JoanHunterHandmade on Artfire!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Place To Heal

Dear Fellow Etsy Refugees,

It has been a rough week for many of us who have chosen to seek refuge outside of EtsyCorp, mostly due to the coralgate scandal which has rightfully upset a large portion of sellers.

As I write this, I am physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.  I'm hoping this can be a place where we can come together to support one another in this difficult transition, free from censorship, muting, deletion, and undue criticism of our motives and integrity.  I hope you will join me in crying, venting, celebrating, laughing, and hopefully, finding a way forward.

Leaving a place that was like a second home to you, and closing up the shop you worked so hard on, is an emotional experience, and I know I sure could use some support and camaraderie!

Welcome and grab a seat, a cup of coffee, and a box of kleenex if necessary.



  1. *hugs*

    I know what you mean. For the members that have been there for a long time, I can imagine it must be even harder. Personally, I just started in July so leaving for me won't be as emotional (although I have worked my ass of on that damn site! Luckily, it wasn't in vain. God bless Etsy Importer! LOL).

    Looking forward to seeing more familiar faces here to create a REAL community of our own.

    -Mimi aka MadLook

  2. Thanks for being the first one on the scene MadLook. You've been really brave through this whole thing, and we definitely need your strength of purpose now!!


  3. Shunning is the act of deliberately avoiding association with, and habitually keeping away from, an individual or group. It is a sanction against association, often associated with religious groups and other tightly knit organizations and communities. Targets of shunning can include, but are not limited to, apostates, whistleblowers, dissidents, people classified as "sinners" or "traitors" and other people who defy or who fail to comply with the standards established by the shunning group(s). Extreme forms of shunning and related practices[citation needed] have rendered the general practice controversial.

  4. Some religious movements require members to shun (avoid) anyone who has left or has been expelled ('excommunicated' or 'disfellowshipped' from) the movement.

    Members are not to interact with those who are being shunned. In some religious movements such former adherents, including one's own family members, are to be considered 'dead.'

    For those of us who have broken free of the cult of Etsy... raise your hand...

  5. Joan, thank you for posting this. It helps to know I'm not going crazy, that others feel like I do. This week at Etsy has pulled my PTSD trigger. The memories of my past abusive relationship. I can't go to the Forum thread anymore. All I can think of to write in it is "Stockholm Syndrome." I have to turn my head so I don't have to watch the wonderful sellers over there continue to take a beating.

  6. I'm going to take you up on your offer and post here how I feel..(forgive me if I ramble, my head is still spinning)
    Yes, Etsy was my second home. I was only over there a few months, but it feels like years. I put so much of myslef into it. (you all know what I mean there, so no need to explain) Slowly, I started realizing some ugly things..the favoritism, etc. Friday I renewed all of my listings, made several treasuries, and found out by accident about the ARTICLE on Saturday. Head to the forums, like many of us did, and got caught up in total insanity. Watched people get "muted", shops "put on vacation", etc. Then I started finding out that Etsy "plants" people in the Forums to get threads closed. By now my head is so fogged, I can't keep up. I like things simple. I've had my days of crazymaking with the abusive ex. Yesterday I started getting accused of being "bait" (people who go in there and post things to get a thread closed). Please...if they only simple head can't wrap around stuff like that anymore. So, I walked on eggshells for a little while in the Forum, and then just had to walk out the door. This is all too familiar to me. The crazymaking, instilling distrust....I haven't slept all week. I have tried to concentrate on my ArtFire shop, but I can't think straight. Forgive me, but I may just have to come here, air it (and it may not make sense at times) and work through it. Joan, all of you.....HUGS.

  7. Hey, epi, that is what I made this blog for, I need the same thing. Right now everyone on the forum just went APE SHIT because admin finally came and gave us the official "Go F*** Yourselves"

  8. Yes, Joan, I saw that. Let me add, I'm so sorry you took that beating in the forum. I don't have the heart to go in and read backwards, but remember...justifiable anger is not "hysteria". I really have to fight the urge to go back in there to explain myself, and I'm still wondering why I even feel that there is a need. It just keeps reminding me of the years (yes, years) where I kept thinking.."if only I did this, or that...." I want so bad to post this story in there (I won't, though):
    After spending years in an abusive relationship, something a counsellor said to me has stuck with me all these years after. I kept asking, "but how do I get through to him? What do I say, and in what way, so that he will understand?" She looked at me and said very calmly, "It's simple, really." Waiting for those magic words, I said "Really???? What, what do I say?"
    "To talk to a crazy person, you have to think like a crazy person." At first, it didn't sink in, so I said, "but I don't know how to do that." "Exactly," she responded.
    I stopped in the forum earlier, don't know why, and can't believe people are still trying, begging almost, to get through to Etsy admin. Admin, in my eyes, is the big green abusive monster, the "crazy person."

