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Frank Harris says (A partial excerpt from Mr. Harris’s thread) Last month we improved the search experience

by removing the drop-down and thereby integrating handmade, vintage and supplies items in search results. Before we launched this change to everyone, we ran it as an experiment for many weeks. We found that visitors searched more, viewed more items and purchased more items from search.
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A comment was made pertaining to this statement and whhsssst!!! It went right over everyone’s head and ignored.
Actually a couple of them with the same response.
One was as I can remember, Etsy is not the vendor, we are. We being the store owners and to some extent the buyers who also must be registered to purchase here. Thus having a vested interest in what takes place.
If Etsy has no products that they sell thus not the vendor.
They are experimenting seemingly above and beyond the expectation of those who are paying for a URL listing for their shop and the use of listing and buying tools that work.
And if Etsy is experimenting then the effects of those experiments directly affect the financial status of each individuals shop. Many of which have a huge amount of time and money invested in them, the money in the form of stocking them with products.
In some cases the negative affects of these experiments can bankrupt a shaky operation all by itself. All while that particular shop would be an infinitesimal portion of the overall cash flow of Etsy the venue.
How do I figure that?
Boring numbers, ignored because one has to think.
The latest weather report give sales numbers in terms of the volume of product sold and the value of the those products. The volume is given and that is about 2 items a second 24/7.
The Value is in the multiple millions. Do you want to know the exact number? go Look up Mr. Harris’s thread, it is public knowledge.
He also stated in another thread that there are about 40 million visitors a month and 800,000 shops. Whether you agree with this or not, it is again public record as been said.
While Etsy sees a cash flow of sales from your shops to a percentage of those 40,000,000 customers their actual cash income is a listing fee + a % of sales. While Etsy itself sells nothing except a service to you the store owner it is to their interest that you sell things. That can not be denied. But if you are paying for a service and they are experimenting with it and not informing you of that experiment, it seems to me that something is amiss. If for no other reason that I am building my business and my business plan based on the service I thought I was paying for, not some pie in the sky pipe dream. Now as to the percentage of those 40,000,000 potential customers that pass through here, it turns out the sales numbers can be met if only a little less than 8 percent of them actually buy one thing.
So if an important portion of the intuitive side of one of the services I am paying for such as the primary category such as Vintage or Art or what ever my particular product base is, is eliminated from the reference material as to what is available my store is effected directly and to some extent greatly.
Now lets asses that effect.
Again numbers. numbers tell the story.
The numbers say that a store on
Etsy
sells product worth about $82.00 in sales a month. As there are some 800,000 stores according to Mr. Harris that calculates out to about 64 million dollars in cash flow through Etsy from the accumulative sum of all stores of which etsy gets a percentage for sales plus listing fees.
According to the current weather report.
Now here is where things get interesting.
Although he weather report states glowingly that the cash flow through the venue is greater this month then last and it is. That number is dependant on the total number of stores at the time the calculations were made. If you do the same calculations for the previous month and include the number of stores which you must, the preious month had fewer stores.
What that means is the previous month the cash flow per store was higher.
So what number is being used to indicate an experiment was a success?
The cash flow per store which can be calculated out to be lower this month than last?
In that case the experiment not only was a venue failure to the individual store but if my store is dependant on being found by people LOOKING for Vintage or what ever and not finding it, my store has had a disastrous month and I have bills to pay which I can’t because the income form my store is in the toilet.
Or from the venue standpoint. More people are looking his month vs last thus more or less buying about average on the whole and as more people are buying the same this vs last the venue shows and increase but is sham increase and does not tell the whole story.
Eliminating a category was a loss in sales made up for by other people buying different products.
The calculations are in error because the objectives were defined incorrectly.
And no. I will not accept an excuse.
The experiment which I did not know about, caused me to be in trouble of problems not of my making. And I did not enter into an agreement that covers the acceptance if this type of action.
As a store I need to have stability and define operating guidelines.
As a buyer I need to have intuitive and defined shopping tools.
And as an observer? I do not see either of these things being supplied.

1 Highlighted Response

Gwynne Collins from DaysLongGone says

Thanks for your post, John! Well said! It is a shame that there are so many complaints in the forum about these changes and admin just doesn't seem to really care.

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Speaking on behalf of myself and my fellow Admin, we care greatly about our members and that is precisely why we conduct these experiments. Instead of launching full new features/changes to the site, testing gives us a chance to try it out, before we implement big changes.

In regards to resellers, we take these issues very seriously and if you come across an Item/Shop that may violate our TOUs, please go ahead and flag the items as described here: www.etsy.com/help/article/113

212 Responses

"Eliminating a category was a loss in sales made up for by other people buying different products. "

Or in people refreshing more and more often in the hopes of regaining sliding sales.
Etsy has always stated that your listing fee is for having an item listed in your personal shop. Nothing more, nothing less. While Etsy probably isn't going to get rid of the front page or search, just remember neither of those items are included in your 20 cent fee.
My sales have continued to slide down, down, and down with each change. The only bright spot being on August 8th, the day before search was reported as buggy, my sales jumped up to normal numbers. Just for that day.
Krystal, the reason I list here is for the services provided by Etsy. We could list anywhere. At any shop. We list here because of certain perks provided by Etsy that others do not provide. We pay for a certain service that we are told we are going to get for our money. We don't just pay 20 cents to see a pretty picture of our stuff up on a random website.
resellers up.
handmade down.

One reseller, with 22 shops, grossed 40K over a 4-month period.

They are now gone, well, those 22 shops, but are back with 8 new shops.
These are the type of new seller Etsy is getting, and their cheap geegaws sell a lot, and their listing fees generate almost as much for Etsy as their FVF's. And Etsy is being flooded with such shops. That's growth, but at the expense of the reputation of the venue.

Look at Jewelry at 3AM and you will see.
I agree with Krystal. If you could list anywhere, go list anywhere. Etsy has a business interest in getting customers to view more items, and that means changes and updates to the search & categories, they can't freeze the entire website just because the sellers in the forums here hate every single change they can possibly links... hell, people here complain that moving links can ruin their lives.

And if you see resellers, hit that "flag" button, they do get taken care of if the concern is legit.
More hits for the Etsy, fewer hits per shop.

Individual Sellers seeing sales slide down, down, down.

More and more Resellers.

And on top of that Etsy is making changes that discourage category browsing and encourage random viewing. All while Sellers work feverishly on titles and tags and do repeated renewing, in a frantic effort to revive their sales.





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Inactive Etsy Member 7:28 am Aug 18, 2012 EDT
All so very, very sad......
The numbers available simply do not support the explanations given. The individual store sales figures indicate a verifiable long term downward slide in per unit sales that seem to coincide with unforeseen changes in the basic marketing tools. There is something drastically wrong with the picture as presented.
All while direct feedback from those who are paying for those services are reporting through their data a lack of effectivity in the function of them.

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