one of the biggest problems for me is im never even sure if im buying the original design or a knockoff, which totally sucks.
idk if this is just affecting the retro games / dice communities, or if others are also hit. ALSO you can kinda just sell semi-illegal "grey" goods on etsy? TONS of sellers just selling bootleg game boy games and rarely mentioning that in the product description.
Etsy is for artists/creators. If you add curation to the mix one side needs to take a hit - and it ain't going to be your wallet.
Basically the reason for Etsy to exist is "direct to consumer" model, with low intermediary overhead and 0 setup hurdles.
(If you ever tried to get a product on a supermarket shelf, that's how it is to get onto a successful curated store shelf)
You don't go there. They aren't a curated product website, so why do you expect them to be one?
Let them fail. It's baffling to me why so many people are so heavily invested into that brand here...
Enabling this sort of thing is Etsy's pitch. I have no particular loyalty to their brand, but in the past they've done a great job living up to that promise for me, and I have to assume others have had similar experiences. If they get filled up by Chinesium
knockoffs and the quality sellers are driven off, Etsy's product will no longer hold any value for us, and they will lose our business.
So yes, "let them fail". But before you accuse us of blind, unearned devotion to a brand, you might consider that there is---or once was---a good reason to prefer Etsy over other options.
And my experience with Etsy is that it's a crafty people selling low quality handmade stuff.
Etsy is the last place on the internet, where I would got looking for quality stuff.
Well, that's your loss. But it may be Etsy's loss, too, if they allow chintzy crap from overseas to drive the quality sellers off their platform. Amazon has embraced the race to the bottom, so I don't see anybody else competing effectively with them without (at the very least) being all-in on Chinesium.
There is no way around this in the free market. Ad comnpanies are the largest companies in the world, THATS NOT A CONINCIDENCE. Its about making people consume. Making people want sh*t that in reality they could live without. Overloaded by stimulii, people break. People want the dream. They hear about the dream. People want the cheapest thing so they can 100x instead of 2x. People who knock things off want the most popular thing. This is competition working. Its a race to the bottom or we sacrifice infinite growth. There is no other way. You either create new markets, create new consumers, or steal other peoples cut of the pie. "Disruption".
Apple is not an ad company, Tesla is not an ad company, Microsoft mostly isn’t an ad company, Netflix isn’t an ad company.
There are very few of the large companies that are ad companies.
This past weekend I noticed a Dollar General had popped up nearby. They’re like weeds in rural Indiana.
I have no doubt that within a year or two the small grocery store will be gone, and I’ll no longer have a convenient place to buy that bread I like so much.
Yes, I do want to go back to mom and pop shops.
Dollar General pops up, where people are very, very, price sensitive.
That "mom and pop" shop is either for tourists or is taking an unreasonable rent off the local economy.
I now live in a rural area and I like my local artisanal stores. But they cannot sustain the economy, due to very high overhead.
They used to be that! At least, a site for handmade things. That's what they built their brand on. Yeah, nowadays I avoid them like the plague because they're just a shitty ebay.
If that were so - then your local supermarket is a curated store. (which would be a preposterous claim to make)
Firstly, I never said I am invested in their brand. Nor do I have to be to argue that "cost is very high" is not a good reason to ignore doing something that your business (I would argue) needs to do (keep the knockoff "handmade stuff") in order to the accomplish your stated goals (connect sellers of actual handmade stuff with buyers).
Google has zero incentive to actually win that conflict, as frequently the SEO spam serves up ads from which google directly profits.
I understand the desire to make sure that goods are authentic, but that is the only reasonable argument in the whole strike manifesto.
It's totally possible on an e-commerce platform. Just nobodies quite managed it yet.
B) Are investors not allowed to make any return on their investments in form of dividends?
Because otherwise their brand is asymptotically approaching just being a more expensive Ali Express.
So no... They don't need to. And curated storefronts were many - I knew of at least 5 startups in that space - they all folded.
If they do not, many sellers will stop using them. Many buyers will stop using them. They will have competition.
Let them fail.
"Because if they don't they'll fail."
"Now you're arguing for a monopoly."
You can't possibly be arguing in good faith at this point.
PS: And then miss our further interaction
Whatever comes next will be small. They will lack some of the things I want for many years.
Also - monopolies are never good.
Etsy does listen to it's consumers, at least some times. The cost of complaining here is commensurate with the potential benefit.
So what is the bottom line? Consumers get to enjoy products that are 2x cheaper and 4x worse. Individual makers get priced out and have to join the drone ranks. And the corporate owners of trademarks and algorithms rake in so much cash they don't know where to invest it anymore.
