Douchebaggery: “Etsy guide” edition

10 Feb

Oh boy, where to start with this one.

These guys are not only abusing Etsy policy, but are knowingly, willfully spreading the example of deliberate ignorance of the rules to newbie and struggling sellers who are very sincerely just looking for some good sound advice. It’s the bottom of the barrel as far as I’m concerned… fucking over the whole community by dispensing — nay, SELLING — crappy spammy info, stuffing their tags to the brim so that relevant search results can’t be found, and generally disseminating horrible, horrible ideas for how to run a business. They’re feeding on the fears and insecurities of the weakest among the Etsy flock, shoving relevant search results down with endless amounts of tag-stuffing, and laughing all the way to the bank.

TheBuzz has sold a big heaping stinky pile of smarmy, sell-a-million-widgets-overnight type “Etsy guides.” She’s had 4065 sales in a year and a half! With numbers like that, it’s no big surprise she’s stuffed her tags like a Thanksgiving turkey. Take, for example, 50 Marketing Strategies for Etsy SUCCESS – How To Drive Traffic, Advertise and Promote Your Etsy Shop (wretch-worthy in and of itself) has this lovely smattering of shit taggage:

“everything else, logo graphic card, design business, success successful, international,uk australia, digital promote, banner discount, free shipping, heart hearts buzz,pdf diy help, spreadsheet 50 100, bag of tricks tips, how to market sell”

And then there’s CraftingSuccess (585 sales in under a year) with a metric ton of bullshit like Jumpstart Your Etsy Shop – Sale – FOUR Dynamic Bestselling Etsy Guides ONE Special Price which is covered with tags like:

“books and zines, marketing etsy, promoting etsy, successful sales, banner design, how to sell etsy, sellers guide guru, heart hearts coach, promotion seo, help techniques,online twitter, boost google, selling listing,photo avatar”

Not to MENTION the “materials”:

“pdf, marketing etsy, promoting etsy,promoting online craft shop, successful sales, promoting, promotion, sales, heart,listings, photos, design, banner design”

How charming that the people who purports to hold the secret to Etsy success routinely break one of the cardinal rules of the site. I mean really, the only tag that these people HAVEN’T stuffed is the first one that is REQUIRED by the listing engines to be, you know… normal. What a great example to set for people who are looking for advice.

I’ve been reporting them for months on end and nothing has ever come of it. Maybe as a group we can stop these bottom-feeders.


57 Responses to “Douchebaggery: “Etsy guide” edition”

  1. Life During Wartime February 10, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    I don’t know if any of you remember Ebay’s darkest days when like every other listing — in just about every damn category — was for some crap like ‘the CD Ebay doesn’t want you to buy’? Etsy’s PURPORTED seller success has naturally attracted the bottom feeders and sleazy parasites. It took Ebay more than a year to control the flood of crap listings. Considering Etsy’s lack of response to the reseller issues and other no-brainer violations, I don’t think there’s much chance anything will be done about the ‘success guides’ or even the tag stuffing for them.

    Thanks to the person who called them out, though.

    Has anyone purchased one of these guides? Just to see how silly they are?

  2. WTFISAPDF February 10, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Her material tag says “computer, degree, brain.”

    Wow, I’m impressed …. she’s been to Oz.

  3. WTFISAPDF February 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    Check these out from the front page.

  4. Life During Wartime February 10, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    “Brain? Brain and brain! What is brain?”

    I couldn’t help myself…I had a 30 year relationship with an engineer who was also a Trekkie.

  5. Smartass February 10, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Hmmm, I was always very curious about those guides. I was almost curious enough to buy one. But I didn’t.

    I just read the Storque. I figured those guides would have the same information the Storque had anyways.

    Since I have not bought any of those guides, I do not for sure know what is in them. So I am only GUESSING! Please don’t chew my head off.)

  6. PussDaddy February 10, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    I admit I don’t get the big to do over “tag stuffing”. I’m not trying to be snarky, I really don’t get it. How would it effect you unless you had items with similar tags so that they all showed up together on search. And if a person is searching one of these wacky tags then your stuff wouldn’t show up if it isn’t tagged with the same tags. So what? Don’t people use “normal” tags for stuff and have similar items but one person has a different tag than another person for a similar item making that item either show up with or not show up with the similar item? Say a person does search “computer, degree, brain”, how would that effect you really? However if they search what the item should be tagged and yours is tagged “normally” then yours will show up. I am trying to understand this but maybe I need some help to.

