October 29, 2010

for my fellow Etsy sellers, there have been some very important changes lately that WILL affect you!! PLEASE READ

If you are a seller on Etsy, I think you NEED to read this post, and then browse around the Etsy forums for more information. Link to the main Etsy forums HERE.

Etsy has been making major changes lately, and they never notify all users about anything. So, since I know most Etsy sellers don't frequent the Etsy forums, I'm posting them here---

the first one is wider listing pages that greatly affect the photos and seeing (or not seeing) the item description. The photos were made HUGE-- if you have vertical photos, they will not be seen in their entirety. If your photos are smaller, they may end up with gray bars on the edges to make them fit the new, larger space. Even if you have relatively square photos, the page re-design to huge photos means that in most cases, the item description is "below-the-fold" and people will have to scroll down to read it. In addition, they have redesigned where the clickable things (your avatar, etc) take a shopper when they click on them, and most of them take the buyer NOT back to your shop, but to your profile or even OUT of your shop. Many threads in the forums about this topic, but one of the main (it's huge, sorry about that) is here: wide listing page thread.

the second is a change to the profile pages that will connect ONE profile to ALL the shops an owner may have (if they have more than one shop). Not a huge change, but it still changes the way your profile page looks. Click here to read a forum thread about this.

The third is a change to the way item results are shown-- there is no "jump-to" page box at the bottom of a list, so buyers have to scroll through pages sequentially to look at items in a category or after a search. A buyer can no longer type "34" in the page box to jump to the 34th page of a category or search. This means that realistically, only the top pages (i.e., most recently listed) in a category will ever be seen by a casual browser, because they probably won't want to keep scrolling thru page after page to ever reach the 34th page of a category or search results. Click here to read a forum thread about this.

The fourth one is the most recent (I think) and is a MAJOR change to the way results will be shown when buyers are browsing by clicking on a category or doing a very general search. Etsy says it's only minor, but I believe, along with many other sellers, that it is a HUGE disservice to the sellers, and will be very negative. Etsy has changed the functionality of the site to ONLY list 50,000 results when a buyer clicks on a category page or does a general search. This may sound like a huge number, but depending on how saturated the category is (think jewelry, clothing, art, or wedding, for example), this number of items is a VERY small percentage of the actual items in the category-- as low as 2% or 3% in some cases. And, since the default search is "most recently listed" this limitation will now only show the last few day's listings of jewelry, for example. Read this link for a very concise explanation of this issue.

These kinds of changes are being made almost daily, and can negatively affect casual, low-volume sellers who may not know they're being made. Especially since it's (supposedly) going into the holiday shopping rush-- if your views/sales have dropped off, these changes may be why.

And since Etsy doesn't feel like they NEED to tell ALL sellers about these things, I (along with other sellers who are concerned about these changes affecting our sales and views) am trying to do what I can to get the word out.


Mel said...

Thanks for sharing all of this pertinent info, Jennifer! I don't understand why Etsy just doesn't do an e-mail blast to its sellers - how hard could that be??

I rely on facebook, Flickr (only from the sidelines, of course) and my blogs to advertise my stuff because lord knows it would never get seen, otherwise. I think it's just gotten so big.

crimsoncat05 said...

you're welcome, Mel! I don't know why Etsy doesn't contact all sellers- they *say* it's too difficult to set it up, but my cynicism says it's because they don't want people to be upset by the nature/volume of changes. (and a lot would be, I'm guessing)

For me, there's a change between what Etsy "used to be" and what it "seems to be becoming" and I'm not sure I like it. It's definitely HUGE- maybe that's part of it- and it seems to be losing the "connecting makers with buyers" vision, at least in my opinion.