I listed an item with a very specific keyword, i.e., fish pinback button - that's not what I listed, but as an example, the item I listed doesn't even show up on the first several pages.
Now, what this tells me is, if there are 100 fish buttons and we all have chosen our keywords carefully, and we're all pretty similar in our choices, you really have no chance of getting on that first page of your listing. Imagine if instead of 100 fish there are 1,000 butterfly soap.
It just seems that if renewing no longer gets you to the front of the line, albiet only momentarily, which obviously we were paying to do, where's the benefit for the seller?
I paid $35.00 for my first week, but quite honestly it's not what I thought it would be in the way of exposure, and since I've had no views today, I definitely won't be doing that again.
Just based on my past experience, the focus seems to have moved from the seller to Etsy.
I should add that I'm picking my keywords with extreme care and not just throwing them out there, but the advantages of being on Etsy now seem few and far between.