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!

SHERIBERYL
Community Member

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

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Also you pay for Amazon prime $$$

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OrWaDesigns
Community Member

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

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I am worried that furniture sales will be hurt if we have to offer free shipping. I tested free shipping and my sales dropped. Furniture is something people would never expect to ship free. When I add to the price to include free shipping, people see the hefty price tag and they do not know what portion of that is actual shipping. We also cannot accept returns if we do free shipping because that would put us out of business refunding shipping. 

Etsy is a special place to shop, we should not have to look like amazon. Amazon sells mass produced made in china products. People come to etsy for special handmade items made by 1 person and shoppers expect to pay more and they know these individual sellers do not have the means to produce enough to get giant discounts like amazon does with shipping carriers. Amazon makes billions of $$ and I make just enough here to pay my mortgage.

what do I do if my sales drop after raising my prices to offer free shipping? How do I still offer returns without refunding shipping? I feel that etsy stands out more when it doesnt try to blend into the rest of the ecommerce world.

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Etsy Staff
Etsy Staff

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

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@OrWaDesigns wrote:

I am worried that furniture sales will be hurt if we have to offer free shipping. I tested free shipping and my sales dropped. Furniture is something people would never expect to ship free. When I add to the price to include free shipping, people see the hefty price tag and they do not know what portion of that is actual shipping. We also cannot accept returns if we do free shipping because that would put us out of business refunding shipping. 

Etsy is a special place to shop, we should not have to look like amazon. Amazon sells mass produced made in china products. People come to etsy for special handmade items made by 1 person and shoppers expect to pay more and they know these individual sellers do not have the means to produce enough to get giant discounts like amazon does with shipping carriers. Amazon makes billions of $$ and I make just enough here to pay my mortgage.

what do I do if my sales drop after raising my prices to offer free shipping? How do I still offer returns without refunding shipping? I feel that etsy stands out more when it doesnt try to blend into the rest of the ecommerce world.


Thanks for joining our Q&A and I appreciate you flagging your concern. We’ve put together some education on how you can consider handling returns if you offer free shipping here.

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SHERIBERYL
Community Member

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

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Etsy has said all along that free shipping listings get a boost in search or a factor in the quality of the listing effecting search  Was this a lie? All I know that since I have incorporated free shipping (included it in my pricing) my visibility has decreases 46%. What was once a viable business on this platform is no longer 

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ModandMore
Community Member

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

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If Etsy really wanted to help the buyer find the best price, they could have their coders write some code to allow searching by "Price, high to low" that also includes the shipping costs calculated (or fixed,as the seller wishes) to the buyer's zip code.  (Like they do on ebay, which Josh seems to want to emulate in every other way).   

With such a feature, the buyer would know the true cost, at a glance.  I am one of those selling vintage, with many, if not most, items weighing over one pound, that have to go via Priority Mail, with the cost varying hugely depending on where it is being shipped.   Sellers wouldn't have to build in some arbitrary shipping cost number that is either way too high and turns off a buyer, or too low and makes the seller eat the cost, which you would have to do for 'free' shipping.

Or better yet, perhaps Etsy could work harder to negotiate rates with the Post Office that will allow us to ship large, 'dimensional' items over a cubic foot in size at a rate like the Retail Ground rate you can get at the Post Office, and not the Parcel Select rate that has now ballooned to nearly twice what it was before.

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ThisBlueBird
Community Member

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

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Etsy this question MUST be answered clearly... Will the new demotion in search results also apply to paid promoted listings?  

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CraftyStuffBabyHats
Registered Member

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

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I think the Etsy CEO needs to go onto the Facebook groups for UK and Europe Etsy sellers and see whats going on--- mass panic!. You are effectively destroying the income of thousands of smaller businesses based outside the USA, as simply adding international shipping fees to our prices is just not feasible. How can I add on £11 ($14) shipping to a £28 ($35) item? If I do that my local UK and European buyers will back off completely as the prices will be ridiculous, and I will still have to compete with US based sellers who will get priority over me?

You are absolutely forcing all UK and European Etsy sellers to start looking elsewhere to sell our goods. 

NOT COOL ETSY!! 

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SilverReflectionUK
Community Member

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

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Totally agree with you. I have gone along with all the changes Etsy has forced on us, some I've liked, some I have tolerated because the alternative was to leave, but this is SO unfair to shops outside the US. 

I cannot (and will not) raise my prices just to accomodate free shipping to the US, it would kill my sales to my domestic (UK) market.

I hope the Q&A admin answers has some good, truthful, straightforward answers to this but I'm guessing it won't.

BTW - I buy from all over and yes, sometimes something I want has way too high shipping for me to justify buying it but something with free shipping is never my priority as a buyer.

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SandycombDesigns
Registered Member

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

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I am an Etsy seller and buyer and promote Etsy regularly.  My expectation is Etsy offer the same relationship. My questions:

I currently pay for promoted marketing, so can I stop paying you for that with this "free shipping" search?

Are you going to charge buyers a fee that want free shipping? Reasoning: Many consumers understand they pay more for free shipping, so they should be segragated.  Let other consumers pay for shipping for they understand the criteria.