Sadly, this is happening across every sector, and most people seem to be just fine with it.
Before manufactured goods were on the platform, you were basically browsing items that were either handmade or hand curated. It was a much better experience.
Based on my experience, curators add an extra 50%+ to the price of a product. Which is the cost of well curated storefront.
I still occasionally find small sellers on Etsy whose stuff interests me and I always wonder why they choose to sell via Etsy and I’m sure it’s: because it works and because it’s less hassle than the other options. The traffic to your shop is worth swimming in a sea of knockoffs and doodads. And that’s what you compete with on the internet at large anyway.
But if i am selling someone elses stuff, then i am in the business of curation.
They also decided to be way more lax, than some people want it to be.
Our biggest electronics chain Conrad however... oh jesus they have gone really downhill some years ago with their website design - the search is broken, metadata for parts are (sometimes completely) wrong, and to make it worse even the in-store staff has to rely on the website instead of a dedicated ERP software which means if you are searching for a part with specific specs (e.g. temperature) even the store staff can't help you any more!
What the fuck!
I just left and bought something online.
(I know there are high end hifi shops that will let me try headphones. But I wasn't looking for 500€ headphones, I just wanted something that didn't sound like shit. Thomann is perfect for that.)
Record player sales are booming though, according to the shop I went to.
It still puzzles me how much of a disconnect exists between e-commerce and brick & mortar, almost 25 years from Gates's "Business at the speed of thought".
Those people who come in the store should be converted right there and then, by making it trivial to order in-store a home delivery option that is price-competitive with non-b&m-equipped businesses. Keep razor-thin local inventory that commands a premium for the fact that you get it there and then, and everything else can be ordered. This should allow you to offset a decent amount of showroom costs while still competing with web-only operations.
If the price difference is small enough and the friction low enough, making the order in-store becomes a better option than leaving, sitting down somewhere, searching again for the item on some other store, etc etc.
There are still big opportunities out there for retailers who can figure out that sweet spot.
I mean, I get your pain. But on the other hand I'm just sick about the Mittelstand complaining that online is eating their lunch... they have all sat on their wealth and glory and thought they had carved out their forever niche guaranteeing themselves profits without having to do anything any more, and every single one that collapses fills my heart with a bit of joy.
I think that's a good thing. The business of "holding things in a building" that are occasionally purchased and don't benefit from last-mile caching should go the way of the dinosaur. It will be good to get the space back. The thing that's really needed is a community space but the economics of it are hard unless you're selling stuff. My city tries to promote this stuff with arts council grants.
This is tough, as a lot of artistic items have quality control that is purely subjective. But, often these places are not much more curated than the vendor room of a convention. There will be some nice things; but claims of curation are all too often over sold.
I'm an Apple One subscriber. I only listen to Apple Music during my morning three-mile walk (45-50 minutes). The rest of the day, I'm working, and I don't listen to music, then.
I use their "Create A Station Based on This Song" feature, like Pandora. It generally works fairly well (I think Pandora works better, but they also limit skips -even for paid subscriptions).
I like to hear obscure, indie, music, from artists off the beaten path. I tend to immediately skip, when I get a song that is in my library, or that I've heard a lot (like the song used to create the station). I also tend to skip a lot, anyway, because a lot of undiscovered music is obscure for a reason.
One time, I was listening to relaxing, wordless, techno/trance, and a freaking Lady Gaga pop song plops in, like an airborne gift from a dyspeptic, incontinent, buzzard. The only possible relation to what I was listening to, was that one of her band members was maybe playing a sampler. She's a talented artist, and all that, but that was not what I wanted to hear. It was quite jarring.
Someone is selling eardrums. That was probably an AI hiccup.
In any case, my suggestion was to create "Undiscovered Music" stations, so you say "Play more songs like this one, but ones I've not heard before, and are definitely not in my library."
I would want to hear indie tracks, and songs from obscure artists. I listen to a lot of different types of music, and most of my tastes are heavily represented in the indie space. I often find it difficult to discover music that I'm not already familiar with.
I suspect that if Apple did it, they would sell out. They'd stuff these "Undiscovered Music" stations with commercial pablum; rendering the entire concept useless. They'd probably kill it, soon afterwards, because "Nobody uses this service."
The current push for "Bigger, Louder, MOAR!" is something that does not favor craftsmanship, Quality, or independence.
Why would they do that? It would be massively unpopular, per your own comment, so I can't understand why that would be a commercial move.
It's not even like an indie radio station selling out, because a radio station is at least (usually) an independent competing entity. It's more like a record shop inexplicably filling its death metal section with madrigals.
