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Etsy Sellers Can Earn Cold Hard Cash for Referring Buyers

Etsy sellers now have the potential to earn extra revenue by promoting listings of other sellers. Etsy has opened up its affiliate program to sellers, offering a standard commission rate of 4% with a 30-day cookie period. (Cookies help track which orders result from affiliate marketers.)

Keep in mind that sellers cannot earn a commission on the sales of their own items. (Presumably sellers will continue to market their own goods whether they earn affiliate revenue on those orders or not.)

Etsy is also being restrictive as to who they will allow into the program. “Etsy sellers with their own blogs or personal websites can now apply to earn commission by promoting other Etsy sellers through the program,” a spokesperson told us on Thursday.

In its announcement, the marketplace further explained, “Our affiliate program is looking for high-quality sites that will drive traffic to Etsy. Because of this, not all kinds of sites are eligible for our Affiliate Program and we’re not able to accept all applications.”

Under the program terms published on AffiliateWindow.com, the third-party service that administers the program, Etsy excludes the following types of publishers: Cashback, Coupon code, Loyalty, Behavioral retargeting, and Media brokers.

The types of publishers the program does accept include: Community, Content, Email, and Search.The types of publishers the program does accept include: Community, Content, Email, and Search. (Update: The terms now say Content only. An Etsy spokesperson told us, “Our main publisher base consists of strong content driven sites, such as blogs and online publications and these are the types of sites we look to partner with.”)

Typical affiliate terms apply to Etsy’s program as well: it will decline commissions in cases where an order is canceled, an item was returned, the item was out of stock, etc.

Etsy also operates Canadian, UK, French, German, Scandinavian (Sweden) and Australian affiliate programs. “Affiliates should only apply to their specific country program. Commissions will be rewarded no matter what country the sale was made in,” it advises.

Be sure to read all the terms and restrictions if you’re considering joining the program. You can find the announcement on the Etsy Seller Handbook.

Article updated on July 6, 2016.

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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/.