The latest move from Etsy to push sellers to offer buyer-friendly policies comes in the form of a sweepstakes
. Sellers who offer free shipping during the holiday shopping season have a chance to win cash prizes.
Some sellers believe Etsy is too worried about competing with Amazon and its Handmade marketplace where artisan sellers can use FBA to offer free shipping on their handmade goods.
Etsy's announcement was enticing: "To help spread some holiday magic, we're giving away over 600 prizes between $250 and $25,000 to sellers who ship for free. Every order placed that ships free between October 10 and December 10 will automatically be entered into our giveaway for a chance to win."
Sellers are familiar with marketplaces using carrot-and-stick approaches to get them to adopt practices favored by the marketplace. And in its invitation, Etsy also pointed to another reason sellers should consider offering free shipping: visibility, which is probably a greater incentive to sellers.
"Bonus: Gifts that ship for free on Etsy this holiday are more likely to rank higher in Etsy search and get found by shoppers. Items that offer free shipping will have the chance to be featured in our holiday marketing to buyers."
That could be interpreted as a carrot or as a stick, since sellers who *don't* offer free shipping will rank lower.
Sellers discussed the sweepstakes on the Etsy boards
. Some were turned off at the idea, and some suggested Etsy could have used the prize money more effectively.
Is Etsy worried about competing with Amazon Handmade especially during the holiday shopping season, as some sellers believe? Should it work harder to promote its site as a source of unique and special items?