It would simply lose those customers who liked it, and not even gain any others, since pop customers want the opposite thing (and are already amply catered to) so wouldn't even click on it to begin with.
In my experience, "monetization" people Just. Can't. Bear. To. See. Anything. Not. Making. Money.
It seems to be something that causes them physical discomfort, and they regularly destroy so many good things, by trying to make money from them.
Call me a cynic.
Asking for an all-new list is akin to asking for a HIIT workout plan, but without the pauses.
I've had issues with these. There's so many spammy, garbage playlists, that it's impossible to pick out the good ones (and I have found gems, but it's a lot of work).
> Please don't use uppercase for emphasis. If you want to emphasize a word or phrase, put *asterisks* around it and it will get italicized.
Of course, uppercase is appropriate for an acronym or initialism that actually is spelled that way, such as SEO in the comment we're replying to.
\*this\* becomes *this*.
And before you ask, to show the backslash, you add another backslash. \\*this\\* becomes \*this\*
This will never happen with Etsy, Amazon, or any other publicly traded company. Publicly traded companies have a fiduciary duty to their share holders to make as much money as possible. If the leadership doesn't act in this manner, they will be replaced with others that will. If you want a platform like you are describing it will have to be privately owned.
There has been this odd trend over the last few years of mischaracterizing what this means/what that duty translates to. People talk about it as if every CEO has to redline the company at all times and never think about longterm consequences for literally any reason. Every single cent that can be extracted right now must be extracted or the investors will rise up in all their anger crying out "FIDUCIARY DUTY!" as they drag the poor CEO off kicking and screaming.
Companies can think longterm. They're allowed to sacrifice short term profits for sustainability/longevity. I don't get where people get this idea that they can't. To me, "fiduciary duty" has become almost memetic - it's some weird hand wave-y line people throw out to excuse businesses being short-sighted, as if they never had a choice.
They act as if they have no choice, that there is some legal mandate to just wring out a company all day every day and damn all consideration beyond “I can make another dollar this second.”
I feel like this is in semi-myth territory. Yes, there have been cases where shareholders have sued company leadership because they weren't making them as much money as they could. But it's not quite as clear-cut and well-tested in the courts as you make it sound.
Management has a ton of latitude to run the business as they see fit. The "remedy" for bad business decisions is supposed to be divesting and starting a competitor, not the courts.
Cases like Dodge v. Ford or Caremark are odd because the board was basically not running a business at all: Ford flat-out said he was doing something not for the business, but in support of his philanthropic beliefs. Caremark was so asleep at the helm that they racked up a quarter-billion dollars in silly fines.
Anyone can, of course, sue over anything, but if it's even vaguely legitimate (and the "facts" in Shlensky v. Wrigley are pretty bonkers, IMO), they won't win.
"My ambition is to employ still more men, to spread the
benefits of this industrial system to the greatest possible
number, to help them build up their lives and their homes."
It's been argued that if he said less ("No, just no"), or a bit more ("And this will let us recruit the best workers/expand our customer base/etc"), he would have been fine. This commentary lays that argument out nicely: https://openyls.law.yale.edu/handle/20.500.13051/603
It isn't a straight-forward call to make. The current status-quo with resellers might be making money now, but there will be long-term brand damage in exchange. Will their business still be viable in 5 years if they develop a reputation for being Aliexpress lite?
No. Optimize for shareholder value.
Amazon shareholders, for instance, are happy to make little in way of profit because Amazon management has shown an ability to increase the value of the enterprise.
In general though, the market is legitimately skeptical of most managers which is not a bad thing.
Of course. Because by definition you’ve sacrificed the short term and the long term for nothing. But I don’t think anyone here would debate that so I’m not entirely sure what you’re getting at.
That is not accurate. They are required to operate in a manner that is satisfactory to their owners, who delegate that responsibility to the board of directors, who then set policy for management to execute.
There is no difference between a publicly traded and privately owned company in terms of the responsibilities of the management and board to their shareholders.
There are numerous incentives to maximize shareholder returns (eg taxation incentives, equity value improvement, dividends), but there is nothing in law or otherwise that applies a fiduciary duty to management or the directors of a company to maximize either dividends or capital value.
> If the leadership doesn't act in this manner, they will be replaced with others that will.
This is exactly what happened at Etsy when they fired the previous CEO and installed Josh Silverman.
Etsy could certainly argue their bottom line in the long term will be helped by curating a higher quality marketplace and getting rid of junk sellers, if that's a problem.
Most managers are not Steve Jobs.
I work in this space and can provide a little correction/illumination:
The folks selling printed phone cases, gameboy cases, etc are generally not shipping these over from aliexpress. They are almost all printed on demand from printers local to the country of the buyer (there's a half dozen big phone case printers just in the US). Nothing is mass produced except the blanks.
