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Fri Nov 16 2018 23:08:17

Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy may be considering a shipping program similar to Amazon Prime. An Etsy seller reported last month that Etsy sent a survey to customers asking if they would pay a yearly subscription fee in order to get free shipping on their orders.

We haven't confirmed the existence of such a survey, and we've only seen one seller write about it. But it's easy to believe Etsy might want to see what kind of response buyers would have to such a program, whether or not it was under serious consideration at this point.

Many of the sellers responding to the original poster expressed concern about Etsy's push for them to offer free shipping, and some sellers said they wanted to understand why. Etsy CEO Josh Silverman provided an answer to that question when talking to Wall Street analysts earlier this month.

He said less than 20% of listings on Etsy offered free shipping in the third quarter (July, August, September) - but "buyers perceive about half of the items in our marketplace as having high shipping prices."

Silverman said Etsy's first step was to educate sellers about the impact of high shipping prices - he wants sellers to think of shipping as part of their cost of goods sold.

And he said Etsy is now tweaking its search algorithms to more prominently promote items that buyers perceive as having "competitively priced" shipping. 

"Sellers pay a lot of attention to where they rank in the search algorithms," he said.

Etsy has also begun notifying sellers if it thinks their shipping costs are too high.

And Etsy launched a Holiday Sweepstakes for sellers who offer free shipping.

But it's a hard sell for sellers who say costs vary depending on the weight of the package and the location of the buyer.

Silverman also mentioned during the third-quarter earnings call that many of Etsy's items are not sitting in a warehouse, and he called that a strength because those items have the opportunity to be personalized or customized, made-to-order for the customer.

If Etsy doesn't follow Amazon's logistics model by building warehouses, how would it be able to offer a Prime-like program? For ideas, look at eBay in Australia and Germany where it offers eBay Plus. 

As we wrote in this Newsflash article in June, eBay Plus costs buyers $49/year. Shoppers who subscribe to the program get free shipping and free returns on certain items:  "Just look out for the eBay Plus logo on the listing page and in search results. You can also use the eBay Plus filter in search results."

Members of eBay Plus receive "free delivery and free returns on all eBay Plus listings, plus bonus flybuys points, exclusive deals and offers, as well as premium customer service." Note that eBay Plus has some notable differences when compared to Amazon Prime: free delivery on eBay Plus items only applies to the standard postage service.

Etsy hasn't given any indication it is considering a similar program, nor for that matter has eBay indicated it will expand eBay Plus to the US. But what do you think the chances are of either or both companies offering such a program?



Comments (27) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 17 05:44:25 2018

When roamin' in Rome, be Roman, right?  AKA, Monkey see, monkey do.  

Good bet then.  100%.

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 17 05:47:26 2018



it's all a con game, on one hand they raise
fee's thru the roof, and on the other they demand lower prices from you or punish you,


it's true buyers want the best prices, it's only natural, and that's why most buyers will use Google, to find the best deal,

it's funny reading some of the comments on the etsy forum from the foolish sellers who are on the new pay as you go accounting, complaining they are always stuck at negative balance, or very little being deposited, wondering what is wrong,

Definitely lots of stupid sellers at etsy, and etsy needs a lot of stupid if they want to survive

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

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

Sat Nov 17 06:15:26 2018

Not doin' it.

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sat Nov 17 07:28:15 2018

I'm laughing so hard.   Are they also now looking to move to the Queens / Long Island and northern Virginia areas?  Wenig could zip to The Hamptons in no time.

If eBay would put the energy into invigorating their marketplace (and not hiding sellers' listings) that they do into all the these schemes the profits would come.....without the schemes.

Does eBay ever have even one original idea?

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 17 07:30:37 2018

Maybe Etsy should spend some time educating sellers not every package has to be sent in a “free” Priority box. Many of the craft items I have searched for weigh much less than 16oz even with an ample box and packing. Yet seller uses a 2 lb calculation or an overpriced Flat Rate box (package is going one State over not across Country). I also guess many sellers “like” the free insurance (ever try collecting) on Priority shipments. Does the $20 item really need insurance? I have only one “lost in transit” 1st class package in the last ten years. We have Amazon Prime not so much for the occasional Amazon purchase but for the video package. What else will be offered with this Ebay or Etsy buyer fee? Any fee that Ebay or Etsy will charge buyers for “free” shipping will be a money suck from buyers and NOT benefit sellers.
I am sure they will have exclusions for 4 by 2 foot 30lb paintings. I am sure they will still “encourage” sellers to offer “free” shipping so they pay nothing. With the 1/19 start of zoned 1st class packages; I am planning to stop including shipping (“free”) in my prices and return to calculated shipping.      

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 17 08:07:40 2018

@Madmax - So true. I think many creative crafters on Etsy are not good business record keepers. Up until this Etsy payment plan kicked in many crafters only saw the lump sum payment into their bank. Some did not pay much attention to the large Etsy credit card charge (fees, shipping labels) as they only pay the minimum $ credit card amount without a detailed review of all charges. Etsy had to make this change as they were bleeding cash flow from bad debts/non payments at the end of a month - empty bank accounts or canceled credit cards were adding up. Plus Etsy saves themselves lots of credit cards fees.  Many crafters/sellers were not realizing how little money they were working for. The economy has been picking up and many of these struggling crafters are finding full time employment with benefits and are reducing their Etsy efforts. Real artists/crafters are using Etsy minimally as an advertising platform for their websites - where the BIG sales are taking place. I think Etsy is building itself up for a buyout; 90% of all shares are owned by institutions. Any reduction in gross sales and revenue growth may find a PE of 70 considered too high.    

