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!

PureCottonStudio
Community Member

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

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Awesome!! =) Have not thought of that. Another issue to add to the long list already! 

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MassoGeppetto
Community Member

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

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@PureCottonStudio thanks! If you read descriptions of my items you will know that I'm saying this for almost  half year...I don't know if I can keep doing it until Christmas...

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PinkBluebonnet
Community Member

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

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Excellent point! 

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GerardFamilyWreaths
Community Member

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

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As many others have mentioned, this is terrible for large items especially after the USPS increase from weight to cubic inch. What used to cost me $7 is now $26 to ohio...what used to cost me $12 is now $55 to Idaho! West coast average is $34 and used to be $14. I did math and did a split to remain competitive...I had to GET RID OF free shipping and add a $10 charge and then add $10 on to my wreaths. After shipping the profit is less than 25% at this point if I want to remain competitive OR MASSIVELY increase my prices by $30 more for a wreath to severely decrease my sales. My prices for an item are now $79per wreath..some items are already $299 but take 3 boxes to ship...to CA thats HALF my sale and does not include your fees. During the trial YOU inquired the shipping cost. Do that and see if you still think this is a good idea when you see how much money you lose. Ill even inquire the ink/paper/label covers/bubble wrap/box/tape/pqcking paper cost...you just pay for the label and see...

 

One of two things happens with this...our sales slow down because prices are so rediculous or we lose money. I had another large company reach out and they are inquiring shipping cost I just dont get my name out there...thats fine with me because ill be making more money than here at this point. You make us do so much and i have been saying it for years, its time to get out. How does this benefit us? Were all screaming it doesnt and you dont care. The trial worked because there are more small item sellers on etsy, you are going to kill large item sellers.

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PinkBluebonnet
Community Member

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

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Exactly. With postal increases I also HAD to get rid of any free shipping. I just can’t absorb the cost. 

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NoOrdinaryEmporium
Community Member

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

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How can sellers outside of the US be expected to add international shipping prices onto their items?

For example, I use DHL courier for international shipping for speed and reliability. I cannot add £18 (approx international courier shipping) to an item with a starting price of £6.

Is Etsy trying to make its sellers US only? 
Sad day!

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SoulStarChakras
Community Member

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

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What makes this an even more bitter pill to take, is how Etsy is getting filled up with mass produced cheap tat and cheaper sellers! Clearly items made in China, purchased for a dollar on Aliexpress and then sold for double money on here. This platform is, no HAS turned in to ebay. Disgusting.

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PurpleRoseConnection
Community Member

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

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@SoulStarChakras  schreef:

What makes this an even more bitter pill to take, is how Etsy is getting filled up with mass produced cheap tat and cheaper sellers! Clearly items made in China, purchased for a dollar on Aliexpress and then sold for double money on here. This platform is, no HAS turned in to ebay. Disgusting.


 

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SuzannesGallery
Registered Member

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

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Chinese sellers will love it with their 'special' deal' they have with international shipping ( ie - it costs them virtually nothing.)  They will have a field day as they won't have to raise their prices to cover shipping.

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TSBPhotoProps
Community Member

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

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This isn't a question, but more of an open-ended observation.

I don't dislike the idea of free shipping, as I've offered it countless times. It was successful during the holiday season, and not as much for the rest of the year. So I'm kind of on the fence about it.

Yes, that "FREE shipping" banner under the thumbnail is appealling to buyers.

However, sellers not offering free shipping or not having a sale benefit from additional perks under their thumbnail. This includes "only # available and it's in # person's cart" or the "Bestseller" banner. Those sellers offering free shipping won't get these banners. These, just like the "FREE shipping" banner, are just as enticing to let buyers know these items are purchased and/or placed in the cart often.

So, while sellers may get an additional boost in search when offering free shipping, I'm struggling with the fact that offering it means sellers are penalized with not getting the other 2 banners.

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TheUnicornCorner
Registered Member

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

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I came here to ask about multiple badges as well.  I've done testing in my own shop to compare how my items which are "Bestsellers" sell with the free shipping badge vs. the bestseller badge.  The verdict: THE BESTSELLER BADGE IS MORE VALUABLE. 

 

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ElaineWilsonTherapy
Registered Member

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

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Come on Etsy, think this through! What costs around £3 to post in the UK can cost up to £19 to post to the US??? Can you honestly tell me adding that to a £15 item is not going to have a negative effect on my UK business? So, the choice is keep it cheap for the UK and lose US business or keep US business and alienate the UK buyers. Feels like you are pandering to the big companies flooding etsy who can afford free shipping and pushing out the small businesses. Boo!

