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Tue July 9 2019 08:28:38

Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

You might say Etsy is making sellers an offer they can't refuse. Today, the company announced plans to make free shipping a "core part of the shopping experience" on Etsy. It isn't mandatory to offer free shipping, but unless they do, sellers' listings may be virtually invisible to shoppers in search results.

However, Etsy is providing a feature to make this bitter pill a little easier to swallow. It's promising to provide tools that let sellers offer free shipping to US buyers who spend at least $35 in their shop, and those sellers will get exposure for their listings in search results.

That's crucial for sellers who offer inexpensive items - provided they offer enough products that would entice buyers to purchase more than one item. But it may not help sellers of oversized goods, especially now that shipping carriers, including the USPS, charge exorbitant DIM Weight rates for large, lightweight items.

We asked an Etsy spokesperson about this using a concrete example: "if a $45 wreath would cost $35 to ship, are you suggesting sellers change the price to $80?" and received the following response:

"We want to empower sellers to make decisions about the pricing strategy that works for them and their business. As noted in the announcement video, item pricing strategy should consider shipping just as it considers time and materials.  

"We understand that offering free shipping may be a big step for some sellers, and we want them to know that we are here to support them through the process. We are offering sellers a number of tools and resources that will make it easy to adopt a free US shipping guarantee if they choose to."

Etsy is rolling out its free-shipping strategy in phases:

- Beginning July 30, 2019, Etsy will give priority placement in US search results to items that ship free and to shops that guarantee US buyers free shipping on orders of $35 or more. "This means that shoppers in the US will primarily see items that ship free and shops that offer free shipping on orders of $35 or more in the top and most visible rows of search," Etsy explained.

- Beginning in September, Etsy will begin actively marketing the free-shipping initiative to buyers, "with the goal of driving more traffic to the Etsy marketplace and sellers' shops."

We asked the spokesperson if she could provide examples of buyer messaging for sellers concerned that shoppers will expect EVERYTHING on Etsy to have free shipping?

"(Today's) announcement is more of a seller-facing launch," she replied. "As noted in the release, we won't be marketing this to buyers until September."

Etsy said its data shows that buyers are significantly more likely to purchase an item in their cart with free shipping compared to an item that has added shipping costs. When it ran a limited-time free-shipping promotion in May, it led to higher order values when participating buyers purchased items that shipped for free or were eligible for free shipping, the company stated.

It also noted in its announcement: "Given the timing of the launch, this initiative is currently expected to have modest upside to Etsy's previously announced 2019 gross merchandise sales guidance. The projected impact of this initiative will be shared when Etsy reports its second quarter 2019 financial results."

Will you be changing your listing strategy as a result of today's announcement? Let us know what you think in our survey hosted on SurveyMonkey.com.



Comments (113) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 9 08:58:14 2019

eBay junior strikes again!

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

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

Tue Jul 9 09:21:54 2019

Well.......
It's time to retire anyhow.

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

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

Tue Jul 9 09:24:12 2019

ALSO : Josh is LYING when he says people get a shipping charge surprise at checkout.
It's right there next to the item on the right in the listing.
Josh Silverman is a LIAR.

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 9 09:52:38 2019

On our Website, We offer free shipping on any order over $50, but at checkout the customer will also see options for paid shipping, with delivery dates

We found that even when the purchase qualifies for free shipping, more then 60% actually pay for shipping.

Why ?

"Free Shipping" to some also means Cheap, Not Good, Damaged Package, Long Delays. Lost in the Mail,

Etsy will most likely boost the China sellers even more,

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

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

Tue Jul 9 10:43:58 2019

If we roll shipping into the price,
ETSY TAKES MORE.
That's the ONLY reason LYING JOSH wants this.
The little BASTARD.

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

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

Tue Jul 9 10:49:44 2019

What about people like me who offer CHEAP shipping?

I sell small, light items including vintage jewelry and scarves, that cost under $3 per package.  So I charge $1.50 for shipping and eat the rest.

Does that mean they will show my items even LESS than they do now??  How is that even possible?

At some point in time this wholesale mugging of the sellers is going to have to stop.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jul 9 11:25:42 2019

So what are these great tools and resources they are offering? And once again, a marketplace is demanding sellers implement an onerous policy so their items will be seen in search.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

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

Tue Jul 9 11:40:19 2019

Just another example of a bunch of inexperienced and apparently poorly educated fakers at work. The comments that come out of their mouths alone speak volumes to that effect. "Seller-facing launch"? She didn't even answer the question posed.

There has to be something illegal about this. Etsy is essentially putting small businesses at serious risk. Either they offer free shipping or they won't be seen in search? Isn't that a form of extortion?

I'm so glad I shut down my shop after reading the comments of their CFO about "seller churn". Etsy knows no bounds when it comes to its stupidity and greed.

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

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

Tue Jul 9 11:44:25 2019

It IS illegal.
Known as "Pay for Play". Payola.
It has been reported.

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

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

Tue Jul 9 11:50:01 2019

Josh Silverman got his training at Ebay, but now Etsy appears to be so desperate for cash that he has actually one upped Ebay.  I am so glad that my items do not qualify to be sold on Etsy, but even if they did, with this stupid new policy there is no way that I would continue selling on their site.  These idiots are so concerned with how to please Wall Street so that their stock price continues to rise (most of their salaries are determined by the stock price and is issued in stock instead of cash).

Good luck to those that decide to try and stick it out with Etsy (the new Ebay).  Time to start looking at ECrater and other sites that are not as popular yet.

