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Tue May 14 2019 19:18:59

Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

By: Ina Steiner

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Etsy promised more consistent shipping prices across its platform as part of an announcement to sellers on Tuesday:

"Buyers expect free shipping when they shop online, and they should never have to worry about added shipping costs getting in the way of finding something special. 

"We want to make shipping prices more consistent across Etsy, and we're building new tools to help you price your shipping competitively and keep shoppers coming back. We'll share more details with you soon. 

"Offering free shipping is an important step you can take today to set yourself up for success. Create a free shipping profile to easily offer free shipping on multiple listings at once."

Etsy explained the full message as a "sneak peek at how we're building on everything we've accomplished together" as well as a look back at highlights from the first few months of 2019.

Among the good news included in the announcement:

- Sales on Etsy grew 20.8% and active buyers increased by 18.2% in 2018.

- Etsy is investing in new national television ads in the US. Each commercial "highlights how the vintage and handmade items on Etsy can play a starring role in life moments big and small."

- Etsy kicked off the Etsy Design Awards. "Submit a standout item from your shop and you could win $15,000."

- Etsy promised improvements to the Conversations tool to "make it easier to respond faster to messages from buyers" in a more personal way.

- Variations are coming. "Soon, you'll be able to connect your listing photos to the variations you offer so shoppers can see in a glance what all the options available for your listing look like."

Among the news that could be considered good or bad - more information is needed, Etsy announced:

- "Over the next few months, we'll be testing new ways to make Etsy search more personalized so shoppers see results that are more tailored to them, whether they're shopping on their laptop or using the Etsy app."

In the comments, sellers are pushing back on the claims about buyers wanting free shipping. A common complaint cited is that it turns off buyers when they purchase more than one item from a seller - and it's not just sellers of supplies who made that complaint.

Other comments exposed an issue we hadn't heard much about - de-emphasizing sellers branding. 

Wrote one seller: "How does Etsy expect us to be successful when they are removing our shop branding from listing pages? We need buyers to enter our shops from a listing. And Etsy is purposely removing that ability. What does Etsy gain by sabotaging our efforts?"

Another seller replied, "Couldn't agree more, the list of "other items from the seller" at the top of the items page was removed, ever since them our multiple items orders have dropped drastically. There is nothing to encourage a buyer to look further more into the sellers shop."

What's your reaction to Etsy's initiatives, is it moving in the right direction? What are your favorite picks and dreaded pans?



Comments (33) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

by: Freeeeeeeee This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 14 19:32:01 2019

Etsy can be obnoxious.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

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

Tue May 14 19:45:28 2019

Good Bye Etsy.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

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

Tue May 14 21:05:05 2019

Nothing Etsy has been doing the past couple/few years has benefited sellers. The only two things I can think of that they've added since I've been there (January 2014) that has truly helped sellers is calculated shipping and more product photos.

I don't use their promoted listings or any other paid service because I pay more than enough in listing fees while items sit there unnoticed. Now they charge us 5% on shipping, too, and shipping gets more ridiculous with each passing year while other countries like our biggest competitor, China, get serious shipping discounts. There have been a number of items that I've had to deactivate because I just couldn't take anymore of a hit on my profit margin.

My direct traffic has been more than half of my overall traffic for about a year now, with external search traffic making up 25-30% and Etsy wiping up the rear in third. Etsy used to be by far my biggest traffic producer, but forum trolls got their way after four years of trying. I have appealed only to be abused and insulted by Etsy mods.

It's one thing to remove a seller's forum-posting privileges, but an entirely different thing to demote their shop in search based on what games forum trolls play. It just makes their bullying all that much more of a crime -- as does Etsy mods allowing it to continue happening and then abusing you for trying to stick up for yourself (and others) and make things right.

Even without that issue, Etsy has been doing nothing but making it more and more difficult for shops to succeed. So why should anyone want to stick around unless they're one of Etsy's golden eggs?

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 14 21:08:12 2019

P.S. -- If you're a golden egg, you get free advertising on their new TV ads.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

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

Tue May 14 21:38:53 2019

Etsy continues to follow Ebays mistakes one right after another since they hired the ex Ebay employee as their CEO.  All the raves that Etsy had been getting about avoiding all of Ebays pitfalls went right out the door with this one.  So now they are going to try to push Sellers into giving Free Shipping and next it will probably be Free Return Shipping.

I sure am glad that Etsy does not have my category so i can just sit here and watch another site start crashing and burning.  First they steal the Sellers money with "accidental" billings that should never have been, now they want to have the Sellers give Free Shipping out to the Buyers.  Do they plan on leaving anything for the Sellers to live on or is the CEO going to join Wenig in single handedly destroying the site.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

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

Wed May 15 00:29:09 2019

It's like the dog chasing its tail.
The cost goes up because Etsy UNNECESSARILY takes a piece of the shipping. The more Etsy ILLEGALLY takes,....you get the idea.
The cost of shipping materials goes up.
The Actual cost (USPS in my case) goes up.
Etsy HAS NO STANDING in a court of law.
SO, "Etsy" will rein itself in or face consequences.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 15 10:16:09 2019

So Etsy (eBay Jr) is yet again making it's sellers - the foundation of their operation pay more? Shocking.  American's are becoming evers so tired of online shopping scams. And that's what these venues are becoming. Get your own website and do whatever the heck you want.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

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

Wed May 15 11:12:32 2019

Buyers do NOT expect free shipping when they shop online!  I live in a retail desert, where nicer chain or big box stores are between 50 and 100 miles away.  So I shop online for everything except perishable food and stuff you can find at a dollar store.  Almost none of the merchants I use offer free shipping.  I buy almost nothing from Amazon.  The eBay sellers I've purchased from repeatedly charge for shipping.

