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Heads up: changes are coming for Etsy sellers this month. In a recent announcement, Etsy is going to start favoring listings that offer free shipping on orders over $35. I’ve broken down the announcement into what you really need to know.
What You Need to Know: Etsy Wants You to Offer Free Shipping
- These policies take effect July 30th, 2019.
- Products that ship free and shops that guarantee free shipping to buyers in the US on orders $35 and above will get priority placement in US search results. This is extremely important for sellers. This means that Etsy is adjusting their search algorithm to favor those with free shipping. Unfortunately, if you don’t go along with the changes, your shop likely won’t get the same traffic it currently gets from Etsy’s search engine.
- US shoppers will primarily see items that ship free and shops that offer free shipping on orders of $35 in the top, most visible rows of search.
- Shops that offer free shipping on orders over $35 will be more likely to be seen in Etsy’s official email, social media, and tv marketing.
- A new, smart pricing tool will be available for shop owners soon to allow you to guarantee free shipping for orders more than $35. Included in this tool is a bulk editing tool to edit listings.
- There won’t be any changes to how free shipping affects search placement for buyers outside the US. This is important because if most of your business is from outside the US, I’d ignore these changes. Additionally, Etsy notes that they know sellers need a way to offer different shipping prices to US versus international customers. They are working on it.
- In September, Etsy will begin advertising to customers that many items ship for free on Etsy.
Does this mean you’ll have to pay for shipping on your orders?
Absolutely not. This just means that you need to start including the cost of shipping in the product price if you want to have a chance at a higher search engine result placement on Etsy. If you generate a lot of your own traffic and don’t care about search engine placement on Etsy – then don’t do anything. You will need to realize though that a lot of customers will favor the shops that do offer free shipping.
So, if you’ve previously listed a product for sale for $10 with $4 shipping, you’ll now list the product for $14 with free shipping. Unfortunately, if you sell heavy products – this news isn’t good for you – because raising your prices to include shipping might make you too expensive to compete.
Estimating shipping costs can be difficult because each location has a different cost. Here’s what I would do: Weigh your item and use a shipping calculator to estimate the cost using a zip code far away from the origin zip code. For example, since I’m in Florida, I would estimate my shipping cost to a zip code in Washington state. Find out more about estimating shipping in this post.
I’ll let you know when the new tool is launched. In the meantime, start figuring out your shipping costs per product.
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Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.