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Fri Apr 16 2021 22:23:28

Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Steep Ad Fees

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I wanted to bring your attention to a serious issue that's taking place on the Etsy platform in relation to their 'cash grab' for so-called Offsite Ads.

They originally told us that they would advertise for our shop, i.e.: link to our shop for the item. That the fee would cap at $100.00. Of course the worst part is that, even if the person doesn't buy anything right away, you will be charged for anything they buy within the next 30 days.

I don't know if I missed the memo, but I recently made a sale that I had to cancel because the ad fee was $127.00 with all other fees including shipping out of pocket would have cost me a little over $250.00. Of course, that also means you're paying all normal fees on the bloated 'ad' total. 

The money had not been released, but when I cancelled the purchase, it wouldn't let me because they were taking money out of my bank account and the money wasn't there. I had to transfer from one bank to another, incur a fee to cancel the darn thing.

The other part is that this woman said she swears she was on Etsy doing a search. We finally figured out that she had come from a generic ad and waded through pages and pages of items over many days and decided on my item. It was not a direct ad to my shop item. 

That means that every single one of the 100's of items would have been charged this outrageous fee for anything this woman bought - and any other shop she visited, regardless of what it was that she purchased, even totally unrelated would also be charged the fee - and would for a month.

She has been on the platform for a while, so I asked her why she did a google search instead of Etsy. She said she would, but their search engine doesn't work - and maybe why they're even bothering to fix it! 

Since Etsy throws totally unrelated items into searches, that means that all those unrelated items if purchased would supposedly also generate an ad fee because she came from an outside ad. 

This is beyond frustrating since we organically showed up on Google before Etsy turned off the switch, and, even generic ads are now costing everyone a fee.

Truly just the most outrageous situation and I just don't know how bilking people like this for basic service can be legal. I may have some details wrong about like unrelated items appearing in the ad search being charged, but I don't see how they'd discern the difference. I don't think algorithms are Etsy's forte on that finite level. 
Posting anonymously



Comments (16) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

by: postbuster This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 17 08:56:45 2021

So, it sounds like etsy will charge any seller for  a buyer who comes to purchase items from another users promoted ads.

Since there is no way to prove or disprove which ad linked the buyer to the website, they will just assume that everyone is subject to charge the ad fee + normal fees.

Typical gimmick to syphon more undeserved money.
Just so they can come up with a failed TV show and pay Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman to run a generic DIY competition show.

What's really wrong here is that they would not cancel the sale until the seller transferred MORE money into etsy's account.
So that's double the money in their bank statement.

Now how is this necessary?

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Apr 17 13:49:24 2021

This is one reason why I opt'd out of this option on Etsy.

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

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

Sat Apr 17 13:51:52 2021

"Etsy" is mentally ill.
Time for the Straight Jacket.

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Sat Apr 17 21:30:52 2021

This is why every month when I reach $800 in sales  (833 x 12= 9996= success penalty) I put my shop on vacation. I and my buyers can not afford an additional 12% successful seller fee. With shipping so costly and sales tax on most sales I am surprised that buyers are still buying my items. When face to face craft fairs and flea markets reopen I expect a decline in sales. The extra 12% in fee would not increase my sales by much and I am working as hard as I wish to (for myself not Etsy).

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Apr 18 01:47:50 2021

@Happy one

You can just turn off, Opt out of the 15% offsite fee instead of going on vaca.  It is under your settings on Etsy.

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Sun Apr 18 07:33:12 2021

@Marie
Yes the 15% is turned off. I do not want to be forced into the 12% for LIFE if one sells over $10,000 in twelve months. It only took one sale of a $45 item with $20 shipping to see that total fees were $15 or 33% of my $45 selling price. The extra $9.75 was more than 1/2 my profit.  

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

by: Gumball This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 19 01:01:33 2021

I would not sell on a site that is obviously out of control. I left Etsy long ago and never looked back. I think any seller that values their time ought to do the same. Let it become an import market at a faster pace than it is doing right now. Let the Ebay rehires and market deal with that.  

