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!

PamelaCurran
Community Member

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

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That's my fear - that Etsy is getting us all ready to offer "Free 2-day shipping". They are trying to be another Amazon, but not taking into account that Amazon has shipping wherehouses situated all over the country where sellers can send some of their items in bulk for Amazon to ship to the customer. Etsy is putting all this on us......and Etsy had a great niche that no one else filled, unique hand crafted items - it made the company one-of-a-kind. Now it will all be mass produced from over seas - just like ebay, just like Amazon.

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JordynAlisonDesigns
Community Member

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

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Technically no, it won't be - 10 vinyl stickers will probably be 8oz or less packaged. But I wonder if calculated shipping is off. I'll go see if I can change it and see if that allows for first class. 

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JordynAlisonDesigns
Community Member

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

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On Shopify you can distinguish between the weight of the product and the package itself, something Etsy doesn't do. So I always had the weight of the package included in the calculated weight, but when I lowered it just now to test, it will allow for free shipping first class with a paid upgrade for priority mail. 

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DragonForgedStudios
Community Member

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

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@JordynAlisonDesignsMy experience shows that calculated shipping is hardly that at all... It works by zones and distance but hardly at all on combining...

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HeartedByUs
Registered Member

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

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Find Etsy's new strategy both immoral and illegal (certainly in the EU) -  Totally impractical way to encourag Etsy growth.  I think Etsy will lose a lot of quality sellers and this will dent their pockets and for what .. supposed 20% of people looking for free shipping.  Well good luck with that one Etsy! 

As a buyer as well as a seller much prefer transparent prices where I can see the breakdown on costs - inflated free shipping prices would certainly deter me from buying!

I sell greeting cards and you seriously are asking me to bump up my prices by 40% to my UK customers to satisfy 20% of this freeshipping brigade.  I have a very loyal US customer base but fear I will now have to lose them and turn of US shipping meaning a loss of almost 40% of my takings of which Etsy will also now also make a loss on ..win win ...NOT!

Disgruntled, offended and dismayed in this whole debacle!

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DragonForgedStudios
Community Member

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

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Yet to see anything other than a cut and paste answer, but I'll put this out there AGAIN in my own words.

Our shop - Most of our items weigh more than a pound. So shipping is 9-15$ (or more) on items that already cost over 50$

So we cannot offer free shipping over 35$, and most people won't be buying 2 of the item...

Calculated shipping is borked anyway - there is no "combining of shipping" when a user does buy 2 items, especially if they are different shipping profiles but even when they are in the same profile - the software does not do the math right... and it's criminal IMHO to lie to the customer and say something is free when rather it's embedded/included...

So - I use promoted listings.  I know how the bidding works, etc.  I think however that while this is fair and legal, I'm not sure that prioritizing based on 'free shipping' would be considered a fair access... but that's another rabbit hole...

Can we see the algorhtym or an explanation of it so that we understand how things are weighted?  I do plan to download my stats at the end of this month, then compare at the end of next month...

Sorry for the rambling but this is a royal cluster #$#$ of an idea - and Josh needs to get his head out of his arse and stop trying to turn Etsy into Ebay - the online shop for chinese dropshippers...

 

 

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CraftedbyOitenta
Community Member

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

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I´ve been thinking about this since yesterday.. it has a simple solution.. in fact as simple as many ecommerce templates, CMS, etc has it by default.. my own website works like that and it´s a simple wordpress + woocommerce online shop. I explain:

You can set different shipping costs per country or region (shipping profiles as in Etsy), when I visitor comes to visit your site, cookies geo-localizate them and therefore the site automatically show the price with the shipping cost included to the viewer´s country.. no surprised during checkout process and, more importantly no extra cost for domestic customers or revenue loss for far shipped items.. very easy to implement..

and a much more fair message "shipping included"...

 

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PrintBlockStamps
Community Member

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

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Josh's logic that the May promotion showed positive results is flawed.  Etsy was footing the shipping bill during that May trial.  Sellers didn't have to do anything to participate. They hadn't raised their prices yet. Old prices and free shipping--of course it seemed like a good deal.  Comparing Etsy paying shipping with sellers inflating their prices is not a fair comparion.  Seems like Etsy was going to push the free shipping through no matter what.  Anyway, Etsy claimed they already were prioritizing those who offered free shipping. It's been going on for a long time


@DragonForgedStudios wrote:

Yet to see anything other than a cut and paste answer, but I'll put this out there AGAIN in my own words.

Our shop - Most of our items weigh more than a pound. So shipping is 9-15$ (or more) on items that already cost over 50$

So we cannot offer free shipping over 35$, and most people won't be buying 2 of the item...

Calculated shipping is borked anyway - there is no "combining of shipping" when a user does buy 2 items, especially if they are different shipping profiles but even when they are in the same profile - the software does not do the math right... and it's criminal IMHO to lie to the customer and say something is free when rather it's embedded/included...

