Who has their hands in a bind?

Worldpay, the third-party payments processor for Etsy, has come forward after six days of silence, acknowledging that it is experiencing a service disruption.

A significant number of Etsy transactions have been disrupted by ongoing payment processing outages. Over 7000 posts have been made by frustrated merchants in an Etsy forum dedicated to the problem. This is almost twice the volume from last night when we first posted about the payment processing saga.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear Etsy users are going to get much closure from the Worldpay statement. The outage is affecting all of Etsy’s credit, debit, and gift card transactions.

While Etsy doesn’t release transaction numbers, we estimate that the company likely handles a few hundred thousand transactions per day. Generously assuming that half originate from a card, the number of affected transactions is rapidly approaching a million. This is hardly a small outage, “affecting a small number of customers.”

 

Etsy has their hands in a bind since all their eggs are in the Worldpay basket. It seems the relationship is growing strained between the two companies given the delayed and half-baked response from Worldpay. Etsy users are clearly frustrated and are rightly demanding a solution. In a world of instant gratification, a six-day payment processing failure, on one of the worlds most prominent e-commerce sites, is unacceptable.

Interesting article. “Etsy has their hands in a bind”??  Nope, Etsy Sellers have their hands in a bind.  Meanwhile back at the brand new building, where Chad is taking a mammoth-months leave, Etsy is minimizing the problem, or trying to, by saying it’s a “small number of customers”.

Maybe a million is a small number to Etsy…

I also have to wonder how much money WorldPay is making on the “float” while they try to fix their “problem.”  They know Etsy has nowhere to go, and they are playing fast and loose with Etsy seller’s money.

 

 

 

One Year Anniversary – Yay (not really) for A Year of Decline

It now takes me 20 minutes to even remember how to access my own blog. I’m too busy scouring the want ads for corporate muck to slosh around in for 8-9 hours a day.

I still haunt the places that used to yield the vintage items that people seemed to want.  Then my garage got so full that I had a major dumpster moment.  I’m about to have another one.

Etsy, you were just like a romantic relationship that started out with such happy times and degenerated when the truth came out.  I will miss you, kind of.  You were a lot of work…fun…time consuming…a gamble…but in the end, the wrong partner for me.

I’m not bitter, I just wish we’d had that great trip to Aruba before we broke up🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unicorns and down rounds

Fairly (because I’m his mom), I was criticized by my son for the use of the word “rape” to describe how I felt about Etsy’s stunts, bedroom alliances with China & India and abandonment of their base of sellers.

Back to Mr. Webster I went.  As I’ve said all along, there is another definition of rape:  “an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation: as in the rape of the countryside.”  Yep – it’s a violent word.  But apparently even a countryside can be raped.

He suggested that I used the word “fucked”, as in “How Etsy Fucked America”.  

I politely agree that the title is open for criticism.  But so is Etsy.  And as someone who watched their sales plummet over 80% in the past year, I still feel “plundered and violated” by Chad’s antics.  Because of course you cut your marketing budget when you’re about to launch a “get rich quick” IPO round.  Which Etsy did, in spades.

Peeps, stats don’t lie.

I wish I could copy/paste the graph from Etsy showing my performance (I seem to be computer illiterate where it comes to copy/paste commands…so visually if the reader can imagine a person climbing, climbing, climbing up a mountain, and falling headfirst over a cliff, that’s what the stats look like.

This January, which ends very soon records a dismal $110 of revenue.
Last January was a totally different story.  $ 873 of revenue.

It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that my sales have decreased over 85% from 2015 to 2016.  Tell me that doesn’t feel like a plunder or violation.  I’m just glad I didn’t make it worse by BUYING stock in Etsy, a company I used to believe in.

From a recent article:

GoPro Inc, Twitter Inc, Etsy Inc, Fitbit Inc, Box Inc: The Death Of The Tech Darlings

    dollar money bubbleMike Larson:  Remember all the hype over Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR) when it went public in the fall of 2013? The stock IPO’d at $26, then soared to almost $75 by the end of the year. But it’s been one long, sickening slide ever since – with the stock hitting an all-time low of $15-and-change earlier this week.

