Saturday, June 14, 2008

That etsy is some place

As you know, I list the items I make over on etsy. It's been an ok arrangement so far as I don't pay much to list and their take per sold item is low. I've whined about technical problems there before (they still don't have much in the way of testing before something goes live), but I'm quite disturbed at some things that have been happening lately.

I've always thought of the list of sold items list as a record of what I sold and a snapshot of the item's description/pictures at the time it was sold. I thought that this was a good way to keep track of how things change because it is something that wouldn't change - once an item is sold, it's been sold and the content of the page wouldn't change. Right? After all, if the page changed then I have no recourse if a customer says, "the listing says xxx." I thought that the sold items pages were pretty well inviolate.

Boy, am I wrong. Etsy admin have admitted to changing the content on sold items. There are some other issues surrounding the highest-publicized case, but if you want to read up on this, the information is here. They claim to have done this at least once for DMCA reasons, but that makes no sense to me; in changing the item without identifying that it has been changed, are they not deleting possible evidence? No, they don't add any text to indicate that the content was changed - there's no notice of that at all. I'm shocked and appalled. How could they think that the way they were doing this - let alone that they were doing this at all - was ok? They have a lawyer on staff; did they even consult her or did they just go ahead without thinking? Are they that stupid?

I've tolerated a LOT of technical issues at etsy because I know that they're a young company and they're cheap for me. But now - well, something is so wrong with this picture. Etsy admin are so far refusing to describe a process for doing something like this, probably because they don't have one. They do things in an ad-hoc way and are very, very reluctant to describe processes (they refused for a very long time to describe under what conditions a shop can be shut down due to a single buyer's complaint) so it wouldn't surprise me that they wouldn't have any kind of process in place for this.

It might be time to set something up somewhere else. Not that etsy would care if I left, but I don't know if I want to continue to support a company like this. I have some thinking to do.

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