I used to sell Vintage on Etsy, a range of items from small pieces of jewelry that mail for a few dollars, to larger heavier sets of glassware or dinnerware.  Since the number of sellers listing actual vintage items is now so small on the site, I doubt there is enough data for shipping costs of truly similar Vintage items for a valid comparison.  Look at the "vintage" link at the top right corner on Etsy pages, and note that many of the most relevant items are "vintage" PDF downloads (which have no age and are always NEW) and newly mined/processed small mineral specimens.  

Etsy's current business model is about supporting resellers (not designers who have production assistance off shore to make their products) who buy wholesale from China and India -- and list the same products you can find on Amazon and eBay at a lower price -- where they often ship free.  The actual artists, artisans, and vintage dealers, in decreasing numbers, are on the site for show.  To make Etsy seem different, when it no longer is unique or special.

Oh, almost forgot  psychic readings always "ship" free.  This is one category that is a serious money-maker for Etsy.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

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

Wed May 15 11:24:52 2019

I agree with Whatever and anyone else who's suggested it -- get your own website. There are all sorts of sites that make it easy for those who don't have any design experience. Yes, you might need to take some time to learn how to use their site, but that's no different than what we've had to do on these marketplace sites.

I'm setting up shop at Shopify under a new business name because I don't want my new shop tied to anything on these marketplace sites. I will be offering my own inventory as well as affiliate products. If I keep a shop on any marketplace, it will be eCrater because they don't play the games these other sites play.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 15 11:29:06 2019

I'd be willing to bet that Fleecebay is thinking about requiring free shipping on all items listed on their site. Wouldn't that be a hoot.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed May 15 12:26:35 2019

"Over the next few months, we'll be testing new ways to make Etsy search more personalized so shoppers see results that are more tailored to them, whether they're shopping on their laptop or using the Etsy app."


lol, just keep screwing with search, that's really smart.

How about just show what they search for and stop with the idiotic algorithms. It messed up search in the past when you did it and it will certainly mess it up even more...the more you try to force the buyer to see what you want them to see, the less items they are truly looking for are shown.




Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

by: Bubbles This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 16 00:11:13 2019

Have noticed a dramatic drop in sales this last 2 weeks - is Etsy fiddling with search like eBay which was their downfall? Why on earth did Etsy take on an eBay cast off as CEO - can only mean trouble?

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

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

Thu May 16 00:27:41 2019

I am a buyer and a seller. I do not expect free shipping. I know it ISN'T free and someone is getting screwed if it's offered.  

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

by: Garcia This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 16 02:19:19 2019

I buy a great deal online and I have almost never received free shipping.  I don't expect it and if I want something I know I have to consider the shipping.  But there is never any sense and it is never productive for sellers to complain.  Etsy does what is best for Etsy and if that doesn't generate sales that make Etsy and its shareholder happy they will change it, but no because sellers complain.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

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

Thu May 16 03:26:35 2019

Listen "Garcia",
This isn't a good place to parade your ignorance.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 16 07:10:35 2019

the same old c**p on etsy.  went from making awesome money to doing very little of nothing. when they took over managing my money sales dropped. when they forced promoted listings with their daily fees , sales went down to almost nothing. plenty of fees , no sales. what a lie about promoted listings.

when i contact them with concerns or problems , guess what , i have never gotten a reply back from them. what a joke their help is.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

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

Thu May 16 07:10:36 2019

As usual, some really great comments.  I am so glad that we sellers have a place where we can vent safely.

Etsy never quits when it comes to figuring out new and better ways to screw the sellers.  

Every time I read one of their announcements about their latest efforts, I am reminded of that old saw from The Three Biggest Lies, “I’m from the Government and I want to help you.”

Etsy doesn’t care about the sellers except for how much money they can steal from them.  It has become a cross between Ebay and Amazon with the worst parts of both.

Forget about shops, it’s all about the listings inventory and whether or not the robots will show your items in search.  Which is becoming more and more unlikely if you sell vintage and handmade.

Time to figure out a work around as so many others are doing.  I like Ecrater and some of the others that were suggested.  It’s not safe to have all your eggs in one Etsy basket and be at their mercy.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

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

Thu May 16 07:58:51 2019

I may end up just listing my eBook & pulling everything else. I'm losing sales now because Etsy can NEVER get the pricing right. My customers order multiple items, some are large & fluffy, others are metal & heavy, but take up little room. Very difficult to price shipping. BUT my margins are not such that I can eliminate shipping charges! Etsy may end up as a jewelry place to shop, with free shipping. Oh, and Chinese supply sellers.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 16 08:03:45 2019

Due to the already high cost of international shipping this is just one more example of the Robber Barons at Etsy screwing over non US sellers.

Comes on top of sleazy and corrupt policies where they hide your listings from buyers in other countries (AKA localization) and stealing 5% of your shipping cost for a service which they do not perform.

Perminate Link for Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming   Etsy: Changes to Shipping Are Coming

by: Buttons This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 16 08:04:33 2019

I have been on Etsy since 2006 and forcing free shipping may put me over the edge after weathering many storms. My customers frequently buy multiples...so how does 'free' shipping work? For example, currently 4 items may cost $37.80 and an additional $4.20 for shipping ($42 total). Free shipping would cost my buyers, who ''want'' free shipping $51.60...who's kidding who?

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