JoanHunterHandmade on Artfire!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Escape From Etsy!

Just popping in to express how happy I am that I'm not an Etsian any longer.
My holiday sales were great and I completely slacked off.  My new venue makes everything ridiculously simple.

Now it's very clear (talkin' 'bout circles here), that Etsy is trying to morph into some kind of social commerce / networking site, and not a professional venue to sell your handmade, vintage, supplies.  It's so lame and sad.

Anyway, I rarely even think about Etsy or my time there anymore.  I've saved hundreds of dollars since I left.  Amazing how much I spent on listing and relisting fees while I was there... Now I can chill out and just focus on life again.  And no more crazy-making weird & pointless changes to worry about either.  Phew.

I hope you are all well and having happy holidays, I love you all.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Catching Up

Hey everyone, just checking in to see how the Refugees are doing this holiday season!  Post some comments and tell me all about it!

I'm doing alright, making a few sales in my new shop, definitely keeping busy.  How are you guys?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Hunger Worst Its Been in 15 Years..

Hunger in the USA is the worst it has been in 15 years. As we gear up for our Thanksgiving feast, please take a moment to see what you can do to feed a hungry person this winter.

Feeding America: Hunger-Relief Charity |

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Are You Sick Of Putting Up With Etsy's Disrespect And Incompetence?

I just found this great site that offers people recourse when they feel they have been wronged by a company.  I think everyone who has a legitimate bone to pick with Etsy and its policies, should SERIOUSLY contribute.  Don't just be pissed.  Take action!  It will make you feel lighter!

  TELL YOUR STORY on Groubal.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Share The Joy! (And The Savings!)

Time To Start Your Holiday Promos, Folks!!

I do Hope that by now the Original Refugees reading this have set up a new shop somewhere.  Are you running any promotions?  Artfire lets us use coupon codes!!  WOW!!  So, here are some coupons for you, and I hope you will share your new locations and special discounts in the comments section so we can all share the joy!

Enter the coupon code CORALGATE10 and receive 20% off your order of $40 or more!  Good now through January 1st, 2011!!  Come check out my awesome NON-ETSY STUDIO and stock up on your Holiday gift-giving needs!!
Don't forget to post promos for your new non-etsy shops in the comments section.  Let's show the big E what integrity, customer service, and real success looks like by supporting each other this holiday season!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

McDonald's, Pepsi, KFC Tapped To Help Write UK Obesity, Alcohol Policy

Why does this remind me so much of Coralgate?!

 McDonald's, Pepsi, KFC Tapped To Help Write UK Obesity, Alcohol Policy 

I read an article in an advertising trade paper yesterday about faux-greening, it was really interesting and an indication of the times, I think.  I felt that Temple St. Clair was a perfect example.  According to the article more and more people are starting to figure out that just because companies like Exxon Mobile, certain paper manufacturers, etc, claim to be green, doesn't make it so, and to put on that pretense makes them look pretty bloody silly.  It's something we should all hopefully take a lesson from as we little guys move forward with our business goals.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Great Opportunity To Promote Your New Shop!

Dear Refugees,

Many jewelry sellers left Etsy recently over Coralgate and other Etsy blunders and have begun to work on their new shops elsewhere.  It can be difficult to make such a move so close to the holidays, but I have some great news for you! Sagescupboard recently ran a feature of my jewelry on her amazing blog Inspirational Beading and she is seeking more refugees to feature!!  I can tell you that I have received incoming URL traffic to my Artfire Studio as a result of the feature on IB.  Sagescupboard says:

“I really admire all of the sellers who are taking a chance and moving on to lesser known, more respectable venues, and those who have been booted and battered by the Etsy machine, but haven’t given up on the true spirit of handmade. 

There are a lot of sellers out there who are taking this time of change as an opportunity to carve out a new niche in independent markets, and I want to help give them a leg up!  So, right now I’m offering interview spots on my blog exclusively to sellers who are leaving Etsy behind for greener pastures.

Inspirational Beading focuses on all types of bead and jewelry art, so I’m looking for sellers that offer:

Any style of handmade or altered jewelry
Handmade beads
Beaded art, clothing or accessories

There are a variety of interview segments to choose from, and I’ll work with interested sellers to find the topic that best suits their wares.  Each interview includes SEO tagged images and backlinks to shops, blogs, Facebook fan pages, and other sites we like to use to market our products.”

I highly recommend you take her up on this generous offer of support!  Contact her for more details by sending an email to sagescupboard (at gmail dot com) with your NEW shop link.  I'd like to personally extend my thanks to Inspirational Beading for the show of support and generosity!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More Fun With Badges

Sometimes this feels a little like "The First Wives Club" of e-commerce. Declare Etsy your Ex with this new badge.