  9. yep, it fits all the criteria of a sociopathology!! A-frickin' mazing!! More to come!

  10. from etsybitch's comment section and SO worth a repeat!!

    break the cycle of abuse said...
    1. Do you often feel used by the person?

    2. Have you often felt that he (or she) doesn't care about you?

    3. Does he lie and deceive you?

    4. Does he tend to make contradictory statements?

    5. Does he tend to take from you and not give back much?

    6. Does he often appeal to pity? Does he seem to try to make you feel sorry for him?

    7. Does he try to make you feel guilty?

    8. Do you sometimes feel he is taking advantage of your good nature?

    9. Does he seem easily bored and need constant stimulation?

    10. Does he use a lot of flattery? Does he interact with you in a way that makes you feel flattered even if he says nothing overtly complimentary?

    11. Does he make you feel worried? Does he do it obviously or more cleverly and sneakily?

    12. Does he give you the impression you owe him?

    13. Does he chronically fail to take responsibility for harming others? Does he blame everyone and everything but himself?

    And: the sociopath "seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired" ( Rob creates Etsy after wondering what to do with his life post-college. We're all part and parcel of Rob's coping mechanism. It's the only way he'll survive.

    Oh wait. We already secured his future by coughing up the dough for the last five years. He's set for life now. Everything else he's doing with Etsy is for his own amusement. He never wanted anything out of Etsy beyond shitloads of cash. And if you believe anything else, you're sorely mistaken. That's why they contemptuously call sellers "users" at HQ. Break the cycle, folks. It's disgusting.

  11. The magnitude of this is starting to hit me, now that I realize I'm not alone. ArtFire is the main place that most (from what I can see) are headed. I wonder if Tony (or other sellers)realize what is going on? I mean, the variety of emotions , etc. We are all coming at once....

  12. Just want you to know that you're all great people, and I'm so sorry this happened to you.

    Better days are coming to you all.

  13. You guys are the best...I mean the best!

  14. Now RobWhite's mushmouthed response about "deliberating" the subject is being cut and pasted for all threads on the topic.

    Etsy Admin
    lisajune says:
    You're welcome to discuss any angle of the coral article recently run on our blog, here:

    This would be the most appropriate place for a petition. That said, as noted by Rob White earlier today, we have weighed all sides of and responded to the concerns that were brought forward concerning this post. You can find what we have to offer to this conversation, here:

    I understand that it may not be satisfactory to some, but this is the extent of comments that we have to make in this matter. "

    They take their clues from RobW who has been the most insulting of all forum admins because he couches his rhetoric in touchy=feely language. Don't buy it and never did.

  15. hahaha I understand that is not satisfactory to some but....

    So unprofessional! Wowzaz.

    Thanks for weighing in guys, keep it comin' lets purge the poison from our systems. Etsy detox starts NOW.

  16. I've seen some cock-ups on Etsy and witnessed some real stinks in the forum and on the external blogs but this is the worst I remember.

    Etsy Bitch blog comments are amazing.

    This seems to be tipping point for a lot of people.

    While people have been hanging on at Etsy because they are established there and Etsy being first of its kind (although its not the same kind now) had more members buying its looking like the other sites are going to bound forward on the strength of this and the balance of power might be starting to turn.

    Don't any of you let it get to you - life goes on with or without Etsy - other fish in the sea and all that.

  17. Prostitution WhoreOctober 22, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    I just can't wrap my head around all this..I woke up read the "Response" and went back to bed. I feel for those who are in pain. Betrayal and to feel betrayed is a very, very strong emotion.

    I am sick about it and feeling helpless..My anger has turned into apathy...Not towards you guys...towards E and I just don't give a shit.

  18. and Joan..No kleenex needed here. For those brave ones who are leaving, who are muted...shops closed over this mess I feel their frustration and pain.

    Some of us just can't leave for various reasons. I will be just "Phoning it in" from now on. My soul is absent right now.

    I love you Joan...for starting this ...I am exhausted.

  19. I feel you, girl. It sucks to lose the folks who made Handmade and DIY "mainstream" But there is a big difference between "mainstream" and Corporate Fuckery... We shall Overcome...

