Think FIRST - Good rule to live by!

Yes, people SHOULD really think before posting in the forums. Okay, so I've probably been guilty of it too - thinking that what I was writing couldn't be turned on me, but it's happened anyways. But there's no way in hell I'm STARTING a thread with something that obviously is going to get some retaliation.

I also can't believe people think they can back peddle after they've said what they've said. For example... Now, this thread is closed for good reason, but it makes for a really good read!

PETITION to remove highly offensive religious items - Christians please help!

Okay so I realize that there are a lot of Christians on Etsy. That's obvious. I myself am Catholic, but I have a sense of humour about Catholicism. Do some listings offend me? Well, no, they don't. Do they repulse me a little? Yup. Would I ever buy those items? Of course not. I find humour in every aspect of my life, religion included. This particular thread dealt with a tshirt (which has now been sold!) and y'know what, I can kinda see the witty humour in it, but at the same time it's a little far, even for my tastes. Do I make fun of my religion? Yes, definitely - for example, Do you hear what I hear? And by the way, I had a TON of card ideas for other Catholic Christmas songs, but never got a chance to finish the designing (But don't worry kids, next year I'm going to have SO many more choices!! Hee hee!)

I believe there are certain subjects that shouldn't really be made fun of (i.e. abortion, rape, etcetera, etcetera) but there are others who find the humour in it, so go ahead and list it. I have the choice of not buying it, right? Exactly.

Basically, the first post by this person, went like this:

While Christmas shopping yesterday, looking for gifts related to "Christ" I came across this disgusting, and offensive imagery on Etsy. It brought me to tears to think that such an item would be permitted to be sold here. 
I believe that no matter what religion you are, you should be entitled to browse Etsy without having to view such perverse and disgusting merchandise. This item is highly offensive to devout Christians. I don't believe any religion should have to tolerate such sacrilege. 
Please band together in the hope that Etsy can be a place of respect and tolerance for all religious beliefs, and put an end to such offensive items being advertised here.

Right. So, the first few posts were all "Oh my gosh, that is disgusting and should be taken down, I reported it!" but then the others started flocking, like myself. Posts like "well how about you just don't LOOK at it?!" and "God is bigger than a t-shirt!" One thing I agreed with, was yes, the first picture should have been replaced with a "Mature audiences only" because my main thing is, there could be kids looking on this site. I don't care about the Christians seeing it, they're adults are they not? They can choose not to look at it. But my issues were, kids could see it.  So yes, I agreed that the first picture be replaced. But do I agree with censorship? GOD NO!

If everyone was allowed to report everything that they deemed as "offensive", Etsy would be empty. Maybe I'm offended by Christian items. Should I flag all those?! Like I noted, there are certain books I'm not interested in reading because of the content, but do I burn it? No. I just don't read it. I have a choice. Just like everyone else. Just because you don't agree with someone's sense of humour, tastes, or moral values, doesn't mean you're right.

There were other comments like "I'm sick and tired of being seen as intolerant just because I'm Christian!" Well, where do you think that stereotype came from in the first place? Because of things like this! Because you can't handle anyone making fun of your religion, or saying bad things about your religion, so you sit up on your pedestal and call all your other Christian people to band together and fight! Most wars are caused by religion. There's a reason for that. The Church TEACHES you that they are the only religion. That your religion is the RIGHT religion, and anyone worshiping another God will pretty much burn in hell. No WONDER so many Christians/Catholics are intolerant. Intolerance is beaten into them since baptism.

The funniest part of this whole thread, is when the OP basically states that she didn't bring religion into this, that it's solely about how offensive it is. Seriously? Did you not notice the TITLE of the forum you decided to post? If that's not bringing religion into it, then you need to tie me down and spit on my face, because I'm obviously not getting it.

Then of course, people started bashing eachother. (Well I'm never clicking on your shop, because your avatar offends me! - WHAT?!) Typical religious argument if you ask me. I loved one persons post of "No one should take the Lord's name in vain!" Oh I'm sorry, I didn't realize he was everyone's Lord. Whoops. Maybe I was a little harsh when I responded: He's not everyones Lord! Maybe my Lord is Ronald McDonald! And I'll get all up in your ass if you use his name in vain!

