Conspiracy Theory


If, like me, you find yourself trolling the Etsy forums far too frequently, you will find an amazing amount of conspiracy theories. Sometimes they give me a chuckle, other times, I have to slowly leave the page before I receive the dreaded forum ban.

Theory 1: Etsy turned off my shop (rolling blackouts)

It is in Etsy’s best interest for you to sell. They make more off of your transaction fees and renewal fees than they do off of most people for promoted listings. Yes, some people use promoted listings, but the general consensus seems to be that they suck, don’t work, and are a waste of money. So, why on earth would etsy rather you renew an item and pay $0.60 in that year than sell the item and pay the $0.20 PLUS the 3.5% of the product price? It just doesn’t make sense.

Glitches happen, people have had their shops get unindexed. And it is always immediately taken care of when you contact support. This is not widespread. It is not an epidemic. It is not a malicious, intentional way for etsy to screw over the little guy.

Theory 2: Etsy intentionally puts me at the back of the search pages and pulls the TM stuff to the front

This is a hard one to dispute, because it seems like it is true. No, Etsy does not curate the search pages. They do not go through and hand select what items and what shops will be on which pages. “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

However, the algorithm that is used for search does include things like number of sales, number of views (with views from search ranking higher than from teams or even direct links), number of favorites, and (rankly quite lowly) recency. So, I see how it can feel like Disney TM infringement is hand selected to be on the front page. The shops selling these items sell a lot of them, as they are popular. So, if you make a princess dress and title it “Princess Dress”; and, I make a Snow White dress and title it “Snow White Princess Dress” and I sell 200 of my dresses, I will be in front of you for the search term “princess dress”. Because, I also showed up for snow white dress, snow white, Disney dress, and whatever else I elected to tag with. And, since I am selling a popular character, neener neener, I win. And then Disney sues me and I lose everything.

Theory 3: Etsy admin deletes my forum posts about manufactured goods because they don’t want anyone to know that they are secretly endorsing it.

Yeesh. No. Etsy admin deleted your forum post because you made dirty, derogatory comments about a specific country and it is wholly inappropriate. Lots, and lots, of posts exist and stay up about mass reproduced products and resellers. The difference is, nowhere did they call it all “cheap crap from China”. Makes a big difference, as China produces tons and tons of amazing handmade artists.

Theory 4: Etsy started showing similar items after a sale from other shops to encourage my buyers to cancel with me and buy from the more popular sellers.

Nope. I buy on etsy, a lot. And about 95% of the similar items are from the same shop I bought from. The only time I see other shops is when that seller has nothing else in the section, with the same tags, or in their shop at all.

I could go on and on and on…but then I would bore you even more. But mostly, I spent a lot of time reading these same theories over and over. It isn’t original, and it isn’t true. So, first, search your topic and see how many topics there already are prior to posting, second, realize that as a person, Etsy really doesn’t care much about you and they are not trying to screw you over one way or the other. They want sellers to sell…more money for them…and they want sellers (and buyers) to stay on etsy…more money for them. Etsy is a business. They want to make a profit, preferably a large one. Just like your business. They are not a charity; they are not going to give you stuff for free and do your work for you. They are going give you the tools you need to bust your backside and build a business.


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