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You're Killing Me Etsy!


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Can we rant together about Etsy for a sec? 

 

We all calculate our costs to come up with a reasonable price to actually make some money on what we sell. Then Etsy changes rules and makes things even harder to come out with money in OUR hands at the end of a transaction. Three things are working against us right now:

 

1) The forced ad fees. Many of us were not allowed to "Opt out", and were given a 12% ad rate for our forced compliance.

 

2) Strong arming free shipping at $35. If you do not comply you're not going to come up in the searches anywhere near the top.

 

3) Postal increases. Not Etsy's fault, but sure does hamper our profits (see #2)

 

Many of us have used their price increase tool to raise prices to cover the "free shipping", and must now manually do all of that all over again to cover these new costs.

 

A "Congratulations! You've made X# of sales from offsite ads!" I looked into them and became really angry. They took 12% of the sale including shipping (which is often paid by me since the item is >$35, then their usual 5% transaction fee (again including all paid monies by the buyer), payment processing fees (3% plus $.25). The fees add to 20% and change. 

 

Example: Let's say for easy math the order total is $50 of a single item. the order qualifies for "free shipping". It is often priority given the weight or dimensions, so $8.50-$13 depending on US location for this order. I'll average it out to $10 for easy math.

Sale price: $50

Listing Fee (0.20 per item)

Transaction Fee ($50 x  = 2.50)

Offsite Ad fee: (12% x $50 = $6)

Financial Processing Fee ($50 x 0.03 + $0.25 = $1.75)

Shipping out of my pocket = ($10)

 

50-.2-2.5-6-1.75-10  = $29.55. 

THEN deduct cost of goods sold.  Let's say I used the old cost x 4 method (I hate this one by the way). That would be $12.50

29.55-12.50 = $17.50 theoretical profit on a $50 order. That is nuts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

income taxes, etc and where does that leave you?

 

 

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The free shipping thing is interesting.  I just turned it on.  Now Etsy is trying to get me to raise my prices.  I don't quite understand the point of this?  I guess it gets people to buy more stuff, which is money in Etsy's pocket.  I'm using Etsy to generate business and hopefully get them to my website, so maybe having my Etsy prices $1-2 higher than my website makes sense.

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Once you do all the math the need to raise prices is kinda clear in my case. I hate working all day for free. 
 

of your prices are already high enough to absorb the shipping you might be ok. 
 

this is another lead in to two important discussions:

1) accurately costing your products

 

and 2) Pricing 

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One thing I noticed in my Etsy shop is people will find the cheapest thing to hit $35 when it is close,so you might be  giving away a free product and shipping if you think about it.  
 

I played this game with voluspa and milkhouse candles.  basically it seems they both price combos of 3 candles to hit free shipping $ 50. The individual candle prices make sense in this case and are not as expensive as they first seem. 

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12 hours ago, TallTayl said:

Once you do all the math the need to raise prices is kinda clear in my case. I hate working all day for free. 
 

of your prices are already high enough to absorb the shipping you might be ok. 
 

this is another lead in to two important discussions:

1) accurately costing your products

 

and 2) Pricing 

 

Right.  I set my website prices at the level I thought was appropriate once those fees were taken out, and I have flat rate shipping on everything.  Etsy, on the other hand, has many additional fees, plus the free shipping, so, as you said, the need to raise prices is clear.  Plus, again, I do think the price difference between Etsy and the shop's own website may help drive people to buy from the website directly, which is a win for both the shop owner and the customer.  

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15 minutes ago, Paintguru said:

 

Right.  I set my website prices at the level I thought was appropriate once those fees were taken out, and I have flat rate shipping on everything.  Etsy, on the other hand, has many additional fees, plus the free shipping, so, as you said, the need to raise prices is clear.  Plus, again, I do think the price difference between Etsy and the shop's own website may help drive people to buy from the website directly, which is a win for both the shop owner and the customer.  

