Etsy Shop Tips: The future of "free" shipping

If you haven't watched Josh Silverman's video yet, you can do so right here.

As Etsy sellers, we all know that shipping isn't free. Never has been, never will be. However, Josh's video opens up the discussion about the perception of free shipping in a marketplace like Etsy. Across the internet, free shipping sales are known to draw in customers, especially during the holiday season. If Etsy was to advertise a site-wide free shipping sale, the thought is that more buyers would come to the site expecting great deals, therefore bringing more traffic and more sales to the sellers.

Let's be honest. To buyers, shipping will always be an annoyance. An extra fee they are forced to pay on top of the item they're purchasing. But when they see something with "free shipping", they're automatically going to assume they're getting a great deal.

Now, Josh isn't asking us all to eat our shipping costs. That's just silly. He seems to suggest that if we're able, we should include our shipping costs in our item costs to give that perception of free shipping.

Obviously, this raises some concerns:

1. Etsy currently takes fees out of our item costs, not our shipping costs. If we're to combine both, Etsy automatically gets more. I truly don't think that's their main motivation behind this suggestion, but it has definitely raised some eyebrows.

2. For those of us with lower-priced items, will the jump in item price be too much for buyers? Or is the psychology behind free shipping so strong that it even won't matter?

3. Will Etsy give favor to those offering free shipping over those that choose not to?

On the other hand, there are sellers who I believe this will benefit:

1. Those who sell high-priced items. A $30 item with WOOHOOFREESHIPPING psychologically sounds better than a $20 item with $10 shipping.

2. Those with already low shipping costs. If your shipping is under $5 already, your customers probably won't notice the jump in item price by adding in your shipping.

There has been mention of a "free shipping tool", which I believe will most likely be introduced before/during the holidays. We just got through Etsy's first ever advertised site-wide sale (Labor Day), which gave sellers the option to run any kind of promotion they'd like (discounted items or free shipping) with the hopes of being featured on a dedicated sales page.

My hope is that they'll continue advertising sales regularly, especially with the holidays coming up. It's hard to run a sale on your own, but when you have an entire marketplace buzzing with great deals, it benefits everyone!

While we wait (not so) patiently, what are your thoughts about the future of "free" shipping on Etsy? Will you be integrating your shipping into your item prices to test out buyer psychology? Would this even work for your particular shop?

Can't wait to have this conversation with you!

xo, Christen :)

Even more awesome conversations happening inside the shophappy society Facebook group! Come join us!


Okay, I don't know about you, but I've had the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack on repeat for like 3 weeks now. SO GOOD. If you're a Disney nerd like me, you'll definitely enjoy these picks. (items are linked below)

1. yellow crochet dress by americanarchive / 2. red rose patch by WolfClubCo / 3. antler flower crown by LittleLadyAccessory / 4. mid century lanshire clock by thisattic / 5. navy bowtie by baboshkaa

Want more great finds like this? Come hang out with the @shophappysociety on Instagram! It's a beautifully curated space featuring the very best in small biz. Interested in a feature? Be sure to tag your items #shophappysociety so I can find them!

etsy shop tips: building a community

So, you're an Etsy seller.

And you're the only Etsy seller you know IRL.

Your friends don't quite get what you do, and your spouse has been really nice about listening to you talk about the latest weird convo you got, but let's be honest.. wouldn't it be nice to talk to someone who actually understands the joy of the "cha-ching" and the frustration of the "3-star-feedback-even-though-they-wrote-a-positive-review"?

There are two ways you can build a community within Etsy itself, and one way to join a super kick butt (if I do say so myself) community outside of Etsy.

1. The Forums

The Forums are a mystical place on the Etsy interwebs where you can chat with fellow sellers about anything and everything including site glitches, a promotion you're having in your shop, or that "huge crack of thunder at 1 o'clock". (Actual thread title right there, folks.)

Just be careful not to get sucked in for too long. Trust me, it's happened to the best of us. You can find a wealth of useful information inside the Forums (it's especially great for diagnosing tech problems and getting immediate feedback). You can also find some crazy negativity, which I personally like to stay wayyy the heck away from.

2. Etsy Teams

Etsy Teams let you connect with other sellers, grouped together by interests, locale, similar goods for sale, etc. When you join or create an Etsy Team, you have your own team forum where you can chat with your fellow members in a private environment.

Lots of teams run challenges, help fellow members promote their goods, have IRL and digital meet-ups, and generally just keep each other sane.

3. If you want a forum AND a team that's totally on your side (no crazy negativity allowed!), I would absolutely LOVE for you to join the shophappy society.

You can ask questions, share your big (and small!) wins, and meet fellow makers and curators. Vintage, handmade, and supply sellers from every corner of the globe are ALL welcome!

I'm also constantly sharing my own expertise and giving you tips and tools to make the most of your Etsy biz.

Whether you're just starting out or getting serious about growing your hobby into a legit biz, I hope to see you there very soon!

etsy shop tips: encouragement and an invitation

When I started selling on Etsy in 2009, I remember putting my first few listings up, and not really knowing how the whole thing worked. What I did know is that I was too damn millennial to sit in a cubicle all day long. This was it. This was my dream.

I made $200 that first month and I was ECSTATIC. I made $500 the second month and I was on top of the world. I rode that high for several months, and then I realized..

This was a hobby.

It was fun, but it wasn't sustainable. If I really wanted to make this a living (and I did.. more than anything else in the whole wide world!), I needed to figure out the system.

Now, when I list something on Etsy, I'm confident that it will be relevant, show up high in search, and get seen by the people who will become my best customers and favorite fans.

Take this dude for example - he's currently on page 2 out of 72 of ALL hard enamel pins on Etsy. The average buyer will only look through 3-5 pages of search results to find what they're looking for, so trust me when I say that being there is crucial to the success of your shop.

If you know deep down that your shop isn't quite reaching its full potential, I want to be a part of your story. I know exactly how it feels to want more. Exactly how it feels to want to do anything but sit in a cubicle for 8 hours a day.

I'd love to invite you to be a part of the coolest club on the interwebs, just for Etsy sellers like YOU. You know what you want. And you're more than capable of it. Let me help you get there. 

Here's how to join - click the button below and enter your email address to request acceptance. I can't wait to help you grow that amazing hobby of yours into a successful biz! See you there!

happytatts x the confetti bar collaboration

Alright, y'all.

I'm SO excited to announce this collaboration with The Confetti Bar! When Jessica reached out to ask if I would design a couple of fun temporary tattoos, it was a total no-brainer. I mean.. bright colors, confetti, parties.. HELLO! Is she my soul sister or what?

We came up with four words that are so fun to wear - smile, celebrate, joy, and party. You can have them on hand as favors for your next get-together, or just for everyday fun.

Available now in the happytatts Etsy shop!

All photos courtesy of The Confetti Bar.