The sellers come up with the artwork and titles/tags/descriptions/etc. Software like mine creates the Etsy listings and processes orders, routing to appropriate printers which ship directly to the customer. Etsy provides an API for this.
Print-on-demand sellers are selling pure intellectual property. They jealously guard their high-resolution images, but that doesn't stop the industry from having a big ripoff problem. Low-effort ripoffs copy a public low-res image, which makes a terrible print but potential customers/victims might not be able to tell from an online mockup image. High-effort ripoffs involve hiring an artist to make a new work substantially (or identically) similar to something else. Both cheat the intellectual property of the original artist, but they're using the same print companies.
Whether this stuff is "handcrafted" is somewhat ambiguous - is a book handcrafted? Is a set of patterns for a dress or a piece of furniture handcrafted? Something 3d printed? Certainly someone came up with the artwork "by hand", but printing it on a tshirt or phone case is pretty mechanical.
There are hundreds of online tutorials promising you how to create designs for sale on Etsy - even if you have not a shred of design talent. How? Go to Canva, find a good-looking template and slap on it on as many POD products as possible. Etsy is simply overstuffed with products like this. Many of these sellers are probably making good sales. Does this count as something being 'designed'? Does it even matter?
The perception that Etsy is a marketplace mostly of artists and "makers" is one that hasn't been true for a while.
Etsy tends to attract the more sophisticated POD merchants because it's more complicated (separate printer required) and there's a $0.20 listing fee so there's more upfront cost. Most successful POD merchants have thousands or tens of thousands of designs, so the listing fees really add up.
The most successful POD merchants have small design teams that produce content every day. That may or may not fit your mental image of an Etsy seller. But the low-effort non-artists who took a guru's "make money fast in POD" online course tend to do very poorly, and don't make up the bulk of Etsy.
Well they're selling properly licensed products that use their images that are protected by copyright (and potentially trademark).
The supposedly appropriate response would be to have the ability to sue those that rip them off in exactly the same way that Nike or Chanel or any other manufacturer would.
There may be some liability to the print companies (and perhaps the other companies in the pipeline) for producing product that doesn't have a properly validated copyright on the image. Especially if they are producing in bulk/for general sale to the public.
So it should be in Etsy's interest (and yours, and the print companies) to ensure that what a seller is asking you to produce is not ripped off.
There is no such thing as "validated copyright" - you own a copyright on the content you produce and there's no official registrar. Determining ownership is an adversarial process - everyone says "this is mine, the other guy ripped me off". Small players don't have the legal resources to prosecute.
Services like mine which manage whole libraries can pretty easily weed out the bad players because they tend to be full of TM violations. But the marketplaces have it more difficult.
Nobody has come up with a good solution to this yet.
I myself have spent weeks navigating the maze of dodgy NanoVNAs out there. Even one of the official resellers decided to cut costs and ship out poorly functioning clones and try and deny it.
Can’t win so don’t play. Eventually the markets will fall due to crap saturation.
Independent developer developed a flashcart for the Sega Dreamcast and was subsequently ripped off. After he complained on Twitter, most of the community sided with the cloners. They just want their cheap garbage and they have no idea/care regarding the massive effort it takes to develop a device like this.
Never mind the fact that the original developer will be inundated with support/bugfix requests for the clones while the Chinese cloners disappear into the ether having stolen all the value.
He eventually walked away from the project from what I recall which pissed off his original buyers and now others have stepped up with their own devices(And will probably be cloned).
Luckily the one (temporary) respite you have in software/hardware is DRM. If you can implement a complex enough DRM system you can slow down the cloners from stealing your software for some period of time. It sucks but this is the world we live in.
One tactic that a Flashcart manufacturer is using is some sort of serial coded firmware updates that only operates on a specific date code of flashcart. It requires the user to log into an account and get the specific firmware update that is tied to their flashcart. It has caused some complaints from the community regarding ease of use + resale woes(transferring ownership from one legit user to another) but overall this is an interesting solution. It hasn't fully prevented clones but has slowed them down somewhat.
I wish there was some way this could be applied to the non-software world but you can't defeat the physical layer.
The gaming community just seems to suck as customers. You see this with all the hate a publisher gets when they release something that isn't perfect as well.
There are also people buying the Everdrive clones and then expecting support. I have seen these complaints on Reddit and in various forums. I don't know how rampant this is but its so silly.
You're right though, that in general the end users are very much entitled assholes in general, and there are still people buying Everdrive clones, even when the real deal was still in stock and available. But Everdrive is still successful for Krikzz, and all of the clones out there are based on a very outdated design that his newer devices are far surpassing in terms of features and support.