    How about the Square Inc. (NYSE:SQ) IPO back in the fall of 2015? The payment processing technology firm is headed up by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and it got a ton of adoring press. But after going public at $9 … then rising as high as $14.78 the next day … the stock has gone into freefall. On Wednesday, it slumped below its IPO price and kept on going.

    Then there’s the crafts and personalized gift site Etsy Inc. (NASDAQ:ETSY). It’s down 83% from its IPO day peak. And water and drop-resistant camera company GoPro Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRO). It’s down 90% from its 2014 post-IPO peak.

    Well, well, well Etsy.  It seems as though misery loves company.  83% drop since your NASDAQ debut.  Coincidentally, those numbers mirror exactly what’s going on in my shop.

    The article had a few ideas as to why this had happened:

    “Many tech companies got swept up in the mania, particularly in the private, pre-IPO-stage market. A whopping 100 startups were valued by private equity investors at more than $1 billion each as of early 2015, earning the sobriquet “unicorns.” Huge, expensive office parties … massive bidding wars and signing bonuses for tech-sector employees … sky-high Silicon Valley real estate prices and rents: They all came with the boom, just like we saw in the late 1990s.

    But things were getting so out of hand by this past fall that I couldn’t help but call a spade a spade — and label it a potential “Tech Bubble II.” I also suggested that we’d see a wave of deflation in private sector valuations and that this would spill over before long into public tech sector valuations.

    Sure enough, many unicorns are now raising money in “down rounds” — transactions that value their companies for less than the previous funding rounds did. Mutual fund firms that eagerly bought into hot pre-IPO companies are also writing down the value of those private shares. BlackRock slashed its valuation on Snapchat by 24% this past summer, while Fidelity cut its valuations on Dropbox and Zenefits by 31% and 48% respectively this fall.

    I’ve never seen a unicorn’s horn deflate, but I imagine it’d be kinda depressing.

    There was an article from Chad Dickerson in June 2015.  Such a rah-rah article.  When I read it now, it’s almost funny.  Imagine a unicorn reading from a scroll:

    “Ten years ago, Etsy was born out of the simple idea that a marketplace should exist to connect creative entrepreneurs with buyers in search of unique goods. Over time, Etsy has come to represent something even more powerful: an alternative to traditional commerce and a different, people-centered model for doing business.

    Today we celebrate Etsy’s first decade as a company. Our success story spans not just ten years, but also millions of entrepreneurs and thoughtful customers all over the globe who make up the growing Etsy Economy. More than 1.4 million sellers are helping us realize our mission of reimagining commerce every day.

    In an age when drones, self-driving cars, and virtual reality headsets are threatening to erase every opportunity to interact with another person, we’re celebrating the personal bonds forged by our community. Over the last ten years, we’ve built an authentic, community-centric global and local marketplace. It’s a collaborative endeavor that is nourished by the connections between everyone in ourecosystem. We are building for the long term and measure the impact Etsy can have in years and decades. Ten years — one decade! — after we began this journey, we can truly see the Etsy Economy taking shape around us.”

    W.H.A.T.E.V.E.R.

    China and India have invaded and ruined Etsy, there is no “alternative to traditional commerce and a people-centered model for doing business.”  Unless little children and women in 3rd world countries are “people-centered” businesses.

    Where is Chad now?  His press releases and rah-rah statements seem to have cut off in the fall of 2015.  He was probably busy chasing down the unicorn with the deflated horn.

     

     

    Yet another marriage ends. “There’s just no trust” sobs Alicia Shaffer, as she walks away with only her (handmade) clothes

    …and crafters everywhere rejoiced!

    For (just one emotional side of) the story behind this public split of a once amicable (and profitable) marriage, yahoo writes:

    https://www.yahoo.com/makers/exclusiveetsys-richest-seller-explains-why-127615604095.html

    Really?  Really Alicia??  Really?

    Yep. Really.

