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Thu May 2 2019 23:17:36

Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy is running a free-shipping promotion that is available to some US shoppers. Some sellers were concerned since they must still pay shipping carriers, but Etsy will give sellers a credit for shipping costs for transactions that are part of the promotion.

Etsy kicked off the promo on Wednesday and said it would offer a small percentage of US shoppers free domestic shipping when they spend a certain amount, either $25 or $35 or more, in the same shop. The promo will run "for about a week."

Etsy explained in its announcement that most items from US shops would be included, with a few exceptions. (Listings with shipping prices greater than or equal to $500 won't be included, for example.)

"We're running this special promotion for a limited time - Etsy's covering the cost and there's nothing you need to do." Etsy isn't exactly covering the shipping for items purchased through the promotion - it's giving sellers a credit for the shipping, meaning sellers will have to pay shipping out of pocket. The marketplace explained:

"If a shopper makes a qualifying purchase from you during the promotion, you'll see a note on your orders page that Etsy covered the shipping costs on that order. You'll receive the funds from that order, minus the shipping costs, in your payment account. Within 24 hours, you'll get a separate credit from Etsy for the shipping price you set for that listing."

A seller who hadn't seen the announcement but sold an item to a buyer who qualified for free shipping was caught off guard. "Etsy gave my buyer free shipping on high ticket item???? What is going on? The buyer is suppose to pay 25.00 shipping and Etsy gave it to them free. When I click on the "question" mark, it says Etsy has got my shipping covered? What's the deal?"

When sellers explained how the shipping reimbursement worked, one wit paraphrased a Popeye cartoon character: "Etsy will gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today."

But the announcement itself set off a flood of angst-filled comments from sellers who disagreed with Etsy pushing free-shipping, and some said they believe such actions from the company cheapened the site, with some referring to it as promoting an "online flea market" image.

"Etsy is breeding an Amazon mindset for something that was never meant to be like Amazon and I hate them for it," one seller wrote. 

Some sellers were also upset about the fact Etsy gives lower exposure to sellers who don't offer free shipping. "I pay the same fees as everyone else I should get the same exposure," one seller wrote. 

Sellers who do offer free shipping are out of luck with the current promotion since Etsy won't be picking up the tab for their items. Etsy addressed them in the announcement, telling them to "keep it going. Listings with lower shipping prices rank higher in Etsy search and only some shoppers will see this promotion."

Etsy may have been expecting sellers to be happy it was enticing shoppers to buy with free shipping, but clearly not everyone is happy with its approach.

The terms and conditions of the promotion can be found on this page of the Etsy website.



Comments (23) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: Life During Wartime

Thu May 2 23:55:28 2019

I just spent like 3 hours shopping on a site where I am a regular customer.  While there were some excellent sales going on for various products, shipping wasn't free.  I can only think of one site I use that regularly offers free shipping -- after you spend a certain dollar amount.  I guess I don't understand Etsy's push for free shipping because it's not a feature I look for where I shop online.

The idea of Etsy giving credit for the "free" shipping the buyer doesn't pay for -- leaving the seller to pay for it out of pocket -- is not a policy I would want to deal with as an online seller.  The person in the Forums mentioned a $25 shipping charge.  I guess in the Etsyverse, it's impossible to imagine someone not having $25 to float Etsy for "free" shipping.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 3 00:47:23 2019

It will also be interesting to see when the Seller finally gets the credit and how it is issued.  Also is Etsy going to refund what they calculate the shipping cost should have been or what the Seller was charging as many Sellers add additional costs for packing materials into their shipping prices.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

by: FIVEPERCENT This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 3 05:05:51 2019

Isn't it about time Etsy refunded all the overcharges on fees before rolling out yet more useless tactics like this?  And why just US sellers (again?)  They need to get a grip and sort out the problems on the site before embarking on yet more new gimmicks.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

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

Fri May 3 11:07:48 2019

HEY ETSY !
STOP STICKIN' YOUR NOSE IN OUR BUSINESSES DAMN IT ! ! ! ! !
We can shutter our shops permanently.
Any infringement on our products will be met with a HUGE law suit.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 3 12:11:02 2019

This is ridiculous, to make sellers pay for shipping and give them a "credit" later on without even asking or any type of opt in is down right evil.

Just more proof that these middle men ecommerce "shelfs" should be put to a quick and final death

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Fri May 3 12:40:32 2019

Etsy is a different marketplace. I can build shipping cost into my items but depending on the product that can be really difficult. I feel sorry for the sellers who have lower priced items or custom made pieces. They can't do it and stay competitive.

