Etsy's just-announced policy of prioritizing listings with free shipping in US search results shows that its management has a fundamental misunderstanding of how its Vintage division works, and will hurt sellers.  For example, my shops have almost 3000 items listed of varying sizes and weights; there is NO WAY to anticipate final pacakage weight or size on single or <especially> multiple-item orders!!  Regular shipping of a coffee cup from my E Coast shop to the W Coast runs almost $9 - there is literally no way I can roll that into the price of a coffee cup and offer free shipping, nor am I willing/able to take a 75% hit on the revenue by just absorbing the shipping!!! 

In addition, I would like to point out that in contratst to Etsy's statment that "people expect free shipping", with increased online purchasing, people in fact have come to view (reasonable) shipping charges as "normal cost of doing business online" and that shipping fees have become accepted and basically transparent/invisible to most shoppers!  

ETSY Management: I ask you, how can you say you're supporting small business owners then turn around and try an Amazon move on us?

Here's the thing: Etsy will NEVER be Amazon and shouldn't try to be!!!  This is a GOOD THING!  Buyers come to Etsy for a unique and non-mass-market experience that is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of Amazon.  I strongly suggest you guys spend much, much more time policing the site to rid it of the mass-marketers who are clearly not complying with Etsy's handmade/vintage categories and stop reprogramming and trying to out-Amazon Bezos.  ALSO: how about negotiating more competitive shipping rates with USPS - that's a MUCH BETTER solution than yours!

I also request that all major changes and reformats of the site and how we list/ship items be run through public Beta testing where shop owners can comment on proposed changes before rolling them out - not only is this best practice in stakeholder engagement, it also demonstrates that Etsy cares about its sellers, and lets us all be in the much more happier position of commenting on changes rather than reduced to complaining after they are rolled out and hurting us.

JoysVintageFinds
Community Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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This is another reason I may have to end my association with Etsy after 5 years. I have a vintage shop and I can not offer free shipping, when I acquire an item i try to get it at the lowest price so that I can offer my buyers a great deal, that is not happening if I add shipping cost to the price, who do you think your fooling with that ploy? 
And to know give them top priority this is not the Etsy I sign up to do business with were your Items were the stars, shipping has gone up and it is heard to add it to an item without notice, buyers also have an amount they see as far in there heads and also like a bargain. Stop fooling with something that works.
If you want to save money I suggest you downsize your employment base if they have to make up work.
I'm sure I speak for my shop owners 
Joys Vintage Finds
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silcoon52
Community Member

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Agreed JoysVintageFinds  I've been on Etsy many years, griped about the fee/tax applied to us for shipping but this takes the cake!  Asian markets already offer free shipping but then again you get what you pay for!  Free shipping forced on us by blackmail is the lowest Etsy has gone to so far!

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bunnie4
Community Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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I cant find anything in the rules that state you cant be upfront with your buyers. Explain the price increase isn't really an increase. JUst the addition of free shipping as wanted by etsy. My 4 5.00 product is now 53.50 because of free shipping.

As buyer is paying same they should not object and if they do can take it up with etsy directly

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silcoon52
Community Member

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I like your idea bunnie4!  I just hope that those who read this announcement, provided Etsy doesn't hide that too, will not send them away.  I've apologized to my customers about prices before due to Etsy's outstanding fees!

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Vintageables
Community Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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I am willing to eat the cost of shipping if Etsy reduces their commission.  And, if their CEO agrees to a reduction of his salary and perks.  Small etsy sellers are really not able to absorb the increasingly high cost of shipping, nor should buyers we duped into thinking they are getting true free shipping when it is included in the cost of the product.  

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UndergroundHooks
Registered Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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My to do list this week included removing free shipping from my shop. Shipping isn't free. Amazon free shipping costs 120$  a year! 

Etsy doesn't make or lose money if we change our shipping policies. They shouldn't be prioritizing people based on their garbage opinions on how to run a business.

