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Sun July 14 2019 21:22:29

Survey Finds Sellers Skeptical of New Etsy Shipping Initiative

By: Ina Steiner

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On July 9, 2019, Etsy announced it was launching a new initiative to make free shipping a "core part of the shopping experience" on its marketplace. A survey of sellers conducted by EcommerceBytes reveals their thinking about the news and how it will impact their listing strategy.

Almost all respondents (96%) said they believed Etsy did not make the change based on the wants or needs of sellers. 

Thirteen percent of sellers who took the survey said they would stop listing on Etsy, and 25% said they would list less on Etsy. 36% said they would make no changes, and 2% said they would list more. That left 24% of sellers saying they didn't know how they would adapt to the changes.

A majority of sellers also disagreed with Etsy's premise about the impact of the change on traffic to the site once it begins actively marketing the free-shipping initiative to buyers in September. 59% said they did not agree with Etsy that it would drive more traffic to the marketplace. 9% believed it would drive more traffic, and 32% said they didn't know - not surprising since Etsy wouldn't explain how it would message the change to shoppers.

The complete results of the survey were published in Sunday's EcommerceBytes Update, which you can find here.



Comments (20) | Permalink

Readers Comments

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by: Henrietta McClellan This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 15 01:03:12 2019

ETSY IS NOT REALISTIC ABOUT SHIPPING CHARGES.

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by: Eagle This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 15 01:15:44 2019

Anyone who still thinks they are getting "free shipping" is a total moron. All vendors adjust the shipping cost into the item cost. All this will do is inflate the item cost out of the ballpark and a simple search on Google will show buyers where they will need to go to get the best price regardless of shipping cost.

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by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 15 01:44:17 2019

I don't have a problem with free shipping per se - people can run things as they see fit. I have a big problem, however, with Etsy's ditzy marketing schemes and their one size fits all mentality. The people who rave about free shipping on their forums (or shake their fingers at the rest of us and say we're whining and 'quibbling') almost universally sell little gifts, paper ephemera (easily shipped), jewellery and various other smalls.

The only realistic part of this initiative is the threshold shipping, which may be what sellers of a large variety of heavier items may have to do. I don't know why Etsy wants to limit their site's offerings, though - guess they're just not very creative and can't see beyond gift items. They've already stated that vintage is just kind of an 'add on.'

There's no doubt that Etsy is getting just too twee for me, anyway.

PS: I have free shipping on much of my vintage as a close-out sale - it makes no difference in number of sales - never has.  

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by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 15 04:41:48 2019

it boggles my mind how all these wonderful venues start out with hard working , honest people , with everyone making money , and then the greed sets in and the arrogance sets in , and all of a sudden they know everything about everyone. BUT , in reality they know absolutely nothing about everything and everybody, except what the MOB tells them when they take them over.

greed and corruption creates dishonesty and stupidity. then everyone looses. empires rise and empires fall.

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by: felyne This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 15 06:54:18 2019

Ignore them. No one is making anyone change to free shipping. It's a run to the bottom. Carrot in front of the cart. One has to promote on social media today anyway, so why bother getting bent out of shape and playing their game? There's many other options available.

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by: Buttons This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 15 08:06:09 2019

I will not offer free shipping on my most popular items. i feel it's deceptive and when buyers purchase multiples (often) they are being over charged for something "free". Even though they are light items it assumes the shopper is ignorant.  I resent Etsy constantly telling me what is best for me.  

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by: ewegolf This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 15 08:58:47 2019

On your Etsy home page, in the middle of the stats, sits a stat box for Google Shopping with the following: "8 of 10 buyers start on Google before buying something. We'll help your reach new buyers by putting you at the top of relevant Google search results."  Timely.  One may need to begin or enhance a Google ad campaign to be where one would have been  if one had not jacked their price up to reflect the falsified Free Shipping.  While Etsy has empirically declared that Free Shipping is the most important thing,  Google Shopping does not even have a filter for Free Shipping nor does it show which items offer Free Shipping.    

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by: Junkminer This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 15 09:48:44 2019

I sell mostly larger items, many of which qualify for DIM surcharges. Take for instance one average item that retails for $295...

FedEx Ground or FedEx Home Delivery
Chicago $37.63
New York $67.73
Los Angeles $95.45
I'm going to ship this to LA for free?!?  A lot of my business comes from our most populous state so those CA shipping charges are an everyday thing for me.
The spread is too large and the price increase puts it further out of reach for many buyers.
Months ago I changed all of my jewelry and small items that ship for under $15 to free shipping  (I didn't increase the prices) and have not seen even a blip of an uptick in sales so I don't know why I'm supposed to believe that the herculean effort required to reprice all 1300 items is going open the sales floodgates.  Etsy is just a percentage of sales for me so I can afford to sit back and wait to see what happens with this latest change. All these sites seem hell bent on growing off of our shrinking with changes that promise increased revenue but ultimately result in the same or lesser sales at greater costs to sellers.