Remember, Etsy was built on word of mouth... so any conversation piece you can use to strike up a chat about how Etsy REALLY treats its sellers... should be utilized!  <3

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nominate Your Favorite Online Marketplace

From AuctionBytes: One of the most popular features we've run on AuctionBytes during the past 11 years has been our "Sellers Choice Awards." The Sellers Choice Awards allow sellers to rate their favorite online marketplaces in five important areas - Profitability, Customer Service, Communication, Ease of Use, and whether or not you would recommend the venue to other sellers.

Ok, guys, time to let your voices be heard. I know who will NOT be receiving my vote this year! To Nominate: CLICK HERE.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Old News

When WWII broke out, my Great Grandfather, a WWI veteran, suffered tremendous psychological and emotional pain. He had fought "The War To End All Wars" and had witnessed the horrors, the cost, the trauma of it all. Now another war was at hand, and it made all he and his generation sacrificed seem futile and meaningless. On top of this, it began to trigger what we now refer to as "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder". As a result, his doctor advised him not to read the newspaper, and advised his family that he should be kept away from the news about the war in general. My Great Grandfather let the war rage on, and instead focused on his own healing.

That is what I propose we, as refugees, begin to do. I know it is tempting to read the forums on Etsy, even after some of us have packed up and left. The issues we cared about are still being discussed, our friends are still interacting there, admin is still ignoring customer questions and concerns. If you have chosen to leave, or, like me, had your account taken out back and shot like Old Yeller, it is probably time to step away from the drama at the heart of the fray, and begin your own healing process. No amount of reading, or even weighing in with an opinion, will make a lick of difference, and will only leave you open to a bunch of sniping from defensive cupcakes. This only serves to further damage your spirit.

Going back in and reading or posting is only picking at an old wound. By now, most of us have realized that Etsy is the way it is, and responded by either grudgingly accepting it and trying to cope, or by closing up shop and finding a more satisfactory service elsewhere, so reading and posting in those forums wont do much to change our circumstances. However, there are still plenty of sellers who are unaware that Etsy is not the happy kingdom it pretends to be. When they run into Etsy's dark side, we will be here to help in terms of comfort, support, and practical advice, and for that, we need to be in good shape.

It can be hard to tear one's self away after months, or in some cases years, of daily participation in Etsy's seller community. We all have to go through a grieving process when we lose the illusions we once had about the site where we invested so much time, energy, and money. That is why, even after I closed my shop, I continued to read and post in the forums. Now that I am prohibited from commenting there, I don't really see the point in going back anymore. Another reason for me to stay out of the forums? Having to read obnoxious, passive-aggressive comments about my now closed account that I can't even respond to. It just doesn't do me any good.

Are you having trouble breaking away from the forums? How do you feel about it? The comment section is open for business!

Another Etsy Movie

For your viewing pleasure...

Friday, November 5, 2010

This. Is. The. Best. Thing. Ever.

This really is the best thing ever... a video about coralgate that will make you pee your pants.

How To Leave Your Abuser Safely...

If you are quietly preparing to leave Etsy, here is a basic action plan...

- Find a safe place to go:
Choose a new venue, or several.  There are many to choose from.  We have a list of alternative venues on this blog.  Once you have a safe place to go, it's time to get ready to make your move.

- Get your ticket:
Find your USER ID # - Etsy is trying to hide it.  See previous posts on how to find and save your user ID # so that you can smuggle your listings out of there using the Importers on other sites.  Then import your listings.  You will need to edit all titles and tweak descriptions if you want to get picked up by google.  If you have any questions about this, please ask.

- Pack your valuables:
Copy your feedback.  Copy all of your feedback and paste it into a document.  You can refer to it and display it on your new venue.  This will help you get established, and one more way to make "starting over" easier.  Take screen shots if you feel you need to.

- Take the kids:  
Be sure to go through your convos, sold items, etc. and retrieve the information you need to get in touch with your customers.  You an also find customer emails in your paypal history.  Remember- Etsy can and does read convos, so be careful what you say when you use the service.  Once you have the relevant information, you can let your customers know where to find you.

- Tie up loose ends:
Take care of any outstanding orders or shipments.  Save any information in your sold orders or invoices you want or need such as photos, descriptions, whatever.  Print a copy of your Etsy bill and keep it with you.  This is especially important if you want to try and get your money back.  Grab screen shots.

By  now you should have your affairs in order and you are ready to leave and start again.  These steps will minimize the damaging effects of moving venues.  You don't have to take the abuse anymore!  You deserve better!  If you need anything, we are here to support you.  Good luck!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Saga Continues...

My Coralgate and banning story is now on EtsyBitch click the link to read!

Have you been muted, booted or banned recently?  EB wants to hear your story.

