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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2749 - February 28, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 4

Etsy Sellers Concerned over New Estimated Delivery Time Feature

By Ina Steiner
February 28, 2012

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Etsy is working on major changes to shipping features, and that has some experienced online sellers concerned. Etsy called it a "big project with multiple phases" that it was undertaking in order to improve the shipping experience on the marketplace.

In Monday's announcement, Etsy only told users details about the first phase of the project - adding estimated delivery dates. "The goal is to make it clear to you and your customers when an item is expected to arrive, and in the future to offer expedited shipping options," according to the announcement.

Some sellers are leery of such changes, having seen the confusion it caused on eBay. An Etsy seller responded to the announcement by stating that if sellers were unable to control their own shipping times, it could generate unrealistic expectations of delivery dates. "As we all know, the USPS SAYS Priority should be 2 to 3 days but it can take up to 7 business days. And gosh knows that international can be anywhere from 7 days to 2 months."

She also pointed out that certain items took longer for sellers to ship. "For the most part we ship within 48 hours, however if it's large furniture or requires custom packing it might be 6 days before an item is ready to ship." Considering that many items for sale on Etsy are handmade, this could pose a major problem for some sellers.

One EcommerceBytes reader weighed in, stating, "From the buyers prospective, giving an estimated delivery time on Etsy will move the burden of responsibility for prompt delivery from the carrier onto the Etsy seller." He added that considering Etsy doesn't have a shipping calculator, he believed its priorities were "seriously misplaced."

Etsy said in order to solicit feedback from sellers, it created a Shipping Improvements Prototype that would allow sellers to use new Shipping features before they became available to everyone.

"Some features in the Shipping Improvements Prototype will have bugs at times, some will be beta-only for an extended period of time, and others may be discontinued," Etsy explained, and said users could opt in and out of the Shipping Improvements Prototype any time.

Etsy users can join the Shipping Improvements Prototype via this page.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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