Thursday, October 21, 2010

Etsy and the "Coralgate scandal"

Red Coral Wire Wrapped Hoops

Alright, I've kind of been avoiding this blog entry since I didn't really want to bring more attention to the site I left behind.  I've seen more trouble on there than is worth mentioning and spent more money on their fees than anywhere else.  I left for many reasons and I'm very glad I left before all of this transpired.  That being said, I have finally decided that perhaps I DO need to write this blog entry.
*takes a deep breath*
Let me begin with why I left Etsy in the first place.  I was a member of the Etsy community for I'd say about 4 years.  In that 4 years I had experienced marginal success.  My jewelry sold alright... though the sales seemed to come in spurts.  My costume orders were high from mid-September to mid-October but often times I found that I could not always keep up with customers demands and eventually stopped taking custom orders there. 
One particularily low day, I realized how much of my actual profit had been going to Etsy over the years.  I also stopped to realize that I had not sold an item in any shop for almost 9 months straight.  And I realized what drives the Etsy machine was relisting and charging fees.  At that point, I decided I was done with them.  The jewelry market there was swamped and I just didn't have the money to keep up with the "big Etsy fish" anymore.
I was told about Artfire by a friend I had met on Etsy.  I've been there ever since and have nothing listed in any of my Etsy shops.  I have shopped there a little bit since.  That will stop.  From now on, if there's an artist I like and want to purchase things from ad they are only on Etsy, I will kindly convo them and ask them to email me privately to arrange the sale.  Etsy will get no more of my money.
set 6 pcS  sponge Coral Branches 28-36 Bead Strand red orange  , top drilled coral FREE SHIPPING ON ALL ADDITIONAL ITEMSNow, onto the "coralgate scandal".  First off, I want to go on the record as saying this is my OPINION on what has transpired and what I think of it all.  So, before you all blast me for it.... keep in mind I am entitled to my opinions and this is in fact my blog.  So, while you don't have to agree with me, posting comments blasting me for not believing the same thing you do... well it's just tactless and rude.  That being said, I do not believe any of my readers would do such a thing.  You all seem like civilized people who can agree to disagree with me without getting personal.
I don't want to rehash the entire situation in detail so... the short version.
Etsy has a blog calles the Storque.  They invited a guest jewelry designer to write a blog to be featured on the Storque.  The blog she wrote was about coral as being an endangered species and how she believes we should all boycott coral beads and jewelry made from it etc.  People on Etsy got all upset because Etsy did not put a disclaimer on this blog post stating they do not necessarily hold the same beliefs and the poster.  There are all kinds of things wrong with what Etsy has done and caused with this blog post.  So, as I display pictures from Etsy artisan shops that display coral, I'll dissect the pieces of this scandal and give my opinion on them. 
Point 1: Etsy should not have posted this opinionated blog entry without a disclaimer unless they share the viewpoint of the poster.  It has been pointed out by numerous Etsy sellers since this whole scandal errupted.  Even large newspaper and broadcast mediums put up disclaimers when they featured or interview someone with an opinion on a controversial issue.  Heck, telvision stations put up disclaimers before infomercials on late night television for crying out loud!  This is standard practice and for good reason.  And it's not a difficult thing to do nor would it cost them any more or less money that it did to put up the blog entry.  Common sense people!
5 Strands Red Coral Necklace With Red Silk ThreadPoint 2: If Etsy did/does in fact agree with the poster view point, they should have banned coral from the site prior to the entry being posted.  I don't mind if a gourp of individuals wants to take a stand or support a cause they believe in.  But don't do it half-assed and just because you heard someone tell you a little piece of the truth about the issue.  If you want to take a stand on an issue, do the research yourself and decide if it aligns with you and your beliefs before jumping on someone's band wagon.  Activists and even just regular everday schmos will in fact selectively edit the facts in order to get more people to follow their cause.  Look into it before joining.  Then, make your decisions accordingly.  Be an intelligent adult about it.

Point 3: By not doing either of the above points, Etsy has essentially alienated their sellers.  They are allowing a featured artist to essentially tell all the readers to boycott products made from coral which in turn makes the actual sellers on Etsy who do sell and use coral look like environment moronic monsters.  This is what has everyone on Etsy pissed.  It's costing them sales and thus is going to drive business away from Etsy.  Kind of shooting themselves in the foot aren't they?  Since it's the artists on Etsy that have created the name, recognition as well as generated all that revenue.  The revenue that pays the Etsy administration's salaries.  Hmmmmmmm....
Point 4: While Etsy has acknowledged that it has upset it's artists and has attempted a half-assed apology stating that the above point was not their intention, they have done NOTHING to atone for it.  The blog post is STILL there.  Perhaps the deepest cut of all.  They will not acknowledge they made a mistake.  They will not do anything to defend what they did nor are they doing anything to fix it.  I guess it would be one thing if they had taken a stand and said "No, we have nothing wrong and here's why" but they haven't even done that.  They just acknowledge they've made people angry and then move on as if nothing has/was/is happening.  Wow.  Salt in wound there eh?

There are several other points that many Etsians are arguing, all of which I see as completely and totally valid.  I do not feel I need to discuss any more of them in great detail because really... I think it's pretty clear here that Etsy screwed up and won't admit it.  While I have previously stated I have nothing listed on Etsy now nor will I ever again for completely different reasons, I would not like to state for the record.... I WILL NOT BE BUYING ANYTHING OFF OF THE ETSY SITE EVER AGAIN.  If I want something from a artist over there, I will contact the artist directing to arrange the sale.  I will NOT allow any of my hard earned money to the Etsy admin.  I WILL continue to support the artists if they are willing to work with me OFF ETSY.
So, there you have it.  Feel free to comment, add, whatever.  Remember, this is my opinion and I felt it necessary to express it.


inkwear99 said...

Wow, I guess I never saw that or heard about it. You have some great points and since this is your blog, good for you!!!

divapixie said...

Thanks Inky. I can't believe you haven't heard about this yet... it is ALL over Etsy and Artfire. I am thinking it will die down soon though. I should have included the links in my original post.

Muted but not silent Maureen said...

"I WILL NOT BE BUYING ANYTHING OFF OF THE ETSY SITE EVER AGAIN. If I want something from a artist over there, I will contact the artist directing to arrange the sale. I will NOT allow any of my hard earned money to the Etsy admin. I WILL continue to support the artists if they are willing to work with me OFF ETSY."
Absolutely! I will contact them and ask if they are somewhere else selling, and tell everyone one of them that I will not buy from them on that site. Awesome post!

divapixie said...

Thank you! And WOOT to not purchasing anything off Etsy.
I just had to stand by that decision.

Lis DesJardins said...

Watching all this closely, the only thing I would like to add is that I am becoming seriously convinced that this was a determined, tactical maneuver by E admin to corral their perceived troublemakers, clean house and make way for Daddy Warbucks. Smarmy business all of it. Thanks for the voice divapixie.

epicetera said...

Bravo! I will not buy from anyone on Etsy, either. I am encouraging anyone I know to do the same. My personal opinion is that I would love to see EtsyCorp investigated. Plenty of shady stuff going on.

divapixie said...

So glad to see new followers and readers! That is excellent!
I am very sorry that all of you over there had to go through this but we at Artfire welcome you.
Let me know if you need any help at all!