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DeeLuxDesigns
Registered Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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I hope that everyone who is commenting here takes the initiative to send their thoughts to Etsy support because that is the only way there is any slim chance of getting this over turned. We need to flood support with complaints because, unfortunatly,  they probably won't read this. Sending it directly to them is the only way to be heard.  I have sent my thoughts to them and encourage you to do the same.  This is what I said:

"When I joined selling on Etsy it was a fair and equal marketplace.  First you expect us to join special groups to be in select advertising sections, now you expect us to offer free shipping to be include in another advertisement classification.  That means that someone with in a 100 miles distance has to pay the same price as to ship 1500 miles away? How is that fair to the customers? How is that going to increase sales? To do this I would have to raise my prices by the most expensive cost in shipping to keep my profit revenue the same. I would have to be adding $15-19 to each item.  I know, as a consumer, that free shipping is just a gimmick and that nothing is really “free”. In regards to Amazon’s prime, you really aren’t getting free shipping, it was paid in our “prime fees”. Maybe you should institute a special member fee where they are paying to get “free shipping”, then we would be paid the shipping costs out of their “fees”.  My customers have had no problems paying the fair shipping costs to get the products I offer.  I charge them the lowest possible shipping that I can to get their  fragile items to them with care. People understand that paying shipping is the cost of purchasing items online.  By suggesting we will not be on the first line of advertising you are forcing us to offer free shipping. That  is not fair to us, the artisans, that are doing the work to earn you money. It would  cause us to take a reduction in our revenue so that we can be competitive, while increasing yours. You would be receiving an increase in fees from us because of the percentage you get from each item sold. Under this new method that would include the increased cost of shipping. "

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Handywoman
Community Member

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Never going to get overturned anyway.  Etsy is now all about Etsy...it isn't the place it started out as.  I honestly do not thing they will be around much longer...I think we will be absorbed into amazon or something else.  

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bunnie4
Community Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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I think etsy may be surprised at the response if all sellers were honest with their buyers on "so called free shipping"

I am sure that etsy will claim they want sellers to be upfront and honest about their product and selling policies.

Free shipping is never free. Sometimes in rare circumstances seller is eating the cost. Most often it is being "hidden" in the sale price. JUst feel good words that are blatantly dishonest and dishonesty being encouraged by etsy encouraging sellers to fold it in to the cost of item Most fees are reasonable and should be expected as cost of doing business. Paying a fee on postage is just greed. Not sure what etsy believes free shipping is going to add to their bank account but you can bet they believe it will/ All without adding any improvements for the sellers that are responsible for their "being"

But etsy will go on and on with more and more"improvements" to our selling and buying experience

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MinxouriVintage
Community Member

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deleted wrong space.

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AlchemyDiner
Community Member

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I have a problem with so-called free shipping...I question if is it a misleading claim because as far as I can discern shipping is not free no matter you algorithm it...

I prefer to tell potential buyers that instead of offering "free shipping"  I have priced  the item as reasonably as possible taking into consideration shipping costs....

 

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hopeandjoyhome
Community Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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AND it is NOT just " oh they would pay shipping anyways so adding it to the price makes no difference" It makes a HUGE difference to a lot of sellers! Even talking just US sellers only the shipping from coast to coast for those not "centrally located" is a LARGE difference..especially with the new DIM pricing if  your items are over a cubic foot. It makes a difference for those that sold multiples and used calculated shipping or had a flat fee figured out that worked for them. Yes I KNOW customers had to click on the shipping and decide if that worked for them or not ..boo hoo...an extra click versus getting overcharged? THAT is how they should have phrased that survey question "Are you fine with paying shipping based on your location and having to click a button to see what that is OR would you rather pay highest possible shipping rolled into the price so you don't have to click a button? Also you pay that higher price on each additional item you purchase..but no exhausting button clicking". Instead it was Do you like free shipping? YES! If it is 100% free to me not included in the price I like free shipping! They already HAVE a filter for free shipping so buyers can self sort to sellers who can offer it reasonably, there is NO REASON to penalize the rest of us who cannot or will not because we know the damage it wil do to our businesses! I guess I will just get penalized and try to drive my own traffic. I will have a disclaimer in every listing about what "free shipping" IS and how it screws over a majority of buyers versus actual shipping being calculated for each customer. 

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PuppyLuckVintage
Community Member

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Boy, you hit the nail on the head !!!  I Totally agree with you and don't really understand Why ETSY does not put themselves in the seat of a seller???  There is a HUGE difference in cost from one coast to another for items shipped by Priority.