Sellers Silenced Sanctimoniously about Storque Scandal - it SUCKS.

The epic thread on Etsy's forums, and the one area of the site members were allowed to discuss the topic of the Storque coral article by Temple St. Clair - has been closed.

Expect mutings and bootings in the days ahead, as Etsy cleanses its image for an upcoming partnership with HGTV, and other corporate interests.  

Meanwhile, I have just finished writing up my experience with Etsy and sending it to EtsyBitch which has generously invited me to share my story.  Stay tuned for more details.

On a personal note, I took most of yesterday off to rest and unwind from a stressful month of Etsy-related upheaval.  Thanks to all for your messages of sympathy and support, I sincerely appreciate it.  I didn't realize how exhausting the whole thing was until it was really over.  I swear, I could sleep for a month.

I look forward to re-connecting with my Etsy friends in the weeks to come, (off-site), as well as working on getting my Artfire shop ready for the holidays.  Incidentally, I just found out that sellers there have organized themselves to tweet about #artfire all day Thursday to get the term to trend worldwide!  I will definitely be participating in that to some extent.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Banner...

This is the very same banner I had up in my shop when I was booted, muted and banned.

I've Been Perma-Banned by Etsy Today

I was actually catching up reading the coral thread when I got a weird error message.  I was then prompted to sign in.  I got this message, and this was the first inkling I had that I'd been booted and banned.

Then lo and behold!  I checked my email and read their obnoxious fuck-off message.  Just incredible.

At least I already moved my shop.  At least I got to say goodbye.  But I am totally flabbergasted.  Honestly.

Editorial note: I was "flabbergasted" because Etsy allows others, including their blog staff, to break their Terms of Use, and get away with it slap free. Some, on the other hand, they can't expel fast enough. It is these inconsistencies that make my head spin.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Coral Corral

For the last few weeks many of the refugees have been protesting Etsy's Corporate Fuckery (ECF) in the admin-created "storque coral article discussion thread" in Etsy's forums.  They put us in there like a bunch of livestock, or mental patients at the start of this whole thing, and if any of us escaped, more thread closures, and "gentle yet firm" shepherding back into the pen ensued.  We took to calling it the Coral Corral.  I've met the most amazing people in that funny farm, and I love them all.  But after about 3 weeks we are all starting to move on to the next stage.  For some of us, that means starting over somewhere new, for others, staying and struggling to cope with the changes taking place there.  We are all saying tearful goodbyes, and here, for posterity, is mine...

I just want to start off by apologizing for losing my temper on the topic of cupcakery earlier today. I've taken some time to reflect on my anger and I have found the potential for growth. That said, I think it is time for me to move on from Etsy, and focus on the future. As all of you know, I have elected to close my shop here and move to another venue. I will take with me all that I have learned from you good people in this experience we have shared together. All of you who have kept this thread going and shared your thoughts, feelings, ideas, plans, dreams, and disappointments have affected me in ways more profound and long-lasting than Etsy Corp ever will, or ever has. I love and respect you all, and I will miss our daily discussions. I really hope you will visit the blog I set up for us so we can stay connected and keep influencing each other. I feel like I have discovered a gold-mine of wonderful people that I never would have met if it weren't for our shared cause. I simply can't express how grateful I am to each and every one of you for your patience, your empathy, your dedication to justice for all in Etsyland, and for all of the laughter, joy, frustration and tears we've shared. The sun is setting over the coral corral, and the campers are saying their goodbyes. To all of you, I wish success, fulfillment, peace, and the respect you deserve from this cockamamie corporation. Thanks for opening my eyes, and opening your hearts. Love, Joan

This would be the time to break into a group version of Carol King's "You've Got A Friend". Sing it with me!!!

When your down and troubled 
And you need a helping hand 
And nothing, whoa nothing is going right. 
Close your eyes and think of me 
And soon I will be there 
To brighten up even your darkest nights. 
You just call out my name, 
And you know whereever I am 
I'll come running, oh yeah baby 
To see you again. 
Winter, spring , summer, or fall, 
All you have to do is call 
And I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah. 
You've got a freind. 
If the sky above you 
Should turn dark and full of clouds 
And that old north wind should begin to blow 
Keep your head together and call my name out loud 
And soon I will be knocking upon your door. 
You just call out my name and you know where ever I am 
I'll come running to see you again. 
Winter, Spring, summer or fall 
All you got to do is call 
And I'll be there, yeah, yeah, yeah. 
Hey, ain't it good to know that you've got a friend? 
People can be so cold. 
They'll hurt you and desert you. 
Well they'll take your soul if you let them. 
Oh yeah, but don't you let them. 
You just call out my name and you know wherever I am 
I'll come running to see you again. 
Oh babe, don't you know that, 
Winter Spring summer or fall, 
Hey now, all you've got to do is call. 
Lord, I'll be there, yes I will. 
You've got a friend. 
You've got a friend. 
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend. 
Ain't it good to know you've got a friend. 
You've got a friend.

