When I started my beach writing business in April of 2010, I opened a shop on Etsy. I already had an account there from buying things, and I'd heard so many good things about Etsy, I figured it was a good place. And it was. In little over a year I have over 300 sales on Etsy.
But Etsy is changing. The word is that they want to be more like a Social Media site because Social Media selling is the wave of the future. I understand that. And I agree with the idea, but not the way they're going about it.
First thing I noticed is they took away Alchemy. Alchemy was an area where you could request bids for an item you needed. It was supposed to come back, but it hasn't. Alchemy was great. Not only was it a good place to get a GOOD laugh at some of the requests, but sometimes it was great for coming up with new ideas for your business. AND because you interacted with the person requesting the item, it was a way to generate business.
Then they added Circles. Circles are good, in theory. They're kind of liking business pages on Facebook. But when I log into my account and see I have 300 pieces of "Activity" in my Circles, I'm not going to look through them all.
Then they messed up the forums. This was a bad thing to do.
The forums were like any other message board. It was broken down into several major headings and you could go in and ask a question and get it answered immediately.
Now you have to join a TEAM and hope that it's active and maybe get your question answered.
And finally, as of this Friday at 5pm, they are permanently closing down the Chat. Their excuse is that it's a Flash application and they're getting rid of all the Flash on the site. Ok I get that.
But that was the last way to ENCOURAGE SOCIAL INTERACTION on the site.
I joined chat probably in the fall sometime. I have made a TON of friends, business partners and sales because of chat. And I'm really upset that Etsy once again is NOT listening to their sellers and just closing things down.
The other issue I have with Etsy is they don't follow through on their own TOU. There are tons of resellers all over Etsy. Resellers are people who buy things in bulk and sell them as handmade. Regretsy does a posting on resellers all the time. (Definitely click on the link and check out Regretsy, it's hysterical).
And copyright infringement is RAMPANT. I went to Etsy.com and did a search on Perry the Platypus. It returned 50 items. I'm pretty sure that not one of them have licensing from Disney. They get reported over & over again, and I have not witnessed any item removed.
But these aren't the only reasons I'm considering leaving Etsy.
There are also money issues.
Etsy charges you 20 cents to list an item and takes 3.5% when it sells. They also encourage you to "renew" items to keep them high in the search results, which costs 20 cents each time.
Zibbet offers a free account.
It has some limits. You can only list 50 things and there are some design things that are not available in the free account. But neither have been an issue for me yet. And if I wanted a pay account, it's only $10 a month or $70 a year.
I have spend $127 so far this year on Etsy.
And a lot of my clients, create an Etsy account on the day they visit my shop, to buy from me. I'd love to find out how many of my clients open a shop TO buy from me. Have to figure out how to find that out.
What that shows me is they'r coming from somewhere else. I do have a web page, a Twitter, a Facebook page & of course this blog. Sorry, got off topic.
Zibbet isn't as well known as Etsy. But I'm finding Etsy isn't as well known as I thought it was. So maybe that isn't as big of a factor that I thought it was.
Lastly I want to change my store name. On Etsy, it's MsSuzie
on Zibbet, it's Beachwritings.
I also have the shop name Beachwritings on Etsy, but I figured since Zibbet was free to list my items, I'd go there.
I'm not going to close down my Etsy Shop just yet, I want to evaluate Zibbet first. I'm sure there are issues with Zibbet just like with Etsy. But instead of jumping in with both feet this time, I'm going to ease in, little by little.
I'd love to hear if you have any experience with Zibbet worth sharing!