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etsy's new fees are causing sellers to panic! here's what i'm doing instead.

etsy's new fees are causing sellers to panic! here's what i'm doing instead.

So, if you haven't already heard.. on June 13th, Etsy announced a massive change to their existing fee structure that had sellers immediately up in arms.

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If you haven't seen the official post, you can find it here, but here's the breakdown:

In mid-July, Etsy will begin taking a 5% commission off of your total sale price (item + shipping). Since its founding in 2005, Etsy has taken a 3.5% commission off of your item price only (not including shipping). The $0.20 listing fee remains the same.

They also announced monthly subscription plan options, called Plus and Premium, which will give sellers more tools to run their shops. All of the current features Etsy offers are included in the Standard plan (which is still free), and nothing will be taken away once the Plus and Premium options are opened up.

Plus starts at $10/month and will increase to $20/month in January of 2019. Additional features include more robust customization options (banners, featured listings, etc.), a 50% discount on a custom URL (which means you'll be able to send buyers to a dot com instead of an Etsy link), discounts on marketing materials and packaging supplies from Etsy's partners, the ability to email your customers when a sold out item is back in stock, and bonus credits to spend on listings and promoted marketing.

Detailed info and pricing for Premium features have not yet been announced, but it will be available in 2019, and so far, we know it will include everything from Plus, as well as "advanced management tools", "premium support", and "new management tools". (If I had to guess, I would bet that it also includes a wholesale feature since Etsy Wholesale just shut down.)

Phew! Big changes, right?

Initial (and completely natural) reaction = TOTAL PANIC MODE. I've been doing this since 2009 so I've weathered my share of big announcements and changes. So after the initial shock wears off and we realize that Etsy's gonna do what Etsy wants to do, we need to learn to roll with the punches.

So instead of hanging out in the forums, getting sucked into the black hole of negativity, and stewing over what many sellers are saying is totally unfair, here are 3 things I'm doing instead.

1. THE MATH

You gotta know your numbers, y'all. What does this increase mean for you and your bottom line? How much do you need to raise your prices (if at all)? Here's an example of how I'm going about this.

An enamel pin in letterhappy sells for $9. Shipping is $3.20, which covers my actual postage as well as my shipping supplies (the envelope I mail it in, the shipping label paper, etc.). Under the previous fee structure, Etsy would charge 3.5% on the pin price ($9), which would equal $0.32. Under the new fee structure, Etsy will charge 5% on the total price ($12.20), which will equal $0.43. That's only ELEVEN CENTS, y'all. So to cover my additional fees, maybe I raise my price by $0.50? Let's be honest, I should probably have already done that anyway. ;) 

Let's do the math on something at a higher price point, shall we? An item sells for $50. Shipping is $10. Under the previous fee structure, Etsy would charge $1.75. Under the new fee structure, Etsy will charge $3, which is an increase of $1.25. So to cover your new fees, raise your $50 item to $52 or your shipping from $10 to $12. Those extra $2 are NOT going to scare away your customers.

2. PLANNING FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR

Etsy released a list of their Key Shopping Dates for the rest of 2018, and when they give you this kind of golden information, you better listen up. Take a good hard look at these (inside your Shop Manager --> Marketing --> Key Shopping Dates) and see if you can tailor your existing listings to fit these categories or expand your product line to include some new offerings.

I recently did a Facebook Live where I went into a little more detail about upcoming buying seasons and trends, so check that out when you get a minute!

3. UPDATING MY TAGS AND TITLES

I get it. Things are changing, and that can be super scary, but one major thing is staying the same - how you get found in search.

Etsy has stated that choosing a monthly plan will NOT give sellers an advantage in search, so you can rest easy knowing that if Plus or Premium are not for you, you won't be penalized. The best way to get your listings in front of your dream buyers is STILL making sure your SEO is on point by using searchable key words and phrases, filling up your entire title, using all 13 tag spaces, and staying current and relevant with seasonal items.

If you're baffled by how successful sellers get and keep their items at the top of search pages, you'll definitely want to grab my newest freebie, where I talk about the phenomenon I've dubbed the Popular Listing Circle Effect (or PLCE - I love a good acronym, don't you?). Not only does it explain why these sellers are constantly on top, it gives actionable tips on how to get your listings there, too.

So what are your honest thoughts about the updated fee structure? How do you believe this will affect your shop? Do you think good things can come out of this in the future? Leave a comment here, or.. as always, we're having (positive and productive!) discussions over on Instagram and inside the shophappy society Facebook page, so come join in the chats over there, too!

Talk soon (and keep calm)!

xo, Christen

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