Pattern by Etsy is not a Standalone Website

I hate it when advertising and marketing lies. This week it was Etsy and their new Pattern shop that was advertised as a Standalone website. Etsy is famous for redefining handmade as ‘made in a factory that we have approved’ so they have a long history of playing loose with definitions.

Just about every blog or finance article I read on Pattern basically quoted the Etsy press release word for word. I’m a bit disappointed that not one ‘reporter’ bothered to ask a few follow up questions.

Definition of stand alone website: One which the owner controls, creates content, and owns the hosting plan, creates unique content, determines their own terms and conditions, loads up products, and so on. Basically, your own sand box.

The Pattern by Etsy, however, does not contain some key features of a standalone website.

  1. The products are uploaded ‘as is’ from an existing Etsy shop. There is no opportunity to modify or change the listings.
  2. There is no opportunity or ability to add products that aren’t already listed on Etsy.
  3. All products listed on Etsy/Pattern need to be in compliance with Etsy policies. (We could go on at length about how Etsy doesn’t bother to police their own website for obvious IP violations, but whatever.)
  4. All payments are routed through the Etsy payment system.
  5. All customers need to be signed into Etsy in order to purchase items. There is no guest checkout.
  6. Pattern shop’s cannot gather customer information according to Etsy terms and conditions.

I could go on, but there is one more important issue. The ‘standalone website’ has one more important issue. You can either link a unique URL OR you can use their free name:

That name, my friends, is not a standalone domain. That is a subdomain. Where were the journalists who didn’t bother actually reading anything besides the press release. There was even an article by TechCrunch that did a puff piece. For crying out loud. It’s not a friggen standalone website. It’s a f*** subdomain offer for a storefront that Etsy has complete control of.

I have an Etsy shop and my own actual stand alone website. I’m not their target market. But I feel bad for anyone who is suckered into thinking this marketing is transparent. I think they should immediately change this to a StoreFront or Subdomain, or Under Our Big Happy Etsy Umbrella offer.

Jiminy Krickets!


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