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Sat July 22 2017 21:26:24

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy announced the end of an unpopular test of the way it displayed pricing to shoppers. The move to show a subset of shoppers pricing that included the cost of shipping generated immediate controversy. "This is NOTHING BUT Etsy's way of forcing free shipping, AND adding fees to the shipping costs," wrote one EcommerceBytes reader. 

Another seller told us this would make Etsy appear too expensive to shoppers - something important given the fact Etsy now competes with Amazon in the handmade category.

Shoppers who were part of the "experiment" saw prices labeled "Shipping included" on listing pages, in search results, and in their cart. The Etsy announcement generated 661 comments and a rash of posts on industry discussion boards. 

Etsy announced today (Saturday) the end of the test:

"This experiment has ended and shoppers will again see separate costs for shipping and the item's price. This experiment has given us valuable data that will help us make informed decisions about any future changes to how we display shipping costs on Etsy. Our top priority continues to be getting you more sales. Thanks for all your feedback about this change."

It's not clear if this is the end of all testing around how Etsy displays costs to shoppers and what changes, if any, Etsy will make based on the test. In its initial announcement, Etsy had said it was "the first of several updates" it was exploring, telling sellers it would update them on the results of the experiment in August.

See this previous AuctionBytes Blog post for sellers' reaction to the testing.




Comments (16) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 23 01:41:48 2017

Another single failed experiment, which most likely resulted in massive lost sales for sellers, that  use combined shipping discounts  

it's almost criminal what this company is getting away with,, they should be held accountable, for the  financial loss of sellers who were effected.,

They need a nice lawsuit. filed against them



 

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

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

Sun Jul 23 10:49:26 2017

Ebay all over again. Don't these people realise that a large portion of their sellers came to them to get away from eBay

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Sun Jul 23 18:27:04 2017

just the employees trying to pretend they are actually intelligent life forms and do something ... anything... to pretend there is a reason they are not fired already!

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 23 21:26:50 2017

I liked the transparency. Too many times I find an item on Etsy only to find upon clicking the shipping button cost is inflated. Nothing like finding  a 7oz FC ($2.77) package for $9.95 on a reasonably or low priced  item.  

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

by: ssweet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 24 00:03:43 2017

It is almost criminal and they do need a lawsuit but the TOUs call for arbitration so they know they can continue ruining livelihoods and making opaque and subjective decisions.  

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

by: Garcia This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 24 00:10:24 2017

Let's face it Etsy needs more income. If they have to include shipping in the cost of the item to get then that is what they will do, but not at the expense of sales which is probably what happened. But don't fret Etsy will find another way to include shipping in the final fee to the seller. Stay tuned.

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

This user has validated their user name. by: tanzi

Mon Jul 24 00:10:35 2017

I agree with Happy One. I find something I like, the price is good, then i hit the shipping, and its way out of line. I would much rather see both costs upfront.  

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

by: ssweet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 24 00:23:15 2017

The problem is that many sellers deeply discount shipping of multiple items and the shipping cost built into each listing doesn't reflect that.  

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

by: Duster This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 24 01:02:41 2017

I wonder if they thought shop owners weren't bright enough to understand that by combining shipping with the item price, they could then charge a commission fee for the shipping price, as well?
They may succeed in nickel and dimeing themselves out of business.

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

by: Etsy Seller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 24 01:24:25 2017

Agreeing with ssweet, altho' I rarely get combined orders on my vintage items, I do get a few combined orders on supplies that I sell there.
After Etsy started the testing, I decided what I could do to give free shipping (at least in the US) on the supplies. The few cents per item that Etsy gets in fees won't break me or enrich Etsy that much. And yes, I realize they will be screwing over hundreds of thousands of sellers.
But lets be clear, MANY sellers don't charge enough for their items or their work. Most are only into Etsy as a hobby, because you sure (as God made little green onions) cannot live on less than $100 per month, and call it a "business". Even the IRS gets tired of that BS.

If I could figure out how to offer free shipping on most of the rest of my items without taking a loss, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But it is not as simple as raising prices. And only a fool would offer free shipping without raising the price to cover it.

Complaining about exaggerated postage at some Etsy shops? Ever hear of postage AND HANDLING? Packing materials are not as cheap as you think and most of us like to pad our items for secure shipment, unlike Amazon, that lets things fly around inside of a bigger box, that may or may not be taped shut.
Speaking of Amazon...had Etsy handled showing shipping the way Amazon shows it (and the comparison shops/same item & their shipping), most sellers wouldn't have gnashed their teeth or clutched their pearls so hard.
Just sayin'.

