Etsy to ‘give priority to items that guarantee free shipping to US buyers’

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Starting on July 30, 2019, we’ll give priority placement in US search results to items that ship free and to shops that guarantee free shipping to US buyers on orders of $35 or more,” said today Josh Silverman in a letter to Etsy sellers.

Etsy chief executive officer, Josh Silverman today announced the introduction of a new tool to “simplify” the process of offering shoppers free shipping in the US. Josh said the tool will be available next week for US sellers exclusively.

The move will see items with free shipping above $35 or more displayed in the top search results on Etsy. Josh said that Etsy will also begin to “prioritise these items wherever Etsy advertises in the US—in email marketing, social media, and television ads.”

Etsy will also introduce to bulk edit listings tool for storefronts with items priced at $35 or more. This will allow sellers to adjust their item prices to recover their shipping costs. The tool will become available to US sellers in the next week and all other sellers in August.

Josh said there won’t be any change to how free shipping affects search placement when buyers outside the US search on Etsy. Etsy sellers can refer to this video to understand more about the change.

4 Responses

  1. Oh dear Josh Silverman you need to re-read Theodore Levitt’s work on globalisation; think global, act local and Kenichi Ohmae’s works on the same.
    May I suggest that you are taking a particularly narrow view by thinking and acting geocentrically (thinking and acting locally) whilst trying to globalise your buyer and seller base.
    A business is only sustainable when it’s relevant.

  2. Hmm, my business is 50-50 US/UK so which one do I drop? Easy, why have a vast monthly bill from Royal Mail for International Tracked and Signed!

    There is NO way I can incorporate free shipping to the US when they are saying it will be automatic on orders over $35. They need to make this a more realistic figure i.e. $100. I already offer 10% discount on orders of £50+ and I currently offer free UK shipping.

    They need to set up a global shipping centre like eBay to solve this.

  3. Oh dear. Etsy seem determined to make the mistake of becoming eBay. I have read elsewhere that Etsy are going to guarantee returns (on customised/personalised items?). And today I read they have swallowed up Reverb, a growing marketplace for musicians to trade musical instruments. So it looks like two platforms will be heading the same way as eBay. What a shame.

  4. Offering shipping that isn’t free, though it claims to be, is purely unethical. The consumer will suffer, the sellers will suffer and, eventually, Etsy will suffer. Consumers will now be paying sales tax (or vat tax as applicable) on postage, since the shipping was supposed to be free. They’ll also pay more for multiple-item purchases if the cost of shipping is included in each ordered item’s price. For example..if an item is $35.00 and costs $3.50 to ship, the new price, according to Etsy should be $38.50. As it stands now an additional item at $35.00 would add a minimal amount of postage to the shipping charge, perhaps at most $1.00. So total currently the total would be $70.00 (2 items) plus $4.50 postage…a total of 74.50. Under Etsy’s new mandate (and it IS a mandate) the cost to ship these two items would be 38.50 x 2 = $77.00….so more than it would cost without shipping included. And this is for small, lightweight items. The larger the package, the more expensive the postage therefore the greater the difference in postage costs now included in the price of each item. I also think it’s bad business to relegate the “non-free-shippers” to search limbo…we all pay the same fees, but because we’re choosing to buck the system and run our shops (and they are OUR shops) as we see fit, we’re supposed to sit in a corner for a time-out like the unruly children we are.

    It’s interesting to note that Etsy is distancing itself from actually outright demanding their “not-free” free shipping, leaving it up to individual shop owners to decide. Let’s see, the choices are: 1) add the cost of shipping into the price of my product, thereby deceiving and defrauding my customers into thinking shipping is free or; 2) disappear from search and lose my business or; 3) absorb the cost of shipping and file for bankruptcy. Wow! What options. Thanks, Etsy.


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