but they will not allow other people to criticize them (etsy) without risking having their shops shut down or being muted in the forums. If I were a big business, I would get rid of Mary before I got rid of the complainers. I would keep the complainers (they are all complaining about the same things) to gauge what needs to be addressed – and because if I don’t address them – they will find somebody who will. I would get rid of Mary because she is being disrespectful to my customers. Yes, most people on forums, even the moaners and groaners, are etsy customers. And I don’t think there would be this many upset people if etsy was honest about what they are doing. It’s okay to be a cutthroat business if that is what you are. Don’t candy coat it with all of this BS about helping the artisans and being special and unique.

  31. Finally: “Meet the man behind New York’s other billion dollar internet company. This one makes money” – If the other billion dollar internet company is referring to the one I think it is – take a closer look at the other company and how its artisans feel about it. That company knows who makes the product it sells, works with and listens to the artisans who makes the product it sells and has given a leg up to many many artisans. There are no factory made by stranger products there. There are products of artisans who are proud of their work. They are the supporters of those artisans, in every way. They have customer service and guarantees for people who buy those products as well as their artisans. They are who Chad and Marc and whoever else pretends to be.

      1. They are in New York. You don’t have to look hard. Their growth and reputation exceeds Etsy’s.

  32. Mary, hun, no amount of selling SEO tips and tricks and tidbits will mean diddly if etsy continues on this path. The handmade/vintage market will simply leave if the resellers continue to list and stay at the rapid rate they are going. Shops, gone…SEO packet sales, plumet…you’ll be left selling them to resellers, and from the looks of it, they rank higher up on their category pages, than you do in yours.

    It’s nice that you defend etsy. but you don’t have a dog in the fight as far as knowing what these commenters are saying as far as “resellers” go. you don’t compete with them.

  33. I read all of the comments here with great interest. I am one of those who has been muted for speaking up to admin. The new Forum rules for Etsy clearly state that you may not publicly criticize the company or forum moderators. Many folks that I know, personally, through teams have been permanently muted for speaking up. If you look at browse, go to jewelry and take a look at the pages of the same stock photos of plastic necklaces from mass marketers. They bury the unique, one of a kind jewelry. It’s so discouraging. And heaven help you if you complain about it publicly or mention the rampant trademark violations. You get swiftly silenced. It’s an ugly sight.

    1. I have been muted too and I am a buyer only. I think it is disgusting how etsy treats the buyers never mind the sellers who are treated like they don’t count at all. Imagine silencing a customer! I think the etsy ethos is long gone and is like a tea strainer – full of holes. There is no integrity with the powers that be. The sellers though are a different story, they are great. I hope they all move to a different home though.

  34. Yes, Om. You’ve been hustled. You’re reporting failed to “understand the meaning of his carefully chosen words”. Go to the forums and find out how the members really get dick(ed) around.
    As a shop keeper on etsy, the last thing that Chad Dickerson believes is etsy is a “platform that provides meaning to people, and an opportunity to validate their art, their craft”. I feel violated, not validated.
    The customers of etsy, buyers and sellers, do all the work for Chad, his pet hacker group and his admin. Mr. Dickerson is no cyber superhero to us.

  35. Hello Everyone

    First of all, apologies for not responding sooner. I took the weekend off — left the machines behind and essentially decided it was a good time for me to relax. Oops! So there are a lot of comments here and many of them have a similar tenor: dissatisfaction with the company for

    1. Ruining/Not Caring about the authenticity of the Etsy experience by being ambivalent about the presence on resellers and mass-production vendors posing as “crafts”/artisans.
    2. Not being super communicative and often turning dead ear to the complaints of some of the sellers.
    3. Chad/Management don’t really care and treat seller like trash.

    As for your comments, I have reached out to the company management including Chad and have asked him the relevant questions and will provide you with an answer soon enough. I might actually end up writing a separate post.

    From my standpoint, Chad hasn’t sought any publicity and infact I reached out to him after seeing the company grow in past two years. The company was going through some serious convulsions a few years ago and Dickerson was put in place by the board to make sure the whole enterprise didn’t fall apart. The company was in particularly tough spot and since then the management including Dickerson has done a good job of stabilizing the marketplace.

    The fact that company has more members – 20 million more than when he took over means that sellers – authentic and the factory/resellers have a bigger addressable market. While I won’t condone any bad behavior by Etsy, but still, a bigger addressable market can’t necessarily be a bad thing. Some have argued in comments that Chad is not the man behind Etsy and the sellers are. I would like to remind sellers, that buyers are an equally important part of the marketplace. Without the marketplace, we all will remain unknown to each other.

    I have bought goods from Etsy over the years, though not as many as I should. A few bags, a belt and a couple of wallets plus some covers for iPad and Kindles. In each case, I found the seller to be authentic and like all artisanal products, welcomed the imperfections of the goods. It is solely the reason why I find Etsy attractive. In other words, I have been a satisfied customer. And yes, if the experience is less than authentic, I would (and rightfully should be) angry with Chad and his team. Obviously the dissatisfaction and rest of the issues are important for the health of community, and rest assured I will be grilling the team tomorrow morning.

    But before I sign off, I would like to say — thank you for bringing up tough issues for the company — one we all obviously care about the platform enough that we get so passionate, angry and despondent at the same time.

    1. Mr. Malik, as I mentioned earlier in a comment, I am a buyer-only on Etsy. I have also been a satisfied customer of Etsy, but it is becoming increasingly harder to find the authentic handmade and the real vintage that I want to purchase.

      Why are you reaching out to Etsy management for answers to these tough questions? I would guess that many of the commentators here have already done so. Etsy is very good at giving cut and paste non-answers, ignoring and not answering convoes from customers (buyers and sellers) that they don’t want to answer, and permanently muting both buyers and sellers from speaking or asking any questions in the forums.

      You reached out to Chad, and the entire article is filled with half-truths and lies. Why do you think speaking to management is going to be different or that you are going to get the truth when they won’t speak the truth to their customers?

      You can do the research yourself. Go into the forums, especially past ones when there weren’t as many muted buyers and sellers, and read how buyers and sellers feel about Etsy and its policies. Talk to buyers and sellers. Shop on Etsy with an open mind. Search for handmade items and really take a look at the shops purporting to make handmade. There are plenty of knowledgeable people on Etsy that would assist you, but couldn’t do it openly because Etsy retaliates against those that speak out.

      Finally, if Etsy would only be honest about what they are doing and where they are going, there wouldn’t be as much dissatisfaction as there is. If resellers are allowed on the site, both buyers and sellers should be aware of this, and the resellers should not be falsely advertising their merchandise as handmade. Buyers and sellers would not be looking to Etsy as the handmade site it was originally intended to be, could be more savvy buyers and sellers, and could make the determination as to whether they wanted to continue to be affiliated with Etsy.

      1. I recognise Carol from the forums – where she seemed to be missing for a while, maybe muted? I don’t know. I fully endorse what she says.

        1. Yes, Barry, I was muted. Thanks for your endorsement. It hurts to see a great concept going down the tubes, and articles such as this one praising one of the people that is helping to sink the ship.

          1. So…Etsy suppresses the speech/opinions of both Sellers and Buyers. Alienating a Buyer/Consumer shows an extreme lack of business acumen. I think that’s my biggest gripe with Etsy – they seem to have no real knowledge of business. I have continually been flabbergasted by the uneducated responses given by all levels of Etsy Admin in the forums. Half of the responses given in the weekly Friday questions thread don’t make any sense at all (and I have a MBA from an AACSB International accredited institution).

            Yes, the company has grown by leaps and bounds; but it’s due to the strength and the fortitude of the sellers who work tirelessly to advertise outside of Etsy to bring in buyers. This is the fact that is being glossed over.

    2. Etsy and Chad will only tell you what they want you to print. Why not reach out to the sellers – Etsy’s customers – who have been affected instead? Talk about the things Etsy doesn’t want advertised, like their ‘collectives’ (http://www.dailydot.com/news/etsy-reseller-ecologica-malibu-vanishes/) that get front-page slots and official support while sellers of actual handmade goods are thrown off the site because Etsy deems their work too professional to be handmade (http://blogs.houstonpress.com/artattack/2012/01/etsy_closes_azreals_accomplice.php).

      Ask them why experiments are allowed to run live, affecting their customers’ businesses (http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y13/m08/i26/s02) without so much as a single official comment until sellers begin to wonder why their buyers are having problems and they are losing sales. There’s a culture of disrespect for their customers over at Etsy, but like the bubble necklaces and ‘handmade’ Bali boatwood furniture, everyone is expected to shut up and look the other way as long as they keep making money.

  36. If Chad could see the conditions in the factories, that the workers have to deal with, to make the products the resellers offer on his site, he would vomit! Yea, lets hear a big cheer for Chad!

    1. bradford

      Can you provide context on what conditions you are talking about, and how you are aware of those conditions. I would love to know more – thanks

    1. Thank you Obscure Claire. I was coming back to this comment section to post the same thing about DC and PayPal. I’d love to hear their cut and paste comments on this!

  37. “I would like to remind sellers, that buyers are an equally important part of the marketplace. Without the marketplace, we all will remain unknown to each other. ”

    The marketplace was built on the word of mouth advertising from the artists. We directed our friends, family, and existing customers to etsy. We put the bumper stickers on our cars and wore the t-shirts. We promoted the site online and at parties. We encouraged every one we knew to open an etsy store.
    Etsy did no advertising to bring in the customers.

    1. This is where I was going. Mr. Malik, rather than speak with Mr. Dickerson, why not reach out to their investors, Index Ventures and a few others. Ask them if it sits well with them that several small businesses that were on the rise have taken a back seat to resellers and nepotism.

      It is clear as day that the admin that we as sellers see in the forums are low on the totem pole. When a total disregard of personal privacy is breached, as mentioned above, and the admin on duty address this with, “we’re looking into it,” there is a reason to be upset as both buyer and seller.

      I am sure the investors are happy to make money, we all are, but at the cost and the integrity of what Etsy says it is could potentially put a black mark on them for taking part as investors.

      I think it is quite obvious the direction Etsy is heading, take a look, here http://pandodaily.com/2013/01/24/etsy-hires-fidelity-star-kristina-salen-as-cfo-downplays-predictions-of-ipo/ This is why the resellers and lack of customer support and true admin are not hired, Mr. Dickerson needed to pay back his investors, and we, the small guys pay the price. There are new investors, and consequently, Mr. Dickerson and Etsy as a whole needs to show their investors they are doing something, so they create a system where there is no longer choice for the buyer as to how they pay, they change the listing pages which is cosmetic, and they change the feedback, but they do not address the people who’s businesses he and Etsy are destroying.

      I think someone outside of Mr. Dickerson needs to be asked the hard questions, for the very reasons given above (well trained seals with boiler plate cut and paste answers).

      1. I agree and have thought the investors need to know about this fiasco – is it possible by now that they don’t? Is it possible they haven’t seen his response here and cringed? I wonder if it is the investors that have given the okay to Dickerson’s actions.

  38. Om, I know a lot of sellers who have had shops closed or have been perma-muted in the forums. Some of them come over to Artfire another venue like Etsy smaller true but then they didn’t sell out to the VC’s. I ‘m sure they would be happy to speak to you.

    You mentioned you were interested in Etsy’s growth the past years, and in your article you mention how they have gotten 91 mil from VC’s , not surprising its grown, LOL.

    Stats, you asked about them, if we could deliver the true stats of how many shops are owned by the same people , even resellers , and how many have nothing in them or like me I just keep a small presence on E 5 items, and the rest I list elsewhere. It sure would change the picture.

    The fact is this Etsy provided a platform , the sellers did all the promotion, and the VC money has helped Etsy a lot.

    All in all your article is pure fluff, how about getting down to the truth of things?

    1. Kaliya

      Just as you are calling my article puff, I can call your comments and lack of stats as a rant. But I won’t – just pointing out if you are going to go throwing mud, you lose your impact.

      1. I called it fluff Om, not puff, a fluff piece as a journalist would know is just that a bunch of fluff. An article stroking somebody or something to be pretty when in reality its not.

        Throwing mud LOL, how about asking me about sellers that have had shops closed for no unkown reason and no response from E??? I told you I know plenty of them.

        But your not interested in that side of things are you? You know the dark side of E? That would sell as well, unless you have some vested interest with Dickerson.

        YOu also questioned somebody here about sweat shops and resellers, are you so naïve?

        I can see your of Indian origin , I live in Delhi, though I’m an American , you want to know about sweat shops? Come to India I will show you plenty of them.

  39. For anyone praising Chad to the heavens, …

    What has ALWAYS confused me no end is just how many half baked glitch ridden, poorly executed things got rolled out during his tenure as CTO.

    🙂 Do some forum searches for 2009.

    There was the meta tags debacle.
    The time when there was time gapping occurring if edits were performed that created the potential for a customer to perceive bait and switch pricing tactics

    The lists go on and on.

    Chad, is Caterina’s lap dog. He does OBEY.

    1. Watching the wheels

      Your last line — it is personal for you isn’t it?

      Because the rancor in your last line reduces the impact of your overall point.

      1. Of course it’s personal. Chad has spent a great deal of time fiddling with our livelihoods and disassembling a community of artists and artisans that we have come to know and love. Many of us have helped to build Etsy from the ground up and enjoyed the support of our fellow artists in a way that we never could before. We were able to reach buyers who appreciated the value of a product that had been lovingly made by a very real human being. We could reach those buyers on a global scale. Rob Kalin’s original vision wasn’t perfect, but it was human and it was honest. In just a few short years, Chad has managed to replace all of that with mass produced goods masquerading as handmade and a corporate culture of disrespect and intimidation. Of course it’s personal.

      2. Of course there is rancor. Of course people take it personally. We are the ones who have lead people to our shops – to etsy – we have done the footwork and the handiwork and now etsy is walking all over us and hurting our sales. And endorsing articles like the one you wrote. Betrayals and dishonestly lead to rancor. The rancor coming off of these posts should indicate just how unhealthy that heaven you wrote about really is. Today a Paypal issue that is important to many sellers and impacts all sellers was addressed in forums by admin. Admin Melinda addressed this issue by being dishonest about the motive and intent behind hiding the Paypal option (does anybody really think it was to help the buyer – does anybody thing there is any reason other than Etsy is toying with making their own DC the only checkout option?) and insulting our intelligence. This sort of thing leads to rancor and distrust. The muting that happens at Etsy was sure to lead to something like this. How did leadership not see that? If you ignore the problem, it grows. Those skeletons in the closet eventually fall out. How could leadership think that making all of these changes during the slowest sales month for Etsy be a good thing – with many sellers already stressed out due to lack of sales. (Go through the forums. Look at open statistics. August is the slowest month for sales at Etsy.) Mr. Malik, this is an uncomfortable situation for sure – I believe that you got in touch with Chad Dickerson and I believe he was kind enough to provide you with an interview and the “puffing” might have been provided by you based on what you see on the outside – but regardless of who you end up supporting, word has gotten out and I thank you.