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

by: ssweet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 24 02:37:11 2017

I sell prints and do a buy 3 get 1 free special. It keeps me in business and I have many orders with multiple prints. If my buyers assume that each print they order will have that markup, then I will lose business. In addition, much like they put the etsy purchase guarantee only on shops that have integrated their paypal with etsy payments, even though everything purchased through any shop on etsy is guaranteed either through etsy or paypal, thereby forcing sellers to adopt integrated or be without the badge showing the etsy purchase guarantee, the new attempt at including shipping is similarly dishonest and will hurt both buyer and seller in the end because I believe their goal is to eventually entice/force sellers to have shipping built into the item price so they get their percentage on shipping too. If they would have gotten their way, and I'm sure they haven't given up, more sellers would have chosen simplicity and built the shipping cost into the items they sell and start offering "free" shipping - so the buyer will be paying more and won't be getting the price breaks on combined shipping from items bought from a single ship. I'm getting disgusted with Etsy. They need to focus on competent staff instead of moneygrubbing the sellers and buyers.

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 24 08:02:23 2017

The reality is that they already make money off of shipping via processing.

A woman bought an antique lamp from me on a layaway.  The last payment was for shipping.  I put the cost of the item at $1 and the cost for shipping.

I was still charged $14.50 for processing the shipping payment.

So, I don't see what they are kvetching about because the break-out is:  cost of item 3.5% + shipping + processing of 6.5%

They are hoping that the little they make charging fees the 3.5% for shipping will turn things around and that's simply nickle and diming us and won't rescue them.  

How about fixing the damn search function, crack down on keyword spamming and actually make it easier for us to sell things and make their 7% on increased sales.  

Marketing the site is left to us while we pay for the privilege of using their platform.  Now other people's items appear on our listings (top and bottom) so what is our incentive to promote like crazy on social media?  

Its a muddle for sure and I wish that they had some real e-commerce experience. Sadly, it appears that their group of young, out-of-college people have big ideas and hope they will make a name for themselves, but they touch something and break it.  

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

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

Mon Jul 24 08:36:21 2017

Sammy Cat- your comments are spot on, especially what you said about the Etsy staffers who have shown themselves to be totally incompetent, spoiled idiots.  When former CEO Chad referred to Etsy as a Tech site rather than an E-commerce platform, it showed us once and for all that the situation was hopeless.  

For the last 3 years I have been paying people to promote my shops because it seems to be the only way you can get found.  Etsy search has been broken forever and they don't seem inclined to fix it, despite their claims that all they want to do is "help" us to sell things. It would be humorous if it wasn't borderline criminal.  

My biggest  dream is for another site or sites to come along that will be everything that Etsy is supposed to be- a platform for authentic vintage and artisan handmade goods.  I never did get why they included supplies with the other two and I think that's part of what helped them open the flood gates to mass produced merchandise.

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

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

Mon Jul 24 08:50:45 2017

I had a buyer on Friday think ''shipping included'' meant ''free shipping''. They expected a refund of the entire combined shipping amount. I knew about the test of course... As I wasn't in the test, it was hard to reason with my buyer about it.

I had to get Etsy involved. I eventually refunded the buyer with no hard feelings, hopefully. And to Etsy's credit, I received a refund last night for my listing fees.

Another day in the life of online selling...

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 25 13:04:49 2017

In my 18 years selling on eBay and six years on Etsy, setting shipping prices has always been a conundrum.

Offering ''free shipping'' is out.  What costs to ship to New York or Florida is multiplied by 3 or 4 times to the West Coast.  And with the sky high cost of shipping to the West Coast, the orders still come in with regularity. Fortunately, there is FedEx for the heavy packages to destinations west of the Mississippi which charges nearly half of the post office prices.

Offering to discount shipping on combined orders is nice but rare.  Buyers buy one of my collectibles and that is pretty much it.

Closing the books for the end of the year several years ago, I found that my actual charges for packing supplies and shipping charges exceeded the revenue collected for shipping and handling by $1,000.  No way to make money.  So out went any thoughts of free shipping.  

Now, try to come as close to but maybe a little higher than actual cost plus money for the packing charges.  And for eBay's greedy tax on shipping.

I do use eBay's and Etsy's shipping and handling charge calculator to do the calculating for me which I am pleased with.  And careful not to forget eBay's fat thumb taking a portion of the shipping pie.

This has been an unusually slow month on Etsy, maybe I was included in their shipping charges added to the item's price test.  I would certainly understand most buyers being turned off by seeing bloated price for my items.  

Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price   Etsy Stops Test that Added Shipping to Price

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

Sat Jul 29 16:05:30 2017

I haven't raised the price of my unique invention since 2008.
So, if I charge a little more for shipping IT'S O.K.
The last person I gave a Shipping Overage Refund to said,"You could've kept the money, your product is priced WAY reasonably".
So there you have it. BUTT OUT ETSY. IT'S MY BUSINESS. THEY'RE MY CLIENTS.  



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