  7. PussDaddy February 10, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    I mean if someone is searching for a how to E-book or whatever, and type in “how to sell on Etsy E-book” into the search bar, or whatever E-book they want, how is having something tagged “computer, degree, brain” going to mess up your search unless you typed that into the search bar so that it comes up? I just don’t get it.

  8. PussDaddy February 10, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    I mean for real, and this is my last comment on it and I really don’t expect for them to make it thru, but how can I be expected to join in the bash fest on this one when the one about DesignedByLucinda selling the same crap was closed for commenting because she bitched so loudly about it. Doe this make any sense to you? Why are these people fair game and DesignedByLucinda isn’t?

  9. Bullfuckery February 10, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    Of course I’m writing this anonymously because as a newbie, I purchased both of these “manuals.” The Buzz even blackmails you with “leave me positive feedback, and I’ll leave you positive feedback.” That shit burned me up more than anything. I paid you and you threaten me? Get the fuck outta here.

    None of the content is original or groundbreaking. With a little common sense and hard work, you can craft your own Etsy success.

  10. marcelly February 10, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    wasnt this type of thing everything etsy was opposed to when it first started out?

    i imagine that most legit stores on etsy would do much better business there if stores like this would fuck off.

    put THAT in a manual, sucker!

  11. prozillian February 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    >>>The Buzz even blackmails you with “leave me positive feedback, and I’ll leave you positive feedback.”

    Whoa. Do they recommend saying that in their manual? I cannot stand sellers who hold fb hostage!

  12. jenjasmine February 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    Life During Wartime Says:
    February 10, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    “Brain? Brain and brain! What is brain?”

    I couldn’t help myself…I had a 30 year relationship with an engineer who was also a Trekkie.


    Brain is controller.

    Maybe we can buy a brain for the people in charge of getting rid of these crappy shops.

  13. etsycallout February 10, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    She is fair game. You can bitch about her in this post if you want. There is no preferential treatment. Knock yourself out.

  14. notvintage February 11, 2010 at 6:08 am #

    these Etsy help guides are all taking advantage of Etsy’s shitty listing instructions, pandering to those who live in “Instant Success Land”, and insecure young sellers.
    They are shit.

  15. WTFISAPDF February 11, 2010 at 6:24 am #

    Pussdaddy, I didn’t realize comments were closed on the DBL post. Bummer.

    Both DBL and this seller are what give Etsy that sleaze look. Who needs to pay $19.95 to learn how to tag stuff and who needs to pay Lucinda for her snark letters and poor spelling and grammar?

    Etsy should really get some standards.

  16. baffled February 11, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    Etsy makes blatant tag stuffers featured sellers, I highly doubt they give a crap about this.

  17. MadeByM**** February 11, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    It’s just another “how to get rich” scheme….they tempt you by saying they have the answer to getting rich, when in reality, they are just scamming you while THEY become rich from selling you something that can be obtained for free! Kind of sad that people still fall for that.

    No, some of those tags will probably not be used to search out this item, but it’s the fact they are breaking the rules about tagging. And the fact that they are scamming people, just like DBL and her stupid letters telling off customers and her “professional” proofreading skills. It’s all a money making scam for the sellers…….

  18. JajieBo February 11, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    baffled Says:

    Etsy makes blatant tag stuffers featured sellers, I highly doubt they give a crap about this.

    True dat!

  19. Amy February 11, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    There is so much info already on Etsy – in the storque and in the forums I really cannot imagine why anyone would feel the need to buy one of these guides.

    re: tag stuffing – whilst their tags might not affect my sales personally you can’t have one rule for one and another rule for others.

  20. yeseidid February 11, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    Amazing sales for free info.

  21. Em February 11, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    This is on the front page right now… do you think the Portland Garment Factory is just the seller’s unique way of saying she made it?

    Rhetorical question, but still. This shit is ridiculous.

  22. baffled February 11, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    I give up.

  23. Crazy Cat Lady February 11, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Well, that listing isn’t even in the treasury maker’s original treasury – notice how it doesn’t really “fit” the rest of the FP. And of course it’s on the FP and promoted – it’s a hipster douchebag dysfunctional piece of clothing!

  24. Amy February 11, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Portland Garment Factory:

  25. groove lab February 11, 2010 at 11:48 am #

    To whomever asked why tag stuffing is such a no-no, it’s because the more tags you use, the more chances that your item will be searched and found before someone else’s. Say, if only three tags were allowed, and two sellers were selling pretty much the same identical pairs of earrings, the person who tagged correctly might use “earrings, pink, silver” while the tag stuffer might use ‘silver dangly chandelier earrings, sexy pink shiny metal pierced, valentine pastel bead gem’. So a guy looking for earrings who types in ‘pink earrings’ is going to see both pairs, but a guy who types in ‘sexy pink earrings’ or ‘dangly earrings’ is only going to see the earrings of the tag stuffer, even though the earrings of both sellers are identical.