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ArtsyCraftsyBoutique
Community Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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I have been with Etsy since 2011. I began to sell in 2012. And in all that time only ONE buyer has asked for free shipping. So out of 4,443 sales, only one person wanted free shipping. Having said this, I don't think this decision was actually meant to help the sellers. I am currently eating 20 percent of shipping cost, inasmuch as shipping continues to rise. My plus size aprons cost from $9.00-$15.00 to ship, in the USA, depending on what city it's going to. So am I supposed to add that to the cost of my products? Very unappealing to the buyer. 

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hopeandjoyhome
Community Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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@ArtsyCraftsyBoutiqueIf you can get those in a padded/bubble small flat rate mailer ( only available online free from the USPS under packages) it is $7.50 to ship everywhere. I can barely get an unopened vintage full/queen sheet set ( over 2" thick) in there so that should give an idea of size. If properly folded and bagged for easy of sliding in the envelope ( and presentation) your aprons should fit.

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dlcgems
Community Member

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\

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MIDMODTROPICAL
Registered Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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Etsy does not put themselves in the seat of the seller because they only care about the seat of the shareholder. The CEO is turning Etsy into Alibaba and Amazon. He is the Wall Street darling for banging us for fees and more fees and making the stock soar. Free shipping does not and never will work for big furniture.

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hopeandjoyhome
Community Member

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Will not our lower priced shipping seperate items NOT be showing first if sorted by price?

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Moderator
Moderator

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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Hi everyone,

 

We really appreciate that you’re willing to share your thoughts regarding offering a Free Shipping Guarantee for US shoppers. While there are many of us who are reading the feedback that’s posted here, it’s easier for us to collect your feedback and suggestions if you fill out our survey

 

We’ve also posted a Q&A thread in which we’ll be answering a selection of questions, so we encourage you to participate there.

 

Finally, we just published an Ultimate Guide to Shipping; it’s packed with education on ways you can consider a shipping strategy for all kinds of scenarios, like shipping vintage items and furniture, and even how to think about handling returns. 

 

Thanks again, and I hope you find these helpful!

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GemsAfire
Registered Member

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I have filled out your survey, for as much good as I think it will do me.  In my opinion you are not considering your international market at all.  I will not be using free shipping as that directly penalises my fellow UK customers, and any other client who currently pays less postage than a parcel to the US.  Are you seriously going to charge me the same but actively provide me with a second rate service?  Tell me why I should stay with you.  

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Handywoman
Community Member

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 survey I got was about enviromental stuff not shipping...

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silcoon52
Community Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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I don't know who ''the ultimate guide to shipping'' applies to but for most of us non mass producers it does NOT apply!  That is unless it's stating more or less ''stick it to the buyer'' which is what it looks like to me!  It looks as though Etsy is trying to turn this into a mass producers delight and forget all of the handcrafters who originally made Etsy what is it!

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AvalonCharmed
Community Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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Hi Rob

Is there anyway Etsy can reconsider this for vintage sellers.  With USPS rate hikes, rolling in the highest possible fee for shipping will inflate pricing in a bad way.

If I sell a piece of antique framed art-I'm looking at having to tack on $150 or more just in case a buyer from California buys it-because I'm on the east coast and USPS has become impossibly expensive. 

That means I'm less likely to offer my larger more sought after antiques here.

Buyers do expect to pay fair shipping prices, even handling fees when it's all reasonable.

If I were selling things like jewelry or small things I wouldn't really care as first class pricing didn't change much.

And I've only just opened this shop.  (I had Alura's Studio for 8 years-I closed it last year because it languished.)

I truly miss the old etsy-the Etsy that had real teams, treasuries, circles, chat.  The things that made it dynamic. The community I came hear for daily for years and years.  We need that back.

It's ok to not be Amazon or ebay.

 

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FavorHotSpot
Community Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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Hi,

How can I configure free shipping and exclude AK and HI. I only can offer free shipping for the continental US.

 

-Tracy

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FunkeysFinds
Community Member

Re: New free shipping policy will hurt sellers

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Thank you for responding.   I noted in my original post (page 4), that if enough of us do, Etsy may understand the impact it has on us.   Vintage sellers and those that ship large items have been hit particularly hard with the USPS Dimensional Packaging increase that became effective June 23, as I noted in that same post.   

Kind regards.

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