          Please do not take our “rancor” personally Mr. Malik. I believe that most of us here are grateful for the opportunity to speak out and tell the world what is truly happening with Etsy. I thank you for that.

          Please DO pay attention and write another article telling the world the TRUTH about what Etsy really has become and what kind of conniving, self-serving, deceitful, pompous and cruel men Chad Dickerson and Marc Hedlund REALLY are.

      3. Om,

        I don’t think so. If histories are looked into, the Frakes left Yahoo during some sort of mass exodus in 2008 -2009. with Chad close upon their heels. I believe the gentile definition is called “networking”.

        When Chad first came to Etsy, I was unable to find any factual or stats laden recommendations concerning REAL qualifications that he might have towards doing this type of work. The commentary that I located tended to say, “He’s a nice guy.”

        It’s been my experience that “NICE” doesn’t necessarily equate to effective.

        When you get down to brass tacks Chad is an employee, with an employee mindset. He is NOT a Jeff Bezos or a Steve Jobs, both of whom seem to garner an almost God-like adoration from many quarters.

        As I stated some of the most poorly executed site ?improvements? occurred while Chad was CTO. How does this merit promotion to CEO?

        A body was needed to fill Kalin’s slot after Kalin saw fit to toy with knives during an interview.

        From what I discovered while researching the “powers that be”, there does seem to be a certain level of inbreeding within the realm of cyberland. I work on the assumption that that people wind up knowing each other when working within a given industry.

        IF the sellers truly want to discuss change within Etsy, they NEED to approach the REAL decision makers, which is the BOARD. These people, along with the sellers are the risk takers within Etsy. NOT the site’s paid employees, of which Chad is one of them.

  40. What is Etsy? It is suppose to be a venue for selling handmade, vintage and supplies. Instead it is a place that has lots of resellers.

    Etsy is also a venue that does not listen to their customers- their sellers. They don’t have a phone to call if there is a problem.

    Etsy is known for muting sellers in the forums and also for closing shops that should not have been closed.

    The reputation of Etsy is going downhill and that is a shame. If this keeps up then pretty soon it will affect all Etsy sellers and when that happens it won’t be pretty because many sellers depend on the income that they receive from Etsy since that is their only income.

  41. I’m not an Etsy seller, so I have no perspective on all the angry seller comments. As a regular person and customer, I am deeply grateful that Etsy exists. Other than the external checkout (which was soooo clunky) and the general time sink of trawling the site (this is not transactional shopping), I have been a really happy customer. I don’t know Chad, but I think his assertion that there is an intrinsic value to dealing directly with a real person is spot-on.

    80% or more of my interactions with Etsy sellers have been warm and human. I continue to find inspiration and optimism on the site. And to discover wonderful vintage and handcraft. Maybe I have been lucky, but my searches haven’t been badly corrupted. I agree…resellers have no place on the site, but I just don’t run into them much. Anyway, the watchdog role of sellers is important so I am not discounting that, but I just wanted to share the other side of the experience.

    1. Thank you for speaking up on behalf of the buyers. We sellers work hard at keeping our customers experience warm and human only to be undermined by etsy’s dehumanizing policy changes.

  42. The reason why so many people are upset is the disconnect between what Etsy says and how they really operate.

    And they operate on commission: more volume = more money. You don’t get volume out of individual artisans slaving away in their home workshops, you get it from factories and “cooperatives” producing large quantities with cheap labor.

    It isn’t a “handmade” marketplace any more, it’s just a marketplace, no different than Amazon and eBay.

    Just stop with the hipster glitter unicorn cupcakes and admit you’re in it for the $$$, at least that would be the truth.

  43. ” Some have argued in comments that Chad is not the man behind Etsy and the sellers are. I would like to remind sellers, that buyers are an equally important part of the marketplace. Without the marketplace, we all will remain unknown to each other.”


    Mr. Malik, I would like to address your comment above. Contrary to your statement, SELLERS *ARE* BUYERS. In truth, large amounts of the money etsy makes comes from the pockets of sellers that are BUYING. We buy gifts, we buy supplies for our craft, and we buy items for personal use. We know this site better than anyone else. We know what works, and we know what doesn’t work. Largely because we DO see both sides of the coin. I spend hundreds of dollars on supplies, items for my home, bath and body products, and even baked goods. Yet, I am also a successful seller making a good income.

    I was also muted (permanently banned from ever speaking in the forums again) for speaking out against mass produced J-Crew bubble necklaces and mass produced bags and purses. Not only do these items take up valuable space from the “real” sellers, but they really make the site look deceitful and disingenuous.

    And I would like to remind you, that without the sellers, who are Etsy’s REAL customers, there would be *nothing for buyers to buy*.

  44. Mr. Malik, the people who are speaking up are trying very hard to tell you the things that Etsy and Chad Dickerson don’t want the public to know. I don’t have a dog in this race, I left years ago, but the things I saw while I was still there that *caused me to leave* have only gotten worse. I never cared about resellers, I cared deeply about the people who were trying to “make a living making things” and it was galling to watch how badly they were treated.

    There is a wealth of information about Etsy’s dirty tricks out there, it doesn’t take much digging, and there is a very long history of it. The dirty deeds go back as far as I can remember, and so does the way they swept them under the rugs. Changing the guy at the top hasn’t changed anything for the better.

    Your blog post will probably help them either sell it or put up that IPO, but if you’re hoping to influence shoppers or sellers, you’re probably not going to get the results you wanted.

    If you really want to write about an internet based company that has worked hard to get where they are, one that hasn’t taken a boat load of other people’s money to do so, one that is responsive to their sellers, check into ArtFire as Kaliya suggested. As it stands, this article looks like cheer leading, a big personal pat on the back for Chad Dickerson and Etsy. Also, look into the history of the expression “Etsy cupcake” if they haven’t buried it too deeply.

    1. ARTFIRE????

      You’ve GOT to be joking!

      THEY only worked by exploiting the malaise created by Etsy. After alienating the newly acquired Etsy sellers, they’ve sunk to “always a wannabe, never a contender”, like Bonanza.

  45. I know so many sellers from my day to day life in the real world (galleries, art and craft shows) who have closed their Etsy shops. There was a day when every serious artist and crafts-person seemed to have a little shop on Etsy. Not any more. Or they are greatly minimized in products offered.

    There are a few categories on Etsy that are not over-run by resellers such as woodworking and paper-making. Jewelry is the worst category: it is especially saturated with resellers (probably 50 – 60 percent resellers would be our wild guess). Once a customer gets burned by buying factory made jewelry, it rains down badly on the seller who sent their buyer to Etsy. If you are a jeweler and want to be taken seriously, you don’t send your buyers to Etsy.

    The inexpensive stand-alone options are improving greatly. I don’t see how Etsy will be able to compete with that after awhile. And there are other handmade venues like Etsy without the heavy duty reseller aspect.

    It’s probably in the “nature of the beast” for an unjuried site who has to answer to venture capitalists to eventually morph into an E-Bay look-alike. No company the size of Etsy is going to be able to control the influx of resellers.

    So, I entreat etsy sellers to leave for greener pastures: perhaps Craft is Art, Artfire, Zibbet,
    or any other venue to your liking. You did it before when you all left E-Bay and you can do it again.

  46. I believe that the anger that you are picking up from these comments is a direct result of sellers feeling duped. We bought into the whole community of artisans schtick, brought buyers on board, helped each other by forming teams, promoting other shops, and offering advice in the forums. We were given the sense that these community based activities were what Etsy was about, what made it different from other e-commerce sites.

    Turns out the sense of community is another marketing tool. We are the Judas goats who lead buyers into the venue with the promise of handmade, vintage and craft supplies. Our forums, particularly in their new inception, while they do lend to a sense of community, primarily serve the corporation as they take the place of customer service. We answer our own questions, solve our own problems — with customers, payments, shipping concerns — because Etsy cannot or will not provide customer service.

    The forums, a word that refers to a place of free and open discourse, are neither free nor open. Critical debate is not only frowned upon, it is punished with mutings and shop closures. Google ‘etsy shop suspended’ or ‘etsy muted’ and see what comes up. Most of the mutings are a result of admin not liking the poster’s comments — not that they were rude, wrong, obscene or slanderous — just not liked. We are not allowed to question admin’s comments or behavior. Our Terms of Use are written on the wind. As Wired magazine said they are “vague to the point of evasive” and questioning is not only frowned upon but dangerous if you want your shop to stay open.

    I believe Etsy has deliberately nurtured a culture of fear to maintain their illusion of community. As long as the ‘goats’ stay quiet all is well. There have been a number of calls to action. Bali-gate saw many shops close for a day in protest. This weekend’s ‘experiment’ with Direct Checking has also seen many shops, my own included, turn off their DC in protest. Unfortunately these activists represent only a small population of members. Only members who use the forums or who have had customers comment on their inability to use PP will be aware.

    Commenting on the corporations lack of ethics is uncomfortable. I have a very strong sense of biting the hand that feeds me. When that hand, however, is covered with deceit and chicanery to further corporate aims, not biting means I accept these actions. I don’t.

  47. Another example of Etsy management not listening to the sellers is with this new EBay 5 star feedback system. Several months ago, a survey was sent to shop owners regarding the feedback system. Once again, Etsy did not care what the shop owners wanted and implemented a feedback system that is unfair to sellers.

    With this new feedback system, sellers are no longer able to leave feedback for a buyer. Sellers cannot offer their side of the story if a buyer leaves neutral or negative feedback. I have spoken with many who had completed the survey and NOT ONE said they wanted an EBay 5 star rating system. What they wanted was a fair exchange between buyer and seller.

    EBay sellers left in droves when their 5 star feedback system was implemented. Why would Etsy want to suffer the same effects by copying the same feedback system?

    Check the forums on this subject as well and you will see the reactions, disapprovals and concerns voiced by the sellers.

  48. I see that Sandy has already mentioned the new 5-star feedback system, one that is inherently problematic for sellers. But I’d like to weigh in, too.

    The star system was first tested last week — and within days, several hundred comments were posted, nearly all asking Etsy to reconsider.

    It was, nonetheless, implemented this morning. And within about 2 minutes, there were more than 200 comments asking Etsy to reconsider.

    I can’t be the only person struck by the disconnect between Chad’s words to you and the reality of what we has taken place in just one week. (“You learn a lot from talking to people and not looking at data.”)

    So yes, I do recommend you also explore the fora threads related to the star feedback system.

    And, oh? While you’re digging thru the fora, perhaps pay a bit of attention to the discussions re: new homepage look for first time buyers; I think it, too, is illustrative.


  49. Ms Informed brings up many good points and opinion – backed up by her research and Facts!! Resellers are a horror and totally frustrating for we who are Etsy Sellers.
    As are vintage sellers selling non-vintage. These are facts, it is not fair, IMHO, to say we/they are “complainers and moaners”.

    This is not a perfect world, I totally get that, but there are many obvious issues that need to be worked on diligently, again, IMHO.

    The tests being run without notifying sellers is a horror, case in point the announcement today that the PayPal/Direct Checkout is/was a test, a test that lost many sellers lost sales.

    On a positive note, in spite of all this, I love having my Etsy shop – not being able to afford a B&M shop, I am able to pursue my lifelong dream.

    1. I work hard and use the money I make in my etsy shop to pay my bills and feed my children, so your appreciation of my comment means a lot to me, although I am sad that I felt compelled to post it.

      It is just a small sampling of items I have reported within that last 2 weeks. Contrary to Mary’s post above, doing a simple search for “vintage jadite cake stand” takes about 2 seconds and reporting it with links of proof takes another 10 seconds. I have done this repeatedly with no results. The items that I’ve reported are selling daily, essentially taking the food out my child’s mouth. These are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of brand-new items created by wholesale factories. I blame etsy as it is painfully obvious my reports of violations are being purposefully overlooked while the offending items continue to fly off the virtual shelves,

        1. There seems to be little consensus among the members of Etsy’s Marketplace Integrity Team about what vintage is. For some reason, the concept of vintage being unaltered items at least 20 years old is confusing to the staff. There are items listed as both made to order and Vintage from the 1940s, in the Vintage category. The items are not taken from a huge stash of “new old stock” but are brand new items the seller will assemble to your specifications. Reporting these listings is futile.

  50. I remember how great the Etsy forums were about 3 years ago, give or take a few months. Then Etsy butchered them and the moderators told the sellers to join teams.

    Teams don’t have the same character as the regular forums. Sellers, including myself, enjoyed interacting before the Etsy forums were broken up.

    Artfire is the second largest handmade, vintage and supply selling venue. How about giving some press coverage about Artfire. Tony Ford is the COO of Artfire and he and his very small staff do a fantastic job for their sellers.

    Unlike Etsy, Artfire has terrific customer service and they DO have a phone # that sellers can call during business hours.

    Another great thing about selling on Artfire is that they have solved the reseller problem. Artfire provides a section on Artfire called Commercial where resellers can sell their products and they don’t have to hide the fact that they are resellers.

    The Artfire forums are fantastic too. They are self moderated.

  51. I am very thankful for and grateful to Etsy and what it has allowed me to accomplish with my small business. I do sell in the most saturated category but have managed to make myself a nice living on which I support myself and my son, as a single mom.

    That said, I completely admit to turning a bit of a blind eye to the issues that are being discussed here in the comments. My first instinct is to stick up for the platform that has made it possible to realize my dream and provide for my family. I’ve had nothing but good experiences as an Etsy shop owner. However, I need to realize that so many wouldn’t be speaking out if there weren’t an issue. I’m definitely going to be keeping my eyes open and stop ignoring this topic. Things are great for my shop now, but I can’t keep my head in the sand and think that that can’t change in a blink of an eye.

  52. This is your Bio OM:

    Om is the founder of GigaOM. He has been a journalist for over 20 years. He was part of the founding team of Forbes.com as a senior editor. He joined Red Herring as a senior writer in August 2000 & Business 2.0 in March 2003. He has also contributed to The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and MIT Technology Review. Om is the author of Broadbandits: Inside the $750 Billion Telecom Heist. Om also blogs on his personal blog, Om.Co. Follow him on Twitter @om

    20 years as a journo? Well these comments should be enough for you to start digging into the truth. These posts are not made up by disgruntled E sellers they are the truth, E doesn’t care about the artisans that have made them who they are.

    Is this an article about how a an NYC e-commerce company got to be big time, then yeah your right it did with VC’s only 91 million as you posted. Or is this an article about Etsy? I think you wanted the latter and had no idea you would see these types of comments.

    Sorry we all derailed your pretty blog. But the truth well its not always pretty and thank Gore for the internet.
    If your ever interested in writing an article about a venue that does have CS does understand that artisans handmade should have there own category then look up Artfire.