    This is just an example. Not everyone searches the same way with the same qualifiers, so in any case you can think of, the stuffer is at an advantage.

  26. JonhCocktoasten February 11, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Yes, but using tags that way is against the TOU.

  27. wacky February 11, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    The other problem with being a tag stuffer or tag abuser is that it DOES affect MY sales. There are a LOT of people who tag cards and tags with things that have NOTHING to do with the item they are actually advertising. For example, I see a lot of people tagging a wedding card with graduation, birthday, birth announcement, christmas, hanukkah, baby shower, etc. First of all if we BOTH have a wedding card, then they both show up. However, the tag abuser’s “wedding” card will show up in other categories too b/c of the way they tagged. That’s totally NOT fair to those of us who do tag and advertise properly. Not only that, if I am searching for a wedding card, I don’t want to see some baby’s cute rear end in the wedding cards category. Heck I’ve seen so called sympathy cards tagged with LOVE, Valentine’s, Christmas and EASTER. NOt appropriate if you ask me.

  28. groove lab February 11, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    “Yes, but using tags that way is against the TOU.”

    Um….I know?

  29. JonhCocktoasten February 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    Sorry, groove. I was addressing a previous poster.

  30. JonhCocktoasten February 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    These are all over the interwebs. She stole the pics too.

  31. PussDaddy February 12, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    It still doesn’t make sense to me groove lab because going by what you just saId everyone should have to use the same tags for similar items, and that just doesn’t happen, so even without tag stuffing an item similar to yours may have a tag that you don’t have on yours

    Also, back to wacky, if you for example are selling wedding cards then why would you care if a person has theirs labeled wedding and birthday? How many people search wedding birthday card? They ususally search wedding or birthday. None of this shit makes any sense IMHO. If you are concerned with selling wedding cards then why even care that card may show up on Birthday as you are not selling Birthday cards. You think someone may be looking for a wedding card but say oh my goodness let me look in Valentine and Birthday cards too for a wedding card.

    None of this makes sense to me except the admission that a person made that someone will have a slight advantage over them, although in the instances I already mentioned I honestly don’t see how.

  32. itstinks February 12, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    That weird kind of candy is usually made in China – like those gummy lollipops and the huge decorated cookies on a stick like you get at Sam’s. I don’t allow my child to eat candy from China. It all gets thrown away at my house.

  33. Dennis Anderson February 13, 2010 at 1:05 am #

    I was thinking of writing an etsy success guide…. do you think people would buy it from me?

  34. Tamra February 13, 2010 at 2:38 am #

    JonhCocktoasten says:
    These are all over the interwebs. She stole the pics too.

    I went through her store tonight only because I have been watching her for months wondering why people buy her crap and knowing that those were not her pics. I sent numerous emails to companies that she ripped photos from… including Martha Stewart’s lollipop photo.

    Dennis—yes 🙂

  35. notvintage February 13, 2010 at 3:41 am #

    Dennis– you have already done this to your advantage and at least MY annoyance. I seem to remember you promotional crap in the forums at least a year ago. It felt like yesterday.

    Bullshit to you. I am so glad I don’t have to actually meet most people online face to face, particularly in your case.

    You are one of the most shameful promoters = bottom feeders on Etsy. I would never buy soap from you, because I do not respect your lack of originality and your tendency to take advantage whenever possible. — in particular, because you take advantage of your male status in a predominantly female site to hoodwink young, inexperienced star-gazers. You would probably say that if you didn’t do it, someone else would– they would, and it’s a shitty excuse for taking $ from those who can least afford it. It shows a lack of integrity instead of creativity. Guess what, I don’t like you.

  36. itsybitsy February 13, 2010 at 8:24 am #

    it pretty much started with Tim Adams didnt it? and then theres PlumeAdore who doesnt even sell her jewelry on Etsy anymore with her ‘how to get into stores’ posts. And Etsy publishes her articles?

    huh….why the hell am I selling my handmade stuff when I should be selling ‘how to sell your handmade stuff’ tutorials?

  37. Smartass February 13, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    PussDaddy, pretend you are a buyer, and you are looking for a Valentine’s day card. So, you type in the search bar, “Valentine’s Day Card.”

