Etsy’s Plan to Spam Causes Pain to Sellers

by on March 5th, 2011
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Mikeynice, the public face of Etsy’s management team, posted this in his blog under the title “Improving Etsy Emails”: “Starting this week, we’re going to be trying something new for members who make their first purchase. A portion of these members will receive a “Thank You” email a few days after their purchase. In this email, we’ll invite them to connect with Etsy via Facebook and Twitter and tell them about some shopping newsletters. We’ll also suggest other items they might like, based on what they’ve previously purchased.

As an Etsy shop owner, what does this mean to you? “

As an Etsy shop owner, to me it means that Etsy will be using my new customers as a mailing list to send spam about products in other shops. It means Etsy will be making money from those ads for the other shops, with no commission for me. Most important, it means Etsy will make my customer angry at me.

Why get angry at me? Well, when the first purchase at a web site is followed in a few days by an ad for other items in other shops at that site, the conclusion many of these first-time buyers will be that the person they bought from sold their contact information to the spammer. It will be difficult to convince them otherwise.

It’s going to be a public relations problem for the shopkeeper whose sale triggered the spam e-mail.

What can an Etsy shop keeper do, besides the traditional kvetching, grumbling and griping in the forums? I decided to be proactive, and borrowed this marvelous text from another seller to add to my thank you email confirming the purchase. Any first-time buyer will see this before they get the spam from the management. And if I knew Mikeynice’s personal e-mail address I would use it.

It seems likely you may receive unsolicited marketing emails from Etsy, and for that I would like to apologize. This material is sent by Etsy without my approval. I have no knowledge of its contents and do not sanction or endorse any of the items advertised therein. I did not supply Etsy with your contact details nor any other information about you. They took it from their user and transaction database.
If you would like to express an opinion on this or to request that you do not receive such material, please contact Etsy directly at

Mikey, if you are reading this, I do not want anyone spamming on my behalf. It’s bad for business.

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