    I can’t decide what part of this whiny, self serving article I like the best, because it’s all so laughably ridiculous.  Alicia Shaffer tries to point to ONE undelivered $20 item as the reason she was suspended.  Come on now, Alicia.  ONE customer complaint?  Try hundreds and hundreds.  And not just undelivered.  Crappy quality.  Misrepresented colors.  Made in China. Made in India. Six week waits.  TV interviews with a woman who seemed unfamiliar with how to “make” her own product. Excuses piled on excuses…with Dr. Seuss-like explanations of country-shifting factories and busy little Who workers in Whoville knitting until their eyes crossed and their fingers bled in order to satisfy all her adoring customers.

    To which we all call bull**** and raise our glasses in a collective toast to perhaps one of the first truly wise moves on Chad Duckersons part in quite some time. I mean Dickerson. Chad Dickerson. He would never “duck” his way around a controversy…shame on all of us for our lack of trust.

    Speaking of which, Alicia’s richest comment in the midst of her walking out of her marriage (to Etsy) in a huff has to be “we (I) can’t trust them (him).”  Ok (cue up sounds of uncontrollable laughter) someone please pick me up off the floor because we’d have thought that the word “trust” was a word that this little diva didn’t even understand, much less know how to pronounce or grasp the meaning of…or even dare vocalize to anyone other than her local fruit stand manager.  As in “can I trust that this is really an organic kumquat?”  (Answer “No you can not”)

    Since she obviously never grasped the concept of trust, it’s our civic duty to help explain it to her.  Let’s see…let’s define “trust”.  Trust.  A noun to some, a verb to others.  Defined as “the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something”.  Used in a sentence:  “When you say that you and your merry band of knitters can churn out 297 pairs of Aztec leg warmers IN ONE DAY, we “trust” (reliably believe, have faith) the assurances that there really IS a merry band of hand knitters sitting in your sunny Livermore backyard whipping up each newly ordered pair of socks.”   That “trust” came from the fact  that you were selling those (each one 100% identical to each other) items on a site reserved for craftspeople who really DID make things by hand.

    And not to harp on the word “trust” but since you did bring it up…when you told your partner (Etsy) that you would not cheat on him, he (kinda) believed you.  (Insert that silly word “trust” again).   Your neighbors believed you too, and continued to support you and “buy” your story (and your socks).

    And so peace and prosperity manifested its zen until someone peeked over your fence and (gasp!) caught you in the act of cheating.  (I mean opening huge boxes of cellophane wrapped, SKU stamped leg warmers, then tossing cardboard boxes into your recycle bin that said “I’m from China, PS:  ignore rumors of that pesky substance called lead!”)

    Busted.

    At which point your only option was to pack your (handmade) boho clothes and storm out in a huff, hurling the words “I just can’t trust you” over your shoulder as a parting shot.  Muttering “I contributed a lot to this marriage” and “I was leaving anyway, that’s why I wasn’t really paying attention to you any longer.”

    Wait what?  The cheater can’t trust her Etsy husband?    I’m not sure what to say about that, except that everyone in the neighborhood already knew what she was doing and everyone kept trying to warn her husband.  They wrote anonymous notes and stuck them under his car’s windshield wipers.  They left anonymous messages on his phone.  They watched her carry on with a great big guy called China, and then when China got too complicated, she ran out and hooked up with a new guy called India.

    But her partner loved her (revenues) so much that he froze out anyone who tried to point out that behind her pretty face and (handmade) boho clothes, things weren’t working.  Finally he caved, and started following her around, only to confirm that she and India were literally in bed together and had no intention of breaking up.

    Older and slightly wiser, he had the locks changed and filed for a divorce.

    Surprisingly brazen to the end, Ms. “Boiling Blood” Shaffer still appears to believe that she did absolutely nothing wrong by camping her cheap shit on a crafters website and passing it off as “handmade”.   Her bank account certainly supports her outrage…she’s got enough blood money socked away to keep her and all her knitting girlfriends in boho fashionista gear for quite a long time.

