Etsy allows sellers to send targeted offers to customers, but this week sellers noticed a new feature that would allow sellers to entertain offers from buyers - which some considered a recipe for disaster.
A seller shared a screenshot of their shop that showed a banner reading, "Want to let customers make offers on your listings?" with the options to "Dismiss" or "Set it up."
Some sellers said it would degrade items on the site even for sellers who chose not to accept offers. "It creates the expectation that ALL shops should offer it," one seller wrote. "They see it in one shop, and assume ALL should barter and prices are negotiable."
Others felt it would result in bad behavior by buyers whose offers were refused.
One seller was concerned about a seller's inability to detect whether an offer was coming from a buyer who found the listing through an Offsite Ad (which adds significantly more Etsy fees to items that sell). "Something to keep in mind when calculating a price that you're comfortable accepting," they said.
Offsite Ads cost between an extra 12% - 15% in fees (and are mandatory for sellers making over $10,000/year in gross sales), so it would be imperative for sellers to know if the fee applied before determining an acceptable discount.
One seller explained their concerns as follows: "I wouldn't appreciate having someone message me with, just an example... 'would you take $10 for your $25 item? I saw something similar for $8'. Would we have to take their word for it or would they show us the 'similar' item, only to find that item is made with plastic pearls vs crystal or freshwater pearls. I think those kinds of 'offers' would make us spend even more time with messages vs. time spent creating or filling orders."
Other sellers had no issue with a "make an offer" feature as long as it was optional. "I also sell on Reverb (musical stuff) which is owned by Etsy," a seller wrote, "and they have always had an offers capability. I always have the option to enable or not and usually not enabled." The seller added, "I can imagine this would be a big distraction for high volume shops."
Several sellers said if Etsy did launch the feature sitewide, they'd want to be able to control it within their shops - "It would be great if they allowed it on individual items and not the whole store, didn't see any info on that part," a seller wrote.
Cindy Baldassi, an ecommerce consultant for micro businesses who is known as cindylouwho2 on the Etsy discussion boards, wrote about the new feature on LinkedIn
. She said it appeared to be a test and believed the vast majority of sellers had not yet seen the banner offering the option to accept offers.
As far as Etsy's Targeted Offers feature
, it allows sellers to send three different types of email offers for shoppers who are opted-in to receiving marketing email messages:
- Abandoned cart
- Recently favorited
- Post-purchase thank you
In none of those cases would an Offsite Ad fee apply.
Some sellers said they felt Etsy was adding too many features that sites like eBay and Amazon offer, feeling Etsy items are special. "I wish for once they would come up with something original instead of hanging on the coattails of eBay constantly," a seller said.
Let us know if you've received an invitation from Etsy to participate in the offers program. If you accept offers on eBay, do you think Etsy sellers' fears are overblown? Or would a haggling feature be detrimental to Etsy's image?