Hi, everyone!

Thanks for making your way over to the Etsy Success section. We hope you’ve had a chance to review Josh’s Announcement on how we’re making it easier for US shoppers to find items that ship free. We know many of you may have questions and we're here to help!

Today and tomorrow, Madison, Bryan, Perry, Michele, and Nathan from the Etsy team will be hosting a Q&A on offering a free shipping guarantee. What questions do you have about this new guarantee?

Here are the Q&A details:
- Share your questions about this change in this thread from now until Wednesday, July 10. We will close the thread that evening at 9pm ET.
- Etsy staff will answer questions by 5pm ET on Thursday, July 11.
- It is unlikely we will be able to answer all questions, so be sure to read through what others have asked before posting your own. If yours has already been asked, give it a Like! We want to ensure that we answer the questions that matter most to you, so with that in mind, we will prioritize answering questions with the most Likes.

And a few housekeeping notes:
- This Q&A is to address questions about how we’re making it easier for shoppers in the US to find items that ship free. Please remember that all comments should remain on topic and in line with our community policies. Any comments that violate our policies will be removed.
- If you have feedback to share, we encourage you to fill out our seller survey form. We are collecting feedback and suggestions from the community here, and the team is actively reviewing it over the next couple of weeks.

One last note: if you are unable to make this Q&A, the team will be back next week to answer your questions about the new smart pricing tool that is designed to help you offer a free shipping to your US buyers and recover shipping costs. The tool should be available to all US sellers with items $35 and over next week, and all other sellers in August.

Thanks, all. We're looking forward to your questions!

SharonMfortheHome
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

I'm a Canadian seller and the majority of my sales are US.  I already offer a minimum amount that qualifies for free shipping which is high because my items are big and bulky (washroom cabinets and bath trays).  I also pay a high amount of PL's every day.  So if Etsy is giving priority to "free shipping" in search, what about the sellers who pay for PL's and don't offer "free shipping"-that means Etsy will gladly keep taking this money but snuff them out in search?  From now until the switch is turned off on July 30 for those sellers, should I gather that PL's will no longer be effective?

39 Likes
Reply
Loading...
bostonbaglady
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

Curious about this as well. Which will rank more: free ship or PLs?

21 Likes
DragonForgedStudios
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

Note the "non answer answers" we're getting here...

Always pointing out the party line "free shipping over 35$".  Never an honest reply to a question about "My packages all cost 12$ to ship - how do I compete!"... Nothing about HOW they'll be 'prioritizing' these shops, nor about impacts on promoted listings and google shopping.... Nothing..

10 Likes
Etsy Staff
Etsy Staff

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution
@bostonbaglady wrote:

Curious about this as well. Which will rank more: free ship or PLs


Thanks for participating in our Q&A, @bostonbaglady! At this time there are no plans to change the placement of Promoted Listings ads in search. Regarding free shipping and ranking, Bryan from my team answered a similar question here. You can also review our Ultimate Guide to Search for more information on how our search works.

Thanks again!

2 Likes
Decofanatique
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

So here is a question for Etsy to answer:  how do you expect International Sellers to remain competitive with American Sellers, who can not possibly ship at the same price point?  We make less money by eating the charges (passing on the whole international shipping charge on big bulky items is going to make us look ridiculous amongst the competition), or we unfairly charge closer countries the same price as to the U.S.?  Also how do you absorb a $150 shipping price on a spice cabinet into your price?  What does this do to returns - do I get to pay for that as well?  Oh Etsy, you've really done it now...

62 Likes
Reply
Loading...
LylaSupplies
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

Speaking from a supply seller point of view, this is the worst thing that can happen to us. How can we add an $5 extra (shipping costs) on top of a $2-3 item. Just so that we can be seen in the searches! It's truly unfair!

Supply customers always purchase more than one item. Sometimes 20 - 30 at a time! For example: If we added $5 onto of each item to cover shipping costs and a buyer purchased 3 items, they'd be paying $15 in shipping costs!!! Wouldn't the buyer be better off buying more items than filling the sellers and Etsy's pockets?

61 Likes
StitchKits
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

The other end of the spectrum.... I have worked out my average sale is around £11.50 . Shipping to US £3.45.  ( which customers are happy to pay) I calculate I would have to add around 30% to everything to break even. I’m thinking this would make me ‘uncompetitive ‘? ! !

8 Likes
BusterAndCoco
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

So it really isn’t a worldwide market place is it?  It’s s US market place.  How can I absorb $24 AUD shipping to sell to the American market without disadvantaging buyers from my own country.  What would you propose I do to compete on a worldwide basis?  I can’t really can I?   

80 Likes
Reply
Loading...
LegendofGeekShop
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

That is totally how I feel. Clearly outside of the US we are not considered part of the Etsy community, we just pay for it. 

Time to look for pastures new. Suddenly some of the more expensive alternatives are looking more attractive if we have a fairer market.

33 Likes
MiriHardyPottery
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

I wish we could just be honest here and say "Shipping Included". 

I am disappointed by this policy.  With this move, you are in essence forcing our hand to add a shipping cost to the actual item if we want to have a half a chance to survive on Etsy.  Not thrive.  That ship, for many of us, has sailed.  But just have a chance to be seen.  There is no such thing as free shipping.  We all know that.  Let's just be honest about this.

174 Likes
Reply
Loading...
dlightfuldesigns
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

@MiriHardyPotteryYES , YES, YES!!! They want to essentially lie to the customers thinking it will bring us sales.

Maybe they can make a deal with the shipping companies to ship our packages for FREE as well! SMH

42 Likes
NoHoJO
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

You are right Miri, no such thing as free shipping.  