    The Coo there Tony Ford is very personable and he does listen to his customers I know because I am one.

    But not only that they are working on a vision of handmade/tech with the new makers house in Tuscon Google it.

    The difference between AF and E is VC’s.So you wouldn’t be interested cause we are just artists over there that pay a monthly fee.

  53. The best thing I ever did for my business was to move away from Etsy. I opened my shop there in 2005 and did quite well. I try to keep emotions at a distance when dealing with my livelihood but my moral compass just could not continue to be associated with a venue that treated artisans so poorly and offers zero customer service. You mentioned in one of your responses that “they don’t respond fast enough, how about they don’t respond at all”

    The mass resellers, the promotion of the same resellers and denial of such, blatant favoritism, shutting down legitimate businesses because they dare to speak out and call attention to Etsy atrocities, mutings, bannings, refusal to provide reasonable customer service (contact them through twitter** you have to be kidding** but no) etc.

    I now sell on a site that has great customer service, they are open and transparent with their customers, and they offer a low monthly fee that encourages growth. I can handle any or all sales off site without FEAR of fee avoidance closing of my store. Sure they can’t please everyone, but they communicate openly with their customers ( the sellers) they welcome input and work to implement things that will genuinely grow our businesses. They don’t take millions in VC monies so they can’t be all things but they acknowledge any weaknesses and let us know when and if they can be improved. The best part is that I can sell 10,000 a month and pay only $12.00 total. All those tools and service for one low flat rate. I know a fantastic business opportunity when I see one.

    Etsy sellers have been asking for things before I opened in 2005 and they continue to request them multiple times each day: phone support, any customer support, more categories, less muting, less resellers, less favoritism, fewer unprofessional things like Kiss and Make up, Darn this item is sold, Uh-oh with a three armed sweater, are we children?

    Rather than contact Etsy for their response, just spend a couple of hours reading the Etsy forum. There is where you will see the truth, as much as Etsy allows, which is highly limited by fear of muting as well as actual perma mutes.

    It isn’t just a few disgruntled sellers, it abounds!

    1. I am sure etsy sellers would love to know what the
      “I now sell on a site that has great customer service”
      or even a list of etsy alternatives.

      I relish the day someone moves in and steal etsy’s customers (the sellers)

      Google Fiber will be doing it to cable companies that have been ripping off customers for years, someone needs to step in and do it to etsy. There is enough angst at this point that I think many sellers would happily leave for another platform that could make and keep promises to sellers about integrity and quality assurance. Its only a matter of time. It almost seems like the recent changes at etsy has primed us all to leave with ease and leave etsy as the hong kong charm bracelet megaplex that it is becoming.

    2. @ happilyleftetsy
      I am sure etsy sellers would love to know what site you now use.
      “I now sell on a site that has great customer service”
      Even a list of legit etsy competition, thats the real article there. Who is in place to replace etsy.

      I relish the day someone moves in and steals etsy’s customers (the sellers)

      Google Fiber will be doing it to cable companies that have been ripping off customers for years, someone needs to step in and do it to etsy. There is enough angst at this point that I think many sellers would happily leave for another platform that could make and keep promises to sellers about integrity and quality assurance. Its only a matter of time. It almost seems like the recent changes at etsy has primed sellers to leave with ease. Etsy can downward spiral into the hong kong charm bracelet megaplex that it is becoming without handmade artisans and artists.

      1. I now sell on Artfire. I don’t participate in the forum because of my awful experiences with Etsy forum, but I read them every day. If sellers take advantage of the education offered by Artfire administration and the seller mentors, they will benefit greatly. They really help out and work with you unlike posting on Etsy where you get so much snark. Many Etsy sellers have disdain for their administration and carry that over to AF which is uncalled for because the AF admin are ever present and always willing to help, even over the phone on weekends and major holidays. Yes, phone!

        It took me a little while to get established but now sales are booming. I sell 10 times more wholesale on AF than I ever did on Etsy. Of course I take care of those cherished business accounts off site because I conduct my business as a professional so 10,000 of my items shipped don’t show in my artfire shop but the sales came from people who contacted me through artfire so I credit those numbers to artfire. Etsy sellers point out lower sales numbers for AF but I am a perfect example of selling 5 times my volume off site because AF is fine with taking my business where ever I want to handle it instead of FORCING me to make listings for wholesale accounts. No fees so no fee avoidance issues. I know from the forums others do the same, one seller of wholesale out of India and one soap maker that are hugely successful also go offsite. They both spend lots of time helping others get going, volunteers to boot. SEO experts spend days helping new sellers, too.

        I still read Etsy forum as well and the rancor towards AF is unbelievable. Those folks are angry. They tried AF for a short period of time trying to sell the way they did on Etsy and fail because Etsy is so large that you follow their rules for success which dooms you to succeed anywhere else. They do everything wrong in regards to SEO because Etsy SEO doesn’t work anywhere but Etsy so they go running back bashing AF every chance they get. The AF forum has Etsy sellers that come in guns a blazing attacking the administration because they are so used to Etsy’s antics that they just can’t comprehend the outstanding attention and service offered by AF. Others try to talk them down and explain things but often it falls on deaf ears. Etsy is almost cult – like, so scary.

  54. I’m another Etsy seller who became disillusioned with them several years ago. They’re so far away from what they started out to be, that Etsy’s nearly unrecognizable. I don’t keep much in my shop, anymore, but when I do list something, I list quickly and run fast. I don’t even want to know what the latest “gate” is because it can be so upsetting and all consuming.

    450 staff members, and there still isn’t a way to call customer service. They have all of those lovely toy phone booths, though, so that’s nice. But think about it. What other business doesn’t provide a phone number so their customers can call them? It’s crazy! I don’t understand why anyone would sign up for their direct checkout. If someone is going to have that much control over my money, they’re going to give me their phone number.

    I just looked on Etsy’s front page. I don’t see the word “Handmade” anywhere.

    I know that Etsy has to do whatever is necessary in order to pay back all of the VC money they’ve raked in, but to do it at the expense of those who made them what they are, is rotten.

    I still shop on Etsy occasionally, but only with supply sellers with whom I’ve had long relationships. Trying to shop for anything else is nearly impossible because of the resellers who come up at the top of searches. It’s very frustrating.

    Mr. Malik, I’d love to see you interview Jonathan Peacock from Zibbet, or Tony Ford from ArtFire. They both communicate openly and frequently with their sellers, and actually do listen to the feedback they get, implementing ideas and suggestions from their sellers when it’s feasible to do so. They never ignore their sellers, and they don’t close our shops without warning. We’re allowed to speak freely in the forums. We can call them on the phone. They treat us like the important customers that we are.

    1. And don’t forget one of the most important things about Zibbet and Jonathan: If they make a mistake, they aren’t afraid to own up to it and ensure that it is corrected. Etsy has had numerous mistakes, but will never admit to anything. To me, that is poor way to manage a business.

  55. Chad: “Most e-commerce tries to reduce everything to math, but I refuse to think of it as a math problem,” said Dickerson. All it takes is spending time with Etsy buyers and sellers to learn that all commerce is about real human interaction.”

    Of course e-commerce reduces everything to math – it’s called the bottom line. Nobody thinks Etsy shouldn’t make a profit, just stop trying to pretend consumers buy things online because they want a touchy feely interaction with another human being. They buy things online because it’s easy and they DON’T have to deal with other human beings.

    Jeff Bezos already figured this out years ago of course, Mr Dickerson is just trying to sprinkle hipster fairy dust on it.

  56. Just for clarification, I was successful on Etsy. Nothing ever happened to me in a negative sense. No mutings or even a warning. I am not a moaner/groaner who blames Etsy for poor sales. I was thriving.

    It was a conscious decision I made to speak with my dollars. I was finding it difficult to face the reality of selling on Etsy when they were so far removed from my ethics. I now rest easy knowing that my fees go to a company that deserves my support. I chose not to simply look the other way.

  57. Chad has totally drunk the Kool aid. Does he seriously not understand how Esty’s decision to allow “collectives” (or whatever euphemism they are using for outsourcing) is completely inconsistent with the ideal of buying directly from artisans? Esty has capitalized on the brand of buying handcrafted while abandoning the business model (and the sellers) that made the site so popular.

    1. That goes back to Sandy’s comment:
      “Etsy has had numerous mistakes, but will never admit to anything.”

      When the last huge reseller backlash happened, Etsy introduced the redefined term “collective” to mean factory made….voilà – no more “resellers”.

  58. I don’t have a store on Etsy I am just a buyer but I want to say buyers and sellers arr both getting ripped off. As a buyer I go to Etsy for unique handmade items. But depending what you are looking for you have to wade through tons of mass produced dreck pretend to be handmade. A lot of these items are counterfeit items Sufi as Chanel or Disney. If you search these names on Etsy you will see. As a buyer I feel like I am being duped by Etsy. If you have licensing from the companies that is one thing nut most people don’t bother with that because it is expensive. Etsy turns a blind eye to that. The only one profitting here is Etsy. It has been suggested Etsy have two sites one for handmade and one for mass produced items. They probably won’t do that because resellers have learner they can sell an item on Alibaba for $1.00 and sell the same item on Etsy and get more money because they call it handmade. Feels like fraud to me.

  59. I am able to spend time with my kids and work from home thanks to Etsy.
    I am very grateful.
    I do not agree with some things that Etsy does — the new feedback system change that came out today for example is appalling and a step in the WRONG direction — but I think Etsy does listen to the sellers and ultimately wants the same thing we want – the site to make money.
    It would be awesome if Etsy would start advertising on media now that the revenue is so high as mentioned in this article! That would be astronomical!

    1. Mandala I agree with you and Etsy does advertise with google and facebook.

      Like any business, there are changes made that will not make everyone happy. I have learned to roll with the changes and adapt. Etsy has allowed me to leave a job I hated, stay home with my retired husband and work as little or as much as I want to. I have made life-long friends on Etsy through teams.

      My friend has a brick and mortar store making handmade stained glass items that was on the verge of closing because of the poor local economy. She opened an Etsy store and has had to hire another person to keep up with her orders.

      I think folks are not giving enough credit to legitimate sellers and smart buyers. I have no intention of leaving Etsy and I will keep buying there.

  60. Etsy sellers are tired of having changes sprung on them with no warning. The recent Paypal nightmare and feedback star system are cases in point. Should Paypal go away, I will not be a buyer on Etsy anymore and I will also reconsider maintaining a store there. Loosing Paypal would effectively cut my business in half. Don’t fix what isn’t broken just because you want to cut Paypal out of commissions.

    1. Count me in on the ones leaving Etsy if they do away with PayPal. Plenty of people want to use it. If I am not mistaken, the internal Etsy payments don’t work for international sales – but my experience with that may be just a “glitch”.

      With PayPal, I can pay my Etsy bill, buy postage, and shop in millions of places. I can’t use my Etsy shop payments to do anything else. I have to transfer the money weekly to my checking account, and then I can’t get at it to spend it without going around the moon.

      The feedback changes are STUPID for true OOAK sellers. They are just lovely if you are mass producing the same item over and over and over. How can you review something that will never be made again?

      Om, if you want to see some examples of the resold stuff on Etsy, check out this search there, and see how many people are using the exact same pictures to list. Perhaps some buy the components and combine them “uniquely”, but if you poke around a bit, you’ll see how many of the 17000+ listings are for the same Chinese Trinket.


  61. A company that promotes real people interaction does not practice what it preaches.

    The worst thing about Etsy is you cannot talk to anyone via phone and they don’t respond to serious issues, like shop theft, for weeks, if they respond at all.

  62. I really don’t like how Chad gets credit for etsy at all. He was simply a tech guy that moved up in the ranks after the original creators of etsy left. He is not creative, nor does it seem he cares about fostering creativity. Other than letting anyone test anything at etsy live. He was made captain of a ship that was built by others, that is all.

    Published on July 22, 2008 in Etsy News

    This is what WAS the vision for etsy BEFORE chad. There were people part of etsy that genuinely cared about the mission statement and direction at etsy.
    “I will also be spending time developing Etsy.org, a non-profit organization that will focus on the educational side of how to make a living making things. (Lots more details about this are coming soon. Right now, it’s in the planning stages.)” -Rob Kalin

    -Etsy publishes intents for etsy.org and five years later, nothing. This is typical of etsy. Promises then nothing. Promises, and then the opposite of what was promised. Tests and implementation with consideration of consequences and how it effects the general health of the community.

    Chad used to be supervised by Maria and Rob, because chad was brought on solely as a tech guy, with little to no connection with what etsy is really about. Somewhere along the lines he took the reigns. “Chad will manage our entire technical organization, including application development, network infrastructure and quality assurance. He will report to me.” -maria

    Quality assurance. I don’t think Maria had resellers and a search system the gives high ranks to bait and switch operations that steal buyers money in mind when she was thinking of quality assurance. I guess what do you expect though, Chad was at Yahoo before he infiltrated/infected Etsy.

    His philosophies about launching with accountability makes sense when you remember he came from yahoo. (anyone that has had yahoo for the last 10 years, knows what I am talking about) A step above hotmail.

    For the most part, at etsy, there is a real sense of a complete LACK of leadership, contrary to statements made by chad in interviews. I think Chad needs to go back to a tech title only, and hand the reigns to another spokes person that is connected with the community at etsy in a real way.

  63. The real truth, Mr. Malik is that you published your interview without doing any investigative reporting. You took published accounts of the company and treated them like fact, not PR.

    The facts are that etsy has it’s own lexicon. It calls factories collectives. Of course etsy is making billions. When you sell factory made goods as handmade people are willing to pay more.

    When you take away the voices of the people who are hand made makers you do not hear dissent. The forums have been sanitized on etsy so that only chit chat is allowed. buyers can say anything they want and sellers may not publicly respond.

    There is no help center at etsy, no phone lines, no assistance but an email. If they do not care to help or respond, you are out of luck.

    When you write pieces like this, it’s important to gather facts, because etsy will not respond to you again. You do not get a second chance. And while lots of the comments are emotional there is truth in all of them.

    Perhaps etsy board, from Walmart and Google and Ebay all assembled to mainstream etsy can assist you. You need to write another piece, this time with objective facts.

  64. I sell fashion accessories on both Etsy and Artfire. I can say that I find Etsy’s practices to be unfriendly to most business models. Reading the forums on both sites provides great insight into customer satisfaction.

    Etsy forum participants tell horror stories of mistreatment at the heavy hand of Etsy corp and severe lack of administration accountability while the Artfire forums offer a supportive community from fellow sellers and administration. The atmosphere is night and day; one community dwells in fear while the other is surrounded with positivity. One asks for input and volunteer testing while the other does secret testing that costs sellers dearly. One has the owners active in the forum answering quesitons, giving sensible reasons of why thing can or cannot be done the other just ignores pleas for help. One allows resellers to falsely present themselves as handmade while the other solved the problem with a simple commercial section separate from the handmade. It works well on Artfire, Etsy could takes some lessons and learn how to handle the problem. Sure both places have their own forum drama, no doubt about that.

