Some sellers said Etsy is now requiring them to specify estimated delivery times when setting up shipping profiles. They were discussing the issue in a discussion board thread
this week titled, "Anyone else getting the feeling Etsy's hyperfocusing on shipping dates?"
Sellers reported that as of this week, Etsy was forcing them to choose estimated delivery times - "they won't let me use saved shipping profiles anymore without doing it," one seller wrote.
"Apparently Etsy has gone into Shop's shipping profiles (?) & decided that if one means of shipping is commonly used, then the Shop "should" be committing to it," a seller described.
For instance, a seller who set up shipping profiles that give them breathing room for various reasons, including the pandemic, said Etsy changed everything to USPS Priority "because 'we seem to use it the most' which is false. I had to change it all back grr."
"As others have stated," wrote another seller, "delivery times are recently required on my shipping profiles."
The seller expressed concern that Etsy wants to compete with Amazon. "This is worries me because Amazon is not a fit for my business. I am hoping Etsy can continue to be. If they will require fast shipping in order to have items show well in their search, it won't be. This worries me."
"Etsy's obsession with 'free' shipping is likely to be expanded to include 'fast' shipping," another seller said, a reference to Etsy's practice of limiting seller exposure
in search results unless they offer some form of free shipping. The seller said they believed Etsy was copying Amazon and eBay in their approach to shipping.
But Etsy is different, pointed out a seller who said Etsy displays a message whenever they edit or create a listing that states customers prefer fast shipping and asking if the seller wants to shorten their processing time. "Nearly everything in my shop is made to order and personalized," they wrote. "That's what my customers like about my items and they know it takes time to make their 'especially for them' order."
"Etsy really needs to decide what it is; is it a marketplace for handmade, custom, unique items? Or is it an Amazon knockoff where everything is premade or mass produced," wrote another seller.
One seller appeared willing to give Etsy the benefit of the doubt, speculating that the increased number of new sellers to the platform due to the pandemic, and perhaps because sellers were getting overwhelmed and were shipping items late, had led to Etsy's decision. "I'd have to know the ins and outs of data they collect to understand more of the why," they wrote.
A close follower of the marketplace, CindyLouWho2 (aka CindyLouDoesStats), had predicted in February that Etsy would focus on shipping speed after listening to its Q4 financial presentation. But she wrote in this week's thread that Etsy had not forced her to add delivery ranges in her shipping profiles, "although they are strongly encouraging it."
As noted above, Etsy factors in shipping costs when determining which listings to display in search results, and it may be factoring in handling time and delivery speed as well. This week's move may be an attempt to fine tune its algorithm when it comes to the latter.
We can't help but think of the maxim, "Good, fast, and cheap - pick two."
Let us know what you're seeing and what you think of Etsy's push for speedy delivery and the tactics it's using.