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

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

Sat Nov 17 10:38:57 2018

Happy One- very astute comment.  I think you may be over the target.  Guarantee that Etsy has lost thousands of real handmade and vintage sellers with their new payment extortion plan.     Also, for many people like me, it was never a question of not paying my bill.   In fact, I always chipped away at it during the month with my PP or credit card.

I have always put plenty of money in Etsy's pocket and now they have made their stupidest move yet.  WE ARE NO LONGER ALLOWED TO PAY DOWN OUR BILL DURING THE MONTH!   INSTEAD THEY TAKE THE MONEY WE MAKE FROM SALES ASAP AND THEN ACCUMULATE A BALANCE IF NO SALES.  

What sense does that make??

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 17 15:11:19 2018

etsy has gone crazy, we were on the fence when they started esty pay, we only stayed because we were able to keep paypal, fees on shipping, then this new accounting just pushed us over the edge, we're finished, store is now closed, never to return

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: Maranta This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 17 16:42:59 2018

It is weird to prevent people from paying down what they owe.  You'd think that would be a good thing.  The new payment system makes life difficult for a lot of the artists who make custom items and need cash flow for supplies.  Add the rise in fees and the push for shipping and a lot of sellers are going to be looking to migrate elsewhere.

Etsy just announced a $100 million stock repurchase program.

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

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

Sat Nov 17 23:56:16 2018

It's a corporate MENTAL ILLNESS.
We want a NON - PREDATORY, MYOB, NORMAL venue.
If that's too much to ask, then we need to "Break the Glass" to make it happen.

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Nov 18 07:39:11 2018

"etsy has gone crazy"

etsy has gone full eBay, full throttle.

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: NoMoreEbay This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 18 09:32:52 2018

Amazon<<<<

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: Disgusted This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 19 00:32:52 2018

Amazon has a special arrangment with USPS, Fed Ex.  Does Etsy?  I don't think so, so how can you offer prime shipping which is NO guarantee on when it will be delivered. Pricing for sellers would be another problem.  Also, how many distribution points does Amazon have compared to Etsy. That's right they don't have any. Does that mean the buyer will get it free.  Narrow margin as it is. Paying for  fast shipping out of sellers pocket will raise sales price (Good for Etsy) but no one else.  People will be turned off  etsy because of higher prices.  I just sent a Priority Flat Rate envelope. Supposed to get to the destination on Sat by 8pm.  Now they say Monday at 8pm.  That will make 5 days....
Etsy can offer prime-doubt if they will get many offers. Only they will not be able to say 2 days like Amazon on some of the Prime items.
I just relisted an item and added ACTUAL shipping cost less packaging etc.  Just covered USPS 1 st class mail. Pop Up - you are charging too much for shipping... BS.
Only making #2.89 on the item now.  ridiculous.
Greed will be the downfall of Etsy. Buut then the CEO and board etc. will have made many millions so they don't care if it goes under.  Does the board actual see what ebay stock has done over the years?  They make many millions just on the .20 listing fee.  How many - on an average - of relisting you have to do before and if it sells?
Low shipping, Free shipping, does not get you anywhere in search.  Just blowing smoke-how many lowered and offered free shipping.  Did the sales skyrocket for them? I did my own test-no positive result.
Maybe they want to be like Amazon and tell sellers how much they can charge for shipping?????????

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 19 01:24:09 2018

Mad said
"it's true buyers want the best prices, it's only natural, and that's why most buyers will use Google, to find the best deal,"

That is 100% not true - I'm living proof of that.  I have 600 items listed on ebay and I actually am selling - I have 2,500 items on my own website that are minimum $5 cheaper than my ebay prices. I send out an invite with every purchase directing buyer to the website.  I google up on page 1 for the entire page for my website.  Buyers do not go there. For the love of God I have no clue why not. Their lemmings is the answer.  I call my website "storage"

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 19 04:09:10 2018

Pushing for FREE shipping is yet another low blow at non US sellers - a group Etsy has been sticking it to for years with their corrupt divisive policies and overt search manipulation.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 19 07:13:40 2018

if shipping is supposed to be free for everyone- how and why are these low belly crawling thieves getting away with stealing a fee for shipping costs??? it's wrong and it's out and out theft off the backs of hard working sellers.  what happened to peoples IQ and morals ??

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 19 09:53:44 2018

@Whatever

Add your ebay feedback url to your website, add some text telling buyers your the same seller, plus better pricing, and remove some of your good selling items from ebay,

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 19 11:23:55 2018

FREE SHIPPING is a rip off for Buyers. I can ship 3 pounds to California buyer for $8.00, but it costs $18.00 for east coast buyers. In order to protect myself, I now have to charge all buyers $18.00 shipping which adds up to extra money for me, but is a big loss for my customers. I cannot refund the money as I have told my buyers shipping is FREE. So someone tell me why Free Shipping is a bargain?

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 19 12:04:54 2018

There is NO comprehending why everyone wants to pretend they are Amazon. ETSY, are you listening?  People shop at your site because it offers items that are NOT available at Amazon. Also, many people boycott Amazon, they don't shop there on purpose. Go back to your roots and stop being stupid.  eBay tried to compete and sent themselves into the toilet over the stupidity.

Perminate Link for Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?   Etsy Considers Prime Like Shipping Program?

by: GA-Seller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 19 14:36:05 2018

whatever ....
you are not alone in trying to get buyers to go to your website.  I have been selling on ebay, etsy, and ruby lane for years, and include a promotion sheet on my website.  Maybe, I will get one per year who will go to the website and order something.  Yes, it is maddening.

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