Buyers-eye view

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About this team

******What this team is about (and why we’re starting it):******

This is a group for people whose activity on Etsy is only or mostly about BUYING, not selling. We hope to harness this large and dynamic contingent of etsy users to help improve the site for ALL etsians....

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Who can join?

This team has no specific requirements. Welcome!

About this team

******What this team is about (and why we’re starting it):******

This is a group for people whose activity on Etsy is only or mostly about BUYING, not selling. We hope to harness this large and dynamic contingent of etsy users to help improve the site for ALL etsians.

I have been a buyer on Etsy ever since I joined (Feb '07); all of my feedback comes from buying. In this time, I have also made semi-regular contributions to the forums from this buyer-only perspective, which sometimes went against 'conventional' wisdom offered to sellers by other sellers.

These contributions have often led to people coming out of the woodwork to express agreement with those views, and maybe a desire to hear more from buyers.

It has been my experience that a lot of Etsy can frequently lean toward the seller-oriented, with little room left for buyers. That's despite the fact that buyer-only or -mostly members are what makes Etsy go ‘round: if sellers only bought from each other, there would not be enough revenue generated, or enough buzz.

While Etsy has definitely taken steps in the past couple of years to make itself (and the forums) far more buyer-friendly, there is still a lot of progress to be made. And many Etsy sellers continue to default to suspicion of their buyers, particularly anyone whose buying behavior they deem unusual (eg: secret hearting). In some ways, too, steps taken to make Etsy more comfortable to buyers (such as the changes to make feedback private) have side-effects of increasing sellers' suspicion towards buyers whose feedback they can no longer see unless they go ahead with a sale.

*****What we’re hoping to do:******

- advocate for buyers' rights and interests on Etsy, in line with current concepts of consumer rights but with sensitivity to the handicraft ethos.
- reaffirm the idea that while sellers are Etsy's customers in a direct sense, there can be no Etsy without (happy) buyers; therefore, it is in all etsy members' best interest to consider the needs of buyer-only members
- clarify the idea that Etsian should not be synonymous with 'etsy seller', and that in fact, a proven commitment to buy handmade items by independent artisans as part of a largely self-regulating marketplace is a commitment to supporting a different kind of consumer experience (ie ‘putting your money where your mouth is’)
- educate buyers about what to expect and what to look for when buying handmade in general, and in particular when shopping at an online-only, all-handmade market place such as etsy (eg re expected convo response times, expected dispatch times, the differences between buying handmade from small-scale artisans and buying from the mall, etc). The goal in particular would be buyers with little or no experience shopping outside of the modern trifecta of mainstream buying (department store/supermarket, mall, big-box store) as well as those accustomed to forms of online shopping that mirror this trifecta (eg ebay which is a lot like mall stores, amazon which is a lot like a department store or big-box store).
- provide a pool of dedicated buyers for Etsy sellers to consult about 'what do buyers like' type questions, so they don't have to go through other sellers; a practice which can lead them to information that is second-hand, therefore all too often second-rate, too.

******We aim to do that by:******

- increasing buyer visibility in the forums (still the first port of call for many sellers) and the Etsy Blog (which still as of the creation of this team is massively seller-oriented)
- publicizing the team in team members' profiles
- increasing the visibility of buyer resources on Etsy. There are resources for buyers, but they are less visible than sellers'! We think this is unwise and ineffective, because a member who starts to use etsy intending only to buy cannot realistically (or even idealistically!) be expected to make the same time and education investment when using the site that a member will who joins expressly to sell. If you want to buy, there’s plenty of other places to choose from :-)
- possibly collaborating with Etsy admin to add to existing buyer resources.
- recruiting as many members as possible, particularly buyer-only or -mostly members.

*****What this is NOT for*******
- promoting specific items or shops (yours or anybody else's) or promoting any blog or other external website. If you have something to say about buying on Etsy, say it *here*, please :-)
- complaining about specific sellers (per the rules against calling out - these are Etsy-wide and breaking them can get us shut down. If you have an issue and can't think of a way to describe it that doesn't identify the seller, convo another group member directly for suggestions on what to do.


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