    I find that Etsy supresses business growth with their insistance of internal convos between seller and buyer. How silly is it for me to have to handle wholesale purchases with businesses through a convo? Childish and immature. I find it embarassing to have to tell a retail department store buyer that I can’t sell them my products unless they purchase them on Etsy. I can’t process their sale through email or over the phone. It makes me look like a hobby seller rather than a well established successful business woman. At least on Artfire I am welcome to foster strong business associations in what ever manner I choose. Being treated like an adult on equal footing with the administration is priceless. our input in valued rather than ignored.

    Etsy has 450 employees and you can’t find a phone number? Plush toy phone booths, cutesy avatars from the staff, no response for weeks if ever to requests for help on serious issues, juvenile terminology site wide, and a forum moderated with ridiculous guidelines all add up to an unprofessional site. Mr. Dickerson is far from a hero. It would be best to do some investigating to see the dark side of Etsy because it is there in full force.

    Yes, I still sell there because people buy there. My monthly fees are usually around 200.00 a month while on Artfire I pay 11.95 a month even though I sell more on Artfire than Etsy. As a seller on multiple venues I can say from first hand experience that Etsy’s vision has long been abandoned and that is just sad. Venture Capital money is the root of the problems. They have to pay back that money and resellers are the answer.

    1. I am beginning to think Dickerson has little more control than we do – and it is the venture capital money that calls the shots.

      1. Perhaps John Donahoe has convinced the VC’s that the ebay model is the wave of the future.

      2. 🙂 We have a winner!!!!

        Concerns and complaints NEED to be brought to the attention of the BOARD.

        It’s easy enough to track them down via google searches.

  65. It is worth mentioning that the part about Chad – the “Always Be Hustling” part is right on target. Before Etsy began all of the massive changes this month without giving any kind of courtesy notice (except little hints here and there in the forums), Etsy added a new little button on the side of our shops. It is an Earn Free Listings button. It is for 40 free listings for every friend that we get to open an Etsy shop. The friend gets another 40 free listings. Etsy knew how it was behaving and the new rules would upset the apple cart and alienate many sellers. Rather than try to reach out to the people they already have, the people that pay the fees and operate the shops – they figured they would cut to the chase and be ready to replace people. Yay Chad for that awesome business savvy! Yay chad for throwing the sellers out in the cold yet protecting your own ass. Smart man you are!!! But think about this, many sellers are leaving, many have closed up shop, many have had their shops shut down by Etsy – the forums have several threads started by buyers that didn’t get their goods and can’t find their sellers because shops are shutting down. And those sellers that have been there are leaving and being replaced with inexperienced sellers who may or may not have the skills the former sellers did. I am betting they don’t have the skills. It is amazing what people will do for 40 free listings.

  66. The reseller comments are baseless speculation. Neither is Etsy doubling down and swearing anything that points out the problems in their policies doesn’t actually exist so shut up.

    Case in point: Ecologico Malibu. Last year, Etsy featured a furniture importer/reseller on their Featured Seller feature. The shop owner sold them a song about importing reclaimed boatwood from Bali and personally constructing hundreds of pieces of furniture by herself each day. http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2012/featured-seller-ecologica-malibu/

    This did not sit right at all with Etsy users. Her story was thoroughly debunked. She shared an address and a business name with an import furniture business and signed the bills to have completed furniture dropped off on her doorstep: http://www.dailydot.com/business/etsy-reseller-ecologica-malibu-controversy/

    Etsy doubled down, shut down comments on the blog, and made up a whole new set of rules about “collectives” versus “resellers using overseas sweatshop labor” just to justify their choice of Ecologica Malibu as a featured. This post outlines the many revisions to the story and threats from Etsy staff to punish people “calling out” their mistake. http://craftymoira.blogspot.com/2012/04/etsy-scandal-ecologica-malibu.html

    When Etsy’s defense failed, the shop owner stole her husbands legal stationary, posed as a lawyer herself, and started sending cease and desist letters to everyone who reported on the story. Even this was not enough for Etsy to admit that they made a mistake: http://siouxsielaw.com/2012/04/27/etsy-featured-seller-ecologica-malibu-threatens-to-sue-anyone-who-questions-the-bone-fides-of-their-products/

    Eventually, many months later and long after the furor died down, Ecologica Malibu’s shop was removed from Etsy. No ammendment was made to the initial story. No apology was issued to the readers and users of Etsy. They just decided to make the shop disappear to save face long after the multitude of policy violations were known. Etsy made a lot of money off of her thousands of sales and they didn’t send that cash cow off to pasture until the funds started to dry up: http://siouxsielaw.com/2012/04/27/etsy-featured-seller-ecologica-malibu-threatens-to-sue-anyone-who-questions-the-bone-fides-of-their-products/

    So, Mr. Malik, before you accuse more readers of just slinging mud and insulting Etsy out of petty jealousy, perhaps you should research how the company actually treats rule breakers. You should see how their policies are rock solid until they might have to shut down a reseller, then they’ll change the meaning of everything they’ve ever stood by just to keep a high volume seller on the site. They mute people for pointing out problems on the site so they can no longer voice their complaints on Etsy itself. They arbitrarily ban shops based on rules that aren’t in the policies–either never stated or removed with policy revisions–just to prove they’re policing the site.

    If you really want to research how Etsy actually treats buyers and sellers, you need to look at the Ask Etsy threads that get shut down because Rob White gets his feelings hurt by buyer/seller feedback. You can see all of the admin comments at the start of these threads and many times Rob starts freaking out over criticism and threatens to shut down the topic, the forum feature, or the forums themselves because he can’t take the heat when it comes to Etsy policy failures.

    1. I have to say that I kind of like Rob White. For an admin, he seems like one of the more tolerant ones. I suspect that there are several admin that feel just almost bad about this as we do. Though watching Melinda dance around the facts for the last few hours has put a foul taste in my mouth.

      1. Rob is great until he loses his cool. He helped me out a lot when I was still selling there. He’s actually willing to engage in a conversation. He just reaches that take his toys and go home point more often than he should.

        1. I like Rob, too. As a matter of fact, I think most forum Admin get a bad rep – some seem to be just as “in the dark” as we all are.

  67. Unfortunately the site is starting to look and feel like any other E – commerce site it is slowly but surely losing its originality…. Its a shame

  68. I joined Etsy because even though I had heard some negative talk about them, I figured if people still made money, it was worth a shot. Well, within the 6 mos. I was there, there was the problem with names from credit cards being sent in emails to customers (one of those experiments gone wrong), I was kicked of one of their famous teams for speaking up for ArtFire and saying something radical (“Everyone has a right to their own opinion.”), and then there was the recent problem about the scraper site that the admin there has apparently ignored for approximately the entire time I was there. In addition, I decided my negative attitude was not good for me in general, I disliked professional sellers being treated like naughty children, and being there (with the resellers) was bad for my brand.

    It has become a mystery to my why Etsy still exists at all, because you can’t alienate your customer base like that (That’s the sellers, Chad) and still continue on like nothing happened. This will be interesting, but I’m happy watching from a distance.

  69. If the top management on Etsy can not eliminate the resellers and if they can not return Etsy to the way that it was originally intended then maybe it is time for new upper management on Etsy.

    If Etsy was truly a handmade selling venue, provided good customer service, and if Etsy treated their sellers with respect and listened to their customers (the sellers), no other handmade selling venue would be able to remain in business very long. Everyone would be selling on Etsy.

    I am very surprised that nobody has mentioned the wonderful stories about Etsy on a venue called Regretsy.

    1. I love regretsy! I’ve never laughed so hard.

      You should also check out twitter comments from upper management stating that, “everything went smoothly on the roll out of the new feedback system.” Smoothly for who? Certainly not the sellers. Upper echelon is so totally clueless about what is happening with the sellers. Nor do they care.

    2. To me, the worst part about the resellers on Etsy is the fact that they not only allow them to list as handmade, they promote them (bali gate is a perfect example) they deny and deny. At least on ArtFire, they allow the resellers to remain, but in their own separate section. Once reported with proof, the resellers are simply moved to the commercial category then the onus is on them to prove they are indeed handmade. It works beautifully. AF doesn’t shut down their business it encourages all business types; amazing concept a venue that offers options to enterprises of all sorts.

      I have nothing against resellers, they don’t damage my business because I am competing against them every day on the web. The only problem is condoning the falsehood that the items are handmade by the artisan, collectives are a joke as the vast majority of them are sweat shop environments. The Etsy seller who said handmade sellers are moaning about resellers and that is not resellers fault they they don’t succeed doesn’t get it. It isn’t about the competition it is about Etsy refusing to address the resellers listing as handmade.

      Big difference on how venues handle resellers. I welcome resellers to AF as long as they are in commercial where they belong, I don’t welcome them falsely portraying themselves as handmade artisans. Etsy would gain my respect if they did something similar rather than
      encouraging them but advising them how to get around the rules by lying.

  70. The admin “we” see in the forums have no idea what is happening just like we don’t. A simple peruse through the bugs threads and the few threads that get attention from admin (ie Melissa as mentioned above), it is clear as day that those who are answering in the forums have no clue what is really going on.

    I find it almost an insult to have some “snappy” response from a visible oranged lined avatar only to find out the real issue in a response to a support email request (days later) that states the exact problem and what has been done to fix it.

    The issue is that we all can complain, we all see the truth by being sellers, but things won’t change, it is obvious with the new feedback system and the purposely vague attempt to make Etsy Staff, ie Marc Hedlund’s discussion threads, seem like they care. This is a for profit company and it will remain that way.

    Until the sellers as an entire whole leave, stop using their direct checkout system or something on a huge scale, Etsy will not change. They have thrown this fact in our face time and again. They have fluffed the “weather report” statistics to the point of out and out lying among other, plain and in your face, examples that they are going to continue to do what they want and don’t give a darn about sellers or anyone else.

    I am riding out the storm but have definitely begun listing in other places and will leave once I build my customer base. I find Etsy to be a disgusting example of espousing Green and Handmade and Small business etc. It is time that Etsy was exposed for what it truly is, a “For Profit” Corporation without care or concern with whom they destroy as they climb to the top of the marketplace

  71. Etsy does not listen to or care about what sellers think. All the recent changes they have made show what a serious disconnect there is between management and people who actually use the site on a daily basis. Hiding the shipping cost from the buyer in item listings, Idiotic changes to the feedback system, placing arrows right on top of the seller’s item photos so they partially block the item. Taking it upon themselves to put an announcement right next to the item that sellers don’t ship internationally when they do, changing the word feedback to “reviews”, hiding the feedback score with a childish grade school star system. The amateur, poorly thought out changes that are implemented by this site make it a very unstable place to have your business.
    I’m sick to death of hearing about resellers ruining everyone’s business. That’s just plain nonsense with no basis in fact. Ebay has millions of listings and the place is drowing in mass produced garbage but everyone can still find what they are looking for through refined searches. Etsy is ruining your business not the mass marketers.

  72. Chad, I openly invite you to contact me, if you can stand a little honesty.Want to talk to a real Etsy seller? Here I am.

    You allow reselling to dilute your brand and dominate the Etsy marketplace.
    You provide zero customer service to your sellers – no phone, and Admin simply ignore emails they don’t want to answer.
    You sanitize your own forums by removing any posts that don’t toe the line and are “disrespectful” to Etsy (hey, that could be half the posts at this point).
    And now you’ve retooled the feedback system so that it’s open season on sellers.

    But hey, the listing fees are cheap.

  73. Thank you to Om for inviting me to respond to the comments here. I know that sellers depend on Etsy for their livelihoods. So it’s fair — and welcome — for you to be passionate, to tell us when you disagree with our decisions, and to make suggestions for improvements. But Om is right that baseless assertions and hateful rants are unproductive, so I’m going to try to be very concrete in my response. 

    On Etsy, selling a new, finished item unchanged when you didn’t design it is not allowed. In order to police for this, we have a dedicated staff (grown more than 450% in the last 3 years, and still hiring), proprietary software which we continue to improve, and we also encourage our community to flag shops or listings for concerns. Of our 18 million listings and more than 900,000 sellers, only a fraction of one percent in total were flagged last year. To be more specific, in July 2013, 0.15% of listings were flagged as possible violators, and this has been consistent over time. It’s still a problem and if you look you can find violators, but it’s a small problem relative to the size of the marketplace. We’re considering ways to surface this data more regularly. All open marketplaces and online services have some version of our “reseller” challenge. It’s why you see spam buttons in your email inbox, and why you can report a post on Facebook. We are in no way ambivalent about it or blind to those trying to game the system.

    The word “reseller,” however, has become a stand-in for any reason a member of the Etsy community disapproves of another member or behavior (such as products that are deemed too cheap, photos that are too professional, shops with too many sales, having help in your shop, etc.). It’s not uncommon for a community to develop a vocabulary to stand for everything that offends or upsets them, but when the word is used (incorrectly) as a pretext for interfering with others’ businesses, harassing each other, or promoting hatred, it goes against the spirit of Etsy.

    I know from personal experience that the Etsy community as a whole is warm, welcoming and inspiring, not represented by hostility. Contrary to what some commenters have suggested, in the last two years we’ve only muted 178 people for violating our forums policies. During my tenure as CEO, we put formal mechanisms in place that survey, measure, and monitor Etsy member satisfaction across the entire community so we know that our customers are generally happy (though we’re not complacent about it — that’s why we measure it). We have a regular program where we provide tours of Etsy to critics and fans alike who want to stop by our offices. If you want to stop by for a tour and discuss how we’re doing in person, just email etsytours@etsy.com

    1. Chad Dickerson said:
      “The word “reseller,” however, has become a stand-in for any reason a member of the Etsy community disapproves of another member or behavior (such as products that are deemed too cheap, photos that are too professional, shops with too many sales, having help in your shop, etc.). It’s not uncommon for a community to develop a vocabulary to stand for everything that offends or upsets them, but when the word is used (incorrectly) as a pretext for interfering with others’ businesses, harassing each other, or promoting hatred, it goes against the spirit of Etsy.”

      I don’t know who you’ve been talking to, but I have never seen “reseller” used in any other context other than “one who buys cheap, factory-made goods and resells them as ‘handmade’ or ‘vintage'”. It isn’t exactly an accurate term – technically, anyone who sells vintage is a “reseller” (by the general definition, not the Etsy definition that I outlined above) – but it works as short-hand.