    Until, of course, it wears out after three washings.

    But hey, good luck out there in the real world, Three Bird Nest.  We won’t miss you.  At all.  And, while you take your little pot-shot at the “other types of stores who only sell a few things a week” you know and we know that TBN never would have made it big without Etsy as its launchpad.  Lord knows the world has plenty of overpriced imported crap to pick from without your (hand made boho) hat in the ring.

    Thank you for listening :)

    It’s time for me to get back to the business of making some real money to pay my very real bills. It’s been a wild ride – huge thank you to everyone who contributed via comments and encouragement – hope springs eternal that not everyone in the world is all and only about the next dollar in their pocket🙂

    change.org, dead cats and sweatshop labor

    Check out the petition that I ran into when I googled “Etsy” on change.org’s site:

    https://www.change.org/p/etsy-remove-bonehouse47-a-shop-that-sells-dead-catschan

    Now I know that life isn’t all about competition, who wins and who loses mumble, mumble, mumble, jealous…mumble mumble…but people!!! this petition was about dead cats, and while I hate the thought of a dead cat, and it’s not art to put a dead cat’s head in a bottle and it’s sick and gross…there are PEOPLE laboring in sweatshops in India and China, and we can only gather 250 signatures to oppose that…but a dead cat in a jar can rack up 16,000 votes in four days??

    Yes, you read that correctly.  Cats in bottles get more sympathy than disadvantaged people in sweatshops.  Perhaps I need a picture of a sweatshop in order to get more votes??

    balloon sweatshop

    Still doesn’t do it for you? Imagine how it feels to collapse into your bed (whatever that might be) and know that this is your life and there is no way out of this hell hole.  Ever.  All I know is that it looks like a bleak way to exist, making a whopping $1 a day.  And why? In the case of ThreeBirdNest’s wares so that some DIVA in America could get rich quick selling (her) shit as “handmade”.

    Cat lovers…stay in your chairs…I love cats too.  But think about it…it is a human who is protesting a cat in a bottle.  A cat is not protesting this, nor is a cat drafting a change.org petition, nor is a cat blogging and alerting all its cat friends about making a difference.  A cat has no power to change a cat’s head in a bottle.  Humans do have that power…they have the power to question, to ponder and to make a change.  When a cat starts blogging about changing sweatshop practices in China or India, I will sit up and take notice..and revise what I just wrote.  But until then, I hold that sweatshop labor and inhumane working conditions should garner more outrage than a cat’s head in a bottle.

    Oh sweet Jesus, I can feel the waves of judgment sweeping across the world and landing at my feet in little Gilbert Arizona, one of the safest cities in America.  A little la-la land of white picket fences and kindness, peace and understanding.  We don’t have sweatshops here, so we can pretend they don’t exist.  We probably don’t have dead cats heads in bottles either.  It’s a sunny, carefree existence of midsize homes, minivans and grocery stores.  Office jobs and married life and soccer games and college funds.  But from the safety of places like this, we have a responsibility to show compassion and kindness to our fellow man, wherever they are and whatever circumstances they find themselves in.  A responsibility that makes profiting off the back of human suffering really, really NOT ok.

    Same old track on the same old record, but I’ll say it again. Etsy, it’s really, really not ok to sanction sweatshop labor.  That’s not debatable, especially in light of your own guidelines.  Especially not in light of the trust America put in you for showcasing “hand-made” items and promoting small businesses and craftsmen.  Get it together, before orange is the new bleak.

    http://www.change.org/p/etsy-stop-overseas-importing-and-calling-it-handmade

    Seriously Grace and Lace? OH NO YOU DIDN’T !!!