So - I use promoted listings.  I know how the bidding works, etc.  I think however that while this is fair and legal, I'm not sure that prioritizing based on 'free shipping' would be considered a fair access... but that's another rabbit hole...

Can we see the algorhtym or an explanation of it so that we understand how things are weighted?  I do plan to download my stats at the end of this month, then compare at the end of next month...

Sorry for the rambling but this is a royal cluster #$#$ of an idea - and Josh needs to get his head out of his arse and stop trying to turn Etsy into Ebay - the online shop for chinese dropshippers...

 

 



.  So are they going to prioritize everybody now?  Something doesn't add up here.

 

 

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MinxouriVintage
Community Member

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

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@CraftedbyOitenta 

Theyre already tried calculated shipping included and it tanked sales.  The test was so bad, they quit if in 2 days.  

Also it would be quite obvious what was happening and def illegal to claim the shipping as free to buyers or  investors.  

1 Like
EliteLC
Registered Member

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

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So, I'm still not sold on all this, but I know one thing for sure: Even if we agree to change to free shipping by item or the free shipping guarantee, each shop owner is going to have to invest a lot of time to properly adapt to this new policy and make changes to every listing they have in order to stay competitive (even if there is a tool to mass edit, you still have to evaluate each item).

How about Etsy offers sellers an incentive to help compensate us for all the time and energy this will take?  I was thinking you could waive all Etsy fees for 30 days for shops that implement the new shipping plan.  That seems pretty fair to me.  We give a lot, and Etsy helps us out for awhile to make all the extra work help our bottom line.

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EliteLC
Registered Member

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

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Plus it would show us that Etsy really believes this will increase the customer base platform wide and is worth the investment for all of us; instead of appearing like you are just tinkering and trying something new at the expense of your sellers' time and energy.  In other words, "Put your money where your mouth is" as they say.

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Buntique
Community Member

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

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Etsy over the years has had many changes that required an intense amount of time by sellers to adapt to what they changed. To my knowledge, sellers have never been compensated or even had it acknowledged how much Etsy has cost us in productivity and profit when we lose significant amounts of time having to change things. It is egregious since they plan when and how they do things but launch huge changes on sellers with little or no warning taking away our ability to have any real long range plans ourselves that we can trust here. 

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EvelynRoseBooks
Community Member

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

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Hi,

I know this is already being asked but I feel I have to add my voice in a chance to be heard. I am a UK seller and I have read your "Ultimate Guide to Delivery" which although generally helpful does not help international sellers with our issues. The guide and your responses to questions above say that we need to decide which country to focus on based on past sales - mine is 60/40 UK/US so you are advising that either I lose 40% of my existing business base (surely this is good for no one!) or 'take an average' which means overcharging my UK customers by 33% and pricing myself out of the UK market. This is dreadful customer service for my domestic customers and not something I can do

If ETSY want Free Shipping to work successfully for sellers (YOUR customer) we need to make the purchaser (OUR customers and YOUR customer) happy and price fairly. In order to do this can you please consider:

1 - Allowing different pricing by country

2 - Allowing country specific sales (not a perfect solution but would mean I can give my UK customers a % off so they are not overpaying and I can recover full costs from US customers)

or

3 – Provide another solution

We need tools to manage this and your recommendations in the Guide are not the solution to a difficult problem that your international sellers need you to help them with. The concern I see in Forums off ETSY is that international sellers feel we have been completely ignored in this new policy. the more responses I see to this forum post from you, the more i lean towards agreeing with them. Your change in search criteria has implications which are at odds with what you said in your End 2018 Statement to Investors (your shareholders) which stated that you were looking to grow in the 6 key geographies of US, UK, Canada, France, Germany and Australia. Within the non-US geographies, we already feel under represented and supported by ETSY and this reinforces that feeling. I love Etsy and the business you have helped me build as a result but I am very concerned that I am not valued as your customer and instead I need to rely on other means to secure my business.

So my questions are:

1 -Are you going to help provide solutions to international sellers (not the recommendations in your guide as average pricing or domestic only is not the answer)?

2 - If so, when will we get these?

3 -What are you going to do to reinforce to international sellers that you value us as your customers and are helping us to build our businesses?

I am happy to offer free shipping (I already do to UK customers) but on a fair basis to all customers and which makes financial business sense to my business.

Thankyou

 

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Whispart
Community Member

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

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Absolutely! We cannot charge the rest of the world with double shipping to give the US customers free shipping! That's insane and discriminative if we have to be honest!

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TheUrbanEditions
Community Member

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

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Hear hear! I am in exactly the same position with large heavy items that cost £50-£90 to ship to the UK and anywhere from £290-480 to ship to the US depending on the size.

