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Thu Oct 4 2018 20:54:18

Is Etsy Too Worried about Competing with Amazon Prime?

By: Ina Steiner

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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?



Comments (20) | Permalink

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Perminate Link for Is Etsy Too Worried about Competing with Amazon Prime?   Is Etsy Too Worried about Competing with Amazon Prime?

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

Fri Oct 5 01:41:09 2018

It's just horrible. The worst I've ever experienced in terms of butting in to my business.
The vermin have hidden my products.
I may as well close my store, 'cause there's no point to this.

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by: Eagle This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 5 02:25:17 2018

Yea, we changed over to the ''free shipping'' scam they asked us to do and added shipping costs into the price of items. Incentive of not only being listed in the ''free shipping'' category but also supposedly better exposure in searches. Just checked our analytics for yesterday. A whole 25 visits, down 33% from day before, no sales. Checked for the past week 230 visits down 8% from week before and 2 sales. For last 30 days (basically the time we've been switched to ''free shipping'' we had 1190 visits down 2% for 30 days prior and a whole 12 orders. Pretty sad! Not bragging because it still not that much, but 30 day Etsy totals is equal to what we get in just 3 days on our website

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by: wilburnet This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 5 03:54:17 2018

@TheEnd

Have you an Etsy shop ? The golden rule with Etsy is the more products you have the greater chance of being seen and making sales.  

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by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 5 05:35:14 2018

when etsy lowered itself to steeling shipping fees off of hardworking artists and sellers , that's when everything stopped.  

in the old days it was called protection money to keep your store from burning down , or a family member from having a horrible accident. same corruption , different name.

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by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 5 07:48:55 2018

If Etsy wants free shipping--then Etsy can pay for the shipping.

There. Problem solved.

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by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 5 08:25:02 2018

Free shipping listings made no difference whatsoever to my Etsy metrics.

If anything the free shipping listings were less likely to be clicked on, and far less likely to convert to sales.

Another bust idea.

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by: Fahrenheit451 This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Oct 5 08:36:33 2018

I just opened and Etsy store and now you're telling me that people don't like free shipping? What about Amazon? What about Wayfair? What about Walmart? They all offer free shipping and people are moving to their sites in droves. I'm not going to change my policy just because shoppers are skittish about free shipping.

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by: orglamix This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Oct 5 11:21:08 2018

I agree, consumers love "free" shipping. I use the term loosely becuase shipping is obviously not free; and the cost is built into the listing.

Etsy is NOT Amazon. They will never be; nor should they strive to be. Etsy's strength is community.

Giving sellers a bump in search to offer free shipping is not fair.

As a handmade seller, it's hard for me to offer "free shipping". I offer samples of my items, for $4.95. I sell perfume, so I like to have new customers new to my line try a sample, before they purchase a larger size. My samples would be $8.95. Once an item sells, there is a 5% transaction fee on the sale price (including the shipping price you set).

Etsy has become a game. I'd personally rather spend my time growing my business then spend time adjusting my 250 listings according to whatever new things they are testing.

Side note: Free shipping listings made no difference whatsoever to my Etsy metrics.I've been testing free shipping in one shop since the announcement, metrics are the same: 25% up.  

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

Fri Oct 5 11:44:48 2018

To me, "Free Shipping" SCREAMS, "The item is low class junk and I'll doing anything to get rid of it."
I came to Etsy with a classy product of my own, and I won't schmuck it up with their gimmicks.

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

Fri Oct 5 11:52:19 2018

Joan Rivers is a study in "How to Sell".
The "Etsy Channel" on cable TV.
Rotate to cover EVERY true ARTIST.
There you have it.
You're welcome  :o)

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by: treasurehunter777 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 5 12:49:17 2018

Also switched free shipping in my shop. Traffic is way low & has been before & after free shipping. Etsy can't make the most money if sellers item don't sell. Go figure.

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 5 13:43:29 2018

"Amazon and its Handmade marketplace"

it's very hard to find near anything that is actually handmade - etsy has nothing to worry about

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 5 14:02:50 2018

While Etsy obsesses about shipping, the rest of the site is going to the dogs. The last two items I got there were drop shipped from China.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Oct 5 14:06:37 2018

Etsy and eBay have to stop trying to be Amazon Jr. They are never going to compete with Amazon. Amazon can offer free Prime shipping because the buyers pay a fee to be in the program. And "free" shipping doesn't always mean the best price. I've seen "free" shipping on some eBay sellers' items, where another seller's total with a separated shipping charge will actually be less. I think a lot of buyers are enamored with "free" shipping because they think they are getting something for nothing.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 5 14:45:03 2018

Etsy is aping ebay which in turn is aping Amazon.