Quote Of The Day

"We should practice by showing one another love and helping one another. It is a mistake to pursue happiness and to seek to the avoid suffering by deceiving and humiliating other people. We must try to achieve happiness and eliminate suffering by being good-hearted and well-behaved." -Dalai Lama 

Sunday, October 31, 2010


If you think you might EVER want to use an off-Etsy import tool, to import your items from your Etsy shop to a new shop...

DO IT NOW.  Before it's too late.

Etsy has removed our user ID numbers from our profiles, and the only way to find them is through google's cache. There is a thread on how to do it here:

In order to use an IMPORTER like Artfire's you HAVE to have your user ID #!! Find it, and keep it safe!! You may need it some day as a passport outta here!!!!!!!!! Without it, it will be MUCh harder to move, you will have to re-do every single listing!! If you import it only takes 2 minutes!   They have removed the User ID # from the profiles and soon will phase it out altogether so that we can not access it...  FIND IT and KEEP IT SAFE!!

Good luck, and safe journeys...

Testimony Of DancingWindDesigns

Here is yet another stirring testimonial from a fellow Etsy Refugee...

Etsy dearest,

I know, I'm asking for my shop to be shut down by being a loud, dissenting voice here, but I closed my shop here months ago over the lack of respect etsy has for it's sellers-the ones who pay the bills. 

You have shown time and time again that you have nothing but contempt for the people who have made etsy what it used to be-an e-commerce site for handmade items. Coral gate is the last straw-it's like spitting in the face of all those who have supported you the last 3 or 4 years. That's despicable behavior. If it wasn't for the wonderful people who created the handmade items you used to sell here, you would be nowhere. Instead, you have become almost a joke. Allowing people who sell mass produced stuff in sweatshops in here to sell disguised as collectives. Now, you allow a "guest commentator" or whatever you called her in that so called apology, to come in and post links to her off site sales when she doesn't even make the jewelry is selling. She designs mass produced stuff using petrolieum products. For crying out loud-remember the Gulf Oil Spill??? 

You are the most hypocritical bunch of people I have run across in ages. You have been hiding behind the curtain like the Wizard of Oz, but now, that curtain is being pulled back, and you are being exposed for the frauds you are. IMHO, you are slowly killing what you built by your constant thoughtlessness in your lack of response to sellers, your bland, robotic responses to sellers and all the other ways that you denigrate them. But that's right, you have the money and don't care. What do you expect from a guy who conned his way into NYU or wherever it was. I have to go dig out last Dec.'s Readers Digest. It's not a site I care to be associated with. I bet you will find in the coming weeks that I'm not the only one who feels that way. Don't worry, we will keep the starry eyed newbies up to date on how you are. 
P.S. Since I posted this, you have been busy creating other changes that will basically stab sellers in the back yet again. Changing search so everybody is going to have to keep renewing to be seen. Listen-what's that sound? It's the sound of thousands of renewing dimes pouring into the etsy coffers. You found a way to get around people who weren't renewing and who were cutting into your lunch money by doing that, didn't you? Making people's favorites link buyers right out of their shops. Smooth move-NOT. How blind do you think people are? One day, this place is going to collapse and the sellers are going to find out that etsy has no clothes. 

Why am I doing this since I really don't sell here anymore? Because I believe in doing what's right and etsy, you guys ain't right. I can't stand to see people taken advantage of and misled the way you do-especially people who are your customers. Yes, we paid you to sell here. That means we were buying a service from you and you have really crappy customer service. YOu have let a ton of people down. I know you don't care because you guys are the coolest thing on the web-or so you think. You have no clue of the power the voices of the people in this thread have, but you are about to find out in the coming months.

by DancingWindDesigns

Wooly's Words

Wooly left this goodbye in the forums under a super-top-secret alias.  I love this, and I think everyone should read it!!  I have it printed out so I can read it over and over again.  

After years of loyal service here on Etsy, and after years of trying to fight for better here I have been banned. My shops are no more, and Etsy has made very effort to block and ban me at every turn. I have only been able to squeak by for a little bit without being detected in order to drop this in here and run off to better places.

To my dear friends and even those who I may have disagreed with here, I wish you all the best! I had so much fun here with you all! This was my second home and I will miss each and every one of you deeply. 
I have read some of the sweet things people have posted here and it has brought tears to my eyes. I am moved and touched! Thank you!! Keep up the good fight, and don’t let Etsy walk all over any of you! You are all worth so much more than that. 