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TheAtomicAttic
Registered Member

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

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With respect ~

I sell vintage and I live in New York State. I sent a lamp yesterday to California in a 38"x 15"x15" box that weighed 16 pounds. The lamp itself cost 140.00

The buyer paid the full shipping of $65.00. He had to. I did not want to absorb that cost. I cannot. The idea that free shipping over 35.00 is a placating idea to a seller is wrong. Nearly everything IN my shop is over 35.00.

This Etsy push for sellers to offer free shipping to have a higher placement benefit in search seems scheming at worst and unfair at best. Am i supposed to hike the items in my shop to cover shipping to California so I don't lose money every time? Then the poor guy in Buffalo pays way more than he should .

And you KNOW the likely scenario is the buyer will simply not purchase if a lamp that i already priced fairly at 140 is priced at  205.00 free shipping or not...or the figurine that is 28.00 ...if i hike that another 28.00 to 56.00 with free shipping (because 28.00 would be the shipping to CA)  NEITHER is going to sell. That guy in Buffalo , NY is going to say "wha??" and move on.  Those items and the rest are going to sit there, and my little shop that i considered mildly prosperous will wither and die.

Etsy will get more money if I ship free too. Etsy will have 205.00 to take their cut from instead of 140.00. It is all around a slap in the face to those of us with heavy and bulky items....ESPECIALLY when the seller lives on one coast or the other of the US.

I believe my shop may be in real trouble as i rely on the income i generate here on my site. I have already seen sales slow down because i cannot offer free shipping and becasue US Postal prices have shot up 100+%  over the last 3 years.

I am going to ask here, with sincerity and with a polite (yet slightly desperate) tone - Etsy, in this free shipping age you have created here, what can i do to maintain sales as a seller of vintage living on the coast of the US - in New York State? 

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

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RustyCurios
Community Member

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

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If we're already offering free shipping (which we will now have to do to show up in the search), why does it matter if orders over $35 ship for free when everything is already shipping for free? People aren't stupid - they know that the item is higher priced because of the hidden shipping charge. I have 100s of $4 orders...now the item costs $7 and people are supposed to think they are getting a bargain? I have over 300 listings....regardless of the tools it is going to be a pain in the neck to offer free shipping for everything and change each price to reflect the hidden shipping. I am frustrated by this change and don't see how it will work for my shop. As others have said - how do I incorporate postage when it varies depending on the zone?

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dlightfuldesigns
Community Member

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

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@AtomicAttic  I feel for you and all the other sellers in the same boat. Myself included. All of my items are large and heavy and I can't possibly charge the same price for an item going to NY vs an item to Ca. It won't even be a matter of refunding the overcharge because the customer won't be buing the inflated priced item to begin with!!

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ParlezVousGrits
Community Member

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

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AMEN!!!! We are in exactly the same position. Larger items, varied sizes, huge difference in shipping costs coast to coast. And Etsy will get full commission on the "free" (hidden) shipping costs. It seems this new policy is designed to force vintage sellers out of the game.

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Etsy Staff
Etsy Staff

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

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@RustyCurios wrote:

If we're already offering free shipping (which we will now have to do to show up in the search), why does it matter if orders over $35 ship for free when everything is already shipping for free? People aren't stupid - they know that the item is higher priced because of the hidden shipping charge. I have 100s of $4 orders...now the item costs $7 and people are supposed to think they are getting a bargain? I have over 300 listings....regardless of the tools it is going to be a pain in the neck to offer free shipping for everything and change each price to reflect the hidden shipping. I am frustrated by this change and don't see how it will work for my shop. As others have said - how do I incorporate postage when it varies depending on the zone?

 

 


Hi @RustyCurios. As part of the free shipping guarantee, a listing will qualify for priority placement in US search results if it has unconditional free shipping, or if your shop offers a free shipping guarantee on orders $35 or more. Our smart pricing tools will make it as easy as possible to account for variances in ship costs across the US, by providing personalized options driven by your purchase history, but remember that how you determine and set prices for your shop is your decision, and should be part of your overall business strategy. We hope that our tools and educational content make offering a free shipping guarantee straightforward, no matter how you choose to do so.

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Rozemake
Community Member

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

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Why don't they just put a free shipping check box in the search bar or show the charges on the listing in search? I think customers can handle that and it gives them the ability to search how they want. 

Getting a little tired of being told how to price my items and how to ship them (those stupid messages all over my listings page)...last time I checked I pay Etsy for a service and now they are telling my items will be treated as second rate compared to other shops (who pay the exact same fees as I do to list their items).

