There has been some uproar on Etsy in recent months and this past week, it reached a new level of intensity. This past fall, Etsy removed the categories by which items were sorted and introduced browse, supposedly a better way to window shop. The change to browse helped the shops that appear there very frequently, but hurt other shops. Categories like Crochet, Needle Arts, Dolls and Miniatures, to name a few, no longer have direct links to the category from the front page.
This past week, Etsy changed the appearance of the activity feed and introduced new customer service statistics. The forums have been in an uproar ever since. I don’t look at my activity feed, so I have no comments about it. My customer service stats are good, but I have concerns about what Etsy is measuring. They measure whether or not you use Etsy tools as Etsy would like you to. They do not measure customer service.
If you ship using Shipstation, Paypal, or Stamps.com and do not also enter the tracking number into Etsy, then you get a low score for shipping and tracking packages. If you sell digital products and as a result don’t have a tracking number – low score. If you provide processing times via email to the customer or have them in your policies rather than using Etsy’s processing time feature – low score. You get the idea.
These changes lead people to the forums with legitimate concerns. Some of the time, these concerns are met with – don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. It is something to think about, especially when you are not in control of the basket. Some people have their work in other online marketplaces. Others have their own website. Some do a mix of online, shows, and wholesale. All of it is hard. All of it takes work, time, and money.
Right now, Etsy works for me. Could the day come when it does not? Sure it could. My choices then will be to make the adjustments needed to stay on Etsy or move on. And in the meantime, be smart about what I do. I have all of my photos backed up under my control. I export all of my listings once a month so I have that data. I keep orders in my email inbox until they are shipped. I have my own dotcom domain registered. I have my talent and skill in making jewelry. I have all that I have learned, re-learned, re-learned, and learned again about ever-changing online marketing. So if there is a separation some day, I won’t be leaving without some assets.