Yes, I know flashcarts are also commonly used for homebrew, and I use mine exclusively for homebrew. I also understand that many of the older games have become collectors items, and wanting to play backups instead of the original is another use case. This doesn't change one of it's most common use cases, which is playing illegal roms.
I watched as this high schooler got harassed for years as people did not believe such a product was even possible. After he released it, everyone forgot about all the harassment that this product was vaporware and impossible to develop and now he continued to get hounded for bug fixes to fix timing issues with specific games(he is emulating the complete CD drive and many games expected exact timings to overcome specific undocumented bugs in the system).
Now you have to throw in the threat of clones. To this day he is continuing to fully support the product despite some clones appearing in the wild. A competing product has recently appeared that takes a simpler approach to emulating the CD drive and likely has not had as extensive of a QA process. It remains a question whether this other approach is better compared to PSIO(new product only supports 3 motherboard versions out of dozens + you lose the CD drive altogether) but because the price is cheaper a large chunk of the community does not care and have moved on. The remaining community are now bashing the PSIO team for temporary slowing down development to rewrite the firmware to stop the latest round of cloners.
You can look at it as theft, but others would see it as preserving and promoting software development on a ~28 year old console. This team also gone into excruciating detail to document the system to help enable new software to be developed.
Just from the outside looking in, I don't know if it is worth the effort to spend years making something like this only to be harassed nonstop for years, getting your IP stolen by the Chinese and in end still be making a product that is a grey market item. I suspect that down the road we will have nothing but low quality Chinese made junk on the market if anything at all.
There's always going to be the originals, which will almost definitely hold value for the lifetime of millennials at least.
This is always going to be a small market driven by passion. If you can write a PlayStation flash cart you can almost defiantly make something with a higher market value.
There is an active market for extremely high quality products in this space. Look at Analogue (analogue.co) which is building FPGA reference-quality reproductions of classic consoles (NES, SNES, GENSIS, and recently GB/GBC/GBA). These machines play original carts better than original hardware, they are widely critically acclaimed, and the company keeps outputting fantastic machines. Many speed running and other competitive organizations accept plays running on analogue hardware, but not other knock-off consoles.
This seems like an opportunity in disguise. Provide paid support, possibly after upselling the crowd to genuine product if required. Then word-of-mouth will be to the original dev's benefit; few will side with the fly-by-night cloners.
DRM makes your product less "hackable" by the customer and less likely to sustain a committed community. It's a very short sighted approach.
Had a couple run ins with what looked like good quality product only to get what was clearly just bulk garbage.
Etsy was a neat bonus where I could access handmade small makers, but now that it is a hassle/ I don’t know what I’m getting… I just don’t go there.
A few years ago I also toured souvenir shops in Malmo, Sweden. I asked the proprietor of when where the merchandise came from, she said it all came from China.
With a global economy, that's just the way things are.
and they actually do prosecute it:
To be clear, not all art in Santa Fe is Native American, but a large amount of it is. And, yes, there's a large amount of junk being peddled as well that is absolutely imported. As a side note, there's a yearly Santa Fe Indian Market that's pretty fantastic and brings artists in from all over the place. None of that will be mass produced or imported and it is worth a visit.
So, that means no learning from what others had done, which is the entire idea of publicly posted patents vs trade secrets.
The patent system is literally causing the opposite of innovation to happen in certain technology spaces.
Even if these were prosecuted, would it really help in electronics, for example?
Since everybody has access to the same chips and creating a PCB is cheap and relatively quick, what would you even prosecute? Sure, you could prosecute the exact clones, but, most people are just following the manufacturer reference designs from the datasheet so there's nothing stopping someone else from doing that.
The problem is that once you prove there is a market for a piece of electronics, somebody in China will now pick off that market for cheaper. Is this not capitalism at its most raw?
The problem that this causes in electronics is that this trashes scaling as well as customer support. You can sell a $100 thingit, create a reddit community, and mostly tell people they're on their own with the occasional answer from somebody semi-official. Or you can sell a $10K+ thingit and actually provide excellent customer support.
In both cases, you will get cloned and ripped off--which limits the amount of money you can get from the market.
The current "solution" is to always have a cloud component which can't be cloned. This is, of course, anathema to open source, but I haven't seen anybody in open source have a good answer for this, either.
But I guess that would still harm the original developers of the IP :\
Now, I just skip Etsy most of the time, wading through so much junk to find something original is too much work.
At the end of the day, any increase in sales means more revenue for Etsy. The company is following the same digital flea market model that Amazon does, and it has all of the same perverse incentives.
