On September 21 Etsy announced that they have decided to remove Treasuries. Members cannot make new Etsy Treasuries nor edit existing ones as of October 5. “Buyer access points” will no longer link to the Treasuries page. Those Treasuries which already exist will not be deleted as of now.
What prompted Etsy to remove Treasuries?
Etsy said their decision to remove Treasuries has come partly because “data shows that few buyers view Treasuries, and even fewer purchase from them.”
The Etsy team also had this to say:
“We often hear from sellers that marketing is one of the hardest parts of running your shops. We will continue to invest in marketing tools to help you grow your creative business.”
The comments section showed mixed emotions, but many Etsy sellers who were commenting expressed disappointment in the decision. One seller started a petition to keep Treasuries going. 1,953 people have signed the petition as of September 28.
This is in contrast to this discussion board. Many sellers here expressed they had no feelings toward the decision, or were glad to see Treasuries being removed. One seller provided that “out of 101,304 views, 126 were from treasuries” for her Etsy shop. That calculates to .001% of views.
My thoughts on Etsy removing Treasuries
So now we exit the news-y part of this post, and I’ll share my own thoughts on this. I am not a veteran Etsy seller. I’ve sold a few things, I would like to sell more. What I do love are functional websites, and thinking about what makes them functional and why. I like companies who (try) to do right by their customers.
And if you sell on Etsy, you are an Etsy customer. You pay Etsy every month to use their service. This brings me to my main point. I read several comments along the lines of “Etsy doesn’t care about sellers” and “Etsy only cares about their bottom line, not ours” etc.
Consider this: sellers are Etsy’s bottom line. The more sellers sell, the more money Etsy makes. As a company, there is no incentive to not give every single seller on their platform the best chance at sales they can. Did you catch that? The best chance at sales. Etsy, as a platform, can’t be and shouldn’t be responsible for selling your items. You are.
And effective marketing does not rely on Etsy Treasuries. More on that later.
A good company would, however, do their best to empower their vendors. Which is exactly what this change is attempting to do. If cold, hard data shows that shoppers don’t look at and rarely purchase from Treasuries, how are Treasuries helping sellers sell? They aren’t, for the majority.
So okay, maybe you buy from Treasuries. Maybe you’ve sold a few things from being featured in a Treasury. You might even know a whole handful of people who share this experience. As harsh as it is, a few personal experiences aren’t all that relevant when it comes to the millions of users on Etsy. Even those 1,953 signatures on that petition don’t stack up to data that encompasses millions.
“But Etsy should care about everyone!”
I also read comments similar to this outcry. “Etsy should cater to even this small number of people who use Treasuries.”
Alright, let’s walk through this scenario. Etsy listens to the vocal minority. They keep Treasuries around. Treasuries are now taking up the time (i.e. money) that was going to be spent on developing new, more effective marketing tools. You get to stay comfortable in your trusty Treasuries, but the marketplace will suffer.
Better marketing means (ideally) that a wider variety of shops and items will get visibility and sales, thus leading to more success for more people. That, in turn, is success for Etsy.
At the end of the day, Etsy is a business and they must be profitable in order to continue providing their services. Services you as a seller rely on for your business. They must make decisions that benefit their bottom line without alienating the majority of their sellers. Sellers are, as mentioned earlier, a huge part of that bottom line.
Etsy’s data says Treasuries are ineffective, and that’s simply how business goes. Trends change and people shop differently, using different features.
So what can a seller do?
If you did rely heavily on Treasuries for your marketing, I would encourage you to do a quick Google search of “Etsy marketing tips”. Maybe tack on the current year for the most relevant information. You definitely don’t want 5 year old SEO strategies. Of course some tips will be timeless, like “take quality photos”. Do your research and use your common sense, and you’ll be just fine.
Here’s just a sampling of Etsy marketing tips, none of which include Treasuries:
The Etsy Seller Handbook has always been a great source of information for new sellers and veterans alike. They cover many aspects of the seller journey. And if anyone is going to tell you how to use a platform, it might as well be the people who made it.
Successful sellers have just as much authority as Etsy admins when it comes to marketing tips. They’ve been where you are, and they want to help you succeed.
These are just that, common mistakes we’ve all seen around Etsy.
Here’s an insanely simple, yet effective idea for getting your items in front of the people who already admire your shop.
This is a solid round-up of common SEO best-practices for Etsy. These tips are repeated all over the Etsy-marketing world and for good reason.
Again, you’ll see that none of these articles even mention Treasuries. It’s not hard to see why Etsy decided to remove them, when there are so many more effective ways to market.
Final Thoughts on Etsy Removing Treasuries
A feature is not effective because a small number of people enjoy it. One has to look at the size of a site like Etsy and realize that 2,000 people is a drop in the big-ass bucket. Hard data and real numbers about how people use the site are the best way for Etsy to make decisions.
In the future, it would be great for Etsy to actually show us the data. I feel like this would eliminate a lot of confusion and conspiracy-theorizing. But do keep in mind:
It’s highly unlikely that Etsy has no regard for it’s sellers. Sellers drive the Etsy marketplace and make Etsy money. They are important; the easier it is for them to sell, the better. There’s no reason for Etsy to not want every seller to be as successful as possible.
Finally, there are many available to sellers with regards to marketing when Etsy removes Treasuries. I’ll be excited to see what new seller tools Etsy decides to roll out in the future. Hopefully they include easy ways to implement some of the best practices linked above.
Pin this article with the image below for reference later:
How do you feel about the decision? Am I missing anything? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading. 🙂