I tried to switch to free shipping last year and it nearly wiped me out.

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PinkBluebonnet
Community Member

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

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THIS! Give customers the option on how to prioritize their searches. 

8 Likes
KilianCellarDoor
Community Member

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

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I sell small items which need careful packaging ranging in price from £10-£150.  I have to charge £10.50 to ship to the US and most of the world to cover packing and shipping which has to be tracked for Royal Mail as buyers expect it and also I need it for insurance to claim from Royal Mail when items get lost.  How do I add £10.50 onto a £10-30 item?  No one will buy from me!  Vintage and antique items are ignored by Etsy - it is constantly popping up telling me my shipping is too dear - but that is the cost.  This seems a massive blow to your non US sellers. 

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dlightfuldesigns
Community Member

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

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So Tags, Title and SEO will no longer be as important within etsy search? FREE shipping on orders over $35.00 will be.

How will paying for Promoted listing ads work anymore if our item doesn't have free shipping? Will we be pushed to the back as well even though we pay to show up ahead of others who do not pay? 

I'm still just shaking my head here!

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Etsy Staff
Etsy Staff

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

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@dlightfuldesigns wrote:

So Tags, Title and SEO will no longer be as important within etsy search? FREE shipping on orders over $35.00 will be.

How will paying for Promoted listing ads work anymore if our item doesn't have free shipping? Will we be pushed to the back as well even though we pay to show up ahead of others who do not pay? 

I'm still just shaking my head here!


Hi! Thanks for your question. Etsy considers a lot of factors when ranking items in search. Plus, different buyers will see different sets of search results based on their search history. The best ways to optimize your listings for Etsy search will still be the core principles from our Ultimate Guide to Search, but now with a new priority for items that meet buyer expectations when it comes to shipping price.

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foppesacreoriginals
Registered Member

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

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I think people come to my shop because I sell unique items, not because I offer free shipping. I'm already very low with my prices to keep the threshold for customers low. If I have to include shipping cost from the Netherlands to other parts of the world my prices will have to increase a lot making it less visible for customers how my prices are calculated.

I don't agree with the reasoning that people expect free shipping. I buy a lot online and never expect free shipping. If I really want something I'm willing to pay postage, simple as that. I think offering free shipping is a false way of attracting customers, Etsy was created as a marketplace to buy unique and handmade crafts and art, not to look for bargains.

Bad idea!

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TheAtticRooms
Community Member

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

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Totally agree. I do masses of online shopping and I have never been drawn to an item with the lure of free shipping and nor do I expect it! I am happy to pay a fair shipping price just like Etsy's customers are. There's no such thing as 'free' shipping and people KNOW that! Etsy are making a huge mistake IMO. I've only started stocking my little shop since June this year so I am only just starting out. I'm UK based and sell low priced paper craft items but I won't be changing anything in my prices. It wouldn't make sense. I've just seen one lady put an announcement in her shop citing this change as being the reason she is now closing down. I suspect she won't be the last. I honestly feel Etsy are about to shoot themselves in the foot with this decision.

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SilkRoadside
Registered Member

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

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Yes, foppesacresoriginals, WRT to Free Shipping Debacle now underway and wondering how to make changes to keep my shop afloat, I have only to look to my very best buyer ever for advice, who has spent thousands in my shop (and my items usually average 32.00, so yes, she shops a lot). When I gave her a refund of shipping overages once, she "rapped my knuckles", saying that she expected to pay for the shipping charge that was stated in her purchase, saying it was a fair and reasonable charge and that I deserved to be compensated for the time that was spent to package those items properly and stand in line at the post office. We sellers do untold amounts of free PR and promotion for etsy on a daily basis...not sure how overcharging customers to start with will contribute to this goodwill. And yes, etsy shoppers are savvy online buyers, and they will spot the artificially jacked up prices a mile away and decide to walk away. As a frequent online shopper and frequent etsy shopper in addition to etsy seller, I look for initial cost and then a reasonable shipping cost. This tells me that the seller prices fairly in both regards. The so-called "Free Shipping" does a grave disservice to international sellers and buyers, and while it initially looks protectionist at a first glance, it is equally punitive to our American etsy colleagues in rural areas who really depend on this income and have previously shipped far and wide across the continental USA. Sellers who once had a wide, even worldwide shipping radius will now have to reduce their reach in order to afford to swallow the free shipping as the cost of parcels is calculated by weight, volume and distance to travel. So now lightweight, small items only, mailed only to local addresses...so much for the global marketplace that etsy purports to be.

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