JoanHunterHandmade on Artfire!

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!

21 comments:

  1. Once you no longer have an Etsy account I think its definitely time to go and do something constructive and build up your new shop elsewhere, many of your old friends will be there anyway. You are a creative person - time to go and create.

    Reading the forum without being able to post comments must be a terribly frustrating experience and not good for you.

    Its just a waste of your time to hang around Etsy like a nasty smell just to bitch on your blog about things you cannot change. If you do that and get into a habit of doing it that you cannot break away from it will not be long before people begin to regard you as a rather pathetic creature that cannot move on.

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  2. Blue Kitty Miniatures said:

    Its just a waste of your time to hang around Etsy like a nasty smell just to bitch on your blog about things you cannot change. If you do that and get into a habit of doing it that you cannot break away from it will not be long before people begin to regard you as a rather pathetic creature that cannot move on.
    _________________________________

    hm, that's pretty much what I am saying. Although I do think one can criticize and create at the same time...

    As for this *particular* blog, we are gaining new members each day, and I intend to continue it in some form or another. Clearly there is a need in the eyes of many for a sort of "half-way house" when it's time to wave goodbye to the big E. Those of us who have been through it, can hopefully lend support and advice to those just experiencing it for the first time, at least, that is my hope.

    I like having a place away from Etsy where people can feel free to chat about it, and hopefully help wronged sellers know they are not alone out there.

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  3. Maureen/BluefingersNovember 8, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    I love having this blog to come to for solace during this period of readjustment- Thank you so much Joan! I agree about the forums- when I check on what they are doing it just looks silly and sad in a way. I still use it as an archive of amazing practical info though, and probably always will. Right now I am trying to screenshot 420 pages of favorites I have gathered over years there before they put my shop out of it's misery completely. Makin an amazing amount of holiday sales on the bay with their free listings too, so I am keeping busy.♥♥♥

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  4. Wise words, Joan. Putting my shop into permanent vacation and letting my items expire was not a hard decision for me. I don't really have "etsy withdrawal" for a couple of reasons. I wasn't there as long as a lot of you and I saw flaws from the time I did start selling there. I just had no idea how seriously flawed the place was though, until about 6 months in. That's when I started really reading the forums and seeing people with legit questions being ignored by admin and changes rolled out with no testing whatsoever. Etsy will blunder on-with mass produced goods. One day it will be etsbay. LOL!

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  5. Great idea for a site!

    Good to be here -- I've just been muted on the Fora so it's just a matter of time for me, but I haven't sold anything through Etsy for over a year.

    Now I refuse to buy anything through them.

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  6. Great post, Joan! I have stayed away from the forums at Etsy for awhile after closing my shop one week after the Dorque article. I popped in there tonight and just could not believe the new thread still asking for the article to come down. SERIOUSLY????? I started to post something.......NAH. It's beyond sad. It's pathetic. Etsy is a part of my past, along with my abusive ex-husband.
    The people I feel sorry for are the newbies at Etsy that just don't have a clue about how they are about to be scammed.

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  7. I understand that dealing with Etsy is difficult and frustrating, and watching it continue to go on unimproved exasperating, but comparing it to PTSD from WWII is way over the top. My grandfather was in Europe and witnessed the liberation of Dachau. To compare *that* to Etsy's opaque clique-ishness and childish behavior...!

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  8. I understand the frustration with Etsy, but I have a difficult time dealing with those who are unhappy and who are either in the process of moving or have moved, saying they will not buy from Etsy.

    You "are not" buying from Etsy, you are buying from individual shops.

    I don't understand why you would want to hurt the sellers by not shopping with them or telling your friends not to shop on Etsy.

    If you want to hurt Etsy do it in another way, don't take out on your fellow artisans.

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  9. i don't see this as comparing the snafu at etsy to WWII at all, rather a person who recognized a useful technique in dealing with her feelings-- that she learned from her grandfather, a soldier in WWII-- and choosing to share that tool with others who may be having a tough time adjusting to something new. to pick out one detail and miss the bigger picture is a little obtuse, no?

    Joan, i got what you were saying & i agree with it. i'm not ready to leave just yet... i'll miss a few people. but my shop's a goner as soon as it's empty, as i've said from the beginning. if not sooner :)

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  10. Anonymous said...
    I understand that dealing with Etsy is difficult and frustrating, and watching it continue to go on unimproved exasperating, but comparing it to PTSD from WWII is way over the top. My grandfather was in Europe and witnessed the liberation of Dachau. To compare *that* to Etsy's opaque clique-ishness and childish behavior...!
    -----------------
    Sorry, to disagree, but it's far from childish. Only people who have PTSD can begin to understand. Personally, I suffer from PTSD. Post traumatic Stress Disorder is caused by TRAUMA, which comes in many forms. Mine comes from surviving an abusive relationship. Most of the time, I'm fine, but I rarely know EXACTLY what will trigger my PTSD. Things like seeing a child reprimanded in public, or the obvious seeing a human or animal mistreated will spark an anxiety attack for me. The Coralgate experience triggered it for me. It was all too familiar. Fortunately, I had places like this to come and find comfort in knowing I was not alone and others understood.
    So, before you choose to use strong words like "childish" towards people trying to heal, I suggest you educate yourself first.

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  11. P.S. To Anonymous....

