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Etsy Urges Sellers to Promote Its Site on Social Media

Etsy Urges Sellers to Promote Its Site on Social Media

Once again, an online marketplace wants sellers to do the work to drive traffic to its site. While it can be a win-win, there’s an added challenge for Etsy sellers: they may end up paying extra fees for their off-Etsy marketing efforts.

In a post on Thursday, Etsy advised sellers to take advantage of its social media assets to “shine a light on your unique shop identity and help you reach new audiences with your work.”

It pointed to a thread on its discussion boards where sellers talked about leveraging social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. Sellers shared advice, like one who said it was a mistake to use social media only for promotion. The seller suggested sharing personal things as well – “Being a human is much more likely to bring in followers and then customers than just continually posting links and promotion.”

Others shared the challenges of using social media to promote their items, including the amount of time it takes.

Other sellers said the most important thing for sellers to do is to sell things that people want to buy! Another suggested participating with helpful and quality posts in online discussion forums.

Another old-school approach: a seller said they print business cards and place them in local stores where their target market shop – “I also put them everywhere, in diners and grocery bulletin boards, anywhere.”

It was clear from the discussin that sellers work hard to drive traffic to their Etsy listings and are trying to use social media platforms as one way to do so.

Having an army of sellers dropping links to Etsy benefits the marketplace tremendously, and it should be synergistic for everyone.

But as we’ve previously reported, a shopper who clicks on a seller’s post on social media to go to the seller’s Etsy listing may later see an Etsy retargeting Offsite Ad, resulting in an extra 12% – 15% commission fee for the seller if the shopper buys an item. As Etsy explains:

“If a buyer clicks through an Offsite Ad promoting one of your listings and then purchases from your shop within 30 days, that order(s) will be attributed to the ad.”

If Etsy feels it can charge an extra fee for making the sale, one might ask why it doesn’t give a break in fees to sellers when they are responsible for making the sale?

Per Etsy’s Affiliate Program terms of use:

“Etsy sellers are eligible for the Affiliates Program but are not eligible to earn commission on sales from their own shops or from closely-related shops without the prior express written approval of Etsy.”

Feel free to leave your comments about social-media marketing in the comments below.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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/.

5 thoughts on “Etsy Urges Sellers to Promote Its Site on Social Media”

  1. Etsy should give the Sellers that drive business to their Etsy stores via their efforts on Social media a 15% fee credit for bringing the business to Etsy in the first place. In fact they should continue to get this 15% fee credit for any and all purchases that buyer makes on Etsy for the next 30 days. Fair is Fair !!!!

  2. The audacity is stunning! Promote your site in social media so that when you get a sale, you can PAY an extra selling fee for your efforts.


  3. Newbies and amateur sellers will promote Etsy like crazy – they don’t know any better or are on the high of, “I started my own business and Etsy is allowing me to be here – thank you Etsy!”

    Professional business people have their own websites. They promote their OWN websites on social media.

    In the olden days Etsy was a good place to get exposure for your business. Before the site was overrun with factory made crap. Before Etsy “reimagined” what handmade meant, changing their definition to anything you have an idea for and send out to someone else to mass produce. Before selling electronic parts, pens, pencils and literally everything else could be listed as a supply.

    Etsy takes advantage of everyone they can and if people aren’t smart enough to promote their OWN site, then that’s on them.

  4. If Etsy did not try to grab that extra 12-15% with a retargeted ad, I would promote on social media, just like I always used to. But, with the retargeting (super unfair and a money grab, IMO) it is not worth the time and effort to promote. I still link to Etsy, but not activily. If I am in a forum that allows links, and a topic that one of my items would be a good fit comes up, I’ll post a link. But, I never use Etsy’s promotional materials. You are better off just listing your shop and showing some highlights.

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