I had thought that too, but Etsy people like the protection of the Etsy platform and seem willing to pay the price penalty for it. 

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Etsy is interesting.  last year when the started the $35 or more free shipping I delayed enabling it.  I went from the top of the searches to the bottom.   So I enabled it.  Then came the social media craze for me when my sales sky rocketed, I disabled free shipping around then.  Since then I still charge $7 flat rate shipping and haven't left the top spots.  The big sellers def get perks which makes it hard for the new sellers to get involved.  I put my time in with low sales.  I got super lucky and just try to keep riding the wave now.

 

On Amazon I charge $8 flat rate shipping,   Etsy $7, my website $6 and during the slower months orders over $50 get free shipping on my site.  Just a little way I can try to balance out the cost differences.

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9 hours ago, MilosCandles said:

Etsy is interesting.  last year when the started the $35 or more free shipping I delayed enabling it.  I went from the top of the searches to the bottom.   So I enabled it.  Then came the social media craze for me when my sales sky rocketed, I disabled free shipping around then.  Since then I still charge $7 flat rate shipping and haven't left the top spots.  The big sellers def get perks which makes it hard for the new sellers to get involved.  I put my time in with low sales.  I got super lucky and just try to keep riding the wave now.

 

On Amazon I charge $8 flat rate shipping,   Etsy $7, my website $6 and during the slower months orders over $50 get free shipping on my site.  Just a little way I can try to balance out the cost differences.

That is a smart way to do things. 
 

doing your time... another wise perspective. I have definitely done that!  And when you have seasonally searched for items, the $35 free shipping is a hinderance more than an advantage.  It is a pricing game that we have spent far too long trying to price around, which I think is not great for a small niche, boutique business. 
 

have you enticed Etsy people to your own site? 

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19 minutes ago, pcbrook said:

Wow!  I don't have any listings on Etsy right now but I was thinking about getting back into it.  Now I'm not so sure!

There's a LOT of potential for income there that makes it worthwhile to work on. 

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On 11/18/2020 at 3:12 PM, TallTayl said:

Can we rant together about Etsy for a sec?

 

Yes, I totally agree with you. That Sucks Big Ones! LOL. All the forced stuff and control Etsy is wielding nowadays is really nasty (like some other big tech companies) and makes me think of socialism/communism which I hate. The shop owners do all the work and Etsy collects most of the money. I don't like it at all. Seems like Etsy use to be for the artist/crafter/shop owner but not anymore, they are for themselves and you must bend over and like it or leave.

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Here is where I have truly benefited from Etsy.   - https://www.etsy.com/affiliates

 

Everyone that "Advertise" or writes and article about my candles are Affiliates.  So they make a percentage of all the sales they drive to Etsy.  I do not pay anything extra for these sales.  Not the 12% ad fee, nothing extra.  THIS IS HUGE for me.

 

In the last 30 days 60% of my traffic to my etsy shop is from Affiliates.    THANK YOU ETSY.

 

 

piechart.PNG.9697d63dc306cefaf85862c152e35a9d.PNG

 

 

 

So because I make them money, they keep reposting the articles, I keep getting sales this way. (never look a gift horse in the mouth)

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6 hours ago, MilosCandles said:

Here is where I have truly benefited from Etsy.   - https://www.etsy.com/affiliates

 

Everyone that "Advertise" or writes and article about my candles are Affiliates.  So they make a percentage of all the sales they drive to Etsy.  I do not pay anything extra for these sales.  Not the 12% ad fee, nothing extra.  THIS IS HUGE for me.

 

In the last 30 days 60% of my traffic to my etsy shop is from Affiliates.    THANK YOU ETSY.

 

 

piechart.PNG.9697d63dc306cefaf85862c152e35a9d.PNG

 

 

 

So because I make them money, they keep reposting the articles, I keep getting sales this way. (never look a gift horse in the mouth)

How do you spread the word that you are enrolled in the affiliate program?

