Thursday, May 10, 2012

Support Handmade On Etsy and other small businesses...May 10 and May 11 2012

So you take a look at a company like Etsy...a company that has backing from places like Union Square Ventures (who are also vested in Facebook, Twitter, and Zynga just to name a few small companies :) ) and it is little wonder why a company like Etsy has the best interests of their "backers" in mind.....and not the original interests of what the founders originally acted like they intended the sight to be.  And of course that is what happens when a company becomes very successful....they move forward and try to become more successful or profitable and those who get thrown under the bus in the meantime are simply "minor mishaps" in the overall picture of what is best in the long run for the company.  At least--- they hope this is what happens.   Sometimes these "visions" and "changes" do indeed backfire but that is only sometimes.  
The $40 million that Etsy recently  received for "international expansion"....would certainly take a lot of 20 cent listings to pay back this one investment alone :)  But the investors of course aren't simply looking to get their money back.... so when you really consider all of the 20 cent listings this will's a bit mind boggling indeed.  And that's one of the reasons I myself have felt for a long time that the changes that have been rolling out one by one are only "water in the pot that has just started simmering" .... it has nowhere even begun to reach a boiling point imo......but we shall see.
I have to say that I think it is really sad that some peeps in the forums and in other posts keep stating that anyone who "protests" the changes is hurting all of Etsy and its' sellers. They even make comments like "Etsy should ban anyone who protests and talks bad about Etsy". And that is pretty frickin' harsh meee thinks....and would almost be funny except it is really sad.  People should always be able to voice their opinions...and it is up to the majority to decide who is right and who is wrong or in a lot of cases---- who is the "least" wrong !  
But  I actually  think that some of this publicity will bring people into Etsy who would have never even heard of the sight had it not been for all of this going on.  And the people in charge of the venue obviously knew what kind of an uproar they were facing.....before they flip-flopped and made new definitions out of old "rules".  And hey!  That is their prerogative....being that they run the company and all. :)  But it is also a choice for the many involved to try and acclimate, deal with, or move on.  I think many are still "shell-shocked" and I also think that those who aren't yet the slightest bit in shock might be in for a very rude awakening one of these days. :)  Too many never really care about changes until the changes actually start affecting them personally....and by that time in a lot of situations....when it has finally started affecting them is too late to do anything about it other than "like it or leave" so to speak.
I myself am supporting the "May 10 2012 silent protest" and the "May 11 2012 Buy something handmade " situation.... not only because I love true handmade, and vintage..but because this is what led me to Etsy in the first place. I myself feel that this protest "for or against or whatever" is not only about Etsy...but about an idea...that people who create or have unique shopping experiences might in fact be what makes something a bit different..and to use them at the same time you are burying them on your venue..does not make a fair equation.  Life is not fair...yes we all know that....but to bight the hand that got you in this position is a bit appalling to say the least..  (I think) And even though I already had my shop on vacay there....I still support all of the wonderful artisans on that sight who made the sight the unique place that is is today......and hopefully they will continue to thrive in that "new" environment...and if not...will find a place to land that they are comfortable in.
I think that a lot of them would just like some "honesty" and straight answers about what is really going on.  Having resellers and collectives and mass produced items in order to make money in a big corporate state of things is something that a lot of people might be able to "wrap their minds around"...but allowing these sellers to place their items in the "hand made" and "vintage" categories is not okay. And making excuses for a certain featured seller is not okay.  And not giving your sellers a "heads-up" before it rolls out is not okay. As a matter of fact letting them know what is going on might get more of them on your team from the get-go and it might not be a bad idea either :)  Let them know what is really going on.... instead of sneaking up and surprising them.  Because I really think that these sellers deserve that kind of respect.....we all know that if it weren't for them.....those big investors would have never come knocking in the first place:).. JMO
Granted.... a  lot of big companies look back on certain situations and can only wish that they had never made certain changes....but they never know if it will be a mistake until they try it. I'm not against change...just be honest about it.  That's a good start I think. :) 


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