Etsy are unashamedly continuing their war on high shipping prices and have now told sellers that if their carriage cost are high that they’ll be dumped in search results in favour of items with more reasonable shipping costs.
This is the second announcement in the Etsy war on shipping – in July this year they started to charge fees on the cost of shipping as well as on the item price. This means that there’s no incentive to have high shipping prices as a profit centre, by moving some of the item cost into shipping, as you’ll pay the same fees regardless. It also removes an obstacle to offering free shipping as again there’ll be no difference in fees.
“Our buyer research continues to show us that high shipping costs or long processing times may stop buyers from completing their purchase and keep them from coming back to Etsy. Etsy Search factors shipping prices into search ranking to make it easier for shoppers to find listings with competitive shipping prices. Lowering your shipping prices makes your items more likely to rank higher in search.”
– Etsy announcement
Sellers who sell on eBay will already be familiar with the disadvantages of high shipping costs and the impact a marketplace can inflict if they judge you to be gouging on shipping. However it’s equally true that some products, especially heavy or oversized, can cost a relatively high amount to ship. Sometimes the only way to gain a high placement in search results is to move some or all of the shipping costs into the item price and that’s a tactic that Etsy sellers are going to have to adopt.
To help sell the search algorithm changes to their sellers, Etsy have put together a help page on shipping costs with suggestion as to how to manage their costs and still gain search visibility.