I've been trying to think of a way to use blockchain to prove "who posted it first" but it's got a major network problem (nobody uses it because nobody will use it because nobody uses it).
They are not another ebay and shouldn't want to be.
Some friends and I were discussing this point recently: Etsy has become Ebay, sans the auction veneer.
Truly frustrating that they can't implement some sort of quality control, but that's a hard problem to crack at scale.
It is very hard to find real hand craft on Etsy, if you don't have direct link for exact creator.
As a buyer it is a massive joy to see the price of some item go down when there’s diversity of sellers instead of a monopoly.
Plenty of industries deal with this in various ways and manage to survive and the consumer ends up winning in the end. Restaurants, fashion, heck even app stores all deal with this and the end result is better products for the consumer at cheaper prices.
No one has a monopoly on designing yet another cute bracelet or rainbow lanyard or generic pillow cover.
Low quality/durability items are not what most people want most of the time. It's sometimes all they can afford, or they think they found a good deal and feel ripped off when the item arrives and they discover that it's low quality/durability, but either way they aren't happy about it. What people want is high quality goods at prices they can afford.
I'm from the Netherlands. One of the most successful retail stores here is "Action", which in the category of low quality garbage sinks to the absolute bottom.
Everybody knows it's garbage. One may buy a pair of scissors there and have it break down in 2 months of usage. So then people just buy another one. It's not strictly a budget issue, most shoppers can afford a good pair of scissors, one that lasts 10 years, but they prefer the cheap one anyway.
"Alibaba shopping" is mainstream here. Everybody buys their small items there. One of my colleagues, whom is upper middle class, was proudly telling me how he buys a "value" pack of 10 phone chargers every year. They're all terrible and soon break down, so then he'll just move to the next one. He could just buy a single decent one, but no.
I wish you were right, but you're not. People just want the absolute cheapest thing, and they want it now.
Having that kind of an attitude with device chargers is a great way to damage your devices! Does that guy feel the same about his phone as he does his chargers?
There are times when the cheapest option is a smart way to go, and times when it's so convenient that it's worth picking up the cheap item even knowing it'll cost you later. Most of the time though I think people like having nice things.
I'll confess I do know people who have money but always buy the cheapest toilet paper. There's no understanding some people.
I don't know if this extends to the US, but over here there has been a massive shift in retail. The middle is gone. There's value shopping and there's luxury shopping. Very low-end and very high-end.
Stores in the mid segment, which used to dominate retail, are falling apart. Some of these chains existed for over a century, had stores in every dutch city. They're all going bankrupt or already are.
They have no reason to exist. Their products may be of a slightly better quality, but barely so, as they too go for cheap Chinese garbage. They don't really offer better service because they can't afford to. Their staff are clueless teenagers for being cheap.
That’s generally how a race to the bottom happens. Short term narrow minded outlooks that barely consider how one action effects another. It’s terrible long run for buyers, employees, and the planet.
Which means we need to stop kidding around and call it what it is. You can't offer people a cheap unsustainable choice and a more expensive better choice and then hope and pray that this magically works out well.
There should not be an unsustainable choice. At the very least we should start pricing in externalities into unnaturally cheap products.
It isn't really possible to produce a 5$ radio, ship it across the world and still run a profit. It's possible at the cost of a livable wage, basic human rights, reasonable work conditions, proper waste management, underpricing fossil fuel usage, special tax agreements, and so much more.
The radio costs 50$, not 5$.
How does one go about getting a product made through aliexpress?
I bought bulk washing machine motors for millions of dollars and audio amplifier modules for a few thousands and N95 masks for a few hundred.
Also, take a look at ImportYeti.com
Redbubble lets you upload designs for t-shirts, phone cases, etc, and make them available in their web storefront. You only get a small slice of the sale price, but it's very easy to get your designs "out into the world."
I come up with mechanical designs as well as "artsy" things - which could be mass produced... but never like a logo-shirt or something as mentally ephemeral..
Right now I am modeling an 'thing' as a 3d printable (or injection molded at scale) attachment to a common house hold power tool, but can come in various grades (home|pro|industrial)...
I messed up and had a bunch of money in 2020 that I should have bought a printer with, but spent on stupid stuff like food and living expenses instead...
Other items are home-goods improvements/desires...
Think of me as the SamCo (Like RonCo) of my personal universe... but I am hoping some of that bleeds put into other universes such as xsmasherCo :-)
Potential use-case for NFTs? :thinking:
AI-powered bots shut down legitimate seller accounts seemingly at random, while Etsy looks the other way on resellers who undercut authentic makers by peddling sweatshop-produced junk in clear violation of the spirit of the Etsy community.
