AuctionBytes Blog
Covering auctions, collectibles and marketplace selling.

AuctionBytes Blog The AuctionBytes Blog has been giving a voice to online merchants since its launch in 2005. Named one of the world's top 30 blogs in 2008 by "Blogging Heroes." Weigh in with your thoughts on the joys and pitfalls of selling online.
Thu Nov 8 2018 23:22:29

Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Etsy transitioned another batch of sellers to its new billing system on November 8th, and it's still proving painful for sellers. The changes impact sellers' cash flow in a big way and many say they don't understand how Etsy is billing, withdrawing funds, and determining when balances are "past due." They're also concerned about reconciling their accounts for tax purposes under the new system.

Despite the fact many of the sellers who were moved to the system last month didn't understand the new system, as we documented at the time, Etsy transitioned another batch of sellers to the system on Thursday resulting in the same confusion.

Etsy made an announcement in the forums today announcing it would hold a session to answer seller questions - an excerpt of the announcement follows:

>>>
As you may know, we redesigned your shop finances so you can manage your finances in one place. We combined your Etsy bill and Payment account and will automatically deduct your fees from your Etsy Payment sales. This new experience will be available to all sellers soon!

You can read more about the updates here: help.etsy.com/hc/articles/360002065387

Additionally, the team who worked on this redesign will be here next week to answer some of your questions.

Post your questions here in this thread and/or vote for the questions you'd like to see answered. 
<<<

Etsy will answer the questions next week (Thursday, November 15) - a long time for those suffering the consequences of the change.

In the help file Etsy pointed to in today's announcement is a FAQ that includes an example that I think will *explain* the biggest concern sellers have, though not necessarily *lessen* seller concerns:

>>>
Why do past deposits decrease my Current balance?
In the past, the sales funds you could deposit were your total funds from a sale minus payment processing fees. Other fees and taxes, such as transaction fees or listing fees, were not deducted directly from these sales.

In the new payment account, all fees, including transaction fees, listing fees, and shipping labels, are deducted directly from your sales funds. Since these fees weren't deducted from your past deposits, the fees that would have been deducted from your sales in the past month are now counted against your current balance.

For example: You made $30 in sales in October, minus payment processing fees. You also accrued $40 of fees in October.

In the old payment account, you could deposit all $30 of your Etsy Payments sales. You would also owe $40 on your Etsy bill.

In the new Payment account, the $40 in fees will appear as deducted from your $30 in sales. This results in a -$10 line item for fees and your deposit line item deducts $30 from the balance leaving a Current balance of -$40, or the previous Etsy bill balance.
<<<

(Sellers impacted today probably need to substitute "November" for "October" in that example.)

While that may sound perfectly reasonable to all the employees at Etsy who receive a steady paycheck and benefits, the change can be devastating to self-employed micro sellers who do not, and who must pay for supplies and inventory upfront before making sales. $30 cash in hand now and owing $40 next week is a lot different than Zero in hand now and owing $10 now.

(Scratch that - according to the example above, the seller would owe $40 now; we don't even understand how that's so.)

An excerpt from a post by a seller impacted by today's changes may help explain the dilemma some are facing: 

"Since "Due By November 15th" still shows in my Payment account, I took that to mean, due by ... So I had time to make my payments whilst still being paid for the orders placed. 

"Imagine how I felt knowing I had approx $78 in new earnings, money I needed, absorbed in one fierce snatch to pay towards my bill by Etsy without so much as a heads up so I could prepare, plan and shuffle. Every order since, fees amounting, no earnings, all going towards my balance.

"True I owe Etsy that I'm not denying - however, as said "due by" in my understanding of English, does not define as "I'm taking your money now and will continue to do so" leaving you w/o a penny. There is no other money but what I earn here. So every new order, I am w/o earnings, and fees keep adding to the bill and the wheel goes around and around and around."

Ironically, Etsy CEO Josh Silverman posted the results of a study the company commissioned to measure the economic impact of Etsy sellers, which found that "income from creative microbusinesses can have a significant impact on individuals and families."