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10 hours ago, TallTayl said:

How do you spread the word that you are enrolled in the affiliate program?

 

I did not know about the affiliate program until I started getting traffic.  Etsy affiliate program page is awful vague, and I am sure they are pretty strict who they allow in.  Sometime I just see people writing an article and linking to my Esty page with out being an affiliate.

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Is there an easy way to see all the fees Etsy is taking on each sale?  I had two sales and on both Etsy appears to have taken out more than it shows in my transaction history (looks like by $1 each time).  I must be missing a fee somewhere.  Perhaps my first monthly statement will be clearer?  One would think they'd make these fees clear as one sells products, but who knows.  

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I have sold on Etsy since March of this year. I also use Square for POS at shows or for folks who order directly from me and want to pay via card. I disconnected Etsy from Square after I did an online show that I couldn't even connect to my Etsy site and used Square to send invoices. Etsy charged me a listing fee for every item I sold, including items I've never even listed there. 😡 

 

So recently, I finally got around to putting all of my expenses and income into Quickbooks Self-employed. I was shocked at how much Etsy is taking from each sale! Good to know about the affiliate program, but I'm thinking of setting up shop on Shopify or another platform. For those of you who have a website, what do you use? 

 

After looking at my income and expenses, I am very discouraged overall. I know this wasn't the best year to start any kind of business. I didn't get to do an in-person show until the end of October so I was selling to people I know. I also had to invest in a lot of equipment and supplies that I still have in stock and of course make sure I had the very best fragrances by ordering some from just about everywhere. Still, I'm thinking I'll have to at least increase my prices or else I'm really doing this for free. I hope this gets better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was thinking of selling my melts on Etsy but after reading all of this I don't see a profit at all and if I don't have $25 or more I don't get paid.

There has got to be a better place to sell for us little melt sellers.  I do ell on Ebay and like that I get paid what ever it is right away but it is very slow right now even with Christmas.

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14 minutes ago, karinz40 said:

I was thinking of selling my melts on Etsy but after reading all of this I don't see a profit at all and if I don't have $25 or more I don't get paid.

There has got to be a better place to sell for us little melt sellers.  I do ell on Ebay and like that I get paid what ever it is right away but it is very slow right now even with Christmas.

Etsy can be really profitable if you strategically brand and market. This last 30 days has been unbelievably busy for my shop. As listings sold out people went to my business site and kept on buying.
 

I think Etsy gives a bit of legitimacy To new small business sites, and great exposure to customers we would not otherwise reach. 

 

etsy also gives great insight into what is moving and what key words, photo styles and descriptions hit the mark. The initial investment is pretty small, I would give it a go. 
 

I did turn off the free shipping at $35 gimmick. It cost too much real profit to pay out for for zero return on my shop. Also raised my prices on things that cost too much time and annoyance to make. If I get irritated making something I raise the price until it annoys me less 😂

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Smart !!  I may give it a try but the  payout is what bothers me.  If I sell something for $15.00  with shipping at $3.50 I do not get paid until I have at lease $25.00 in my account ater all feesif I understant it correctly. I was looking around today to see how it works.  So it could be a few days or weeks between sales before you actually get paid.

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36 minutes ago, karinz40 said:

Smart !!  I may give it a try but the  payout is what bothers me.  If I sell something for $15.00  with shipping at $3.50 I do not get paid until I have at lease $25.00 in my account ater all feesif I understant it correctly. I was looking around today to see how it works.  So it could be a few days or weeks between sales before you actually get paid.

It does take a while to build things, yes. If you drive your customers to Etsy to get the ball rolling it can speed things up a bit. 

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Don’t even get me started with Etsy. I don’t have a shop for candles (candles are for fun for me) but I do have had a shop for about 5-6 years. Each year they “implemented” new tools, I’ve lost sales. To the point where my views have continued to plummet and I’ve had no sales this year. All of the hidden fees are so incredibly frustrating. Thank god it’s not my day job!

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