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Thu Aug 30 2018 22:26:49

Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy is testing a new feedback mechanism, and it's unusual in a surprising way: Etsy is asking shoppers - not buyers - to rate various aspects of a seller's listing. Sellers began seeing one aspect of the new test on Thursday, and many were not pleased.

Here's what sharp-eyed sellers began noticing on certain listings today: directly under the "Shipping & returns" section on some listing pages, Etsy inserted a box with the following text:

"Let Etsy know your opinion:
"How's this shipping price?"
"Cheap - Good - Expensive"

Etsy doesn't announce tests on its announcement board or forums, but to its credit, it has a page where sellers can keep track of the testing it runs.

Etsy's description of the test that began surfacing today: "We're testing showing a pop up on the listing page for shoppers to leave feedback about items they're viewing. We'll ask for specific feedback about the listing's shipping price, photo quality, and more."

Etsy's description of the goal of the test: "Better understand shopper preferences to give sellers helpful and accurate recommendations for their shop."

To reiterate, the new feedback questionnaire appears when someone is simply browsing, not after they've made a purchased.

Sellers vented their frustration over what they see as Etsy's obsession about shipping costs, of which Etsy recently began taking a 5% commission fee, another sore point with sellers.

They listed numerous concerns across a number of discussion threads.

- Sellers say buyers find surveys annoying when shopping (one compared it to sales clerks who follow you around a retail store).

- Sellers fear it may make buyers change their minds about making a purchase by pointing out the shipping cost.
 
"I hope this is a very short-lived test because it can only make buyers think, "Why, yes, now that you mention it, this is pretty high shipping. Maybe I shouldn't buy today and wait for a better deal..."

"I have calculated shipping in my shop based on the size and weight of an item and where the item is being shipped to. I have no control over the shipping charges. This only serves to make the buyer question the shipping charges which might make the buyer back out of the purchase."

- Sellers say using the word "cheap" in the popup box about shipping costs might make shoppers think of the product being cheap too:

"What's with the word "cheap" too? It just kind of melded together with the item at that point, and it all became a turnoff."

- Sellers say there's no reason for buyers to rate shipping costs positively.

"They are giving buyers the impression that their input will get them a better deal, or punish the seller somehow."

"What is the point of this? To make buyers think that sellers have some kind of choice in what shipping costs?"

- Sellers say buyers don't have any idea what reasonable shipping costs are;

- Sellers fear Etsy will use the data punitively against sellers, and/or will use it to justify more unpopular changes to shipping policies.

Some sellers said the feedback questionnaire shows up even when the seller offers free shipping.

Sellers pointed out that Etsy already pesters sellers about shipping costs. One seller wrote, "Etsy already DOES tell us we're charging too much! When I do a listing, I get a message indicating that "MOST" clothing items ship for under $5.00. Well, my items often (were) more than 1 LB. USPS rate is far more than $5.00 at that weight. Not to mention supplies, time and the 5% fee..."

One seller enthused about the test as an opportunity, stating that market research is expensive so sellers should be grateful Etsy will share the results of the tests with them. He was among the minority of those discussing the new feedback mechanism on the Etsy boards.



Comments (24) | Permalink

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Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 31 03:34:37 2018

I don't sell on Etsy, but clearly, entirely TOO MANY Etsy Execs at Etsy are PINING to me as awful as eBay.  I am here to testify that the VAST preponderance of eCommerce BUYERS are totally clueless about the Up-Front and Hidden costs of shipping.  As such you could be charging $2 to ship and SOME would still think that TOO EXPENSIVE.  Just last week an eBay buyer bought TWO DVD Mini-Series, PAID for the MEDIA MAIL rate and then proceeded to try to GUILT ME into shipping to him "... First Class as First Class is Quicker and (he) was all the way across the continent in Washington state...."   Yeah, as if.
When I talk with FOLKS when I;m out buying at Garage / Moving / Estate sales almost every time I pick up some 2 pound item and clue them in that shipping this "piddly" item from Houston to Beaumont (90 miles) that it would exceed $8 .... and worse if the destination were East or West Coast.  These are not FOOLS.  They intelligent, but clueless.   We also cannot ignore the reality that a certain segment of the population TRULY BELIEVE that FREE SHIPPING actually exists, not the reality that the FREE is actually BAKED IN THE CAKE.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 31 05:13:18 2018

