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.
Sun Sept 8 2019 21:12:46

Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Etsy sellers are infuriated at a letter they received from the marketplace on Friday telling them that from now on, Etsy will reserve the first page of search results for items that offer free shipping. An excerpt of the letter follows:

"To continue improving our buying experience, now when a shopper in the US searches for an item, the first page of results - up to 48 listings* - will be reserved for items that ship free and items from shops that guarantee free shipping to US buyers on orders of $35 or more. Keep in mind that 83% of purchases from search on Etsy come from the first page.

"Because you're not currently offering free shipping to the US, you could experience a significant decrease in views to your listings. To ensure your items are eligible to appear on the first page of search, we recommend setting up a free US shipping guarantee for orders of $35 and up."

Feeling "bullied" was the reaction of many sellers posting on the Etsy seller discussion boards. 

"I got this email too and felt very threatened to do it their way or else," one seller wrote of the new policy. Was it legal given the fact sellers pay the same listing fee, they wondered? "Is Etsy going to give us a discount on our listing fee if they refuse to honor a fair place in the search?"

"It's pretty shocking and disheartening," wrote another. 

One seller explained many of their items were under $5 - "if I offer free shipping, I will virtually be giving my items away. I keep my items affordable, combine shipping on multiple items, and refund shipping overages when the calculator goes haywire," they wrote. 

Etsy announced in July it would be favoring items with free shipping in search results, but Friday's letter stating listings without some form of free shipping would be blacklisted from the first page of search results rubbed sellers the wrong way. 

One seller pointed out the impact of adding shipping costs to the item price: "I totally disagree with the idea of cheating the prices with added shipping costs and I hate the idea of messing up Etsy as price reference for the vintage market."

Many of the subset of sellers who posted their outrage at the policy online said they were seeking advice on alternative venues.

The tone of the letter grated on sellers' nerves - "Keep in mind that 83% of purchases from search on Etsy come from the first page," Etsy warned sellers.

Comments (87) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 9 18:12:05 2019

@TheEnd    I had a long argument with someone at Etsy about them making money off the taxes charged by states, or,  that its at least not on a separate line for tax purposes and not part of shop income.  It artificially inflates shop income and 'we' pay taxes on that.  

They really just don't have their shit together because they're too busy coming up with one gimmick after another to pad their profit reports for shareholders.  

There is so much wrong with this stupid 'free shipping' thing and I fear it will bite them in the ass, and by virtue of that us as well.

They think that we're stupid.  They think shoppers are stupid and we're not.  

All that Chinese crap that can be bought for 80% less on sites all over the internet will ultimately be their undoing when people figure out they're being ripped off on Etsy.

So much wrong ...  

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

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

Mon Sep 9 18:15:04 2019

NEW CLEAN ORGANIC VENUE NOW ! ! ! !  

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Sep 9 22:08:11 2019

I'm a chump for thinking that free shipping is a lie? PFFT! Yes, I do combine the item price and shipping when it makes sense to do so, but I tell customers that shipping is included...not FREE because there is no such thing.

It's great that there are sellers who are perfectly capable and willing to give in to Etsy's demands, but that doesn't mean every seller is. Never forget that there is no one size fits all scenario in eCommerce. So, while something might work for you, it won't work for everyone else.

So, arguing in favor of free shipping as if everyone should be doing it really has no place here. Besides, there's far more to this than the old free shipping argument.

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: choochoo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 9 23:10:19 2019

I just began, but I am working very hard at selling my vintage and antique items on eCrater.  They only charge a 2.75% commission and that's all folks. Very refreshing.  If we all moved there it would be an upset to the eBay & Etsy Mafia.
Also, I am going to try handmade on Amazon.  15% commission but they are waiving their $39.99 store fee indefinitely.  It's worth a try and they don't force sellers to have free shipping.  What good is Etsy's 5% commission if our items won't be seen?  

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: choochoo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 9 23:11:41 2019

PS.-Sorry Etsy.  There is no Santa Claus and there is no such thing as Free Shipping.

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 10 01:33:18 2019

What?!? No Santa Claus?!? LIES! LOL

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: choochoo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 10 08:36:53 2019

You can twitter Josh Silverman, CEO of Etsy at:
@jgsilverman

I just sent him this twitter note:
Forcing sellers to offer free shipping, for higher search placement is an outrage.
Sellers who do not offer free shipping and do not get higher placement have to pay the same fees as those who get higher placement. That's biting the hand that feeds you Etsy.

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 10 10:00:34 2019

@chicago48 - I sell on Amazon Handmade and have included shipping in the price for almost a year now. It hasn't increased my sales AT ALL.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 10 10:20:51 2019

@SellerGirl - If you (or your theoretical seller) aren't increasing the price to cover shipping, it's a definite loss. ... even if you're selling just ONE mug for $7 with free shipping! A First Class Parcel shipping label for 16 ounces could easily cost $5-something if shipping cross-country; if the selling price is only $7, you'll get a whopping $2 for the mug.