But, if Sellers are going to be forced to include shipping, can Etsy at least not also penalized Sellers in searches if we choose not to?   Fear this move is going to put many small merchants out of business. Considering that it was the Small Hancrafter/Business that made Etsy the remarkable organization that it was, this makes me sad to think about the direction it is taking. In my opinion, not good for anyone.  Not Sellers, Buyers, Etsy, nor it’s Shareholders. Sad.  

Hopefully, this move will all be reconsidered, or reworked. 

41 Likes
EDCCollective
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

I much prefer the shipping included wording.

One thing I have wondered since the free shipping push started was what do people do with online and in person sales? I do not want my customer who sees me in person and later visits my shop to see higher prices because I have included shipping in my costs that I do not need to charge my in person customers. If it said shipping included, that would take care of the price discrepency.

41 Likes
Buntique
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

I agree. I don't think anything should be labeled free shipping when it is shipping included. That to me is misleading and false advertising.

40 Likes
VixenBrushStudios
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

This would be such a simple change, and yet... it feels good. REALLY good. 

In a few communities I buy in, we usually say the item is "$350 shipped". Meaning, the item has shipping included. It's easy, we don't feel like we're getting free shipping, and we suualy know how much it's going to be to ship it anyways. Let the shipping say "Free Shipping" in search to draw people in, and then put the price (Shipping Included) into it. That would satisfy everyone, I think.

9 Likes
clotheslinesvintage
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

Agree. This seems more honest and transparent.

Also / I would really like to know what the REAL goal of this strategy of offering "free shipping" is?

Is it to compete fairly with other platforms and increase profit for Etsy and its shareholders? Increase sales for our individual shops?

If so, what data supports this?

Is it to provide a transparent total cost to our buyers? Less surprise at check-out? 

If so, call it what it is : Shipping Included. The shipping is not free. We pay for the shipping. Hiding it in cost is not an uncomplicated solution as so many comments, posts, replies here suggest. Etsy has over-simplified and minimized the outcome for sellers and buyers alike.

If so, why not consider allowing each individual shop to offer DOMESTIC SHIPPING INCLUDED with variation by province or state? 

Further, if Etsy is forcing our hand to do this because listings offering this to US buyers will rank higher in search; why not just make this a policy? It really isn't much of a choice, is it?

The surprise of it all. The lack of transparency for our buyers. The whole thing is frustrating and disheartning.

 

22 Likes
aWitchesDen
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

Can Etsy please make it possible for non-US sellers to vary price based on customer location?

I sell worldwide and while I don't mind offering free shipping and compensating in the price of an item, if I do this for the US now, my items are far too overpriced for the European and my domestic (Belgian) market. Variations in price are the way to go for us non-US sellers.

61 Likes
Reply
Loading...
PaperDaisyCards
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

In my view that is the only way to make this fair. But I don't think etsy are concerned about fairness.

 

12 Likes
Highlighted
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

@aWitchesDen wrote:

Can Etsy please make it possible for non-US sellers to vary price based on customer location?

I sell worldwide and while I don't mind offering free shipping and compensating in the price of an item, if I do this for the US now, my items are far too overpriced for the European and my domestic (Belgian) market. Variations in price are the way to go for us non-US sellers.


Thanks for the question, @aWitchesDen! Sellers like yourself, who are based outside of the US, may want to consider where the majority of your Etsy business is coming from in order to help you understand whether offering a US free shipping guarantee is right for your shops. (You can learn more about how to calculate the percentage of your business going to the US in this article.) We realise that for many of our sellers, as part of your pricing strategy you may need additional tools to offer different prices to customers in different countries. We’re working on creating long-term solutions and will keep you updated as they become available.

109 Likes
ArgentAqua
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

This is a very good question aWitchesDen.

In principle I have no objection to offering free US shipping. However, to make it work for me, I would need to be able to charge a different price to US clients than I do domestic ones, as there is a significant difference in postal costs.


Do Etsy have plans to offer the relevant tools to achieve this? And can you tell us when they will be available?

29 Likes
TheNuthatchShop
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

Thanks for asking this question aWitchesDen, this would probably be the only way I could offer free shipping to the US.  My in-country price for postage of items over $35 is £2.50 - £4 whereas to the US this is £12.50 -£18. A tool to vary the item price by country (or continent) would solve this. 

16 Likes
maplemist
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

Great observation @aWitchesDen !

Sadly, the response from @PodushkaStudio doesn't give much hope. While Etsy is working on 'long-term solutions' for non-US sellers, we'll be slipping further into invisibility in the US market. It's hard to believe that Etsy did not anticipate the negative impact on non-US sellers. We are literally an afterthought - even though we pay the same fees (if not more because of VAT/GST and currency conversion debacles).

31 Likes
GemAndTonik
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

This is the exact thing I came here to write! I'm in Australia, and shipping to the US costs me $20 - $30. I don't want to raise my prices by this much as it will likely lose me a lot of local business.

12 Likes
BloomStreetVintage
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

It was clear this was a done deal from the start. The whole point of Etsy is smaller business, customer interaction, the personal touch and unique items and experiences. I wish Etsy would just let us run our own businesses and keep out of things like shipping. If we want not to offer free shipping, allow us to suffer the consiqueces, if there are any. By prioritizing free shippers in search, you are punishing those who choose not to (or cannot afford to) offer free shipping and hurting our businesses. Etsy is not Amazon! Wasn't that the whole point? Now that you have Wall Street involved it has become about your bottom line, not ours. I wish I had closed my business and purchased Etsy stock when the company went public as your emphasis is now on your investors and not on your merchants.

181 Likes
Reply
Loading...
MumMumsPetals
Community Member

Re: Q&A with Etsy admin: Offering a free shipping guarantee

Jump to solution

Exactly!!!!!!!!?

20 Likes
Reply
You must log in to join this conversation.
Remember that posts are subject to Etsy's Community Policy.