Thanks to some Excel spreadsheet gymnastics I am able to absorb some of the cost, average out the UK delivery costs, deduct the VAT that I don't need to charge to non-EU customers and manage to only charge £70-£190 to ship to the US, while offering "free" shipping to UK customers. Then I juggle in the various sizes that are listed together and average those (because I can't specify different shipping costs for each size- grr) then manually update 40 listings with shipping to 35 different countries , and curse Etsy for not giving me the functionality to upload a simple shipping cost spreadsheet. This takes days, and I have to do it every time a shipping company changes their shipping prices, which is often.

My customer base is around 40% UK, 40% US and 30% elsewhere. However this fluctuates wildly, with some months seeing 90% of high value sales going to the US, and other months none. If I average it out (i've done the sums in an effort to see if I can make this work) then some months I would have made a net LOSS of over £1000 on projected average shipping cost. I simply cannot absorb that kind of fluctuation even if it averages out in the long run, let alone risk alienating the 40% of customers who are in the UK by hiking prices by another 10-20% to mitigate the risk.  It's hard enough to get found in listings when your products aren't the cheapest to begin with! 

I totally agree with EvelynRoseBooks's three suggestions and it's exactly what I was going to write but she said it so well: 

1 - Allowing different pricing by country

2 - Allowing country specific sales (not a perfect solution but would mean I can give my UK customers a % off so they are not overpaying and I can recover full costs from US customers)

or

3 – Provide another solution -

This other solution could be as simple as dislaying a total price to customers, which is calculated as a combination of the item price and the country specific shipping cost. That would have been a much simpler proposition, probably more palatable, easier to implement, require less input and pricing re-work from Etsy's customers (yes indeed- the SELLERS!), and would have met the target of selling more to the 20% of US shoppers who are duped by the "free" shipping sales trick.

Until we have a proposal for some realistic functionality that recognises that sellers simply can't offer one fixed price to ship to wherever in the world then this entire plan is going to put many non-US sellers in a quandry where nobody except the Etsy shareholders wins. 

Q: I would like very much to know what functionality (such as the suggestions above) is also being proposed to avoid international sellers being penalised, or whether there is no proposal at this time so that we can consider our options and decide which of our customers we're prepared to prioritise when we're pricing our products. 

Thank you

 

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gzlastudio
Registered Member

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

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In order to recieve the priority placement is it better to run a coupon code for free domestic shipping on orders over $35 or manually edit any items over $35 to have free shipping? Also, it has been stated that you can easily bulk edit items for free shipping, how would I go about that? 

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JewelryByLiani
Registered Member

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

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What are the buyers going to think when we all up our prices to cover free shipping?  there are alot of followers and others with stuff in carts that know the prices... they will call foul!  when theysee Etsy in general coming out with all this free shipping, but elevated prices everywhere... what will they think?? how will sales go up??

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TheYarnOwlsNest
Community Member

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

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Have read lots of posts and answers from yesterday and just wondering if I have this correct.  As a UK seller would this method work for me...

Duplicate listings some with "free" USA shipping and the price inflated to cover it, these would then show up high in USA based searches.  My original listings with my usual shipping and a lower price to show up better in UK and EU searches?  Therefore avoiding the minimum $35 option but getting my items seen well in USA and EU based searches?

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TheYarnOwlsNest
Community Member

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

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Im not happy with the dishonest way I will need to price and prefer to have some transparency as an Etsy shopper myself as well as a seller but if the decision is basically made I am trying to find a way to stay viable with these changes coming in

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SpareOomVintage
Community Member

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

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From what I understand, every item in your shop has to offer free shipping, so I don't think this would work. 

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foppesacreoriginals
Registered Member

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

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I've been thinking about these new changes a lot since yesterday, I have reacted already sharing my discomfort about the free shipping monster. I'm really disapointed in Etsy. I've always felt at home here and have my shop for 10 years now, I'm not a big seller but I was happy with this spot to offer my art to the world. I've swollowed the recent changes when fees were raised, I guess everyone needs to make money and Etsy helps us with a lot of administrative stuff, I had to raise my prices due to that though.

I don't believe in this free shipping thing, I don't think my clients care but if Etsy wants to push through, okay, but punishing people who don't offer the free shipping option by not showing them in searches is not going down well with me. :-(

 

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SeekingEmber
Community Member

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

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I love your stuff, you're very talented! Have you tried anywhere local?

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arrowsarah
Community Member

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

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I have a very important question. If we decide to turn on this free shipping guarantee, with the tools you provide, to test out for a bit, can we turn it OFF if it is not working for us?

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CreativeDesignsbyAmi
Community Member

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

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Yes, you can turn it off.  Just go to your shipping settings and there is a button to turn it off.

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Highlighted

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

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@arrowsarah wrote:

I have a very important question. If we decide to turn on this free shipping guarantee, with the tools you provide, to test out for a bit, can we turn it OFF if it is not working for us?


Hi there! Thanks for your question. Yes, you can turn off the free shipping guarantee for your shop at any time by going to Shop Manager > Settings > Shipping Settings.

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