It’s the eternal struggle between marketplaces wanting to entice shoppers with free shipping and sellers needing to cover their costs. On Tuesday, Etsy offered some examples of sellers who have found a way to do both.
As is often the case, sellers who left comments offered insight and suggestions. Sellers who had different types of products appeared skeptical, others had some suggestions for Etsy.
Some sellers said they’d like to see Etsy include case studies featuring sellers of large vintage items. Other sellers said they couldn’t possibly offer free shipping on their low-cost beads, since the higher prices they’d have to charge would scare away buyers.
One seller found some advice in Etsy’s article useful, but couldn’t see how to put it into practice: “One of the sellers highlighted in the article offers free shipping when THREE items are purchased. I can’t see to figure out how to set that up… anybody know?”
Another seller responded, “I think a way to do it is to run a sale in marketing – sales and coupons. You can set the quantity of items to qualify there.”
One seller said she’s had luck with flat-rate shipping for her small, inexpensive items, since “baking in the cost of shipping” puts her out of price range. For the majority of her items, she offers $3.65 shipping for as much as the buyer wants.
She offered this advice for Etsy: “Instead of pushing purely free shipping, I’d like to see more emphasis put on a flat rate cost and combined shipping profiles because it encourages people to buy more than 1 thing from a shop.”
Free shipping won’t work for every seller or every item, but reading about how others are using the tactic can be helpful. You can find the article titled, “How 5 Sellers Use Free Shipping in Their Shops,” on this page of the Etsy Seller Handbook.