I don't understand people, really I don't. And no, I'm not trying to offend any of you church goers out there. I love you all. But I think what the world needs is a lot more tolerance. A lot more "Thinking outside of the box". And one heck of a lot more understanding. There wouldn't be half as many arguments if everyone just sat back, took a deep breath, and let it go. Yes, there are people out there who don't share your beliefs. There are people out there that don't share your moral values. But who are you to control what people believe? What makes you better than anyone else? No one religion is better than the other. All that matters is, we believe in something. We believe in something that makes us a better person. And if every single one of us were the exact same, the world would be a pretty boring place, would it not?

So stop judging others, and concern yourself with YOU. Who cares what everyone else is doing, or listing, or making. If they're blatantly breaking the precious "Etsy Rules", fine, tag it, whatever you want to do. But don't think that just because you don't agree, you have a RIGHT to get shops closed down.

Unbelievable! Ya, so I have this list on excel of "People who I'll never buy from".. Anyone else have one of those? A lot of names from that thread went on that list :) Anyone who I personally find intolerant, rude, judgmental, and blatant rule breaking - like spamming the forums. The people who run in to my freakin' thread with all "Oh I'm having a sale this is it and here are all my listings!" Gee thanks. Don't respond to anything I'm writing, just post your own sales. Aren't you lovely. Based on the words from onna my fave tv show characters, "NO KAT FOR YOU!" Ya that's right. Not gonna get my business honey.

It's also funny how people tend to forget that everything you write in the forums is on the internet. Hmm.. Really? Why in the world would things I write in the forums show up on the INTERNET!? Gee, I dunno, maybe because the forums are kinda ON the internet?? People freak out! All these posts of "What?! Potential buyers can see that I just wrote about my lewd sex life in Etc?!?!?!" Idiots!

Another thing that makes me laugh? All the "Oh pity me, I'm not getting any sales" threads. One person even wrote "Can someone promote for me because people aren't seeing my shop". Hmm, okay, let me take time away from my own shops and do all your work for you. People who think they're going to open a shop and sell out without doing any leg work? Really need a reality check. I get SO angry when I read posts of these sob stories that start with "I've been on etsy for 2 weeks and haven't even made a sale!" Excuse me? 2 WEEKS!? Did you think you were magical!? Your products would be viewed before everyone elses and they're so magnificent that you'd sell out in the first week?! C'MON!! You want some tips on what you need to do? (and YES I realize I'm not a big seller, shut up!)

1. Have more items in your shop then just 8.
2. Don't have a shop announcement like this "Thanks for loking you live my stuff i don't wear it brand knew I love things that are new buy my stuf beter theen other peepoles"
 (Please please please if you're not familiar with either a) the english language, or b) spelling, have someone check over your listings for you.)
3. Have some information filled out! If you don't say a damn thing about your shipping policies or return policies, I'm never going to click on the "add to cart"
4. Get some freakin' feedback! Yes, YOU HAVE TO BUY SOMETHING to get feedback. Buy a bunch of little things here and there, let people know you're trustworthy by having feedback. (speaking of which, off to purchase something using my second shop... do dee do dee dooo..)
5. The description of the item, should actually DESCRIBE the item. Have your basic boring old "size, colour, blah blah blah" then go into a fun and memorable description. But please God, it's *really* not cute when you write 4 paragraphs about how your cat accidentally got out while you were listing this item, and about how you tried to catch him for 20 minutes and then after your huge spiel about your freakin cat say "anyways, what I was saying was, this item.." That's not funny. That's a freakin' waste of my time! Not to mention annoying.
6. Don't have the first picture that is a) not even close to the item for sale, or b) a picture you ripped out from a magazine (and then in the listing say "I'll make this exactly!" sure you will. Denise's designer shirt she made for Theo will show up at your door)
7. Speaking of pictures, if you can see that it's blurry, so can we! Not expecting professional photography here, but I'd like to be able to make out what it is.
8. Do some flippin' research. Read through the do's and don'ts, attend a virtual lab, read the forums (and please God search a freakin' topic before you post it for the 287th time!) Check out sites that help you with things like tagging, and what's getting viewed the most, like Craftweasel, Craftcult, Craftopolis and Etsy Tag Fractal.
9. Join a team! Make friends! I finally got onto a team - EtsyBloggers! I was so excited. Teams are a great way to get feedback on your items and shop, moral support when you're feeling disheartened, and just there for you in general. If you're not on a team, then make friends! Find people who post in the forums often with advice and who have been doing this a lot longer than you. Most people on etsy love helping out others, and your fellow sellers are the best at giving advice. Especially when it's on a topic you can't post in the forums i.e. specific transactions.
10. Don't get so concerned about what OTHERS are doing or selling. I fell into this trap when I first opened my shop (before I listed). I wanted to see what kinds of things sold on Etsy, so I was having a look around. I couldn't believe all the things that were selling! Really, photoshopping a picture to give you "Bella" twilight eyes?! Putting a sticker on a magnet? And people were buying this? But then my hubby reminded me of something. Was I mad because they're selling crap, or was I mad because they were SELLING? Concentrate on your product, and congratulate those that are selling theirs. Don't compare your shop or items with others, because you'll drive yourself crazy.
11. Promotion is the key. Don't sit on your ass and whine when you haven't done a damn thing to get your name out there. Again, you're not magical! Join up with some of these sites!
My Craft Corner
Find it Handmade
Vote Hand made