    Oh man, I HATE it when people play the Jesus card!  It’s just so…arrogant.  Jesus has special favor towards MY store because I’m doing it for his glory.  Wow, well…I’m pretty sure that Jesus loves me as much as he loves you, Grace And Lace, so let’s put the Jesus card back into your boot socks and get real. I say that because here is ambassador for Grace and Lace Heidi’s response to an email that I sent her asking her to leave the site peacefully, as it was obvious that her items were mass produced in factories.  Remember now, this is one of the items in her store: Grace&LaceAztecAnd here is her response:  “All of our designs sold on Etsy are originally designed by Melissa herself from start to finish.”  She went on to tell me that they have really great factories that they visit often, and oh by the way, they are building orphanages and taking women and girls out of the sex trade in India.

    Well that’s about enough shaming to shut me up. Except that I just did a story on these Aztec leg warmers, so I need to get some feedback from these shops:

    SesameStreet85Oatmeal SesameStreet82

    Remember these Aztec leg warmers?  Designed by TutuCuteLittleOnes, KnitPopShop and PeekABootSocks?

    In my book, they are the exact same thing.  So they are all designed by Melissa at Grace and Lace?  This is REALLY getting confusing.  But Melissa must be telling me the truth because they visit their factories and build orphanages.  With all the money they make representing their items as handmade on Etsy.

    TutuCuteLittleOnes’ store owners profile says “I love to pretty things and a variety of different styles…”  Oh yeah?  That makes no sense for starters, and I think you should really say “I love it when people buy cheap shit from China off my site.”

    KnitPopShop is less subtle.  They just jumped aboard the Etsy train in November 2014, so they are struggling to their (aztec leg warmer covered) feet.  You can order 27 of these leg warmers at once.  For what reason I have no idea, but at least they are less expensive than TutuCuteLittleOnes “pretty things.”

    PeekABootSocks slides in at the lowest price and calls their creations “Lil’ Alex in Oatmeal.”  Cute.  You can call it anything you want to call it, these are exactly the same thing that Grace&Lace Melissa said she designed herself from start to finish.

    Just for grins, let’s go to the “bible” that all of these shops use (along with building orphanages and rescuing girls from the sex trade) – our good friend Alibaba.com.  Oh hot damn, there they are.  Melissa’s custom designed Aztec leg warmers, and you can get a really good deal there – 10 for $1.49-$2.99.  And then turn around and call them your own created design.  Right.

     Alibaba

    We’re not buying it.  But sadly everyone else is.  Each shop has it’s fair share of orders, ranging from 9,000+ items to the late-comer KnitPopShop’s 327 sales.  They must be very low on the pecking order in the search engines, because Grace and Lace clocks in at $28.50 per tribal print wonder, but KnitPopShop will sell you the same thing for a mere $19.95.  Remember, each store bought these items from India’s humane factories (really Alibaba.com) for an average of $2.25 each.  I guess I’d eventually have enough to build an orphanage too ~ please don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking on the orphanage thing, it’s just great.  Good for you!  But get your China shit off the Etsy “handmade” website, because you clearly are in a state of denial if you think you designed these start to finish ~ but yet you don’t care if three of your competitors sell YOUR design for a lower price.  Really?  I smell a rat.

    Sign the petition people.  These are the kinds of lies that Etsy sellers like ThreeBirdNest and Grace and Lace feed the general public and it’s time for someone to call them on their cute little stories, which are really lies masquerading as orphanage-builders and love to pretty things.  Here it is again:

    http://www.change.org/p/etsy-stop-overseas-importing-and-calling-it-handmade

    Really People? You just want to bitch…ok, check.

    46 Signatures on the petition.  46.  Wow.  So I guess you all would rather just bitch and moan about the situation instead of actually doing a little work yourself?

    Alrighty, I had my moment. Lol.  We are almost 100 signatures strong. We need to double it every day. That feels like a big goal, but all we need is to spread the word and ask each person to sign, and ask that person to find a person, and on and on. I will commit to that, I’d like to hear from anyone who can support that goal.

    Every Picture Tells a Story, don’t it?

