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 :)
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