Amazon shipping is ONLY FREE when:

1) its built into the price
2) you pay for it in PRIME

No one on the planet is loosing money on anything to ship products places.SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE is eating that cost. And, in teh case of eBay its the US tax payer, on Etsy its the sellers, on Amazon - its figured into the price, taken from back end or advertising dollars.

The idiots that run eBay and Esty dont understand this all, being they never were in retail/etail/wholesale.

People like us (we smaller sellers who know how business works) are tired of schooling the idiots.

If you are shopping on Etsy and you need a specific craft or artwork - then "you need it", the $5 shipping wont change that need.

Same goes for eBay. If the price you are paying is so great OR no one else on the planet has one (things eBay is good for) then you will pay the price for shipping - again the $5 doesnt matter.

As a buyer/collector I understand that. Im spending money to go to Chicago to go buy toys - its not FREE. No vendor there is giving me anything for FREE - if I want to go there and find things no one else has - I have to PAY for it.

Amazon wants the commodity business and theres an associated cost with that. That cost is shipping these items free - to take business away with local/regional stores. The money comes from SOMEWHERE - not the thin air and Amazon knows it.

One day eBay MAY learn how things work .... but I doubt it.

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

Fri Oct 5 17:14:13 2018

And BTW :
Here's my return Policy : I DON'T ACCEPT RETURNS !
All because 3 little old STUPID women thought Etsy is like K - Mart. They would buy, try, and return. Buy, try, and return. Buy try and return. I wanted to slap the cheeks off these a$$holes. They almost put me out of business. I only have just so much material to make stuff. I have NONE to waste. And Etsy kept taking their refunds out of My Payment account 'til it was drained dry. I have now labeled these moronic nitwits as SPAM so that can't hurt me anymore.
NO RETURNS ! NO RETURNS ! NO RETURNS !  

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by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 6 04:22:10 2018

When the U. S. Postal Service gives me free shipping, I will happily pass it on to my buyers.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Fly on the Wall

Sat Oct 6 09:15:58 2018

I'm an Etsy stockholder. I was so PROUD of this company, and their stock kept climbing. These days it's going down, and MY theory is that "they're" becoming too PROUD, too EAGER, and very soon, they'll be "too big for their britches". Take my advice Etsy: CHILL. Just CHILL. You are making TOO MANY CHANGES TOO QUICKLY. Like you're trying to rise to the top too quickly, and you're going to get the BENDS. I've been an online RE-seller for 20 years now, and I saw eBay go from great to HELL. They scared away both buyers and sellers with their CONSTANT CHANGES, all in hopes of appeasing stockholders. I'm telling you, and I'm telling you now. JUST CHILL. Slow and steady wins the race.

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by: Eagle This user has validated their user name.

Sat Oct 6 20:24:02 2018

I always figure the bottom line price out the door. A total of item cost and shipping. If that price is lower than the same item with "Free Shipping" then I buy the item with added shipping. I've always been a critic of the free shipping scam, but only changed listings at Etsy because of the bullying that they would push your listing back in the cobwebs if you didn't. I really can't believe that some people still believe shipping is "FREE"?

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

Fri Oct 12 14:00:22 2018

Even phony "free shipping" makes no difference in how many sales you get.  You will only get sales when Etsy allows you to get them.  There is nothing you can do, face it.  Read all the comments from people who are trying EVERYTHING.  

I don't mind paying fees to be on a selling platform, not at all.  But Etsy is not honest with the sellers.  You don't get what you pay for.  Ever.  

You want to see who's making all the money- go to Etsy Rank or E-rank and check out the top 20 sellers, some of whom have literally hundreds of thousands of sales each.  No way in hell is that stuff anything but factory made.

NONE OF THIS IS NECESSARY!  All that Etsy has to do is to separate genuine handmade and authentic Vintage into a separate marketplace and put the other crap somewhere else.  They can have their cake and eat it too.



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