Search for all sites that allows you to enter your etsy site, and list away! Most are very easy to use, and have gotten lots of views! (oh look, I rhyme!) For a downlow on which sites I've used and liked, check out this Blog Post. But really, I'm no expert (so yes, you don't have to point out that I've only had 8 sales, thank you very much!) But atleast I'm doing all of these things. And it's starting to work! The person I run to for any advice is JewelryByTara, and thanks to her, a lot of my problems have been rectified, and I've learned so much about promoting. She just recently posted a blog about her Etsy Guide to selling, and you ALL need to check it out.

Oh, and one more thing. Stop blaming Etsy for you not being an instant success, for you not getting views, or for you no longer getting lots of sales. You are fully responsible for how well or poorly your shop does. So stop bitching already and do something about it :) And don't forget, advertising locally helps your business too y'know! Just remember, it could take a year or more for your shop and product to get out there. While I would love to be one of those people whose products took off, I'm not planning on it. What I am planning for, is next year. Everything I'm doing right now, is researching and learning what works for me, and what doesn't.
And yes, we ALL get down every now and again (I just finally got outta onna those weeks), but the best thing to do, is take a break! Get yourself away from your crafts and the computer for a day or two if you can. Then when you've calmed down a bit, look at your shop and your crafts and re-evaluate everything. What's working, what's not, what haven't you tried? It'll do a world of wonder.

Alright, that's enough from me today. I have so much to do it's not even funny. Have a great Cyber Monday all you Etsy Peeps!


Jeanette said...

wow long post today! heehee

I think for me personally that the only thing that really bothers me about "offensive" items on etsy is the fact that people who come to etsy to shop may see that first before ever getting to my shop and be turned off from etsy entirely. but obviously I have no extra time in my day to really worry about that - haha

yeah, people who whine about no sales really bug me too. I especially hate it when they come into the chat rooms and keep agonizing about how they haven't had a sale in forever and (hint hint) maybe someone would be a friend and buy something from them. gag me! It took me over a month to get my first sale!

Okay, don't want to turn my comment into a rant! Thanks for the fun read as always! - Jeanette

Jewelry by Tara said...

Amen sister!!

I saw that thread and felt the same. I think the OP just wanted a little attention and the usual suspects showed up to keep it going:(

Most people can't have religion/tolerance/sense of humor. Thankfully we do!! LMAO!

Slumptown said...

I avoid all forum threads that look like there are going to be a dog fight, cat fight, or religious war. I agree a lot of people don't think before they post.

That advice your grandma gave you about minding your P's and Q's works for every form of media your using. So go Grandma!

40YOCB said...

wow, whatever you do...don't hold back Kat!! Just let it out!

As for religion..i love, love, l.o.v.e the Lord Jesus Christ, AND
i love, love l.o.v.e your cards!! I cracked up when i saw fact, hold the phone...

Make that 9 sales..i just bought them from ya....AND i'm a Jesus Freak!

Oh..and i really enjoyed your advice, good stuff.


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