I was working away at events catering and embassy functions. I was thinking for a long time about making money online, no costs of a stall or renting a shop or anything like that. It is partially anonymous somehow anyhow? But how? the easiest gateway drug was Etsy then do the hard part, then do the marketing they own the site. You make the thing sometimes you have post it! You just have to come up with the ideas and someone else does the printing. You make a sale and Etsy sends you a bill and you get your money. Etsy makes sure they always get paid first! So then take their cut out of your money first and set a schedule for when you're getting paid. The money they send you. Slowly this all got to leave a bad taste in my mouth. As I made no sales in November despite going thru an incredible creative phase. But each time I hit publish I was getting charged money from Etsy. For each catalogue entry, I was getting charged 40 cents not a lot you might think but it adds up to a version of me was paying a lot to Etsy for having a shop on Etsy. I was posting two or three tees shirts designs, well after midnight, several times a week.
They were doing the hard work! They were doing the marketing and owning the site.
I had heard of a story about an experiment on pigeons to obtain reinforcement. Developed by B. F. Skinner and also known as an operant conditioning chamber, in it three different sets of pigeons. The set-up is the same a pigeon in a cage taps a leaver and gets a corn. Eats it taps it again gets anything corn! happy pigeon. The second, and third pigeons were not so lucky! The second pigeon taps and based on a limiting calculation and sometimes gets an ear of corn, not all the time but like every 5th or 7th time they try. But the second pigeon gets something eventually for his efforts though they are diminishing returns compared to the training phase it has also experienced. Pigeon number 3 at the beginning was just like pigeon number 1 and pigeon number 2 each time they tapped the lever they got a corn .. but the scientists added something extra to the programming of the leaver of Pigeon number 3 and it was a randomly generated number an only when a set range of numbers came up did the Pigeon number 3 get a corn. Pigeon number 3 picked the lever to its death.
I had an early success with Etsy but the returns were diminishing!
There were things offered to me by Etsy to console me, in the ever-spiralling death dive. At just this exact time. They offered Etsy +plus, Where they did more of the hard work! More hosting and more marketing. Marketing was becoming to me like a McGuffin. A thing I had no idea how it works but it is a thing you needed. We all need and it's efforts you don't see. But you feel. The statistics for the products I post on Etsy. We were getting a few blips from searches but 3 or 4 times a day something was working. SEO was not a thing the was offered to help. The only option was to believe in your own product and pay Etsy more. I was handing out money to Etsy and not making anything back but a few blips on my statistics .. Then I tried sharing links to Facebook and Instagram ads, as the marketing Etsy was providing was not up to much help obtuse or was not quantifiable! The links would very quickly disabled or changed went to the catalogue or slow lading page and adding links was a way to get in touch with our base on Instagram it ended in disaster. I was trapped I couldn't advertise in an alternative platform and Etsy owned everything and decided who and what an how much you'd pay next month.
It had to end. This was the stand of things was going into the Christmas weeks. Now our products back then were anti-establishment. Thumbing the nose at hypocrisy and ridiculing established norms. Etsy threw the book at us and shut down the account. In the snowing hights of winter when it was possible to make money our SEO got his the site was down and sharing links was not possible.
Copyright infringement was the biggest problem, to clear but I drew everything myself and what I'd not draw, I bought a licence. These were all false accusations. But one the products did show a pixel of a nipple.
- Items listed for sale don’t meet our handmade, vintage, or craft supply policies
Well the print on demand tees shirt, thing is s kind of a loophole
- Shop violates Etsy's Intellectual Property Policy
I own or have drawn everything on the site.
- Items violate our Prohibited Items Policy
I am not even sure what this means. I wasn't selling Nazi memorabilia, guns or explosives. Postcards and posters with a nipple showing.
- The information provided about the account owner and/or their personal details are inconsistent, incorrect, or closely associated with an account previously removed from Etsy
It is when I knew someone complained about our pro-vaccination tee not the nipples on tee shirts some gun-toting mid-westerner. With nothing but god country, the bible and an anti-vaccination stance!
It was a contentious stance to take but after hundreds and thousands of already obese people had been delivered to death's door with pre-diabetes. Refused to get vaccinated. and subsequently died Because of some 'doctor' in a you-tube video!
Great Text. Wow. Didn’t expect that. I know you work. Its fine craftsmanship and you are an amazing artist. I get the Tee, just to remind everybody of the fools and fouls this ai driven business models create when it goes to the PainPointSection. Etsy is nothing else as being a trap of commercialized nada-ism. I m happy you went away.