Etsy’s Treasury Policies

Hiya, I just sent the following letter to Etsy support but wld luv feedback about it from my awesome community, thank you!! (My letter refers to treasury lists. If you do not know what they are, here is a recent one I made: https://www.etsy.com/treasury/Nzc0MTcxMXwyNzI0NjgxMTY0/pixies-faeries-and-other-sprites?ref=pr_treasury ) Here is the letter to Etsy:
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Thank you for all your work. Etsy is a wonderful resource and great community.

I care about this community, so i hope you will change your suggestion that sellers not include any of their own items when they make a treasury.

Many of your sellers are women. Women often need encouragement around self-promotion. Instead, your suggestion “Don’t include your own items. Spread the love!” implies that self-promotion is wrong and keeps love from spreading.

If people offer beautiful objects, they spread their love by promoting their wares.

Promoting fellow Etsy sellers should not require doing no promotion for oneself. It would be another story if one made treasuries entirely out of one’s own inventory.

I hope you change your suggestion to “Do not include more than one of your own items. Spread the love!”

Thank you again for your fabulous work. I hope this post serves you and the rest of our Etsy community, Francesca De Grandis
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So, that is what I sent. What do you think? Pls post here, not on FB, so visitors see yr comments, bc your thoughts r important. Thank you!!!!!!

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6 Responses to Etsy’s Treasury Policies

  1. I understand how people can resist the idea of marketing and promotion. They’ve come to be synonymous with trickery and deceit. People get degrees in marketing in order to try to sell something they had no hand in making and could not care less about. Companies try to trick us into buying things we don’t need and that can actually cause us harm, something which many companies know, but don’t care about as long as they get their money.

    I think it’s important to understand the difference between what I just described and offering someone an honest product or service and working to get it into the hands of people whose lives would be enriched by said product or service. As you know, Francesca, I’ve struggled with this for years. I wrongly think that to offer my work to the world, I need to be the former and it makes me cringe inside to even think of it, because I knwo I’d be terrible at it! I so appreciate your mentoring on this. I’m learning to appreciate what I have to offer as an artist, and that people may just benefit from my vision, but in order to benefit, they have to see it! That’s marketing! Maybe if we think of marketing as being in an open air market with people we know and love, instead of being in a board room trying to sell something we don’t believe in, it could help.

    I also am sure that’s a false dichotomy. I’m sure there are big companies of integrity who make and sell their products or services with heart and caring for every step in the process, and every person who touches it. Unfortunately, we’ve seen so little of it, so it’s not what comes to mind immediately and so our idea of marketing gets a bad rap.

    I have discussed this with you on the phone, and now come to support you wholeheartedly. Your letter is clear and to the point. I don’t think anyone suffers if someone includes a piece of their own work in a treasury. I think it could very well empower someone who might need some help with the idea of selling their work, to see it with other beautiful pieces. I think some of us need a bit more, “Hey! Look at me! I’m beautiful!” in their lives!

    • Sorry that was so long, but it helped me to write it.

    • Francesca De Grandis says:

      First of all, thank you so much for the support!!!!!! To anyone else reading, when Kathleen mentions discussing stuff on the phone, she is referring to a discussion about my letter to etsy. She and I saw the situation differently then but, wow, as of her above post, not anymore. Which is cool, bc I so love being right. 🙂 Joking aside, Kathleen actually helped me see both sides of the issue better, by 1) explaining that etsy is so big they have to have more rules in place then I might think right and 2) reminding me that my concern for the shy seller is already being expressed when I include them in a treasury.

      Second, OMG, I am so delighted to read your post, Kathleen. I know how much you’ve struggled with these issues in the several decades I’ve known you, so it’s wonderful to see you work through all this stuff. You are possibly the best artist I personally know, and I want people to benefit from the beauty and spirituality that is in you and with which you imbue your art.

      Some points in your post are thoughts I’ve expressed. My blog Marketing Is Simply Reaching Out to Serve at
      at https://www.outlawbunny.com/2013/06/04/marketing-is-simply-reaching-out-to-serve/ is one place. If you haven’t read it, perhaps it wld be affirming for you or someone else who visits here to see it.

      And if you already read that blog or heard me say the same stuff a million times, just ignore it. Rock on!!!

  2. Robyn says:

    What an interesting topic!

    I had to think about this for some time because I see myself on both sides of the argument 🙂
    I have a strong aversion against any kind of advertisement (maybe because I studied business and know how “mean” and manipulative it can be). However, I also strongly feel that not sharing our god-given gifts with others is a form of depriving them of something against our better knowledge.

    For me it is all about the product and the intention. If I’m trying to sell some “crap” to the world only with the intention to get rich quick and I use manipulative marketing strategies, that’s “bad”. If, however, I genuinely reach out to others to let them know how I might help them and I really feel this urge to serve, that’s “good”.

    As I believe in the favour of the doubt, I like to think everyone’s intentions are good (until proven otherwise). This means, of course, that we have to sort through a lot of crappy advertisement to find the gold nuggets, but better than there being no gold nuggets at all…

    I’m excited to hear other’s takes on this!

    • Francesca De Grandis says:

      Thank you so much Robyn, yr perspective is interesting. I had been seeing things as too one sided. Bc I was forgetting that someone might put themselves in their own treasury with bad intentions.

      I am glad you are with me in leaving it to the individual, bc that supports sincere people putting themselves in their own treasuries.

      Here are some things I said about it on the etsy forum:

      I do believe in rules to keep people from wrongdoing. On the other hand, I also believe that, if you make endless rules so that the tiniest, most harmless infraction cannot happen, you have focused your structure so much on stopping errors that the structure lacks sufficient support for sincere, creative, responsible community members who want to give.

      And I do think Etsy is doing it in this one instance. I adore etsy, but nothing is perfect. Etsy’s msg that leaving oneself out of a treasury is “sharing the love” makes folks who are shy about self-promotion feel that their desire to market themselves is shameful. If you believe in yr merchandise, marketing is an act of love, bc it is simply letting folks know you have something to offer that might add value to their day. Implying the opposite does more harm than the occasional person who wld choose treasury items that made the inclusion of their one single item look good. (Robyn, someone on the forum said the rule kept anyone from choosing treasury items just to make their own item look good.) I mean, I do not think most Etsy folks wld look at a treasury and be so easily fooled. In fact, including one’s own item with stuff one thought “bad” wld probably just make one’s own item look bad, by proximity.

      Thanks, Robyn, as always, for yr support, thoughtfulness, and integrity.

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