    Then you get a whole bunch of Christmas cards, sympathy cards, dead moss, “GET RICH” Guides, hair ties, “brand new” vintage shoes, snarky business letters, and vagina pendants. But the Valentine’s day card you are looking for is ten pages into the search.

    Wouldn’t that piss you off as a buyer? Most people don’t have time to waste screening through pages upon pages of irrelevant crap. They just want to find what they’re looking for and buy it.
    It’s a real turn-off to know that using the search bar does not aid my search any better than just clicking the pounce button.

    That, my friend, why mis-tagging and tag-stuffing is frowned upon.

  38. PussDaddy February 13, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    Ok Smartass I understand now. I do have that happen as a buyer but it doesn’t bother me that much honestly. I just scroll right past it. But I can see how it would annoy a seller.

    Also I agree with notvintage as far as what she said about dennisanderson. I used to really like you dennis, I even bought soap from you, but now I admit I don’t care that much for you.
    You used my blog and me as long as I was bashing sellers you don’t like, mostly soap sellers or a soap seller, then when I started liking that person and posted that I didn’t hate her anymore you posted something like “unreal” and flounced off in a huff and never came back. You were always on my blog when I first started it putting your two cents worth in until this occured, then I never saw you again after you flounced off. You do take advantage wherever possible and if there is nothing in it for you then you are not interested. I find you obnoxious, childish, immature, whiny, and a user among other things. And it has nothing to do with whether or not you post on my blog, I get plenty of readers, it has more to do with using me as a platform to bash sellers who sell what you do, taking advantage of any blog post I made about that person, then when you found out the bash fest was over you were done, outta there. Also after some one mentioned it, I went back and read a lot of your threads and stuff and found you to be one of the most childish, whiny, immature, crybaby people on the Etsy forum. I find it very unbecoming in a male, whether or not that is sexist or gender biased or whatever I really don’t give a shit. If my husband acted like that I would bitch slap the fuck right outta him is all I can say.

  39. PussDaddy February 13, 2010 at 6:35 pm #

    Actually Dennis what you said was “this blog post makes me feel like taking a crap” and then you flounced off never to post on my blog again, even though you had been posting on it up until then. Like I said though it is not that I miss you on my blog, but rather that I want you to know that I realize what a user you are and that I find you obnoxious and immature. There are too many soap sellers on Etsy with soap just as nice or even better than yours for me to justify supporting your obnoxious immature ass by buying your soap.

  40. wacky February 13, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    Excuse the yelling, but THANK YOU SMARTASS for explaining the issue with tag abuse. You said it MUCH better than I did. That is exactly the reason why I can’t stand tag abuse. I am so tired of these people thinking it’s NO big deal to tag that way. It IS a big deal. First of all it’s against the rules. It’s written in at LEAST two places that I know of, not to mention complained about constantly in the forums.

    Not everyone is a super searcher on Etsy. The average person shouldn’t have to jump through hoops trying to find a simple card because of the people who can’t be bothered to try and tag correctly.

    If I come to Etsy and want to buy a wedding card for my sister, I am going to put in the search bar, “wedding card”. I would hope that what I put in the search bar is what actually comes up. However, that’s not always the case. Smart ass did a pretty good job of describing what does come up besides wedding cards. Sure, I can ignore the irrelevant stuff, but the issue is the CUSTOMER, you know the people who keep us in business? Mistagging drives customers away. Who the heck wants to come across something completely irrelevant in a search??

    I was looking for ideas to design my niece’s graduation party invitations last year. It was a joke trying to get what I actually wanted to come up b/c I saw birth announcements, baby shower invitations, birthday cards, and numerous other things in my search. That shouldn’t happen, and doesn’t NEED to happen.

    Like I said, it does affect my business b/c MY stuff gets buried by the all the people who think they are turning customers their way by mistagging.

    This is what I liken the mistagging issue to: I just did a search for a medication. OF all the reputable places to get good info on medication (b/c I don’t have enough info in the packaging) and the search (which I put in my address bar at the top) comes up with and sends me directly to Wikipedia. WTH? I hardly think I should trust Wikipedia with medication info.

    Most retail stores are organized in certain ways. For example, all the stamps at Hobby Lobby are organized by theme, all the Disney stuff is together, all their ink pads are in the same section. If I am going down the aisle, where I think all the things related to stamping are there, but instead I end up seeing some Wilton cake supplies, some bolts of fabric, and perhaps, some flowers are in the aisle. Wouldn’t you be highly annoyed if just some of what you came to look for are in that aisle and instead you see some things that have absolutely NOTHING to do with stamping? Wouldn’t you be a little confused by the fact that perhaps a few stamps ended up in the Wilton cake aisle or the floral department? Wouldn’t you find it a bit strange that the marketing department purposely put something in an aisle where it’s not relevant to what is supposed to be there?