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 9 12:01:30 2019

"It isn't mandatory to offer free shipping, but unless they do, sellers' listings may be virtually invisible to shoppers in search results."

Sure, you dont HAVE TO pay us the protection money, but then its possible that your store will burn down.

Invisible listings (ala the great scam artist eBay) and burnt stores ... and they say Al Capone was the bad guy!

The fees we pay should cover "visibility" - just like on Amazon or anywhere else that you pay for advertising, PERIOD. Anything else is fraud.

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 9 12:04:23 2019

Seems to me that if one agrees to pay a platform $X to list one's items and $XX if the items sell, one is paying for a service.  

Why should I have to submit to this extortion to receive that service FOR WHICH I HAVE PAID?

I guess the argument can be made that I AM receiving the service (again, for which I have paid) just not as good as the next guy even though we are paying the same amount.  

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

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

Tue Jul 9 12:18:31 2019

The Etsy shop owners that stay on the site, and go with the free shipping, may not benefit from doing so.  Unless their items already rank on the first few pages of results for whatever they sell, there is little chance their listings will be more relevant.  

No matter what I search for on Etsy, even if there are fewer than 10 pages of results total, over half of the listings shown have NOTHING to do with my search terms.  Seller generated keyword misuse has wrecked search.  Etsy's game-playing only slightly rearranges all those items you aren't interested in seeing.

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

by: Writings on the Wall This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 9 12:52:37 2019

Sellers unite! You have the power to resist!
I agree "free shipping" connotates cheapness and desperation. Buyers are not stupid and appreciate transparency--item price is item price and shipping cost is shipping cost, and they know how to do the math themselves. Shipping is not free and USPS raises rates continually. It's actually good for buyers to know how much shipping actually costs.
Etsy is full of cheap tricks to fool investors, and that's what this is-the latest trick they pulled out from up their sleeve. They want investors to think a good payout is coming. ha! The emperor has no clothes.
I left this site long ago.  New selling sites are out there.

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 9 12:55:51 2019

"Sure, you dont HAVE TO pay us the protection money, but then its possible that your store will burn down."

Bwa-hahahaha! That's a good one! It's a good thing I wasn't drinking anything at the time I read that. LOL =)

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

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

Tue Jul 9 13:32:37 2019

Sorry, but I can't get over those words...''seller-facing launch.''

Why would a marketplace need such a term, much less a need for a seller-facing launch? Although, I guess they would if they're in the habit of knowingly defrauding their customers (the sellers) to please investors and improve their own individual bottom line.

I sold there for over 5 years. The first year was great and the second even better, but the third saw my shop going a solid 8 months without a single sale there (when they were hijacking my Google links to redirect my clicks to their marketplace page).

With the way they manipulate search, they are basically violating fair trade laws on some level. Especially since they're manipulating it in a manner that benefits them more than it does their customers -- or even their customers' customers (because they can't find what they're looking for).

eCommerce is supposed to be a level playing field, so all search engines used for that purpose should be filtering search results based on relevant factors, which is what SEO and the all important keyword is for. What payment options are offered, what policies are used, free shipping offers or anything of the sort are completely irrelevant unless a customer uses those search terms or filters. Google has already been under fire in Europe for its past machinations.

Etsy sellers are paying rent for their space and the service Etsy claims to provide. Yet, Etsy continually and seemingly intentionally fails to do so while putting some sort of spin on it that they hope investors will fall for, but KNOW that most sellers won't.

Hence, the need for such terms as ''seller-facing launch.'' Since my third year there, there hasn't been much that Etsy has done that has actually helped sellers. Quite the contrary. It would seem that Etsy further disconnects itself from its customers with each change they make and it gets increasingly worse for their customers.

So, here's a marketplace term for you...mass exodus.

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 9 14:04:41 2019

If FREE SHIPPING is such a great thing - why doesnt eBay and Etsy pay for it themselves ... ???

Answer: cause its NOT "such a great thing" unless the seller is paying for it.

Of course the others above who said "since you pay FVF on shipping" (total fraud since its not a service they provide theres no reason to pay for it) so yes its another scam.

I dont sell on Etsy but my wife does (artsy stuff) ... so I feel for her, as I felt for other sellers when eBay pulled this cr@p way back when.

Yes purple - its criminal - the play book is right out of your standard Mafia code of ethics. You charge for a service, dont provide it, then charge for it again and call it something creative. Thats why most of eBays BOD are lawyers. They are there to provide cover/shade to eBay for the sleezy things they do.

Its shameful - and yet both sites crow about it.

BTW - the BOD does nothing because eBay takes its cash and repurchases stock to up its fake value.

eBay stock is worthless (should be a penny stock) - but "its value" comes from the BS that DW tells investors about the mountains of cash that he gets/is getting from sellers via advertising.

Etsy should be ashamed it resorted to railroading sellers into this scam

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

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

Tue Jul 9 14:11:09 2019

DO THIS :
In the FIRST LINE of your Shop text write :
"My item prices HAVE NOT gone up. You're paying the same price you always did. But Shipping is now INCLUDED in the price."

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

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

Tue Jul 9 14:14:41 2019

Better yet, START OFF EVERY LISTING WITH THESE WORDS :
"My item prices HAVE NOT gone up. You're paying the same price you always did. But Shipping is now INCLUDED in the price."

Perminate Link for Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative   Etsy Compels Sellers to Offer Free Shipping with New Initiative

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

Tue Jul 9 14:17:56 2019

TAKE DOWN JOSH SILVERMAN.

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