    I won't give Etsy a fucking dime. Call it what you will, I would love to support fellow artisans, but NOT through Etsy.

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  12. The childish label was applied to Etsy, not ex-sellers.

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  13. Anonymous said...

    I understand the frustration with Etsy, but I have a difficult time dealing with those who are unhappy and who are either in the process of moving or have moved, saying they will not buy from Etsy.

    You "are not" buying from Etsy, you are buying from individual shops.


    If you want to hurt Etsy do it in another way, don't take out on your fellow artisans.

    ****

    I sympathize with the sellers still there, many of whom are amazingly talented. But I refuse to be part of Etsy making any money, and I refuse to have anything to do with the site. I have lots of favourite sellers on Etsy, and I will buy from them through their other sites, or contact them directly to buy from them if they don't already have other venues.

    There is not other way to get through to Etsy. I don't even think THIS will get through to them, but I just can't spend another second on that site.

    I think it's also important that potential new sellers at Etsy know that there are people who will not buy from them through that site -- that associating themselves with Etsy's brand can be harmful to their own.

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  14. hm, wow, I missed a lot of activity here today! Let me dive right in, starting with Anonymous' feedback.

    "Anonymous said...
    I understand that dealing with Etsy is difficult and frustrating, and watching it continue to go on unimproved exasperating, but comparing it to PTSD from WWII is way over the top. My grandfather was in Europe and witnessed the liberation of Dachau. To compare *that* to Etsy's opaque clique-ishness and childish behavior...!"

    I get what you're sayin', anon, but it wasn't my intention to "compare" the two. I started off with a powerful anecdote that teaches a broader lesson about coping with stress. I can understand how it was misread, but I just want to clear that up. Also I should reiterate that my Great Grandparents fought in WWI, not WWII, though the second world war did trigger his PTSD.

    I was definitely shocked when I found out that Etsy isn't what it pretends to be, but traumatized? Ehhhh... not quite. That power is reserved for much more horrific episodes from my past.

    Ok, moving on down the line...

    I think there are a lot of good reasons to stop buying from Etsy or shops on Etsy. For one thing, I don't want to "enable" Etsy to take advantage of its sellers by buying from shops there and perpetuating "the Etsy habit" in other sellers. Also, like Dangerous, no, I don't want to spend a cent that will go to Etsy. Not one cent. They've already got a couple thousand dollars out of me. It's over. If the traffic over on E is as great as people keep insisting, then there will still be plenty of buyers, I just wont be one of them. I will buy from E sellers on other venues if possible, but no money for E after the way I was treated if I can possibly help it.

    Lastly, thanks for speaking up on my behalf, Epicetera, you rock like that.

    Thanks so much to everyone for participating in the discussion, it really is great to have so many smart, caring, creative people in one place. I love you all. Even Anonymouses!! :D

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  15. I love you all, too, and apologize if I come across as harsh.

    I sincerely hope this discussion remains open for awhile. I received an email this evening and realized that some sellers who have not (yet) left Etsy are agonizing over the decision for a lot of different reasons. I have referred some here today. There will be a continuing need for a support system as more make decisions.

    My shop has not been banned yet (even though it has nothing but a link in it) and I checked my empty shop today. I had left my favorites there in support of those who are still using that venue. A lot of them have emptied their shops.

    I agree with Goddess (who has a much more diplomatic way of explaining), as much as I would like to support my fellow artisans, I CANNOT support Etsy. I am promoting the hell out of all of you who are on ArtFire (my FB is full of spam now...LOL)

    Last, I learned something very valuable during my years of DV counseling: There is no such thing as a "wrong" feeling. Feelings are owned by the person experiencing them. We may not agree or understand, but everyone is entitled to feel the way they do.

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  16. Well said Epicetera!

    Thanks for being our ambassador of good will in the outside world :D

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  17. hi! cynthesis here. good post. Heck, I never had any stake in etsy as a seller. I was a dumb happy buyer, until there was an issue with a sale, which caused me to look for info in the forums. The horror, the horror! Really brings out the worst in me. It's been a long time since I've seen so much dysfunction in one place. So that seller and I just took it off etsy. Problem solved. Turns out, many sellers are willing to take transactions off etsy. However, I don't know how to go about asking sellers. I will not purchase a single thing through etsy again. Is it tacky to drop a quick convo saying "add me to your mailing list if you have one, would love to shop, but won't do it through etsy." Eh.

    Applause to Joan for sticking her neck out. Speaking against the hordes is a time-honored act of courage and respectability. Sometimes futility, but sometimes not.

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  18. Thank you so much Cynthia! YOU ROCK!!

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  19. The way Etsy is experimenting its going to be difficult to buy there even if you want to.

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  20. I'm slowly breaking away from the forums. It helps that every time I visit, the topics get more and more ridiculous.

    I won't help Etsy earn any money either. If I want work by an artist who only sells on Etsy, I will approach that artist directly, through their blog, twitter, or fanpage. I never used the Etsy search in the first place, because it's useless and there are so many resellers. I almost always look for other proof that the seller is making their work. So it's easy enough to find and approach the artist off-etsy.

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  21. Anonymous- if a seller doesn't add a link to a twitter, fanpage, or blog in their etsy shop, then it's their own fault that you can't reach them.

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