None of you should ever be a doormat here! And change will only happen when you speak up and take action. I hope my journey here has helped forge the way for a better Etsy in some way. I will never compromise my beliefs for a quick buck like Etsy has! And I hope none of you do either. Remember, you are all worth so much more, and deserve only the best where ever you are.

Being part of the handmade movement, an artist, and a small business owner are all huge parts of who I am. My identity. I will never compromise that, my beliefs, or my integrity, which is why I fought so hard here to try and make Etsy a better place. To bring back it’s heart and it’s focus to where it had originally been in the beginning of Etsy.

Now, as for Etsy Corp... You have done nothing to deserve any tears or goodbyes, as you are the asses that booted me off here without so much as a decent heads-up or notice. 

You shut my shops, deleted all traces of me, and made my customers think I had up and run. Nice! Not only do you get rid of me but you try to make me look like a liar and cheat! Look in the mirror some time to know what a liar and cheat looks like!

I don’t so much care that you booted me! In fact I was half expecting it and had already made preparations elsewhere weeks ago. But, to have done it with so little consideration is pathetic! No notice, no e-mail, no nothing! Just BAM! Closed the doors and that was it. Too bad I am not crying in my cupcakes about it tho eh?! 

Even if you HATE a member of your community like me, you can at least afford them some consideration since I had been a PAYING customer here for years with over 5000 sales in all shops. I would never treat someone the way you have! 

And to be honest, this is all your doing anyhow! If YOU had done things right in the first place, if YOU had payed attention to your sellers concerns, if YOU had not blatantly broken your own TOUs on more than one occasion, and if YOU had just one ounce of dignity or commonsense, this could all have been avoided. 

Instead, as par for the course, YOU swept everything under the rug and refused to acknowledge anything! Pointed your dirty little finger at me for so-called TOU breaking (which in reality were NOTHING compared to the TOU breakage you have done).

The lack of respect you have for ANYONE here is nothing short of disgusting! All those newbies that sing their praises of you should know what kind of two-faced shit asses you are! Was that mean? Oh, too fucking bad! I know how you get your panties in a wad when people are right and how you like to sweep things under rugs around here. It sucks when others are right eh?!

When I was here in 2007 I adored you! You were full of passion and pride. Now you are nothing but a sad sack of shit! 

Lies, betrayals, ignorance, and the quest for the almighty dollar has corrupted you! It is pathetic! I used to sing your praises, now I would love to dance on your grave that you are so hell bent on digging for yourself. Can I offer you a shovel? Consider it a parting gift!

So be warned Etsy! I will NEVER speak highly of you again! I will shout it from the rooftops how pathetic and sneaky you really are! How you don’t give a shit about anyone here. The real bottom line is profit, social networking, and God knows what other crap you are secretly up to. Your integrity and heart is gone! It got lost somewhere and now you are nothing but a corporation that is out to destroy the one thing this place was built on... Hard working, small handmade businesses. For shame! 

You are now no better than any other mass corporation in my eyes! And that was the one thing Etsy was supposed to NOT be like. Remember?

I am glad that I am gone so I can expose you to everyone here! And show them that their little precious Etsy is nothing but a money hungry demon in disguise!

If this has offended any SELLERS I am truly sorry. I just cannot allow this ruse that Etsy puts on to continue any longer. I want the whole dark side of Etsy to be known so that no one else gets shocked when they find themselves on it.

So please, if you take nothing else away from my experience, take this. Always be educated and knowledgeable about WHERE you sell. It’s so easy to find the info you need to be on top of things out there on the Web. And ALWAYS fight for what is right! Don’t settle for less. Don’t take their crap and lie down. People will only treat you as good you allow them to treat you. If you let Etsy stomp all over you then they will. If you want change for the better to happen you NEED to fight for it. I fought for what I believed was ri
ght and fair, I fought for handmade and small business. And hopefully more will keep doing so as I leave and move on to other things. 

Never let the faceless corporation Etsy has become win! If they do, they destroy the whole meaning of Handmade, hard work, heart, and foundation this place was originally built on. 

I love you all!!! Goodbye, and I’ll never forget all the awesome peeps that made this place worth it. 


Charlotte's Children - Where Are You Going?

One of the refugees likened us to Charlotte's babies in Charlotte's web, when they all begin to float away on the breeze, coasting from their nest on gossamer threads and saying "Goodbye!  Goodbye!"  I love that analogy.  Betweenpietyanddesire asked me to make sure I had a spot for all of us to post what venues we are all going to next.  So, if each of you could please post where you will be listing your new items, that will help us stay caught up with you!  So, if you know where you are going, or already have a shop set up, please post a link for us!  Thanks!

Oh My Goat!!

I can't believe it!!  My items actually show up in google searches... and people click on them!  Amazing!  7 months on Etsy and I almost never came up in google searches!!  I am super happy!!