Are you going to perform another survey after USPS raised their shipping costs?  Your sellers are dealing with higher price points for shipping as opposed to May.

Would you set up shipping profiles in zones, so we intelligently figure out shipping costs.  You can't ask a seller to add a shipping fee from one coast to the other to all items.  What about shipping internationally?

Has Etsy considered doing a marketing campaign to increase your foot in the market?  I am not interested in selling in a "free, discounted" marketplace.  What other strategys are you working towards?  There is a huge market of people that does not know who ETSY is. 

 

 

 

 

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HMJ4U
Registered Member

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

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This pisses me off. For the people who realize that adding the shipping cost into products, you are ripping off the customer if they purchase 2 or more items. And now Etsy pretty much just killed my shop because of how they are changing the search results. 

Why I say ripping customers off:
Customer purchase 2 items.

Item #1 is $8 and $4.09 to ship (by itself)
Item #2 is $45 and $11.86 to ship (by itself)

When shipped together using calculated shipping, the total comes to: $53 for the items and $12.86 in shipping for an overall total of $62.86

Now if I added the shipping costs into the prices:
Item #1 is $12.09 free shipping
Item #2 is $56.86 free shipping

Order total would be $68.95

****$6.11 MORE!****

Another example!

Item is $18 plus $4.09 to ship single.

Customer buys 2 with calculated shipping:
Order comes to $36 plus $5.63 shipping
Total of $41.63

Now if I added in the shipping costs to the items.

Item is $22.09 free shipping

Customer purchases 2 with free shipping, their total is now $44.18

****$2.55 more**** 

Granted these numbers are small, but I do not like to rip off my customers.

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Dexcy
Registered Member

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

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They dontwant you to add shipping cost to your item price, actually, they want you to pay for shipping from your pocket, so they could attract more buyers by advertising free shipping and low prices...they dont really care about sellers...they care about their own profit only...

that is exactly what amazon did.....

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HMJ4U
Registered Member

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

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Dexcy, yes they do. This is directly from the article: "Of course, shipping still costs something, and that cost should be factored into the item price." 

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TimeTravelFashions
Community Member

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

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My question is how sophisticated will this tool be? For example if the base price of my item is $35 and it costs $20 to mail to CA and $10 to mail to NY will a customer in LA see the listing as costing $55 and a customer in NY see it as $45? And would an international customer see it as $35 since they will still be paying for the cost of shipping? That would play into the supposed buyer psychology of free shipping while allowing the seller to not lose money and the buyer to not be penalized based on where they are located. 

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dlightfuldesigns
Community Member

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

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@TimeTravelFashions At this point I think Sofistication is going to be asking a bit too much! 

This would be great if it was going to work this way but hardly unlikely.

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studio1212furniture
Registered Member

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

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It won't be sophisticated. Free is free, you will likely price at $50 and the NY customers will subsidise the shipping of the CA customers. 

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TimeTravelFashions
Community Member

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

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@dlightfuldesigns @I fear you are right. I believe they could do it this way. They’ve got some smart programmers working there. Keep hope alive as they say. At least this is what I’m telling myself to avoid a complete mental breakdown. 

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Highlighted

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

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@TimeTravelFashions wrote:

My question is how sophisticated will this tool be? For example if the base price of my item is $35 and it costs $20 to mail to CA and $10 to mail to NY will a customer in LA see the listing as costing $55 and a customer in NY see it as $45? And would an international customer see it as $35 since they will still be paying for the cost of shipping? That would play into the supposed buyer psychology of free shipping while allowing the seller to not lose money and the buyer to not be penalized based on where they are located. 



Greetings,


Many thanks for your interest in the tooling. We've got some info that may be helpful with your question here. Additionally, this sort of thing is probably easiest to explain via demo, and that's why we'll be hosting a demo on Facebook Live on July 16 - I'll be talking through all this in more detail then! Hope this helps.

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smallmeadow
Registered Member

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

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Please try to get your thinking back outside the corporate/Amazon/competition mindset before Etsy goes the way of so many other online services. Our customers and Etsy users need to be educated about the real costs of business, not the fake business model that Amazon and the like are trying to normalize. Etsy should not be succumbing to that sort of approach as the "handmade marketplace."

To me, it doesn't matter if we sell heavy items or vintage items or are outside the U.S. What matters is that Etsy supports the reality of doing business as individual makers and craftspeople. I sell paper goods, not especially heavy, but if I had to raise my prices to absorb the cost of shipping, the logistics of it would be just silly. The difference, depending on where it is going, well, I don't feel the need to explain how little it all makes sense. And that I don't want to be a part of these sorts of psychological games.

But the bottom line for me is that the world needs to wake up to the true cost of the Amazon-type business/shipping model (for the earth, for the makers) and Etsy should be doing its part in the awakening...not joining the ranks of companies who encourage people's bargain-hunting impulses at the expense of everything else.