Etsy Plus is $10/month (not $15 as you stated). With the free listings and ad credits which are included, assuming the seller uses all of those, Etsy Plus has a net cost of $2/month. Many sellers like it, some don't; the ones who don't like it mostly seem to think that Etsy Plus was going to get them more views or sales or better positioning in search results, none of which was promised by Etsy. Also, Etsy never threatened sellers with fewer or no sales if they didn't subscribe to Etsy Plus. I have never used this OPTIONAL FEATURE, yet my sales have been up all year YOY (currently up 58% YOY), and 4 of the previous 8 months have been my BEST EVER on Etsy!  

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 10 10:30:00 2019

@felyne - Having had my own web site for more then 10 years, I can assure you that stand-alone sites aren't all that they're cracked up to be! I sold very little on my web site when it was online. I took the site down several years after starting on Etsy ... and haven't missed it at all.

If you REALLY think that Zibbet or ArtFire are the solution, you've obviously never tried selling there. I have. Many others have. Even Zibbet's recent association with AC Moore hasn't helped, from what I'm reading from sellers who tried it.

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: Sierra This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 10 10:36:56 2019

@Evenger - Years ago, Etsy DID clearly show the shipping cost on the item page. When they took that away, many sellers (including myself) had a major hissy fit! But shoppers eventually figured it out and have continued to buy!

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 10 11:03:20 2019

NEW CLEAN ORGANIC VENUE NOW ! ! ! !
 
please let me know when that comes online

want to know the real problem for ALL these sites? once they go public - get out or shut up. Their main goal then turns fo making money - one way or the other - by hook or by crook. Here's the sad part - most hard working Americans who have 401k's don't get it that THEY are the corporation. Their doing it to themselves simply because their to stupid to save their own money like our grandparents and parents did. Someone sold them a get rich scheme and here we are. After 08 I own NO stocks - no bonds - nothing. They will never catch me again. Meanwhile every time the stock market needle moves millions of Americans spend sleepless nights creating more ulcers. Until we learn to function on our own it's not going to change anything soon.

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

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

Tue Sep 10 11:39:15 2019

Whatever :
You're absolutely correct.
A New Benevolent Mindset must accompany the New Clean Organic Venue.
It will supplant the current corrupt choices.
I have a feeling there's a great venue in the works right now.
It may debut as early as January 2020  ;o)

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: horsewhistles This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 10 16:27:07 2019

For sellers with vintage home decor check out Chairish.  It has be a great place to sell for us.    

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: choochoo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 10 19:10:46 2019

Horsewhistles,
Charish is pretty good.  I've only been selling there for a year or so.  They vet all listings, which is a good thing.  They have professional decorator buyers, which is good.  
It takes a while to get your money, though. The buyer pays them.  Then you send it to the buyer.  The buyer has two days to reject or accept your item.  Then 4-5 days later, Chairish sends your money to you.   For items they ship it could be several weeks before you get paid.  If you sell a piece of furniture, the shipper they choose can take weeks or months to deliver it.  You get paid 7 days after they receive it.  Not good.
They have very friendly customer service and not a lot of hoops to jump through.

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 10 19:23:20 2019

Trying to compete with Amazon shows the IGNORANCE of the people in charge at Etsy. At Amazon, they have a membership called PRIME which gets them a POOL OF MONEY to pay for the shipping. There is NO FREE SHIPPING and everyone really knows that - well except some people who work at Etsy.

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: horsewhistles This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 10 22:30:24 2019

choochoo,
Glad you are trying Chairish, I've been selling there for 3 years.  I agree the wait for money can be a pain, but once you load enough inventory the sales become a steady stream.  Plus returns are rare.   I was never able to sell much furniture online until now, but since Chairish handles the shipping logistics it is much easier.  As long as stuff sells, I am happy.  You are right they do have very nice folks in support.   Best of luck to you.

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 10 22:54:50 2019

Have no fear, it won't last, the low cost china items will flood the first few pages, and many great items will be buried, , the sound of this email, smells of desperation .if they don't manipulate enough suckers to buy into this nonsense, etsy will lose big time

Sellers that don't want to use the free shipping aka shipping included model, should hold their ground, run your business how you want, after all, that's what being self employed is all about, doing it your way, for better or worst.

These turds have taken extortion to new levels in the last few years, all short term gains, with little to no outlook on real honest growth of their business, other then take more from sellers, that's all they got, and they will continue doing more of the same,

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

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

Wed Sep 11 09:52:21 2019

That Etsy even HAS a "Big Stick" makes it a Communist entity......
Like Ebay, Amazon and any other "place" that imposes THEIR rules on "independent" businesses.
At this time they are TRESPASSING against us, NOT to be forgiven. But to be destroyed and rebuilt to serve us as originally intended.
Selling online should be :
You register as a business in your state.
Have a tax number.
Open a few online shops.
Stock them with your product.
See who collects the tax and pay accordingly.
Selling venues take no more than 5%.
That's it.
K.I.S.S.

Perminate Link for Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick   Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Wed Sep 11 10:50:57 2019

Etsy is eBay - they are both greedy - charging fees on actual postage which goes up each year - instant revenue increase - while our revenue goes DOWN - and the one sided Review / Feedback - if a liar loses a case, they slam your rating & Etsy & eBay leave it up & demote your items.

Click to view more comments
1 2 3 4 5  [Next Page]


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.