Some of you may have read my Farewell to Folksy post a couple of months ago, but if you haven't, I recommend you do so before continuing, to get you up to speed.
After emptying my Folksy shops in disgust, I kept them open, partly to download hundreds of feedbacks from my lovely customers as and when time allowed, and partly in the (forlorn) hope that Folksy Towers would eventually see sense and limit those gold stars to featured sellers' shopfronts. In the meantime, I continued to contribute positively to the forums, and to purchase items from a few of the many excellent Folksy shops (avoiding, of course, any seller who has their items made abroad, and those featured sellers who shot themselves in the foot with their arrogance and deliberate obtuseness in the gold star debate).
Then Folksy launched the Plus account. The account was originally labelled 'Pro', but on this occasion Folksy managed to dredge up a modicum of common-sense and changed it to something that sounded a lot less like 'professional'. And, not only that, Plus badges have been sensibly limited to Plus-sellers' shopfronts. (Having said that, I don't see why an account option should be badged at all. Badge one, badge them all!) Anyway, that they managed to limit this particular badge to shopfronts begs the question: Why could they not have done the same with featured sellers' gold stars when requested to do so by a mass of disgruntled and disadvantaged non-featured sellers...?
But I digress, so back to the Plus account, which clearly states that it costs £30 for unlimited listings for one year. Nothing more, nothing less (but more on that later). And I agree that it's an excellent way to solve the financial dilemma of materials sellers and sellers of large numbers of lower value items, so well done, Folksy.
So what's the problem, you ask...? The problem is that Folksy (as usual) failed to properly think through this account pre-launch, and Plus sellers found they could list not only unlimited quantities, but could also RELIST THEIR ENTIRE SHOPS EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR FREE. Which of course they're doing, and at huge expense to non-Plus sellers whose items are lost under an avalanche of daily Plus-seller relistings and therefore aren't available to view for more than a minute or two. And this in August, the 'dead' season, so imagine how much worse it will be on the run-up to Christmas! Some Plus sellers - who apparently left their brains at home that day, or simply chose to ignore the bleeding obvious for their own selfish ends - declared defensively that Plus was available to everyone, and that any unhappy non-Plus seller could switch. Wrong. Plus is not a financially viable option for those who can't make and list items on a regular basis.
To Folksy's credit, they've acknowledged the problem, but James' comment on a certain thread (now typically locked), that free relisting is allowed by Plus sellers 'because they've paid for it' was, quite frankly, jaw-dropping. I pointed out (again) that this wasn't part of the Plus account's description (and therefore not part of the deal), expecting to get a sensible reply.
Well, silly me...
Instead, I logged into my email account next day to find one from Folksy admin accusing me of 'spreading deliberate misinformation in order to rally support against Folksy' and advising me that they'd therefore suspended my accounts. As all I'd been doing was supporting and fighting the corner of downtrodden non-Plus sellers - with facts, and only on Folksy, not elsewhere - I couldn't believe my eyes. Any old excuse, it seems, to shut up anyone with valid criticisms (and I'm far from being the first). Perhaps I should be grateful that the Putin act-alikes in Sheffield's very own Kremlin haven't locked me up for two years. Though at least Russia's Pussy Riot got a trial of sorts...!
In the meantime, vicious personal attacks go unpunished, the pink-and-fluffy brigade convene to gossip and to accuse those with perfectly valid concerns of 'sabotage' (yes, really!), the I'm-alright-jack-up-yours brigade continue defending the indefensible; and other assorted arse-lickers continue to bury their thick skulls in the sand - hobbyists with no concept of how Folksy's utter ineptitude has and is negatively impacting the businesses of those who suddenly find themselves no longer on the level-playing field that Folksy once was, but are instead having to negotiate Everest while other sellers receive free promotion and free publicity at their expense.
There is now nothing at all about Folksy that is fair and just. Hopefully, another UK craft platform will evolve at some point, and one staffed not only with professionals, but with professionals imbued with brains, common-sense, and, most of all, humility.