      Take a look through the “handmade” jewelry category, Mr. Dickerson. Or the “vintage” watches and handbags. You will find dozens of the same design, allegedly all handmade by the same seller or allegedly all vintage (though they’re brand new). How do dozens of shops all find hundreds of the same exact style of “vintage” wristwatch, Mr. Dickerson? Doesn’t allowing these knock-offs and these resellers as “collectives” interfere with the spirit of Etsy?

    2. In one breath, you say: “we also encourage our community to flag shops or listings for concerns”. (Everyone involved with Etsy knows that the main two reasons for flagging a shop are for copyright or reseller concerns.)

      Then you follow that with: “The word “reseller,” however, has become a stand-in for any reason a member of the Etsy community disapproves of another member or behavior (such as products that are deemed too cheap, photos that are too professional, shops with too many sales, having help in your shop, etc.). It’s not uncommon for a community to develop a vocabulary to stand for everything that offends or upsets them, but when the word is used (incorrectly) as a pretext for interfering with others’ businesses, harassing each other, or promoting hatred, it goes against the spirit of Etsy.”

      Do you legitimately want other sellers to report resellers, or do you consider it to be “a pretext for interfering with others’ businesses, harassing each other, or promoting hatred, it goes against the spirit of Etsy.”

      Personally, I think you should police the site yourself (yourself being Etsy staff). Sellers should not carry the burden of keeping your policies in check. Especially when they are berated by the CEO of the company for doing as asked.

      Chad, if you don’t mind my asking, what exactly is your business background? Do you have a business degree, or have you worked in a corporate position other than IT related prior to Etsy? I guess what I’m getting at is this: I think you are a wonderful, intelligent human being, but, I fear, a victim of the Peter Principle.

    3. You know the reason why such a small percentage of listings are flagged anymore? Because we the sellers are doing your jobs for you and we the sellers are fed up, so we stop the useless flagging.

      You claim that premade items, ie mass produced, are not allowed, then go so far as to attempt to convince us that those J. Crew bubble necklace knockoffs are handmade when you know darn well they are not. And that’s just the bubble necklaces! What about the knockoff pave cuffs, earrings and necklaces? You know darn well that there are resellers and you are blatantly not doing anything about it, other than to start calling them ‘collectives’.

      Instead, you feature them, like you did the boat furniture reseller, Ecologica Malibu. Instead you post asinine articles in the STorque, by people who don’t even sell on Etsy, extoling OUR BUYERS to not buy anything made from coral, faux, legitimate, vintage or otherwise. You blatantly feature articles and people/shops that hurt your legit handmade, supply and vintage sellers and then try to cover it up.

      Instead of removing resellers, you target legit sellers, such as the one earlier who made those wood boxes for electronics. He provided all sorts of proof that he was handmaking his items and you STILL shut him down. The term reseller has NOT become a catch all as you seem to think. We legit sellers know exactly what it means and honestly, many of us have given up on you in regards to them.

      178 people muted in the last two years? More like in the last 8 MONTHS. And that’s just the ones who go to a specific Team and tell us that they have been muted. And when you do mute people, you mute them for things like saying ‘Cheese’ in a thread designed for fun. For things like ‘Yippee, Diane!’ that was a legitimate response to someone else, but Admin saw as snark without reading further. You mute for pointing out the flaws, no matter how tactful or politely it was done. There are threads and comments and posts everywhere that detail why people were muted and some of them are for the most innoculous things. You mute to keep the public face all happy and shiny. You mute to hide your flaws. And you know it.

      What’s the real reason behind blocking PayPal this last weekend? You can’t simply claim its because you were testing an overlay when obviously, Direct Checkout worked fine. You know it was deliberate, you just can’t admit it because you’ll get the kind of backlash you are getting now about the asinine feedback system changes, if not worse.

      Why don’t you have a telephone number users can call with problems like other legitimate selling sites do? There is absolutely no reason why after 8+ years, you cannot have a working customer service number. Yet, you still have failed to provide anyone wth a satisfactory answer as to why you refuse to have one. Instead relaying on emails and convos, days, sometimes weeks later , or not at all.

      If you really do have measures in place that survery, test and monitor user statisfaction, then you are blatantly ignoring the alarm bells that have got to be ringing madly right now. You are being complacent. You can tell that by a simple perusal of the gutted forums to
      know that your user base is NOT happy. Not even generally.

      Call this a rant if you want. I don’t. I call it a discourse on exactly how wrong and blind you are being to what’s truly happening right in front of you. I call it a wake up and take off the rosecolored glasses you are wearing before you run the site even further into the ground and all that’s left IS the mass produced items and resellers.

      And hey, look, my name is even on this, as it is on all my comments. I’ll expect the retaliation against my shop any time now.

    4. “The word “reseller,” however, has become a stand-in for any reason a member of the Etsy community disapproves of another member or behavior (such as products that are deemed too cheap, photos that are too professional, shops with too many sales, having help in your shop, etc.). It’s not uncommon for a community to develop a vocabulary to stand for everything that offends or upsets them, but when the word is used (incorrectly) as a pretext for interfering with others’ businesses, harassing each other, or promoting hatred, it goes against the spirit of Etsy.”

      So you’re saying there’s no problem with resellers, and we just made it up because we’re Mean Girls, so don’t worry our pretty little heads?

      You are the reason Etsy is dying, Chad. You and everyone else gaslighting about the real issues and mansplaining the issues.

      Thanks for being just as sexist and classist as you were at Yahoo!

    5. “Gaslighting” is exactly the word for this response. Utterly ridiculous. Jaw-dropping in its wrong-headedness, actually. Chad, are you getting this yet? Etsy has an image problem with the people who make it money. It goes far deeper than that, of course, but let’s try starting there. Your first mission, should you choose to accept it, is to stop talking down to your sellers and minimizing every concern they express; stop insulting your sellers by pretending they won’t notice that that’s what you’re doing. Many of us are a clever bunch and we have your number. Well, not literally, of course. No one has that.

    6. Chad, on the whole, I have been very happy with the Etsy platform and the changes have mostly been well thought out and actually WORK when released, as opposed to the ebay approach of testing changes on the live customer base.

      However, the changes and tests or glitches that have appeared this week are troublesome. The feedback system was working well. I had nearly five years of hard earned 100% positive feedback that has suddenly been cut to just the past 12 months, and as “reviews”. I for the most part make items one at a time, often with a unique stone such that there will never ever be another item like that one. I fail to see how a “review” of my awesome OOAK item will ever be meaningful. Further, I came from ebay where the “opinion” that no one is perfect, therefore no rating of 5 will be given, has taken more than a few sellers into a death spiral.

      I loved being able to post a picture of a finished item using supplies I bought from another shop, and I loved seeing a customer showing off one of my creations. This was a unique thing about the Etsy feedback that I miss already – the thank you pics!

      The idea of doing away with PayPal is just stupid. I get paid via PayPal, and I turn around and I pay for postage from PayPal, and I shop on Etsy with the money in my PayPal account, and I pay my Etsy bill from my PayPal account. Last time I looked, all I can do with the funds in my Etsy seller account is put them in my checking account. I can’t spend them on Etsy!!! I may not be a big fan of PayPal, but they have a brand name that is trusted by millions across the globe and I will have to reconsider staying on as a seller if I lose the ability to use directly from your checkout. This only brings up the temptation to take a listing off Etsy and bill a customer directly from PayPal when there is a problem with your site accepting PP. I have a customer who used PP last week and today it is not an option for her. Guess what I did? You lost that 3.5% fee. I am not going to make my customers jump through hoops to make a purchase.

      And one more thing – just look at the search results for this string on Etsy. Over 17000 listings meet this criteria. I do not have a problem if someone buys these components and combines them in a unique form with their own hands and then sells them, even if all that is done is to add a jump ring and cut some chain to length. What bothers me is the sheer number of identical listing pictures, and some sellers have had the nerve to add their shop names to the picture as if this makes it unique! Perhaps to some kind of a program searching the site they would appear different, but you sit down and use your home boy NC eyeballs and tell me that this is not blatant buy-sell on this item. I have no idea what a bubble necklace is, but I suspect that there are at least 17000 “unique listings” of them as well.

      Do us sellers, your customers, a favor and look at this tomorrow and get back with a comment on it. When I look, on the first page I see one listed at 4.99 and two at 17.00, and they appear to be absolutely identical items. This is reselling. They didn’t even move the chain over a notch.


    7. Instead of dismissing us as petty and jealous losers, maybe you should actually listen to what the majority of us are saying. That’s your job, isn’t it?

    8. Mr. Dickerson, maybe you would like to reply to why Etsy uses there sellers as lab rats with out there permission. I have asked to be removed from a number of test and was completely ignored. Wrote five letters to five different administrators and they did not even have the decency to reply back.
      Why not tell Mr. Om Malik how Etsy it goes behind sellers backs and blocks Papal excess from buyers with out letting sellers know.

      There has been a thread open since June on how many long time sellers who have had success with sales and are now experiencing total demise and not one word from Etsy. How about answering those sellers Mr. Dickerson. 1421 Posts later and not one word from Etsy. Many shops are dying for no apparent reason after all this testing and deploying of code, not to mention changes. Good shops with good sellers with many sales. Now all our hard work for the last few years is down the toilet Mr. Dickerson. Do you even care?

      One women who used her money to pay for here Cancer treatments had to stop getting her treatments because your team has trashed so many sellers stores. She had to make the decision of either putting food on the table or her treatments. It broke my heart.

      I don’t believe you have a clue to what human toll your changes have made to many of us here. You have no idea what you have done to our livelihoods and the turmoil you have cost us. I will be loosing my home because my sales like many others have tanked with no explanation. Nothing we do to try to get ours sales back works. Lord knows we have tried for months now. May be you should try and go see this thread here;


      I wrote you before and never heard a reply Mr. Dickerson, maybe you could reply to me and many of the sellers that you ignore.

      As to the author of this article if you need proof or how Etsy really works all you need to do is go to the bug forums and there is your proof of how well theses changes are going. Pick a day, any day and you will see the mess this site really is. Yet they keep collecting there fee’s and ignore there sellers. You will see a whole mess of problems that take weeks to resolve or not get resolved at all.

      We have to deal with weeks or test after test after test. We loose sales. Ask Mr. Dickerson about how much her really cares?

    9. Chad, Chad, Chad… do you actually hear yourself? Can you be any more arrogant? Or, maybe you are just… stupid! At any rate, you are full of it. Well, Etsy is about to implode and you can keep yourself warm knowing that you played your part. Basically, your comments here are the typical of slippery, disrespectful sort if you are so *lucky* to hear from Etsy support.

  74. I have been checking back and reading the comments here periodically.
    Now that Mr. Dickerson has posted his rebuttal, it’s time to comment.
    Let’s analyze it one ting from his post.
    We all know that people can manipulate figures say what they want and also word sentences to mislead.
    This is a quote from Mr. Dickerson, “On Etsy, selling a new, finished item unchanged when you didn’t design it is not allowed. In order to police for this, we have a dedicated staff (grown more than 450% in the last 3 years, and still hiring),…..”
    When you read that, it implies that Etsy has increased their staff to take care of the reseller issue, by 450%.
    Wow! Impressive!
    However, I can do math, and used to teach it.
    If you have 1 employee and you increase you staff by 450%, that means you now have 450 employees.
    If you go to the Careers section on Etsy, they say they have 400 employees and growing?
    Look on the right under Employees
    That’s total employees world wide, not just those handling the reseller issue.
    Did Etsy have only one employee 3 years ago?
    So if this is wrong, then I will assume all of Mr. Dickerson’s other figures are misleading, too, along with anything else he says.
    I know for a fact that most of the rest of what he painted in rainbows and fairy dust is not completely accurate.
    The shop owners on Etsy are treated with disrespect and considered disposable.
    It has been stated, I believe on one of Marc’s weekly threads, that there are more shops coming in than leaving. They think they are too big to fail, and that may be so. They also have you scared that there is not other place to go, and that might be true for some shops.
    But the end product that may survive, that is Etsy, will be totally different.
    Like many other big corporations, Etsy has and will continue to build itself on the backs of small people scraping for a living. They have along range business plan and a PR department that spews the party line. They are not bumbling around, and they don’t care about the shop owners. You are an expendable commodity, commonly called cannon fodder. You are not in any way an independent business nor do they care about you, your input, or your financial status. As long as you are there listing and paying your Etsy bill, fine. This will not change, those of you who are hoping it will, are not being realistic.
    What shop owners have to do is decide if they want to be used in that fashion.
    There are always alternatives.

    1. Holly,

      The one part of your post with which I disagree is this one:

      “If you have 1 employee and you increase you staff by 450%, that means you now have 450 employees.”

      If you have 1 employee and increase the staff by 450%, you added 4.5 employees, for a total of 5.5 employees. I leave the question of how to add half an employee for other folks to answer.

    2. Holly, you are awesome. Keep up the intelligent detective work. Chad can only blow smoke up people’s butts for so long. Thanks for calling him out on that outright LIE.

    3. I agree with Holly… By the way they are promoting with those free listings for every referred friend that opens a shop, and even on the header at the op of the home page if you are not signed in. They want more sellers, because the ones they have have too strong of an opinion.

    4. I am so sorry that you are teaching math, Holly.

      If I have one employee and I hire a second, I have increased my staff by 100%.

      If I have one employee and I hire two more, I have increased my staff by 200%.

      My daughter is a teacher, and it pains me to no end to see someone dash in with statements like the ones Holly made and say that they teach the subject when they demostrate such a poor understanding.

  75. quote:

    You are not in any way an independent business nor do they care about you, your input, or your financial status. As long as you are there listing and paying your Etsy bill, fine. This will not change, those of you who are hoping it will, are not being realistic.
    What shop owners have to do is decide if they want to be used in that fashion.
    There are always alternatives.


    This ^^^^ That is the decision I made when I moved from Etsy. I feel it was the wisest decision I ever made for the growth and stability of my business. Anyone who is so unhappy at Etsy, I ask, Why stay? Kind of like staying with an abusive partner because he pays the bills. Be strong, move on and speak with your dollars. There are other venues.

    Mr Dickerson, why do you never address the concerns about phone support? With 450 employees, millions of buyers and sellers, direct checkout etc. certainly there are funds for telephone support. The staff asks your customers to use twitter to contact customer service, really, twitter? The sad part is they often respond to twitter contact but ignore repeated emails from people having problems.

    1. “Mr Dickerson, why do you never address the concerns about phone support?”

      There was actually post in the forums by Chad many, many moths ago where he claimed that a phone was in the works. Several hours after reading the post, I went back to it, and it had been heavily edited to exclude a lot of detail; including the phone comment.

