Alison Boyd Artist

a life creative

My Problem With Greedy Guts Etsy

Before I launch into my rant about Etsy, everything I have listed on that site I have reduced on my own website AND they all have free shipping for the month of June. I’ll put a link to them at the end of this post.

Etsy is singing songs about itself, marketing in the US with advertisements, meanwhile here in Europe, while paying the same fees, we’re left to do the marketing ourselves. On top of that, US items show up first, and we are marketing ourselves in the face of algorithms (aka dwindling visibility). This makes me super mad; Facebook and Instagram do the same, rendering you invisible till you pay big bucks to be seen in “sponsored” posts, which someone can report as annoying if they don’t like advertisements…like I do with Chinese rubber lingerie ads.

When I opened my Etsy account back in 2009, it was something else, it felt like a community. I sold one of my pieces in the first hour of having listed it. I gained further commissions through that avenue, but in the 10 years since, it’s really degraded. I reopened my account earlier in the year, then closed it, then re-reopened it only to read a little more about their marketing. In this post, I said I’d give it a year – but I don’t think I even want to do that.

Scroll to the bottom to read the comments of this article and you’ll see a plethora of what I’m talking about.

Trying to sell from a physical store, in a place that is geographically isolated, is difficult. Many of us working in Europe are either working from home, or don’t own (or can’t afford to rent) a physical shop, we have whopping taxes to pay here, and to become visible with free shipping through Etsy, we’re further out of pocket as Etsy eats out our share of what is already competitive pricing in a big market. We need something more human than present-day Etsy.

As a maker, artist, artisan, aside from anger I feel a sense of growing concern. It’s a super lean year so far, and that frightens me into wanting to throw this in completely and find “secure” work (an oxymoron in Italy). This means that at best my art will become a less-tended to hobby. Or I need to move to a higher tourist area with more passing trade, and that means getting a partita Iva (Italian VAT) and paying tax “in anticipo”…that is, tax on presumed future earnings…even if I haven’t earned a cent. I can’t even use my current partita Iva, as that is for the grocery store…meaning I would have to have two partita Iva and therefore pay TWO lots of tax in anticipo. Yay.

Soon, I will be closing down my Etsy store. I’m really tired of being a poor artist – there is nothing at all glam about that – and giving away hard-earned money to to these greedy bastard corporations who are out of touch with the individual maker.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who have purchased jewellery and art from me this year and in past years. Please continue to support artists and artisans directly – at their stores and on their websites. We are people trying to make an honest living, not a killing.

In the meantime, on my website, here are those discounted listings, with free shipping for the month of June

Thank you so much…in anticipo! ❤


2 comments on “My Problem With Greedy Guts Etsy

  1. Dasha Maiorova
    June 11, 2019

    This is so sad and eye-opening. I really hope this doesn’t stop you continuing to create your art


    • AliMatteini
      June 11, 2019

      Aw hi Dash…I hope so, too, but I also need to make and save money. I’m thinking art and jewellery just isn’t conducive to that, not where Etsy is concerned, and certainly not where I am located geographically ❤


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