  20. Muted but not silent MaureenOctober 22, 2010 at 6:09 PM

    I guess I am still just kinda in shock. I've been selling there for over 2 years full time and now I feel exactly like I am going through a divorce. Kinda good and free and making a new start, kinda sad and mad about what happened. Fortunately they did not leave me any choice or give me any warning: they suspended my shop, removed all my listings and muted me. No choice to be made. I realize I made sooooo many sales there but paid a too high price for them. I really do feel that they will not last like this and it was said in one of the comments that they are hinting about going public? That is exactly what happened on Ebay, so I have seen this play already. And all the Ebay sellers screamed and yelled and tore their hair out and went to Etsy, talking about how much better it was etc. And so the story goes...

  21. I'm starting to think that we need an attorney. Anyone know of someone who'd be willing to take on the site? How can it be legal to advertise a site as handmade, vintage and supplies, and continue to get away with shit like this? It's deceptive advertising.

    I know that when I signed up (2 1/2 years ago), I was so excited to think that I'd finally found a place for me and my things. Since then, it's been nothing but disappointment after disappointment.

    I'm not a huge seller, but like many, I've paid Etsy a fair amount of money every month, on the premise that I was selling on a handmade site. For them to promote a non-handmade, just signed up mass producer to spew her 1/2 truths, well, it just seems extremely deceptive, and I think we may have a case.

  22. Wow. So many, feeling the same way. It's really awful. Divorce, feeling exhausted, etc. ALL OF THE ABOVE. I've been detoxing today (which means staying AWAY from that place) and starting to feel better. I still feel like a fool, but can sort of laugh at some of the crap that goes on over there. I have been SO naive. Maybe some of you can get a chuckle out of this one......
    I couldn't figure out WHY I just never showed up in Google searches. Spent HOURS on my GA, and even went and bought a book on Google Analytics (because I was certainly doing something wrong) I tried EVERYTHING and just couldn't get MY stuff to show up, only Etsy. Being a newbie, I went to the only place I could think of...VIRTUAL LAB. I asked the question, "I can't get my GA to give me the right data. It won't pull up my stuff, it wants to search ALL of Etsy." I wish you all could have seen the backpeddling, scrambling that went on in that Lab to shut me up and all the questions that came after!
    To me, what goes on at Etsy is ALL very, very shady. I agree, a lawsuit should be filed. They are one big FRAUD. The problem is, there are SO many sellers that have no clue what's going on. Some will refuse to believe until it starts happening to them, and even then it takes awhile for it to sink in. I can't believe that there are still so many that don't know about this latest scheme. Hell, it took me 4 months before I ever even went to the Forums. I wish I had more proof for what they have done to me, but I don't. I HATE SEEING THEM GET AWAY WITH IT!!!!! By the way, my name is Pam.

  23. Muted but not silent MaureenOctober 22, 2010 at 9:03 PM

    *waves to Pam*
    Off to feed myself a real meal and relax. I have stuff posted on feebay and I am selling there, so I gotta work too! And then start workin on those Artfire listings. I really do like the look of BigCartel, think next week I might try them out too. I'm kinda gettin a kick out of being a newb again, so much to learn. I am really trying to get some of the excitement back that I had when I started all this. That is another thing they stole from me- my enthusiasm.

  24. I've been watching this debacle with interest over the last week but have decided not to participate since previous hullabaloos have left me emotionally spent. I pulled my items from Etsy in August and never looked back. Artfire is like a vacation after a year or so of banging my head against the wall.

    I am amazed at the lack of interest they have in our concerns since we are their revenue stream. I used to work for a company that treated their customers like crap. By the time I left, all they had left were customers who didn't pay their bills since nobody else would sell to them.

    I'm thrilled to see many of you over on Artfire. I have my fingers crossed that a few of my former Etsy suppliers make the move since I have no intention of providing Etsy any opportunity to make even one cent from my business ever again.

    Protecting the guilty at the expense of the innocent masses is not a great management style, IMHO. Funny to see a few people I considered cupcakes putting their 2 cents into the marathon discussion and Rokali showing up at midnight on Friday night to try and put a bandaid to stem the blood loss on what certainly amounts to a self-inflicted throat slash. Too little, too late.

    There are stages of grief. I'm hoping that you all are able to work your way through the loss of a wonderful dream and that you emerge stronger.

    As to Etsy - I really just wish it would go away and take its smarmy frat boy psychology experiment brown-nosing employees with it.

