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ETSY - Shipping


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This is NOT to Bash Etsy, or complain.


So before I quickly jumped on free shipping bandwagon, I wanted to wait and see.  So that is what I did.  With certain searches my items would be 40%-50% of all the listings on the 1st fold.  A few days into it my listing were generally non-existent.  So it was time to adjust. So I raised all my prices $1-$3 decreased my flat rate shipping by a $1 and offered free shipping over $35 as they suggest.


It changed my search results back to what they were and orders started coming in again.


Most orders on my Etsy site are for 1 candle.  Well below the $35 threshold.  But in the last few days I have had 2 orders for 3 candles which qualify for free shipping.  Not sure if that trend will continue.  It is welcomed.


I appreciate ETSY is geared toward people that just want to sell stuff online.  I wish some of its reporting would better within the site.  I would love to EASILY know what my average sale is, along with average items per purchase is.  And a better way to distinguish between "Sales" and "Orders".  They use those 2 terms so interchangeably it drives me crazy. 


In the end ETSY did this to EVERYONE and did not just select certain people or groups.  It is a level playing field.  It will force people to rethink their pricing strategies.  It will make people dive back into ETSY settings and shipping settings to think about them.   ETSY could of done a better job helping train the seller base with shipping options and strategies. 


I am in NO position to bash or complain about ETSY, I make a lot of sales there.  I will also say that I do not have all my eggs in one basket.  I do not solely rely on Etsy. 



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Ebay’s Commission rate on candles was like 11% last i sold there.  Nuh uh. No thanks. 


As for rethinking the pricing models, makes sense. It follows popular in-person pricing strategy.  Make it more comfortable to buy multiples... it’s an interesting way to increase $ per transaction and make better use of time. Savvy people will still do some mental math to see if it’s a deal or not 🤣. Amazon has people so accustomed to free priority shipping it makes pricing a new challenge. 


Sales and orders, IMO are Different. Someone wants 5 individually listed candles  = 5 sales (each with a $.20 listing fee) on one customer order. If someone buys a single listing for 5 candles, that is one sale with one $.20 listing fee. 


The order is then used to collect/organize the sales and calculate the series of seller fees beyond the $.20. 

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If Etsy had started out with the free shipping model, it would have been a lot easier for us established sellers -- easier than switching gears this late in the game.  I'm not bashing either, just stating facts:  in order for me to change my model to the free shipping gig and maintain a fair and reasonable profit, I'd have to hike my prices more than 45%.  That's going to alienate a lot of my regular customers.  (I already raised my candle prices a bit when Etsy recently hiked its fees.)  Etsy is forcing those of us who are established to basically choose between our current customer base and potential new customers.  Again, not bashing - stating facts calmly.  Not ranting here.


The other difficulty with this situation is consistent pricing among multiple sales platforms.  With my local customer base here in the Midwest, I'm not able to command top end prices.  In my off season (I don't do local shows and markets January-March), my regulars often order from my Etsy site.  Pretty reasonable to assume they'd be shocked at the price difference if suddenly they had to pay 50% more in the winter months.  Changing my business cards and labels to direct them to a new platform is do-able, but time consuming and costly.  And those old labels and business cards are already in a lot of hands since I've been selling for many years.


Thankfully, not all my Etsy site traffic comes from internal Etsy searches.  The bulk of my hits come directly and from sources outside Etsy.


When I started selling on the net years ago, I got a lot of international orders as well as domestic.  Then as shipping rates skyrocketed, I lost international sales.  With continued shipping increases,  I eventually lost a lot of orders from the west coast and east coast, where the bulk of the U.S. population lives.  Now the majority of my online orders are from the Midwest since shipping is much more reasonable to nearby states.


Business climates change.  I rode the internet wave for a time, and it was a great ride.  Time for a new business model.  Local sales have increased, so that's where I'll focus my attention.




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@Crafty1_AJI see both sides of it.  Yes Charging for shipping may have made it overall cheaper, but most consumers online just click on buy.  It is really amazing actually.  For some of my products on Etsy the 2nd image use to be a coupon code.  Well (I am guessing) half if not more would never use the code.  I assume cause they didn't look further than the Main image.  Use to amaze me.


Fortunately for me I really only advertise my own domain.  When I 1st started I pushed my etsy site but with the recent rate hikes I decide to do my own domain and start pushing that (about 1 year ago).  My prices on my Amazon and Etsy site are 10-20% higher than on my website.  PLUS I do offer discounts on my website. I have 1 link for Amazon and Etsy on my site just in case someone has a gift card or likes Etsy or Amazon better for their purchasing.


I was crunching some numbers and came up with these stats


My sales stats from 11/1/2018 - 7/1/2018


Amazon # of Sales %    23.40%
Amazon Gross Sales %    19.61%


Etsy # of Sales %    59.29% (Forget is this is sales or orders now  LOL)
Etsy Gross Sales %    57.69%


Own Domain # of Sales %    17.31%
Own Domain Gross Sales %    22.71%


My domain is steadily increasing.  Looking forward to comparing last xmas season to this year.  But as you can see ETSY is still over half of my online sales.


You have to re-invent yourself once in awhile.  I did it last year and will see how long before I have to again.  Maybe ETSY is on to something and before I know it I will switch my model on my website.  

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