  76. Chad,
    Yesterday I posted an Open Letter to Chad Dickerson in the Etsy forums.

    Generically it was about Etsy’s unresponsiveness to seller concerns. Specifically it was about the poorly thought out secret experiment over the weekend to limit buyers’ choices at checkout, effectively hiding PayPal and making your proprietary credit card processing as the only choice. Many confused customers who went elsewhere to shop. When we found out about it Saturday night, I posted it in Bugs asking if it was a bug or a test. 18, yes eighteen, hours later an admin responded by saying he could see nothing wrong. Several of us spent a considerable amount of time detailing what was going on. Several hours later, the admin came back and said it was an experiment and the effects would be small. Maybe small to Etsy, big to sellers who lost sales.

    I asked you to explain why someone would think such a potentially disruptive experiment should be conducted on a weekend, with no one monitoring the results or a technician on hand to fix problems.

    Feel free to answer these questions either here or on Etsy. Concerned customers want to know.

  77. I recall something about a call center being in the works in upstate New York but as usual nothing came of it. As long a Etsy’s customers put up with the lack of reasonable customer service they won’t be accountable. Those who complain for years with a lack of response have more patience than I. Lots of luck.

  78. Mr. Dickerson,

    Muting 178 people who you claim violated the Etsy forum policies over the past two years is probably 170 too many.

    Restore the forums to the way that they use to be three years ago.

    Until you stop muting sellers in the forums, start providing better customer service, stop allowing resellers to sell on Etsy and return Etsy to the way that it was intended from the beginning, a place to sell handmade, vintage and supplies, you will have an ever growing number of dissatisfied sellers. That will not be good for the Etsy bottom line.

    You are taking Etsy down the wrong path and unless you get Etsy back on the correct path there will come a day when Etsy will no longer be the number one selling venue for handmade, vintage and supplies.

    You need a new vision of where you want to take Etsy. You do not care one bit about Etsy sellers. That is a shame because Etsy sellers are your customers. If you take care of your customers then your customers will take care of you.

  79. Too late to shut the barn door on the reseller issue, that horse escaped during “Baligate,” where Etsy simply turned a reseller into a “co-op” and told us to leave them alone and shut up about it. The proof was available for all to see when invoices for the purchased furniture were published on Regretsy and we’ve been disillusioned about Etsy’s sincerity ever since.

    Of course this issue can’t even be discussed in the Etsy forums, as you can see by Mr Dickerson’s post, Etsy considers this akin to hate speech and their forums are heavily censored.

    As for “flagging” that is just a joke. After seeing shops selling manufactured items still in business weeks and even months after being flagged, we just give up, it’s a waste of time.

  80. Mr. Malik,

    As I believe everyone else has addressed the primary points very well, I’d like to point out an aside or two.

    For someone who’s apparently a former senior editor and who purports to be a 20-year journalist, you’ve got no standing to attack others for their comments when you:

    Started at least three sentences with the word “and”
    Incorrectly wrote “hasn’t hid” instead of “hasn’t hidden”
    Incorrectly wrote, “He is unlikely to be every confused…” and “…for a ‘internet CEO poster child.’”
    Forgot three articles: “a” once and “the” twice.
    Forgot the word “as”
    Misspelled “Sriracha”
    Incorrectly wrote, “Upon leaving from college, …”
    Used an excess comma

    I wouldn’t normally comment about such things, except that you seem so keen on the accuracy of others.

    In addition, I find it quite disingenuous for you to insist that commenters provide statistics and research to back up their fairly common knowledge comments, when you well know, if you truly are a journalist, that your status as one affords you much greater access to that sort of information than is afforded to the average person. Indeed, it is probably from journalists that the commenters learned that information. I note that you respond only to commenters that made such statements, and none of those who spoke regarding their own personal experiences or those of their friends and acquaintances.

    From where I sit, journalists should be less defensive. They shouldn’t try to veer off on tangents rather than engaging in meritorious debate. The shouldn’t try to attack those who question them. To engage in any of those tactics is pretty damned unprofessional.

  81. so all of these people who are commenting and basically saying the same thing over and over are all wrong? Do you think we are all part of some club that meets at the local coffee shop and decided to write these comments? There is a big problem and while I can not speculate as to why it can not be addressed, the rational thought is, there is no incentive to fix the problems. Collectives (resellers), list at a low rate and pay commission same as the craft person…and if they list a 1000 items a night, vs the one or two that the home artisian may list, its all revenue going into the coffer.

    You can and probably will mute me, as a lot of my friends, (far more than the 178 you quoted) but that’s fine…I tried my best, gave good customer service, sold a few things and had some fun.

  82. And I need to add that all a person has to do is survey the forums to see that the majority of people are not happy – as Dickerson claims. And I like the way he throws the reseller bit back at us – that we are calling every shop we don’t like for whatever reasons a reseller. His response is a shining example of why Etsy is not the heaven represented in the article. His response illustrates that he is not listening to his sellers. And I am glad to have read it because there was a part of me that wondered if we were being too hard on Dickerson. Now I know we aren’t.

  83. Way to go Chad, making us sound like a bunch of little kids throwing a fit. Goes to show once again, over all you do not care one bit about the real issues. The responses here were not hateful, they were honest opinions of the people who help pay you salary. It just goes to further prove that you do not care. I also call BS on 178 people being muted in the past few years. Oh, some reasons people were muted? Why dont you look in to that. For example: One person got permamuted for saying cheese. Yep cheese. Others for asking about copyright violations. So the people breaking the law can still post in the forums, but the people pointing it out or asking about it get muted. Another? For calling someone lamb chop. Well lamb chop is harsh so I can see how they would get muted. (eyeroll) The list goes on and on and on. We are not hateful, we are not stupid, and we are the ones who made Etsy what it is. As I stated before, just the fact that you refer to us as hateful shows just how little you really do care.

    For those of you who would really like Admin and Chad to take notice, you can file your complaints here: http://www.bcorporation.net/complaints

    Perhaps then he will start to take things a little more seriously!!!!!

  84. Etsy sellers are very clear on who is and who is not a reseller. For Chad to say the term is tossed about carelessly is incorrect and, I suspect, disingenuous. To suggest that these evaluations come down to jealousy or whether or not we “like” someone simply exposes Chad’s disrespect for the community’s wealth of knowledge, experience, and business savvy.

    It is not unusual for Etsy to treat their sellers as children who simply need a pat on the head before they’re sent on their way and Chad’s assessment of who we deem a reseller is a perfect example of that. In fact, so is his entire post.

  85. For some strange reason, my post in reply to Chad’s post got deleted…hmmm. So I’ll re-post.

    In one breath, you say: “we also encourage our community to flag shops or listings for concerns”. (Everyone involved with Etsy knows that the main two reasons for flagging a shop are for copyright or reseller concerns.)

    Then you follow that with: “The word “reseller,” however, has become a stand-in for any reason a member of the Etsy community disapproves of another member or behavior (such as products that are deemed too cheap, photos that are too professional, shops with too many sales, having help in your shop, etc.). It’s not uncommon for a community to develop a vocabulary to stand for everything that offends or upsets them, but when the word is used (incorrectly) as a pretext for interfering with others’ businesses, harassing each other, or promoting hatred, it goes against the spirit of Etsy.”

    Do you legitimately want other sellers to report resellers, or do you consider it to be “a pretext for interfering with others’ businesses, harassing each other, or promoting hatred, it goes against the spirit of Etsy.”

    Personally, I think you should police the site yourself (yourself being Etsy staff). Sellers should not carry the burden of keeping your policies in check. Especially when they are berated by the CEO of the company for doing as asked.

    Chad, if you don’t mind my asking, what exactly is your business background? Do you have a business degree, or have you worked in a corporate position other than IT prior to Etsy? I guess what I’m getting at is this: I think you are a wonderful, intelligent human being, but, I fear, a victim of the Peter Principle.

  86. Since Mr. Dickerson invited people to take an Etsy tour, I think that about 50, 100, or more Etsy sellers who live in and around the state of New York should all show up at Etsy demanding changes be made at Etsy. Be sure to bring the news media with you.

    A few people can contact Etsy to sign up for the tour and bring a few hundred friends with you by bus for the tour.

    Then, and only then, maybe Etsy will listen.

    This Etsy tour must be kept friendly and it does not have to last all day. If several hundred Etsy sellers showed up and stayed for an hour or two that would be wonderful.

    I don’t live on the East coast so I won’t be participating.

    Friday would probably be the best day of the week to do this.

  87. Chad Dickerson said ” in the last two years we’ve only muted 178 people for violating our forums policies”

    How are you arriving at that number? Does it only include those who have been permanently muted from the forums, or does it also include temporary mutings? Does it reference people or their accounts since people can have multiple accounts? If you are using IP addresses to determine whether accounts belong to the same person, could you be permanently muting entire households for the actions of one member?

    In reference to the term “reseller,” this is not a bucket term as you describe it. “Reseller” very specifically references those who have purchased factory-made goods at wholesale prices, made no alterations whatsoever, and then listed those items for sale on Etsy as handmade or vintage. That’s it. When people say there are resellers all over Etsy, that is what they mean.

    Mr. Malik, journalism used to involve more than repeating what corporate PR flaks and CEOs tell you over coffee (or tea or whatever). Maybe criticisms on this score are unfair, though. Perhaps you are merely a product of your time since most media outlets don’t seem to investigate beyond the press release these days.

  88. I closed my Etsy shop well over a year ago due to resellers and the black hole they call customer service. I moved to The CraftStar. ..no resellers period & fees are much less. The owner & staff are online all the time to help you.
    I will never go back to Etsy.

  89. Very telling, all these comments to a simple article. Much more negative posts than positive. Can you imagine how the Etsy forum would look if we were allowed to be honest instead of moderated into stepford wives of “happiness” only posts.

    Chad, you didn’t address the comments from all those who posted. Like usual you gloss over all of the specific complaints without so much as a cursory acknowledgement. We know what resellers are, I find you comments insulting.

  90. Have to say that I’m not surprised at the CEO’s comment. His lack of understanding of sellers’s concerns and his arrogant disregard for critical input is apparent in the words he chooses to describe people who are part of his ‘etsy community’. You see this arrogance and lack of compassion for others’ concerns throughout the rare two -way communications between Admin and Sellers.

    There are numerous Forum threads happening right now with hundreds of responses from Sellers and Buyers who are disappointed, outraged, and frightened at what the company has done to the Feedback process. As usual, it was sprung without warning on Sellers. The new process is being rolled out to Sellers over the course of the next couple of weeks. This process will remove the Sellers’ ability to respond to negative feedback from Buyers.

    The same thing happened when the company launched Browse and Trends. The company completely ignored those who make one of a kind handmade who complained that those two new viewing systems would unfairly favor folks who sell multiples of items. Check out Browse in any jewelry category, but especially necklaces. You will find literally pages of the same photos of multiple sets of plastic necklaces selling for as little as $5. Try to compete with that as a handmade artisan.

    Furthermore, the CEO failed to mention the numbers of folks who were temporarily muted or who received nasty notes (and they are VERY nasty) regarding Forum privileges. I received mine for 7 days for insinuating that etsy treats Sellers’ the way they do because so many of us are women.

    Please do not take my word for it. Go to Etsy Forums, look up threads from the launches of the aforementioned changes. This company is simply not open to hearing about anything but unicorns and rainbows.

  91. By focusing on the reseller issue, Chad avoids a bigger shame: his redefinition of handmade to include mass-produced factory goods.

    Under Chad’s leadership, Etsy has redefined handmade to include work made by outsourced labor or scores of assembly-line employees. The “maker” of a “handmade” item no longer needs to “make” the product. The “maker” can now be the owner of business that produces hundreds or thousands of identical items.

    By focusing on the reseller issue, Chad avoids a bigger shame: his redefinition of handmade to include mass-produced factory goods.

    Under Chad’s leadership, Etsy has redefined handmade to include work made by outsourced labor or scores of assembly-line employees. The “maker” of a “handmade” item no longer needs to “make” the product. The “maker” can now be the owner of business that produces hundreds or thousands of identical items.

    This policy shift is what threw the doors open to the thousands of identical bubble necklaces, “vintage” watches, and other mass produced products. I myself have reported shops that sell such items, will sales numbering in the thousands over a period of a few months. These are fairly complicated items, and there is no way to fill that level of demand with a shop of one or two or five people. That amount of product can only come from a large number of employees (or a wholesaler). Nevertheless, the shops continue to operate.

    Here’s a specific example illustrating this shift in policy: an established business that is allowed to sell on Etsy. Elizabeth Jewelry is no doubt a fine company and I do not intend to disparage them in any way. They have the highest feedback rating a shop can earn (5 stars) and many, many happy customers. But note how the company *describes itself in its own words* on its own Etsy “About” page:

    “Elizabeth Jewelry Inc is a jewelry company manufacturing and selling Fine and Fashion jewelry. We have been manufacturing jewelry for over 25 years.”

    I don’t think this is a definition of “handmade” “maker” most people would recognize.

    Chad has opened the door to wholesalers in China and other low-wage, low-overhead locations to sell direct to the American public via Etsy. This is his vision: becoming a US-based, more upscale version of AliBaba or AliExpress. He is transforming Etsy into the conduit between these “makers” and individual US shoppers. His innovation is cutting out the middleman (the retailer).

    Sadly, he is doing this on the backs of the sellers who made the site what it is, and who continue to give its veneer of high-end, quirky appeal. There is no way individual US (or European, Japanese, etc.) makers can compete with the economy of scale of large scale manufacturers operating in China, or established companies with their own wholesale connections or outsourced labor.

    Ironically, the decision to redefine medium and large sized businesses as “handmade” “makers” is probably the only instance where an action Chad took actually increased revenue. I strongly believe the major reasons revenue has increased are: the sector wide shift from in-store shopping to online; the general, combined advertising efforts of many companies that use the terms “handmade,” “homemade,” and “authentic,” thereby further popularising those qualities; and increased awareness of Etsy – the result of efforts made by sellers and buyers (Etsy itself does next to no paid advertising and minimal other marketing).

    Which brings me to my last criticism, and that is of the author of this puff piece. It amazes me that someone would publish a profile lauding a company’s success without any analysis putting that company in the context of its nearest competitors and the sector. The author unilaterally gives credit to the CEO without giving the reader any sense of how the company is performing in light of wider trends, or how similar companies have performed at comparable points in their development, or compared to companies that have addressed similar market conditions. It reads as a straight PR piece that is not only not informative but possibly misleading.

    1. I was one of those posters whose post was removed and all we wanted to know was if we could talk about more immediate problems – like the feedback cluster flock – instead of ” how to join a team, what is the right team for you, etc., etc., etc..

      Unfortunately, the admins did not feel we were keeping “on topic” or that our concerns were of any importance to them. We were scrubbed from the thread in the hopes that no one would pay any attention to them. Instead, by removing our posts the admins brought more attention to the problem of forum scrubbing than ever before.