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MidModMenagerie
Community Member

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

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PREACH!! 💕

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GladStoneatHome
Community Member

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

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I kinda agree and disagree with you at the same time. I buy alot from Amazon. Most of what I buy comes from a warehouse that is 10 miles from my house. We are not the same business model as Amazon. I sell OOAK vintage. Amazon has little vintage.  It is two completely different business models. I would be able to provide free shipping domestically if I was provided with the same low rates that Amazon has. But I pay much more and ship much farther.

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katiesk9kollars
Community Member

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

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My question is this, will sellers who offere free shipping be given a higher ranking then sellers who offer free shipping of $35.00 and above? Or, will the ranking be equal for both?

I hope to get an answer from you, thank you.

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MidModMenagerie
Community Member

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

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YOU SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON PROMOTING ETSY AS A WAY FOR PEOPLE TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES WHO OFFER UNIQUE ITEMS. 

This means helping us EDUCATE OUR CUSTOMERS about our inability to compete with huge companies like Wayfair, who sell poor quality, mass produced items, which means they can afford to offer free shipping. WE CAN’T COMPETE WITH THAT!!! 

And frankly, your insistence on making us narrow our profit margins even more, is more than a little disheartening.

Many of my domestic shipping charges range between $10 and $70, so I can’t possibly work that into my asking price! —Even if I split the difference, and added $35 to my asking price with “free shipping”, that’s REALLY dishonest to customers who are closer to me.. and there’s potential that my profit is gone if it sells to a customer in California. NOT COOL, ETSY!

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SpokenWoodDesign
Community Member

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

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Did you know that the Etsy designation of "US" includes US territories? We recently had a sale to the US Virgin Ilands and the shipping cost was three times what it normally is. Puerto Rico is a problem too. Not sure about Pacific Island Territories. Something to consider...

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PoshandSeductive
Community Member

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

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Does Etsy still consider itself GLOBAL MARKETPLACE or it's going TRIBAL? If it's first, than YOU should take into consideration INTERNATIONAL (not the USA) sellers OPINION and P&P fees which outside the USA seller pays to send their art and craft to the USA, which is considerably more expensive than P&P fees within the USA.

Etsy should also take into consideration EQUALITY of all sellers no matter where they are based GEOGRAFICALLY as we all pay EQUAL ETSY fees and often more due to CONVERSION LOCAL CURRENCY into USA DOLLARS. If there is a preferential treatment to the USA sellers, I would consider it as a DESCRIMINATION towards non-USA based sellers. I have noticed TREND has changed recently in my selling GEOGRAPHY since WORLD MAP feature has been taken off ETSY. As previously my sales were more the USA orientated, now they are more within EUROPE, which maks me think there is a certain change how my listing are being seen around the GLOBE already: I recon they have alredy lost their priority in SEARCHES among the USA buyers. I visually can't track now by using WORLD MAP feature if I am being seen in the USA as much as I've had been seen before...

FREE SHIPPING "OPTION" seems like not the OPTION anymore as there is a consequence stated by ETSY that priority of being seen in a SEARCH is going to be affected !!!

Etsy should understand that offering FREE SHIPPING shouldn't be a ONE DIMENTIONAL THING!!! They should introduce GRADES based on WEIGHT and DIMENTION of the item, not just a PURE VALUE of the purchace. Lightweight DREAMCATCHER could cost 50 pounds and could be fit into lightweight flat box (small dimentions in cm also) with total weight of 0.5 kg with P&P fee of 5 BRITISH POUNDS. Diamond ring with value of 300 pounds or more will take even less space and weight and will cost next to nothing to post internationally.

Now take into consideration my handmade fragile vintage china three tier cake stand, with the weight of 3 kg before packaging and with the same value as lightweight  dreamcatcher of 50-60-70 pounds in price, which occures P&P price of 25 British pounds.

So ONCE MORE, ETSY should take into consideration and work on it, not only the value of the GOOD's order, but factors as WEIGHT, VOLUME which add to the P&P cost. From very begining of my shop in MY SHOP's POLICIES I've stated that P&P cost isn't part of MY INCOME, but it is MY EXPENCE, which I simply can't absorb and that was even before ETSY startet charging 5% on P&P fees and I needed to put these 5% on top of actual P&P fees since I've started getting billed for that.

I sincerely hope these remarks could be taken into considerations.

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CeramicsbyAngie
Registered Member

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

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Is there some sort of work around to remove this built in shipping when selling items in person? If I am at a craft show, I will have to constantly create discounts on square to get my cost down to the "in-person" price. This will also show on my customer's reciept. I will at some point get questions as to why one person got xxx discount and another got xxx discount, if they are shopping together. Also, for others that will probably have to do this as well, what do you do if a customer goes onto your website, after they see you in person, and note that your prices are $5-$20 higher online-- this opens me up to losing repeat customers, so any suggestions would be helpful. The only option that I can think of is listing on my shop information that shipping fees are built into the cost, but then I can see that being a turn off for customers reading that. I already lost money when etsy started to charge their fee on shipping costs, not just the purchase price, and now I am being charged a listing fee if I sell an item through square, regardless if I listed it on the website or not, and I'm possibly losing advertising as well as having to put in another few hours on the backend to do my books and adjust all my prices, because I can't compete with others that can easily make this change, so I'm open to suggestions. 

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