Another Fallen Soldier!

I was notified this morning that Refugee Woolybumblebee's shops have been shut down, and her account has been muted.  For what, exactly, we don't know.  This action was not accompanied by any form of notification, according to reports.  Wooly - your presence as a crusader for justice on the forums will be missed!  But we will all be in touch with you here, in the sanctuary!!

Lots of love from all of your fellow Refugees!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

As Requested

Kathy, AKA betweenpietyanddesire, asked for some Etsy Refugee Badges, and I tried to rush some designs out.  Here they are, for fun and for identification purposes...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Inspiring news to share...

My fellow Refugees,

I just wanted to let you know that even though my shop on Artfire isn't fully set up yet, I have already received an order from it!!!  Yes, that's right!  My first order from AF, and I've only been on it for 3 days!!

The longer I am gone, the more I realize I can make it without Etsy!  Having your products fed to Google is AMAZING.  I have a huge range of new business open to me now.

I just feel that this proves that we can take our success with us wherever we go, and the important thing is preserving the handmade philosophy, and community that has given us so much.  I realized I was taking a risk when I closed my shop, but now I find that it may wind up being the best business decision I've made in a long time.

I just wanted to share the positive news with you guys, and say again, you CAN make it without Etsy!!


Leaving behind your feedback?

I just discovered a tip in this awesome thread on Artfire for a way to show off your good feedback from Etsy!  The thread can be found here - there is a widget you can put on your studio page that can scroll any text you want.  Copy and paste your feedback from Etsy and post it in there!  Just another way to make leaving Etsy easier!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

1000 PAGES!

Hey everyone, the megathread is about to reach 1000 pages!  Come celebrate with us!!  HERE

Red Flags

Your partner considers their own logic or intellect to be far superior to anyone else (including your own) when they:
… Insists that their way is the "only way."
… Claims that their arguments are based on logic or sound evidence and that yours are stupid and emotionally based.
… Refuses to recognize or places no value on decisions made based on feelings or intuition.
… Believes that only their opinion counts and that any opinion you have is invalid, illogical, hysterical, or selfish.
… Will not listen and are completely intolerant of any criticism of their own behavior.
… Believe everyone around them - including their employer and/or employees - are all defective somehow.
… Always considers your friends to be incompetent fools and idiots.

Sound familiar?


I believe I may have been muted.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Quotes To Inspire Us


Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.
Bruce Barton 

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
Anatole France 

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.
Arnold Bennett 

Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine. 
Robert C. Gallagher 

If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living.
Gail Sheehy 

It's the most unhappy people who most fear change.
Mignon McLaughlin 

Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.
Frank Herbert 

Seeking Asylum

Good Evening, Refugees!

Today I briefly activated my listings on Etsy so that I could import my stock to Artfire and to Zibbet .  Both imports were quick and painless, taking me less than five minutes, though I should warn you that Artfire's importer is only available to "pro" level accounts.  The going rate is only $9.95 per month right now, and if you lock in, your rate will never increase.  I have signed up for a pro account and I am impressed with all of the wondrous functioning tools at my disposal.

I also would like to report that I got an email from Etsy's @support address today to notify me that my shop announcement has been removed by Admin, and not to post it again.  My shop announcement said more or less that in solidarity with my fellow jewelry makers I was moving my business as a result of the coral article.  Etsy's support team has yet to respond to my second email asking that the coral article be corrected or taken down, but they acted swiftly to reprimand me for my shop announcement, so I know that someone is still awake over there.

There was also a bit of "push back" on the AF forums regarding the sudden onslaught of Etsy refugees coming there to talk about their negative experiences, mostly triggered by some sock-puppet drama, and though the posts were too generally worded to make a distinction between those of us seeking asylum and deranged people coming over to create drama that started over at E, many, many AF users were quick to let me know that we ARE most welcome there, and offer their support in finding our way around the site.

Now that I have experienced how easy and painless it is to move my shop, I am stunned that I was so afraid to do it.  The questionable practice of relisting is a non-issue in these new venues, and I'm already seeing familiar faces on these sites.  I realize that many people feel that they can not leave behind their Etsy shops for various reasons, but I have taken the plunge, and I feel much, much more comfortable, and highly motivated to get back to work building my business in a place where I am not treated with utter disdain.

The fact is, Etsy is not going to get its much-needed wake-up call if we continue stick around and enable their maltreatment of users.  For those of you who have chosen to keep a presence on Etsy, I respect your decision, and understand the difficulties involved. Just don't expect to see any change in behavior on their part, because you will only be hurt and disappointed.  There ARE alternatives out there... and good ones, at that.

So how are all of my 'fugees doing?  Keep us updated on where you are moving, and how it is going!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

BADGES!! Now Available!