One would hope Etsy would start answering sellers' questions on Friday and continue straight through the weekend rather than leaving sellers hanging for an entire week.

Update: An Etsy spokesperson explained to EcommerceBytes, "When a seller transitions to the new Payment account, we combine their outstanding bill balance with the balance they had available for deposit (earned from their sales). If a seller makes a deposit to their bank account before their transition to the new Payment account, the deposit amount is also deducted from the balance." Etsy updated the article to make the example clearer.

Comments (52) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers   Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers

by: BBB This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 13 12:26:55 2018

Those were my words the author quoted, boy was I surprised! Let's be clear about this whole debacle:
1. Shop owners owe Etsy a bill, that is not disputed.
2. Blah blah was announced back in April of 2018 about this new payment structure - that is not disputed.
3. If Etsy could send that ^^ email, one safely assumes Etsy could also send EVERY (emphasis) shop owner a personal email stating exactly what date the new payment method would hit their shop - Etsy did not. Dispute #1 with Etsy - shame on you.
4. Fee this Fee that Fee Fee Fee. Lord God I am sick to death of FEES (shouting). Incorrect fees, too many fees, shops giddy about fees, shops disgruntled over fees ... Fess are not disputed - it is (they are) what it is.
5. Pay ON (emphasis) the 1st of every month - not disputed. PAY BY (shouting) the 15th of every month. Dispute #2.
6. If you are removing the Pay By option from your billing structure with your "tenants", then one would think (oops) you would like, maybe ... say something in advance? Refers back to said unsent email announcement to every shop owner of WHEN (emphasis) sticky fingers would dive into their payment account. Dispute #3
7. Only "allowing" (exact word) Shop Owners the ability to pay "due" portion of negative balance, is so stupid I can't really say anything else except STUPID (shouting). What buttnut thought of that, or rather, forgot about that?? And then not provided a button a link a smoke signal anything to those Shop Owners to pay the remaining negative balance is Dispute #4.
8. Dispute #4 - Seriously. Who/What business doesn't provide a method for its payers to pay their fucking bill? Most businesses are eager happy helpful when it comes to taking money owed them. Not Etsy. Well. (eyes rolling) Um yes they are eager - obviously. But. But. To roll out a significantly impactful new payment process, without the inclusion of a way for shop owners to pay the entire bill owed, like the day said new payment process was rolled out, is even more STUPID (shouting/emphasis) than the other Stupid shit Silverman et al Etsy, has showered all shop owners with since he came on board. Lord God I wish the man had found gold in the Rubicon and stayed away. Far far far away. So um wishing and hoping and praying aside ... Josh The Joker Silverman is unfortunately, here to stay. It is what it is and that is not disputed.
9. So I pay the portion of my bill I'm allowed to pay, and that payment goes to Etsy Ireland. Say What? ETSY IRELAND (emphasis). WTF ... um ... I am USA I don't even sell internationally. All payments previous to that day were to Etsy, Inc. I don't know what this is but damn, this is certainly Dispute #5 !!  Somebody wanna sort that out??

Seriously folks, since ya'll don't know every detail about me, my little BBB, my finances and so on, let me just say in closing, wow its been real. Its been a slice. In fact, its been a real slice. Into the heart of my passion which was creating true handmade body bath facial fragrances. I have accepted full time employment, working nights, and as soon as I know my 1st day of employment, I'll be closing my little Bliss so I never have to try to understand Fees, willy nilly thoughtless roll out procedures and the maniacal mind of The Joker who certainly doesn't give a fig about anything or anyone, save the almighty $.

I wish everyone including Silverman et al Etsy, a joyous warm peaceful Thanksgiving.

Perminate Link for Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers   Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Tue Nov 13 12:35:56 2018

O.K.  :o)
QUEUE the Holiday Mood :o)

Perminate Link for Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers   Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 13 12:55:52 2018

Honest question .... is it even legal to take payment for something that hasn't been shipped and certainly not received?  

