Etsy invited sellers to participate in its Cyber Week Sales Event promotion. It's the first holiday sale since Etsy began its controversial policy of restricting page-one of search results to items that offer free shipping.
Etsy advised sellers to schedule their Cyber Week sale to run from Tuesday, November 26 through Tuesday, December 3. "Discount one or more items by at least 20% - that's the sweet spot for shoppers," Etsy said - though it told shoppers that sellers participating in the sale would be offering discounts up to 60% off.
Some sellers discussing whether or not to participate
in the sale expressed concern that they had already added "free" shipping to their listings so they didn't have the margins to be able to discount prices by the minimum 20% required by Etsy.
Interestingly, Etsy told Wall Street analysts
on October 30th that sellers were absorbing more of the "free-shipping" costs than its pre-launch testing indicated, but we don't know what Etsy is planning to do about it, if anything. However, it can't come as a surprise to the company that some sellers would be resistant this year to discounting pricing even for holiday promotions.
One seller said they thought it was a good idea to have some holiday specials lined up because that's what consumers have been trained to expect. "I often just make holiday items or multiples of items that I'm prone to making duplicates of and renewing due to popularity, and then doing a 10% or whatever black Friday, Cyber Monday/holiday special on them."
However, she added, "I treat Etsy's "suggestions" as just that." (Note that a 10% discount would not make items eligible for exposure in Cyber Week promotions.)
The Etsy Cyber Week sales event officially kicks off Wednesday, November 27th and runs through Cyber Monday on December 2nd. However, shoppers with the Etsy app will have exclusive access to the presale event on Tuesday, November 26th and the sale extension until Tuesday, December 3rd.
"Shoppers can visit etsy.com/cyber to discover one-of-a-kind items on sale across all categories, including home decor, clothing, wedding, accessories, pets, and more," Etsy wrote to shoppers on a post on its news blog
Etsy told sellers it would do its part: "In addition to our holiday television ads, we'll be bringing more shoppers to Etsy through online marketing, social media, and email." Etsy commercials
are running during prime time television in the US and UK.