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Using Sellers to Brand Etsy is Wrong

Etsy's mission, last I read was to enable independent handmade business's to succeed and create a different type economy.

By encouraging sellers through the FP treasury system, merchandising report and the labs to create items that fit themes and styles that help brand Etsy I believe is detrimental to the individual shops that participate. In following this advice these shops actually LOOSE any kind of individual identity or branding in their business.

I've read many blogs posts and articles by Etsy that stress the importance of standing out and being unique in your brand. When someone sees your item on the web they think, "oh thats ......." They obviously understand the power of visual marketing. So there is a contradiction in what Etsy teaches and what it encourages and supports.

I've been here long enough to see shops made by Etsy and crippeled by Etsy once a trend passes. This system does not empower the handmade buisness. It may give it a boost for some time but when the exposure ends what does the shop have to fall back on? What is the point in giving a handmade business false or limited hopes in being successful? Immediate and grand exposure on Etsy's front page is fleeting at best.

Etsy shouldn't be telling us how to brand their site...we should be telling Etsy how to brand us. If they truly want to enable handmade business's the later should be the mind think.

924 Responses

Totally agree with Loopy's well thought-out post.

Thats the door I walked through five years ago....

Campgrounds changed a little bit since then:)
and Etsy seems to have forgotten that there are Supplies sellers here too...just sayin.

But to focus on the point you've made, Loopy, yes...our unique and individual selves should be celebrated here, not a select few carefully curated trends....
The contradiction in what etsy supports and what it teaches is what gets me in the hoo hoo everytime. I can't be the only one who sees it.
It does seem kinda backwards, doesn't it? As much as, I would love to be on the FP on a regular basis (or at all :)), I don't really follow trends....Etsy's or otherwise. If it happens...it happens.
I think there's a bit of a learning curve to sellers starting out, steeper depending on where you started and where you want to end up. In the last year or two, etsy has made it clear in a variety of ways that the ways in which your shop needs to stand out are independent of etsy, and not in their power. There have been several labs about things like wholesale, branding, advertising (outside of etsy) and things that to me, show that etsy realizes that at some point, etsy will not be enough for most sellers.

Some sellers who make etsy their longer-term home have expressed publicly that they're riding the etsy train for all it's worth, with the expectation that at some point, the ride may end.

I think as long as you're aware of that reality, you can prepare yourself as a business person for whatever's next. I personally have a time frame in mind, others may have a more general idea of where they'd like to be in 5 years time, which may or may not include etsy.
Bravo, very well said Loopy. Uniqueness of individual shops is what is attractive to shop on Etsy.
It gets me in the "hoo hoo" as well, Loopy.

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