Spread the word with one of these snazzy new badges.  Drum up those pesky questions EtsyCorp doesn't want people to ask, and sure as sugar doesn't want you to answer.  Step right up, folks, and get your very own CORALGATOR badge...


In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.
Albert Einstein 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Love Affair Is Over

Embarrassing confession... I was just remembering that less than a week ago I literally said the words:
"oh Etsy, if lovin' you is wrong, I don't wanna be right!" 

Part of me wants to barf when I remember that, and part of me wants to cry. I mean, how Fucking sad is that? The fact is, I feel betrayed. I feel betrayed and I have, in fact, been betrayed. I also feel really stupid now that I know how much disdain EtsyCorp had for me, and my fellow sellers all along. Are we nothing but their crafting Ho's??? How about a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T?  

I know everybody always says this, but when it comes down to it, the thing I loved about E was talking to the other members, most of whom were amazingly intelligent, funny, kind, generous, interesting, MIND-BLOWINGLY talented men and women. There really is so much love flowing through the community. It's completely beyond belief. 

I was very hesitant to find fault with E at first, but as it became more and more clear that this wasn't JUST an ironic little cock-up, that it had layers and layers and layers of "FUCK YOU" written all over it, inside and out, and when the site itself addressed my concerns with a response that was beneath contempt... well... here I am... Illusions definitely shattered.  

Part of me is starting to feel that way one does when you start to heal from a bad relationship, where things are starting to normalize in your life again and you kinda just want to call them that ONE last time... BUT THATS HOW THEY SUCK YOU BACK IN (LOL)!!  

What I need right now is a hot beverage and one of those emergency blankets they use on crash victims to keep them from going into shock. That's how fast this whole thing took place. I'm just amazed that what I am experiencing is the result of a business relationship, and not escaping from some 3rd world dictatorship where dissenters get silenced and disappear mysteriously. A place where pronouncements and proclamations are made from somewhere "on high" - but no one knows quite where or by whom. A place where they wring the peasants dry for all they have, and convince them to think of the bright new day that is coming for the community, just around the corner, if you just stick around until the holidays... until the new shiny button comes out... you just have to work on your photos...
Holy wake-up call, Batman.

People are Talking - add your voices!

Here is a list I will be updating of places on the web where people are talking and commenting about Coralgate, as well as places where maybe they SHOULD be talking about it.

Latest issue regarding etsy - Jewelry Making on

Etsy's Anti-Coral Blog Post Provokes Sellers 
On AuctionBytes

On The Hive

on EB

on InsaneJournal

Thats it! I'm closing my Etsy account.
artfire forums

If You're from Etsy . . .
Artfire Admin thread (where they actually let sellers RESPOND!! WOW!!)

Anti-Coral Blog Post Provokes Sellers
Artfire forums

on the BBB

On wikipedia's discussion tab

The recent infusers of $27 million dollars to Etsy Corp.

If you know of any more, please contact me and I will add them!  Thanks!

Etsy Alternatives

Etsy is just a bunch of (often malfunctioning) code without its sellers and the community that built the DIY, Handmade, and Micro-business movement.  We are what makes it special.  We can bring our awesome community to a new home and make it every bit as awesome and special.  WE HAVE THE POWER, not the venue.  Many of us have chosen to board up our Etsy shops and move on due to our dissatisfaction with Etsy's business policies, and recent incidents.  Much discussion (and confusion) has ensued about Etsy alternatives.  What sites can act as our Methadone in our dependence upon Etsy's Heroine?  Here are a few options, feel free to add your finds and reviews as well!
CIA has tons of awesome looking seller tools that we've been BEGGING for on E, but have never been provided for us.  How awesome would it be to just press a button and put something on sale for the specified percentage, just for example?  However, this one looks kind of desolate, from reading the forums, but I might set up a presence there, and if many dispossessed  ex-etsians do as well, it might prove to be a lively community.
Chances are you have heard of Artfire, Etsy's main competitor in the handmade marketplace.  Many of us already have shops there, but if you are like me, your main focus has been on Etsy until now.  I am really liking what I've read in regard to the responsiveness of the staff to the needs of the sellers, its ability to accept fault, and to take ACTION to make it right when it feels it has failed.  You are also allowed to link off-site which is like a whole new level of freedom.  I have not heard anything about people being censored or cast-out to the outrageous degree that Etsy has demonstrated again and again... and again.  THis is where it seems most of us will be putting the bulk of our attention from now on.  They even offer immediate SYNDICATION!  Wow!  And they have easy-peasy coupons!  I was spending an average of 60 dollars a month on E, and for a "Pro" account on Artfire, the going rate is currently $9.95 a month.
I don't know all that much about it but it was easy for me to set up a shop there and listing is free.  You have basic membership where everything is free, and a paid membership with more bells and whistles.
We need to check this one out further, but here's what I know so far; it's a juried or curated site, so your products have to be able to "make the cut".  Interesting...

