Thursday, March 3, 2011

How many Etsy circles are you in?

So, today's Etsy shenanigans, Circle count competition.

"Circle counts are now visible throughout the site: on profiles, shop pages and listing pages." More or less every single page that comes up on Etsy will now show the number of circles to which you belong.


What is the purpose of this? Besides jamming home the complete, all-encompassing point of the social commerce experiment that Etsy has become in 2011?

To quote the announcement thread:
"If you're a shop owner, being favorited by someone with a high circle count means exposure--everyone who's added that person to their circle will become aware of your shop through their activity feeds. Items are going viral this way every day now on Etsy."

Three issues:
Issue one: How in heaven's name are we, as shop owners, supposed to campaign to become favorited by someone with a high circle count? I have avoided this phrase thus far, although it has been thrown around Etsy a lot in the last couple of months: This is like a high school clique, in the worst possible sense.

You have to make the popular kids like you. The Etsy popular kids are the sellers making the stuff that has been on the Etsy front page for years. You know the stuff I'm talking about, just like you know who made that stuff.

I'm going to make what I want. That's why I make stuff, and one-of-a-kind stuff, at that. I want the person who buys something of mine to have the only one in existence. That's also the kind of stuff I buy on Etsy. I don't want it to look like everything else.

Issue two: Are buyers even using circles? Casual buyers who drop in and shop a bit and pick up something? I highly doubt it. That pretty much nullifies the entire concept of circles, unless the idea truly is that circles are designed to keep sellers from buying from one another in a true spiralling circle of no profits for sellers.

Issue three: Notice that I emphasized viral in the statement above. Viral? Really? Listings are going viral on Etsy? How? Why? What? Are they selling? Or just spinning around in a claustrophobic Spirograph of self-reference?

"[P]eople will add you to their circles if they like what you're finding."

I don't want people to like what I'm finding. I want people to buy my stuff.

How are your sales for the past six weeks? Because mine are not good.

Can I be in your circle?


  1. The majority of buyers only do not use circles, and that's a fact.

    I just checked out the profile's of every customer I've had (90 people) to see just how many of those people are using circles.

    The results: in 90 customers, 84 of those people are buyers only and 6 of them are shop owners.
    Out of 90 people, only 8 use circles, and 5 of those are shop owners. Only 3 buyers only have used circles.

  2. No word on whether 'going viral' results in sales from the powers that be.

    But, 'going viral' is GREAT free advertising for Etsy. And, like the dubious front page treasury makers, it feeds people's egos, creates competition in areas that help Etsy, and distracts members from the fact that they're not getting what they need from the site to sell more easily.

    Underhanded and effective. And sellers pay for this nonsense.

  3. Lol, I wipe my butt with Etsy.
    Take that, spoiled, snot nosed hipsters.

  4. There was a comment in one thread that asked, "If you're not making Treasuries and you're not using circles, then why are you on Etsy?"

    Uhhhhhhhhhh... because I want to sell stuff and I thought Etsy was a sales venue. That's what I was paying them to be. If I want to be social and viral, I've got Twitter and Facebook (neither of which I really like either...)

  5. Anonymous said...
    There was a comment in one thread that asked, "If you're not making Treasuries and you're not using circles, then why are you on Etsy?"


    ::headdesk:: That person deserves Cupcake of the Year award.

  6. Do you suppose there will be a spike in the unemployment rate in Brooklyn soon when Etsy goes out of business?

  7. Every time I see something about Etsy's circles, I think of Dante's Inferno, and the Nine Circles of Hell.

    Oh, what monsters await?

  8. Etsy won't be going out of business.
    They make too much money off of the resellers.
    Plus, they are still coasting on the fumes of "Buy Handmade" instead of just stating that they're a mass produced reseller site.

    The "Buy Handmade" concept brings alot of traffic to etsy. It's unfortunate that the traffic just seems to buy the cheap reseller crap. I guess, just like Glamour, they can't tell what's handmade either.


Dish the dirt here.