      I have received 1 warning and a 7 day mute (both of them for pointing out to a shop owner whom started a thread in the forums about someone copying their designs, that they themselves are breaking every copyright/trademark law by selling Disney, Hello Kitty, Harry Potter, Sesame Street, and a TON more) already so I am in expectation of my permamute for being disruptive and silly me, expecting Etsy to give a reasonable answer to a lot of unanswered questions.

      1. Things might change – though I think this path is being dictated by venture capitalists – so they may change to a more direct path to opening up Etsy to resellers and more effective ways of muting dissent. Marc Hedlund is leaving – today is his last day. Some say he was part of the problem, some say he was willing to talk to the sellers. I wish him well. I think the whole etsy machine is diseased – and anybody, even those with good intentions will get sick in that environment.

  92. 178 permamutes? you meant to say you permamuted that many last month or did you miss a zero on the end?

    We could if you like have a sign in thread of those permamuted within the last 2 years and the insane reason that each Etsy seller and yes buyers were permuted?

    Would Om be willing to set that up? a simple sign in thread with a question box of why the persons were banned from speaking out or any other horrendous act that Etsy has done to them and the reason Etsy gave for doing it?

    I think that would be enough to let the world know what Etsy is really all about. Facts on real people with affidavits of each member and non member that was abused by the Etsy Admin.

  93. For those of you who want documentation on some of these issues, this article on mass produce items on Etsy is really worth reading:


    The weekly administration thread, mentioned above, was originally started by a shop owner asking questions. Later it devolved into Marc showing up on a weekly basis supposedly taking shop questions and answering them.
    However, most of his responses to questions were either, Etsy was working on it he didn’t know, he would get back with the answer, or something else just as evasive. The thread turned into a place for the Etsy cupcakes to stroke his ego. He seemed to get short and condescending with his attitude and answers. He began the thread with a list of question that he felt did not need to be asked.

    The last two weeks the thread was pawned off on another Etsy Admin to do fluff Chats.
    No questions allowed.

    You can bet, most of the people who made those posts will receive their muting notices with a few days.

    I am not a journalist, and I do make typos, too.

    1. “…short and condescending with his attitude and answers.”

      Being condescending to clients (sellers) is, unfortunately, the corporate culture of Etsy. It is ingrained from the top (as evidenced by Chad’s comments here) to the bottom. Their responses to sellers can be shocking to say the very least.

  94. One who simply negates the overwhelming sentiment here as unreasonable, “simply not true” or unreasonable is not listening. I wonder why even bother to respond other than to save face.

  95. “I wanted to go to someplace else,” he quipped.

    “We succeed when we helps others succeed, and that is the core value of our company.”

    “We are looking at international growth and hoping that in next four years, international sales will account for half of the total sales,” he said.

    Om’s writing skills = 1 star but 2 for effort.

    Unless, of course, English is not Chad’s first language.

  96. Etsy is part of the B Corp, which is full of companies that are supposed to act according to certain policies. In turn, B Corp gives these companies special perks that includes help with funding and such.

    Everyone here needs to file a complaint with the B Corp and be heard!


  97. Oh, Mr. Dickerson, you’ve gotten an earful, haven’t you.

    But, in a nutshell, it all just boils down to this one statement:

    “On Etsy, selling a new, finished item unchanged when you didn’t design it is not allowed.”

    See, when the handmade ethic that you are currently marketing was developed, the latter part of that sentence said “…when you didn’t make it…”

    When you opened up the marketplace for “designers” to sell their goods that are made in factories and sweatshops in India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, and parts of Africa, as if they are artisan handmade goods, well, that’s when you started milking the cash cow of “handmade.”

    The handmade artisans who built Etsy by their entrepreneurialism and driving customer traffic now can’t possibly compete with your new definition of “collectives” that include 3rd world factories producing goods for “designers.” And your wholesale business rejects handmade artisans in favor of designer/mass-producers as well.

    Let’s not pretend that the VC and the folks on the board from WalMart haven’t influenced your policy. Let’s also not pretend that the mass market focus at the expense of indie artisans is remotely reminiscent of the Handmade Marketplace you are surfing.

  98. I am another person who was with etsy very early on….now its full if trash and fakes..and they really don’t care, as long as you pay your bill. So sad 🙁

  99. Want to know what etsy really thinks of it’s users?

    Cap Watkins calls us the “vocal minority”. Seriously? Marc Hedlund congratulates his team on a job well done for giving etsy users a one-sided, star-based feedback system AFTER asking all etsy users for input and ideas via a survey. No one wanted this. Seriously? Pride? Seriously?!

    Via Twitter: twitter.com/om/status/372034361882710017

    Ryan Freitas ‏@om the seller community on Etsy is as feral as Flickr’s was back in the day.

    Jack Hutton ‏@om @Etsy – fine. yeah. Its filling a need – offering small small businesses / individuals an outlet – Etsy’s good.

    Cap Watkins ‏@ryanchris @om To be fair, every decision and product change is scary when your livelihood is involved, you know? It’s a hard thing.

    Ryan Freitas ‏@cap that explains the depth of feeling, but not the vitriol.

    Cap Watkins ‏@ryanchris Feel like it’s an easy leap for some people. Also, vocal minority and all.

    Ryan Freitas: ‏ @cap I made the comparison because they both have/had passionate users. But there’s risk in giving the loud voices too much attention.

    Cap Watkins ‏@ryanchris @om Totally agree. 🙂

    via twitter: https://twitter.com/cap/status/372123868296921088

    Cap Watkins ‏@cap
    Good launch today. Proud of my team.
    5 Favorites
    Sabrina Majeed Alex Rainert kimbost Marc Hedlund Courtney Guertin

    3:30 PM – 26 Aug 13

    Marc Hedlund ‏@marcprecipice
    @cap I am, too.

    1. Like I said before, being condescending to clients (sellers) is, unfortunately, the corporate culture of Etsy. It is ingrained from the top to the bottom.

  100. I think that fishing expedition backfired. But it sure did draw a lot of attention to the issue. And showed how those in command refuse to listen. Which is the cause of all the vitriol. They don’t listen. They mute people. And that knock on their door just gets louder and louder. At first this was about resellers – mostly – now it is opening the door so the world can view a particular management style.

  101. Next we’ll be seeing a name change for Etsy:

    EtsyMart – home of manufactured cheap items. Bargain prices!!

    EtsyAlibaba – home of cheap factory made items. A place where you can get designer items where Alibaba stole the original idea from a handmade artisan and made it cheaply at their China factory for a great price!!!

    Stop on by! You won’t be disappointed by all the cheap crap that we sell. .50? 1.00? 5.00? We’ve got it all with free shipping!

    Disclaimer: EtsyAlibaba and EtsyMart are not responsible for items breaking when you open the package. Buy at your own risk. But they are great prices and we make a lot of money off of them!!

  102. Why did you change the original article???

    Sad part is even with all of us stating these facts, Chad still does not give a rats ass.

    I am off to file my complaint with B Corp. I can only hope that many others do so also.

  103. Chad, your reply is a slap in the face to the hardworking sellers and buyers, such as myself, that love Etsy and want it to be what it purports to be.

    To further denigrate those who are speaking out about the resellers by suggesting that they are misusing the term reseller to get back at other sellers is ludicrous. I know what a reseller is, all of the sellers and buyers that have commented in this article about resellers obviously know what it means. But do you?

    First of all, I’m sure you read this article http://www.dailydot.com/business/etsy-brave-new-economy-crumbling/, but maybe you should reread it. You yourself favorited an obvious reseller. Second, as someone mentioned earlier in a comment, Etsy itself condones and advises its members to “tattle tale” on resellers, and others. You can’t have it both ways. You want sellers and buyers to flag resellers (basically do Etsy’s job of policing the site), and then turn around and say that these sellers and buyers that are following Etsy’s rules, are doing it out of some sort of vengeance? That doesn’t make sense. Third, to say that buyers and sellers are misusing the word reseller is ironic. Etsy is the King (Queen) of changing many commonly used definitions to suit their own purposes. For example, Etsy’s definitions of handmade and collectives, are not the commonly used and, in some cases, the legal definitions of the words. Are you informing all of the buyers that come to your site that handmade is not necessarily what handmade means in the dictionary or the legal definition? If not, could that be construed as fraud and misrepresentation?

    As far as your explanation about mutings, I, a buyer-only, was muted for absolutely ridiculous reasons. I emailed you about this, and my other concerns about Etsy, approximately a month ago. To date, I have not received a response from you. I once again, extend an invitation for you to contact me so that you can read for yourself, the reasons I was muted. I cannot imagine anyone with any sense or conscience, agreeing that these were valid reasons to silence a member of the Etsy community.

    Om, I extend the same invitation to you. Contact me for further discussion on the matters of resellers and muted Etsians. I think you would find it to be an eyeopener. At least I hope you would.

  104. John Major

    I am not and have never been a seller on etsy only a buyer. I have seen the vast amount of massed produced items on sale on etsy. It is a joke. What these sellers are saying is the truth.

    I had 1151 100% positive feedbacks from sellers on etsy that were obliterated before my very eyes today. The new star ratings system is extremely flawed and and will be very mis-leading for buyers. The forums are full of valid concerns.

    The mass produced items are by far not the only huge problem with etsy. The masses of whole intact animals for sale there is revolting, including hundreds of dead kittens and farm animals, wet samples under taxidermy, endangered animal species galore, new elephant ivory, tortoiseshell, bear claws. Porn, child killer and child sexual offender jewellery, Nazi items, products picturing deformed naked human babies encircled with the words essential monsters, tons of knives and so much more. The members who brought these items to the attention of myself and others via the forums were/are always muted permanently including myself now. I saw ALL these items with my own eyes even reported them over and over and even logged them.

    I arrived at etsy via the “Handmade market place” claim by etsy when I was searching on google for handmade gifts. The etsy statement “missions” have been laughed at. the genuine artisan sellers are treated appallingly. As a buyer I also have been treated very badly in several ways by etsy the site, NOT by the sellers I have purchased from. Etsy even kept my credit card details on file without my knowledge or consent. That has not happened to me in the UK and is illegal. The continual testing and experimenting makes you feel like a lab rat, I got sick of it and I’m only a customer.

    Chad, no-one in your position could claim ignorance of what is going on right in front of your very nose, so yes, I feel conned. Etsy have no morals, they will take fees from anyone selling anything. The only time items have been removed from sale on etsy is when the sellers dare to speak out in the public forums and there is an outcry, eg: anyone remember
    the cards depicting and glorifying rape. The sellers are sick of reporting the mass produced rubbish and give up because it is a well known fact very, very little of anything gets removed. I think that Chad is P—— up all our backs and to claim members are full of hatred when they are actually very intelligent people, with very good reasons for expressing their concerns is extremely insulting and very offensive.

    I’ve given my true name and if anyone has trouble finding any of the items I mentioned, you are free to contact me but you may find I have been removed from the site because of this post. That is what etsy do if you dare to speak the truth about what is going on there. Elsewhere I am regarded as an “A” grade customer and highly valued and respected as a customer, I have never been treated badly the way etsy treat their members but then I have also never been treated better than by the reputable sellers who provided me with a service next to none. It is etsy who are destroying the community there and have very effectively driven me away. Etsy excel at alienating customers and losing sellers from their site. They also seem to forget sometimes that a huge amount of the buyers are their sellers. The new star rating system now means there is much less incentive for sellers to shop on etsy.

  105. I agree 100% with Fred….they even kicked me out of the Etsy forum forever because I made suggestive comments about how bad they are handling resellers and how they are to cheap to hire professional staff to help the etsy sellers when they need help…..Chad has done nothing for the Etsy shop owners. All Etsy cares about is making that almighty buck and they do not care whos toes they step on to do it.

  106. You say that you met with Chad over coffee, but did you do any fact checking? There’s little truth in this article, the growth is true and maybe Chad is soft spoken but the rest sounds like the old Etsy. The truth is that Chad and his people stepped into a nice, fun and quirky artisan community and started changing it to make their own Ebay. I personally believe that was the goal from the beginning. There is no respect for the artisans who are trying to make a living and that’s the main reason for all of the anger you’re seeing. We have no avenue for our worries and fears, yes people are muted and most people are afraid to speak their minds on the forums. The powers that be at Etsy treat it like a toy, fiddling with peoples lives and livelihoods, ignoring the questions that people are asking and giving no answers except for “we’re working on it” or blaming a bug.
    You talk about a global payment system that rivals Paypal, are you talking about Direct Checkout? Comparing the two is like comparing a bank to a store that takes credit cards. Did you hear the part about Etsy turning off Paypal in shops this past weekend, without telling anyone, because they were experimenting? Sales were lost and shop owners had no answers for customers who emailed them. How many sales were lost that no one knows about?
    Chad jumped in to answer these comments, but made people sound like they are just slinging mud at the competition, not true, bubble necklaces has become the catch words for resellers, a simple search will show you what people are talking about and there’s plenty more than cheap necklaces.
    Drop into the forums and do a little reading, see how often people get answers from administration and when you do see them show up, see how often it’s a cut and paste answer.
    The artisans are still there, working harder than ever and giving the customer service that people expect. But they’re still there only because they have no where else to go. There are lots of little Etsys out there, but none as good as Etsy was. Here’s hoping one comes along soon, then Chad can have his little Ebay and the artisans will have a new haven.

  107. The idea of Etsy here is a romantic one, though it has little in common with the site I’ve gotten to know over the past few years as a seller of handmade goods.

    The sad reality of Etsy?

    Too many issues with customer service and the corporate side of Etsy not taking into account the needs and requirements of their sellers, which are the backbone of this global marketplace.

    Many sellers of Etsy are becoming increasingly disenfranchised with the myriad of changes that are rolled out with Etsy corporate refusing to acknowledge when new initiatives have resolutely failed and even with 90% of their community protesting, the corporate side of this artisan-based community fails to communicate effectively.

  108. John, you know me. You were on my team for a little while when I invited you to join, and you promoted my team for me.

    Your comments are actually shocking to me regarding the items that are being sold on Etsy. Thank you for mentioning them here.

    Your comments tell it like it is with Etsy. I wish that Chad would listen to you.

  109. I’ve been selling on Etsy for seven years. While I still believe and live the original mission statement my starry eyes in regards to the company have long since glazed over. I don’t even blame the VC’s, Chad or his minions for padding their pockets or beefing up their resumes while they can, hey we all make personal life choices right? I do hold them accountable for raping and reaping from the honest and hardworking handmade community. Handmade items and the people making them do have value, worth and offer rewards and enrich our lives, communities and world, Etsy will come and go and that will still be true. To get rich or gain status off selling yourself as handmade when the purpose is of no interest to you or Etsy is reprehensible and only degrades and diminishes the people you propose to be ‘helping’. Heres an idea, cut out the bullshit, hipster greening marketing and present Etsy for what it is. A place to buy and sell whatever the hell you want. Oh, but then Etsy would be just like all the other online retailers except without a ‘niche’ I guess what I’m trying to say is, quit selling out the handmade community!

