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Etsy Updates the Way It Displays Shipping Information

Etsy made a change in the way it displays shipping information. But before sellers panic about whether the change could confuse buyers, they should know the change only impacts the Sold Orders page, visible only to sellers.

The company called it part of a series of changes to support its ongoing goal of offering a calculated shipping option. “With this first change, we’re now totaling and displaying shipping costs for your entire order, rather than showing the individual shipping costs for each item in the order. Next week, we plan to introduce the same to the receipt page.”

Sellers are growing impatient for a shipping calculator, as was evident from the feedback they provided about Etsy in the recent Sellers Choice Awards. As one seller explained, “Sales are fairly strong considering the little effort I put into it, and their fees are less than anyone else. I wouldn’t be so apathetic about the site if they’d at least add a shipping calculator, because without it, I must add inflated shipping costs in case someone across the country buys, and then if the postage is less, I have to spend time refunding them. I believe a lot of potential buyers are lost when they see the shipping cost, even though I add a disclaimer that they will be refunded for any overages. I myself would not purchase an item in this manner.”

In September, Etsy said much the same thing when it changed the way it displayed shipping costs to buyers, which it had said was a first step in its efforts to launch a calculated shipping option.

Etsy explained on Tuesday:

“The new design for Sold Orders centralizes all of an order’s shipping information: the total order shipping cost and shipping method will now consistently appear in the same place. If you offer Shipping Upgrades, it will be easier to see when an upgrade has been selected. Both of these changes should help make order management from the Sold Orders page a more straightforward experience, and lay the groundwork for future improvements down the road. You can see a preview of how this looks here: etsy.me/NewSoldOrdersPage.

Clearing Up Some Confusion 
Sellers were concerned about some terminology Etsy used. While “standard shipping” generally refers to the level of service (an indication to buyers of the speed of delivery), Etsy used it generically.

“It looks like there is a bit of confusion around the introduction of the term “Standard Shipping,”” Etsy’s moderator said upon reading questions and comments from sellers.

He explained that, if a buyer doesn’t select a shipping upgrade, Etsy will display the term “Standard Shipping” on the Sold Orders page. “If you do not offer Shipping Upgrades, “Standard Shipping” refers to whatever type of shipping you have set in your shop, be it Priority Mail, First Class, or anything else,” he said. “This language is not shown to buyers anywhere – they will just see the word “Shipping” during checkout and on their receipt page.”

More information and reaction from sellers is available on the Etsy website.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.