Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Repost of my Letter to Etsy

I  posted this yesterday and deleted it this morning. I was seriously afraid that Etsy might take action against me for posting this on my blog. Another seller pointed out that I removed all the truly private information - my sales data, the guy's name who sent the response - and that I have every right to post about my experience with "Etsy Support". So thank you to Hayley at PaintboxSoapworks for reminding me that I'm a pretty kick butt human being, and for being one herself. :D

I want to start by saying that I have poured my heart and soul into my Etsy shops. I've been here since 2006, I've got three shops - heartsabustin, SouthernTwistedBags, and SouthernTwistedSoaps. I'm going to use this shop as my primary example, because it's got the best sales stats to use. 
My sales are terrible this year. I'm down nearly $5000 in revenue, and most of that has occurred over the last three or four months, since the changes to the site were made. It isn't just me - I've seen people who have been major sellers here, previous Featured Sellers, QYDJ features, hundreds of good sellers - say that this has been the worst holiday selling season they've ever experienced. My tags and titles are fine - I've tweaked and changed them until I'm sick of it. 
I wanted to share some stats from the last three years of my sales to show what's going on.

{I deleted my sales numbers for privacy}

I'm currently running Promoted Ads. I'm in an off-Etsy online magazine gift guide. I use social media, I renew listings, I've tweaked tags and titles, I'm right this very minute on the Trending page. I'm down at the bottom, but I'm there. I am so scared and sad and frustrated - I love my shop, I have the best time connecting with customers and other sellers. The downturn I saw started back in September, when the new FP and search changes were implemented, and I've never been able to recover from those changes. If you guys aren't going to go back to the old FP, then the search algorithm needs to be fixed. It should have been fixed three months ago when we all started telling you guys that it wasn't working. 
Please, PLEASE, help us. There are many of us that do not want to leave, but we feel may have no choice. 

This is their canned response to me:

Hi Erin,
Thanks for reaching out to Etsy Support. I'm sorry to hear you're feeling sad and frustrated and I hope I can address some of those concerns. I can tell your quite astute with viewing your shop stats, and looking at your stats I understand your concerns. Last year appears to have been a very successful year for your shop and it's hard when those types of numbers can't be reproduced year after year. While we hope the success of your shop is always on the incline, it's the nature of business to have some peaks and valleys and unfortunately it can not always be controlled. 
As you mentioned, many sellers have reported of a recent downturn in their sales for November, and even if you’re doing everything right, there may be larger market dynamics at work here. This can be resulting from certain factors that are hard to quantify, such as seasonal shopping trends, economic conditions, etc. You may be feeling the impact of the surge of new sellers that have joined Etsy; the bath and beauty section is one area that has increased dramatically with new listings and internal competition for views has become stronger.
You mentioned that this downturn started happening with the introduction of the new Etsy Homepage. This was rolled out around October 7th, and looking at your stats for the full year leading up to that date I see:

{I removed the sales data for privacy reasons}

It appears your views and sales have not been on trend all year when we compare them to your standout year of 2013. These number reflect the same performance that we see in the stats provided for the past few months with no extreme variation. So I don't think there's been a correlation with your sales being affected negatively by the new Etsy Homepage.
We made this change in the best interest of our sellers. Our goal is to deliver more sales to more sellers overall, as well as to show buyers items that they may be interested in. When the homepage showed a featured treasury, we were limited to showing off only those sellers' items. With the new homepage, we can display thousands more items from sellers both small and large.
You mentioned the search engine needing to be fixed but I want to reassure you that it was never broken. There was the case of clumping which is what I think you are referring to, and we did address that there were some concerns about the lack of diversity in the search results. Our search engine continues to be functioning properly, and any clumping issues still occurring are being closely monitored and rectified.
I tried a search for "body lotion" and found one of your items on each of the first 3 pages which is very good placement considering there are 22,717 items. I've attached a few screenshots for your reference.
Taking a look at your shop your photos are very professional and your products are represented well. I know it can be tedious hearing about your titles and tags but I encourage you to keep reviewing your Shop Stats to see which words are leading the most buyers to your items. Replace any words that aren't working so well. If you haven't yet, you may also want to use our Shop Stats Study Guide as a resource for comparing the activity you've seen previously for your shop and see if there are any changes you can make for current buyer
I see you have a Facebook page but it's not connected to your account. If you connect your Facebook Page to your Etsy shop, viewers will be able to Like and follow your Facebook Page directly on your Etsy shop. You'll also see the option to post new listings directly to your Facebook Page. 

Go to Your Shop > Shop Settings > Info & Appearance and select "Connect with Facebook."
I see you've gotten great reviews so you might focus your efforts on buyer retention and gaining more brand loyalty with your buyers. You may even want to consider offering a discount or coupon to your followers to try and drive more traffic to your shop. This article explains how to start a Facebook marketing campaign:
I hope you remain optimistic about your standing on Etsy. Please know that we're pulling for you all the way and will always be here to answer your questions and concerns.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Jewelry

New Jewelry in heartsabustin

I've been a busy bee at the workbench lately - must have something to do with a slower than usual holiday season. That's all right - I LOVE to beat on metal!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Whacked Out Wednesday: Jamie Shelman

Jamie's shop is FULL of awesome - I am a new convert to the Crazy Cat Lady Club, and I've always loved this Etsy shop. I've picked three of my absolute faves (that was hard, y'all) to show off here today, but you MUST go see her shop. TOO. MUCH. CUTENESS.

Clockwise from top left: Country Cats Christmas Card; Alphabet Cats; and Cool Cats 

Another personal fave was this one:

The Sneak Attack Cat - yeah, if you've got cats, you've seen this happen.

Follow her on Twitter:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Products in Southern Twisted Soaps

New Products!

Clockwise from top left: Autumn Blend Lotion ; Autumn Blend Soap ; Tuberose Solid Perfume ; and Walk in the Woods Soap 

These are just some of the awesome gift giving and self-indulgent goodies I've added to the shop for the Christmas and holiday season.

Monday, November 17, 2014

For the Home Gift Guide

A gorgeous gift guide of Etsy find for the home. Perfect for hostess gifts and other fabulous holiday giving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Valued Vintage: Christmas

I have been slacking. For those of you who don't know, I am currently pregnant with my third child, and there have been days when all I can do is maintain the status quo. :D I have here a gorgeous selection of vintage Christmas-y items I found on Etsy. Please, do enjoy, and visit the shops. They are well worth it.

Vintage metal molds, pastoria ; Vintage silver glass ornaments, msjeannieology ; Vintage brass bell, HoundDogDigs ; Vintage wooden trug, shavingkitsupplies

All of these are great shops with fabulous staging of their products. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Valued Vintage: Fall

Another set of gorgeous vintage items from Etsy - I want that coat.

Brown suede coat, shoprabbithole ; Hand carved fork and spoon, BlueMoonAttic ; Botanical print, HighStreetVintage ; Pumpkins created from vintage books, HiButterfly

These are all items found in my favorites in SouthernTwistedBags - I was fortunate enough to be featured on the front page with the gorgeous suede coat. Y'all enjoy!


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