Considering how bad 'curation' was getting in Blades and a couple other places this is a move that could end up with some positive upside. It might be something you really needed to do in the long run and it might be a bit of bullet biting you're doing now, so I'll be the lone voice in the crowd that says 'I think I get it'.
Don't get me wrong. It is clearly a move that has immediate downside, and it was made a lot worse by the way it was implemented, like this is Office Space and you guys just 'fixed the glitch' instead of tellin' the poor bastards looking for their red Swinglines that they've been fired. About as classy as firing people at the christmas party, that. Grow a set, ya know?
And like, seriously, are you guys mimes? Were you raised by martial nuns with yardsticks that cracked you one if you made a sound? TF is with the radio silence? You want a community website, start talking. You don't need every one of your buyers to be Leonardo da fricking Vinci; we can start with being responsive for questions. You don't need to carry the whole load, you don't need to know everything, you just need to provide data and every once in a while, take feedback when you get out of step with what folks want. Blades/EDC has several people who provide content and clearly care both about what's being sold and the possibilities inherent in a place like Drop -- this is stuff that many forums end up having to pay or bribe people to generate, so you guys can't really ask for a lot more than what people give you. I read someplace in this thread that management thinks we are a 'hyper critical' community, which suggests that they might not understand how other web communities work in real life, or maybe they're a little butthurt that we haven't jumped on every grenade of a deal that they tossed over the transom, but the simple fact is, if they really are using the concept of 'community' to mean anything more than 'people who buy our stuff' they better get more comfortable with sharing data.
So there's a lot of reasons they might want to retrench. The simple truth is that Drop was slinging stuff left and right that they weren't even validating, probably because the buyers were either overwhelmed by the responsibility or more likely never assumed it in the first place. And this was presenting them with an immense problem WRT liability and FCC guidelines, in addition to bad merchandise. We had 'gemstone' dice that were made out of bullshit simulants, and when those were caught by the community Drop just tried to sell them with a different label. We had and I guess still have kitchen knives that snap in two, knives with no bolster being sold as thought they had one, we had aluminum cookware being provided with bad directions. We had items of dubious provenance showing up like those DDR Klax knockoff knives, and ghost shift knives with bad QC like hundred dollar Kizers with warped grinds, and Rikes that are actually HQ Outdoors with a Rike label.
We had things going through multiple rounds of sales with incorrect and misleading ad copy for months at a go. And people were starting to complain a lot more about them. Did it change anything? No. Things were so out of control that someone over there went 'wait, I have it! Let's sell loot boxes IRL!' and that's exactly the direction they took. Then -- something happened, I don't even know what, but clearly something did, and here we are.
All of these processes opened Drop up to a window of liability that they know is still gaping wide open, and the fact that they are going to concentrate their manpower on fewer drops with better vetted merchandise is possibly the first positive sign I've seen out of Drop since things first started going downhill. I don't want to diminish the loss to those folks who wanted the quilting stuff, etc. They have every right to feel disrespected as customers and to go elsewhere, but if someone told me 'dude Drop is now your responsibility and your first job is to unscrew this situation we're in' my very first moves would probably be to do what they just did: contract the lines of business and put more internal eyes on the deals being offered, even knowing that in the short term it might contract the revenue stream, in the name of building quality and capital within the community. Again, this is a community website and right or wrong, just or not, right now the community has the profound sense that Drop regards them as an inconvenience and Drop is no longer even offering them a compelling reason to check in. I'm hoping that these changes end up yielding Drops that have a little more informational integrity to them and that people can start seeing the difference that results when you really curate things well -- because that's one place where Drop can shine, if it follows up on these initiatives.
One last thing I'd say to all this -- I've read and understood some of the things said in the discussion about polls, and polling, and how it hasn't worked that well at Drop. What's more, I get it. The things that everyone wants, suppliers do not need to bend over backwards to find a way to sell, and may not be interested in working with Drop for any number of reasons. So just because we the entitled consumer want it, doesn't mean you the retailer can offer it, and that's how it is. Here's the thing, though -- there's stuff that, for example, the Blades community has been asking for for a long time, like drops from Tuyaknife or TwoSun. And all we hear is nothing. If you can't get them, FFS say so and give us a little detail. That's how communities work, you know. It would go a lot farther than you might think in terms of establishing the sort of rapport that you want your community to feature, because right now all we get is silence and trust me, we fill in the blanks accordingly, in a way that doesn't flatter you much at all, if you follow me.