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

by: gyanarthi This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 19 01:05:56 2021

yes... I don't want that google ad deal either... and watch my 12 month average so it wont go over 10K for 12 months...
As a side note, but somewhat related... i also have to keep in mind that the income that shows up on quickbooks (Etsy's recommended bookkeeping service) is between 6-10% higher than it really is.  They report each sale to quickbooks as the total amount paid including sales tax...BUT they do not debit the tax amount.
I've reported this to ETSY they do not seem to care. So at years end I have to calculate sales tax collected by ETSY and paid and deduct it from my quickbooks Income manually when i do my taxes.

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

by: Exetsy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 19 02:50:31 2021

When the compulsory ad fee was first introduced, with no opting out if your sales were over 10k (mine were many times higher than that) I was charged the fees a couple of times with a great fanfare, messages to the effect that my glorious sale was all due to their great ad idea and not my niche items with a following.
I didn't mind too much and it didn't happen for months.
In January this year nearly every sale was hit by the extra 12% fees but no messages this time. I had money transferred to my account every day and in busy times I had a ball park figure in my head, so it was a real shock when I checked and saw how much of my profit had been taken by Etsy for something I didn't need or want but couldn't opt out of.
Etsy was good for me, now it isn't, so I'm off.
At the moment I'm creating my own online shop, driving customers with Instagram and Pinterest. I'm using Etsy as a store front for a little while.  

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 19 04:03:31 2021

Can any of you Etsy crafters open a store on AMZ and do as well in sales?  I list collectibles and glassware (bric & brac) on Amz and do quite well.  I'm shocked that anyone finds my stuff on AMZ because I'm not FBA, I'm FBM.  This would be a good time for Ebay or Merc or Posh  to branch out and take over the crafter's platform.  I'm sure there would be a made rush.
BTW, Posh is expanding some.  They've added "home" and "pets" to the categories.  Wouldn't surprise me if they added "handmades".

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 19 06:36:45 2021

I closed my shop & opened another after determining that once a shop has hit their mandatory criteria--it is in forever. And my shop had been grandfathered in when the off-site ads came on board. Because I have a FB page, customers who keep finding my shop on vaca messaged me & come to me directly.

Etsy has ruined this venue for sellers through their greediness to increase shareholder earnings at the cost of their true customers--the shop owners.  

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

by: billly This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 19 06:38:24 2021

@gynarthi  I just realized this was an issue this year when attempting to complete my returns. I'm curious as to whether you (or anyone) was able to find a workaround that doesn't involve manually deducting sales tax from each transaction. The CSVs don't even appear to be accurate and reliable. What is up with Etsy that they can't (or won't) create what should be a simple fix on their end?

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

by: gyanarthi This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 19 10:34:52 2021

@Billy
I've asked support about it a number of times and always received a reply to the effect that Etsy is always looking for ways to improve.... they don't admit that this is happening or say anything about fixing it... The seller forums used to be very helpful,  but I can't even figure out how to use them any more... They did send me a really complicated way of using their spreadsheet to calculate sales tax for the year, but I don't make enough money from ETSY to worry about it. I'm too old to think about starting over, and just make due with it Etsy as it is... until they make it no longer worthwhile at all.

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Apr 19 11:18:32 2021

I rarely shop on Etsy due to extraordinary difficulty whittling down results. Worst search engine online bar none.

eBay, by far, has the best search features.  

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

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

Mon Apr 19 16:22:27 2021

Chicago48 :
I'm doing Gangbusters with My Own site.
I'll never rely on any Ebay or Etsy ever again.
I whole heartedly suggest ALL online sales should only be coming from entrepreneurs' websites.
The friendly, personal communications can only be had in this environment.
Set your browser to HTTPS Only and you'll be fine.
TALLY HO ! ! ! !

Perminate Link for Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste   Why Buyer Eschewed Etsy Search, Costing Seller Ste

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 20 06:07:46 2021

wow.... or rather W O W ...  after reading through this litany of Ridiculous ETSY punitive levels of fees and LIFETIME increases to fees if one is Successful in been ONE YEAR of Selling sounds TOO WRONG to be RIGHT.

If eBay were to make this sort of change.... I would be nothing but an empty VACUUM in the middle of the air ala The Roadrunner in all of his cartoons.



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