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Etsy Sellers Say ‘Hands Off’ Their Notifications to Buyers

Etsy Sellers Say 'Hands Off' Their Notifications to Buyers

Etsy is going too far in its free-shipping push, say some sellers on the Etsy forums, such as those discussing a new issue in a thread titled, “Etsy promoting Free Shipping on my customer’s receipts? ARE YOU NUTS?”

Sellers are angry that Etsy is using the notification emails to sellers’ customers to promote free shipping, even when those sellers don’t offer free shipping.

“I don’t like the idea of Free Shipping being promoted on my customer receipts,” a seller wrote on the discussion board. “My decision to not use free shipping benefits my customers,” and they proceeded to explain why.

Another seller explained how Etsy may be setting shoppers up for disappointment with sellers over the wording of the messaging: “Etsy can do whatever it likes, but I wish it would keep things clear. If the receipt says free shipping on your next order, people will think it is this shop and it won’t be. They obviously want buyers to demand free shipping. If I don’t offer it, there are reasons for that.”

The original poster outlined their concerns in detail and pasted a copy of the message Etsy is now including in customer notifications about orders:

Free shipping? Ooh yeah!

How about a little something extra? Free shipping! Get it on your next order.

Shop now

On another thread, a seller posted the message they were seeing on the bottom of receipts:

Free delivery? Yes, please

How about a little something extra?

Free delivery! Get it on your next order

And they said below the message was a “Shop now ” button that sellers say links to an Etsy page with other sellers’ listings.

Another seller agreed the new “free shipping” messaging was potentially misleading: “I think it is brand new, in the last day or two – and yes, the way it looks – from what I saw posted – is like the shop you bought from is offering free shipping the next time.”

In fact, one seller believes it’s possible the new messaging caused a buyer to cancel a sale:

“I posted on page 3 that a shopper messaged me 5 mins after buying 2 items from my shop this afternoon and told me to cancel her order she’d found the items elsewhere.

“So I wonder did get see this info on her purchase receipt, saw free shipping oh yeah! and found another seller selling similar items with FS or the FSG (I don’t do either and don’t plan on starting).

“I don’t remember the last time I was asked to cancel an order, it’s been years at least 2 or 3 so it’s kind of odd with this newest stupid test that I get an order then was asked to cancel it 5 min later.”

Some sellers think it’s a new practice, others think it’s a test. But most of those discussing the change think it’s intrusive and potentially misleading.

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.