Is it legal to not provide a payment method that the shop owner can use to pay their own bill?  

Ireland is because they're evading taxes in the US. A major draw for US firms is Ireland’s low 12.5% corporation tax rate and numerous controversial tax breaks. The government has promised to phase out the latter - think PayPal, Apple and others!!

So they're not just screwing us, the are screwing America by not paying their fair share of taxes to support infrastructure, services etc etc

Oh happy day

Perminate Link for Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers   Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers

by: Maranta This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 13 14:12:19 2018

I don't like the fact that Etsy takes a customer's money before it has even been processed yet.  It makes refunds difficult, and it makes transactions more unclear.

Since they seem to have funnelled all their money through Ireland it wasn't very clever to go messing up past VAT invoices.  They may have actually done something that has consequences outside of Etsy.

I don't know which is worse in the mess they have created, having no real customer service, or having the nerve to offer a program where you can pay to get some.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers   Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 13 21:02:14 2018

All i know is we learned a valuable lessen with ebay, we were stupid idiots for sticking around as long as we did, praying for it to get better, while they sucked the life out of us,

it's NOT going to happen with etsy, we ended all our listings immediately, and will close it down when they finally fix the big f 'in mess they made, or just abandon it , they will have to take me to court if they want the final bill paid, i don't even believe I owe it at this point, we are never going back, done, finished, we will make up the few thousand in sales a month, with extra advertising thru our site, just like we did with ebay

Millions of smart and successful business's don't use these greed driven venues like ebay, amazon or etsy, and we are going to be one of them.

Perminate Link for Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers   Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers

by: Henrietta McClellan This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Tue Nov 13 22:33:21 2018

The new system at ETSY is terrible. I would like to quit but there are no instructions on how to do it. Can you help?

Perminate Link for Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers   Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 14 16:08:04 2018

Where can you go to sell quality antiques and vintage that is not Ruby Lane????

Perminate Link for Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers   Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 15 08:56:14 2018

@Henrietta McClellan

currently etsy has made such a mess of their payments, we cannot actually close our shop, I have sent a minimum of 3-5 email requests plus phone calls per day to get answers, and this is day 7 , they simply cannot fix this, all I am getting is automated responses back, whatever they claim we owe them before we can close our shop, cannot be paid,

whatever we end up paying to rid ourselves of these idiots, etsy will be the losers, because It will end up costing them more in salaries to deal with me then the original bill.

Quite a disgrace,,, they have become

Perminate Link for Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers   Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 15 09:11:11 2018

@maxmad  if you are truly done, why not just delete all of your items from your shop or put it in vacation mode.

Let them come after you for the money - you will get their attention then I'm sure.  In the meantime, you're items are ready to go to your new storefront.

Perminate Link for Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers   Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers

by: printyourparty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 15 11:12:32 2018

@SammyCat have you tried chairish to sell vintage, its free to list  

Perminate Link for Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers   Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers

by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 16 19:02:09 2018

Here's the stupidest, most infuriating thing about their new non-payment system:  we are no longer allowed to pay our bill as we go along!  In other words, I used to chip away all month at my Etsy bill whenever I got ahead of the game.   Sometimes I had extra money and I'd pay down the bill.  NO MORE.  
WHY WOULD THEY DO SOMETHING SO STUPID THAT BENEFITS NO ONE??
Think about it- I know I am not the only seller who did this.  It didn't cost Etsy anything.  In fact it was extra money in their greedy pockets.
Does anyone know the answer?
WHY ARE WE NO LONGER ALLOWED TO PAY OUR BILLS DURING THE MONTH VIA CREDIT CARD OR PAYPAL?   WHAT AM I MISSING HERE?

Oh  yeah- you can't fix STUPID.

Perminate Link for Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers   Etsy Move to New Billing Proves Painful for Sellers

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 18 20:27:28 2018

thanks @printyourparty ... will check that out

Click to view more comments
1 2 3 


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.