    Be strong! There is life after Etsy and without Etsy.

  25. *hey, there, muted!*
    Yep, there are different stages of grief. Now that the shock has worn off, I need to move into anger. I need to do it in my own time, and take a pledge to stay away from Etsy entirely, so that grief can take its natural course. Rokali's little comments are sparking levels of anger I'm not ready for..........(and I will not go back to the head desk, been there too much this week)
    Have a great day, everyone......headed to my new happy place.........

  26. Muted but not silent Maureen said...
    I guess I am still just kinda in shock. I've been selling there for over 2 years full time and now I feel exactly like I am going through a divorce. Kinda good and free and making a new start, kinda sad and mad about what happened. Fortunately they did not leave me any choice or give me any warning: they suspended my shop, removed all my listings and muted me. No choice to be made. I realize I made sooooo many sales there but paid a too high price for them. I really do feel that they will not last like this and it was said in one of the comments that they are hinting about going public? That is exactly what happened on Ebay, so I have seen this play already. And all the Ebay sellers screamed and yelled and tore their hair out and went to Etsy, talking about how much better it was etc. And so the story goes...

    It's definitely an emotional situation for many of us, myself included. Thanks for sharing, because reading that others feel the same way will help heal all of us. Bless!

  27. Love this blog and freedom of the press!

    Also love all of the shit-upon Etsy sellers that are standing up to Etsycorp and its man-boy CEO. Etsycorp will never win...even if they are under the illusion that they have done so.

    You can't buy integrity.

    I've been on Etsy for 4 years and though the powers that be weren't as openly agressive in the past, they have always been on some sort of power trip. Little people, leading little lives, no imagination and no consideration for the many hands that feed them.

    I didn't think it could get worse but it has so I'm moving on too :)

    Rokali can take Etsy and stuff it up his collective ass. In the meantime, the sellers that stay on Etsy should never give them a moments rest! The squeaky wheel gets the oil and they need a daily reminder that they are for the most part, douchebags!

    I love you guys and since I was fed up with Etsy anyhow, this disaster of epic proportions has held a positive note for me...I got to know all of you better!

    Happy life and peace :)

  28. Well...while I was completing my graduate degree I had a conflict with the University. I had sent a broadbrush letter to the Art Dept all the way up to the President and the Board of Regents.

    Because of the seriousness of the situation I requested a Freedom of Information act for information that had been collected by the University that directly affected me and all other students in the Art Department.

    The result...the entire department was closed down as I had proof that the intent was to deceive, cover up and continue on in spite of endangering students and obstructing their ability to do the work required to obtain their degrees.

    The department is now back up and running but it cost them dearly. They had to completely rebuild the art department at enormous cost.

    I haven't gone any further with this thought but surely there is something that we can find just cause for to request the Freedom of Information Act...and in the meantime, a lot of dirty laundry.

    Just my two cents.

  29. Ahhhh, just taking a moment to decompress. Thank you Joan for this oasis of sanity. My Artfire shop is purring along happily, picking up views through search engines like it never did before at my Etsy shop. And damn it, I worked my tail off for almost 2 yrs building within a venue that turned out to be a heinious scam. I'll never trust or advertise Etsy again.

  30. The relisting thing is a total scam-a-rooni-dooni!

  31. What an exhausting month of trying to start a new shop along with energy put into the support thread. Hardly puts me in a creative mood but I feel it's worth it to keep on Etsy's back. We've done good to create a disturbance they can't control in the off site comments and word of mouth. I don't twitter but would like to see a tweet >renewing is big etsy scam< don't know if that one's getting out there.

  32. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  33. Muted but not silent MaureenOctober 24, 2010 at 12:44 AM

    @ Lisa: "I feel like Etsy is kindergarten and now I'm a grown-up."
    You said it and read my mind.
    Your website is Bangin good and you need to teach us how you did it Lol.
    Awesome post!

  34. Thanks, Maureen. I'm deleting that now but it sure felt good venting! I did my website through GoDaddy and used Website Tonight for the design. :) The Artfire Quick Cart is FREE. How cool is that?!

  35. Muted but not silent MaureenOctober 24, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    Your words were right on the money and very reassuring to many people out there. I truly wish you had not changed you mind about leaving them up.
    Thank you for giving out the info on how you did your site!

  36. Come back and post as anonymous *wink* I'll cover your tracks!!

  37. start posting on twitter, make a facebook page "etsy is trash" somethin like that and [promote it