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by: Junkminer This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 15 09:59:28 2019

And another thing, I, like most of you, sell unique, one of a kind beautiful things. People constantly message how much they enjoy my collection of merchandise. We're an asset to the site, we're the reason people come there. And I've never had so many options for selling, even instagram, facebook are in on the game. I'm on 4 sites now and that's my limit so I'll be evaluating each sites performance and if one site drops below profitability for the effort required it's going to go. I've enjoyed Etsy but if they're going to punish me for running my business wisely I'm leaving, there are other ways to connect with buyers and I don't like being bullied by corporations.  

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by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 15 11:02:19 2019

I may list or change some dead items as free shipping there and see what happens.  I think new listings may get some kind of bump there because I recently listed a few items and sold 3 within the first week (not since though). I did not advertise those items and I do not use google ads there either. Really I can't see paying extra for google on any of these sites. I already have my own site that I pay for google on if I pay for it somewhere else I am just working against my own website.

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by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jul 15 16:27:21 2019

How about 70% off on UPS and FedEx shipping rates for sellers who sign up to offer "FREE SHIPPING"?

I am ready to "belly up to the bar" if Josh does offer some "quid pro quo".

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

Tue Jul 16 00:22:51 2019

The option of whether or not to "belly up to the bar" will be temporary.  Just like the change-over to Etsy Payments, which at first was optional.  Until it wasn't, and hundreds of thousands of shops were suspended for not signing up.

FREE SHIPPING is only an effective marketing tool if Etsy can say that all orders over $35 ship free.  

So Etsy's sellers are getting a warning that the "initiative" could eventually be site-wide and mandatory.  

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

Tue Jul 16 10:20:27 2019

I tried the shop-wide "free" shipping over the 2018 holiday season and it turned out to be one of the worst holiday seasons for me. I'm not one to do the free shipping thing unless the shipping is close to the cost of the item.

Unfortunately, after the forum trolls finally got their way after four years of trying to get me perma banned, my "citizen score" took a serious hit and, as a result, so did my sales. And this is all after they killed my business and forced me to reduce it to a hobby in 2016 after spending 8+ months hijacking my Google links and redirecting them to marketplace pages instead of my listings.

So, I felt I had no choice in order to get seen somehow on Etsy search. Ever since 2016, I have been contemplating leaving the site, but then Silverman came along and injected new hope (and more trepidation all at the same time). Just the fact that he used to work for eBay was a serious red flag for me, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

My mistake. After the CFO's "seller churn" comment, I finally decided it was time to stop putting any hope at all in any publicly-owned marketplace, especially the likes of Etsy. After closing my shop, I did a little digging and came across all sorts of information that had me feeling sick to my stomach for ever having sold on Etsy. They've had a lot of people fooled for a long time, but the truth has set me free.

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by: JohnGermaine This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 16 10:50:58 2019

smh - it's NOT Amazon where people pre-pay their shipping costs, that's what the membership thing is all about. Stick with what works - being different, it's totally okay to be different!  

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

Tue Jul 16 11:27:17 2019

Skeptical ?
BRING "JOSH" SILVERMAN TO ME ! ! !

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by: SammyCat This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 16 17:41:16 2019

Amazon sells and ships tens of millions of packages on any given day - and in most cases they do the shipping.

They have negotiated in the neighborhood of 75 - 80% off shipping normal rates because of the volume they can guarantee  

They still loose on shipping, but, they can afford to lose a few million a day when they're making tens of millions the same day.

Small sellers can not afford to be losing on everything they ship.  Its so simple and I'm sure they thought of all of this.

They just don't care.

Its all about nickel and diming the shop owners;  their 5% fee on shipping for doing nothing was an outrageous cash grab, promoted listings which many have said simply don't work, their stupid Pattern and now this.  

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by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jul 16 18:53:40 2019

good lord - I have a few things on etsy - hell would freeze over before I sell anything there - august listings run out and so do I

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by: ssweet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jul 17 06:45:32 2019

“ Etsy wouldn't explain how it would message the change to shoppers.”

The change is not meant to help buyers (their prices will stay the same or go up) or sellers. It’s simply to dangle out there for the investors. Etsy’s “fair share” is slowly turning Etsy into a well oiled greed machine.

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

Wed Jul 17 11:42:05 2019

I got Etsy by the Short Hairs  :o)
I make my own "sells itself" product.
At 5 figures a year, hiding My listings will only hurt them.
I can do a variety of well paying jobs even at my age so,
GO AHEAD. MAKE MY DAY.

Perminate Link for Survey Finds Sellers Skeptical of New Etsy Shipping Initiative   Survey Finds Sellers Skeptical of New Etsy Shipping Initiative

by: Lisa This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Aug 1 02:50:03 2019

etsy has gone to crap anyway. all the resellers and they need to change the vintage definition to 89 and earlier. the influx of cd's and harlequinn romance novels have just trashed the site.



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