It looks to me like there are considerably more options for the exclusively UK sellers, and that the USA, predictably, relies on monopolistic entities like Etsy more heavily.

Another alternative that many of us have been chewing over is starting our own Etsy Alternative, (Alternetsy?)  which is a pretty massive undertaking, not that I doubt our talented bunch could do it, and heaven knows we are all crying out for more alternatives!  Many of us are also hoping to get our own stand-alone websites ready, and I hope we can help one another out with that, too!  I have only taken SECONDS of my time to research other places we could grace with our presence, money, and energy, and they DO exist after all!  So please do keep adding to the list, and discussion of Etsy Alternatives as we begin to move forward together!

To Be Investigated:


The Rokali Situation

If Etsy is a cult, Rokali is its deity.  And he came from on high to answer the pleas of his suffering subjects around page 575 of the "consolidated" A.K.A. "Quarantined" thread about Coralgate.  These were his words:

Rokali says:
DesignedByLucinda says:
I am going to pitch Juliet to let some of us post a rebuttal-type blog post that gently corrects the facts while reminding buyers most Etsy sellers are ethical and if in doubt about the sourcing of any of our materials, please ASK us first.


I totally support this. 

I have otherwise been uninvolved with this situation. I know everything comes back to me on the outside, but inside Etsy, it's really important that people own what they're doing. "Make everyone the CEO of something," as they say.

Juliet (julietgo), Etsy's editorial director, has been giving this a lot of thought, and there has been a lot of discussion here."

This is my response:
Ok, kinda caught up and ready to weigh in.

I am still leaving Etsy. The treatment I've received here as a paying customer sickens me beyond words. I also see Etsy truly becoming "The Other Ebay" in the coming months and years as the investors remodel the place to be publicly traded.

That said, I hope they DO print an article, and NOT a half-assed one, about "the other side" of the coral debate so that some of the same sellers here who happily jumped on the Temple St. Clair bandwagon, and signed that sham of a pledge, will get to see that the facts DO NOT add up here. A well-written and informative article at least would expose TSC's "post" as nothing more than a flimsy, insulting advertisement for a mass-produced item on a handmade site, and I am ALL FOR exposing that hypocrisy. I think our side needs to be heard in the same venue where they gave a voice to a Target supplier who bashed us. I think its better than indignantly slinking off into obscurity, which is sort of what I want to do out of principle, but I think a "response" on the Storque would be the right way to go.

If they publish a good response article on the Storque, can we all kiss and make-up? No. Actually, let me make that a HELL NO. I am really excited by what I have discovered about an Etsy competitor's treatment of its sellers, and totally disgusted beyond all hope of redress at the way Etsy has conducted business with me, and others here. I'll still be leaving, and not looking back.

I just want you to know that I love you all very much, and you have inspired me in a profound way. This has been a strangely life-altering experience for me, and for that I credit each of you. I see that there is a powerful movement in this country with die-hard supporters of our cause who will not bend to corporate fuckery, but will "call out" bullshit, even if it doesn't directly benefit them to do so. Many sellers stood up and linked arms with us just out of principle and solidarity. That's amazing. It just goes to show how awesome the micro-business community is. It reminds me that we work hard every day for more than the bottom line of dollars and cents. We strive for more. Bless you all.

Ps- you can't pass the buck to Juliet on the thread closings, mass mutings, and disrespect we have gotten as a result of all this, Mr. Kalin...  And also, you may be having discussions over there on Mount Olympus, or wherever the hell Etsy staff "considers" issues, but you failed to have a DIALOGUE with US, the people this directly impacts.  Instead you completely stonewalled us in every attempt we have made to contact Etsy on this issue.  All we have had are copypastes of Juliets inadequate pronouncements.

So, refugees, what do you think about all this.  Comments are open!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Post 5555 of Coralgate

Well by now we've figured out that in essence, what they did was give us a place to party, (as long as we paid our fees on time).  So my compatriots and I have begun a I DON'T GIVE A F*** thread.

In the words of Patti Smith:  We created it... Lets take it over!!

We're having a give-a-way for the dispossessed, betting on what post will be our last.  Etsy employees do not qualify, and the rules my be a bit distorted from the effects of our beverages of choice, but the spirit is there, the one that will outlast any attempt at corporate co-option, the solidarity that dares to say "I see through bullshit, and I call shenanigans!"  It's all in good fun.  We will deal with the Etsy #coralgate hangover in the morning.    For now, drinks are on us, and this time it's not Kool-aid!