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> A similar model had worked spectacularly well for EBay Inc., which had made money for 21 straight years...How, Wunder asked, was Etsy not making more money?

Because EBAY was already in that market! It's really no wonder Etsy has tanked as a community, sellers fleeing in droves, as the company works hard to destroy what it was, something unique, successful (even if it wasn't eating the world) and highly responsive to user's needs, into YET ANOTHER EBAY CLONE full of sweatshop manufactured crap.

Hooray for Capitalism! Race to the bottom!


If you want your company to be a special snowflake, don't get greedy, don't sell a bunch of stock to outside investors and don't go public. The CEO betrayed his entire vision when he did that, you can't siphon off profits to give to other stakeholders (such as for egregious employee benefits) when you don't own and control the business.

And for all the good those excess benefits did in attracting top talent, why is Etsy's software so crappy?

At the same time,

> Sellers who developed successful products were prohibited by Etsy policy from hiring employees to help them expand

Isn't that cruel? Your XYZ craft is amazing and people love it, but you can hire someone to help you make more. Then, the demand is just absorbed by copycats.

> Isn't that cruel? Your XYZ craft is amazing and people love it, but you can hire someone to help you make more.

Not at all, that's inherent to the whole idea of handmade. Your product probably won't be the same if you get someone helping you with it; certainly the handmadiness that people are paying you for won't be there any more. If your product is good enough to stand on its own merits then you can sell it conventionally.

> Then, the demand is just absorbed by copycats.

Any copycat presumably has to stand on their own and earn their own reputation. If you've got positive reviews for the product you handmade, that shouldn't transfer over to someone else making it, even if that someone else is employed by you.

I don't consider being handmade to mean being personally created by the inventory only. If you hire others who are skilled in the crafts required to create your product then I have no qualms still considering the item to be hand crafted. Many of the outdoor items I purchase are hand made by small companies, I am not sure it matters who in the company makes it as long as the quality and service remain high.

Traditional crafts often had apprentices/journeyman doing the bulk of the work with a master doing the critical portions. So, a policy that says the seller must do something to each piece could be reasonable, but essentially saying you can buy components from someone else, but you can't have assistants is silly.

I know someone in Tennessee who has started listing on Amazon Homemade or whatever it's called, she says they're LESS demanding than Etsy and that's just psychotically sad.

I couldn't agree more. I've never been a customer, but my girlfriend won't even go to the site anymore. Perfect example of a company that should have stayed private, and been happy with what they had.

Like the other commenter says, maybe they should have stayed private if remaining committed to their ideals was such a high priority.

Agree completely. That was the beginning of the end, as it is for most innovative companies.

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