AI lockouts are a huge problem on Amazon, too, not to mention many of the sites and services used by HNers. I've said it before and I will say it again:
How many more pleas like this will we see on HN? Or, hear from friends, colleagues, and relatives who have been locked out or denied access to an important service, either through no fault of their own or by an innocent action?
No explanation other than "suspicious activity" or "violation of [vaguely worded] policy."
No human to call who can help troubleshoot, other than a tech-savvy friend or relative.
There needs to be a technology bill of rights, not just for people dealing with Google, Amazon, Apple, and Facebook, but also the myriad other technology operators which can disrupt our lives in an instant with some poorly programmed process or unanticipated edge case.
At some point on of these companies is going to hit someone with enough power to force them to do a better job.
And then they fix that one situation and go on about their normal business. At least that is what it seems to me. I would wish for something more long term to happen but I am becoming less hopeful.
Manufacturing has moved to these places in some cases because many customers just can't tell the difference or couldn't care less about the difference
Are the people organized under that website all wearing leather shoes hand sewn in Maine cottages? Or are they wearing more sweatshop produced junk
Your argument does not hold in this case, because Etsy was established and sustained as a marketplace for handmade goods. This is true also for customers, who visited Etsy to support independent artists and artisans and to purchase unique and limited items.
Many of the sellers of cheap knock-offs are engaged in blatant theft of IP and misrepresentation as independent artists.
> Are the people organized under that website all wearing leather shoes hand sewn in Maine cottages? Or are they wearing more sweatshop produced junk
I don’t see what this has to do with anything. But, yes, many sellers try hard to support other artisans. Etsy is but one part of a culture and economy of handmade goods that includes in-person shows and other off-Etsy venues.
As the previous poster said though, why would I care about the distinction? Are handmade goods supposed to be better? Seems like a ludicrous proposition. Machines are more precise and faster, and so they make things cheaper. The quality depends on the processes used, and materials, not on whether machines are used.
I've noticed kitchen goods are usually the same. And it's not just Etsy... I've even seen Kickstarters that haven't finished, yet the product can already be purchased on AliExpress :D
Here are a few quick examples I found on Etsy. I just searched for "toys" and these were in the top results. Some of these even use the same photo as AliExpress:
As far as I am concerned Etsy is not a place for home made goods, it's a place to learn how marketing and drop shipping works.
I bought a couple of things on their site a while ago, but have never been a seller.
Somehow I keep getting emails intended for sellers in France and other places, trying to coordinate shipments or orders, or complaining about issues with orders. This has been going on for at least 4 years and I've reported it to Etsy multiple times with no follow-up at all on their side.
I did not know exactly what the star seller program was. It requires that in the last three months of shop data :
> 95%+ of first messages in a thread are responded to within 24 hours.
> 95%+ of orders ship on time with tracking
> 95%+ of orders receive 5 star reviews
> minimum of 10 orders and $300 in sales
In the petition  they explain the Star Seller Program as:
>Passive aggressive efforts to influence seller behavior are counter-productive and result in a worse customer experience. Rather than making us mad at buyers who leave glowing 4-Star reviews, or making us feel that we can no longer offer letter class shipping on items like cards and stickers, Etsy should leave us to individually do the best we can for each and every customer in each and every situation.
Also note that it says "95% of orders" not "95% of ratings." We get feedback, maybe, like 40% of the time if we're lucky. If you're not begging for ratings, you won't hit that number.
They aren't overtly doing much with the Star Seller program yet, but I can almost guarantee that they will in the future. I'm 99% sure it's already influencing search rankings (since they influence them in other ways already, such as prioritizing listings with free shipping). I understand some of that is to promote sales which benefits the seller and Etsy, but if they are or start using Star Seller to tweak results, that's not really benefiting anyone that I can see.
Maybe for average of ratings, not for average of all things that could be rated, whether rated or not. Those are very different things.
It's hard to really gauge the size of something from just measurements. One thing that often annoys me about product pages is that have a bazillion images of the thingymabob, but don't actually have a bunch of images where it shows the thingymabob in perspective; e.g. somehow actually holding it, a wider-angle picture of it in regular context (e.g. a painting actually framed on a wall in a regular living room or whatnot), and that kind of stuff.
Anyway, just an aside.
I also see a 4-star review as "excellent", but many of these platforms seem to see anything less than 5 stars as "bad".
So what review do you leave? 5-star because the product is "as advertised" and otherwise good? Or 4-star because it's not quite what you were looking for? I think both options are reasonable.