These evil venues just can't leave good alone,

it's only natural that most if not all buyers will say shipping is expensive, BECAUSE IT IS EXPENSIVE, then when a venue TAKES a fee for Shipping it gets more expensive, shipping WITHOUT FEES is expensive all by itself, it's not just buyers that will tell you this, just ask any Seller, they will say the same thing

Here we go again, another ebay wannabe in the making, etsy increases fee's, (FEES ON SHIPPING NOW) sellers increasing prices, now etsy trying to somehow blame sellers, knowing and hiding the fact THEY ARE THE ROOT CAUSE

After etsy added fees on shipping last month, we raised our prices too, and i can bet most other sellers WOULD HAVE done it too

We spent the last few years working to RID ourselves of evil ebay for this exact type of nonsense, and come the end of this year, we will get rid of ebays nasty little cousin too,

the exact same way we did with ebay, we will start our advertising campaign on etsy telling ALL our potential customers where they can find our products on our website, we will run the campaign until our website sales reach or exceed what we sold on etsy , potential buyers will see the feedback, will see what people purchased, will see what a great seller we are, and most importantly they will see where they can buy ALL the popular products we don't list on etsy.

it will be a long drawn out process, and in the end etsy will loose the fees, will loose customers, and they will be the looser, not us

No worries, if they want to be like ebay, we will treat you like ebay too,

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 31 08:31:43 2018

*  It's ridiculous to bombard shoppers with these surveys.
*  And it is like having a car salesman following you around the dealership while you look for cars. That's why I like going in the middle of the night, but on Etsy, you can't do that.
*  I remember reading an article that the surveyed buyers and their were a lot of buyers that thought Free Shipping was truly Free Shipping and that the sellers were given this deal with the Post Office.

Those of you that have sales and a good following, set up your own website.
Those of you that can't afford a website, look to find a good selling platform that don't interfere with your shop with so many rules.
 

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 31 08:33:27 2018

Etsy's fees on shipping caused me to have to raise my shipping cost to buyers - $3.99*.05=$.19 per package - so my shipping cost went up to $4.19.

Now every time I list I have to deal with a popup declaring something along the lines of ''Most sellers in your category only charge $3.99 for shipping! You should reconsider your shipping charges to bring them more in line with what other sellers charge!''

To me there's a very clear implication that I'll get dinged in search for collecting their new fee instead of eating it - and my views and sales are uncharacteristically low for this time of year.

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 31 09:38:58 2018

Yep, becoming ebay's little cousin...so sad.

Business is picking up on eCrater...woohoo.  I refer my customers from my web site there and share my listings in Facebook so, hopefully, one day we can leave ebay and all their raggedy-a$$ed disciples (Amazon, Etsy, etc.) behind ;)

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

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

Fri Aug 31 10:45:41 2018

Ya, At Etsy the SUCKFEST begins.
Alternative NOW !
And NEVER make the mistake of creating a "Board of Directors".
Stay private, off the stock exchange, and stay Mom & Pop American.

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 31 11:27:08 2018

Maybe all these sites should stop allowing sellers to collect shipping costs and make them build it into the cost of the item. Ends all the whining about how unfair it is to be picked on all the time. What would sellers have to complain about if that happen.

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 31 21:50:20 2018

If Ecrater ever takes off they'll be doing exactly the same thing EBay and Etsy are now.

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: rjrkea This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 31 22:10:00 2018

This is a deliberate misdirect on Etsy's part in that it shifts the "shoppers" attention to what sellers are doing and away from what Etsy is now doing of adding fees to shipping charges.  It's "look at them, don't look at us" such as when the Wizard of Oz says "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 1 09:09:47 2018

@rjrkea

Yes I agree, deliberate misdirect by etsy,

Seriously underhanded vile tactic,

A lot of sellers on etsy, have never sold on ebay, they have no clue how nasty etsy will get, they remind me of the early ebay kool-aid drinkers, but the ex ebay sellers on etsy can see the writing on the wall, as clear as day.

ha ha, the kool-aid drinkers will figure it out, soon enough

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Sat Sep 1 11:37:14 2018

I've got a close-out item on eBay I'm trying to dump cheap.  $2.99 for item, it's 3oz, so $3.00 shipping.  Others (many) with same or quite similar item are charging $5.99, plus "free" shipping.  I did my homework so I stay at the going price, just to get rid of these.

Buyer leaves Feedback "Nice product, price to ship was high"

So I reply to Feedback with "Charged him $3 shipping; USPS 3oz online @ $2.66 + bubble bag @ $.25 = $2.91"

Didn't have enough room in my 80 characters to ask if he wanted a 9 cent refund.