    SesameStreet3 SesameStreet5 SesameStreet6

              StayWarmInStyle ~ $32.00                              RyloWear Boutique ~ $14.20                       PeekABoot Socks ~ $28.00

    SesameStreet12SesameStreet11SesameStreet12

             ThreeBirdNest ~ $ 8.99                                         dityfashion ~ $ 2.50                                     MABEESBOUTIQUE ~ $8.50

    SesameStreet60 SesameStreet61SesameStreet63

    ThreeBirdNest ~ $ 38.99                                                CaSales ~ $ 9.00 (13 available)                         UnitedMonograms ~ $16.00 (26 avail.)

    SesameStreet70 SesameStreet80 SesameStreet82

     PeekABootSocks ~ $18.00 (1 avail.)                              KnitPopShop ~ $19.95 (28 available)              TutuCuteLittleOnes ~ $22.00 (6 avail)

    So remember, every picture tells a story don’t it…every picture tells a story, don’t it…every picture tells a story, don’t it…every picture tells a story, don’t it…every picture tells a story, don’t it…*

    And lordy, these pictures are telling a story.  An empty, eBay-esque, soulless story.  Of sameness.   Pages and pages of sameness.  It’s enough to blur your eyes and empty your brain scrolling through pages and pages and pages of the exact same item, priced differently, sometimes available in quantities of 287!  Seriously, 287 (thank you ThreeBirdNest for again confirming that you are sharing your bed with a big country called India) boho headbands.  Yes.  287 boho headbands.  I’ll just say what everyone is thinking…WHAT in the name of all that is holy is someone going to do with 287 boho headbands?

    What’s even more interesting is to find one of these shops, for example GraceAndLace, and click on their inventory of items for sale, only to find that it’s the same shit that ThreeBirdNest has!  Seriously, it’s the same shit.  The leg warmers.  The lace.  The jewelry.  The scarves.  How are they all knitting, beading and sewing exactly the same shit?  And each store calling it “handmade”.  Shamelessly.

    Let me help out a bit.  I’m going to show you handmade.  I’m going to show you items you can’t find somewhere else, items not imported from China or India.  I’m going to show you what a unique product is.  Because judging by the sales of these “handmade” items, either you, the Etsy buyer, are seriously confused or you just don’t care.  But in case you DO care, here are some examples:

    SS1

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/dramatiquedesigns ~ This is some seriously cool shit ~ an up cycled sweater from DramatiqueDesigns    If you want original, if you want one of a kind, if you want HANDMADE, it’s not going to cost you a mere $19.95.  But you’re not going to find 287 of these floating around Oregon either.

    SS2

    Meet Carlos and Omar, hand made, hand painted zombie dolls.  These are seriously cool, I would hang them on my wall any day, and I would laugh every time I walked past them.  Those faces…too funny… http://www.etsy.com/shop/CREEPYSTUFF

    SS4

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/FromKellyWithLove  One dang sweet little baby sign.  I would have hung that above the crib of both my baby girls if I’d seen it a few years ago ~ in fact I could still give it to them as a gift, especially my fierce baby Jane…she’d probably put it in her board room instead of her bedroom…but it would be a fair warning not to mess with that little one🙂

    SS9

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/stickdogleather ~ I’d carry this gorgeous purse just about anywhere🙂  Chad hand stitches items in his shop and there’s a lifetime warranty.  You won’t find China or India promising that!

    SS6

    And from vintage-land…Captain Midnight and the MOON WOMAN.  Look at the guy’s face to the far left…that redhead’s got him on the defensive! This is from 1942.  And you can’t mass produce 287 of them.  Thanks http://www.etsy.com/shop/ChloeSwirl for this priceless little piece of history.

    This is handmade, people.  This is vintage.  These are items that you can’t order 287 of.  And guess what, you can SEE the difference.  So if you want to be unique, if you want to support small businesses that actually make or find their items on American soil (just a nod to Memorial Day), here are some examples of what it really looks like.  And if you have the patience to scroll PAST the mass-produced shit, you’ll find gems like these items, what Etsy used to be, what Etsy used to support, and what we’d all (except India, China and their best American friends) like Etsy to return to.

    *thank you, Rod Stewart, for the lyrics…so appropriate that they are repeated over and over and over at the end of your song🙂