The Real Problem™ here is thinking you can automate these sort of things without any human judgement and expect to somehow end up with a reasonable response. There will always be outliers that any human would judge as "yeah, that's just silly" but computers don't care.
My ex was a clothing Seller on Etsy. A 4-star review because something didn't fit right was super stressful for her, because it meant her average rating went down and her seller status might be demoted.
I think a better option is to contact the seller directly if you are dissatisfied with the product. That way you aren't transferring your problem to them.
That’s exactly the type of person I was before I became a dev and learned about these insane algorithms. As someone else on this post said 3 star - good 4 star - great 5 star - absolutely amazing perfect service! went above and beyond
- The product is as advertised, built well, shipped on time and with appropriate packaging, and all these other objective things.
- My personal opinion of the product.
AirBnB kind of does that, although it still aggregates in a single score at the end.
I know some folks already hinted at this in the comments, but it's beyond bizarre to me to read this quote on HN. The size of something is literally the measurements. If the measurements are wrong, that's one thing... I'll sometimes cut out cardboard or mask things off in painters tape if I want to know how they fit in a space. Accurately reported measurements should never be hard to "really gauge."
eBay has had super sellers for 20 years now. Not as stringent but it is beneficial to customers.
Meanwhile, Amazon continues to dilute their store with no control over review authenticity. Not saying Etsy isn’t prone to that but Amazon’s entire business model is to let these things slide. Etsy is at least doing something.
I really don’t care about sellers. I want a place for high quality products. Period.
The petition does make a good point that some products may be better just shipped dirt-cheap without paying for tracking, but overall Etsy is pushing sellers to provide better service and do things that bring in more revenue, both for them and the seller.
They actually hide some stuff in there. Tracking is expensive, if you add tracking to all your orders than someone else will offer a lower price and out-compete you.
Buuut, if you buy your shipping labels directly from etsy that counts as having tracking, even when there isn't any tracking.
So the actual effect of this is just to force people to buy their shipping labels through etsy directly. I presume etsy gets a bulk discount and keeps the difference.
Yes. A lot of ecommerce companies (Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc) have a labels side-business that works in this way. Volume-based discounts from carriers.
Indeed, Etsy even helps you with that; from their FAQ:
> What happens if I can’t respond to messages on weekends and bank holidays?
> If you’re having a difficult time responding to messages during certain time periods, consider setting up an auto-reply, which counts as a response.
This is going to be subject to Goodhart's law. As soon as buyers are aware their favourite sellers on Etsy are evaluated like this many of them will always leave 5 star reviews, while others will try to use the threat of a < 5 star review to get special consideration from the vendor.
This is the same reason many people leave automatic 5 star reviews for gig workers unless something goes grotesquely wrong.
Even as our businesses have grown, the ease of use and convenience are hard to beat if you want to keep them to something casual. Sure, we could pop up a Shopify, ramp up advertising, really grind to get it "out there," but then we're spending more time and money to end up at the same spot.
A smaller marketplace won't have that sort of network effect. The only way I'd see it succeeding is if they really blitz on marketing and making themselves a real outlet for makers (and make sure they're perceived that way over Etsy). Their brand recognition and entrenchment would be super hard to overcome.
They know they provide value and that their fees can be higher.
If you think that the value of their service is too low - then you will leave. If you leave. - then they'll have to address it. Original Etsy sellers have the leverage.
small, handcrafted goods -> larger scale production -> mass-market aliexpress/ebay
98/100 will support the idea. 2/100 will pay 2x for something because it isn't a Chinese knockoff.
They aren't compatible markets, but a company who values profit above all else will start to cater to the lowest common denominator and push out people who care about quality, locally sourced, handcrafted etc. and become another generic retailer.
"The artist and gift will be a surprise"
Hey, if it works for them, great. I just can't see using it.
There are two sites in the UK that do this, with slightly different emphasis on each:
I think that is sort of the point, if someone were to niche down to actual makers of things. One could make it an exclusive club and spend money to get exclusive items for launch, for example get specially made pieces from well known makers and they can number them if they want, like 1/100 special thing-a-mabob.
Have actual interviews with artisans/makers, slowly ramping up sellers. Take customer complaints seriously. Like if its reported that artisan_maker_27 started shipping cheapo shit from where-ever then they are kicked off the platform.
I think the idea is to do as much as you can without scaling. No AI. No ads on the platform (certainly advertise for it).
There were a bunch of them. Most failed...
> The argument against it is likely, "it won't scale", but I think and argument could be made that it could.
A curated and authenticated store is a very expensive endeavour. They're complaining about hike in fees now, imagine how many would be able to accept hundreds of dollars in standing fees and cut from sales on top of that.