Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mixed Feelings About Alchemy

I don't think I hold the popular opinion here because all I have ever heard is "bring back Alchemy!" Well, I say "take it back!"

For those of you who aren't familiar with the term, Etsy has a big message board they call Alchemy where anyone can post whatever they would like made for them at whatever price they find ideal. Yeah, right.

Those of you who are quick on your feet may have already guessed what has happened. People are making requests for items and wanting them at very unreasonable prices, while sellers desperate for a sale rush to accommodate them. Sad really. Most Etsians already undervalue their time and talent and now there is an acceptable forum for them to do it even more.

There are also inane requests, such as dirty pictures of your mom, an eternal soul, and I am sure you can imagine. Is this what we want Etsy to look like? Yes, it may be worth a chuckle, but c'mon. Etsy needs some respectability so that buyers will want to come and check it out.

There is also a private Alchemy that sellers can opt in and out of. At first glance I thought this was okay, but now I am not so sure. This feature allows buyers to send private conversations to the seller to request something and then the seller can reject or accept it. Wait, didn't we already do this before in private convos?

Yes, but now it is fancier. And may not be as a private either. I am waiting to find out all the facts, but there may be a glitch in the system. A good friend of mine put in a request to a seller yesterday and just got a conversation from a DIFFERENT seller today saying that she would love to assist her with what she wants. WHAT??? We are waiting to find out what is going on here.

So, as for me, I think I will opt out of this. I have always accepted custom orders and I will continue to do so through private communication with the buyer. I do not want to put my customers at risk of spam intrusion.

/end rant

Have a great Thursday!



Caroline said...

I've noticed this, too. :-/ On the other hand, the ones who do their work for so little will eventually burn themselves out, especially if more people get wind that "so-and-so will knit you a hat for only 10 bucks!"

Someone there asked for a banner to be made for their shop with an ideal price of $1. I bid on the request and was almost immediately denied, because I charge what I feel is a fair price for my custom design work. $1 after PayPal fees is hardly worth it!

Sandra Eileen said...

It is unbelievable actually, that the system was not test run before implementation, non-private *private* conversations would have likely been noted somewhere along the line.

Ben Can Dance said...

Yes, Alchemy is looking like Eharmony for craft items. Kind of 'desperate'....

"Pick me! Pick Me! I'll do it for a dollar...I'll do it for FREE!"

Passementerie said...

Its really quite sad. The Alchemy system is like a mini-ebay, right on etsy...and it will only encourage those who already undervalue their work to continue to lower prices and reduce quality of materials, just to accommodate buyers who have unreasonable expectations.

...yet another reason I am glad not to be on etsy any longer.

knitsteel said...

Maybe the first seller your friend contacted referred the request to someone else who would be better at it.

I think alchemy is fine, though I would probably search high and low before using it.

I have bid several times and have no problem bidding higher than the "ideal" price, unless the individual has specifically said no higher.

I figure even the rejected bids have brought some more traffic to my shop.

Uptown Arts said...

I'm still rather new to etsy, so I find this dialogue about alchemy useful.
Your jewellery is lovely!

A Blond And A Torch said...

Thanks, Uptown!