Also didn't mention either how tasty eating eBay's 10% shipping FVF was...

Stupid?  Maybe not.  Clueless?  Ignorant?  YES, YES, YES!!!!!!!!

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: Eagle This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 3 00:39:22 2018

We just play around at Etsy and use it as a write off mostly. Last year Etsy was only 10% of our total sales with our own website bringing in the other 90%. We do add extra to cover Etsy fees and recently put the shipping cost into actual cost and offered "free shipping" only after Etsy pushing us on the above stated "Most sellers selling similar item charge Bla-bla-bla less than you do" and the ability of hoping we'd get more traffic being listed in the "free shipping" category. Our sales at Etsy has stayed about the same and if anything has dropped slightly since we went to the "free shipping". We are getting a few repeat buyers going to our website since we do include our website sales receipt which has website address and phone number instead of using Etsy generated receipt. Still wouldn't consider Etsy a game breaker and would bail out on Etsy at a whim if having to chose or deal with the headaches sellers at Ebay deal with.

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: marcello This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 3 00:48:16 2018

Etsy decides to make a profit off of seller's shipping charges causing sellers to raise their shipping prices. Following Ebay's playbook, Etsy then goes out of their way to instigate problems between sellers and buyers over shipping costs.
Ebay was the venue responsible for starting the free shipping wars which did nothing but create animosity between sellers and buyers and foster an atmosphere of bad buyers who expect everything to be given to them for free.  With postage costs, especially DIM shipping rates, at an insane high this is blatant seller sabotage, something Ebay excels at. Etsy is going to continue down the path of copycat management sucking sellers dry instead of empowering them to grow and become successful.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 3 04:22:07 2018

Yes, it IS an unhealthy obsession with shipping. The 5% fee on shipping should be plenty as a first step in dealing with what's supposed to be the real problem - fee avoidance by inflated shipping.

Etsy now not only chides sellers that average prices for shipping clothing is $5 (they seem not to know that some people DON'T sell printed T-shirts and light accessories), but if one copies a listing in order to create a new one, and raises the shipping appropriately (because a heavy vintage coat costs more to ship than a sun dress), you get a pop up asking if you're SURE you want to raise it because "most sellers ship for blah blah blah."

Then they suggest the hole-in-the-wall idea of 'folding' some of the shipping into the item cost, so you can fake the shipping cost.  

I don't think any of these people have ever actually run a business - they seem to be clueless about real costs.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 3 04:25:09 2018

Oh yeah, and inflating the item cost to cover free shipping - then you get notes from buyers wondering why your item prices are so HIGH. Been down that road already some years back.  

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 3 05:03:51 2018

Approximately 33% of Etsy's sellers are international and Etsy has already found several ways to ''stick it'' to them via unfair search manipulation and charging a % on shipping.

Well here is their latest evil little scheme. International shipping costs are already high and few (if any) buyers realise the true cost involved  when you add in packing materials, handling, etc. Unfortunately small micro businesses do not have a ''packing department'' to accomplish this task like the big box stores.

What sensible company wants to alienate 33% of its customers? Wait - who said Etsy was sensible - run as it is by a bunch of asset strippers.

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: Sally Schubert This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Sep 3 06:20:36 2018

Yes, Etsy is becoming eBay's little sister :-( I have the feeling they are doing everything to make LESS business, not to grow.
Not enough that they start charging fees for sellers expenses, but also the marketing charges exploded for some unknown reasons, now I need to spend almost 4$ to earn 1$, I can't afford it any more so I'll be forced to leave Etsy and look for other selling platform, so sad ....

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 3 07:01:42 2018

It's only experimental folks.  Give it a rest.

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 3 10:16:52 2018

Do any of these sites have ANYONE who understands retail?  First - never say cheap! Affordable is the preferred word. Saying cheap right from the getgo indicates they don't. I have a few things on Etsy - not much - just keeping my foot in the door. What you have to sell online these days to circumvent all their bs is search out the product and try to find something they don't have. That's what I have on Etsy and god forbid I was expecting to sell even that these days.

Perminate Link for Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback   Sellers Object to New Etsy Test on Shipping Feedback

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

Mon Sep 3 11:10:29 2018

@ Chicago 48: Etsy "tests" tend to stick. Most buyers are still questioning if their 5% fee on shipping charges is actually LEGAL.
The Etsy sellers who were inflating shipping costs to avoid fees were a tiny percentage and mostly kicked off the platform.
Hiring exEbay execs is/was a mistake that can be remedied. Soon, please! Soon.

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