Some of our readers are already aware of this as they have shops on Etsy - but there have been some recent changes at Etsy involving the site's forums which are open to all who come to the site, buyers and sellers. Many of the forums that have existed since the site opened are now gone. What remains are forums directed only at sellers - and this is a shame for the shopping public.
It was always possible before the change to announce a new item that went into a shop by using the Promotions Forum. This was a busy place. Some sellers felt that it was too busy - but it brought results. A shop could announce a new item or cleverly remind everyone of other items in the shop and buyers could go and see what was new and for sale. Discounts could be announced. Coupons could be offered. It was the only place on the site that a seller could go on their own and promote their work without paying a fee. That is now gone.
Many of my sales have come from the Promotions Forum. Many buyers have found me there and have come back as repeat customers. This was a way to get your work looked at and ultimately make a sale. Now this opportunity is gone.
There is nothing of any practical application that has taken its place. It is possible to pay to be noticed on the overall site - but why should the customer have to pay the cost for a shop to advertise - no matter what anyone will say - all expenses are reflected in the cost charged.
There is no logical reasoning offered for this change - at least not one that makes any sense to anyone selling on the site. Could the forums been revised to make them more manageable? Sure! But eliminate the ones that the general public would benefit from? No sense at all!
Several sites suddenly sprung up to take the place of the Etsy Forums and also provide a Promotions Forum. One of the most notable is UEF (Unofficial Etsy Forums). But it is too soon to see if this site has any effect on sales. And unless buyers find that site - it will do no good. Take a look at UEF. If you are looking to buy, you will find shops and new items promoted there.