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Sun Sept 8 2019 21:12:46

Sellers Infuriated as Etsy Brings out the Big Stick

By: Ina Steiner

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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.

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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.

Wed Sep 11 11:51:13 2019

@MadMax ... absolutely the way that it is.  There is no real business plan and no real vision any more.  Instead of adapting the business model to really grow Etsy and include vintage, which, for the most part are hot sellers and could be better with their support, they're relying on sellers fees which, long term are unsustainable.  They are as dumb as mud and think we are too.

People really need to hold their ground and not fall for this new absurd money grab.

People also need to report this behavior to the FTC and NY Attorney General's office.

What they're doing is against the law.

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 14:03:18 2019

To my knowledge FTC is just "Giving them more rope".
Venues like these WILL be hanged until dead.

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.

Wed Sep 11 21:41:36 2019

I just made my first sale on eCrater and I've only been on the site for 2 weeks.  Just a $35 sale, but it's a start.  I sell vintage, antiques and some handmade.  They only charge a 2.9% commission. NO OTHER FEES!  They let you handle the payments from buyers.  Payments go right into your account immediately.  They don't charge their percentage for shipping or state taxes.  They've been in biz since 2004 with over 100,000 stores.  Work hard there and you'll be happy.  Fixed price only, no auction format.  Takes about five minutes to set up a store. I had a difficult time trying to figure out the attributes, which are what Etsy TAGS are.  I also found the shipping was difficult to understand but their customer service is very responsive, but only by email, no phone support.  What do you have to lose?  We all need to leave these sinking ships like Ebay & Etsy. The rats are running them.  

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.

Thu Sep 12 18:19:04 2019

From the forums:

"They can't meet expectations by using their sellers... even if they make a short term gain doing that, they are only delaying the inevitable. Getting your clients off-side to satisfy your shareholders can only backfire..."

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.

Thu Sep 12 18:21:22 2019

Also scuttlebutt on the forums is that they are considering implementing 'forced returns'.  

My God ... they are insane and this would be the end of them.  No even the least experienced and desperate would agree to such a thing.

Unbelievable if true ... has anyone heard anything?

Has anyone reached out to you Ina?

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

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

Sun Sep 15 08:23:06 2019

One thing's for sure- these two major changes with the make believe "free" shipping and the new Google advertising, have totally screwed things up for the average seller. Sales are down all over, drastically in many cases, as reported on Etsy support groups online.  (I don't know about the forums).

The tech people don't know what they're doing and neither do their masters who are telling them to bleed the sellers for every penny.

It's going to take awhile, but there will be other markets eventually for quality handmade and vintage.  There are millions of dollars to be made by savvy investors who actually see the value in what we sell.

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.

Sun Sep 15 10:14:15 2019

Your mouth to God's ear @Flying Childers its dismal over there these days.  I do this full time to pay for home, insurance, food etc.  I'm so damn stressed out is not healthy.  

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