    I would leave pretty fast if that’s what I found with shopping at Hobby Lobby. That’s the same reason why I rarely shop by searching on Etsy. Because there are too many irrelevant things b/c of people purposely mis-tagging their items.

  41. wacky February 13, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

    Oh, and by the way, I don’t shop at Best Buy for the exact reason I stated above. They way they organize their store makes NO sense whatsoever. They put things in an irrelevant order and I can never find what I am looking for there. So, that illustrates my point right there why mistagging is just all around bad!

  42. groove lab February 14, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    “It still doesn’t make sense to me groove lab because going by what you just saId everyone should have to use the same tags for similar items,”

    I don’t know what else to tell you then. If it isn’t obvious that having 50 unrelated words in your tags is more advantageous than having 13, I must not be explaining it correctly.

  43. PussDaddy February 14, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    OMG did DBL really say “because it is brain made?

    If that is how she made her stuff no wonder it was a fricking diasaster.

  44. PussDaddy February 14, 2010 at 5:12 pm #

    Thanks guys, I said I finally “get it” (I admit I am slow sometimes) but that comment didn’t go through. Smart ass explained so I could get it.


  45. KR February 15, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    When I search for something and junk comes up that I am not searching for (because of tag-stuffing and tagging related items) I just get pissed. I am not interested in their stuff and would never buy from them. I’m sure many get mad too and would not buy their unrelated thing….so why do this?!

    It is the same for people who relist the same item over and over and over again. I get so sick of seeing this item constantly I would never buy it! So why do this!?

  46. latenightdesign February 15, 2010 at 9:05 am #

    Does this post relate to any seller who sells how to guides on Etsy or just the people listed? I never saw the harm in it until now (lol) and I have also seen books about this type of thing in Barnes and Nobles etc.. I have never purchased or read a how to guide for Etsy but have always been curious about the content and if it is really helpful.

  47. MadeByM**** February 15, 2010 at 9:11 am #

    This shop is currently “called out” on this blog…….perfect example of tagging abuse…(not to mention the other reasons it has been called out…….)

    vintage, accessories, collectibles, bags and purses, home decor, diaper bag, handbag, leather, pet

    THIS IS A PET BED! How does a purse, diaper bag or handbag have anything to do with a pet bed?

    And as was so eloquently stated above, when I search wedding, I don’t want every other holiday or special occasion to pull up!

  48. MadeByM**** February 15, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    I guess it would help to site the right item for sale!

  49. KR February 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    Sorry, I don’t know all the history. But is this “Dennis Anderson” person the actual etsy soap seller? How does he have time to keep up with that business of his AND read and post in a bunch of forums? I have my doubts if that is the “real” guy.

  50. groove lab February 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    Gotcha, PD – I missed that.

  51. fedup February 15, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    What about this Listing at

    seller help and direction? Are you effing kidding me…what the f@#k can this person tell you that you can’t google or look the answer up to in the forums?

    This needs to be flagged….why is this even allowed?

  52. notvintage February 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    YOu are right, PD, Real Men Don’t BEG! (Neither do Real Women!)

  53. KR February 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    Uh, blueberryshoes also had a listing to add twitter followers for you? WHAT!?

  54. fedup February 15, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    Uh, blueberryshoes also had a listing to add twitter followers for you? WHAT!?


    Are you effing serious……Is that even accepted on Etsy?

    That is ridiculous and then has the nerve to put her effing picture on teh listing….she should hang her head in shame

  55. notvintage February 16, 2010 at 6:12 am #

    emailed to abuse, which is what that twitter listing is– plain and simple. BOTTOM FEEDER!

  56. PussDaddy February 25, 2010 at 2:14 am #

    I am going to make a book and sell it on Etsy too. Mine is going to be called “Piss Off An Entire Forum In Three Sentences Or Less” and provide some repartee for you. I plan to get paid extra for using the word “repartee” in my item description.

  57. Ya betcha March 3, 2010 at 6:52 am #

    Here is a sold listing for a line sheet that was created by another Etsy seller. So this one is a degree dirtier in that she’s selling marrketing material through PDF’s that she didn’t make herself. No wonder she keeps her shop closed most of the time. She also has numerous threads in the foums that claim to point to her “blog” but is a website where she sells more of this shit.

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