I agree, Etsy should stay completely out of it.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 3 14:05:38 2019

How DARE they borrow sellers' money!?

I always ship same or next day but if this happens on any of my sales, I will ship when I get the money that the buyer paid ME to ship.

I certainly hope this isn't the first volley to requiring that sellers offer free shipping.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri May 3 15:23:24 2019

Etsy has had so many problems recently with regard to handling sellers' money, I hope the sellers don't end up waiting, and waiting, and waiting for their shipping to be paid.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 3 21:11:44 2019

why do these money grubbing bit***s always end up screwing with someone else's money like they are some kind of arrogant gods or whatever they call themselves. who and what do they think they are? in a lot of sellers eyes , they are just thieving trash. they can't get rich by being honest , so they have to steal from small sellers. it's getting very sickening.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

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

Sat May 4 05:35:50 2019

Just when you think they can’t go any lower, they come up with a new way to screw us.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

by: hello-world This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 4 08:25:30 2019

Is this law confirm ??? without askig the seller befor or at least give the possibility to opt out.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

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

Sat May 4 08:40:39 2019

Etsy has just stolen $25 on Only TWO  sales.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 4 09:25:57 2019


Should work out great,,,,,,,,,,,, for etsy

it's not going to end well,,,,,,,,,,,,,for sellers

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

This user has validated their user name. by: GracefulAntiques
Web Site

Sat May 4 10:04:21 2019

I have free shipping now on both my shops on most of my items. I am at a loss as to what this means even as I cannot get on the forums or even do my team since the forum changes.
Selling online since 2002 at every venue possible that sold vintage and Etsy now has completely basically taken over my business. I had to point my GoDaddy url I had for years to my FB page as Etsy no longer recognizes it though I used it on Etsy for years also. It was either that or park it? (That happened also when the forums were outsourced.)
Since doing that I think Google just sees me as local or something. What a kerfew with all these changes lately.
Hope these new tricks sells something of mine for them. It was a good ride while it lasted.
Lost in Arkansas. Sandy
GracefulAntiquesVtg

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

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

Sat May 4 10:04:48 2019

Possible Solution :
ALL OF US each issue Etsy a 1099 tax form every January.
We employ them to sell our stuff.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

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

Sun May 5 04:31:17 2019

They just keep making it harder and harder to sell authentic vintage and handmade items.

Etsy’s business model is to make money by everything else except sales.  They sell “services “ that don’t work and then chisel us out of our hard earned money.

I am not a big seller but have had steady sales and even that came to an end in recent weeks.  I don’t know why I’m being punished.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

by: Tinysaur This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Sun May 5 09:35:25 2019

I'd be more than happy to offer free 2 day shipping on all my etsy items if the customer pays $100/year for my ''primeval'' subscription service. Etsy mgmt doesn't represent sellers' best financial health strategies in their promotions. When they simultaneously charge 5% on shipping costs and penalize visibility on listings that don't offer free shipping, it's a double dip into our profits. They aren't working for us.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

by: Violets and Wine This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 6 00:06:48 2019

If I have to pay high shipping out of pocket in return for whatever bone Etsy wants to throw me, I will cancel the sale. Screw that shit.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 6 02:17:20 2019

Life During Wartime wrote: "The idea of Etsy giving credit for the "free" shipping the buyer doesn't pay for -- leaving the seller to pay for it out of pocket -- is not a policy I would want to deal with as an online seller.  The person in the Forums mentioned a $25 shipping charge.  I guess in the Etsyverse, it's impossible to imagine someone not having $25 to float Etsy for "free" shipping."

You said it so well. Being one who is muted in the forums, I very rarely ever go there. I only visit them when I see that something is up.

I noticed this right away when they first implemented it because I was up late working on listings. About 30 minutes later, it disappeared, and then reappeared the next day.

As soon as I saw it, I went looking in the forums for any info about it. I did check a number of categories, but their forums are such a mess now. It's practically impossible to find anything anymore.

I clicked on the "terms" link, but it said nothing about who was paying for the shipping. Of course, I can't post to ask and it would probably take Etsy 3+ days to get back to me with a canned answer. [They must also prioritize my support requests according to my citizenship status because I have waited weeks in some cases.]

If it weren't for the one seller I keep in touch with from my team via Convos, I wouldn't have known how it worked. They really need to have some sort of alert system for such announcements. Like, send it via Convos so they see they have a message. Rocket science? No.

Perminate Link for Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers   Etsy Shipping Promo Touches Raw Nerve for Sellers

by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 6 06:03:12 2019

Yet another kick in the teeth for international sellers - but this could be a cloud with a silver lining judging by the Etsy blunders in filching seller's money lately.

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