  110. This was a letter from almost a year ago from a seller who was dissatisfied with the current feedback system and Marc Hedlund’s reply:


    Marc Hedlund 5:28 pm Oct 19, 2012 EDT

    Kym writes:

    “Please change the feedback system. We are literally held hostage by our customers and their feedback should be visible.”

    Marc Hedlund states, “I absolutely agree that this needs to change, and that the needs of sellers *and* buyers are both not being served well in the current system. I also agree with the people who say that “Kiss and Make Up” needs to have a different name, and a different mechanism as well.

    I consider these very important changes for us to make. Obviously, since we are ramping down changes to stabilize things for the holidays, this will not be an immediate fix. The system needs to be designed carefully, as very small mistakes in design can have a big impact.

    But, I consider this a very high priority. (What does that mean? At Etsy’s board meeting this week, we discussed the need for this change and how important we all believe it is. Put another way, this discussion is going on across the company.)

    Thanks for the comment. I am personally frustrated by how much this hurts sellers and want it to be not just fixed but amazingly good.”

    Yeah, they fixed it all right! They have taken away everything from sellers. Sellers are not allowed to leave feedback, sellers cannot comment to someone that left them neutral or negative feedback and they stuck us with an EBay stupid 5 star rating system that sellers SPECIFICALLY stated that they did not want.

    Yeah Marc, I bet you are personally frustrated by how much this hurts sellers and want it to be not just fixed but amazingly good. See Om, we are clearly giving you facts about how sellers are being treated, lied to and not listened to.

  111. I have been reading this thread for the past two days, before and after Chad Dickerson’s comments. I am not jaded, vitriolic or revengeful. I neither want to criticize the journalist who filed the initial interview nor do I despise the Etsy CEO. I think you are both people believing you are doing your jobs well. As for me, I am a quiet, respectful visual artist who has sold on Etsy for the past two years–not a lot but enough for my heart and soul to be entirely engaged in my shop experience. I have not spent a lot of time in the forums in the past two years although I have spent enough time there and here this week to feel crushingly depressed.

    There is a huge disconnect between what exists on Etsy and what admin wants to believe exists or at least what they describe. What people are speaking about in this thread is not weird or crazy fiction. I know of artist friends who have had their images copied (without permission) and applied on fabric by Asian-based companies selling on Etsy. (There are several Etsy shops selling the same fabric with unlicensed artwork using the very same photos. Does that sound ‘handmade’? It’s described that way!) The original artists have contacted the shops and reported the shops to Etsy. I also reported these shops. The result? These shops are still open and operating months and months (actually more than a year) later. When I talked to the artists, they said they have given up hope of Etsy acting on the complaints and are ignoring it for the sake of moving on and not being paralyzed artistically. Does that sound like a company that stands behind its handmade artists? Does that sound like a company doing everything within its means to eradicate factory-made items from its site?

    Out of all of the turmoil and dissent in the forums this week over the unannounced experiments (the checkout experiment that hid the Paypal option), the feedback changes (satisfaction…1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 stars, who’s to say?), and sellers left with no recourse if buyers are unreasonable, the complaint that emerges again and again is that Etsy isn’t available in an immediate way to address important problems and issues with their customers (the sellers) or their customers’ customers (the buyers).

    Emails sent to the help center can take several days to be answered. In the forums, an admin response can take hours or days or it can be ignored. There is no phone number.

    When people have voiced emotional, distressed and critical opinions in the Etsy forums previously, some have been silenced.

    How is it that you can scratch your head and be surprised at the emotion being launched at you?

    People are feeling scared; they are feeling uneasy; they are feeling vulnerable. I feel that way and I’ve done nothing wrong. More is required than unsympathetic, scolding language. You are dealing with educated, sophisticated, amazing artists and artisans. Etsy, I believe in you. Do you believe in me?

  112. As a former seller on etsy, I can honestly say that the best thing that ever happened to me was getting banned from there. The lack of ethics they constantly show is horrific. The lack of concern they show their customers, i.e. the sellers, is appalling. Testing out features on a live venue without giving the sellers a heads up, supporting resellers openly, and the constant violating their own TOUs are just a few of the reasons I’m glad to be out of there.

    Mr. Malik, you really need to do some more research about this venue. You may just have your eyes opened. Just Google CoralGate and BaliGate for starters.

  113. In addition to Etsy implementing a feedback system that is completely unfair to sellers, they are now going to be harassing buyers to leave feedback. Etsy will now be sending “reminders” to buyers to leave feedback (or as it’s now known, a Star Review) for their purchases. Quite possibly, repeated reminders too. This is similar to what Amazon does. Sends repeated “reminders” to leave feedback. It IS annoying. We are adults. We are not children that need to be reminded to clean our rooms, do our homework, or leave feedback. Once again, Etsy implements something that is not only condescending to the buyer but also to the seller.

    As a buyer on Etsy, I find this kind of message extremely annoying and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth for the originating party (it also guarantees that I will NOT leave feedback!).

    As a seller on Etsy as well and because I don’t want my valued customers to be annoyed, harassed or think negatively of my shop, I’ve written into my Shop Policies and my Message to Buyers letting them know that it is not me harassing them for feedback but a system set up by Etsy to do the harassing for feedback. Hopefully it will be read and my customers will understand that any annoying messages regarding their transaction did not come from me.

  114. Instead of addressing the serious reseller problem on Etsy in a business-like fashion, Chad chose to respond by attacking Etsy’s customers, the shop owners. What? When 10 or 15 or 20 different shops, shipping from 4 continents, are using the same photo to sell the same mass made product, the professional quality of those photos is not what is being reported to Marketplace Integrity. An Etsy shop owned by a mining-manufacturing corporation which employs thousands does not :”have help”. An Etsy shop owned by an import/export firm does not “have help”. Far from pricing their items too cheaply, resellers in the USA are misrepresenting their mass manufactured products made cheap materials as designed and handmade by them so they can charge 20 times the wholesale (or Ebay) price, for items they had nothing to do with designing or making. Chad seems to forget that inconvenient information about businesses (and their transactions) can often be found online, from credible sources. Chad clearly did not appreciate the implications of the exposure of Boatwood Barbie.

  115. Anyone who no longer would like to (or who has been banned and cannot) buy and sell handmade NOT on Etsy, please check out handmadeartists.com. It’s small, but growing, and 100% handmade for real. Oh, and admin replies to you quickly when you have a question or concern.

    1. Be careful what you wish for, you may get it. People who are already unhappy tend to drag others down with them.

      1. Eh, I don’t see a reason to worry. Even if people want to take a look around to shop there without fear of buying mass produced crap, it’s all good.

  116. I am a fairly new Seller and still learning the ropes. I have been focused on setting up my shop, creating inventory – la la la – and then I became a part of the new format Listing Page experiment without any warning or notice. I didn’t know what to do, where to go for information; so I Googled “Etsy complaints”. After about an hour I stopped reading and made a cup tea.

    The last things I read were:

    While I understand that not everything that you google is reliable – there was just so much of it – there had to be some truth to it. Did this new CEO come up with his business plan based on Orson Welles’ “1984”? This book has haunted me since I was a teenager. I have had a lot of de ja vous moments from this book over the past 40 years. I read it again a couple of years ago hoping to let go of the whole thing but it didn’t help.

    So I went back to my Etsy shop and discovered the Forum. There it was – the business plan. Since I discovered the Threads I spend far too much time reading the never-ending paranoia and speculation. I try to stay away but I just can’t help it. I read and read but I do not participate because I do not want to lose my shop. I think there must be a lot of us – the ones that watch.

    The PayPal and Feedback issues combined with Mr. Malik’s article this past week have really left me with huge “1984” de ja vous; especially when I read Mr. Dickerson’s response in the comments.

    I am left feeling that the Feedback Seller Survey was only implemented so that Etsy can do what they want and tell us that we wanted this.

    I am also left feeling that the secret Direct Checkout “test” was implemented to see if the extra profits they would make from the Direct Checkout fees would outweigh the loss in sales if they eliminate PayPal. Unfortunately the Sellers discovered their test and turned off their Direct Checkout; thus ruining Etsy’s experiment.

    One of the things I read on Google – from an exiled Etsian – was a warning to only use PayPal. That way if you are closed down you will still be able to contact customers and process outstanding orders. This does not seem to concern Etsy when they close down a store. There are Buyers in the Forum all the time complaining of Sellers that have their money and the store is closed or gone. The Buyer assumes that the Seller has cheated them and everyone chimes in on the Thread with sympathy but no one points out that Etsy may have shut down the Seller. More “1984” de ja vous.

    Even if Etsy is not messing with us on a specific issue or topic it doesn’t matter – if Etsy starts rolling something out or we discover something the Forum go nuts. We are left to speculate and fend for ourselves as Etsy scrambles through the Threads editing, deleting, reprimanding and muting.

    Mr. Malik wants proof. Here is an example of customer service at Etsy. Here is an example of how much Sellers matter to Mr. Dickerson: https://www.etsy.com/teams/7720/bugs/discuss/12845303/page/1

    Thank you for this opportunity Mr. Malik. I could never have said these things in the Forum – I am certain that I would have been muted forever and they would be looking for a reason to close my shop. Does that sound paranoid? I am feeling a huge surge of “1984” de ja vous.

  117. AS the child pointed out in the story” Look, the emperor is not wearing any clothes!”

    it’s truly sad that they refuse to see what is right in front of them or just blatantly ignore it..

  118. Hello Om, are you reading this? I was not mud slinging there are many E sellers that are unhappy. I have told you I know many that have shops closed unduly. YOur still not interested in these facts?

    What kind of Journo are you anyways? Only rainbows, cupcakes and fairy dust?

    Etsy’s system doesn’t work, they want money from resellers,and the chosen few cupcakes of the moment. Trust me I have been one. I have been on the FP plenty of times, what good does that get you? it took them forever to implement multiple listings by then I had chosen to place most of my eggs in another basket.

    Etsy won’t let me run my business like I do , I live in India my mother is in Chicago I ship certain items to her she distributes within the USA I do the International shipping. Etsy told me my mother was a drop shipper LOL. Well then to hell with you, I have only 4 items listed on E.

    I still pay E over 20 bucks a month ( no renewing for me), however my AF sales far outweigh anything on E I pay 5.95 a month.

    If Etsy would have understood my way of doing business they would have gotten more money from me, instead they chose to threaten me with closure.

    I am that seller that somebody mentioned that makes a living from Artfire, I have the COO’s direct email and the only two times since 08 that I needed to call , I said it was a fluffyKaliya and he got on the phone right away. Artfire does business differently the vision still is Handmade first if it wasn’t why build Maker house Tuscon .
    Etsy is a joke where is the handmade you have to dig to find it. Why not feature a site that sellers can sell on if they work for it and make more money while doing it, but alas again AF no VC so not interesting.

  119. I am a seller on Handmade Artists and I highly recommend that Etsy sellers consider selling there. NO resellers allowed, low monthly fee without a listing or final value fee and terrific management.

  120. or maybe chad speaks just like he writes which tells me either Om or Chad are not proficient in the English language, lol and so we are to trust a journo or a CEO that can’t write properly , either way what ever these two have to say, Etsy sellers have spoken.

    And guess what? The consensus is not in your Favor.

  121. To ArtFire we shall go. Sing with me people. To ArtFire we shall go~~~~~

    Anywhere but Etsy which is -BTW- about to implode under the weight of resellers, greed, bloated egos, “improvements” (hideous changes which have assured that not only is the shopping experience frustrating and too time consuming but the sellers can be assured now that none of their items will show up on the search engines), ongoing glitches, a permanently broken search, NO community, and other douchebaggery like the blowhard in this article and his comments.

    A word to Etsy shop owners: it is ok to come out of Etsy Trance now. This site is outright abusive to its sellers and provides zero customer service. It started out well but is now one big LIE! Bad karma, Chad. Bet you can feel the sting, smell the stink, because you are now spearheading it.

    1. I’m already there and love it. The problem is when Etsy sellers come to ArtFire they usually refuse to do the ground work to make sales. Artfire doesn’t have internal traffic so it works differently than mighty Etsy. Read the Etsy forums, they are filled with sellers who trash AF because “I had an AF shop and didn’t make a sale, I get no views” and so on. Already I’m reading that they are opening up on af and will give it a month. No wonder they fail. They are firmly inducted into the Etsy cult and need reprogramed. they have to be willing but they aren’t, If AF sucks so bad how come there are wildly huge sales for some sellers, if they can do it so can others.

      They say they won’t come to the forum. But if they don’t learn how to sell on AF they will fail. Selling Etsy isn’t like selling other places, selling AF is like your own shop. It works wonderfully but only if you follow the help guides and make the effort. The best part is selling as much as you can with no fees except the low monthly rate, super exciting once you get that SEO in place. Not Etsy SEO, regular internet search engine SEO.

      I welcome new sellers to AF but not those who are angry and refuse to help themselves by working to succeed then spend their days whining.

      1. Handmadeartists.com faces the same problem occasionally. Jaded ex-Etsians show up, start a shop, don’t put up many listings or a banner or a profile, don’t do any work… then close up shop saying they haven’t sold anything. Honestly, if you’re not wiling to actually do work, you shouldn’t own a business. But hey, even if the disgruntled buyers want to shop Artfire & HandmadeArtists to know they’re getting handmade… well, terrific!

  122. We just had our first casualty of the new feedback system. Though the customer loved her item, she only left a rating of 3.

    “Buyer who is in love with her purchase leaves a 3-star review
    3:59 pm Aug 28, 2013 EDT

    This just happened to me today with the new system. I am reposting it in its own thread so it’s not buried in other threads. I would love to get other shops’ views on this now that it can happen to any of you.

    The first words in this 3-star rating are “I’m IN LOVE WITH THIS GUESTBOOK.”

    Then they say the item is smaller than it looks. The dimensions of the book are fully disclosed in the listing.

    They also add that they loved the personalization and that it shipped so fast.

    But they left me 3 stars.

    This previously would have been a positive rating, from experience.”

    Etsy: Your switch to the new feedback system is already causing headaches. Are you proud of yourself? No. Don’t answer that because we all know you could care less.

  123. Om, you never replied to those seeking the answer.

    Why did you change the wording in the Chad article after is was published? I find it curious that after the comments started you suddenly changed the wording in the article. You do know that many have the original copy so you are not fooling anyone. Is that what they teach you in “journalism” school?

  124. I’m Tom Krazit, the executive editor of GigaOM. At this point, I’m closing the comments on this thread. I think everyone has had an opportunity to express their thoughts in the five days this article has been live.

    I want to make one thing very clear. The only change made to this post after it was published was to insert a link at the bottom of the post to Chad Dickerson’s comment, because we thought it was important to note that he had responded. Again: no other changes were made to any aspect of this post.